Amun-Ra : Head in the Sand Morality

Discussion in 'Amun-Ra' started by Amun-Ra, Apr 23, 2001.

  1. Amun-Ra

    Amun-Ra Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    Americans! Get Your Head Out of the Sand!

    Rodney King. James Byrd Jr. Amadou Diallo. What do they have in common? These names serve notice that the much-reported death of racism is greatly exaggerated.

    For those who do not know Rodney King was the victim of a vicious beating by the Los Angeles Police video-taped by an amateur photographer. James Byrd Jr. died after white supremacist dragged him with a chain behind their pickup truck in Jasper, TX. Finally, New York City Police, who fired at him 41 times hitting him 19, shot Amadou Diallo to death. Diallo was unarmed.

    The list of hates crimes and racial discrimination in this country fills millions of pages in libraries through out the country. It is not a guess, it is fact: racial discrimination is in the foundation of this country and has been since its inception. There are many, black and white, who do not believe it. To update those with sand in their ears and eyes the previous is only an abbreviated list of some of the most recent cases of discrimination and hate crimes.

    I listed only the most spectacular discrimination and hate crimes directed at blacks to leave room for writing. Still, it seems that only when a "Rodney King" incident happens does America see anything at all. Only when border patrol officers beat Mexican laborers does America open its eyes. Only when a man is dragged to death in Jasper, Texas does America see anything of the darker America.

    It is a selective "moral" blindness that is as purposeful as it is malicious, because to acknowledge that minorities are systematically and regularly mistreated in the United States of America would mean acknowledging a basic moral weakness and lack of character in America.

    With the "browning" of America, it seems there would be an interest in learning more about the people who are about to be in the majority. Instead, America has stuck its head in the sand while the subtle racism of conservative Republicans, blacks in denial and the blustering religious right pretend at being concerned. These groups have done almost anything and everything in their power to ignore the crisis of color that is happening in this country. With all the problems in the world today there are none that are any more pressing than the problems we have in this country regarding racial issues.

    It is very apparent to me and others that Americans, particularly the new ultra-conservative ilk, have stuck their collectives heads deeper into the sand much like the old South, and have refused to see the problem in their own back yards in hopes that it will go away.

    It is real and will not go away. Yet, the debate over the constancy of racial disadvantage continues when its appearance is clear. And, the need to rectify it is not only clear but also morally imperative. It is clear that people of darker skin pigmentation suffer disproportionately from the effects of prejudice and American racism.

    The attitudes of Americans in this country toward racial injustice are hardly amazing considering the mass amnesia of the South following the Civil War when it basically was in a state of denial regarding racial injustice and its role in that injustice. This social and moral amnesia has returned.

    A poll at a recent Republican convention in San Diego revealed that 60 percent of the delegates believed that equal opportunity was now a fact and that there was no longer a need for civil rights laws barring racial discrimination in employment, education and housing. An interesting side bar is that among that group a significant portion of black Republican delegates agreed with that attitude.

    Sticking heads in the sand was disastrous for the South after the Civil War. In its state of denial, the Civil Rights movement came as a shock and a surprise it was ill prepared to handle. When the South did face the problem, they succeeded in helping make the point by demonstrating their venomous racism, hatred and violent character for the television cameras of the world by attacking non-violent black protest marchers.

    Prejudice based on skin color has remained persistent and virulent in the United States. The effects of centuries of slavery and racist tyranny has created permanent problems for people of color. And, even with the relative success of the civil rights movement these problems still exist.

    It is past time for Americans to check their "Christian" barometers to measure what is truly going on in this country, although I thoroughly believe that most will find it inconvenient to do so, because they know it will reflect their own moral weakness and nonchalance. This is a self-described Christian country and under the guidelines of Christianity, it is the right thing to do. However, being the right thing to do does not mean it will be the easy thing to do and judging from past behavior the only way it will be done is by force or coercion, seeing that "good will" has not made it happen.

    Heads stuck in the sand do not move easily. Evidence is difficult to see with our eyes shut. Still, for those who need incidents other than the three mentioned previously. Here are some random samples of racial injustice:

    Printing giant R.R. Donnelley & Sons Co. was recently sued for racial discrimination. The suit alleged that a black worker was forced to sit through showings of a movie depicting lynchings in the Old South.

