Tag Archives: Bigotry

She’s in School Now: What Representative Mia Love Should Now Understand About Donald J. Trump and the Republican Party

The crux of the most recent public spate involving Donald J. Trump is found in the unfortunate reality that far too many people believe that they are special. It is this belief that leads them to then believe that they should therefore be afforded special treatment regardless of the quality of those seek to curry favor from.

At this present moment, Representative Mia Love, born of Haitian immigrant parents, is expressing shock and dismay that fellow Republican Donald J. Trump has simultaneously disrespected herself, her heritage, and cultural inheritance by referring to her land of origin as a “shithole.”

I am certain that Mia Love now understands that in the eyes of Donald J. Trump, she is NOT SPECIAL. Considering her seeming naïveté regarding this nation’s culture wars, it may be time for someone to inform the Utah Republican that Trump has much company in regards to hating Americans who are non-white or not wealthy.

When reviewing Love’s strident defense of her parents who hail from that “shithole” called Haiti, it became very clear that the Utah Republican does not understand that the hatred spewed by Trump and those who follow his life principles have nothing to do with those that they hate. So it matters little to them that Love’s parents, Mary and Jean Maxime Bourdeau,

Took on the responsibilities of everything that being a citizen comes with. They never took a thing from our federal government. They worked hard, paid taxes, and rose from nothing to take care of and provide opportunities for their children. They taught their children to do the same. That’s the American Dream. The president must apologize to both the American people and the nations he so wantonly maligned.

People like Love have convinced themselves that only if they were better citizens, more loyal to the nation, diligent about their lives, avoiding any and all appearances of stereotypical depictions of African-Americans that the reliable bigotry train will not make a scheduled stop at their doorstep. Such persons believe that bigotry will by-pass their lives if they avoid ghetto behavior such as:

  • Welfare dependency
  • A house of kids with a slew of ‘baby daddies’
  • An absence of educational achievement
  • Flawed values/priorities
  • Use of socially inappropriate language
  • Avoidance of inappropriate dress in public spaces

White bigots view individuals such as Love with what the great scholar W.E.B. Du Bois termed “amused contempt and pity” if for no other reason than their failure to understand that they have yet to understand that there is nothing they can do to either avoid or escape it.

If I was provided the opportunity to offer Representative Love one piece of advice, it would be the following. Please stop believing that the prejudice, discrimination, bigotry, and institutional racism that droves of African-Americans who fought for your right to become a citizen in this nation with equal protection rights were somehow flawed in either their efforts or character. They most certainly were not. They were courageous, valorous, diligent, and committed to forcing America to be the nation that it claimed to be. Yet, not even people that Jesus would term “salt of the earth people” were immune from the horrific politico-economic tyranny of hostile white elites whose sole priority was the pursuit of money and power ‘by any means necessary.’

Although many Americans are offended by Trump’s words and antics, I think that they are a much-needed cautionary tale for the beautiful white women from Norway that Trump welcomes, if for no other reason than an opportunity “to grab them by the p#$$%”, to those black and brown people escaping “shitholes”, who Trump believes add nothing to this nation, that this is what you are signing up for when you enter America.

One thing is for certain, in the minds of millions of people seeking entry into this nation, America remains a fabled land of unconscionable and unpredictable opportunities. Those hopes and dreams are not without merit. Consider for a moment that it is only in this nation that a person could,

  • Find the opportunity to be choked to death in public like Eric Garner by police officers.
  • Have the opportunity to be fondled by Donald J. Trump on a commercial airline flight like Jessica Leeds.
  • Have the opportunity to have your ass kicked by Donald J. Trump after a poor plastic surgery job like Ivana Trump.
  • Have the opportunity to be shot by a law enforcement officer at the age of 12 like Tamir Rice.
  • Have the opportunity to be disrespected by Donald J. Trump because you are a Haitian.

Yeah, this is the land of opportunity; enter at your own risk. I am quite certain that Representative Love has learned this lesson very well.

Dr. James Thomas Jones III

© Manhood, Race, & Culture, 2018

The Micro Aggressions that White America Never Witnesses

I have come to believe that the reason so many whites fail to understand the perspectives of African-Americans regarding racial matters is not attributable to any innate malice in their hearts. I fervently believe that the vast majority of whites are reasonable-minded individuals who honestly do not consider themselves to be in possession of any significant malice toward African-Americans. Experience has taught me that the genesis of what can be comfortably termed objectionable attitudes and behaviors regarding racial matters from the white community is a by-product of their operating with limited information regarding the many micro-aggressions that African-Americans deal with on a daily basis.

