Send a Tweet
Most Popular Choices
Share on Facebook 10 Share on Twitter Printer Friendly Page More Sharing
OpEdNews Op Eds    H2'ed 11/23/21

The All-Pervasive Blackness, America's Fear of Democracy

By       (Page 1 of 3 pages)   3 comments
Become a Premium Member Would you like to know how many people have read this article? Or how reputable the author is? Simply sign up for a Advocate premium membership and you'll automatically see this data on every article. Plus a lot more, too.
Author 89170
Message Dr. Lenore Daniels

Some twenty years ago, given my experience with racism in academia, I used to ask advocates for the status quo "What do you fear?" I wouldn't receive an answer, in fact, the individual would stare at me, and, between the two of us, we understood what an audible answer would be. Today, we all hear the answer those who feel that the right to denounce what doesn't promote white privilege, the right to justify the suppression, in turn, of an anti-white power, anti-democratic presence in America, is being stripped away from them. So, yes, their lives are in danger!

But I can tell you this feeling of a life-threatening danger has been simmering for a while, and this fear of being in danger of an increasingly pervasive blackness hasn't been limited to rural America.


I used to have a friend who repeatedly informed me that she never read the work I posted in my online column at the time. It was as if she were recently freed of a huge debt: I don't read your articles! She read, instead, the work I sent to a local newspaper where I had a column. The online magazine, dedicated to the analysis of the Black experience, was more in depth, which meant it required a longer engage with the subject of slavery, exploitation, or police brutality.

This was some fourteen or fifteen years ago. Long before 45 occupies the Oval Office at the White House. The presence of Americans refusing to confront that ugly America history of conquest and enslavement, torture, suppression has been in the making since writers, justifying the young nation's forging and ultimate dependence on the Atlantic Slave Trade, crated images of uncivilized Africans. Thank God, Anglo-Americans existed to save the inferior African!

This same friend was present on an evening in which I held a film event. The event was open to the public. Sometimes I was able to reserve a backroom at one of the cafes. Once, I showed a bell hooks' documentary, Cultural Criticism and Transformation, in a university classroom. But this time, I believe it was a last minute, backroom in a church. It's the college town of Madison, Wisconsin, so a few students attended, but regular residents were present. There were plenty of whites in the audience. Like my friend. A longtime resident of city still 90 percent white. After she helped me set up the refreshments at this event, she took a seat. I too sat down in the row behind her.

That late afternoon, I was showing the deceased historian John Henrik Clarke's A Long and Mighty Walk, a documentary I had shown several times in a classroom setting without objection from students. But now it was my friend who kept turn back looking at me in the row behind her. I was ready to click the remote, but I caught her look: It was the look of someone desperate to avoid an impending disaster. Should I free her? Tell her she needn't stay.

I understood feeling uncomfortable.

I called back for someone to turn off the lights, and I clicked the remote's "on" button.

As James Baldwin once wrote, in "Take Me to the Water," to allow "a friend" to think you are "a Negro," is to "become" an accomplice. Be my friend, as long as you are not too Black!

The last time I organized a book or film event was late in 2006, I believe. A Black woman from the community assisted in organizing this event. She was an organizer and activist, particularly when it came to the education of Black children in Madison. Her daughter was a seventh or an eight-grade student. A good student. But the pipeline from school to prison wasn't a hysterical fantasy of concerned Black parents. It was real. So was the effort to discourage the joy of learning, reading about American history, the real history. The daughter's reading habits seemed to attract the ire of her teachers"

When this woman and I arrived, a group of mainly whites were already gathered around a table in the basement of this old bookstore. Maybe ten people, at best. No students. Not the usual crowd. The bookstore had a reputation for being radical. Anti-war. But word gets around, I thought. What are these people up to now? Should I save myself? But it was a fall night, I remember. Cold. I sat down. Mostly men, I noted. I was sure to be the subject!

I had highlighted some key passages, and I had planned to skip around and then stop for discussion. I noticed, however, that only one or two had the book, Frantz Fanon's The Wretched of the Earth, in front of them.

"National liberation, national renaissance, the restoration of nationhood to people, commonwealth: whatever may be the headings used or the new formulas introduced, decolonization is always a violent phenomenon""

Next Page  1  |  2  |  3

(Note: You can view every article as one long page if you sign up as an Advocate Member, or higher).

