As published at Unz Review, CounterCurrents, Intrepid Report and LewRockwell, 7/20/16:
A friend in Frankfurt emailed me on July 19th:
It is sheer madness what is happening here… The noose is tightening and yet—it is still only the beginning… What took place in some dull regional express close to Würzburg, a town in Franconia in the middle of Germany, was—in some respect—like a watershed event—just like the mass sexual assaults in Cologne on New Year’s Eve.
The mantra from above is still “Islam belongs to Germany” or “We will make it (in regards to the Refugee Crisis)” but there are fewer and fewer people buying it—which does NOT mean that more people are getting it—but I will come to this later.
We now know that in Cologne alone (!) there were about 1,200 women (in one night) sexually harassed, abused and, in some cases, raped.
At the moment there is no weekend when there aren’t news about some refugees sexually harassing women or girls at a festival (it is festival season).
Also, you can find news about refugees harassing women and children (and sometimes raping them) in public swimming pools on a weekly or even daily basis.
Sales of pepper sprays and guns are booming everywhere. If there were only these things, the rage might be controllable, but Würzburg was of a different quality. For the first time, a refugee didn’t kill another refugee (when this happened before, Neo-Nazis were blamed, then—just as was the case with most of the “burning refugee centers”—the police later found that a refugee was responsible).
When children were robbed by refugees, Germans were told to send their children to school by a different route.
Germans were told to stop swimming nude in a lake—because a refugee center was erected nearby.
Last year, Germans were told the refugees would contribute so mightily and extraordinarily to the German economy—so what have been the news recently?
Well—the big German corporations, the 30 members of the DAX (the stock market index), that so proudly announced last year they would hire lots of refugees—they have indeed hired refugees. Fifty-four, to be exact (50 of them went to the Deutsche Post, as mailmen. Ah—if Charles Bukowski only knew…). :-)
Only recently, a branch of the German Arbeitsagentur (the office for the unemployed) in Dortmund had another success story:
This branch was created last year and staffed with 36 employees (all paid with tax money) with the sole purpose of bringing 2,200 refugees in Dortmund, those who were able to work, into the workforce.
And the news was: After nine months of intensive work the Arbeitsagentur has succeeded to get … ten (!) refugees working! Hurrah! Well, they had the decency to add that it’s only a start—but an encouraging one.
The list is endless…. but to come back to the incident in Würzburg:
A refugee, supposedly from Afghanistan and 17-years-old, decided to start his own jihad and tried to take out a few infidels. Oddly enough, he started with a family from Hong Kong on the train, whom he attacked with the brave shout “Allah akbar” and a knife and an axe. After severely wounding two of them, he jumped off the train.
(I wonder if this will boost tourism from Hong Kong).
Then he met some old ladies who were walking their little dogs and with the shout “I will kill you, sluts!” he also wounded one (perhaps fatally) before being shot by the police.
Now—as I said, THIS is a new quality.
I can almost feel the anger and rage in Germany getting stronger.
The rage in some refugees is also rising, which is logical.
There are no jobs for them.
There are no houses for them.
There are no women for them.
So—jihad is an option, if you are bored and all these kuffar give you nothing but €352 a month, or less, and you have to sleep with six others in a tightly packed room—and there is just nothing to do!
And you wander around and there are all those women in shorts, etc.—but they are not for you.
No wonder, some get frustrated.
Slowly, silently, the German police admits there might be a teensy-weensy bit of a problem here—mind you, we still don’t know the whereabouts of between 150 to 500 thousand refugees who just disappeared…
Nobody knows how many jihadists are here. Nobody. Could be a few dozen. Or hundreds. Or thousands.
This young man on the Würzburg train came last July. He was granted asylum this March. The last two months, he lived with a family. He had a job (or was in training, rather) at a bakery. There were no signs of radicalization. Soooo…….
The media is busy telling us: Well… he radicalized himself only days before the attack. I wonder if they realize this message is not quite reassuring...
So the gap is rising ever more. Everybody has some story to tell:
My brother lives in Munich. Last year, his wife was very pro-refugee. In a neighboring suburb a few weeks ago, a woman heard the doorbell at 10PM. Assuming it was a friend (this is Bavarian bourgeoisie, so they’ve always felt safe, at least until recently…), she opened the door—and was greeted (and then raped) by two refugees. That made my brother’s wife rethink (they have two small children).
My sister in Münster has armed herself with pepper spray.
Colleagues don’t let their children go alone to school anymore, because there are refugees nearby.
A guy in East Germany tells me people are secretly arming themselves.
Hate grows, as does mistrust and anxiety. Some weeks ago in Hanover, a young Muslim girl (15-years-old) rammed a knife into the throat of a female policeman (who was just standing there—the attack came out of nowhere).