    An Alabama rental management company agreed to pay a record $1.8 million to settle a Justice Department suit alleging racial discrimination in the rental of housing.

    A fifteen-month study on race initiated by President Clinton found continuing discrimination in the housing market and marked disparities in the number of minorities arrested for crimes compared with white Americans. Board members indicated that the United States still has a long way to go to eliminate racial discrimination, income inequality and stereotypes.

    Discrimination at the highest levels was charged in a suit by a black U.S. Marshall. In addition to lack of promotions, recruitment and stiffer disciplinary penalties than whites the suit alleged that white U.S. marshals joked about killing Black leaders, including the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan and New York activist Rev. Al Sharpton.

    Recently, black agents of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms won a multi-million dollar racial discrimination lawsuit against the ATF. Similar suits have been settled with black FBI and Secret Service agents.

    At this point, the gist of the situation should be clear. Discrimination and racism are hard at work in the United States. Other groups under investigation or involved in similar law suits include Freddie Mac, the U.S. investment bank Goldman Sachs which recently settled a racial discrimination case brought by former employee James Curry, Boeing Co. and, of course, Texaco.

    Still Americans seem surprised when this happens. Most blacks deal with on a daily basis and just as most blacks deal with it, it is also apparent that either America can't see, because of having its collect head stuck in the sand, or doesn't care.

    None of this is news to blacks. Since blacks started to move into main stream society there has been a clear and persistent, if subtle, bias against people of color as they moved into a world that said in all of its documentation that "all are welcome" but conveniently hid the fine print that said "blacks need not apply."

    Clearly these attitudes, not so quietly endorsed by the Reagan Administration and furthered by the Bush Administration reflect a change in the rules and a renewed bias that helps explain why blacks are consistently passed over for promotion or advancement, despite excellent work records.

    Bias, racial prejudice and outright racism exists even though it is less obvious than it was 40 years ago, it continues to deter deserving people of color from advancement. Some how for every black who gains a job it is viewed by white America as a white loosing a job. What is correct and more to the point is that white America has access to jobs without facing the battery of obstacles and demeanment faced by people of color.

    There are no jobs that belong to anyone except the qualified. If there is one negative that Affirmative Action impressed upon white America or that politicians, largely Republican conservatives, chose to make an issue was that less than qualified blacks were being put into jobs that were taking jobs away from white people.

    However, in the black community it has long been understood that to get half as much as any white person one had to be twice as good and even though this is a stereotype from the black community, studies have shown that it is not far off the mark. Generally, blacks in corporate America receive less pay than their white peers, yet have more qualifications, and better work records.

    It is not new. However, things have changed with the partial success of the success of the civil rights movement even though the Reagan and Bush administrations did everything possible they could to dilute the force of legislation enacted during that time and were highly successful, enough blacks broke into the main stream to make a difference, but that is also a problem.

    Before the civil rights movement, the black community was largely monolithic. We all suffered the same plight of inferior education, housing, facilities and opportunities. To ensure clarity, it is necessary to point out that the civil Rights movement was not about integration, per se, even though to make things equal integration would be a necessary part of the whole.

    The movement was about blacks having and equal opportunity for attending the universities which their taxes helped support, going to the best schools they could attend, living where they could afford to live and, generally, doing what they wanted to do in this country and that includes going into a restaurant and sitting down next to a white women and eating lunch without be bothered or harassed.

    It was never about integrating with white society. White society has long flattered themselves believing that moving into white society would be a great comeuppance for blacks when the opposite perception was more honest. Most blacks just wanted to have a chance to do what every other American took for granted and that was to be totally free.

    Unfortunately, there are blacks who also have their heads in the sand. They have made it and do not seem to see what is so clear to everyone else. We cannot afford this approach to living. Life demands that we look it in the eye and deal with it as it is, not as we wish it would be. If it takes a little dusting of sand from our eyes and ears to make sure that we turn no deaf ear to the needs of all of our people then dust we should. Whenever there is mistreatment of people for whatever reason, sticking our heads in the sand will never solve the problem. In fact, it exacerbates the problem.

