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Revolutionary Daily Thought

When white amerika catches a cold, Black amerika gets pneumonia” as new morbid twist: when white amerika catches the novel coronavirus, Black amerikans die. – The old Afrikan-Amerikan aphorism 


Let’s Not Glorify the Law: The Slave Trade Used to Be Legal

Let’s Not Glorify the Law: The Slave Trade Used to Be Legal
Let’s Not Glorify the Law: The Slave Trade Used to Be Legal

The law is a shaky foundation to rest on, particularly for Black people and other marginalized communities.

“An assumption that the courts will deliver ‘justice” regularly ignores the fact that Black people have never known such a thing.”

Throughout the history of Black America, progress has often required breaking the law. For this reason, it’s worth questioning why, in sanitized mainstream narratives (for example, those shared in schools and government functions during Black History Month), the story of Black struggle is often divorced from incendiary, illegal acts. Most Black people in the United States are descended from enslaved Africans, and being Black in this country has never been wholly separated from that history. In fact, it still haunts us daily as we navigate its afterlife. This is a legacy that was demarcated by restrictions that continually pierced the everyday experience of living. For many Black people during the time of slavery, to be free was illegal itself — and in many ways, that reality has extended into every era following “emancipation.” Since then, the necessity of extralegal acts has continued for a people still constantly being ensnared by a society stacked against them.

“For many Black people during the time of slavery, to be free was illegal itself.”

Of course, Black people have often used U.S. law as a tool to make gains which often extended to many others. Activists have sued and otherwise challenged institutions in court throughout history, to great effect. For example, thanks to the legal battles of the N.A.A.C.P., Black people saw significant gains on this front in cases like Brown v. Board of Education  and Guinn v. United States . Landmark legislation has resulted in significant changes for Black Americans, thanks to the efforts of organizers. For instance, the victorious Brown v. Board of Education ruling laid important foundations for the civil rights movement that encouraged other organizing leading up to the passage of legislation like the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Fair Housing Act. Yet, racism is encoded in laws that criminalize poverty and other conditions Black people disproportionately experience. In a sense, that much remains like it always has been. The law is a shaky foundation to rest on, particularly for Black people and other marginalized communities.

However, we’re now in a historical moment when the racist and anti-Black president is, understandably, condemned as an affront to legality. Donald Trump’s first term saw the most lawsuits against a presidential administration in decades . “We’ll see you in court” has become a catchy utterance for organizations challenging Trump’s egregious attacks on the environment, immigration, civil and human rights. Witnessing the mockery of an impeachment trial during this presidency has exposed yet again that the law is unevenly applied, and that those with power are often able to break the law at will with no consequences. The law bends, twists and moves itself for many reasons.

“Racism is encoded in laws that criminalize poverty.”

As such, we’ve seen victorious attacks on landmark legislation like the Voting Rights Act  and a slew of other rollbacks  over the past several years. These regressive legal developments should remind us that white supremacy is a constant within the legal institutions of the nation. That which is blatantly discriminatory has to go to court and be argued against because in the United States, it’s fair game to argue in court that those who are oppressed deserve their oppression.

The denial of pain and violence experienced by the oppressed is part of the dominant white supremacist culture. Were it not, we would never have had to go to court in the first place to plead for our human rights. The establishment has gradually eased the tensions of an ever-changing society so contentious issues didn’t turn into uncontrollable uprisings many times before. This is often the purpose of reform — to stave off revolution, to uphold the current legal system. An assumption that the courts will deliver “justice” — simply by upholding the law — regularly ignores the fact that Black people have never known such a thing, because our historic victories are perpetually under attack.

White supremacy is a constant within the legal institutions of the nation.”

