“What we’re getting here is a “both sides” view of history that suggests all parties are equally guilty of racism. Now, I agree that something like racism, ethnic bigotry, and other species of alienation and animus and idolatry of self exists among all people. But I was talking about 1950-’60s America. I was making a comment about a particular setting in which it cannot be said that both sides were equally guilty in the animus. African Americans have never carried out lynchings. African Americans have never passed “Jim Brown laws” to retaliate for Jim Crow laws. We have never systematically ostracized and oppressed white people as a group. The sin of the period was unilaterally and systematically directed from whites toward blacks.
One of the amazing things about African Americans is that we have survived for so long without giving fully into the racial animosity that could exist given how we’ve been treated. It’s a wonderful providence and humanly speaking we have millions of mothers and fathers and the likes of the Dr. Kings of the world to thank for teaching us not to give in to hate.
Until we get these basic points of history correct we’re not having the same conversation. And when we appear to equivocate about where the guilt and responsibility actually lie, we make it far too easy for strains of that former behavior, attitude, and complicity to continue unchecked.”
We are dealing with a different fact set in this discussion and so the good Rev. is quite correct about not having the same conversation. The good Rev. is embracing a particular Marxist history because of the influence of Marxism on his worldview. In Marxist history, the leverage point is the conflict between in groups and out groups. In classical Marxists history, the bourgeoisie is oppressing the proletariat. In classical Marxist feminist history, males are oppressing females. In recent Marxist history of gender, heteronormativity oppresses LGBTQ normativity. In classical Marxist racial history, whites are oppressing minorities. Elsewhere Rev. TA has said,
“For a long time, I’ve just let the phrase (Marxist) and its variants go. But it seems like it’s not dying, and no one seems to be producing any actual writing or research to substantiate the term. “
However, the term is substantiated if only by the history that TA is appealing to. The Worldview that is pushing TA’s history is Marxism. Secondly, observations that TA is practicing a kind of Marxism narrative is seen in his recent support for the candidate Bernie Sanders who is an avowed Socialist (Marxist). Third, that TA is pushing a racial Marxist narrative is seen in the fact that his facts are disputed. Consider the following,
Myth #1 –African Americans never carried out any lynchings
In this link below, there are all kinds of examples of African-Americans carrying out lynching along with photos. Most of the information below is cut and pasted from this link.
There was without question a determined effort in the South among White people to have the Black race live separately. However, there was, prior to 1964, nothing illegal or even immoral in this desire. Nor was it an act of racism. One distinct people living separate from another distinct people was not just the norm in American history (up until 1964) but human history as well. Regarding lynching… When a White person was attacked (rape or murder) and the perpetrator was Black, this was seen as an attack on “the group” and White people responded more often than not with uncharacteristic ferocity. Blacks were rarely ever assaulted (rape or murder) by a White person in the South. 99.9% of the cases I have found where violence crossed racial lines, it was Black- on-White … and the result was a raging and maddened mob out for revenge. These were the times in which they lived. The vast number of attacks by Blacks on innocent southern White people, including rape, in this type of atmosphere, boggles my mind.
Myth #2 — Blacks didn’t give into hate in a systemic fashion
Again, this is just not true as seen in just the Whitman’s sampler below. See link provided above for active links.
. Atlanta, GA. – 1900: Black male bully sat on a white male’s lap while riding a on street car, deliberately trying to humiliate and antagonize him. A fight ensued and the black male pulled a concealed gun and gunned down the young white male. Oh, and in the state of Georgia in 1900, the color-line mandate was not being enforced, so blacks could sit where they pleased.
2.Shreveport, La. – 1901: Black Supremacist organization advocated violence against white people. One white male was murdered. Link
3. Columbus, Ga. – 1900: Negro crawled into the bedroom of young white girl thru an open window and attempted to rape her. Link
4. Columbus, Mo. 1901 – Negro raped his employer’s wife…then shot her in the head
Brother-in-law of murder victim: “I want to speak to him, how many times we cared for him and how kind Mary was to him, and ask him why he killed her. Then, when he has answered that, I want to see him burned.” Link
5. Tuscumbia, Ala. – 1901: It’s a MASSACRE – Negro petty criminal ambushed sheriff and deputy and murdered both – he then gunned down seven more white males – four dead. Link (note: the death count was later revised)
6. Dublin, Ga. -1908: Two Negro employees invaded the home of their [white] employer, beat him senseless with an ax, gang raped his wife … then slashed her to pieces demanding to know the whereabouts of household money Link
7. Satton, W.Va. – 1908: Home Invasion By Negroes – White male homeowner was tied to a tree then whipped — negroes then gang raped his wife (no, I’m not kidding) Link
8. Hot Springs Ark. – 1908: Negro cook decides he gonna have a little fun with hungry young white male – taunts him with food offer – makes him work in the blazing heat until he can’t work any longer… Negro then guns him down. Link
9.Eufala, Ala. 1911: Prominent American woman was stalked by a negro sexual predator as she walked from a neighbor’s home to her home. The negro finally grabbed her and wrestled her to the ground. As the negro started to tear her clothes off … to rape her… her desperate screams for help saved her. White males quickly came to her rescue. Link
10. Stephensport, Ky. – 1904: Negroes “Lynch” Young White Male – If Emmit Till murder was a “lynching” than this one should also be judged a lynching as well. Two negro brothers went after a young white male who , their sister claimed, “insulted her”. When they found the young white male … they slit his throat from ear to ear. source
Let us consider the 86 years of American segregation (1882 – 1968). During that time period, there were 4,743 lynchings in America according to the black founded and run Tuskegee Institute. Of those, 1,297 (27%) lynchings were of white people. Why was this? Contra Hollywood and modern history textbooks, the purpose of lynchings was not “racism”, but the public and guaranteed punishment of crime. That is why 695 (14%) of lynchings took place in one of the 33 non-segregated states. Lynching was a method of criminal justice when a particularly grievous crime had been committed and/or the citizens were unsure if they would get justice through the courts.
We are not speaking about if we *agree* with the practice, we are speaking about the historical realities of it. Lynching was about punishing criminals, not “uppity blacks who were getting out of hand” as [ as many put it]. This is seen in the reasons the Tuskegee Institute lists for the lynchings: homicide 41%, felony assault 4%, rape 19%, attempted rape 6%, robbery/theft 5%. Only 85 lynchings (less than 2% of total) over the entire course of those 86 years in the entire country are listed as “insult to white person” as the reason.
The average law-abiding Southern black had nothing to worry about, the noose was for rapists and murderers. The fact that only 3,446 blacks were lynched out of the millions of blacks living in the South during that time period puts to rest the stereotype of a noose on every tree. To put this in perspective, there are currently 7,000 blacks murdered by other blacks every year in America. So every year blacks kill twice as many blacks as were lynched in total over a 86 year time period.
Rev. Anyabwile is correct when he says that “until we get these basic points of history correct we’re not having the same conversation.” If the facts were what TA says they were then, of course, his point would stand but those “facts” that he is citing are disputable and the worldview he is using as his interpretation of facts is likewise more than disputable. TA is playing an old and dangerous game right now and the success of his endeavors is likely to continue since most of the people he is speaking to, ignorant of other historical narratives, just accept his version and worldview of the facts.
Let it be clearly noted that I’m not denying that there were white people who did shameful things to black people. However, I am denying that it was uniformly happening in the way TA places it in his Marxist narrative.
That blacks were not the innocents that TA suggests is dismissed by any reading of the Reconstruction period from 1865-1877, as well as by considering what was provided above.