 

Must Read 1   Well Said 1   Touching 1  
Rate It | View Ratings

Dr. Lenore Daniels Social Media Pages: Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in       Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in       Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in       Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in

Activist, writer, American Modern Literature, Cultural Theory, PhD.

Go To Commenting
The views expressed herein are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.
Writers Guidelines
Contact AuthorContact Author Contact EditorContact Editor Author PageView Authors' Articles
Support OpEdNews

OpEdNews depends upon can't survive without your help.

If you value this article and the work of OpEdNews, please either Donate or Purchase a premium membership.

STAY IN THE KNOW
If you've enjoyed this, sign up for our daily or weekly newsletter to get lots of great progressive content.
Daily Weekly     OpEdNews Newsletter
Name
Email
   (Opens new browser window)
 

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

Have You Had Enough of the Madness of Capitalism? Is It Time To Consider What Marx Really Said?

America's Embrace of Willful Ignorance

With Bloomberg, Are African Americans Trying On the Iron Boot?

Get Out!: Harassment of Black Americans Has Historical Roots in American History

Me Too: Abuse of Power and Managed Inequality

The All-Too Familiar American Narrative: Justice is too Scary! Witness 40 in Ferguson, USA

Comments Image Post Article Comment and Rate This Article

These discussions are not moderated. We rely on users to police themselves, and flag inappropriate comments and behavior. In accordance with our Guidelines and Policies, we reserve the right to remove any post at any time for any reason, and will restrict access of registered users who repeatedly violate our terms.

  • OpEdNews welcomes lively, CIVIL discourse. Personal attacks and/or hate speech are not tolerated and may result in banning.
  • Comments should relate to the content above. Irrelevant, off-topic comments are a distraction, and will be removed.
  • By submitting this comment, you agree to all OpEdNews rules, guidelines and policies.
          

Comment Here:   


You can enter 2000 characters.
Become a Premium Member Would you like to be able to enter longer comments? You can enter 10,000 characters with Leader Membership. Simply sign up for your Premium Membership and you can say much more. Plus you'll be able to do a lot more, too.

Please login or register. Afterwards, your comment will be published.
 

Username
Password
Show Password

Forgot your password? Click here and we will send an email to the address you used when you registered.
First Name
Last Name

I am at least 16 years of age
(make sure username & password are filled in. Note that username must be an email address.)

2 people are discussing this page, with 3 comments  Post Comment


Dr. Lenore Daniels

Become a Fan
Author 89170
(Member since Jul 29, 2013), 4 fans, 110 articles, 154 comments, 1 diaries (How many times has this commenter been recommended?)
Not paid member and Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in Not paid member and Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in Not paid member and Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in Not paid member and Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in

  New Content

White fear is fear of that history of white violence.

Submitted on Tuesday, Nov 23, 2021 at 12:16:46 PM

Author 0
Add New Comment
  Recommend  (0+)
Flag This
Share Comment More Sharing          
Commenter Blocking?
Indent

Jill Herendeen

Become a Fan
Author 18898
(Member since Jul 18, 2008), 22 fans, 3 articles, 3451 comments, 1 diaries (How many times has this commenter been recommended?)
Not paid member and Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in Not paid member and Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in Not paid member and Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in Not paid member and Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in

Reply to Dr. Lenore Daniels:   New Content

"Fear of the history of white violence", or, fear of word of that history getting out?

Submitted on Wednesday, Nov 24, 2021 at 12:36:16 PM

Author 0
Add New Comment
  Recommend  (0+)
Flag This
Share Comment More Sharing          
Commenter Blocking?

Jill Herendeen

Become a Fan
Author 18898
(Member since Jul 18, 2008), 22 fans, 3 articles, 3451 comments, 1 diaries (How many times has this commenter been recommended?)
Not paid member and Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in Not paid member and Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in Not paid member and Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in Not paid member and Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in

  New Content

GREAT title--it really sums up the problem!

Submitted on Wednesday, Nov 24, 2021 at 12:34:56 PM

Author 0
Add New Comment
  Recommend  (0+)
Flag This
Share Comment More Sharing          
Commenter Blocking?

 
Want to post your own comment on this Article? Post Comment