“We should hire three or four colored ministers, preferably with social-service backgrounds, and with engaging personalities. The most successful educational approach to the Negro is through a religious appeal. We don’t want the word to go out that we want to exterminate the Negro population. And the minister is the man who can straighten out that idea if it ever occurs to any of their more rebellious members.”
Che Guevara held racist ideas in his youth and may have carried them forward into la revolucion’. Not a living human knows for sure what was in the heart of Che’. What cannot be denied is that he was an exceptionally brutal, murderous and bloody revolutionary.
Nathan Bedford Forrest was the author the Fort Pillow Massacre. He was also a founding member of the Klu Klux Klan.
Forrest also went on to disavow the KKK. He helped shut the doors of the KKK in his lifetime. He also spoke against the murder of Black Americans by criminals. His words. He called them criminals. He advocated for more humane treatment of the freed slaves and advocated for their admission into law school in Tennessee.
“After only a year as Grand Wizard, in January 1869, faced with an ungovernable membership employing methods that seemed increasingly counterproductive, Forrest issued KKK General Order Number One: “It is therefore ordered and decreed, that the masks and costumes of this Order be entirely abolished and destroyed.” By the end of his life, Forrest’s racial attitudes would evolve — in 1875, he advocated for the admission of blacks into law school — and he lived to fully renounce his involvement with the all-but-vanished Klan.”
Forrest changed. He renounced his racist past. Compared to our age, Forrest more than likely went to his deathbed with what we would consider bigoted attitudes. Yet, he did more for Black Americans than your average Democrat or Republican of our time.
If Forrest and the Confederate Battle Flag should be purged from the American Landscape, so too should Margaret Sanger who agitated for the extermination of the Black Race and Che Guevara who wrote openly of his bigotry and murdered many more and in just as cold blood as Nathan Bedford Forrest.
If we are to “cure” America of racism via the purging of symbols and historical figures in some Maoist Cultural Revolution, we should look to all symbols of racism, hatred and bigotry. Targeting only the Right is not the answer. West Virginia’s Robert Byrd, Lyndon B. Johnson, Woodrow Wilson all were at least as racist as any leader of the Confederate States of America up to a point in their lives and possibly to the end of their lives.
Strom Thurmond was a Democrat turned Republican. He switched parties allegedly over the Civil Rights movement. Democrats make this statement despite the fact that Republicans voted FOR the Civil Rights Act of 1964 on average at an 80% rate while Democrats voted for the the Civil Rights Act of 1964 at a 63% rate.
Strom Thurmond also had a Black daughter which, I’m sure, helped to modify his racial attitudes. He put her through College at an HBC. He also supported her throughout her life.
Racial attitudes are rarely simple…rarely “black and white.” Race is a complex issue. The issues of Race, Racism, Bigotry and Discrimination cannot be brought to resolution simply by ridding ourselves of symbols and statues.
There must be real and open communication. Putting White Teens through guilt trip driven reality TV is no discussion. That will come to no good end.
The discussion must be open. It must be real. It cannot be one sided. There are millions of White folks out there who are not racist. There are millions of Black folks out there who aren’t racist. There are also other races in America who are often left out of the discussion. The discussion cannot be a “People of Color” against White People dialogue either. White Privilege only goes so far when you live in a Trailer Park and are dependent upon the government and educated in one of America’s Branches of Public Wage Slave Propaganda.
What must be realized is that racism will never go away. Bigotry will never go away. As long as there are two humans or two groups of humans, one will vie for supremacy over the other. In old Europe, Race was Class. One’s class determined one’s place in society. The Race that we recognize today is a product of Colonialism and European Oppression, Suppression and Exploitation of the world.
Yes, Slavery was a part of that. However, it was only a component.
If we are ever going to come to a place of understanding, we have to understand that how we understand and react to race is based upon the lies of Colonialism and that these race based ideologies were thrust upon us.
Once we begin to comprehend this, we can move towards a better understanding of who we are as a HUMAN RACE. The Color Line is as artificial as Jim Crow, Apartheid and Mao’s Cultural Revolution.