THANK YOU

THANK YOU TO EVERYONE IN THE CLASS!  FOR ALL YOUR COMMENTS, AND ESPECIALLY FOR LISTENING TO MY (sometimes incessant) COMMENTS DURING CLASS DISCUSSIONS.  HAVE A GREAT SUMMER!  MIKE

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MALCOLM X QUESTIONS

1. Keeping X’s advice in mind, how would you assess the changes in his attitudes towards white people over the course of his entire life.  BECAUSE OF WHAT HAPPENED TO HIS FATHER (and his fathers pro-Garvey teachings), HE DID NOT HAVE OVERLY FRIENDLY FEELINGS TOWARD WHITES.  HIS TREATMENT BY WHITES AS A MASCOT/PET WHILE IN A FOSTER HOME CONFIRMED THOSE FEELINGS.  ALTHOUGH HE IMMITATED WHITE MEN WITH HIS ‘CONK’ HAIR, HE WAS MORE OR LESS THUMBING HIS NOSE AT WHITES (especially dating a white girl – Sophia) WHILE IN PRISON, HE WAS ‘EDUCATED’ BY REGINALD ABOUT THE WHITE MAN AS SATAN.  HE CONTINUED TO HAVE ANGRY FEELINGS TOWARD WHITE PEOPLE UNTIL HIS PILGIMAGE TO MECCA.  THERE HE SAW ALL MEN, WHITE AND BLACK AS BROTHERS IN ISLAM. 

2. How would you assess the changes in his attitudes toward other African Americans over the course of his entire life?  DEPENDING ON THEIR ATTITUDE TOWARDS THEMSELVES, SELF-ASSURED AND CONFIDENT IN THEIR ‘BLACKNESS’ OR WHAT HE PERCIEVED AS ‘UNCLE TOMS’ WHO INGRATIATED THEMSELVES TO WHITES IN ORDER TO FURTHER THEIR COMFORT IN A WHITE WORLD, HIS ATITUDE DID NOT CHANGE MUCH.

3. Was Malcolm X a racist? [You are allowed to pick any answer you like, as long as you cite evidence from the book to back it up.]  THIS IS OBVIOUSLY A ‘LOADED’ QUESTION.  EVERY CONVERSATION AND STATEMENT IN CLASS SUGGESTS WHAT YOU BELIEVE, THAT MALCOLM X  WAS A NATIONALIST, NOT A RACIST.  HOWEVER, IF GUILT IN THE WORDS YOU SPEAK, AND THE THOUGHTS AND DEEDS PRESENTED, REVEALS WHAT IS IN YOUR HEART, EVEN TEMPORARILY, THEN EVEN MALCOLM X CONSIDERED HIMSELF A RACIST!  BECAUSE HE FELT GUILT OVER A SEEMINGLY INNOCUOUS STATEMENT, “NOTHING”  WHEN THAT YOUNG WHITE GIRL WANTED TO KNOW IF MALCOLM X BELIEVED THERE WERE ANY GOOD WHITE PEOPLE, MALCOLM STATED,  “PEOPLE’S DEEDS I BELIEVE IN MISS-NOT THEIR WORDS” (pg.292) THE YOUNG GIRL ASKED WHAT SHE COULD DO, NOT SAY OR EXPLAIN, SHE WANTED TO DO SOMETHING TO JUSTIFY HER BELIEF THAT NOT ALL WHITES WERE ‘DEVILS’ AS MALCOLM HAD STATED BEFORE (pg. 271, even if collectivly) MALCOLM X SHOWED HIS ‘RACISM’  (PS Malcolm had talked frequently in prison with’Reginald’, who believed “The white man is the devil” (pg.162)

