Notes from the Riverside
Obama to Trump: Reconstruction Progress to Backlash
What if you were born to live in these times, in this place? To be a force for calm, strength, wisdom, humor, even to sing and pray in the face of state sponsored terror, though it might mean your death? I’m talking about the experience of people of color in North, Central, and South America, including Hawaii. I could also be talking about South Africa, and numerous White Supremacist regimes America has sponsored because of profit. If the last eight years of a Black Presidential Administration have demonstrated, the basic structures supporting White Supremacy have never been dismantled, or seriously disrupted.
I liken them to the standard chessboard in which white makes the rules, moves first, knows the hidden legal moves, and the ways to win by cheating, if you don’t know the rules or the history. Progress will always be followed by Backlash. Backlash leads to Mandela, Gandhi, Martin Luther King, the Panthers, Black Lives Matter, ActUp, Standing Rock, Wellbriety, and a host of others. The movement which brought Obama to power, because of the backwardness of Bush, may have diversified the color of the pieces on the board, but didn’t change the structure or rules of the game, and its underlying assumptions.