by Cinnamon Stillwell

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

In the wake of all the racial demagoguery following Hurricane Katrina, white Americans could be forgiven for suffering from racism fatigue. I say “white Americans” because according to many of the speakers at the Millions More March in Washington, D.C. this past month, there are indeed two Americas, one white and one black. Of all the shades in between, very little was said. But “white America,” it seems, is to blame for every single malady that affects “black America.” At least that’s what we’re told over and over again by the self-appointed czars of racism.

But what if that weren’t true? What if racism, although still in existence in America as everywhere in the world, were not the root of the black community’s problems? What if the failed liberal social policies that originated in the 1960s, coupled with a self-destructive culture within the black community itself, were to blame? And what if black people are just as guilty of racism as anyone else?

This is exactly the conclusion one might reach in the wake of the Millions More March, where black separatism was a common theme. Organized by Nation of Islam minister Louis Farrakhan and captured in all its offensive glory by C-SPAN, the event centered more on blaming whites for the problems of the black community than the introspection so truly needed.

For Farrakhan and his ilk, it always comes down to two often-overlapping villains – white people and, of course, the Jews. Of the latter, Farrakhan applies all the usual stereotypes and libels associated with anti-Semitism. The oft-repeated claim that Jewish slaveholders were a significant group, when in fact Islamic countries were and still are the primary dealers in slavery, is typical of such propaganda. Much like the Muslim World where blame for all internal problems is hoisted onto Jews, Christians, and the West in general, Farrakhan seeks to emulate this pattern for black Americans.

Farrakhan’s propensity for blaming whites is unending. According to Farrakhan, black Americans are still suffering the effects of slavery and can’t be expected to function properly within such a “racist country” until they receive “reparations.” Farrakhan and his lieutenants would have us believe that Hurricane Katrina and the ensuing flooding of New Orleans was all part of a plot to kill and disperse the black population. Farrakhan in fact suggested that the levees were intentionally blown up to murder poor blacks in the region. The delay in getting to some of the evacuees was chalked up not to the failings of the black Mayor Ray Nagin, nor even the white female Governor Kathleen Blanco, but instead to a federal government that was hell bent on genocide, to hear the ravings of Farrakhan.

Democratic Rep. Charlie Rangel joined in the racial outcry following Hurricane Katrina, accusing President Bush of being “our Bull Connor,” in reference to the Birmingham, Alabama police commissioner who resisted the Civil Rights Movement (and who just happened to be a Democrat). Meanwhile, Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton and other such opportunists focused on the great injustice of the word “refugees” being applied (sympathetically) to displaced New Orleans residents by the media. No accusation became too absurd in their attempts to get the most out of the disaster spotlight.

Somehow Farrakhan and his fellow demagogues managed to overlook the endless footage of the U.S. Coast Guard and Air National Guard (most of them white) rescuing black people stranded atop their roofs after the flood. Also unmentioned by Farrakhan were the largely white communities all over the country that opened up their arms to evacuees with no regard to color or circumstances. The multitude of white people who volunteered their time and efforts to help black people living in shelters also elicited no response. In truth, the aftermath of Katrina demonstrated anything but the type of racism that has been claimed.

The fact is that it’s the race hustlers, both black and white, who are sowing the seeds of discord in America today by actively trying to create divisions among the races. Stuck in the past and unable to grasp the gains that have been made since the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s, or the Civil War for that matter, these dinosaurs are simply incapable of coming up with a narrative that doesn’t involve black victimization. Of course, they’d be out of a job or a political platform were they to do so.

To cap all this off, we now have so-called black activists calling for genocide against whites. Dr. Kamau Kambon, who taught “Africana Studies” in the Spring 2005 semester at North Carolina State University, recently addressed a panel at Howard University Law School on “Hurricane Katrina Media Coverage.” In discussing the issues facing the black community, Kambon claimed that “white people want to kill us” and then went on to make a startling statement: “We have to exterminate white people off the face of the planet to solve this problem.”

Broadcast on C-SPAN, Kambon’s outrageous comments seem to have ruffled few feathers among the usually racism-sensitive crowd. As of yet, none of the calls for “sensitivity training” so popular among the political correct have been heard. Apparently, it’s only hate speech when the speaker is white. Similarly, hate crimes only seem to occur when the perpetrators are white.

But such paranoia and conspiracy theories are hardly the exception in the black community. Claims that AIDS was created by the U.S. government to kill black people and that the CIA funneled crack cocaine into the black community in the 1980s are widely believed. So why wouldn’t it be acceptable to bring up exterminating whites in retaliation for their alleged crimes?

The fact that the Nation of Islam compromises one of the most visible black political movements in America today certainly does not bode well for the future of race relations. While hardly garnering millions, the Millions More March was attended by various black celebrities, clergy, intellectuals, and business moguls, as well as Congressional Black Caucus chairman Rep. Mel Watts, thus lending it more credibility than it deserved.

The involvement of black Democrats makes sense considering their propensity for putting forth the same tired platitudes, offering blacks anything but self-empowerment. With this in mind, the continued fealty of blacks to the Democratic Party is beginning to border on parody. Despite the highly visible presence of black and other minority appointees among the Bush administration and the fact that Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice is being discussed as a potential presidential candidate among Republicans, critics continue to insist that the Republican Party is somehow racist against blacks. Since the Republicans were in fact the first political party opposed to slavery, lynching, and racism in the 19th century while the Democratic Party was the polar opposite, the insistence of black Americans on ignoring their own history is beyond reason.

This may be changing as documentaries such as Emancipation, Revelation, Revolution come to the fore. The film traces the Republican Party’s role in abolishing slavery and supporting the Civil Rights Movement, subjects long deemed taboo by the liberal film establishment. The documentary recently screened at The Liberty Film Festival in Los Angeles, where it was introduced by conservative radio host and columnist Larry Elder and conservative activist Ted Hayes. Elder and Hayes joined the many black intellectuals and activists interviewed in the film in pondering “what happens when conservative blacks leave the liberal plantation?”

The answer to that question is unfolding as we speak. For when it comes down to it, black moderates and conservatives offer forth the only real solutions for the problems afflicting their community. Writers such as Thomas Sowell, John McWhorter, Star Parker, and Walter Williams, among many others, and celebrities such as Bill Cosby bravely challenge conformity to try and put the spotlight where it belongs – on flawed federal policies, race hustlers, and the black community itself.

For their troubles, they are routinely accused of being “Uncle Toms” and “house n**gers” by their fellow “brothers and sisters” who see any attempt at self-examination as tantamount to blasphemy. The black media largely ignores these figures, preferring instead to focus on those who espouse a narrative with which they’re comfortable. But despite all their efforts to silence such voices, black conservatism is growing, slowly but surely.

It’s a good thing because change is inevitable, no matter how much it’s resisted by the demagogues. Our society has already been altered greatly, although you’d never know it to hear the hysterical claims since Hurricane Katrina. Thanks to the gains made by the Civil Rights Movement and people like the late Rosa Parks, racism is no longer popular in America. Rather than spreading, racism has, in fact, shrunk down to the lowest level in American history.

Perhaps the time has come for the American black community to start looking elsewhere for answers.

About the Writer: Cinnamon Stillwell is a longtime contributor to ChronWatch. A columnist for SFGate.com and Frontpagemag.com, she lives in the Bay Area.

Cinnamon maintains a website at http://www.cinnamonstillwell.com

Cinnamon receives e-mail at cinnamonstillwell@yahoo.com.