In fact, consider that the Constitution of the United States, often viewed as the ultimate basis for meting out justice, is a racist document in its origins. The European Enlightenment values embedded in the Constitution did not extend to Black people at its inception and still struggle to do so completely now. The Constitution is embraced in a bipartisan fashion and used for whatever means either side hopes to gain from it. Like interpretations of a holy text in a religion, the definite meanings of these laws and prescriptions are continually up for debate based on who is interpreting them and what side they’re on. This debate goes on ad nauseum, and is increasingly disillusioning for a populace weary of slow gains via trickle-down legal changes.

As per this country’s first laws, Black people were not meant to be citizens and our continued disenfranchisement is a constant reminder. From the fugitive resistance to slavery to the civil rights sit-ins against Jim Crow and the armed self-defense of the Black Power movement, many of our causes have involved battling institutions — not uprooting illegality, but uprooting injustices embedded within the law itself. What Black people have had to do in order to confront those injustices has often been illegal, from defending against police brutality to stealing food to occupying living spaces . Many have died along the way, because the white supremacist institutions leave us with no choice but utter defiance.

Many of our causes have involved battling institutions — not uprooting illegality, but uprooting injustices embedded within the law itself.”

Thus, we should be warned by history not to overemphasize legality — or condemn all “lawlessness” — in our arguments for justice and our work in fighting oppression. To be clear, if a cop can kill you because they feel like it and you always “fit the description” of their target, you are not protected by the law. Why invest ourselves in protecting what does not protect us?

The history of Black resistance has always meant breaking the law, because unjust laws do not deserve our respect or obedience. Knowing that our enslavement, deprivation and segregation were all legal should inform our current choices about when and how to engage with the law. In order to achieve what’s been gained, laws have had to be broken and they will continue to need to be broken. We have had to be intolerant of the systems that oppress us and strive for a new reality — a reality in which oppressive systems are abolished.

As we reflect during this Black History Month, never forget we have always had to rebel, revolt and rise up against the law itself — not simply rely on it.


source: Let’s Not Glorify the Law: The Slave Trade Used to Be Legal

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar: Colin Kaepernick Is The Black Grinch For Those Who Dream Of A White Amerika

According to NBA icon and activist Kareem Abdul-Jabbar there is a deeper reason conservatives are trying to take down Colin Kaepernick. Colin Kaepernick attends The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute benefit gala celebrating the opening of the “Camp: Notes on Fashion” exhibition on Monday, May 6, 2019, in New York. (Photo by Charles Sykes/Invision/AP)

The white-wing media immediately jumped on Colin Kaepernick when he tweeted on Thanksgiving.

Breitbart, the Washington Times and Fox News immediately attacked the tweet, which read:  “Spent the morning at the Indigenous People’s Sunrise Ceremony on the 50 year anniversary of the Occupation of Alcatraz. The US government has stolen over 1.5 billion acres of land from Indigenous people. Thank you to my Indigenous family, I’m with you today and always.”

This is what Fox News said about Kap’s tweet: “Former NFL player Colin Kaepernick had an odd way of celebrating Thanksgiving, attending an event that appeared to serve as a rebuke to the holiday and the United States.”

So why would the right-wing press pounce on the tweet? There is a deeper reason, NBA icon and activist Kareem Abdul-Jabbar wrote in an article for The Guardian. After all, Kaepernick didn’t really “bash Thanksgiving.”

“Technically, pointing out a fact isn’t ‘bashing,’” Abdul-Jabbar wrote. “America’s forefathers did indeed steal the land from the indigenous people, often over their dead bodies. Just as indigenous people stole land from other tribes. That’s just historical fact. Like pointing out to grandpa that his zipper is open. I’m not bashing him, just stating a truth. So, why the panicky attacks on Kaepernick? Clearly, there’s something much more insidious going on here: the sustained attempt to steal Kaepernick’s political voice by characterizing him as un-American. The Black Grinch who wants to steal White Christmas American values.”

The right-wing is trying, Abdul-Jabbar wrote, to assassinate his character. It’s a technique that goes way back.

