If I was a black person in America I would…

Published September 19, 2022 by Nan Mykel

…be what?  Can you even imagine it, if you’re not black?  Would you be angry?  Afraid?  Depressed?  It’s difficult to even guess.  Possibly all three.  I’m pretty good at empathy, but I can’t even imagine how discouraging it must be.  Although Google does not have the information I came across somewhere recently, I read that “Black Matters” is a different viewpoint than “Black Lives Matter,” and then I actually saw a “Black Matters” sign in a neighbor’s yard…..But Google doesn’t have any information on the shorter version, just as it had only a limited list of paramilitary groups in the United States when I last looked.  (But lots on domestic violence).

I ran into a new Word Press blog tonight that denied we are a racist country.  Since I had just finished an article in the December 2020 Harpers magazine quoting Lyndon Johnson, I wrinkled my brow:

“If you can convince the lowest white man he’s better than the best colored man, he won’t notice you’re picking his pocket.  Hell, give him somebody to look down on, and he’ll empty his pockets for you.” Though disenfranchisement of African Americans was officially outlawed in 1965, the Supreme Court soon endorsed felony disenfranchisement, which by the time of the 2016 election barred more than six million mostly non-white Americans from voting.  If there was ever a heyday of American democracy it was recent and short-lived.  (Page 51-56)

The title of the Harper’s essay is “The Silenced Majority–Can America still afford democracy?”  by Rana Dasgupta, p 47-56).

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