Monday, October 13, 2008

It's Happening Here, Again

I've been reading Slavery By Another Name, by Douglas Blackmon, which I really cannot recommend highly enough, even if it is the most appalling and depressing book I have ever read

I keep having to stop reading it -- seriously, I have to put it down every day or two, it upsets me so much: maybe you know the movie Cool Hand Luke? Fun and games on the chain-gang, white boys eat eggs and be tough on the chain-gang? This is the reality behind that silliness. This is what got done to whole generations of black men in America so certain white men could maintain their dominance, and Blackmon will not let us look away. He lays out the evidence, also, that everyone knew: the courts knew, the towns knew, the owners of the businesses and corporations that bought the enslaved prisoners knew, Teddy Roosevelt knew: just as in Nazi Germany, when the people in the towns knew what was happening in the camps, everyone knew what was happening: well, in Alabama and in Georgia and in Mississippi and In Florida, everyone knew how those roads and levees were getting built. Everyone knew how those mines were being staffed, where those farm workers were coming from. No one acted. Why? Because to act would be to support black guys over white guys: can't do that. Even when the courts followed the law, and agreed that what was being done was wrong -- violated U.S. law -- they did not enforce their own sentences: did not stop the white guys from enslaving the black guys: in 1905, in 1920, in 1930 and 1940.

Here we are in 2008, and what is happening?

What is getting done by white men in power in this country?

What always gets said?

McCain's crew wants to claim you can't trust Obama. Why in shit should we trust them?

As mr. delagar likes to tell his classes, he loves black people. None of them ever started any concentration camps. None of them ever ran a pogrom. You don't see many black folks starting crusades or holocausts.

Trust McCain? Tell me why.

1 comment:

zelda1 said...

Yeah, when I was doing my thesis research and came upon the peonage forced prison work camps, well, it made me angry and sad and so slavery continued for a little while longer but didn't cost anyone anything so they could be killed starved, it didn't matter. Yeah. Man what our white mother fuckers have done.