If you know anything about any of those backward ideologies and practices, then you know that taking up a militant position against those things, as I do consistently here, is going to win you plenty of support, but also more than enough hatred. I get more than my share of the latter. Hate mail, threats, insults, you name it. None of it bothers me much. I know that Frederick Douglas was correct when he said power concedes nothing without a demand. I've been upsetting racists for over three decades now and as a result, I've received a lot of negative attention from them for all that time. In the 80s, that was nasty letters in the mail, notes on my door, and prank phone calls. Today, with the internet and social media, its the onslaught of keyboard warriors. The differences I've observed over the years represents the evidence in my mind of how much the quality of the racists making these attacks is steadily diminishing. This isn't to say that these people today are any less dangerous and anyone who tries to glean that out of what I'm writing here doesn't know much about me or my work.
Anyone who exposes racist ideology is dangerous. If for no other reason, but because the ideas they express are harmful to large segments of humanity. People have suffered immensely from white supremacy. The negative effects of this oppression lingers within communities for centuries in what scholars are calling "generational trauma." What that means is the African descendants of slavery and colonialism still suffer severe psychological damage as a result of that oppressive institution and the fact many racists today either deny the impacts of slavery, some even suggesting slavery was good for African people, exacerbates this problem even more. The same can be said for the descendants of the Indigenous peoples of the Western Hemisphere and those who suffered during the holocaust in Europe. All of this is compounded even more by the fact this suffering didn't wither away as some of these racists try so hard to suggest. These systems of oppression are still operating with full impunity today, everyday. Consequently, just the suggestion that this oppression is non-existent causes a trigger effect for oppressed communities. Even if the people advancing the oppression denial, or the fallacious argument that Europeans are somehow more oppressed than brown people, are doing nothing more than making those verbal claims (meaning they aren't physically acting out against oppressed communities in any way), they're still very dangerous and what they are doing has a strong impact on oppressed people. And, since we don't know who is just a keyboard warrior and who is the next Dylan Roof (killed nine African church worshipers in South Carolina in 2015), or Lucas Traini (shot several African immigrants last week in Italy), for most of us, the trauma of even a social media threat is real and extremely upsetting.
I'm coming at this from the vantage point of someone who has not only received these threats, etc, for a long time, but someone who has encountered, confronted, and engaged white supremacists for an equal amount of time. So, I'm not someone who is going to get bent out of shape because some raggedy racist calls me the n word or threatens to do me bodily harm. Been there and done that. This is the reason I can tell you something definitely has changed. I attended Fresno City College in Fresno, California, U.S. in 1980. I was the president of the Pan-African Student Union there on campus. Along with Movimiento Estudiantil Chicano de Aztlan (MECHA), and the Native American Student Alliance, we pushed to block a racist concert from taking place at Ratcliff Stadium which was the college's sports facility. The concert, was slated to be a racist celebration against Iran because the Iranian students had seized the embassy in Tehran, Iran, and held dozens of U.S. people hostage, as a part of Iran's revolution and protest against the U.S. puppet Shah of Iran regime which was being overthrown by the Islamic revolution at that time. I was chosen as our spokesperson and I did several newspaper and television interviews denouncing the racist concert where the KKK was hired to serve in full white sheet regalia as turnstile security for the event. Even today, no one is going to call Fresno, California, U.S., a hotbed of progressive ideas so you can just imagine what it was like almost 40 years ago. I was bombarded with racist threats, notes on my door, and my car. I was stopped on the streets there often and constantly harassed and threatened. I had to physically defend myself several times during that period. And even though I had to eventually move out of my apartment and seek refuge from some of my African comrades with a huge assist from the Indigenous community surrounding MECHA, the response from the white supremacists was the expectation. That if you received a threat, the people who issued it would follow through. And, people who I eventually encountered on a physical level made it quite clear to me that they were the ones who had made the threat(s) once we made physical contact. Besides that, as disgraceful and stupid as these people and their ideas were, I at least respected the fact that they believed themselves and they were honest about it. They were still cowards, as they