Speaking & Teaching
I'm done, why aren't you America?#joesmokeblackthoughts
Another black man's body is decomposing
What that's you say justice is simply posing
Or is it that so much of America is off somewhere dozing
Three shots in the back
What that you say? White society's jury is back
Is that black man's body still decomposing
The jury's verdict confirms that justice for blacks is definitely posing
Did you just say that black man was sound asleep?
He was shot six times now that is simply too deep
He was caught sleeping while black
I'm done, why aren't you America?
I'm sick and tired of being tired of justice for the black man posing
While it seems so much of America is off somewhere dozing
Hey! What's that you say Captain Marvel saved the day
Except for that black man's body which is still lying in the streets
Stop it America!
Lady Liberty is still in the New York harbor posing
While justice for blacks is off somewhere dozing.
Our black houses of unity are on fire we need to bring the waters of hope, compassion, eternal love, and inner strength to overcome the blaze that confronts us today. Justice is an illusion but fixing it together as black men and women doesn't have to be a delusion feed by constant confusion.
Why is injustice such a valuable commodity in the United States? Why does the system we demand to be equal in scope to all peoples no matter the race or creed seem to swing the pendulum of blind justice towards injustice to Americans of African Descent? Is that illusion of a perfect union meant only to include those who biological makeup is absent of melanin? Questions that I tend to ask myself more and more as I get a little older and hopefully just a tad bit wiser.
On this March morning in 2019, I had thought similar to a provoked thought I had 4 years ago. On that day while I viewing that day's Huffington Post. I was looking for something that would engage my social media thought for a day postings. This was before I had developed my now blossoming internet blog. On that particular morning, a winter’s cold chill had finally arrived in my Maryland neighborhood. Today, March's blustery winds have come to announce the coming of spring in that same neighborhood.
While reading the Huffington Post I came across an article written by Marian Wright Edelman. It was a thought-provoking essay that posed this question, “Why are guns more valuable than children in America?”. Marian Wright Edelman wrote of America’s love for the rights of gun-owners other the sacrificed lives of children aged five and under killed by those weapons of immediate destruction. Marian even indicated that 30 more preschoolers were killed by guns in the United States then law enforcement officers were killed in 2014. The evidence was clear that in 2015 more pre-schoolers will be killed by guns than law enforcement officers that year as well. The article was fair in Marian Wright Edelman's final assessment that something needs to be done in the United States by legislators in Congress to put an end to the senseless, needless violence done by these weapons of immediate destruction. You can imagine nothing has changed in the United States related to curtailing gun violence.
However, Marian Wright Edelman's article provoked another mental thought for me that morning, it aroused in my mind this question? Since it seems many, many Americans cannot be moved to lessen the damage inflicted by guns, are those same Americans also the people who also promote the damage of racism in the United States?
Why is injustice towards Black Americans a distinctly more valuable commodity then the act of promoting and providing justice, real justice to Americans of African Descent?
Oh, it’s easy to for the initial answer to evolve around “racism” that is the most simple response to this question. That white people simply hate and castigate blacks in the United States. They always have and they always will. Hell, those white bastard's ancestors' stole us off our homelands in Africa. Hell, there is even talk that many of our blacks ancestors were already here in America when the white Europeans encroached on our homeland in what is now the United States of America. So, not only did these evil white people's ancestors steal us from our African homeland they also stole this land from beneath our feet. They white ancestors killed our ancestor's brothers and sisters enslaving both African and American black people. My thought today as it didn't five years ago isn’t going to redress or address either of these scenarios.
Today's thought is simply going to ask the question and wonder why since the emancipation of our ancestors in 1865, has the United States done so much to impede justice from being applied to every black citizen in this nation? Oh, some will say the assassination of Old Abe sat back the plans to provide the impetus to secure those rights promised by the 13th, 14th and 15th Amendments of the Constitution. In someways, this could be explained as a truism since his predecessor in the White House, Andrew Johnson was not a true friend of the abolitionists or the recently freed black man and woman. Those fought for blacks securing freedom prior to as well as after the Civil War was also no friend of Andrew Johnson. Johnson did come within one United States Senate vote from being impeached because of his lackadaisical efforts to equalize justice for the recently freed peoples held in bondage.
