Monday, June 1, 2020

Musings in a Time of Crisis XXIV

. . . with truth absent, hypocrisy and myth have flourished. . . .
Now hypocrisy can be exposed; myth dispelled.
~ Look, January 1956

. . . this town is a form of silence . . . .
~ Jake Adam York, "Tape Loop" in Abide

No lie can live forever.
~ Martin Luther King Jr.

. . . I can still sing we shall overcome. . . .
~ Martin Luther King Jr.


Beginning to End

It did not begin with George Floyd or Ahmaud Arbery.

Breonna Taylor or Christian Cooper.

It did not begin with Philando Castile or Michael Brown.

It's not just Maurice Stallard and Vickie Lee Jones.

It's more than the Greensboro and Orangeburg Massacres.

It's in addition to the Catcher 'Race Riot' and Rosewood.

Tulsa and Ocoee. Bogalusa and Slocum.

Ludlow and Springfield.

Polk County and Colfax.

Opelousas. Camilla. Memphis in the 1800s.

It did not begin with Rodney King.

Nor with Medgar Evers.

Nor with four little schoolgirls in Birmingham.

It was not because of Emmett Till.

Willie Edwards Jr. or John Earl Reese.

John Lee or James Knox. Mack Charles Parker.

Bunk Richardson. Ell Persons.

All the persons unknown.

All the persons unnamed.

The ones we never helped.

Guineamen: Brookes. Clotilda. Hannibal. Jesus of Lubeck.

Slave patrols. Black codes.

Neo-Nazis. Ku Klux Klan. Jim Crow.

Underground railroad.

Freedom struggle.

Civil rights.

Chains and whips and hanging trees. Neck collars and lynchings.

Water cannons, German Shepherds, Billy clubs, bombings.

Rubber bullets, concussion bombs, tear gas.

FBI in tactical gear, National Guard.

Weaponized squad cars.

Racial profiling.

Extrajudicial executions.

Police brutality.

Fatal force.

Name a name. Name a place. Ask the date. Calculate the loss.

Name the thing no one utters.

Call it what you will.

It has to end with us.


The January 1956 issue of Look magazine contained the confessions to the 1955 murder of Emmett Till by J.W. Milam and Roy Brant; their trial concluded with a verdict of "not guilty." 

Both Martin Luther King Jr. quotes come from a March 14, 1968, speech by King at Grosse Pointe High School.

According to Wikipedia, the large cargo ships used to traffic slaves were called "Guineamen" because the slave trade operated along the Guinea coast of West Africa.

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