Call it coincidence, karma or divine providence, for whatever reason Black History Month 2019 may go down as the most racially polarized of the new millennium.
Just about every day a new headline or social media tag about a mind boggling racial incident woke you up to the reality that the medical community has yet to find a cure for the cancer of racism and bigotry.
It was as if every time you turned on your computer or switched channels on Spectrum, you were greeted by some white supremacist trying to restart the civil war, a politician’s past indiscretions coming to life, or another questionable police killing that had its roots in racial profiling.
And that doesn’t include the 11,321 racially charged tweets from Donald Grump…err… Trump.
Consider the following samples,listed in no particular order:
• The recently elected governor of Virginia is called a racist for appearing in “blackface” while a medical school student several decades ago. And last week, his wife joined the fraternity of racists for handing two Black high school students’ balls of cotton and asking how they would acclimate themselves as slaves.
• A White female Maryland state representative—Mary Ann Lisanti— was stripped of a committee assignment after she was overheard saying how frustrating it was for her to campaign in a “nigger district”. (I assume her comments would have been PC if she said: “the n-word”.)
• The Madison, Wisconsin school board fired six teachers since the beginning of the year for using racist epithets. Another Madison teacher is under investigation for allegedly assaulting an 11-year-old Black girl.
But don’t worry, Madison’s so-called progressive press published a story in which the school superintendent said he would handle the situation (which probably means bringing in a high-priced consultant who will tell the students they can’t recite the lyrics of a Snoop Doggy Dud gangsta rap song on school grounds).
• Those elementary school incidents follow a series of racial incursions at the near-by UW-Madison campus.
Ironically (or should I say not surprisingly), Madison is considered a bastion of liberalism. You may recall the Madison mayor kicked off his failed gubernatorial campaign by declaring he would uproot a confederate monument in that former abolitionist city, apparently to show he stands opposed to white supremacy.
But that gesture backfired. I think he received about seven votes in his embarrassing bid for governor, which may have been an indication that the so-called liberals were upset that he revealed the Mason Dixon line starts at the Canadian border.
• A former Louisiana secretary of state has quickly rebounded from the discovery that he wore, and paraded around, in blackface, earrings, red lipstick and a New Orleans Saints bandana (with large fake breasts) under a purple T-shirt that said ‘Katrina Victim’ to mock the African American victims of that devastating storm.”
Mike Ertel was fired by the Louisiana governor from his appointed position after a photo of Ertel (not to be confused with geeky Black character on the ‘Family Ties’ television show) was publicized.
But he didn’t make it across town to the unemployment office before he was notified he was “awarded” a job as the Seminole (Florida) supervisor of elections.
Hmm, a homophobic, racist, misogynist has oversight over elections. Sounds like a promotion to me for an All-American patriot who vowed not to kneel during the playing of the National Anthem.
• And then there was the Jussie Smollett debacle. Smollett, one of the stars of the propaganda-laced television show, “Empire,” was arrested for a publicity stunt in which he said he was attacked in Chicago by a pair of racist homophobes (who were literally in blackface). Smollett, who will probably end up serving some time in jail, but could rebound with guess appearances on the TV show “Chicago PD” playing an asinine narcissist who orchestrates the dumbest crime of the century in which he leaves a trail of evidence that even Dudley Doright could follow.
• A coast guard officer is caught with weapons and ammunition he planned on using to start a race war, at the same time a White supremacist pleads guilty to murdering a New York Black man, who also orchestrated a similar plan as the Coast Guard guy.
Those reality show scripts made their debut—ironically–during Black History Month. But the most entertaining docudramas took place in our nation’s capital, where reality and soap operas seem to intermingle.
Not to be outdone, I assume congress paid a Trump cabinet member to write the script for the “you a racist!” “No you are!” episode of “All My Chillins.”
The opening scene had started with the congressional hearing of former Trump attorney Michael Cohen during which the disgraced barrister called President Donald Trump (aka “45IQ,” the “Trumpeter,” and “Da’ Emperor”) a racist.
That assessment didn’t raise any eyebrows since most folks with IQs over nine already knew the prez was the country’s leading bigot (and you can’t be a bigot without being a racist).
But what was instructional, if not entertaining, was an exchange between freshman Rep. Rashida Tlaib and House Oversight Committee member Rep. Mark Meadows about an African American HUD official– Lynne Patton–who took issue with that labeling of 45IQ.
Trump could not be a racist, much less a bigot, because Patton would not knowingly work for one, Meadows declared to the flabbergasted hearing audience.
What was equally insightful was how the congressman strategically situated Patton for the television cameras, having her stand behind him like some docile servant.
Her positioning prompted Tlaib to question whether she was being used as a “prop” or was merely an ignorant pawn. (Trump reportedly had told Cohen that Black Americans were too “stupid to vote” for him. Apparently, Patton didn’t fit that category. She ‘s obviously is enough.)
From the time Meadows started his tirade in response to Tlaib’s allegations until sanity was restored to the hearing, one could visualize the next few minutes morphing from a boring soap opera to a minstrel show— where the stars are in blackface, including the African American extras.
In fact, it would have been a comedy, had it not been so disingenuous and reminiscent of political slap stick.
Meadows, who didn’t hide his disdain for former President Barack Obama, who he repeatedly said should return to his native country of Kenya (the former president was raised in Hawaii) actually formed his lips to call Tlaib a racist, for suggestinghe was one.
And adding insult to injury, he used the condescending “get out of jail free card” by declaring he had a “Black friend”: Rep. Elijah Cummings, the chair of the committee, who apparently thought there was too much ad libbing going on and tried to halt the exchange.
Unfortunately, as a freshman representative, Tlaib’s response wasn’t among her finest moments, as she was forced to apologize, saying her “prop” comment was a reference to a racist action by “somebody” (she didn’t call out Meadows by name), but quickly added that you can commit a racist act, without being a racist.
Got all of that?
In case you didn’t know, representatives are forbidden from “personalizing” their attacks on each other, even though they supposedly take an oath to support the constitution, including the 1st Amendment.
Had I been a member of congress, my career would be short-lived if I had to compromise my integrity and true feelings to be politically correct or adhere to a set of parliamentary rules that undermines common sense.
But apparently those rules provide White congressmen the opportunity to play the “trump” card (sorry, couldn’t help that one).
However, in this case, it was obvious that Tlaib was playing “Spades,” while Meadows and members of his fraternity were playing “Bid Whist.”
Fortunately, February is the shortest month of the year, otherwise we probably could have stacked many more racial headlines on top of those docudramas.
In some respects, I guess it’s appropriate and enlightening that these episodes occur during “our” month, if for no other reason than to awaken us to the fact that we have not crossed over into the other side of the mountain top.
But hey, racism in America may end sooner than you thought. At the same time Meadows was uttering chants of reverse discrimination and Democrats were trying to figure out a creative way not to recall the born again governor of Virginia (and his wife), NASA successfully docked a new rocket at an orbiting space station which some believe will attract alien beings (not to be confused with illegal immigrants).
That means, if there are any green men out there ready to make contact,the residents of planet earth will have to reassess the concept of multiple races based on hue, religion and political affiliation. And once we are forced to band together as a single race (hue-men), those who benefit from racism will go the way of the black and white television sets and manual typewriters