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Friday, July 18, 2008

Bigotry, the 1st Amendment & dollars

It never ceases to amaze me as to the level of tolerance that African Americans possess for blatant daily acts of bigotry that is often perpetuated against them by the dominant white majority in their own country. Now don’t get me wrong, ever so often a fortunate elite disgruntled member of the black caste, aka Clarence Thomas my speak out when something is done personally towards them, but generally a deafening silence remains whether through fear or intimidation one never knows for shameful behaviors by conniving proponents of despicable behaviors towards them. A useful ploy for most of the characters is to hide behind the 1st Amendment and use the free speech shield argument in defense when challenged. To illustrate I’ll take the case of Doron Braunshtein, an Israeli native transplant and now an American T-shirt designer. Like the New Yorker magazine publishers and editors, Don Imus, Fox 5 and countless others prejudicial media freaks, this conniving entrepreneur too is grasping an opportunity to exploit, while denigrating African Americans for a buck. In this instance he is making a lucrative killing as it were, by selling T- shirts for $69 a pop with inscriptions like “Obama is my slave,” “Obama = Hitler”, “Jews Against Obama”,and “Who Kill Obama”. In his defense, he claims he does not like the Senator because he reminds him of Hitler, and not because he is allegedly Muslim or black. Most Americans do not see a future black President when they look at Obama, but a slave. I say, tell that to Obama white Kansas and Midwest ancestors. Only in ‘color blind America’- black and white equals black.
Ironically enough, the only reason we heard about this despicable piece of exploitation was because one of his many white customers was accosted and assaulted by four African American females for daring to wear one of his merchandise in public. This says a lot for America and freedom. I could not help but wonder what might have transpired had the situation been reversed and a black Senegalese vendor was pushing T shirts stating that Hitler was their hero for orchestrating the murder of millions of Jews. One could have clearly anticipated the swift response to his defense of political satire and 1st Amendments rights , as a Jewish and African American cop arrest him on directions possibly from the Mayor and have him on the next boat back to Africa.
As I have said, occasionally a bit of outrage occasionally takes place, but it is haphazard as best. There is a failure to understand that the behavior starts at the micro levels then expand to the macro to reach even global in reference to foreign policies. Often the defense comes from some of the most unlikely places. Let’s me just throw a few examples your way to gauge your reactions. Kathrina, Haitians boat people, hanging chads in Florida, millions of blacks’ racially motivated incarcerations, lost of rights to vote as a result of incarcerations, reordering of districts because of bolstering of prison populations, 800,000 Rwandans dead as the UN Security Council led by the US remains asleep, blatant acts of discriminations perpetuated against Ethiopian Jews in Israel by the dominant majority after they had fulfilled their political purpose of ensuring the American financial aid gravy train to Israel continues unabated, Professor Leonard Jefferies relegated to an empty shell at CUNY for preaching racial and ethnic pride, while Charles Murray of the Bell Curve fame was applauded for saying that blacks are genetically dumber than whites with overwhelming lower IQ’s. I hope that the picture is getting clearer for a few too weak or scared to stand up and be counted. It is the responsibility of all African Americans to stand up where ever they are to blatant bigotry, institutional racism, and similar discriminatory actions by individuals in the media, businesses, and general society or at the political realm. By first doing this at home, it gives them the legs and moral authority to fight and be counted at the global levels when similar acts are done to others across the Diaspora, especially where America is debating its national interest before taking action. Let’s not make the work of good folks like Marcus Garvey, Stokley Carmichael of Black Power fame, Malcrom X, Martin Luther King, and, Thorogood Marshall go in vain. Others have stood up is a united and economically vibrant Europe thriving Russia, and evolving Asia. The Daron Braunshtein’s of the world must be reminded that without the free sweat and blood of African Slaves, America would not eventually become the global power it is today. Remind him that many of the slaves ancestors helped liberate some of his ancestors from Hitler’s Europe encourage the creation of his homeland, and sacrificed millions of tax dollars years to ensure its survival. To be forewarned is to be forearmed I believe the saying goes.

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Uniondale New York, NY, United States
Speaking truth,as one major prerequisite, to concrete justice. A novel form of social advocacy.