“In 1964, after an intense campaign to label him as a communist, an audiotape was sent to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr purportedly of an extra-marital sexual encounter. With the tape was a letter calling him an ‘abnormal moral imbecile’ and encouraging him to commit suicide before ‘your filthy, abnormal, fraudulent self is bared to the nation.’ The tape and letter were sent by the FBI. Calling King a communist was how the FBI justified its relentless campaign of bugging King, his family, and friends and aggressive harassment against him. The campaign was effective because in 1966, 75 percent of Americans did not support King,” Abdul-Jabbar pointed out.

According to Abdul-Jabbar, there has been an “attempt to drown out Kaepernick’s voice by shouting unfounded personal insults has been going on since he first took a knee during the national anthem in 2016.”

There’s nothing new in the way conservative America treats African-American athletes who are vocal, Abdul-Jabbar wrote. The same was done to Muhammad Ali, Jim Brown, Tommie Smith, John Carlos and others.

Kaepernick isn’t letting anyone control his own narrative. Take his recent highly publicized tryout in which the NFL didn’t want to allow the press to attend. Instead, the former NFL player moved the tryouts to a location where the media could attend and he took control of the tryout. As Abdul-Jabbar observed, the initial NFL tryout offer “did not seem designed to seriously consider him for readmittance into the NFL. Instead, it looked like a media-savvy sham-show to make the NFL look like the good guys while destroying Kaepernick’s credibility as an athlete and therefore as a spokesman for anything, be it social justice or Nike.”

It’s all about conservatives who are trying to preemptively silence outspoken athletes, Abdul-Jabbar stressed. Things have gotten worse for socially conscious athletes.

“Efforts to silence the Black community and all others who speak out for rights has only gotten worse under the Trump administration,” he wrote. “Political and social disagreement and discourse, which are the foundations of our country, have been punished. Aggressive efforts have been made to keep African Americans and college students from voting. Lifelong patriots in our government and military were attacked and belittled during impeachment inquiries.”

People have been ordering truth-tellers to shut up and punishing them when they refuse for much longer than 50 years, Abdul-Jabbar wrote.

” I’m sure their tactics have silenced some athletes. Not all. They can never silence all because the kind of grit it takes to become an athlete is the same kind it takes to place truth above self-interest. But they sure will keep on trying as long as they get paid to pander to those who wrap themselves in the pretty colors of the flag rather than the bold words of the Constitution.”

Colin Kaepernick


Inspired by the voice of the athlete, Colin Kaepernick x Nike Air Force 1 celebrates those who are . Available tomorrow at select Nike stores, retailers and SNKRS. Link in bio.

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Revolutionary Daily Thought

“White Amerika has seen to it that Black history (Our-story) has been suppressed in schools and in Amerikan history books. The bravery of hundreds of our ancestors who took part in slave rebellions has been lost in the mists of time, since plantation owners did their best to prevent any written accounts of uprisings.” – Huey P. Newton

5 nursery songs are actually really racist & should be removed from every child’s learning routine

These old rhymes weren’t made with Black Children in mind- but there are better options

and educators have used nursery rhymes to soothe, teach and entertain children for centuries. According to The New Shell Book of Firsts, though it’s unclear if they were actually called nursery rhymes at the time, the first reported collection of nursery rhymes were recorded as early as 1744 in Tom Thumb’s Songbook. The melodic poems have been seen as viable assets in the development of young minds, by introducing language skills and rhyme schemes that allow children to practice conversational and social skills.

Every adult remembers at least a portion of a nursery rhyme that offered lifelong lessons and competencies. Some nursery rhymes, like “The Itsy Bitsy Spider” and “I’m a Little Teapot,” even incorporate hand signs and movements to help children develop or enhance their motor skills, all while having fun. However, as helpful as nursery rhymes maybe, some have origins that are not as pure, particularly in relation to Black people. In fact, research has revealed that a number of our favorite nursery rhymes had lyrics that actually referenced slavery and were performed in minstrel shows.