Make no mistake about it; American residential segregation prevents whites from having any understanding of the micro-aggressions that every African-American regardless of age, gender, educational accomplishments, political affiliation, or socioeconomic status will experience at some point. I offer the following incident as an example of the unfortunate reality that every African-Americans time to deal with white micro-aggression could be right around the corner. I now understand that it is these moments that not only ferment the hatred and distrust that so many African-Americans have for whites but also cause a widening of the racial divide as the vast majority of whites are seemingly oblivious to the occurrences.

A few days ago I was leaving a doctor’s appointment and heading to wash my car, an activity that I enjoy as it is not only physical but also provides me with moments of solitude to think about anything that is weighing heavy on my mind. As I made the left turn to enter the road where the car wash was located, I noticed that several cars behind me a white sports utility vehicle made the turn, I thought nothing of this matter. However, within the next sixty seconds, it became apparent to me that this SUV, which was most certainly a law enforcement vehicle was weaving in and out of traffic in a desperate pursuit to get behind me. Just as I expected, the law enforcement officer not only followed me for the next half-mile but also would periodically accelerate his vehicle to within inches of my rear bumper. I did my best to ignore these juvenile antics and made the right turn into my desired location and found an empty bay to wash my vehicle. To my shock, the law enforcement vehicle followed me into the car wash. I instantly decided to ignore this ‘officer of the law’ and proceeded to put quarters into the machine, however, before the last quarter dropping, this fool rolled down his window and said, “I thought that you were someone else that we have been pursuing. You better be careful out here.”

Make no mistake about it; I took his comments as both a veiled threat and warning regarding the precarious nature of being a black man in America. As someone who continually writes about American racial matters, I long ago understood that I am inextricably tied to my brothers at every moment of the day. The animosity undergirding the racial bias and blind hatred that serves as the standard modus operandi for so many, certainly not all, law enforcement officers makes the fact that I am a gainfully employed, educated black man who has earned four degrees from a leading university, as well as a loving father and husband non-considerations. All that they see, all that they consider is the fact that I am an African-American male that they have chosen to place within their crosshairs. And as an African-American male, I will tell you that once an officer has selected you, your singular goal is to survive the encounter ‘by any means necessary.’

Despite the propensity of non-blacks to believe that we are crying wolf when complaining about the actions and treatment that we receive at the hand of law enforcement officers and officials, the truth of the matter is that they will never fully understand the terror and uncertainty that flows from even the most “routine” interaction with law enforcement officers. Ironically, it is these moments of mundane conflict, these microaggressions so to speak, that fuel the natural hatred that black men feel for law enforcement officers and extend the average white citizens skepticism regarding the dire nature of American race relations. If only they could spend a moment in our shoes, their eyes would be opened to a harsh new reality that they have failed to recognize although it has been occurring around them the entire time.

Dr. James Thomas Jones III

How The Process of Finding a Prom Date Reveals so much about American Racial Matters

Although we rarely think of it this way, the successful navigation of life is either bolstered or hindered by one’s understanding of history. It is the understanding of what has come before that prepares us for what is to come. Without the benefit of a reasonable understanding of history, we are doomed to not only repeat the mistakes of the past but also sure to suffer mightily from our ignorance.

There is no doubt that all hopes of navigating the present for young African-Americans hinges upon their understanding of Race. Despite whites desperate desire to avoid racial matters, the truth of the matter is that the socially constructed variable has harmed persons of African descent from the moment they arrived in the Jamestown colony. Although there are few things that I find shocking, I must admit that the revelation of there being a sizable population of young African-Americans who de-emphasize, if not totally ignore the historic roots and contemporary manifestation of the divisive ‘color line’ that DuBois lamented in his classic tome The Souls of Black Folk has thrown my mind into a chaotic phase. Put simply; many African-American youths are devoid of any understanding of American racial dynamics; in fact, they are so oblivious to racial matters that they are no longer offended by its presence.

As you well know, we are approaching the end of another school year. It is at this moment that American high school students will make what amounts to one of the most important decisions of their young lives; whom will they accompany to the prom. We should not find it surprising that the ugly specter of Race has repeatedly reared its ugly head during this annual event.

