Sunday, July 27, 2014

Maynard Evans High School: Reinforcing Racism

One of the more subtle - but crippling -  methods Whites use to practice White Supremacy (Racism) is withholding accurate, constructive information. There's frequent discourse on healthcare disparities, employment disparities, wealth disparities. But a key reason Whites continue to dominate and abuse black people is because of an information disparity.

A listener attempted to share a report on a Florida public school being named after a staunch, unapologetic White Terrorist (which is a right common thing in many, many spots on the globe). The niggardly ogres at the Orlando Sentinel revoked access to the content. A core aspect of my counter-racism code demands that non-whites not pay a shilling for White people's publications on Racism. In that spirit, the article in question has been liberated. Enjoy and share: 

Maynard Evans doesn't deserve to have a name on a high school
 - James C. Clark

The debate over where to put Maynard Evans High School has raged for several years, but so far, no one has questioned whether a new school in a new location deserves a new name.

Maynard Evans was a highly respected druggist who served as a member of the School Board and the County Commission during the first half of the 20th century. He died in 1952; the high school opened in 1958, and was named to honor his memory. He was a segregationist [White Supremacist], who helped make sure African-Americans received a second-class education, with shorter school year, teacher salaries far lower than white teachers' and ill-equipped classrooms. As a businessman, he followed both the customs and laws of the time, and made sure African-Americans were not served with whites at his downtown drugstore soda fountains.

Orange County has schools named after one segregationist [White Supremacist] and two men who fought to preserve slavery.

When questions were raised recently about the naming of Fleet Peoples Park after a man who may have been a child molester, Winter Park Mayor Ken Bradley and the City Commission moved quickly to rename it. After decades of debate, the School Board in Jacksonville finally changed the name of Nathan Bedford Forrest High School, named for an early leader of the Ku Klux Klan.

But the Orange County board seems content to stick with Maynard Evans High School, Stonewall Jackson Middle School and Robert E. Lee Middle School. In the case of Stonewall Jackson, the board uses the nickname Jackson gained while fighting to preserve slavery. The Lee and Jackson schools are not a legacy of the Civil War, but were named after the U.S. Supreme Court issued its decision in 1954 ordering school integration. The Orange County board was trying to show its contempt for the court and signal that it would defy the ruling.

There are two tragedies here. First, the board does not see that it is cruel to send hundreds of [non-white] students to schools named for people who fought to keep them as second-class citizens.

But the greater tragedy is that all seven board members and Chairman Bill Sublette have decided to overlook the contributions of local residents who deserve to have a school named for them.

There is Zora Neale Hurston, the world-famous writer who grew up in Eatonville and set many of her books and short stories around Orlando.

A second Eatonville resident, Deacon Jones, became one of the greatest football players in the National Football League - he was named one of the 100 greatest by the league. One of his earliest memories was seeing a group of white kids laugh while throwing a watermelon at an elderly black woman in Eatonville. The woman later died. Jones was thrown out of all-black South Carolina State College and lost his football scholarship when he took part in a civil-rights demonstration in the 1950s.

Musician Ray Charles got his professional start in Orlando, playing in the black clubs in Parramore, for afternoon teas for whites atop the Angebilt Hotel, and even for a country-western band in Kissimmee.

Harry T. Moore was the first civil-rights leader to be assassinated. On Christmas night in 1951, he was killed by members of the Apopka Ku Klux Klan. It was Moore who filed the first lawsuit demanding equal pay for African-American teachers in Florida.

John Ellis, a former Jones High School teacher, forced the county School Board to integrate high schools when he insisted his daughter, Evelyn, be allowed to attend any school she wanted. His suit against the board came eight years after the Supreme Court ordered schools to be integrated.

In the case of Maynard Evans, the school could be named for any of those, or named Pine Hills High School, giving the neighborhood some badly needed identity and a source of pride.

The list is almost endless, with possibilities including actor Buddy Ebsen, Nobel Prize winner Marshall Nirenberg or Congressional Medal of Honor winner Cpl. Larry Smedley.

There is almost no way the board can go wrong, unless it clings to the 19th century.

James C. Clark is a lecturer in the University of Central Florida History Department.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Eric Garner: Breathing Racism

Listen to me standing up on this so-called mountain! Let me tell it as it truly was! His name was Tod Clifton and he was full of illusions. He thought he was a man when he was only Tod Clifton. He was shot for a simple mistake of judgment and he bled and his blood dried and shortly the crowd trampled out the stains. It was a normal mistake of which many are guilty: He thought he was a man and that men were not meant to be pushed around.

Perhaps it’s incongruent to borrow from Ralph Ellison’s Invisible Man to address the death of Eric Garner. He weighed more than 300 pounds and stood taller than six feet; reports mawkishly reference him as the gentle giant. 

