First we had the Frederick Douglass debacle where it seemed likely that The Don hadn’t even heard of the great abolitionist when he insinuated that Douglass was still alive. I guess he didn’t study history at one of the many distinguished black colleges and universities that according to Betsey Devos, our newly minted Secretary of Education, claimed were pioneers in the school choice movement. According to Devos: “It started from the fact that there were too many students in America who did not have equal access to education.
As a historian, Betsey, earns a big fat F and should have to walk around black college campuses with that F stuck to her forehead, the way Hester Prynne, the shamed protagonist in Nathaniel Hawthorne’s, Scarlett Letter, had to wear an A. Though an A would also be fitting as she should be A-shamed.
If she had read her history books, she would know that the reason black colleges and universities came in to existence was because of Jim Crow, which, no Betsey, is not the name of a bird. Jim Crow confined black students to segregated campuses where blacks were treated like 2nd class citizens. Her comment, that the creation of black colleges was the progenitor for school choice, is akin to saying that blacks chose to create their own farms because the only food they had access to was rotten.
I am not sure what is worse: not knowing the history, which makes her a beacon of ignorance- a natural for the Trump administration- or just being clueless about the black experience in America. Either way, Devos needs to go back to school and proceed to the dunce corner where The Don is already waiting for her.
But don’t despair as Ben Carson, The Don’s token black cabinet member, righted the ship about African American history when he likened slaves to immigrants who chose to come to the United States. (Once again this choice issue looms large!) He stated: “There were other immigrants who came in the bottom of the ships, who worked even longer, even harder for less, but they too had a dream that one day their sons, daughters, grandsons, granddaughters…might pursue prosperity and happiness in this land.” He went on to say: “That’s what America is about, a land of dreams and opportunity.” Amen!
It certainly was an exciting adventure for Black Africans who were often ripped from their families, stripped of dignity, beaten, raped and robbed of their humanity in search of the American Dream. The only thing Carson forgot to mention was how lucky those immigrants were to get (at no cost, nonetheless!) all the beautiful jewelry that they wore on their wrists and ankles. Who knows what it would fetch on e bay today if they had handed it down through the generations?
And then there is lying, Jeff Sessions, a man who has devoted his life to the African American experience. A man with a history of racism so damaging that his confirmation to become a federal judge years 20 years ago was blocked only to have him re-emerge as the most powerful law enforcement individual in the land. So in essence, 20 years ago we denied the foreman access to the ship and then we just said nah, he wasn’t really such a bad guy? And now that the old foreman is back in charge, he has decided to undo all the things our former black president did to try to hold the police departments more accountable for their actions.
Investigations of numerous police departments have clearly shown bias toward blacks in terms of racial profiling, incarceration and acts of violence. Sessions concern about these findings is stunning, evidenced by his remark that he had not read the scathing reports on unconstitutional policing practices in Ferguson or Chicago, reasoning that he found the summaries “pretty anecdotal.” Don’t think the use of the word pretty is apt here, Mr. Sessions- as for anecdotal, let’s see how that works.
Sitting at a bar with an old friend
“Hey Jeff, that was quite a shooting down in Ferguson.
“Heard mention of it. “
“Baton Rouge and St. Paul, too!”
“You’ve been watching too much news my friend. People say a lot of stuff.”
“They sure do, don’t they.”
“Got to just admire our police. They need more of our support and protection. ”
“Indeed! Jeff, I remember one woman during the campaign saying that she was disappointed in Obama because she didn’t like the fact that “he felt the police needed to be better educated to deal more effectively with certain situations, but instead should have focused on the need to educate people in how to behave when they are pulled over.”
“One wise lady.”
“Sure is, Jeff.”
“Yep. Need to know how to behave when the police pull you over otherwise you can get killed.”
“Sure do Jeff.”
Happy Black History Month!