The unusual manner in which Race has impacted this rites-of-passage for American high school students is not found in the traditional segregating of black and white students, rather the degrading way that white male students are requesting the company of black female students. Consider the following overtures made by white male students to black female students. One white male made his intentions known by spelling it out with Kool-Aid packets, a drink that has historically been associated with poor blacks. Another white male made his desires for a date with an African-American female student known via the offering of Kentucky Fried Chicken and watermelon.

Now I will tell you that I am most certainly not surprised by the crass and socially inappropriate overtures made by white males toward black females, after all, such events have historically been a staple of American social relations. However, I was shocked to learn that the African-American females approached with such inappropriate overtures agreed to accompany their bigoted suitors to the prom. Such an occurrence raises a host of queries regarding these young ladies, the community that raised them, as well as the parental guidance that they received regarding both the history of American racial matters and their self-worth.

If the decision-making of the alluded to black female students is an accurate barometer of the next generation of African-Americans porous understanding of racial matters, we are most certainly in dire straits. I am literally at a loss for words regarding the pervasive illiteracy regarding racial bias that has somehow enveloped many young African-Americans.

Unfortunately, it appears that a developing narrative that calls for African-Americans to ignore prejudice, discrimination, bigotry, and racism has mesmerized many of our youth and robbed them of their innate ability to recognize and resist racial bias whenever it appears. If the alluded to young ladies decision is any indicator, many of our youth will neither understand nor resist racial bias even when it is personally delivered to them in a bucket of fried chicken and a sign that says “I prefer dark meat” with watermelon as the dessert, and Kool-Aid as the beverage to wash it all down.

We are living in a scary moment my friend, very scary.

Dr. James Thomas Jones III

 

Why I Am Not Shocked, but Definitely Saddened by the Recent Occurrences of Racism on THE Ohio State University Campus

If you were to ask any student that I have taught over the past 13 years at Prairie View A & M University, they will tell you ohio-state-universityunequivocally that I am extremely proud to be a four-time graduate of THE OHIO STATE UNIVERSITY. My experiences at that incredible place are a crucial aspect of who I am at this present moment.

It was on THE Ohio State University campus that I grew from a somewhat reckless young man to a responsible adult male who learned, often via trial-and-error, important life lessons that govern how I view the world and choose to live my life. I am quite simply a ‘Buckeye’.

Considering my close association with THE Ohio State University, I am quite certain that you can understand how disturbing it was to read a communication from a former professor detailing horrific occurrences of prejudiced behavior aimed at “Muslim, Black, Latino, White, LGBT, and Asian students. They have endured threats, physical assault and intimidation, jeers, and a range of indignities. Even in their classrooms.”

The communication went further to relate the following shocking event.

A Black female student was actually called the N word in her class yesterday, and no one–not even the professor–acknowledged it. After expressing a point in class, a White student responded to her by sayingit’s n—ers like you that are the problem in this country.And the professor said nothing.

In light of these horrific incidents, there is a part of me that unconditionally agrees with one frightened student’s statement of “this is not my campus anymore.”

As much as I would like to form a united front with the current students in regards to their collective angst, shock, and bewilderment ohio-state-university-7regarding these terrible things occurring on what many consider the hallowed grounds of THE Ohio State University, to do so would be a partial truth and therefore a lie. I agree with a segment of reasonable people that it is truly tragic that such things have occurred at an institution of higher learning; however, I am neither surprised nor shocked because similar events occurred during my lengthy tenure and association with that beloved campus.

My exposure to racial animus on THE Ohio State University campus began the moment that I moved into Park Hall, my dormitory, when two students were in the throes of a horrific fight behind the white student allegedly calling the African-American student, the ‘N-word’, later that year, someone ripped my best friend’s Black History poster depicting the ‘Final Supper’ of his door and scribbled the ‘N-word’ in the spot that it previously hung, and as a bourgeoning revolutionary majoring in ‘Black Studies’ and American Race relations, I received the ultimate early birthday gift when the L.A. riots occurred April 29, 1992, the day before my birthday.

