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Terror. Terrorist. Terrorism. Violence and intimidation…I meditate on these thoughts today. The names will be read, families will weep, prayers will be said and candles will be lit for the endless names of people of color who have been victimized under state sanctioned white supremacy yesterday, and today.
Oh… What did you think I was talking about? On this day 13 years ago, I think something happened that shocked the system. White privilege got a taste of what it feels like to be a person of color in America. Think back to that day with me. I know it is painful. Tears well up for you I am sure, and they should. Innocent people were attacked, murdered and or maimed, out of nowhere, through no fault of their own. For a moment America was scared, helpless, not sure where the attack came from, didn’t know when it would happen again, and was left brutalized and shellshocked.
Welcome to being black in America. Always. As evidenced through the history of lynchings, rape, murder, right up to the current day whilst shopping at Walmart, the axe is likely to drop on any black man at any moment, unprovoked, at will. America has a long history of setting black folk on fire for decades…
Dr. Gregory E. Brown has done research on the history of White America burning Blacks:
Between 1824 and 1951 there were over 300 events classified as “White Race Riots” in which entire white communities turned on and destroyed entire Black communities and murdered Blacks in mass. There were 26 such major events and hundreds of smaller ones in major cities and towns across the US during the summer of 1919 alone. This period has been tagged by historians as “The Red Summer of 1919”, because many of the events happened from May to October of that year and the blood of their victims literally painted the streets of America.
That year, tens of thousands of Black Americans were killed, maimed and 375,000 were made refugees, though never being given refugee status, all for economic, social, political and other reasons both real and imaginary. They even killed Blacks for recreation activities in rural areas in events called “Friday Night Boot Burnings” (the burning of a Black man at a stake or bonfire) or ” Picnic” (a slang term for pick a nigger for lynching} Lynching became a common weekly event to kill the monotony of rural life. It was not uncommon for whites to eat, drink, dance and sing church songs as they created a sadistic festive atmosphere, while their victims suffered from torture. White men, men women and children all participated in what was best described by Ida B. Wells-Barnett as ” An orgy of murder and mayhem.”
If that’s not Terrorism I don’t know what is.
Yet there is this wonder why so many of us are angry…
Think on it, were you angry on 9/11? Every day feels like that for people of color. We are constantly on alert, and always have been since we were stolen and brought here as a commodity.
Cry for those taken on 9/11 and cry and fight for ALL of us left.
Never Forget indeed…