Some say America is experiencing a whitelash against black self-determination and power…that Trumpism would never be possible without the Presidency of Barack Obama.

The proverb states that until the lions have their own storytellers, the history of the hunt will glorify the hunter. The power of story, history and propaganda are demonstrated in films such as “Birth of a Nation,” which re-wrote the post-civil war story for Whites, especially White southerners, erasing defeat and hailing “martyrdom” while glorifying predatory violence against African-Americans.

The documentary “the 13th” by Ava Duvernay posits that “Birth of a Nation” predicted how White Supremacy, racism and (IN)justice would proceed in the United States.  Terror, violence and lynchings gave rise to a “Great Migration” of refugees fleeing terror in the South. 

Despite the genocidal campaign perpetrated against African-Americans in the United States, Black people were and remain criminalized.  The brilliance of the 1960s Civil Rights Movement was that it transformed “criminality” — protest, arrest — into moral, noble action — non-violent civil disobedience.  [Yes, sigh, Black and brown people continue to face criminality, mass incarceration, state-sanctioned violence and the injustices of a political system which continues to disenfranchise them.] And…

Today’s leader-full Movement for Black Lives offers a path to unity for black, brown and aspiring white allies.  We can work to realize the constitutional gifts that “were never intended for black people”  — Malcolm X.

We commit to re-create the beloved community with you. We can do this together by

  • exercising muscles of democracy
  • reviving our morality, and
  • sustaining and celebrating life with art. 

These are surely transformational, revolutionary times.  Let us be in courageous solidarity as we fight all forms of oppression.

O, let America be America again-

The land that never has been yet-

& yet must be—the land where every man is free

— Langston Hughes

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