Reconstruction was initially implemented during Andrew Johnson's Presidency and there indeed sp truly magnanimous plans put in place in those former Confederate southern states to bring a degree of true freedom to newly freed slaves. During the brief years of Reconstruction white overt racism in those southern states could indeed answer the question posed by my thought this morning. Yet, why wouldn’t it have been easier through just to allow let freedom ring after the most heinous battle this nation had ever encountered?
Why was it necessary once Blacks were unlocked from the bonds of slavery to continue to impede the full implementation of equal rights and true justice to each and every one of our ancestors. I mean why even have national judicial considerations that created an unjust decision in the Plessey vs. Ferguson case ? Why have a segregated united armed force until 1947 in true equality was ever the goal for Americans of African Descent? Why did Woodrow Wilson separate the races in federal workplaces? Prior to Wilson's edict, it had been shown that neither race had shown no problem with that workplace condition prior to Wilson’s change in direction? Why did the United States Government allow the destruction of Black Wall Street in Greenwood, Oklahoma to go unpunished? It was not prosecuted at the time of the horrific incident and even up to this very day there have been no economic reparations for damages done?
Why were dead black bodies to hang on trees like strange fruits as Billie Holliday in a song so eloquently, so sadly? Why was no anti-lynching law ever passed by our United States Congress, or supported by our United States President when those black bodies were being lynched and mauled daily? Why was no white man in the south ever convicted of killing a black person even when the heinous acts were done in public view for all to view and admire their acts of hate? Why were ghettoes allowed to flourish in the so-called greatest economic nation the world had ever known? Why did 4 little black girls get blown to smithereens simply because they attended a church that stood for justice in a southern city fill with oppressive white racist hate? Why did the federal government not step to institute a policy that reimbursed the monies that were stolen from newly freed blacks who had placed their funds and faith in the Freedman Bank? When in the early 1970’s when the Central Intelligence Agency need funds to create havoc worldwide why didn’t anyone in the room say hell no when they decided to flood guns and drugs into America’s cities to get the cash necessary to engage in mischief worldwide? Why did no one say to Ollie North, Reagan’s chief architect of a misguided policy “you have lost your freaking mind” if you think you can flood the streets of Black America with drugs to pay to arm your little rebellion in Central America?
Why is it to this day that even some blacks in our black communities feel that it’s best to ignore the rancid conditions rather than confront them? Why when unjust law enforcement bullets riddled black bodies our communities strikes straight to the streets crying injustice? Yet, when our own brothers and sisters riddle similar black bodies our community sits in silent acceptance of those acts? How can Americans black or white view entertainment monitors on a daily basis and see the destruction caused by weapons of immediate destruction and act as if those destructive actions won’t have some subconscious effect on the young minds that are captivated violent entertainment? Why do we rush to movie theaters for fantasies across the nation yet allow our black communities implode around us? Is stellar fantasy destruction worth the price of admission but real-time community destruction not worth paying those same dollars to rebuild?
The question of why injustice is so easily attained is that justice takes the union of two forces aligning for a common magnificent objective. It seems that never in the history of the United States has that merging of objectives between the races ever been aligned. From either side when blacks needed the full force of the might of the US Government to attain a full measure of justice, real justice it was not there to answer the call. Can we simply answer our dilemma with “it’s whitey fault” you know that normal racist response?. You see in many instances blacks have been called to support there own and in many of those instances, those calls have gone unanswered. Brothers and sisters for real justice, I mean absolute justice the call for action must be answered as it was in Montgomery, Alabama, or Greenwood, Mississippi, or Selma, Alabama, or the Mall in Washington DC as it was in 1863, 1995, 2015, and 2019. Those calls must be answered ten-fold and the response must elicit actions from both sides not just one side. If you have the attitude that it is always “whitey’s fault” then do something about it build up, link up and make a significant difference in the lives of those around you. If you feel that this world is more than about the color of someone’s skin but the content of his or her’s character then do something about it. Build up, link up and make a significant difference in the lives of those around you. See something familiar? Yes, same action but different feelings internally but the same actions aligned for the common good of all the people living around you brings real justice.
