There is a strain of American who really, really, really objects …
… to the idea that black people can come up with anything original on their own, anything important on their own, or indeed, anything they can rightfully call their own.
It’s been around for a long time, this strain. This curse. This disease. We fought a particularly nasty war with it a century and a half ago, you might recall. And how could the institution of slavery have been justified in the first place without the dominant attitude among the slave owners being … “Them neeee-groes ain’t really peoples like we’s is.” … meaning, “them neeee-groes” were incapable of being educated, of loving their children, of all independent thought, moral character or self-determination.
That war only made the Americans who held such attitudes more bitter, meaner, more vicious and vindictive. And on whom did they take out their spite?
Why, the freed slaves, of course. The same people who had been tortured and debased, kept powerless for scores of years were naturally the most vulnerable, least organized humans around, which made them the ideal victim for a social structure constructed on the idea there must be victims, and there must be victors, with little in-between.
And as we know, these “victors” couldn’t win a straight-up war, so they went skulking about the bayous and backwoods and post-bellum ruins in that way petulant inbreds are prone to do, denying the black people things free American’s had grown to count on: decent educations, reasonable safety and security, the vote. There were even clubs of these petulant inbreds who dressed up like spooks in the night and murdered those black men and women who dared to be too assertive.
But black men and women refused to stop being assertive, and by 100 years later, they were on the verge of full citizenship. They were demanding their children get better educations, demanding that their security and safety be taken as seriously as anyone else’s, and demanding they be allowed to vote—in spite of the persistent and pernicious argument from latter-day petulant inbreds that blacks were not yet capable of being responsible citizens.
When the U.S. government itself finally stepped up for black people in mid-century, the descendants of the petulant inbreds went streaming like fleas from one yellow dog to another—from the Democrat party to the Republican—largely so they wouldn’t have to belong to any organization that would show respect for black people.
To this day, decades after the descendants of slaves have shown by the millions that they are just as capable as any one of all sorts of sophisticated and responsible behavior—from virtuoso musicality and singing opera and dancing ballet to building bridges and flying airplanes and being generals, doctors, financial titans, poets, the President of this country and anything else you can name—there are those who resent it when black people dare to be assertive.
For instance, by insisting “Black Lives Matter.”
Would any of these pasty descendants of petulant inbreds have been so outraged had the slogan first appeared as “Redneck Lives Matter?” Or “NASCAR Driver Lives Matter?”
“Golfer Lives Matter?”
“Corporate CEO Lives Matter?”
No, we all know they wouldn’t be. But then, there is no pressing need for such a slogan from rednecks or golfers, NASCAR drivers or corporate CEOs, is there? That’s because, even though there may have been a redneck or two shot and killed by hair-trigger-fingered lawmen in recent times—perhaps an Idaho rancher who may been gunned down needlessly—there has been nothing … from any other demographic … not from any other identity, ethnic or otherwise … like the 194 black people who have died at the hands of law enforcement personnel, just since the beginning of 2016.
“Black Lives Matter” because it is black lives that are being lost. By the hundreds. Largely without justice or accountability or sense.
Still, there are so many who resent that black people are out on the streets, protesting that “Black Lives Matter,” and they have done their best to neutralize that message with watered-down or deceptive mimickery.
I.e.:”All Lives Matter,” to reinforce the attitude there is nothing special about black lives.
“Blue Lives Matter,” to imply that if it comes down to a cop choosing to take no chances, or a black man who may or may not be a threat, they’ll take the cop’s side, every day.
All of which tries so hard to ignore—or worse, to justify—the reality of what we see happening, week after week after week: Black men (and women) dying by the hands of police in ways that would not be tolerated were the victims not black.
It’s a relatively new trick, though, how these moral heirs of the original petulant inbreds are trying to turn the blacks’ words against them—to make those words sound selfish and arrogant, even exclusionary. We have to wonder what the Civil Rights struggle during the last century would have looked like had they thought of it earlier.
For instance, in response to Martin Luther King’s most famous and widely quoted words, they might have taken to protesting … “Hey, we all have dreams. What’s so special this guy’s dream?”
To that civil rights anthem, “Keep Your Eyes on the Prize” … “I suppose they think our eyes shouldn’t be on the prize, too.”
They might have rearranged “We Shall Not Be Moved” into … “We Shall Not Be Moved Every Bit as Good as They Shall Not Be Moved!”
Can we not imagine segregationists singing … “How many roads must a white man walk down, before you call him THE man?”
And then … “Why do they get away with overcoming, and we don’t?“
But, of course, they can’t come right out and tell us what’s really on their minds—has been for centuries, as a matter of fact, since the first slave was sold to the first slave owner—when they hear the call “Black Lives Matter” … “Not to us they don’t!”