Then people hear about public swimming pools, about festivals—they hear about the same things in Sweden—then what happened in France—Nice, or the policeman and his wife who were stabbed to death in Magnanville (while their 3-year-old-son was watching).
The latest incident was a woman in France who got stabbed by a guy from Morocco—they had quarreled because the Moroccan guy thought the woman’s daughters were not properly dressed—so he stabbed her and her three daughters, the youngest only eight-years-old. And so on, and so on…
Now—of course, there are also Germans doing nasty things—murdering, raping etc. But these things have a new quality to them.
For many year the statistics of the German police had shown that migrants are waaaay overrepresented in crime—rapes, robberies, burglaries, violence etc. The rates for migrants were everywhere double or triple those for the general population (and the funny thing is, the gap would have been even wider if Germans with a migrant background—Turks who have German passports, etc.—were included. Of course, this was not done (it would be racist, you know).
And the blame was and is still on the Germans—that they didn’t provide enough opportunities for integration towards the poor Muslim migrants (funnily enough, we don’t have these problems with Vietnamese or Hindu migrants… but again, these are racist thoughts…).
So the migrants were and are told that it is the Germans’ fault if they don’t get a job. Some of them believe it. Also, some or even many seem to believe that Germans are a bunch of racist swine.
I once met a Greek woman who complained loudly to me that Germans were so racist. I asked her what her experiences were—and she said that a friend of her had been approached by a German on a train and that he (hacked her to death? No, not quite) had said to her: there are too many of you in Germany.
Wasn’t that racism?
I asked if her children were ever harassed by Turkish children in school (Turks and Greeks don’t get along too well)—yes, of course—Turkish children had harassed and even beaten up her boys.
Now Linh—the really funny thing was, it didn’t occur to her that this was more racist (that her boys were beaten up by Turks just because they were Greeks) than the incident on the train.
Racism was something only Germans showed.
I heard similar things from others.
So all in all—a perfect example of mind manipulation.
AND this also shows now so brilliantly—because—as I said, the mood gets worse (just on the eve of the next financial crisis—perfect timing)—even in the German leftist newspaper Die Zeit (absolutely pro-refugee) you now find commentaries from people who say that they have just had enough of this lousy leftist whining…
Because again, we are told from German politicians about the incident in Würzburg that
1. This had nothing to do with Islam or the refugee crisis
2. That the police shouldn’t have killed the poor axe-wielding boy (German police officers are rather reluctant to use their guns, but if someone runs towards them with an axe, I think it is understandable that they shoot)
3. That the young man radicalized himself just recently—and therefore that
4. It was no sign of a strengthening of ISIS in Germany etc.
My father remembers the 70s (I don’t—too young) when 40 members of the Rote Armee Fraktion RAF (the left terror group of Baader Meinhof and the likes) were able to hold German society in fear and sometimes in a state close to hysteria. Now—with… 100? 1000? ISIS members—you can imagine how the mood will change when ISIS does its first crucifixion here…).
All the more, since some gruesome details from the Paris attacks are now leaking out—that the terrorists at the Paris discotheque in November 2015 not only killed the young folks there… but they tore off limbs, cut off genitals, stuffed them in the mouths of the men, cut out eyes etc… Ah—a holy war excuses everything—even becoming a monster, it seems.
But to come to the point: As I said, Germans are getting more and more fed up with the official litany—BUT: They don’t see the real picture. They still believe that the ones who created this situation will be the ones who will deliver the solution! That is the sad part of it.
All these things will be used as an excuse to install the perfect police state (and it will be perfect). We need to protect you from terrorists—so give us your freedom, open your bank account, let us abolish money and install a digital currency, accept new taxes (and ghettos in your cities). Work harder and for less money, consume and be a good citizen—and most importantly: Have fear! Always have fear!
Now—I don’t want to leave with the impression that all refugees are just no-goods—criminals, murderers etc. They are not. The vast majority are normal people who just want to lead a normal life—and not one that is forced upon them while their countries are demolished, raped and plundered by the West (that is, the US of A).
BUT—they are just tools in a game. Pawns. Just as we are.
And this leads to no good if the circumstances here resemble Iraq’s. Or just Kenya. And that is the direction we are headed. People with totally different cultural and ideological roots from ours will cling with force to what they know. If they are encouraged to do so (and they are). Assimilation is a crime against humanity, as a Turkish politician once said (who recently had a tough time because some of his generals wanted to get rid of him). So they stay with their own folks. No integration. No assimilation. But ghettos—their mindset becomes even more rigid—some of them will start to despise the majority, whom they don’t understand and don’t want to understand—and sometimes they will commit violence against the hated or despised kuffar (who have no decency—no respect etc.).
