by Peter Bailey
While flipping through my television, I heard a host on the comedy show, Fox and Friends, denouncing an NFL player who sat down during the playing of the National Anthem. Their guest on that subject was Burgess Owen, a former player with the Oakland Raiders. Owens, looking every inch like a Black wannabe, proceeded to vigorously attack the protesting player and any other Black person who is insufficiently grateful for the “opportunities” that have been provided us by Whites in general and the country in particular.
There are few people I find more despicable than those Negroes who talk about the United States having given us anything, including opportunities. Every single gain we have made in this country resulted from some Black folks being murdered to make it happen. Those warriors include Nat Turner, Gabriel Prosser and Denmark Vesey, who were murdered for leading uprisings against enslavement by white supremacists/racists; James Chaney, Samuel Younge, Jr., Vernon Dahmer, the Rev. George Lee, Addie Mae Collins, Denise McNair, Carole Robertson, Cynthia Wesley, Virgil Lamar Ware, Medgar Evers and Martin Luther King Jr., all of whom were murdered by white supremacist/racist opponents of equal rights, equal justice and equal opportunity; and Brother Malcolm, who was murdered by Black collaborators with racists Whites.
Also murdered by the same forces were Whites such as John Brown, Andrew Goodman, Michael Schwerner, Viola Liuzzo, the Rev. James Reeb and Paul Guihard. Most of their murderers were never punished by the states or the country. Thus, the states and the country deserve no gratitude from us.
Thousands of other warriors such as Fannie Lou Hamer and the children who marched in Birmingham were brutalized by white supremacists/racists.
Owens and too many others who think like him bring to mind quotes from George Schuyler and Carter G. Woodson. Schuyler, a journalist noted in his book, Black and Conservation, that “a Black person learns very early that his color is a disadvantage in a world of white folks. This being an unalterable circumstance, one also learns very early to make the best of it. So the lifetime endeavor of the intelligent Negro is how to be reasonably happy though colored.”
Dr. Woodson, the founder of what is now known as Black History Month, also had people like Owens in mind when he wrote in his book, The Miseducation of the Negro, that “In like manner, the teaching of history in the Negro area had its political significance. Starting out after the Civil War, the opponents of freedom and social justice decided to work out a program which would enslave the Negroes’ mind…If you can control a man’s thinking you do not have to worry about his actions. When you determine what a man shall think, you do not have to concern yourself about what he will do…”
The program to enslave the minds of Black folks, as cited by Dr. Woodson, has been very successful with people like Owens. And he and others with his beliefs are perfect examples of those Negroes who are grateful to Whites and the country for making it possible for them to be “reasonably happy, though colored.”
A. Peter Bailey, whose latest book is Witnessing Brother Malcolm X, the Master Teacher, can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.