Do not take revenge, my friends, but leave room for God's wrath, for it is written: "It is mine to avenge; I will repay," says the Lord. --Romans 12:19 (NIV)
Black Cop: "If I told you once to take [poster with Obama-as-Joker] down and you put it back up then I can charge you with whatever I want to charge you with, okay?" [snip]
White Male Protester: "This used to be America."
Black Cop: "Well it ain't no mo', okay?"
When I asserted that the above-documented incident was evidence of racial discord that is being sown in the minds and spirits of Americans since the inauguration of President Barack Obama, some people didn’t believe me (and copped an attitude in their disbelief as well, which is always fun).
As the aphorism goes, there are some things that cannot be defined, but we know them when we see them. However, I will attempt to explain to my readers and guests why that incident was emblematic of the racial Sign of these Times. Fair warning: I’m thinking that this will take at least two posts.
Last year when those who were paying attention discovered the I-deology called “Black Liberation Theology,” many black Americans—including me--had the proverbial light bulb come on over our heads. You see, we had heard the rhetoric before. Not often in churches (though sometimes it is--as I’ll demonstrate below) and not holistically, but piecemeal--from various organizations within the communities in which we often live; organizations designed to “help” black people or “uplift” black/African heritage. (Side note: Often, the celebrators of this “African” heritage do not have the smarts or discipline to immerse themselves in the scholarship of any singular existing African culture. Knowing this to be a fact, a certain enterprising individual saw the value in fabricating a hybrid of African cultures and marketing that hybrid to a black populace who was mostly ignorant of what they were really embracing. Thus do we have Kwanzaa.)
Most black Americans have long been familiar with the Nation of Islam, their wacky theology, their assertion that the white race is Satan incarnate, etc. As a matter of fact, I’ve never hidden the fact that my immediate family--mother and stepfather--were members of the NOI when I was a teenager. (We’re all born-again Christians now.) But what most of us did not know was that smaller, almost unknown organizations had sprung up in the 1960s with its messengers and its rhetoric, most of it similar to that of the NOI; revolving around hatred of white people and the innate supremacy of black Africans--a counter to the white supremacy under which most black Americans were subject prior to that time—and predicting that the superior African would ultimate triumph over his “natural” enemy, the European/Caucasian/white.
Most black Americans did not join these organizations; most didn’t even know that they existed and if they did know, they held them in contempt. However, if the formal structure was unknown, the rhetoric was not. “God-d*mn Amerika,” “US of KKKA” and much worse ersatz curses could be heard coming out of the mouths of every father, uncle, brother, grandfather, etc. who had ever been stopped for the sin of Driving While Black or whose progenitor had been formally if unjustly executed by the state…or had disappeared into the night, only to be found in a river…or buried in a shallow grave. Such curses were often heaped upon a country that once adhered to the separate-but-equal legal doctrine and once looked the other way as local government entities heaped oppression on American citizens of African descent. (Side note: not part of the Lynching Narrative were those black Americans known as “crazy n*ggers”--that is, black Americans in the South who took their right to bear arms seriously. Those white Southerners inclined to terrorize blacks wouldn’t bother such men. I’m told that my great-grandfather, Lucius Jenkins, was such a man. Dr. Condoleezza Rice says that her father was yet another.)
In the fifties and sixties, things began to change—not all at once, but gradually, as is typical of societal upheavals. (In reality, the “gradual” change happened pretty quickly.) But by that time the anger was already brewing and the impatience with the work of the God of Abraham Isaac and Jacob had already caused many to abandon Him—as often happens when humans operate by their own time rather than God’s.
That’s an overview of why organizations like both the old and New Black Panthers exist. But there's something special about Black Liberation Theology: many if not most black Americans knew of its fabric but did not know that it existed as a coherent package of principles and tenets with a label. Black Liberation Theology has long walked covertly as underlying current snaking its way into the thinking of Americans who are black and who fail to keep up their spiritual guard. This previously unnamed ideology would pop up its head in various venues and unlikely sources. Example: several years ago, my great-aunt claimed that somewhere in the Bible there existed a prophecy predicting that “the black man would rule the earth.” Having read the Bible back and forth, I heatedly disputed this notion—not because I cared whether black people would rule the earth or not, but because I was disgusted that someone would lie to her about the Word of God. Of course, she couldn’t cite the quote.
Several years later—last year to be specific—after the name of Reverend Jeremiah Wright became infamous and the tenets of Black Liberation Theology became well-known, I asked my aunt to think about where she had heard about the notion of world-wide black rule. She didn’t have to think too long. She’s Catholic and the assertion had come from a priest who was visiting her church; a Liberation Theologian--one of Sowers of the currently and continuously sprouting sapling called Racial Discord.
So what does all this have to do with the incident that occurred on August 25, 2009? Hint: go back to the beginning.
To be continued...
(Thanks to bgates)
PREVIOUSLY: What the Sowers of Discord Hath Wrought