“Tamper” Tantrums

Republicans who threw a truth tampering tantrum that manifested into an insurrection are destroying this country. A famous and heated argument between Archie Bunker and Edith’s cousin Maude Findlay is a prophetic example. The discussion led to a disagreement over the wives of President(s) Franklin Delano Roosevelt and Richard “E”(sic) Nixon. Archie Bunker blamed Mrs. Roosevelt for discovering the “coloreds.” [She] “was always out on the loose, running around with the coloreds,” he said. Winding up his tirade with the words, “She was the one who discovered the coloreds in this country. “We never knew they was there,” he bellowed. Although Bunker was a fictional caricature, many Americans have embarked on a path of social cowardice to prove they are truly all in the family.

When anti-Nazi theologian, Pastor Friedrich Gustav Martin Niemöller, ended his famed comments with the warning, “When they came for me, there was no one left to speak out,” I wonder if he realized not only how timely but foretelling his words were. The Florida State legislature moved along a proposal known as the “ Don’t Say Gay” bill. One of the fearful aspects of the bill is that it could out children to their parents, possibly subjecting them to punishment, violence, or worst. Conservatives are constantly pulling the tent flaps over their encampment of made-up fears. Hiding from the realities of gender, race, sexual orientation, and religious preference is truly the beginning of the slide down the slippery slope of their feigned obliviousness.

In about eight days, Black History Month begins; I can remember when it was a week. A week, a month, or a lifetime is not sufficient because black history is American history. What will Black History Month look like in the state(s) like Florida or Virginia? The governors of those states, for venal political reasons, believe that keeping their white populace comforted in denial is more important than the truth. Will our children and grandchildren be told that the assassination of Medgar Evers and Martin Luther King Jr. was a hunting accident; because it is comfortable. Will the enslaved like Jo Anderson, who helped revolutionize farming, or the unnamed black maid who inspired the idea for paper dress patterns (improved upon by Ellen L. Demorest and later patented by Ebenezer Butterick), be forever destined to obscurity. Ellen Louise Demorest was an anti-slavery abolitionist and women’s rights advocate. Does acknowledgment of this history give whites discomfort?

White people who showed great courage and morality in the face of the times will also be lost to the denial of history. On March 9, 1965, white clergyman James Reeb was beaten to death for participating in the second Selma to Montgomery march. He was chased, kicked, and finally murdered. On March 21, 1965, Viola Gregg Liuzzo, a white woman from Detroit and a member of the NAACP, transported black protestors to and from Selma and Montgomery, Alabama. While driving 19-year old black teen Leroy Moton back to Selma, the KKK attacked the car, shooting Ms. Liuzzo and killing her—Moton survived by playing dead. Black history is American history, with moral people of all colors playing a role. Do not throw out the history with the bad because it is uncomfortable.

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  • January 24, 2022