    So, it is far past time for all of us to take our heads out of the sand and stop letting life kick us in the butt when all we have to do is look and listen.
     
  2. poeticdelight

    poeticdelight Member MEMBER

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    You've made an excellent point...

    and there's a need for so much more

    ~pd
     
  3. Amun-Ra

    Amun-Ra Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    Somebody Needs to Pay Attention

    I just get tired of the same old "we didn't know it was like that" everytime a James Byrd happens. It like this Rebel flag crap, its an insult plain and simple. I'll let that one drop because I know exactly what would take some of the shime off of the **** flag.

    It not new, it's just that a lot of people have their heads in the sand and are wondering who ius kicking them in the ***.

    Amun-Ra
     
  4. Afridancr

    Afridancr Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    You've only scratched the surface

    Prejudice based on skin color has remained persistent and virulent in the United States. The effects of centuries of slavery and racist tyranny has created permanent problems for people of color. And, even with the relative success of the civil rights movement these problems still exist.

    Question: What can we possibly do to change their behavior when THEY are in CONTROL OF EVERYTHING?

    Here in Buffalo, there's a non-donominational church that's opening it's own black owned credit union. Now, it may be black owned and located in the inner-city (giving back to the community) but, where did the dollars come from for these people to open this financial institution? We all know that they are all run by whites.
     
  5. Heartbeat

    Heartbeat Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    Points well taken Ra. Thank you. Afridancer is on point. We don't run nothing and We don't own nothing....so why is it suprising to us that they will take care of their own and not us. As for conservative blacks, which I am one, the head is not in the sand. Assimilation with the dominant group is a survivor tool to put yourself in position to begin generations of mainstream people of color where racism will be the only factor in the way of equality and justice. Not the ******** reasons we hand the racist on a silver platter everyday. Thank yolu Ra.

    BE
     
  6. Amun-Ra

    Amun-Ra Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    Conservatives

    I know you know I wasn't referring to all conservative blacks, I am talking about the new Dixicrats or as I call them Republicrats. Those who are going along with the program for selfish interests not for changing things, but for things to stay the same. Colin Powell is my type of conservative. ALthough he is a Republican, he has regularly taken the Republican rightr wing to task for their poor record on social issues and human rights, while at the same time espousing responsibility and self reliance.

    I guess I said all of that just to say that although I mentioned some blacks, my eyes were and are firmly focused on those white people who don't believe these things happen and that every thing is OK now! Or at least until the next Rodney King. I think I was preaching to the choir here although I think we all need to be reminded. We alos need to be reminded that we also play a big role in changing things.

    Peace

    Ra
     
  7. blakverb

    blakverb Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    Brother Amun-Ra,

    First off I'd like to say great piece. It is always refreshing to see another brother or sister articulate their feelings and insights regarding this, and also to speak what so many want to say and for whatever reason choose to stay silent.

    I don't think the term "put their head in the sand" truly depicts what America is doing when it comes to us, as part of those that are "browning America." Putting one's head in the sand speaks to the fact that one is scared of a situation and is running from or "does not want to deal" with a situation because of a fear. America fears nothing when it comes to us for one because they know that for a large part there are too many "carrots" they dangle iin front of a lot of us to pacify us. America looks us straight in the face, in the eye knowing he/she has treated us in degradated ways and says "what are you gonna do about it." I liken this to two kids arguing and it gets too tense and one says "well what are you going to do about it" as if challenging the other knowing that they can beat the other party down, as one popular term goes America has "pulled our hoe card."

    This KKKountry knows for a fact (through our behavior) that we ,as an entire diaspora of people are not united enough to pose a real threat to them. Why is this? There are many reasons which are manifestations of this KKKountry's bloody, immoral history. The sad thing is we know this, we all know this but we ,as a whole, are fearful to "make the massuh mad" for fear of "blacklash" from the oppressive whip.