I mean—it is funny—in all German travel guides—when it comes to Muslim countries, you find things like: If you are a woman, don’t wear a skirt! Under no circumstances be topless on a beach! Don’t look men in the eye—it is an invitation to sex! Etc. Are the ones who wrote this only hardcore racists? And now hundreds of thousands of people from these countries come here—what do we expect? They mistake our hospitality for weakness. And they (some of them at least) will turn to extremism.
A famous German journalist (one of the old school—Peter Scholl-Latour) once said prophetically: If you let Calcutta come here, you change this to Calcutta.
And he was right. A minority of the refugees consists of terrorists, murderers, rapists etc. They could only come here because the borders were kept open. Just on the eve of the Greater Depression (with all the distrust between the various groups and subgroups), they will make sure that German citizens will fight among themselves in countless battles and skirmishes.
Germans against migrants, Turks against Kurds, Sunni against Shia, Yazidis against Salafists etc. The rich will have their gated communities, the rest will have to deal with a much tougher life in ghettos and suburbs. And life will still go on… I was once in Nigeria. Though you can make money and do business there, life is not too pleasant for the majority of Nigerians…
That is where we are headed. German society will be so fragmented and there will be such turmoil and violence, the majority will accept every solution from above…
Still—if in the end it all plays out as planned—I don’t know. There still is something called destiny. And this may be—in the end—the stronger factor. Even against those in the shadows.
In the meantime, we have to carry on with our normal life. And try to stay human. That is a tough thing to do, these days—but it is possible.
And will remain possible.
Postcards from the End of [the] America[n Empire]
Tuesday, July 19, 2016
As published at Unz Review, CounterCurrents, Intrepid Report and LewRockwell, 7/20/16:
Monday, July 18, 2016
Sunday, July 17, 2016
As published at Unz Review, 7/18/16:
More than a century after his death, Stewart Crenshaw still provokes endless debates. With a single sublime or hypocritical decision, Crenshaw forever affixed himself to American history. Like Billy the Kid, Tokyo Rose, Muhammad Ali, or Jeffrey Dahmer, Crenshaw is an American icon, but whereas the others had to become outlaws to insinuate themselves into our consciousness, Crenshaw was never a criminal. Although he enslaved himself, he was never imprisoned. What Crenshaw did only went against the most deeply held beliefs of his time, and maybe even of our own.
In Friarspoint, Mississippi, Stewart Crenshaw is a cottage industry. There, his name graces (or defaces) just about every large building. Gift stores sell Crenshaw T-shirts, key chains, whips, banjos, chains and mugs. There is a Crenshaw Diner where you can order a daily special of cornmeal, half a pig’s foot and a glass of water ($3.95). Crenshaw’s rather generic face is immortalized with a bronze bust behind the beautiful courthouse.
Every day, dozens of buses carry thousands of tourists (mostly from Mobile, Alabama and from Japan) to the Crenshaw Plantation. The majority will ignore the big manor house to crowd into the ramshackle hut at the very edge of the property. Within its dim, narrow confines, they can jostle each other to take fuzzy pictures of the blanket on which Crenshaw spent countless nights groaning in happiness after another insufferable day spent out in the field hacking sugarcanes in 100 degree weather. They can examine his boots, hammer, felt hat, wooden spoon, nails and sickle.
A small plaque on the wall encapsulates Crenshaw’s biography for the ignorant and the forgetful:
Stewart Crenshaw was born in 1802 in Savannah, Georgia. His father owned an ironwork and young Crenshaw grew up amid luxuries and a dozen books. In 1828, both his parents died in a fire. Crenshaw sold the family business and moved to Friarspoint, where he bought 300 acres of uncultivated land (the very ground you’re standing on). On this property Crenshaw built what he thought was a Georgian house, a smoke house, a barn, a stable and slave quarters.
Situated on a small rise, the Big House is distinguished for its axes of symmetry, straight lines and deceptive angles. The long gravel road that leads to the twelve steps that leads to the colonnaded porch is shaded by two rows of cypresses. Spanish mosses, magnolias and rose bushes grace the surrounding gardens.
Crenshaw was no farmer but he knew enough to decide that the black soil on his land would be ideal for sugarcane. He went out and bought 20 slaves, men, women and children, at just over $700 a head, all belonging to one extended family. Then he did something that would shock an entire nation. Crenshaw told his new slaves that the Big House, and everything in it, was theirs to keep. He would move to a hut on the fringe of his own property.
The patriarch of the slave family was a man named Ezekiel Moses. Moses could not understand Crenshaw’s bizarre decision. He was certain that this man was playing a trick on him. As soon as they took over the Big House, all hell would break loose. Angry white men would rush over from the town to tie them to individual stakes then set them on fire.
Crenshaw reassured Moses: “I just paid $15,000 for you’all. Why would I allow them to burn my property?”