3.(A) ASKING A GROUP OF WHITE/HISPANIC (or at least all non-black/African-American) MIDDLE-CLASS EDUCATORS TO DETERMINE WEATHER OR NOT A SELF-IDENTIFIED BLACK NATIONALIST IS A RACIST IS AN INTERESTING QUESTION!  LOGICALLY, ANYONE PROMOTING HIS ‘RACE’, EVEN IF THERE WAS NO EVIDENCE OF DENOUNCING ANOTHER ‘RACE’, WOULD BE CONSIDERED, AT LEAST IN SOME WAY, A ‘RACIST!  HOWEVER, THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN WHITE AMERICANS AND AFRICAN-AMERICANS IS UNIQUE.  THE GUILT FELT BY MANY WHITES, AND THE VICTIMIZATION FELT BY AFRICAN-AMERICANS CREATES A DYNAMIC THAT DEFIES AND AT THE SAME TIME CONFORMS TO LOGIC.  IF WE ARE TO VIEW MALCOLM X’S ENTIRE LIFE, ESPECIALLY HIS YEARS IN PRISON AND BEFORE HIS PILGRIMAGE TO MECCA, IT WOULD SEEM INCONCIEVABLE THAT AN EDUCATED PERSON (white/non-black) WOULD NOT CONSIDER HIM A RACIST.  HOWEVER, BECAUSE OF THE UNIQUE DYNAMIC DISCUSSED EARLIER, AND AFTER EVERYTHING WRITTEN ABOUT HIM, AND MOST NOTEABLY THE LAST YEARS OF HIS LIFE, GUILT(& logic?) WOULD SUSPEND ANY AND ALL THOUGHT OF JUDGING HIM A RACIST.

PS 1. Think about it this way, if a white person sees a young black male late at night and secretly fears that they’re about to get mugged (even though they’re not) is that racism or prudence? Now imagine a white kid growing up in the Forties fearing whites the same way.  Is that racism?  YES/NO/MAYBE…WHAT IF THE PERSON WAS OLD AND…AS FOR THE WHITE KID…IF  THE YOUNG WHITE BOY WAS JEWISH AND THE PERSON ON THAT STREET IS A BIG GERMAN SINGING A NAZI TUNE?

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KING #2

In regards to Dr. King’s ideology, if one would evaluate the two speeches and his letter chronologically, he seems to be moderate in both the “Letter from Birmingham City Jail” and the  “I Have a Dream” speech.  Both used similar rhetoric that seemed to be his staple, quotes or allusions from The Declaration of Independence, “This note was the promise that all men, yes, black men as well as white men, would be guaranteed the unalienable rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” (217) Followed by passages from the Bible or, in this case, a Negro spiritual (Free at last, pg.220).  By the time 1968 rolls around, King is tired and frustrated with the lack of accomplishment in the movement, and his despair/anger at the Johnson administrations continued escalation of the Vietnam War that is draining needed funds away from the war on poverty(ie; the civil rights movement agenda for equality and economic upgrade).  King’s rhetoric is more radical (liberal?) than his speeches five years earlier.  He calls for fair treatment, or else “our agenda calls for withdrawing economic support from you.”(pg.283)  Dr. King now sounds more like Malcolm X.

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KING POST #1

Ch.16: The current crisis in race relations  Pgs.85-90

According to Dr. Martin Luther King, African-Americans need to re-evaluate how they feel about themselves.  King writes that, “The system of slavery and segregation caused many Negros to feel that perhaps they were inferior.  This is the ultimate tragedy of segregation. It not only harms one physically, but it injures one spiritually. It scars the soul and distorts the personality. It inflicts the segregator with a false sense of superiority while inflicting the segregated with a false sense of inferiority” (p. 85). King lists six elements of his philosophy that are expected to bring about the desired result of equality and freedom for the African-American.  King is ever the Baptist minister, using the ideas/theories of Jesus Christ to affirm his decision in non-violent protest, faith in Jesus will keep the resisters going.       1. Struggle; violence never solves problems “it merely creates new and more complicated ones.” Pg.86  2.non-violence; Christianity in action, and protest against the evil, not the person. The method is passive physically, but it is active spiritually;”it is nonaggressive physically, but dynamically aggressive spiritually.”(87)  3. Against the forces evil, not people.  Not between white & Negro, but “between justice and injustice”(87)  4. Internal violence… 5. Faith… 6. Moral dilemma( use of maladjusted=good)  The movement has now been under way for three years, and would continue to be a struggle until the finish.  The constant challenge would be the commitment to nonviolence.  The object was to direct the protest against the “forces of evil, rather than persons caught in the force.” (87)  This was an attempt to avoid an increase in hatred directed at the protestors.  King believes the forces of good, Jesus Christ and the ideas in the Bible will carry them through until success is achieved.  This article, written for a Christian publication, spells out very clearly King’s basic strategy for the Civil Rights Movement.  This pattern of utilizing inspiration from the Bible, moral suasion based on the teachings of Christ , and the constant idea of nonviolence to push forward the goals of freedom and equality will be repeated again and again.  The legitimacy of the movement using passages from the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution will also be part of his design in future speeches and articles.

