View From Here: 20th Anniversary of the Million Woman March

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On this 20th anniversary of the Million Woman March it is a time to pause to look at and see the very special kind of hell the black woman endured during slavery by the revealed behavior of Harvey Weinstein, Roger Ailes, Bill O’Reilly, and all the others. These are the kind of men that African women were at the mercy of when they were “called up to the big house” as my great-aunt Vivian used to say it, speaking about a forebear in the Golden Age of White Supremacy, when there was no “No” and black men had to stand helpless.

Understanding that history, makes the misogynist lyrics by too many rap artists a twisted and self-hatred-filled updating of that time. And then these angry lyrics derived from pain and loss and set to an infectious beat, is played all over the world and drilled repeatedly and rhythmically into the heads of girls and boys and consumers of all ages, women-hating poison disguised as entertainment. No other group of people or businesses other than pornographers, would tolerate this ongoing assault on their own women.

Neither the artists or the businesses they run or the ones that run them, mind profiting from and glorifying the degradation of black women and the liberal use of the “N” word. And what makes them all happiest, is when “crossover” is achieved and they give all races the idea that this is how black men treat their women and think about themselves and no connection is made to both the transgenerational trauma caused by the terror of slavery and the century after, and the racist DNA in the nation’s institution, to America’s original sin.

It comes to this: What others think will be guided by what we do. Psychologist Dr. Amos Wilson said “We waste a lot of time trying to transform them, when by transforming ourselves, they will be transformed automatically.”  This transformation can be measured by the number of African-American women opening small businesses in the years after the march. In the same way that Our Time Press grew out of the Million Man March in 1995, many women took home the 1997 message of self-empowerment, introspection and healing that was promised has taken place leading to the surge of risk takers and dream catchers as are documented in the National Women’s Business Council report, “An Analysis of Growth Trends of African American Women-owned Businesses.” They write:

African American women-owned businesses have grown at a rate that is 2.5 times that of women-owned businesses in the United States. Between 2007 and 2012, women-owned businesses grew by 27%, which is, in itself, a huge accomplishment. A closer look at where the growth is happening reveals that African-American women-owned businesses grew an astonishing 67% in the same five-year time period. Go back a little bit more, to 2002, and African-American women-owned businesses have grown 178%, making them the fastest growing group of women business owners.”

The report also notes a downside saying that “The growth in number is not replicated in revenues,” but that will come, along with stories of learning to work a business in a mother’s or grandmother’s shop or office.

And Still This President

The misogynist and self-hate purveyors are a minority of the entertainment universe, but like the minority of voters who support Donald Trump, they have an outsized influence on the culture and we all suffer. The Trump followers power stems from two sources: the Republican gerrymandering of voting districts, shaping them to ensure a Republican victory, and the Electoral College, also rooted in slavery, where the Electoral College let each southern state count its nonvoting slaves as three-fifths of a person in computing the College votes.

As Time Magazine reported in the November 2016 issue, “Virginia emerged as the big winner—the California of the Founding era—with 12 out of a total of 91 electoral votes allocated by the Philadelphia Constitution, more than a quarter of the 46 needed to win an election in the first round. If the system’s pro-slavery tilt was not overwhelmingly obvious when the Constitution was ratified, it quickly became so. For 32 of the Constitution’s first 36 years, a white slaveholding Virginian occupied the presidency.”

The Electoral College, with its algorithm rooted in slavery, continues its work on behalf of slaveholding states, to depress the value of the popular vote. So even if all of New York and California voted in mass for the Democratic candidate, the race would still come down to breathless reporting on Iowa, Wisconsin, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Florida and Michigan ending with some version of this BBC reporting on the last election, “Nationally, Donald Trump won 47% of the vote to Hillary Clinton’s 48% – yet this translated into 306 electoral college votes for the Republicans and 232 for the Democrats,” and there are suggestions being made Trump could win 400 electoral votes in 2020. It sounds preposterous and yet so is the hard reality of President Trump. And do be afraid because with the electoral college, born to accommodate slaveholders, combined with voter suppression of black and brown people, anything is possible.

And now the Russians and the FBI Again?

If dealing with all of the above is not enough to make you say “Damn.” Then surely the duel revelations that the Russians were actively trying to use the black struggle to divide and provoke, combined with the news that the FBI has created a new category of domestic terrorism, the Black Identity Extremist (BIE), has got to open your eyes to the claws of white supremacy use some kind epithet to express the outrage.