1619 it ain’t over... No fat Lady Singing.
“The first documented Africans arrived in the English colony of Virginia. The group, recorded upon arrival as 20 and odd Negroes. “(Taken from S. Rept. 114-341 400 years of African-American history commission act. this was ordered and printed September 6, 2016)
August 1619, would start a 400 year Holocaust of African American people. A holocaust is defined as distraction or slaughter on a mass scale especially that cause by fire and in most recent history, it has been used to refer to the mass extinguishment of Jewish people by the Nazis from 1941 to 1945. But I counter that African Americans have been in a 400 year Holocaust with continued brutalization, terror, and slavery even after the Emancipation Proclamation and we are still seeing the trauma of the mismanaged Reconstruction with the establishment and reign of the Klan and the lynchings that defined an era.
There continues to be mass incarceration of an entire generation of African Americans in this country. There has been torture at the hands of prison guards in places like Rikers. Medical experimentation in the Tuskegee project in which hundreds of young African American men were withheld life saving treatment of syphilis comes to mind. We are all survivors of these collective tragedies and we all have posttraumatic stress disorder that we have to address.
What is going on in the border now is just a pattern of behavior exhibited by White Americans from the time that first African stepped foot on our soil in Virginia to now. The current administration and several like wise individuals with or without hoods will stir up this misplaced zeal for white privilege as a means to get votes, to mask other political shenanigans to take away women’s rights to control what happens to their own bodies, to the dismantlement of Obamacare, to the mass defunding of scholarships to needy students in Alaska, and defund the 9/11 fund. What is going on at the border as we speak is a simply a pattern of behavior that has existed in this country for the last 400 years but they've expanded it to include all black and brown people. And they do it heartlessly carelessly and they bury it in political rhetoric so we won't see the truth.
We should not over emphasize the year 1619 because this is one of the most talked and ingrained dates of history fact in this country. However there were Africans in the colonies years prior to it and there may have been Africans the servant class even present in the Americas in the West Indies and in particular Bermuda at the time. By focusing on this one day I don't want to completely overemphasize the importance by distorting other glaring issues that we have to address but I point to it simply to say for we have come far but not far enough. It's taken us 400 years to get to where we are, give or take a couple of decades.
But there's more work to do because as the political rhetoric goes up, the shenanigans that are happening in the back room continue to go up with the expansion of private supervision of lessen the travesty that was the Jewish Holocaust nor the Japanese interment these Wholding facilities for migrants which are little more than the concentration camps that we saw in Nazi Germany and during the Japanese Interment. I don't want to demean or belittle to transgressions and the memories of these atrocities will continue to live on in the memory of the survivors but I mention these as a precautionary tale of the work that needs to be done beyond the 2016 legislative history of the bill to commemorate the 400 years of African-Americans it is a good start but we have to change in the collective psyche of a country that still has so much work to be done from the overhaul of our justice system overhaul of our incarceration in prison systems how we treat those immigrants that make us a country where is the Ellis Island for those of the dark black and brown persuasion? Certainly not in those holding pens in South Texas. And I point out those things and the recent mass shootings as a means to that we need to protect all of our citizens and all of our visitors. We can't do that with hate speech. We have to dig deeper and with sincerity help those and protect everyone that wishes to be here in these United States.