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KANSAS/RELIGION & THE GOP

APRIL, 2011   “THE CHRISTIAN RIGHT’S PARTISAN COMMITMENT”   BY:DANIEL WILLIAMS

“What was new in the 1980’s was not evangelicals’ interest in politics, but rather a partisan alliance between the GOP and evangelical leaders.  After 1980, conservative evangelicals became one of the Republican Party’s most loyal constituencies.  In turn, evangelicals commitment to the Republican Party gave them a degree of political influence that they had never previously enjoyed.”  (Article from Historically Speaking The Bulletin of the Historical Society)  THIS VERY INTERESTING ARTICLE TRACES THE COALITION BBETWEEN RELIGIOUS GROUPS AND THE GOP.  EVANGELICALS HAVE BEEN WITH THE REPUBLICANS SINCE THE KOREAN WAR AND BILLY GRAHAMS CHOICE, EISENHOWER, THEN SOLIDIFIED WITH THE ELECTION OF A “DANGEROUS CATHOLIC” IN 1960.  IN 1964, SECULARISM, NOT CATHOLICISM BECAME THE ENEMY.  LATER, CONSERVATIVE CATHOLICS AND EVANGELICALS FOUND THEMSELVES AS ALLIES AGAINST THE EVILS OF PORNOGRAPHY AND SEX EDUCATION, AND AFTER ROE V. WADE, ABORTION. ACCORDING TO WILLIAMS, “The Christian Right’s alliance with the Republican Party was the key to the movement’s political prominence, so even in the absence of substative legislative achievements, that relationship has remained intact.”  MAYBE KANSANS HAVE NOT BEEN BAMBOOZELD BY THE REPUBLICAN PARTY, BUT THEIR RELIGIOUS LEADERS!?

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CBS NEWS “RACISM” STORY

April 18, 2011 2:00 PM

Davenport, a Tea Party member and elected official of the County Republican party, sent an email to fellow party members in which Mr. Obama’s head is pasted on the body of a baby ape. The image also depicts two adult apes wearing human clothing – presumably referencing Mr. Obama’s parents. “Now you know why no birth certificate,” reads the accompanying text.

 Davenport later apologized to recipients of the email in the event that she had offended anyone with the image, and denied the implication that the depiction was racist.

 “I simply found it amusing regarding the character of Obama and all the questions surrounding his origin of birth,” she wrote in an email. “In no way did I even consider the fact he’s half black when I sent out the email.”

   “In fact, the thought never entered my mind until one or two other people tried to make this about race,” she added. “I received plenty of emails about [former president] George Bush that I didn’t particularly like yet there was no ‘cry’ in the media about them.”

   When contacted by a reporter about the incident, Davenport brushed off the incident.

 “Oh, come on!” she told the Weekly. “Everybody who knows me knows that I am not a racist. It was a joke. I have friends who are black. Besides, I only sent it to a few people-mostly people I didn’t think would be upset by it.” 

 NATURALLY, ONLY PEOPLE WHO THINK AND ACT MUCH LIKE HERSELF….MMM…RACISTS.  I LOVE THE “I HAVE FRIENDS WHO ARE BLACK” LINE, ISN’T THAT THE CLASSIC RETORT?!  ADDITIONALLY, MS.DAVENPORTS QUOTE, “I simply found it amusing regarding the character of Obama.”  THIS SIMPLE STATEMENT MADE ME THINK ABOUT DR.MARTIN LUTHER KING’S “I HAVE A DREAM” SPEECH, WHEN HE ELOQUENTLY STATES THAT “I have a dream my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by content of their character” (pg.219)  EVEN THOUGH WE HAVE AN AFRICAN-AMERICAN PRESIDENT, THE MOST POWERFUL AND (hopefully, or at least often in the past) THE MOST RESPECTED INDIVIDUAL IN OUR COUNTRY, FOR THE VAST MAJORITY OF PEOPLE TODAY, WHITE SEES BLACK, AND BLACK SEES WHITE.  THE “CONTENT OF OUR CHARACTER” IS NOT HOW WE ARE INITIALLY ‘JUDGED’.  RACE IS STILL THE PREVAILING FACTOR!

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TIME MAGAZINE

FIRST TO CLAIM TIME MAGAZINE 4/18 ISSUE “WHY WE’RE STILL FIGHTING THE CIVIL WAR.  THE ENDLESS BATTLE OVER THE WAR’S TRUE CAUSE (slavery) WOULD MAKE LINCOLN WEEP.  As Sugrue would contend, the battle continues!  MIKE

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