What We Should Learn About History, So That We Be Not Of the Erring OnesHarriet Tubman, Dr. Martin Luther King, Malcolm X, Fannie Lou Hammer, Muhammad Ali, Nelson Mandela, Winnie Mandela, Dr. Amina Wadud, Dr. Ava Muhammad, Louis Farrakhan and many countless great men and women have been maligned and portrayed as hostile, radicals seeking the end of an established order, and system of corruption and oppression. What these great men and women stood and stand for, and were and are willing to give their life for, is sifted and weighed against the backdrop of being an agitator, a radical, a terrorist with flawed timing. As long as they, could be contained, their image manipulated, their bodies incarcerated, their identity berated and controlled, then mainstream society, the powers that be, had nothing to fear.
We, the masses of the people need not worry about reprisal, being unpopular, loosing a job, and/or being deprived of life necessities if we dared to stand with them, support them.
In the United States, fear and degradation were and are the tactics used to manipulate, confuse and scare the masses who may want to follow courageous men and women but ultimately, ignorance keeps them in the shadows. Undoubtedly, many of us were and are ignorant about ourselves and the tragic depth of experiences that define our realities. Our socio-culture, political and economic realities are rooted in the worst enslavement that has ever been heaped upon any group of people in recorded history, and better still, it is continually reinforced through deliberate destructive engineering. This mean that we (black folk) would never learn beyond what our enemy desire that we know and could never be able to witness a full and complete change of our conditions. We rely to heavily on and base our knowledge on this fatally flawed educational construct (rooted in white supremacy and racism) and look where that has gotten us. Not a few of you or me, but the collective us, black folk.
Enter the great ones
When we had and have great ones to rise up from among us to fight for us, to show us a way, to be an example of courage, strength and determination, many of us misunderstand them, shun them, defy them, called them crazy and even side with the enemy.
So, I have just one question for you today. Do you believe you are on the right side of history/herstory when it comes to the great men and women of today?
If you are relying on mainstream mass media to tell you who the great men and women are today, then you are on the wrong side of history. If you believe there are no great men and women fighting for us today, then you are on the wrong side of history. If you believe that the enemy of freedom, justice, equality and liberation, the same one that assassinates our leaders both physically and in character, wrongfully incarcerates and persecutes them, labels them terrorist and then puts up a statue (Nelson Mandela), gives us a stamp (Malcolm X was not a Civil Rights leader, he never was.) or dedicates a holiday (Dr. Martin King Jr.) is now the friend of the oppressed, the poor, the despised, the rejected, then you are on the wrong side of history.
After watching Muhammad Ali's Greatest Fight, Thurgood Marshall was portrayed making several inflammatory and derogatory comments about Muhammad Ali and the Nation of Islam. It became clear to me, whoa to the one who is on the wrong side of history!
"Oh when the saints go marching in...when the saints go marching in, oh Lord, I want to be in that number, when the saints go marching in."
Even during the Presidential debates of 2008, Farrakhan was the litmus test conveniently applied to candidate Obama.
Minister Farrakhan is not and never has been issue, the problem with America (and her global allies) is white racism and white supremacy. Many words were said after Mandela's passing, but few stated the simple but ugly truth. Mandela's fight was against white racism and white supremacy. He was not fighting for a broadly framed version of freedom, not a watered down version of it. He was a man who demonstrated the civility of his people in the face of evil, indignity and injustice. He was a man on the right side of history.
To Be On the Right Side of History
It stands today that we must take greater strides to study and examine the men and women in our midst. We must study their words and their deeds before we draw conclusions, before we make decisions or distinctions between them. We must study how the masses of the past encountered/engaged leaders before us, so that we are not doomed to repeat their mistakes. Finally, we must do everything possible to ensure that we do not mis-judge those who stand up for freedom, justice and equality and end up on the wrong side of history.