Though the lyrics have been adjusted over time, the original songs were not intended for us to enjoy, but to make us the butt of every joke and a source of white entertainment. To shed light, here are five racist nursery rhymes and alternatives we should get into, instead.

1. ‘Eenie, Meenie, Miny, Moe’

A very popular nursery rhyme also used when playing tag as a sing-along for eliminating who will be “it,” was originally a song about catching slaves.

Eenie, meenie, miny, moe

Catch a n****r by his toe

If he hollers, let him go

Eenie, meenie, miny, moe

Instead, teach your child “Johnny, Johnny Bigfoot.”

Johnny, Johnny Bigfoot! Want a pair of shoes?

Go kick two cows out of their skins. Run brother, tell the news!

2. ’10 Little Monkeys’

This nursery rhyme, intended for counting fingers and toes, was originally a reference to Black people. All that changed was replacing the word n*****s or “darkies” with the word monkeys. When you think of it, “monkey” isn’t really a better alternative, but “One for the Money” is.

One for the money

Two for the show

Three to get ready

And four to go!

3. ‘Do Your Ears Hang Low?’

The common tune often associated with the ice cream truck, was actually created and popularized by minstrel show performers mocking and profiting off of Black people. The original song entitled “N****r Love a Watermelon Ha! Ha! Ha!” perpetuates the stereotype that Black people are obsessed with watermelon. A much more respectful alternative is “The Elephant,” which shares lines and rhythm with “Miss Mary Mack.”

My mommy gives me 15 cents

To see that elephant jump over the fence

He jumped so high, I didn’t see why,

If she gives me a dollar he might not cry

So I asked my mommy to give me a dollar,

To go and hear the elephant holler

He hollered so loud, he scared the crowd

Next he jumped so high, he touched the sky;

And he won’t get back before the Fourth of July

4. ‘Jimmy Crack Corn’

There is no alternative version to this nursery rhyme, it is just as the lyrics state. The song tells the story of a slave, who is portrayed as an ignorant fool, celebrating the death of his master and his new “freedom” to drink “massa’s” corn whiskey.

When I was young I used to wait

On massa and hand him the plate;

Pass down the bottle when he got dry,

And brush away de blue tail fly.

Jim crack corn I don’t care,

Jim crack corn I don’t care,

Jim crack corn I don’t care,

Ole massa gone away.

A catchy alternative could be “Mama’s Gonna Buy Him A Little Lap Dog.”

Mama’s going to buy him a little lap dog

Mama’s going to buy him a little lap dog

Mama’s going to buy him a little lap dog

Put him in his lap when she goes off

Come up horsey, hey, hey,

Come up horsey, hey, hey.

Go to sleep and don’t you cry

Mother’s going to give you some apple pie

Come up horsey, hey, hey

Come up horsey, hey, hey

Hum, hum, hum, hum, hum, hum, hum…

5. Shoo Fly, Don’t Bother Me’

A seemingly harmless, catchy tune about a pesky fly is actually bothersome to some older generations of Black people.The origin makes reference to a racial slur describing how this fly hovered over a sleeping, Black man. A great alternative is “Bedbug.”

The June bugs got the golden wing,

The lightning bug the flame;

The bedbug’s got no wing at all,

But he gets there just the same

The pumpkin bug’s got a pumpkin smell,

The squash bug smells the worst;

But the perfume of that ole bedbug,

It’s enough to make you burst

When that bedbug come down to my house,

I want my walking cane

Go get a pot and scald him hot!

Goodbye, Miss Liza Jane!

Sad to say there are more nursery rhymes toting racial undertones and origins, but we have the power and opportunity to create a new normal for future generations. Be sure to check out Singing Black: Alternative Nursery Rhymes for Children by Mari Evans, Rhymes of the Times Black Nursery Rhymes by Audrey Muhammad, Mama Lisa’s World and search for more amazing Black nursery rhyme books that are must-haves in your home.

source:  5 nursery songs are actually really racist