Tuesday, April 1, 2008

build alliances based on truth… i have had my say on the topic(s)---white men /white women and obama. it troubles me not in the least to acknowledge that for the most part i am not impressed by any of them. however, i agree wholeheartedly with the wisdom that we must build alliances based on truth.

far be it from me not to point out how ridiculously hypocritical and indignant white americans have no problem being; generation after generation. to be angry that blacks would vote for blacks...please sit down and shut up white people. i have no patience. the notion that blacks cannot be fair is a devilish lie unsupported by historical facts. the only people black folks can not seem to treat consistently well are, frankly, other black folks. we consistently give white folks too much love, forgetfulness, forgiveness, excuses and opportunity to make the same flagrant fouls (like wage war against us flagrant) century after century as far as i can see. until we realize that history informs the future---we will not see any significant changes. anyhoo, take a peek at what the esteemed Alice Walker has to say...

Lest We Forget: An open letter to my sisters who are brave.

By Alice Walker

The author argues that we must build alliances not on ethnicity or gender, but on truth.

I HAVE COME home from a long stay in Mexico to find – because of the presidential campaign, and especially because of the Obama/Clinton race for the Democratic nomination - a new country existing alongside the old. On any given day we, collectively, become the Goddess of the Three Directions and can look back into the past, look at ourselves just where we are, and take a glance, as well, into the future. It is a space with which I am familiar.

When I was born in 1944 my parents lived on a middle Georgia plantation that was owned by a white distant relative, Miss May Montgomery. (During my childhood it was necessary to address all white girls as "Miss" when they reached the age of twelve.) She would never admit to this relationship, of course, except to mock it. Told by my parents that several of their children would not eat chicken skin she responded that of course they would not. No Montgomerys would.

My parents and older siblings did everything imaginable for Miss May. They planted and raised her cotton and corn, fed and killed and processed her cattle and hogs, painted her house, patched her roof, ran her dairy, and, among countless other duties and responsibilities my father was her chauffeur, taking her anywhere she wanted to go at any hour of the day or night. She lived in a large white house with green shutters and a green, luxuriant lawn: not quite as large as Tara of Gone With the Wind fame, but in the same style.

We lived in a shack without electricity or running water, under a rusty tin roof that let in wind and rain. Miss May went to school as a girl. The school my parents and their neighbors built for us was burned to the ground by local racists who wanted to keep ignorant their competitors in tenant farming. During the Depression, desperate to feed his hardworking family, my father asked for a raise from ten dollars a month to twelve. Miss May responded that she would not pay that amount to a white man and she certainly wouldn't pay it to a nigger. That before she'd pay a nigger that much money she'd milk the dairy cows herself.

When I look back, this is part of what I see. I see the school bus carrying white children, boys and girls, right past me, and my brothers, as we trudge on foot five miles to school. Later, I see my parents struggling to build a school out of discarded army barracks while white students, girls and boys, enjoy a building made of brick. We had no books; we inherited the cast off books that "Jane" and "Dick" had previously used in the all-white school that we were not, as black children, permitted to enter.

The year I turned fifty, one of my relatives told me she had started reading my books for children in the library in my home town. I had had no idea – so kept from black people it had been – that such a place existed. To this day knowing my presence was not wanted in the public library when I was a child I am highly uncomfortable in libraries and will rarely, unless I am there to help build, repair, refurbish or raise money to keep them open, enter their doors.
When I joined the freedom movement in Mississippi in my early twenties it was to come to the aid of sharecroppers, like my parents, who had been thrown off the land they'd always known, the plantations, because they attempted to exercise their "democratic" right to vote. I wish I could say white women treated me and other black people a lot better than the men did, but I cannot. It seemed to me then and it seems to me now that white women have copied, all too often, the behavior of their fathers and their brothers, and in the South, especially in Mississippi, and before that, when I worked to register voters in Georgia, the broken bottles thrown at my head were gender free.

I made my first white women friends in college; they were women who loved me and were loyal to our friendship, but I understood, as they did, that they were white women and that whiteness mattered. That, for instance, at Sarah Lawrence, where I was speedily inducted into the Board of Trustees practically as soon as I graduated, I made my way to the campus for meetings by train, subway and foot, while the other trustees, women and men, all white, made their way by limo. Because, in our country, with its painful history of unspeakable inequality, this is part of what whiteness means. I loved my school for trying to make me feel I mattered to it, but because of my relative poverty I knew I could not...

to read in its entirety go to:

silent denial does not lead to healing. lies have gotten us where we are. simple truth.
thanks E for the link sis:-)



tasha212 said...

