It’s Juneteenth, Jay-Z Is A Billionaire, and White Supremacy Has Won
What is Juneteenth?
On Juneteenth, June 19th, we commemorate the ending of slavery in the United States in 1865. Just like 154 years ago, slavery is still not over. It never ended. Prisoners can still be enslaved. Our prison industrial complex is full of overrepresented, free/cheap Black labor. This nation is still pushing American Descendents of Slaves (ADOS) into the ravenous maw of forced servitude.
The primary way that Black people are victimized by this system is economic deprivation. The sheer concentration of poverty in Black spaces is mindboggling, multi-generational, and intended. It doesn’t take a sociology degree to recognize that this creates criminogenic environments. As Aladin crooned, people gotta steal to eat. People will find a way to survive, regardless of the consequences. When you are Black, those consequences are always high.
We have yet to see freedom and full citizenship. Our engineered lack of wealth assures that we never will.
Recently, we found out that Sean Carter, aka Jay-Z aka Hov aka Mr. Knowles, is a billionaire. Kudos to the Carter Family. I truly wish them the best. They have worked hard and leveraged their talents to build an American life. However, we should have learned long ago that individual success does not mean we are doing well. Oprah’s billions have done nothing to advance us, as a people. The Carter windfall will do no better.
The money will not fund truly Progressive candidates, lift up media that supports American Descendents of Slave, or seriously push for Reparations. The Carters may fund a selected and connected Democrat. But, that is likely the upper limit of their contribution to revolution. Obviously, I could be wrong and I hope I am.
Black success masks our pain and numbs our political instincts. It is Gatekeeper Fuel. Gatekeepers will point & give you a typical bootstrap speech, “If Jay made it, so can you. (Now leave these good White folks’ money alone).” The GKs are on their job: keeping Black people out of White folks’ pockets. They are very good at that job.
These people and groups run the cruelest of shell games on Black people, in general, and ADOS in particular. They keep pressure off of the Democratic Party and the Congressional Black Caucus by smearing unapproved activism, co-opting/diluting whatever portions of the message that is of value to them, and bullying naysayers into silence from their lofty perch.
That vantage point is expensive. I know because it was paid for by my ancestors in blood and rage, making a mockery of Juneteenth. These ivory towers were constructed to assure that White Supremacy is unbothered by the needs of Black America. Especially, when it comes to Reparations. They speak of revolution while explaining why it will never happen.
They are now poo-pooing cash payments. Cash payments are the only way to significantly close the wealth gap. Any Reparations program that doesn’t include it, is just kicking the can down the road, at best, stalling until potential programs are inevitably killed as ineffective, at worst.
The Left is somehow MIA in this fight. Reparations for slave descendants are either too risky or have been deemed unnecessary by the most prominent voices Left of Hillary Clinton and Jeff Sessions. It seems that progress requires that the debt owed to the people that built this country should be buried. ADOS are the only group in the world that can be defamed for fighting for future generations.
The Left is convinced that Reparations is a right-wing plot to derail potential progress. Totally oblivious to the fact that the position of Black America undergirds all the things they claim to fight. Even though Centrists are doing their level best to destroy the movement and co-opt the message, the light has not come on. Sadly.
Our “allies” and enemies like us vocal and powerless. Our struggle is valuable for their agendas as long as the debt remains unpaid and we are not elevated to our rightful place in the richest, most powerful country in human history.
White Supremacy has won.