Sunday, September 30, 2018

A Hard Rain Is Falling / Surviving Against All Odds

We’ve got to understand what is happening. Now they often call this the white backlash … It’s just a new name for an old phenomenon. The fact is that there has never been any single, solid, determined commitment on the part of the vast majority of white Americans to genuine equality for Negroes. There has always been ambivalence … In 1863 the Negro was granted freedom from physical slavery through the Emancipation Proclamation. But he was not given land to make that freedom meaningful. At the same time, our government was giving away millions of acres of land in the Midwest and the West, which meant that the nation was willing to undergird its white peasants from Europe with an economic floor, while refusing to do it for its black peasants from Africa who were held in slavery two hundred and forty four years. And this is why Frederick Douglass would say that emancipation for the Negro was freedom to hunger, freedom to the winds and rains of heaven, freedom without roofs to cover their heads. It was freedom without bread to eat, without land to cultivate. It was freedom and famine at the same time. And it is a miracle that the Negro has survived.


37paddington said...

If this week has shown us anything, it's that there is no commitment on the part of white men to equality for women either. White men are filled with toxic fear that they will not be privileged above all others, and as some wise person once said, to those used to privilege, equality can feel like oppression. We're all under to thumb of that fear at the moment, but it won't last.

37paddington said...

And thank you for having your library order Lucia McBath's book, and for reading! I feel such gratitude that people like you will take in her story.

Tara said...

what a different nation we would be if we truly respected and uplifted the 'freedom' given to slaves so long ago. If former slaves and their ancestors could have had a hand in the vast land grab of the west. But that was also at the expense of a people, our native people.

None of us are free unless all of us are free. We keep needing to learn this lesson.