Moses stared into Creshaw’s grinning blue eyes: “But why are you doing this?”
“Because I am your master. As a master, I can demand that you become my master. I have the right to be your slave.”
“To be a slave is not a right,” Moses corrected him, smirking.
“But you’re wrong, my friend. Being a slave is the only right a man has.”
Moses knew he was talking to a fool. He would have laughed in this fool’s face if he wasn’t so angry at him for making a mockery of his people’s misery. Moses spat on the ground: “So how long is this game gonna last?”
“It’s not a game, my friend.”
“Are you my slave at this moment?”
“Yes, I am.”
“Then stop calling me friend.”
Moses waited a night to move his family into the Big House. For the first week, they confined themselves to a single room next to the kitchen. The vast manor house was taken over room by room. It took Moses’ clan nearly half a year to possess the entire structure.
Standing on the front porch each morning, Moses could see Crenshaw working by himself out in the field, a tiny figure half hidden in the canes. The pale man hardly knew what he was doing. One of Moses’ sons would run out periodically to show Crenshaw the basics of sugarcane farming. After sunset, someone would bring him rice, beans and chicken gizzards. Crenshaw supplemented his meager diet by growing spinach and cabbage on a thin patch. Even without an overseer, he would work from sunup to sundown every day but Sundays.
Word soon got out of Crenshaw’s strange behavior. Every day there was a mob outside the front gate. They did not dare scale the fence because Crenshaw had warned them, very loudly, that anyone who did so would be shot on sight. (Moses had lent him a shotgun for the occasion.) Among the merely curious and the hostile were abolitionists who extolled (or slandered) Crenshaw as a saint. “He’s doing penance for your sins!” they would shout over the hoots and jeers. Newspapers from all over the country, and even a few from Europe, sent hundreds of reporters, but Crenshaw would grant none of them an interview.
Moses was not so reticent, however. Initially frightened by the volatile mob just outside his front gate, he gradually became used to their angry and joyous presence. At first he would stand in the window of the master bedroom on the second floor, peeking at the rabble through a tiny crack in the curtains. Then he would banter with them while standing on his front porch. Finally Moses would sit on a large chair just inside the wrought iron fence to answer their questions.
“Is Crenshaw a fool, Mr. Moses?”
“He’s very brave.”
“He must be mad!”
“He’s also a genius.”
“Why would you say that?”
“Only a genius can create a new paradigm.”
“Can you repeat that?”
“A new paradigm.”
“How are you treating him?”
“Like a son.”
“Is he getting enough to eat?”
“I wouldn’t want to starve him.”
“What does he do in his spare time?”
“What else does he do?”
“He sings and he writes”
‘Yes, he writes.”
“What does he write?”
“A slave narrative.”
“By oil lamp?”
“You allow him to do that?”
“I have nothing to hide.”
“Does he complain much?”
“He’s always cheerful.”
“But he can’t be happy!”
“He is lonely.”
“Does he need a wife?”
“No, other slaves.”
“Why don’t you buy him some?”
“He doesn’t believe in miscegenation.”
Although the novelty of a white man slaving for a black man never wore out completely, the crowd eventually thinned until there were usually no more than a dozen spectators a day. Some days there were none. Crenshaw and Moses were allowed to return to the tedium and solipsism of their respective lives. The years passed . . .
Can a slave actually think in years? Not very likely. A slave cannot even think in days. One cannot conceive of a future one has no part in planning.
As Crenshaw got up each morning, he would feel nothing but dread, bordering on nausea. Sometimes he would throw up the miserable food he had eaten the previous night. He really could not believe what was ahead of him. Through the entire morning, he could only think of the cornmeal awaiting him at lunch. At some point in the early afternoon, however, Crenshaw would snap into a sudden calmness. His guilt, anxieties and self-pity would all be gone. His mind would be so limpid it could range over everything. For maybe half an hour Crenshaw could forget he was a slave. But the late afternoon brought with it an even more intense dread than the early morning.
As Crenshaw lay on his itchy blanket late at night, his past would return to him as an appalling fantasy. It was always swarming with phrases and body parts. Savannah would be remembered as a brightly-lit street, then as a dim house, then as a tiny basement room. The twelve books he had read would be reduced to the word “book.”
Once, Crenshaw thought he would just march into the house and shout, “Game’s over.” I’ll teach that damn Moses a lesson! He didn’t do this, however, not because he had given Moses his word but because it would ruin his self-portrait. It would cheapen this story.