Although Race was never an ‘unspeakable unspoken’ topic on THE Ohio State University campus, it usually was reserved for private buckeye-football-2moments when you were not before mixed-company at the Frank W. Hale Black Cultural Center. However on the night of April 29th, 1992, the dorm room, and the spaces around it, that I shared with Pete Jirles, my white roommate who is also one of the finest people I met during my collegiate years, became the epicenter for a robust inter-racial no-holds barred discussion over America’s most stubborn social cancer, Race. Many of us fervently attempted to express our feeble understanding of the history and present role of Race on not only the campus, but also the entire nation until we were not only exhausted, but also the sun began peeking over the horizon. Now I am not certain of what we actually solved during that impromptu meeting, however, one thing is for certain, no one involved in that discussion walked on egg shells regarding the issue of Race, the Rodney King verdict, or the L.A. riot for the sparse time that we had left during that ‘quarter’ of study.

That is THE Ohio State University that I remember, a place where students dialogued, discussed, argued, and challenged one another regarding important societal topics, and I seriously hope that it will return once again after the shock and subsequent fury on both sides of the aisle surrounding the recent Presidential election subsides. Make no mistake about it, THE Ohio State University is most certainly not a ‘perfect place’ however, it is ‘a little slice of heaven’ for those flawed individuals who were privileged enough to experience it.

Anyways, ALL OSU alumni know the truth about this magical club that we are most fortunate to belong to, that undeniable truth is that, “there are only two kinds of people in the world, those who are and those who want to be BUCKEYES.”

O-H

Dr. James Thomas Jones III

© Manhood, Race and Culture, 2016

ANGER IN THE NATION: “Hello, My Name Is America and I Am Addicted to Racial Hatred”

“You know, nowadays it.. seems like there’s a lot of..
Bad things going on and.. I guess a lot of it..
From the way I see it.. seems to still stem from..
Lack of feelings on our parts, it’s..
And how we relate or communicate with our..
Fellow brothers and sisters”

Considering the immediate increase in public displays of racially tinged graffiti that have appeared in places as diverse as the TRUMP 9bathroom doors of American schools to the walls of city buildings there is no disputing that the current perspective of a wide-swath of Americans regarding the historically divisive issue of Race is a toxic brew of unbridled anger and unadulterated hatred.

Although I would like to attribute the alluded to ‘up-tick’ in racial animosity to Trump’s victory, the truth of the matter is that the recent election results can only be credited with providing bigoted Americans permission to publicly display the contents of their unclean hearts and minds, make no mistake about it, the anger and hatred in the hearts of many whites is neither a recent acquisition nor has it been dormant; at best it resembles a percolating steaming coffee pot.

Even a cursory examination of American history indicates that there have been segments of the white community that have been groomed by previous generations to hate persons of African descent for no other reason than their skin color; historically speaking, it was common to hear whites discuss ‘skin color’ as if it were the result of an unceasing ancient Biblical curse.

When one considers the entirety of this nation’s sordid history on racial matters, it is reasonable to state that it is relatively rare to find whites who were not in possession of at least some portion of prejudiced thought; even this nation’s much-ballyhooed abolitionists may have agitated for the demise of ‘the peculiar institution’, however, such efforts should never be equated with a belief in or push for racial equality.

One thing that is certain, Trump’s victory is being processed as a significant cue from many, most certainly not all, white Americans to TRUMP 3unleash the legion of demonic agents that have swirled around in their spirits seeking a path of escape for far too long. We must remember that all people derive their cues regarding what is, and conversely what isn’t, permissible in public dialogues from their national leadership.

These matters have left me unsurprised at the post-Trump victory increase of racial hatred being articulated in public spaces.

Truthfully, it is particularly disconcerting to have individuals, many of whom have tangible power in this nation, whose daunting racial views are akin to rabid dogs on an unreliable leash now feeling as if they have been given permission to ‘let the dogs loose’ on all that disagree with their illogical political views and uneducated foreign policy TRUMP 7perspective that ‘white military and economic might always means right’. However, that is the America that we live in today; actually, it is the America that we have always existed in, it’s just that we were either too naïve or too cowardly to publicly admit it. And as we all know, the first step to getting help with any addiction is admitting that you have a problem. And rest assured that America is addicted to prejudice, discrimination, and racism.

So I will take this moment to boldly step forward and speak for the entire nation. “Hello, my name is America, and I have a problem.”

Dr. James Thomas Jones III

©  Manhood, Race and Culture, 2016