George W. Bush represents a part of white American history that has been suppressed, repressed or lost. We know who the descendants of the enslaved Africans are, ask any African-American and they can tell you their great-grand ancestor who was the last held as a slave.
And yet, of the millions of people involved in the slave industry, the buyers and the sellers, the overseers, auctioneers, watchmen, hunters, seamen, drivers, drovers, stock brokers, bondsmen, insurance salesmen, shipbuilders, railroad and telegraph men; the importers, exporters, lawyers, accountants, manufacturers and their wives, children and staff, we never hear about them.
“We haven’t heard anyone say, “Oh yes, my great-grandfather, God love him, he bought and sold enough slaves to buy that land and build our company.’ Or, “deal with slaves? Oh sure, the bank I use now goes back almost two hundred years. They laid their foundation with deposits from slave holders.”
But just because you don’t see them, doesn’t mean they’re not there. Many of them will be at Madison Square Garden the first week in September, cheering on and gathering around their leader, the only president to have signed over 150 death warrants before taking office. The office he “won” by robbing black people of their votes in Florida.
They love him because he cut the taxes of the wealthy and started a war for political and financial reasons, taking over the “White Man’s Burden” of killing black and brown people and robbing their resources.
They love him because he’s cutting back all those troublesome “Constitutional rights” that foreigner-lovers are alway crying about. And if reelected, he promises more of the same.
Seeing them and the power they have, and to constantly be bombarded with images that say that white people fervently support him, is to begin to lose faith in the direction of the nation.
That is why massive gatherings like the one that marched up Seventh Avenue with seething laughter are so important as are the demonstrations and street theater that are promised for the week.
We know that everyone is not descended from abolitionists, those brave and humane souls who risked much, if not all, to assist escaped Africans. But I bet many of their descendants and those of Civil War Yankees, were marching past the Garden in an echo of that war, envisioning a peaceful United States with a “state of mind” different from the thugs in the White House and their minion throughout government.
David Mark Greaves