To the Victor Go the Spoils

As you know, I have other gigs, other ways to express ideas, and construct my own analysis in my own life. Experiences turned into philosophy. Or, anti-philosophy to invent self.

This piece is in the local rag, again, Newport, Lincoln County, Oregon. On the coast. (see story/Op-ed below — Newport News Times.)

Yes, the world is a microcosm in places wherever you find yourself, if you are willing to explore how universality is a common thread for most people, excluding the elites and rich and super-rich and sociopaths in those classes as well as down and dirty people born from a bad seed or with the evil encased in DNA. If you are willing to believe that not all humanity and all cultures frame their needs and wants and goals the same, but that we mostly want peace, prosperity, justice and a safe, clean, working world.

You can look at, say, Israel, and see that that apartheid state, that colony, well, the roots are there to apply the same sort of overall logic of oppression and land theft and human subjugation we see in the White United States of America. Imagine, ripping land away from people — Original Peoples — and then creating a policy of civilian (white) patrols and military patrols as part of an eradication policy to rid people of their ancestral land, but to rid the people altogether. Call it Indian Removal, Pacification or Assimulation, but like modern day “Israel,” the policy then was to remove people from being. From a future. From their right to travel freely. The system then got legalized, full of the lies of governments breaking treaties (all of them) to facilitate Manifest Destiny and Expansion for the rich. Those sociopaths I allude to above!

Now, again, more patronizing “month” number 12 to give lip service to Black people of this land. Black History Month now, in a time of right-wing hate of alternative (real) history and overall white disgust for the lives of Blacks now and Blacks then. This month of Netflix Black specials and other lip service fandangos seem like another blip on the screen of this out and out systemic and over hatred of people questioning their place here.

Black Lives Matter — the movement — was better than, well, nothing, and, sure, capitalism and egoism did take it down the ugly road of cooption and Hollywoodization. But. Yes, police are murderers, and so is the military, and then, defacto, we as taxpayers and citizens are part of that murder inc. See-speak-hear-rebuff no evil? Amerikkkaaah.

Then, this concept of wanting a campus with some semblance of “pacification” makes sense in this time of outright bigotry. Cancel Culture is an outgrowth of the fear porn Media have served up. Ivory Tower pencil necks, many of them in the Chosen Few class, they have messed up college, for sure. Bowing to elites, to the professional managerial class, and then fawning the super-stars of Capitalism, well, that’s the new normal for millions.

But throwing out the babies with the bathwater, that is the new normal with blogs, podcasts, YouTube shows, and infinite blathering on Instagram and TikTok lambasting everything tied to liberalism, to socialism, to a new way forward.

If you were to come back from the dead, say, dead in 1957, there would be an amazing schizophrenia buzzing in your head with all of the noise, the digital dimwit traffic, all of it, bombarding you dead sucker each second of the resurrection. To believe universities would not be subject to virtue signaling and cancel culturing, and to believe that snowflake making would not be the outgrowth of this dastardly warring, mean, racist society, that is, if you don’t get cause and effect, the why and how, then you have had to have lived in a toxic bubble of echo after echo of your own malfeasance.

What is good about Black Empowerment and Black History is certainly demonstrated by folks over at Hood Communist and Black Agenda Report, to name just a few. Black Alliance for Peace is another group. But most people do not tie into those sites, those thinkers on those sites.

The problem is that in USA, everything is turned into celebrity fawning or celebrity denigrating. Of course, Whoopi Goldberg is too rich and too stupid to understand what she was attempting to say on that stupid show about the Holocaust not being about race. She gets suspended for two weeks. Bizarre. All of it. The fact I am writing about it!

Of course, we have endless prattling and war mongering from African Americans, who should know what their place has been in the eyes of all administrations, even the one with the mixed race Obama. Blacks do not live in a democracy, and Biden is a racist, and, the systems in this country are against Black empowerment. And, yes, against worker empowerment. Against all people of color and those whites, too.

The U.S. Black Political Class and War

What passes for leadership is always a joke played upon Black people. The high water mark of the CBC being the “conscience of the congress” is long gone. No one can look to them on the issue of Ukraine or anything else. The people must restore the historical Black radical consensus as a matter of survival.  —

“It all makes sense” that in 2022, with the fear porn of billionaires and millionaires holding a thousand axes above our heads, those of us in the 80 Percent Class, with the Holly-Dirt engine of triple lies, with the Media in bed with the Deep-Shallow-Military State, with lab coat-wearing billionaires getting platforms to yammer on and on about universal yearly vaccinations for everything on planet earth; with the world going digital before our very eyes, with privatization on steroids; with a world so confused and dazed it collapses every minute;  and with the gear work of the slick and $2000 an hour racists working their magic to get the masses, the working class, the middle class, all lathered up and hateful against youth, the old, the homeless, BIPOC, educated, uneducated, sick, worn down, poor, all of this and more, as I say, it all makes sense that we are on a collision course of lack of solidarity. Big Time.

Try talking sense to anyone, and the conversation ends up spiraling into a cesspool of, well, Americana Amnesia. Americans the Children. Americans the Red-White-Blue Consumers. Americans the Nanny-Held Citizens. All those Americans Making a Buck Anyway Possible. A Little Bit of Poison in Air-Water-Soil-Food? The price to pay for capitalism. Capitalism with a big C for CANCER.

Remember, mostly, though, this America was created by religious zealots, by profiteers, mercenaries, Christian extremists, racists, superstition peddlers, peddling PR and smear and lies with a sucker is born every minute snake oil and poison gruel for children ethos.

Capitalism is the outgrowth of that theft of land and deployment of slaves to till the land, plant the crops, harvest the cotton, etc., etc.