have always been, but if they could get you outnumbered, they loved to preach about how inferior to them we were. Today, these weak willed racists won't even admit that they are racist scum. They try to couch their racism in this newly evolved belief that its white people who are being oppressed because there's African History Month and they don't have a designated month for white people. I was snickering about this yesterday when I checked out of a hotel that had a monument in the lobby commemorating the people who had "built up this region." These were of course Europeans who came here and invaded, stole, robbed, and murdered, but capitalist history dismisses all of that truth and calls them pioneers. We all know these types of lying displays of history are everywhere in these settler colonies, thus eliminating the stupid argument that white people need their own designated history month. Yet, these people today continue to make that claim. And, when they make it, if you are able to respond with logic and history, they don't even have a legible response lined up. This is overwhelmingly disappointing. I mean, all you have to do to even quiet these people down is to challenge them on their intellectual knowledge of institutional racism. Just name a few books and accuse them of never reading anything. Since your accusation about their lack of reading is always accurate, the air leaks out of their balloons faster than it takes for a cop to pull a gun on a brown person. Two years ago, I had one white man challenge me on line about an article I wrote on Che Guevara. He told me he was going to come and see me. I told him the schedule of my appearances is always on the very site he was looking at with my blog. To this idiots credit, he did show up at my next workshop, but he didn't even have the courage to reveal himself to me. In fact, the only reason I knew he was there was because some of the local organizers who had usually been the targets of his harassment notified me who he was. Once I knew that, I tailored my entire presentation to weave in the contributions of Commandante Guevara and I took special note to shred the lies the imperialist media has told about Guevara and the Cuban revolution that this man (as well as many so-called progressive and revolutionary white people) are operating under. After the event, I got absolutely nothing from this man who would "come to see me."
This cowardly element is not new. Racists have always been that way. What's new is they used to at least have some level of honesty about their hatred. Now, they try to rationalize their racist beliefs with false intellectualism. And, that's sad for them because they are clearly demonstrating that intellectualism is not their strong point. Based on the ignorant statements they regularly make, and you can gauge this from the ignorant redneck from the rural Southern U.S. all the way up to the top levels of imperialist governments, these people haven't read one account of analytical history on anything. This idiot Richard Spencer, the so-called "leader" of the so-called "alt-right" is a clear example here. Even an intellectual lightweight like Roland Martin was able to trip up this racist idiot with simple historical points about the civil war and the role of Africans during that period. This white men knew nothing about this, yet his entire position is built on his ignorant arguments from that period. And, the fact he is raking in cash hand over foot to expound on his stupidity while those of us who can present strong and analytical arguments about what's wrong and what must be done cannot even motivate anyone to pay us gas money to come and present our arguments is a prime example of what white supremacy and privilege looks like. And, so much for so-called white allies calling for people to listen to people of color. I guess they only mean that when they don't actually have to do anything to ensure we are listened to. But, I digress.
If you are in a relationship with someone and you call them out on something and they can't produce a cogent argument to defend themselves so they start making up things, we all know that people do that when they are desperate. As it relates to white supremacists today, they exhibit that level of desperation all day, everyday. As they should. Now, for those of you who aren't actively involved in liberation work (that means you aren't doing organizational work because you can't do this work as an individual). Many of you folks may have a hard time understanding the logic of this piece, but my soldiers who are doing serious organizational battle with other comrades everyday know what I'm saying here. With the method in which they are advancing their weak position, these racists are demonstrating to us everyday that they are losing confidence in their abilities to maintain and support this oppressive system they love so much. If you are doing this work against them, you should see this as a clear sign of the impact you are having on the stability of their backward system. You should recognize that as a victory. Let's keep it up. We've practically got these fools writing fictional documentaries of history to attempt to uphold their mountains of lies. What this should show you is its just a matter of time before it all comes tumbling down.