I think that it is the failure of people to acknowledge this very truth that keeps us from moving forward. went to a predominately white all-girl private school from elementary-high school. I had white female friends growing up but my parents (mainly my father) never let me socialize with them too much outside of school. I wasn't allowed to spend the night at their houses or too much time around their families. Outside of school, I was surrounded by black people. I didn't really understand this growing up. Now I do. My parents didn't want me and my sister to think that we were one of them.They wanted us to know that our realities and their realities were two different things. I thank them for this because it allowed me not to grow up confused like some of my friends. I think that you can have white friends. But where is the white outcry against white supremacy? It's not o.k. to live in a country where you continue to benefit from the system but are in denial of the system's existence. I believe that until whites are willing to give up some of their privileges, I'll never believe that a white person is truely against racism and white privilege. There has been alot of talk on other blogs about coming together and how the majority white people are well-meaning but just don't understand us and we don't understand them, that's why we can't get along. Well, thank you for cutting through the P.C. crap and speaking truth to power.

As for the white woman being as furthering the mission of their men, let me say this. I've read alot of books about slavery. From reading all of these books I came to the conclusion that the house slave had it just as bad as the field slave because the house slave had to deal with the cruelty of the white mistress. The white mistress and sometimes her children were known to be cruel because oftentimes the slaves who worked in the house were the master's children. So, that's why I'm suspicious of coming together with white women because they have always been just as complicit in our destruction as white men.

Sorry for the length. Hope I gave u something to think about.

Khadija said...


I really enjoy reading longer, substantive comments!They give me a lot of food for thought.

You are sooo right about the house captives. Just imagine: Being trapped in a house all day with your rapist & his jealous wife, while performing maid, waitress & nanny services. And watching the same rapist & his wife eyeballing [and worse] your children. Good God.

It reminds me of one of the horrors I read about Genghiz Khan. Apparently he kidnapped an enemy's wife & forced her to serve as a maid & waitress in his war camp. Naked. All day, every day.

The things that women throughout the ages have been subjected to... Whew...


focusedpurpose said...

Tasha and Khadija-

i have said it before i will say it again...

...when at war the men die and the women die a thousand times.

i just left the naacp podcast not too long ago and i feel so angry/sad that i cannot stand to have those feelings inside of me. i need to pray and meditate on peace, strength and clarity.

it saddens me to come to the realization that i am in a space and time where my greatest enemy looks like me. i can see the problem and have an answer that may lead to healing for black just goes against everything for me to realize that in most instances today...we will have our most fervent battles against those that should provide for and protect us.

i am in mourning tonight as a result. God willing i will get up tomorrow and be back on my assignment.

Tasha never apologize for length of comment here. i support and encourage free expression in whatever form that takes. much is lost with cliffnotes. i personally prefer the novel.


focusedpurpose said...

p.s. i think the house slave had it worse. that's just me. it feel a lot like...integration. you can't get away from these people that refuse to treat you as a human being. it is virtually impossible for me to play along. i would not have survived slavery! i know what others think my place just has nothing to do with the place God established for me!


Khadija said...

FP said: "when at war the men die and the women die a thousand times."

Wow...That's a truly heavy statement...

I haven't listened to the NAACP podcast yet---I usually download the podcasts later from iTunes. What little you've said in reference to it confirms that I made the right decision not to try to listen live tonight. I figured that I would probably have to brace myself to listen to the NAACP public relations flaks. In small bits with plenty of breaks to clear my head.

However, I have been spreading the word about this entire travesty at work & everywhere else. Several people have vowed to keep up with this situation via the Black Women Vote site. I've made audio cds of the NAACP guest podcast for a few coworkers who have expressed an interest in the latest developments, but don't have internet access.

I'm pleased to see that several of my coworkers have been spreading the word, and encouraging others to divest from the NAACP unless & until they come correct about this issue.

Frankly, I was pleasantly surprised that Sharpton backpedaled as fast as he did. I fully expected both organizations to be stubborn in their depraved indifference. Whatever. The people know the rest! *Smile*