" Living in America ....
.... Eye to eye
Station to station ...."
So go the first few lines in the chorus of that song by the late Soul Brother #1, the Godfather of Soul, James Brown, in his hit song of the same name that is the title of this piece.
'Station to station' is plain enough, I guess, traveling city to city, as the song does. 'Eye to eye', now, that may be more of a sentiment or ideal being expressed since human nature has shown us that, depending upon the circumstances, there are so many things on which folks cannot or will not see eye to eye.
As I have written, race is one of those things.
Well, I received a private e mail message here at NowPublic.com. As I began writing of this incident, I envisioned an unknown number of readers saying to themselves, maybe even out loud, after they'd concluded reading this, "Well, she should have seen that coming!" or "Well, what did she expect, writing about all that Black (possibly, expletive deleted) or put more delicately, .... that Black stuff!".
I'm not rambling. Two weeks ago, I received an e mail through the private message system here, obviously from a fellow site contributor, with the body of the e mail containing an altered history lesson, signing off "Love ya", ending with a link to a Ku Klux Klan website.
It is certain I was not sent the link for recruitment purposes. Anyone reading my articles, with my photo prominently displayed, would assume me to be of African descent, as I have also identified myself on a number of occasions.
Aside from some bizarre assumption that I may be like the fellow portrayed in the comedic routine send up of Dave Chappell, an African American comedian portraying a blind, Black Ku Klux Klan Grand Wizard and organizer, the joke being he doesn't know he's Black, I can only conclude I was sent the link in an effort to intimidate me.
The history of the Ku Klux Klan speaks for itself. It was organized at a time, shortly after the emancipation of the formerly enslaved of African descent in 1865, when some 'regular' citizens believed the country in peril of being overrun by those 'other' people.
The Klan gained popularity and respect for decades among some 'regular' folks with those folks saying they didn't belong to the Klan but they appreciated and believed in what the Klan stood for, with many Klansmen assuming local and state power, wielding that power to the detriment of those of African descent.
Klan philosophies have always been based upon hatred and intolerance of others they perceived as different from themselves. Even when they did not possess state power, history informs us that members of the law enforcement community, including the judicial system, some vocally, others silently, supported and agreed with the stated aims of the Klan.
Despite attempts to compare so called Black activists, even the most radical and divergent, who lash out with their own form of hate speech, there can be no comparison to the Ku Klux Klan, an organization that was given free run of this country to terrorize its citizens for more than half a century, due to governmental inaction, with it being believed and stated that they were allowing otherwise 'fine, respectable' citizens a means for blowing off steam.
It has been the instrument of state power, within the government on all levels within the U.S., that has allowed the venomous poison and disease of racial bigotry and hatred to bear fruit, generation after generation, that produce individuals that seek to carry on a time honored tradition of their forefathers.
I cannot recount all the tales of intimidation and horror inflicted upon the African American community, the Jewish community or anyone else who has found themselves in the sights of these types but, I will state, for the record, the 'new' Klan is most insidious.
It seeks to wrap its schemes in twisted, revisionist logic that some find appealing, trying to equate their new 'persona' with organizations that have historically been formed to promote fairness and equality, preying on the assumed fears of 'regular' White people, also assuming that they see their world about to come to an end.
I received an e mail. In the past, thousands have been murdered, with the Mississippi River having become one of the many dumping sites for the remains of victims of Klan violence and victims whose deaths occurred at the hands of those aligned with the Klan's thinking on how to handle matters regarding race.
For more than a month, during Mississippi Freedom Summer in 1964, a campaign whose purpose was to register Black voters, as Mississippi authorities dragged that river, searching for Michael Schwerner, Andrew Goodman and James Chaney, they pulled up body after body, hurriedly announcing they'd found the remains of those civil rights workers.
And for days, they released statement after statement saying they hadn't found them yet. The authorities stopped announcing when they'd found a body until the workers' remains were positively identified. Most of the other remains recovered during that period were never identified.
There is an axiom attributed to the days of the Roman Empire that states:
He who is silent is understood to consent.
From the more ancient Kemetic (Egyptian) tradition, it is said:
Be not silent when it is your duty to speak.
Well, I received an e mail, here, at NowPublic and I state that I know we no longer live in those times I've spoken of and I say thank God for that.
It is the year 2008 and I stand on the shoulders of all of my known and unknown ancestors and relatives and I state again that I have been charged with a duty to do my part to assure that a return to those 'good ole days', longed for by some, never occurs again.
An African adage or admonition, Sankofa:
"Always remember the past for therein lies the future, if forgotten ...."
Possible links of interest:
A history of the Ku Klux Klan
Information regarding the Ku Klux Klan during the period the organization held governmental power
An article derived from a speech delivered before the New York Bar Association in 1999 by Ben Chaney, the brother of the slain African American civil rights worker, James Chaney, from Meridian, Mississippi, murdered with Michael Schwerner and Andrew Goodman during Mississippi Freedom Summer in 1964.
A personal note: Meridian, Mississippi is a known point of origin for my in laws, with one of my husband's ancestors having been found in the 1860 U.S. Census records, listed among the livestock.
Information on the bill known as the Emmett Till Unsolved Civil Rights Crime Bill of 2007, with a description offered for the bill being:
H.R. 923 would authorize the appropriation of $10 million a year over the 2008-2017 period for the Department of Justice (DOJ) to investigate and prosecute certain unsolved homicides committed prior to 1970. The bill also would authorize the appropriation of $3.5 million annually over the 2008-2017 period to provide technical assistance to state and local law enforcement agencies ....
An article, dated May 13, 2008, re: incidents involving Obama campaigners and supporters
Living in America was first published at Angryindian.blogspot.com and Indigenist.blogspot.com.