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ben carson comic

 Illustration: Ray Staar

The hosts of a radio talk-show were musing about the surging popularity of Ben Carson. They were wondering why he does not attract the same support from the African American community as did Barack Obama. Generally, these hosts are quite astute in assessing the political scene and life in general. In this case, however, they reveal how they, and many of our fellow Americans, carry around this one sliver of ignorance about our country. It is not our fault; that wall of ignorance was very carefully and purposefully constructed.

 

When the early settlers of this society began to trade in the misery of unpaid, forced labor, they noticed that their dalliances among their chattel began to produce replicas of themselves. In order to avoid any claim of inheritance on the part of these replicas, they altered their established, European line of birthright succession, which stemmed from the father. Succession now lay with the mother. This formal decree, which was given a fancy, Latin title, states that children born in this new society derive their race and status from their mother. Thus, the surprise of many visitors to Monticello who noted the number of redheaded children among Mr. Jefferson's captured people.

 

This, of course, is whence came the infamous, "One-drop Rule" (ODR). This practice was for the protection of, "White purity." Regardless of the physical appearance of a person, if he/she possesses at least one drop of Negro blood, he/she is a Negro. This was a practice both ante- and post-bellum. As a prominent example of the strict application of this system, blond and blue-eyed Walter White was head of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) during the 1940s. He was from an Atlanta family of the same physical appearance. Because their one drop on each side was public knowledge – even though the mother's heritage extended back to a president of the U.S., they were dubbed, "Colored" for all practical and impractical purposes. On one occasion, the father was injured in a traffic accident and taken to a White hospital. When someone recognized him, he was promptly diverted to the appropriate venue.

 

What has this got to do with Ben Carson and Barack Obama? Everything! Without the ODR, neither of them would be prominent in politics. At first blush, the ODR may seem to have been an odious invention. Actually, it was the salvation of the soul of America. The ODR forged a two-tier society on both sides of our national "bellum." The inner-ring was isolated and only half-culturally aware. The outer-ring, for the pure sake of survival, had to remain alert to the structure of the whole society. This awareness aided the push toward emancipation. It created political solidarity that eventually could produce an Obama and a Carson. Without the ODR process of unification, that never would have been possible. In contrast, Brazil practiced uncontrolled miscegenation. Although racial segregation there is rife, there is no consolidated political force to counter it.

 

Again, contrasting Carson and Obama, it must be understood that Ben Carson could never be elected president. He is courted by the religious racists who hate Barack Obama for upsetting their notion of the mythical America, where the White Man forever rules supreme. Ben Carson became their lackey when he openly challenged Barack Obama at a National Prayer Breakfast. Immediately, that faction, which had been fuming since Obama's inauguration, recognized what they thought was their "anti-Obama." The rationale: "It takes one to catch one." Wrong!

 

Even if Ben Carson could survive the lies, misstatements and irrational behavior he exhibits in the Republican primary race, he would be dead-meat in the general election. For anyone ever to win the presidency again, he/she will need a combination of overwhelming White, Latino and African American support. The supporters of Ben Carson assume that Obama won the Black vote because of race. Wrong! He won because he had the right message. Ben Carson's message is that he does not understand the country that produced him. That ignorance is anathema to the whole of the African American community. After almost four centuries, that message should be loud and clear!

So much for color...

***** ***** *****

One day, a green Martian came down.

He asked for a ride into town.

His head did he scratch;

Our skins did not match.

He shrugged and evinced not a frown.

 

 

Curtis W. Long

Curtis W. Long

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