Living in the Big House, walking on carpet among the mahogany furniture, Moses refused to feel smug or vindicated. Any radical change in one’s circumstances normally brings with it an embarrassed disavowal of the past and the realization that here, finally, is the truth. But Moses’ composure did not allow him to become giddy over a mere reversal of fortunes. Though his present already felt more real, more authentic, than his past, he wasn’t sure which was more of a mistake. When he was a slave, Moses would think, wistfully and desperately, that even his life had to count as human experience. He even thought that any life could be taken to represent human experience as a whole. Now he knew, once and for all, that any man’s life is totally arbitrary and represents absolutely nothing.
Moses’ enjoyment of his new life was also sharpened and soured by flashes of anger. He never forgot that he was still legally, and essentially, a slave.
Although Moses and Crenshaw lived within sight of each other, they never entered one another’s houses and they never exchanged more than a few words. Whatever either one said sounded like mimicry to the other. They may have swapped lives, but they still could not enter each other’s universes.
When Moses was still a (real) slave, he could take paths through the woods to meet clandestinely with other slaves from nearby plantations. Now he was trapped within his own home. His world had actually shrunk. If he walked out the gate he would be considered a runaway and hunted down like an animal. Neither free nor truly a slave, Crenshaw and Moses were bound to each other for life.
In rare, bitter moments, Moses would curse Crenshaw for denying him the moral high ground, and the dignity, of being a slave, while still enslaving him.
In his rare, bitter moments, Crenshaw would curse Moses for denying him the moral high ground, and the dignity, of being a slave, while still enslaving him.
A real slave or not, Crenshaw felt slave enough. His existence as a slave became so relentless, so familiar, so inevitable, that he gradually came to think of it as the natural condition of man. Being a slave became synonymous with life itself.
On an April afternoon in 1861, Crenshaw decided to take a nap after lunch. He had never shirked work like that before. His last glimpse of this earth was of a starling flitting across a cloudless sky. His last thought was, I deserve this. Moses would not discover Crenshaw’s corpse lying on the ground until three or fours days later.
Moses went more conventionally. He died of a heart attack at dawn on January 31, 1865.
In spite of what Moses claimed, it is not at all clear if Crenshaw ever wrote a slave narrative. No authentic manuscript has been discovered. Within a year after Crenshaw’s death, more than a dozen volumes were published, all purported to be his autobiography. The heftiest one leveled off at just under three thousand pages. The slimmest: a five-page pamphlet. Among the unlikely titles were Uncle Tom’s Cabin, Absalom! Absalom!, The Autobiography of Malcolm X and The Joy Luck Club.
Moses stridently denounced all these absurd books as travesties of his slave’s tragic and magnificent life. As a real slave, however, he had no legal claims over his fake slave’s intellectual properties. At each opportunity, he would brandish a ream of mud-smeared manuscripts as the only authentic writings of Stewart Crenshaw. No one took him seriously. It was obvious to all those who had a chance to glean through their messy contents that Moses was the true author.
[from Blood and Soap (New York: Seven Stories Press 2004)]
Saturday, July 16, 2016
Friday, July 15, 2016
Thanks to a timely donation, I could hit Friendly today, first time in a couple of weeks.
The point of drinking is not to drink but to listen, especially if you're a writer.
The economy is torpedoed. For more than an hour, I was the only customer in Friendly.
Steve the mailman came in. Forty-nine-years-old, Steve has been delivering mail for 23 years. If you put in 30 years and are at least 55, you can collect a pension. To get a bigger pension, Steve wants to work until he's 62. His wife is a dentist.
Felix hobbled in. "I feel old!"
"Tell us something we don't know," Don, the bar owner, said.
"You look old!" I added.
Felix talked about the last time he had sex, a dozen years ago. "It felt like sand paper." She was sixty.
Straggling in, four strangers ordered High Life and Jameson. They're spackling a wall a block away. With the heat outside, they had already gone through a case of water. Six bottles per dude.
For lunch, they had been eating at Lorenzo. Don and I suggested they should also try the roast pork at George's, next door.
Don told the spackling crew they should start earlier, like 6 O'clock, when it's cooler. He also suggested yoga.
“You should join a yoga class. It’s all pussy.”
“Girls farting?” a man in his 40's jumped in.
“You’ll be farting, too. You should always do yoga on an empty stomach.”
As published at CounterCurrents, Unz Review, Intrepid Report and LewRockwell, 7/15/16:
A hundred-and-fifty-one years after the abolition of slavery, America has a half white, half black president, a black Nobelist in literature, whites who attribute not just every form but instance of black dysfunction to white racism, blacks who demand reparations, the mainstreaming of innumerable black slang terms, including “diss,” a new phrase “negro fatigue” and the bumper sticker, “IF I HAD KNOWN THIS, I’D HAVE PICKED MY OWN COTTON.”
