ChickenBones: A Journal
for Literary & Artistic African-American Themes
The primary interest of White Americans is the retention of the status quo
nationally and internationally. Let’s be real, White Americans enjoy
being No. 1 and they are willing to shed blood and capital to stay No.1.
Dean Fades, Kerry Soars
Clark Waits in the Wings
Editorial by Rudolph Lewis
With their “uplifting” messages John Kerry, Senator of Massachusetts, and John Edwards, Senator of North Carolina, won Iowa. Howard Dean, the darling of the flagging left, held on for a disappointing third place with only 18% of the votes, about half of Kerry’s votes.
In the voice of Iowans, middle-class White Americans have reiterated their stance: the Left and liberalism in the Democratic Party and the nation will not be tolerated. This political scenario does not bid well for the interests of the majority of black Americans. Their issues of social justicein education, criminal justice, and economic parity (all of which have a high price tag)will again be ignored in this upcoming presidential campaign and the next administration.
For the last thirty years, White Americans have steadily moved toward the right. The political spectrum has shifted so much so that most Americans consider the millionaire governor of Vermont a leftist. Partially, this is the case, I suspect, because social activists like white middle-class labor unionists such as SEIU and the bureaucracy of the AFL-CIO, desperately trying to organize low-paid service workers, jumped on his internet bandwagon.
We black Americans who are poor and powerless and tend to ignore electoral politics remain keenly aware that this is a white mans country and that the Congress, the White House, and the Supreme Court act first and foremost in the interest of the White middle-class. The less than statesman-like Al Sharptonin contradistinction to the diplomatic Carol Mosely-Braunmade it clear in the last Democratic debate that Democrats like Dean liberal, centrist, or conservative do not have black interests foremost because these fellows know they have to win the hearts of White Americans.
The primary interest of White Americans is the retention of the status quonationally and internationally. Let’s be real, White Americans enjoy being No. 1 and they are willing to shed blood and capital to stay No.1. Simply, that means sustaining an imperial army that will not be withdrawing from the Mid-East within the next decade, which means the loss of hundreds of billions of dollars that will not go into solving domestic issues such as health-care access, shortage of education funding, cheap labor and underemployment, which eventually lead to high incarceration or early death..
White domestic concerns encompass fear of international threats, taxes on the middle-class, and the loss of middle-class jobs or income. These are primary individual and family-oriented issues. This great cross-section of secular White Americans also have a sensitive ear for the issues of religious conservativessocial respectability and conformity, with their hostility to abortion, gay marriages, illicit drugs, etc. and strong support of police repression, harsh sentencing, and the growth of penal institutions.
In short, White Americans have little interest in social reforms or social justicewhich are the primary needs of the white and Hispanic poor and most black Americans.
The plain fact is that President Bush retains the support of nearly six in 10 Americansmany of these are Democrats. Though many White Americans believe that the president has taken the country in a very, very radical direction” in starting the War against Iraq and depleting the federal coffers, White Americans out of prideful arrogance are committed to helping the Iraqi people and defending and securing the oil fields of the Mid-East. That is the reason that the campaign of Dennis Kucinich fell flat as a pancake.
Aware of the polls, Democrats know that a race with Bush will be close and that presently he would win 48 percent to 46 percenthis edge boosted and sustained by the Religious Right and by patriotic loyalty that he is a war president. Yet Bush remains vulnerable because about 2.3 million jobs have been lost since he took office and a budget surplus was turned into a large $500 billion deficit.
The Democrats, much of the public believes, would better handle such domestic issues as the economy, prescription drugs for the elderly, health insurance, Medicare, the budget deficit, immigration, taxes, and education. They are not so certain, however, that the Democrats would do as well as the Republican with international threats to America’s No. 1 status.
So the Democrats in looking for a candidate to beat George Bush emphasize status-quo or “centrist” qualities. These they see in candidates like Vietnam veteran John Kerry with his wealthy family connections, Southern homeboy John Edwards, and retired General Wesley Clark. Both Edwards and Clarks Southern connections are seen as potential electoral advantages.
Of these three, with respect to the War Against Iraq, the former Republican Wesley Clark, who has received the support of documentary filmmaker Michael Moore and has leveled the charge that the Bush administration has not been “serious about going after terrorism,” is the most curious.
Clark, a former NATO supreme commander now campaigning in New Hampshire, proposed giving the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) a new role in tracking down international terrorists and finding fugitives such as Osama bin Laden
He believes, We can lift the cloud of fear that’s been hanging over America. Because we’ve got an administration that from the beginning didn’t do everything it could have done to have prevented 9/11. And after 9/11 they [the Bush Administration] took us into a war in Iraq that we didn’t have to be in. They weren’t serious about going after terrorism. They were serious about going after Saddam Hussein.”
Clark said, “I was consistently against this [going after Saddam] from the time the guys in the Pentagon told me two weeks after 9/11 that we were attacking Iraq. It didn’t make any sense to me. . . . This was a war we didn’t have to fight. It was an elective war.”
The awful fact remains, whether the Democrats manage or not to squeak out a win against President Bush, hard times are in the cards for an indefinite period for most black Americans, especially the poor. Of course, our comfortable black elected officials and spokespersons will continue to sustain the pretense that salvation is just around the corner.
