Rarely do I find myself using the same quote to address two separate issues in thirty minutes. Unfortunately, I have been forced to reiterate the biblical phrase (Luke 23:34) “Father forgive them for they know not what they do” that Yeshua ben Yosef (Jesus Christ — The Messiah — Jesus the son of Joseph) uttered when asking his heavenly father for a measure of mercy for those perpetrating an unconscionable evil that they did not understand.
As I am confident that you can imagine, the initial time that I cited Luke 23:34 on this date was in a posting addressing Trump’s blatant contradictions regarding the Alt-Left and the fact that there are “good people” within their ranks.
My subsequent usage of “Father forgive them for they know not what they do” has been caused by a colossal misstep by the Entertainment Sports Network (ESPN). Although I have never participated in a fantasy sports league, it is apparent that it is that time of the year for NFL fans to draft their teams as evidenced by ESPN’s fantasy sports mega fest. Inexplicably, the decision-makers at ESPN put a special touch on this year’s coverage; they auctioned off New York Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. to a gallery of white sports enthusiasts.
Although this decision by ESPN in the wake of the Charlottesville terrorist attack and Trump’s angry retraction of a condemnation of the KKK, White Nationalists, and the Alt-Right, to hold what amounts to a modern-day ‘slave auction’ is bewildering.
If nothing else, the above incident once again proves that when it comes to blind spots, whites reign without a rival. Although I always fight against the urge to generalize, however, on this occasion it appears that I am on relatively safe terrain to indict whites who would fill a political spectrum stretching from Antifa to the Alt Right with the charge that they are suffering from a witches-brew of racial insensitivity, cultural blindness, and historical illiteracy. Such a context makes me say, woe to every “minority population” that is ruled by such a blind society. Reinforcement for this view is found in the fact that millions of whites watched this spectacle and apparently found nothing wrong with it as many of them considered the auction process exhilarating and entertaining enough to seek to replicate it during the construction of their fantasy leagues.
When whites wonder why Race still matters in this nation, never do they consider that it is their many interlocking illiteracies (cultural, social, political, and historical) that are to blame.
Although I am confident that the following will bother most readers, however, racial bias, white bigotry, prejudice, discrimination, and institutional racism is woven into the fabric of this nation and will never recede from its bosom; it’s in our blood as a nation. American bigotry has been a fixture for so long that it is unsettling to consider who we would be if we were not fighting each other in a desperate pursuit of survival.
When you think about it, if this nation were absent racial conflict, there would be no population known as “white.” The only reason that “whites” exist is the presence of an “other” population that causes a multi-ethnic group of Europeans (English, Irish, Polish, Italians, Russians, and Germans) to rally against persons of African-descent on a continual basis. If you doubt this assertion regarding the defining effect that the descendants of enslaved Africans have on the development of “whiteness,” please tell me where else in the world do you find “white people” on the face of the globe? Where do “white people” hail from? Where is “white” land? Whether they like it or not, they exist as “whites” because “blacks” are their historical rallying point.
My understanding of such matters allows me to not be upset by the Alt-Right, Trump, or even the imbeciles at ESPN who failed to recognize what should have been the obvious racial overtones associated with auctioning off an African-American athlete to a crowd of eager whites who were jumping out of their seats to purchase that big black buck.
As a social commentator and writer on racial matters, I rest particularly well at night because I realize that there will ALWAYS be something for me to write about.
However, I will tell you one thing that I have never been able to comprehend. How is it that in a nation that has been haunted by racial matters for four centuries that neither blacks nor whites have any real understanding of what led to either the rise or perpetuation of America’s most peculiar problem. I am confident that you agree that if they have no knowledge of the rise of racial conflict in America that there is no conceivable way that they will ever develop and execute a plan to eradicate it.
Dr. James Thomas Jones III