It has often been stated that slavery is America’s original sin. In 1751, Benjamin Franklin ruminated on its cons and pros:
The Labour of Slaves can never be so cheap here as the Labour of working Men is in Britain. Any one may compute it. Interest of Money is in the Colonies from 6 to 10 per Cent. Slaves one with another cost 30 £. Sterling per Head. Reckon then the Interest of the first Purchase of a Slave, the Insurance or Risque on his Life, his Cloathing and Diet, Expences in his Sickness and Loss of Time, Loss by his Neglect of Business (Neglect is natural to the Man who is not to be benefited by his own Care or Diligence), Expence of a Driver to keep him at Work, and his Pilfering from Time to Time, almost every Slave being by Nature a Thief, and compare the whole Amount with the Wages of a Manufacturer of Iron or Wool in England, you will see that Labour is much cheaper there than it ever can be by Negroes here. Why then will Americans purchase Slaves? Because Slaves may be kept as long as a Man pleases, or has Occasion for their Labour; while hired Men are continually leaving their Master (often in the midst of his Business,) and setting up for themselves.
There are also these drawbacks:
The Negroes brought into the English Sugar Islands, have greatly diminish’d the Whites there; the Poor are by this Means depriv’d of Employment, while a few Families acquire vast Estates; which they spend on Foreign Luxuries, and educating their Children in the Habit of those Luxuries; the same Income is needed for the Support of one that might have maintain’d 100. The Whites who have Slaves, not labouring, are enfeebled, and therefore not so generally prolific; the Slaves being work’d too hard, and ill fed, their Constitutions are broken, and the Deaths among them are more than the Births; so that a continual Supply is needed from Africa. The Northern Colonies having few Slaves increase in Whites. Slaves also pejorate the Families that use them; the white Children become proud, disgusted with Labour, and being educated in Idleness, are rendered unfit to get a Living by Industry.
Still, it was worth it, and that’s why Franklin kept several slaves himself. In 1759, however, he joined Thomas Bray’s association to support schools for black children, and in 1787, Franklin became president of the Pennsylvania Society for Promoting the Abolition of Slavery and the Relief of Free Negroes Unlawfully Held in Bondage. Franklin died, then, with the hope that blacks would one day be free and equal to whites.
After blacks were freed, they had to compete with poor whites and white immigrants for work. Illiterate, ignorant and dependent after centuries of slavery, American blacks were even worse off than blacks from the West Indies. In Ethnic America, Thomas Sowell explains:
Unlike slaves in the United States, who were issued food rations and were often fed from the common kitchen, West Indian slaves were assigned land and time to raise their own food. They sold surplus food in the market to buy amenities for themselves. In short, West Indian Negroes had centuries of experience in taking care of themselves in a significant part of their lives, even under slavery, as well as experience with buying and selling. Contemporary observers noted that the slaves in the West Indies worked perceptibly more energetically on their plots of ground than on the land they worked for slave owners. They had the kind of incentives and experience common in a market economy but denied American slaves for two centuries.
In 1873, James Shepherd Pike of the New York Tribune wrote an influential series of articles that was later turned into a book, The Prostrate State: South Carolina under Negro Government. While pointing out that the black man “showed great magnanimity and forbearance in not cutting the throats of the masters’ families when he was emancipated,” Pike painted black-run South Carolina as “the most ignorant democracy that mankind ever saw”:
It is barbarism overwhelming civilization by physical force. It is the slave rioting in the halls of his master, and putting that master under his feet.
The question is often asked if education is not the remedy for the blackness of darkness that prevails in South Carolina. Yes, indeed, if that were possible […] here is a race to be educated in the very elements of manhood. They have to be taught positively and negatively […] They have to be taught not to lie, not to steal, not to be unchaste […] Education, to be what it ought to be with the existing race of negroes in the South, means to educate them out of themselves, means to undo the habits and practices and modes of thoughts and want of thought engendered by centuries of slavery.
In 1888, Walt Whitman didn’t sound any more optimistic:
The nigger, like the Injun, will be eliminated: it is the law of races, history, what-not: always so far inexorable—always to be. Someone proves that a superior grade of rats comes and then all the minor rats are cleared out.