    The instances of blatant discrimination you mentioned is an infinitesimal notation on the pages of just "US". This you alluded to. You stated that when there are "caught on tape" incidences (not all are caught on tape, but, those that seem to be "news worthy") does America see this problem but my question is...Does America really see the problem? Does the "im"moral fabric that covers justices blue eyes allow America to really see the problem? Because to a moral mind, a "righteous" mind to see injustice you speak against the injustice or in this case discrimination. Is this practice? a resounding "NO". Persons black and white have this selective cataract condition. I feel that to really "see" you have to be affected or experience what you see. As an example (and this further exemplifies the state of the "majority"), the crack epidemic was not noted as such until it hit white America, until white Amreica saw the destruction it can cause people. And when they did what did the justice system do? Begin to convict or try to convict those that dealt crack to longer jail sentences than those that dealt cocaine as if there is an inherent difference.

    You also noted that with the "browning" of America one would think that America would attempt to learn more about the people who are to become the "majority" in this KKKountry. This KKKountry, the United Snakes of America, was built on a system that denied "us" knowledge about ourselves so why should we even bring to the discussion table what we think they should "morally" do and learn about people of the "brown" hue, it's not going to happen. Yes, there are some "liberals" and some who have really good hearts and want to know about other cultures, but, the
    ones making the rules don't give a ****. The majority understands the demographic shift of this KKKountry and I'm sure have been tracking it for quite some time now. Actually, people of "color" outnumber "white" ,those of european descent already. So when you see that you are outnumbered what do you do? You put systems up physical and mental that keeps the real "majority" in check. These systems are all around us including black folks whose minds have been coopted and believe things are okay now.

    So what do we as a people do now? In my opinion the only "real" ,viable, effective method left to our disposal and it may seem familiar is an "economic revolution." extract our funds from this KKKountry's economy , for only two weeks, for those addicted to spending, and see the response we as a people get. If there is one thing the majority does understand it is "greenbacks." It has been proven. We just need to understand that.

    The time of marching and walking and protesting in front of a building, in my opinion, is passe'. Let's get down to business that's all they chose to understand.
     
  8. Amun-Ra

    Amun-Ra Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    U R Right!

    Unfortunately, assimilation has brought many of the same problems to blacks as the majority population. It's a complex problem, but several replies have definitely hit upon what is going on. Someone commented that basically "white" folks aren't sticking their head in the sand, they just don't care PERIOD.

    There is also much truth in the theory integration, although with open access much assimilation was bound to happen as communications opened (radio, television, movies) and access to other cultures was unavoidable. Still, the fact remains the integration never had a thing to do with mixing gentically or even socially, even though some of that was bound to happen also; it was only about getting equal access and that's how Thurgood Marshall used the law to show that separate by equal educational facilities was not only inposssible, but inherently "unequal".

    Of course, what happened after that is so much history, but I have to agree. The blinders are firmly in place and no one wants to be reminded among those who might give a **** and the rest want to deny it ever happened. I must admire the Jewish people for never letting it die. The Holocaust will live on as long as there are concerned Jews. The Black Holocaust should also live on in the United States. Because it makes people squirm in their seats, is no reason not to keep bringing it up. It happened and America needs to be reminded constantly of its inhumanity.

    Yes, we do spend our money in places that aren't necessarily good for the community. Part of the reason is that we have no other options and the other reason is that the few black business that are often in the community are worse than the ones outside of it because they have a captive audience and don't have to compete. Not all, but a great many.

    I'd would have loved to send my kids to all black schools. I attended one, but I did not recommend it to my sons. It was not the same. When I attended, they had the cream of the drop in professors. It is not the same now and to assure my kids can compete with any white kids I am almost forced to send them where they can get the best education.

    Howard University has dramatically increased its educatinal standards, but not every black school has the drawing power of a Howard to attract topflight black instructors and students. When I went it was great, however, the "black" school I attended is now majority "white." Nothing wrong with that, but it is just an indicator of how things have changed.

    Ra

    Ra
     
  9. WisdomSeed

    WisdomSeed Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    Mote in our eye...

    we should spend as much time pointing at the the obvious moral misgivings of white society as we do pointing at the glaring misconduct our community seems to relish in. We should work to define and strenthen a moraity that is beneficial to us, among us and dwell on being a better group of people for awhile.

    It seems that we would do well to be the people we want other people to be.
     
  10. Thandiwe

    Thandiwe Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    What did you say???

    Wisdomseed said:

    It seems that we would do well to be the people we want other people to be.

    ------------

    Now this sounds like something I would say...LOL!
     
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