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#1 – Justify My Thug by Wahida Clark #2 – Flyy Girl by Omar Tyree #3 – Head Bangers: An APF Sexcapade by Zane #4 – Life Is Short But Wide by J. California Cooper #5 – Stackin’ Paper 2 Genesis’ Payback by Joy King #6 – Thug Lovin’ (Thug 4) by Wahida Clark #7 – When I Get Where I’m Going by Cheryl Robinson #8 – Casting the First Stone by Kimberla Lawson Roby #9 – The Sex Chronicles: Shattering the Myth by Zane
#10 – Covenant: A Thriller by Brandon Massey
#11 – Diary Of A Street Diva by Ashley and JaQuavis
#12 – Don’t Ever Tell by Brandon Massey
#13 – For colored girls who have considered suicide by Ntozake Shange
#14 – For the Love of Money : A Novel by Omar Tyree
#15 – Homemade Loves by J. California Cooper
#16 – The Future Has a Past: Stories by J. California Cooper
#17 – Player Haters by Carl Weber
#18 – Purple Panties: An Eroticanoir.com Anthology by Sidney Molare
#19 – Stackin’ Paper by Joy King
#20 – Children of the Street: An Inspector Darko Dawson Mystery by Kwei Quartey
#21 – The Upper Room by Mary Monroe
#22 Thug Matrimony by Wahida Clark
#23 – Thugs And The Women Who Love Them by Wahida Clark
#24 – Married Men by Carl Weber
#25 – I Dreamt I Was in Heaven – The Rampage of the Rufus Buck Gang by Leonce Gaiter
#1 – Malcolm X: A Life of Reinvention by Manning Marable #2 – Confessions of a Video Vixen by Karrine Steffans #3 – Dear G-Spot: Straight Talk About Sex and Love by Zane #4 – Letters to a Young Brother: MANifest Your Destiny by Hill Harper #5 – Peace from Broken Pieces: How to Get Through What You’re Going Through by Iyanla Vanzant #6 – Selected Writings and Speeches of Marcus Garvey by Marcus Garvey #7 – The Ebony Cookbook: A Date with a Dish by Freda DeKnight #8 – The Isis Papers: The Keys to the Colors by Frances Cress Welsing #9 – The Mis-Education of the Negro by Carter Godwin Woodson
#10 – John Henrik Clarke and the Power of Africana History by Ahati N. N. Toure
#11 – Fail Up: 20 Lessons on Building Success from Failure by Tavis Smiley
#12 –The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness by Michelle Alexander
#13 – The Black Male Handbook: A Blueprint for Life by Kevin Powell
#14 – The Other Wes Moore: One Name, Two Fates by Wes Moore
#15 – Why Men Fear Marriage: The Surprising Truth Behind Why So Many Men Can’t Commit by RM Johnson
#16 – Black Titan: A.G. Gaston and the Making of a Black American Millionaire by Carol Jenkins
#17 – Brainwashed: Challenging the Myth of Black Inferiority by Tom Burrell
#18 – A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose by Eckhart Tolle
#19 – John Oliver Killens: A Life of Black Literary Activism by Keith Gilyard
#20 – Alain L. Locke: The Biography of a Philosopher by Leonard Harris
#21 – Age Ain’t Nothing but a Number: Black Women Explore Midlife by Carleen Brice
#22 – 2012 Guide to Literary Agents by Chuck Sambuchino #23 – Chicken Soup for the Prisoner’s Soul by Tom Lagana #24 – 101 Things Every Boy/Young Man of Color Should Know by LaMarr Darnell Shields
#25 – Beyond the Black Lady: Sexuality and the New African American Middle Class by Lisa B. Thompson
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Edited by Miriam DeCosta-Willis
Blacks in Hispanic Literature is a collection of fourteen essays by scholars and creative writers from Africa and the Americas. Called one of two significant critical works on Afro-Hispanic literature to appear in the late 1970s, it includes the pioneering studies of Carter G. Woodson and Valaurez B. Spratlin, published in the 1930s, as well as the essays of scholars whose interpretations were shaped by the Black aesthetic. The early essays, primarily of the Black-as-subject in Spanish medieval and Golden Age literature, provide an historical context for understanding 20th-century creative works by African-descended, Hispanophone writers, such as Cuban Nicolás Guillén and Ecuadorean poet, novelist, and scholar Adalberto Ortiz, whose essay analyzes the significance of Negritude in Latin America. This collaborative text set the tone for later conferences in which writers and scholars worked together to promote, disseminate, and critique the literature of Spanish-speaking people of African descent. . . . Cited by a literary critic in 2004 as “the seminal study in the field of Afro-Hispanic Literature . . . on which most scholars in the field ‘cut their teeth’.”
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By Melissa V. Harris-Perry
According to the author, this society has historically exerted considerable pressure on black females to fit into one of a handful of stereotypes, primarily, the Mammy, the Matriarch or the Jezebel. The selfless Mammys behavior is marked by a slavish devotion to white folks domestic concerns, often at the expense of those of her own familys needs. By contrast, the relatively-hedonistic Jezebel is a sexually-insatiable temptress. And the Matriarch is generally thought of as an emasculating figure who denigrates black men, ala the characters Sapphire and Aunt Esther on the television shows Amos and Andy and Sanford and Son, respectively.
Professor Perry points out how the propagation of these harmful myths have served the mainstream culture well. For instance, the Mammy suggests that it is almost second nature for black females to feel a maternal instinct towards Caucasian babies.
As for the source of the Jezebel, black women had no control over their own bodies during slavery given that they were being auctioned off and bred to maximize profits. Nonetheless, it was in the interest of plantation owners to propagate the lie that sisters were sluts inclined to mate indiscriminately.
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From The World and Africa, 1965
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update 22 December 2011
Related files: Iowa Presidential Campaign