Booker T. Washington, though, certainly believed the black man had a future and, moreover, was a huge asset to the nation. In 1895, Washington appealed to Southern whites to rely on blacks rather than European immigrants:
To those of the white race who look to the incoming of those of foreign birth and strange tongue and habits for the prosperity of the South, were I permitted I would repeat what I say to my own race, ‘Cast down your bucket where you are.’ Cast it down among the eight millions of Negroes whose habits you know, whose fidelity and love you have tested in days when to have proved treacherous meant the ruin of your firesides. Cast down your bucket among these people who have, without strikes and labour wars, tilled your fields, cleared your forests, builded your railroads and cities, and brought forth treasures from the bowels of the earth, and helped make possible this magnificent representation of the progress of the South. Casting down your bucket among my people, helping and encouraging them as you are doing on these grounds, and to education of head, hand, and heart, you will find that they will buy your surplus land, make blossom the waste places in your fields, and run your factories. While doing this, you can be sure in the future, as in the past, that you and your families will be surrounded by the most patient, faithful, law-abiding, and unresentful people that the world has seen. As we have proved our loyalty to you in the past, in nursing your children, watching by the sick-bed of your mothers and fathers, and often following them with tear-dimmed eyes to their graves, so in the future, in our humble way, we shall stand by you with a devotion that no foreigner can approach, ready to lay down our lives, if need be, in defense of yours, interlacing our industrial, commercial, civil, and religious life with yours in a way that shall make the interests of both races one.”
In his 1899 book, The Philadelphia Negroes, W.E.B. DuBois observed:
In the city of Philadelphia the increasing number of bold and daring crimes committed by Negroes in the last ten years has focused the attention of the city on this subject. There is a widespread feeling that something is wrong with a race that is responsible for so much crime, and that strong remedies are called for.
4 per cent of the population of Philadelphia having Negro blood furnished from 1885 to 1889, 14 per cent of the serious crimes, and from 1890 to 1895, 22 1/2 per cent.
we may conclude that young men are the perpetrators of the serious crime among Negroes; that this crime consists mainly of stealing and assault; that ignorance, and immigration to the temptations of city life, are responsible for much of this crime but not for all; that deep social causes underlie this prevalence of crime and they have so worked as to form among Negroes since 1864 a distinct class of habitual criminals; that to this criminal class and not to the great mass of Negroes the bulk of the serious crime perpetrated by this race should be charged.
His strange social environment must have immense effect on his thought and life, his work and crime, his wealth and pauperism. That this environment differs and differs broadly from the environment of his fellows, we all know, but we do not know just how it differs. The real foundation of the difference is the wide-spread feeling all over the land, in Philadelphia as well as in Boston and New Orleans, that the Negro is something less than an American and ought not to be much more than what he is. Argue as we may for or against this idea, we must as students recognize its presence and its vast effects.
I dug up some old observations so we can see how far, or how little, we’ve gone as a nation. During the decade ending in 1895, Philadelphia had nine murders. Nine in ten years!
With just 50% more people, Philly already has 135 murders this year as of July 14th. Making up 43.3% of its population (according to the 2010 census), blacks commit more than 80% of Philly’s murders, year in and year out. What would DuBois make of this outrage?
Booker T. Washington hoped for “a new heaven and a new earth” predicated on “material prosperity” and “a blotting out of sectional differences and racial animosities and suspicions, in a determination to administer absolute justice, in a willing obedience among all classes to the mandates of law.”
I don’t see it coming. After a week of black attacks against the police in Texas, Tennessee, Minnesota, Missouri, Indiana and Washington DC, there will be Day of Rage protests in 37 American cities today, in support of Black Lives Matter, and next week, dozens of gun-toting New Black Panthers will descend on Cleveland to raise hell at the Republican National Convention.
To close, I will quote at length from a July 9th FaceBook post by Jay Stalien, a Baltimore cop:
I have come to realize something that is still hard for me to understand to this day. The following may be a shock to some coming from an African American, but the mere fact that it may be shocking to some is prima facie evidence of the sad state of affairs that we are in as Humans.
I used to be so torn inside growing up. Here I am, a young African-American born and raised in Brooklyn, NY wanting to be a cop. I watched and lived through the crime that took place in the hood. My own black people killing others over nothing. Crack heads and heroin addicts lined the lobby of my building as I shuffled around them to make my way to our 1 bedroom apartment with 6 of us living inside. I used to be woken up in the middle of the night by the sound of gun fire, only to look outside and see that it was 2 African Americans shooting at each other.
It never sat right with me. I wanted to help my community and stop watching the blood of African Americans spilled on the street at the hands of a fellow black man. I became a cop because black lives in my community, along with ALL lives, mattered to me, and wanted to help stop the bloodshed.
As time went by in my law enforcement career, I quickly began to realize something. I remember the countless times I stood 2 inches from a young black man, around my age, laying on his back, gasping for air as blood filled his lungs. I remember them bleeding profusely with the unforgettable smell of deoxygenated dark red blood in the air, as it leaked from the bullet holes in his body on to the hot sidewalk on a summer day. I remember the countless family members who attacked me, spit on me, cursed me out, as I put up crime scene tape to cordon off the crime scene, yelling and screaming out of pain and anger at the sight of their loved ones taking their last breath. I never took it personally, I knew they were hurting. I remember the countless times I had to order new uniforms, because the ones I had on, were bloody from the blood of another black victim…of black on black crime. I remember the countless times I got back in my patrol car, distraught after having watched another black male die in front me, having to start my preliminary report something like this:
Suspect- Black/ Male, Victim-Black /Male.
