AFRICANGLOBE – In 1991, I read an editorial in the Richmond Afro-American newspaper commenting on a survey conducted by Professor Howard Schuman, a University of Michigan sociologist and research scientist.
“According to Dr. Schuman,” the editorial noted, “White Americans think of integration as meaning one Black in a group of 15 Whites where the Whites are in complete control. Black Americans, on the other hand, think of integration as meaning a ratio of 50 to 50 where either a White or Black person could be dominant.”
The editorial quoted Dr. Schuman as saying “It is not that survey respondents say one thing and secretly believe another. But, when White Americans say they favor integrated schools or neighborhoods, what they really mean is a few Black students or families in a predominately White environment.”
If one knows the above, the reaction of many key party members and others who share their intense hostility toward President Obama is not surprising. This is especially nerve-wracking to White males from working class and middle income backgrounds who have been told all their lives that they are superior to any Black man, no matter what his accomplishments, because of their Whiteness.
It explains the near-paranoid hostility toward the President by White males such as Sean Hannity, Rush Limbaugh, Ted Cruz, Larry Klayman, and others of their ilk. How can they explain a Black president to their sons and grandsons? It’s a flagrant violation of the concept that integration means a White person – preferably a White male – always being in charge.
This doesn’t mean that Hannity, Limbaugh, Cruz, Klayman and their cohorts will object if their brothers and sisters from another mother – Clarence Thomas, Shelby Steele, Walter Williams, Star Parker, Thomas Sowell, Allen West, and Dr. Ben Carson – live in their neighborhoods or attend their schools. That would be cool as long as there aren’t too many of them and they accept the position that Whites must always be in charge.
It is abundantly clear that Black-Americans can’t negotiate anything with people with this mindset. What we must do is to organize in ways that will advance and protect our cultural, economic and political interests from the hostility and venom that comes from those who believe in the divineness of Whiteness.
The last two chapters of Chancellor Williams’ book, Destruction of Black Civilization: Great Issues of a Race from 4500 B.C. to 2000 A.D.; the goals and objectives of the Organization of Afro-American Unity in the book, Malcolm X: The Man and His Times and sections of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s last book, Where Do We Go from Here: Chaos or Community? provide concrete guidelines on how to organization in such a manner.
Peter Bailey is editor of Vital Issues: The Journal of African American Speeches.