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Monday, January 18, 2016

SCHOLASTIC'S HAPPY SLAVES, WHITE DENIAL, AND THE PERSISTENCE OF RACISM


BELIEVE IT OR NOT, 
THIS SCHOLASTIC BOOK  
ON THE HAPPINESS OF SLAVERY
WAS WRITTEN FOR PUBLICATION

LIKE YESTERDAY. 


IT IS FOR SMALL SCHOOL CHILDREN.



AND IT WAS PUBLISHED IN 2016






Read More:https://campbele.wordpress.com/2016/01/13/book-review-a-birthday-cake-for-george-washington/


And this is what JW White Person had to say about the book:  



"I get why people think these books are racist. What I don't get is why people are acting like people who were slaves were never happy, or never proud. People who are unhappy all the time tend to wind up DEAD. Humans struggle toward a full human experience even under the worst conditions. Because life is complicated."

You know she thought she was dropping patient and profound wisdom on the reactionary folk right? You know that, right?



(Sing-song voice) Sooo, this was my response: 



I'm sure Jews in the concentration camp had their happy moments. 


And I'm actually wondering if one Nazi and one Jew in a concentration camp didn't share a smoke one day and a smile and understand that it was just circumstances that brought them to where they were-- on opposite sides. 


There had to have been one odd couple that lasted for a 3 minute smoke during all of WWII. But the horror of genocide never left the Jewish person long enough for an entire children's book to be written about the happy times in the concentration camp. 


Nobody has written a book that makes an effort to show that life is sooo complicated that these WWII enemies as friends could be REPRESENTATIVE. 


Nobody has written a children's book where the Jewish person has his arms around the Nazi on his way into the shower. 


Nobody has written a book trying to make concentration camp life look like it was just complicated life, some good, some bad, some joy, some pain. But white racists in this country have been trying to depict the happy slave over and over and over again -- especially for their children


White racists trying to justify their parents, grandparents, great grandparents evil bullsh** do that....as if they think the evil is genetic. 


If you don't think these books are racist, you need to look in a mirror and see just how much racist superiority has been passed down to you-- not via DNA but via passive teaching every day of your life. 





I'll bet Dylann Roof's parents or grandparents or cousins are trying to figure out where he learned all that racism from-- not knowing it was them all along.

---------------

Generally speaking, I try not to rip white people a new one for white ignorance because I know they live in 95% white neighborhoods, telling one another how white great-great grandma and grandpa "just didn't know any better and how they were really good people....BUT that's just the way things were back then. Besides, they didn't actually own slaves themselves. (They just turned runaways in feeling really good about themselves when a foot got cut off for daring to try to run.)

I have deep knowledge of white ignorance after all these years on the planet. But I kinda lost it.

It happens.  



I bring all this up this in order to point out one thing: The Dylann Roofs and pillow-case-headed fools are not base of racism problem in this country.


Mr. and Mrs. J W White Person are the base of racism in this country. The are the roots, the trunk, and the leaves of racism in this country. They are damn near the entire tree.

The KKK, skin heads, and Dylann Roofs are a couple of bright red, dying leaves at the very top of the tree that you can't even see. That's all these overt racists are. Racism persists in this country because Mr. and Mrs. J W White Person won't look in the mirror.



Different groups of people of color have to come together if our outnumbering Mr. and Mrs J W White Person is going to mean one doggone thing in 2050 or 2060. Know why? The problem is not that Mr. and Mrs. J W White Person hate people of color, it is that they love themselves just the way they are.

Mr. and Mrs. White Person loved themselves the way they were in 1860, 1960, and they still do in 2016-- unacknowledged racism at varying levels but embraced tightly to the breast all the same.

Every now and again I get through to a white person and they can see that their joy over the progress their people have made each year from 1863 to now are minuscule yearly amounts of progress as compared to what one would expect from "good people" who live in a country that supposedly believe:

Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent a new nation, conceived in liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal....

Abraham Lincoln 

 

IT IS 2016. And this book was written in the last year or two. 
It got past proof readers, editors,  and advertisers. Do you know how many people had to have tacitly approved this book, how many levels of approval it passed through before it made it to market? 

Did white people really have the audacity to suggest racism might be close to over when President Obama was first elected? Really?



* * * * *
Dear White People,
If you're going to depict the slave that's happy because of being a house negro instead of the field negro or happy because of the massa's status  --as if that white status will rub off and penetrate black enslaved skin-- then at least do a Quentin Tarentino. Show a G-rated version of how being an internalized-racism suffering, Uncle-Ruckus-like person is a bad thing, then let Django shoot him dead by the end of the book. 

That's all we're asking of you. If you simply must hang on to your visions of the happy slave and put him in a children's book every now and again, make sure that happy slave gets suddenly dead by the end of the story.