But black people are not gentle. Certainly not to be treated gently. Especially not by officers of the law. 
White cops are afraid of black men. We don’t talk about it, we pretend it doesn’t exist, we claim “color blindness.” We say white officers treat black men the same way they treat white men. But that’s a lie. In fact, the bigger, the darker the black man the greater the fear. Yet, even though it’s a central, if not the defining ingredient in the makeup of police racism, white cops won’t admit it to themselves, or to others. Breaking Rank pg. 92
Those are the words of a White man, Norm Stamper. He’s the former Seattle Police Chief. It's his view that most Whites are aware of his conclusion. Whites cannot be ignorant about Racism (White Supremacy).

A significant portion of Whites claim that police brutality and Racism persist because most Whites are oblivious to this reality. This is a pernicious falsehood from which non-whites should expeditiously divest. Cliven Bundy and the hoards of lawbreaking, White ruffians who've defiantly obstructed Homeland Security employees' efforts to transport undocumented children understand that they will not be body-slammed, sodomized, tased or choked. Even when breaking federal law, they will not be treated like Eric Garner or Marlene Pinnock.

White people are not ignorant about Racism. It can be said that White Supremacy (Racism) is the rhythm to the White lifeforce. Rhythm Helps Your Time Have Meaning - thanks Dr. Gaunt. White infants begin inhaling White Supremacist codes, concepts, and behavior patterns before they have teeth. They're suckled and motivated from birth to burial to dominate and abuse the Eric Garner's of the universe. Waging war against non-white people - especially individuals classified as black - is at the core of every aspect of White culture.

White people just observed the 50 year anniversary of the NYPD's execution of 15-year-old James Powell in Harlem - nearly a half century to the day of Garner's slaying. The slaughter of this unarmed black child ignited six days of upheaval. The commemorations offered few syllables on Powell or his family, why he was killed, or his surviving relatives' reflections. The preponderance of attention focused on lawless black hooliganism, the destruction of White-owned property, and disregard for White law and order. Whites conducted interviews, drafted reports, and continue writing books on this mostly forgotten anecdote. A good deal of New York's 1964 White residents, White politicians, and White entrepreneurs, whom supported any means necessary to restore White order, are still alive. As are many of the White NYPD officers who clubbed, shot, and shackled black citizens. Fogies or not, they'll remember this incident and what it means to be White til their last breath. Whites were not clueless about Racism in 1964, nor are they now.

Generations of Whites have lauded Invisible Man and Spike Lee's Do The Right Thing – the latter marking it’s quarter century anniversary this summer. These works of fiction climax with the NYPD snuffing out black life. Tellingly, many Whites have given identical responses to the deaths of James Powell, Eric Garner, and Radio Raheem (Bill Nunn). Lee recently responded to White film critics:

They never talk about the death of Radio Raheem at the hands of the police. They talk about Mookie smashing the window and the pizzeria burning down. If in a review, a critic discussed how Sal's Famous was burned down but didn't mention anything about Radio Raheem getting killed, it was pretty obvious that he or she valued white-owned property more than the life of this young black hoodlum.
NYPD validated their pursuit of Garner with similar logic, similar (dis)regard for black life.

The cigarette seller and the police were far from strangers: the local officers had tangled with Mr. Garner time and time again, arresting him for selling untaxed cigarettes at a price far below what local deli owners could offer.

The New York Times cited local merchants who discontinued their sale of tobacco because unlawful street hawkers like Garner smothered their profit margins. Strangling is for black people, not White-controlled enterprise. 

Apparently, chokeholds aren’t the only thing in the manual.

For years, Mr. Garner chafed at the scrutiny by the police, which he considered harassment. In 2007, he filed a handwritten complaint in federal court accusing a police officer of conducting a cavity search of him on the street, “digging his fingers in my rectum in the middle of the street” while people passed by.

Abner Louima was supposed to be a teachable moment, a clarion decree that White officers desist from behaving life homoerotic barbarians with badges. It’s naive to think the lesson was not learned. To the contrary, Whites have advanced degrees in the science of Terrorizing black people.

The university of the world instructs White children, White Women and White Men that black people are not human beings, but rather, creatures worthy of sadistic cruelty. Arizona State University’s Dr. Ersula J. Ore was savagely reminded that her doctorate and masters degrees fail to protect her from White brutes with a remedial understanding of how Whites think of and treat black people. Big Apple residents young and old, White and non-white should recall a bevy names, extinguished non-white lives which illustrate this point. Reaching for a wallet. Celebrating a wedding. Tossing a football. Selling cigarettes.
As long as the System of White Supremacy exists, make room for the next name on that shirt of death. White dedication to  – not ignorance of – Racism demands that the ledger of slaughtered non-white lives expands infinitely.

Electing a White mayor with a black wife and non-white afro-sporting children will have the same impact as a departmental review of the officers responsible for Mr. Garner’s death. 

In 9 Cases of Police Chokeholds, Punishment Was Rare, Review Board Says

2.) Wouldn't want anyone to think this problem is exclusive to the United States.