Black History Month My Ass! We need daily rolling strikes. Shut them down, these planned pandemic psychopaths. Shut down these hoarders, these Bezos Yacht Boys. Shut the Musk Military Magic down. All of them need to be, well, you know, Exterminate All THOSE Brutes!

Black History Month Through the Eye of the Needle 

It’s an adage by P.T. Barnum:  “A sucker is born every minute.” In the USA, there are so many suckers now who don’t know their country’s history. It takes people from other countries to give them our history lessons.

When it comes to the struggles of Latinos, Asians, Native Americans and African-Americans, the racist systems in place – even in 2022 – work to continue making Americans more ignorant.

I’ve been teaching for going on 50 years. I’ve mentored many in community colleges, universities, K12, special programs for gifted and talented, gang intervention projects, refugee centers, military compounds, prisons, and homeless programs.

In a public arena where debate should take place by deploying critical thinking and rhetorical skills, most people who espouse banning books, who have no idea what the history of the USA is through the eyes of minorities or women, and who have no clue about other countries, I find can’t hold onto their prejudices and biases when up against smart, schooled and experienced debaters.

I’ve had many a run-in and debate with racists, sexists, and bigots. One thing they have in common is fear permeated with an undeserved sense of entitlement.

We’ve reached a point in the USA where dumb-downing vis-à-vis superficiality, lack of reading, a disregard for community engagement, and all that poisonous influence of “entertainment” consumed have created a large section of Americans who have zero concept of the power to change.

There is no doubt this country is based on exploitation, land theft, breaking every treaty signed with the First Nations tribes. This is a country that rose to success through slave labor – black slave labor. This is a country determined to expand by hook or by crook through Manifest Destiny and Imperial overreach.

It’s not to say other countries do not have these damning elements to their pasts. The point is, though, Americans are in a paradigm shift of consciousness. Black History Month is just one of many “months” or weeks to rethink bad history, lies and propaganda perpetrated by the dominant race.  Native American Heritage Month and banned book week are two topics I have explored here.

The issue at hand is, of course, February’s Black History Month. The work of researchers, internationally-traveled writers, educators, philosophers, anthropologists and sociologists is solid around this emerging history.

There is no Critical Race Theory conspiracy to denigrate the “white race.”

Paul Robeson — singer, athlete, actor, and, socialist Black man — stated:  “My father was a slave and my people died to build this country and I am going to stay here and have a part of it just like you….  The answer to injustice is not to silence the critic but to end the injustice.”

I consider Black intellectual, Cornel West, a friend, and I’ve marched with him in Seattle during Occupy Seattle. At Green River College, where I taught, we filled an auditorium with people wanting to hear him. I’ve written a story on him.

He’s smart, Christian, ministerial, deep into music, a writer and a public thinker. He is not a fan of Obama, Bush, Biden, Trump or Clinton. I know no person who is an avowed racist, white supremacist, or on a spectrum of angry history-denying white person I have taught and counseled who really could argue themselves out of a paper bag when faced with anti-racists. Think of anti-racists like Angela Davis (writer, Black Panther, educator) or Raoul Peck (filmmaker of HBO’s “Exterminate All the Brutes”) or Gary Howard (“We Can’t Teach What We Don’t Know: White Teachers, Multiracial Schools”).

I’ve been in Gary’s diversity workshops in Tacoma, and I have been in trainings with others, like Brown Eagle with Spokane’s Medicine Wheel Academy. I’ve worked with Winona LaDuke and have been a counselor for African-American ex-New Orleans Saints Toussaint Tyler.

Everywhere I have lived, worked and taught at I’ve found myself in a milieu of learning about other people: people that historians have lied about, that is, those whose ability to be humans and citizens in this country has been systematically thwarted through vicious systems of oppression. List some of them as sundown laws, red lining and overt racism and lynching.

When I taught mostly white students at Gonzaga University, many had never known the story of Emmett Till, the boy who was murdered by racists, and whose body was dumped in a river with a cotton gin fan wrapped around his neck.

His mother had an open casket funeral attended by thousands in Chicago. He was kidnapped, shot and disfigured by white guys because of a “wolf whistle” directed at one of the cracker’s wives. They got off free. However, with so much entitlement, they were paid for a magazine article and admitted to torturing and killing the 14-year-old Emmett August 28, 1955.

The entire world heard about Emmett’s case. His disfigured face was photographed by dozens of journalists. His murder by racist whites in Mississippi kick-started the civil rights movement, even before Rosa Parks refused to sit at the back of the bus.

I was 19 years old when President Ford officially recognized Black History Month in 1976. Plain old white guy Gerald Ford stated he wanted all Americans to “seize the opportunity to honor the too-often neglected accomplishments of Black Americans in every area of endeavor throughout our history.”

This was a no-brainer for me. My old man, in the Army for 32 years, recounted how three of his servicemen were refused food in Kentucky. That eatery then became off-limits for soldiers. There was a big movement to list all other places that refused service to Blacks, Latinos, Asians and Native Americans.

That was before I was born. It’s great to have these celebrations for Blacks’ accomplishments, but really, overlooked and denied now is the price African Americans have paid to reach their aims. Sometimes these struggles to live, work, vote, and excel were set into stone by racist courts, racist businesses, and racist communities.

Change is always in the wind. Let’s hope more Americans get smart sooner than later. People live their histories. Listen to them.

Paul Haeder's been a teacher, social worker, newspaperman, environmental activist, and marginalized muckraker, union organizer. Paul's book, Reimagining Sanity: Voices Beyond the Echo Chamber (2016), looks at 10 years (now going on 17 years) of his writing at Dissident Voice. Read his musings at LA Progressive. Read (purchase) his short story collection, Wide Open Eyes: Surfacing from Vietnam now out, published by Cirque Journal. Here's his Amazon page with more published work Amazon. Read other articles by Paul, or visit Paul's website.