The lynching of Wyatt Outlaw occurred in the courthouse square in Graham, North Carolina in 1870. That horrendous act of terror continues to reverberate across the generations
of black families related to ancestor Wyatt Outlaw. The consequences for the State of North Carolina were profound. The public lynching of Wyatt Outlaw leads to the impeachment of that state's governor the first impeachment of a governor in United States
history. Wyatt Outlaw’s death, like that of State Sen. J. W. (“Chicken”) Stephens in the basement of the courthouse in Caswell County, North Carolina combined together in precipitating the “Kirk-Holden War" in North Carolina
Carole Troxler, Elon University professor, has examined the historical record concerning Outlaw. Biographical details gleaned from Congressional investigations into the 1870-71 Ku Klux Klan “outrages” and transcript of the impeachment trial of Gov. W. W. Holden are spare. Wyatt Outlaw, likely the offspring of white merchant Chesley Faucett and Jemimah Phillips, a free black. Wyatt Outlaw served in the Union army, in the 2nd Regiment U.S. Colored Cavalry, first in Virginia and then a later posting in Texas along the Rio Grande. On his return home, Outlaw opened a woodworking shop on North Main Street in Graham, North Carolina, repairing wagons, making coffins as well as specialty wood trimwork. (Dr. Troxler believes it likely that Wyatt Outlaw trained with Thomas Day of Caswell County.)
In 1866 Wyatt Outlaw attended the second
freedmen’s convention in the state capitol, Raleigh, North Carolina and soon after that convention Wyatt Outlaw organized the Union League in Alamance, North Carolina, as well as a building and organizing a school and a church. Governor Holden in 1868
appointed Outlaw Town Commissioner in Graham. He ran for that position and was elected to the post the following year. That Graham City Board in 1869 organized an armed night patrol to defend the town against the racist activities of the Ku Klux Klan.
On Feb. 26, 1870, Wyatt Outlaw became the primary target for a Klan mob of 70-100 who chose Outlaw because he was an effective leader and had the ability to work with both blacks and whites. Wyatt Outlaw was seized in his house (over the cries of his young son), Outlaw was hanged from the limb of an elm tree which pointed to the courthouse. His mouth was slashed and a note pinned to his body: “Beware you guilty both white and black.”
Another target of intimidation left town that night. Governor Holden, acting on the authority of the Shoffner Act, declared Alamance
and Caswell to be in a state of insurrection. That declaration set in motion a sequence of events leading to Holden's impeachment and removal in 1871. In 1873 eighteen men were charged with the murder of Wyatt Outlaw but ex-Governor Holden, among others, pleaded
for their release and charges were dropped. Albion Tourgee used details from Outlaw’s life in composite characters in his Reconstruction novels.
I'll say a prayer of remembrance today for Brother Wyatt Outlaw for his ultimate sacrifice in the fight for freedom for Americans of African Descent. We must remember that the enslavement of our ancestors didn't end with the 13th Amendment in many ways it just began again in a more complex form.
Yesterday while reading the epilogue of the book, written by Douglas Blackmon, Slavery By Another Name: The Re-Enslavement of African Americans From The Civil War to World War II, I read this fascinating bit of corporate history from one of the corporate giants of America, Coke Cola Inc. It tied that Coke Cola directly to the re-enslavement of African Americans into forced involuntary servitude in the early twentieth century. It put an entirely new meaning to that phrase " Have A Coke And A Smile" as it relates to Americans of African Descent. In addition to Coke Cola Inc., Americans of African Descent also seem to have a definite case of economic reparations against Southern Company, one of the largest power companies in the United States along with the major banking company Suntrust Bank. All of these cases tie directly to an icon of the business community of Atlanta, Georgia in the late 19th and 20th Century Joel Hurt. I will get back to Mr. Hurt's role in the deprivation of Americans of African Descent later.