I remember the countless times I canvassed the area afterwards, and asked everyone “did you see who did it”, and the popular response from the very same family members was always, “Fuck the Police, I ain't no snitch, Im gonna take care of this myself". This happened every single time, every single homicide, black on black, and then my realization became clearer.
I woke up every morning, put my freshly pressed uniform on, shined my badge, functioned checked my weapon, kissed my wife and kid, and waited for my wife to say the same thing she always does before I leave, “Make sure you come back home to us”. I always replied, “I will”, but the truth was I was never sure if I would. I almost lost my life on this job, and every call, every stop, every moment that I had this uniform on, was another possibility for me to almost lose my life again. I was a target in the very community I swore to protect, the very community I wanted to help. As a matter of fact, they hated my very presence. They called me “Uncle Tom”, and “wanna be white boy”, and I couldn’t understand why. My own fellow black men and women attacking me, wishing for my death, wishing for the death of my family. I was so confused, so torn, I couldn’t understand why my own black people would turn against me, when every time they called …I was there. Every time someone died….I was there. Every time they were going through one of the worst moments in their lives…I was there. So why was I the enemy? I dove deep into that question…Why was I the enemy? Then my realization became clearer.
I spoke to members of the community and listened to some of the complaints as to why they hated cops. I then did research on the facts. I also presented facts to these members of the community, and listened to their complaints in response. This is what I learned:
Complaint: Police always targeting us, they always messing with the black man.
Fact: A city where the majority of citizens are black (Baltimore for example) …will ALWAYS have a higher rate of black people getting arrested, it will ALWAYS have a higher rate of blacks getting stopped, and will ALWAYS have a higher rate of blacks getting killed, and the reason why is because a city with those characteristics will ALWAYS have a higher rate of blacks committing crime. The statistics will follow the same trend for Asians if you go to China, for Hispanics if you go to Puerto Rico, for whites if you go to Russia, and the list goes on. It’s called Demographics
Complaint: More black people get arrested than white boys.
Fact: Black People commit a grossly disproportionate amount of crime. Data from the FBI shows that Nationwide, Blacks committed 5,173 homicides in 2014, whites committed 4,367. Chicago’s death toll is almost equal to that of both wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, combined. Chicago’s death toll from 2001–November, 26 2015 stands at 7,401. The combined total deaths during Operation Iraqi Freedom (2003-2015: 4,815) and Operation Enduring Freedom/Afghanistan (2001-2015: 3,506), total 8,321.
Complaint: Blacks are the only ones getting killed by police, or they are killed more.
Fact: As of July 2016, the breakdown of the number of US Citizens killed by Police this year is, 238 White people killed, 123 Black people killed, 79 Hispanics, 69 other/or unknown race.
Fact: Black people kill more other blacks than Police do, and there are only protest and outrage when a cop kills a black man. University of Toledo criminologist Dr. Richard R. Johnson examined the latest crime data from the FBI’s Supplementary Homicide Reports and Centers for Disease Control and found that an average of 4,472 black men were killed by other black men annually between Jan. 1, 2009, and Dec. 31, 2012. Professor Johnson’s research further concluded that 112 black men died from both justified and unjustified police-involved killings annually during this same period.
Complaint: Well we already doing a good job of killing ourselves, we don’t need the Police to do it. Besides they should know better.
Thursday, July 14, 2016
Tuesday, July 12, 2016
- Linh Dinh
- Born in Vietnam in 1963, I came to the US in 1975, and have also lived in Italy, England and Germany. I'm the author of two books of stories, Fake House (2000) and Blood and Soap (2004), five of poems, All Around What Empties Out (2003), American Tatts (2005), Borderless Bodies (2006), Jam Alerts (2007) and Some Kind of Cheese Orgy (2009), and a novel, Love Like Hate (2010). I've been anthologized in Best American Poetry 2000, 2004, 2007, Great American Prose Poems from Poe to the Present, Postmodern American Poetry: a Norton Anthology (vol. 2) and Flash Fiction International: Very Short Stories From Around the World, etc. I'm also editor of Night, Again: Contemporary Fiction from Vietnam (1996) and The Deluge: New Vietnamese Poetry (2013). Blood and Soap was chosen by Village Voice as one of the best books of 2004. My writing has been translated into Italian, Spanish, French, Dutch, German, Portuguese, Japanese, Korean, Arabic, Icelandic and Finnish, and I've been invited to read in London, Cambridge, Brighton, Paris, Berlin, Leipzig, Halle, Reykjavik, Toronto, Singapore and all over the US. I've also published widely in Vietnamese.