Racism is alive and thriving in the 21st century. It did not take the pictures of Virginia Governor Ralph Northam dressed up in a KKK hood or a wearing a black face to understand that one of America’s original sins continues to fester to this day. Our nation is too steeped in social classifications—artificial constructs that were always meant to divide us and incite tribalism—to think that we have arrived at a post-racial age.
Opinion leaders and the establishment voices on either side of the political divide, who are currently spinning up outrage and indignation, would like us to believe that they are actually interested in ameliorating injustice. Far from it, politicians, pundits and actorvists have a vested interest in pitting people against one another and ripping the scars of racism open. Instead of addressing the structural imbalances that give rise to racism and inflame biases among the wider public, talking heads would rather focus on individual acts of hate.
This is exactly what mouth-breathers on both sides of the aisle and throughout the media-politico complex are currently doing with Northam’s exposure. The Commonwealth of Virginia governor’s bigoted antics while attending medical school have created a most fascinating phenomenon, the liberal and conservative establishment are both pretending to care about racism. To the contrary, voices across the political spectrum are reaching for this story not to stand up for the oppressed but to bash their opponents over the head.
What you are witnessing is just another example of the punditry appropriating the pains of “African-Americans” and turning human suffering into political entertainment. Not only are they being disingenuous, these charlatans on TV and in the press are intentionally pouring fuel on the fire of fury and antagonizing the public.
Notice how one set of facts is always presented with a slant to different demographics? For example, Fox News and alt-right sites like Breitbart are latching on to Northam’s egregious actions not to call him out on the carpet but to mock Democrats. MSNBC and their ilk on the left are likewise grabbing on to the governor’s bigotry by tying them to Trump’s hateful rhetoric. One story, a dozen different angles with a thousand agitators and none of them talking about the root of racism. Pay attention, what you are witnessing is a most malicious and covert form of divide and conquer. #FacesOfRacism Click To Tweet
The plight of “black” folks has been leveraged by the establishment for centuries. There are two faces of racism when it comes to the way few brutalize and dehumanize many. The most obvious is the way the descendants of survivors and the “African-American” diaspora have been systematically mauled and discriminated against for centuries. What started with overt subjugation by way of chains and lashes morphed into de facto bondage by way of penal plantations, Jim Crow, segregation and systemic coercion. To this day, being “black” is tax that is given at birth and relinquished only upon death.
However, there is another component of racism that is a lot less evident and lost on many people. Racism doesn’t only injure “black” people, it harms the whole of humanity. Race was invented out of thin cloth by slave traders and colonizers for a reason, it was a way to create a caste system and rupture the public. By cleaving people apart and ghettoizing mankind based on color and labels, the gentry and their enforcers were hoping to manufacture perpetual social strife.
The individual acts of racists are broadcast by the news while a system that is rooted in racism is overlooked. People think they're fighting injustice as they get emotionally manipulated into rage not realizing that they are being medicated to accept a system that pillages all.
— Teodrose Fikre ✒ (@TeodroseFikre) February 2, 2019
This blueprint of sectionalizing society and keeping the poor and laborers at each other’s throats has worked brilliantly throughout human history. But no empire has perfected the art of division more than America. During the Civil War, poor southern “white” sharecroppers and farm tenants were convinced to die by the hundreds of thousands in order to keep slavery intact. “White” confederates perished defending plantation owners who were at the root of their misfortunes.
Fast forward one 150 years and this dynamic of inducing racial strife to preserve the status quo is still at play. To this end, in too many cases, the pains of “black” people are used to arouse passions and perpetuate the very system that rooted in racism. Defining people by color and turning humans into abstraction is the very is racism itself. Instead of leading unifying conversations, demagogues are unleashed to incite the fears of marginalized “whites” and to stir animosity among “minorities”. The Northam narrative is the latest iteration of this malicious ploy, firebrands are trying to ignite civil wars to this day. The have us fighting with each other as all of us are getting pillaged by the neo-aristocracy.
They are doing to America what was done to Africa by nefarious colonizers. The way a few have managed to subjugate hundreds of millions is by splintering civilizations and fomenting tribalism. This is exactly how Belgium, England, Portugal, France and the United States were able to subdue nearly a billion people and siphon their natural resources. The key is to elevate one tribe above others, tell that tribe that they are special and that they need to fear the lesser tribes while convincing the other tribes that the elevated group are the reason that they suffer.
This cunning hoodwink leads the elevated tribe to defend and depend on their colonial masters. The “privileged” tribe are so concerned about keeping their status above the rest that they overlook the fact that the vast majority within the their tribe are also being bludgeoned by the colonizers. Instead of working with their fellow countrymen to free themselves of imperialists, the elevated tribe expend all their energies perpetuating the status quo.
They would rather be first on the hierarchy of the enslaved than be equal without chains.
The marginalized tribes, likewise seething with anger, are manipulated to believe that the source of inequality is the elevated tribe. Resentment at those who look like them and mostly struggle like them makes them forget that the ones inducing violence and inequalities are the foreign colonizers. As Africa bleeds and her sons and daughters suffer, the very tyrants who prosper while a sea of humanity is condemned to a life of hardship and instability pretend to be saviors—the devil is a philanthropist.
If we believe in reinvestment & empowering each other, shopping locally & keeping our resources in our communities, we wouldn't need their help or counterfeit benevolence, we could emancipate ourselves. Sadly, our power is nullified by people who have convinced us we are victims.
— Teodrose Fikre ✒ (@TeodroseFikre) February 3, 2019
These very colonizers and globalists who indentured the continent of humanity’s inception are unleashing the same blueprint of tribalism here in America. The elevated tribe here are “white” people and the out-groups are minorities and “people of color”. Now go back and read the previous couple of paragraphs and replace African tribes with American identities. What will dawn upon many is that the populace here and throughout western nations are being hoodwinked by the “elites” to bicker and fight the same way colonizers manufactured strife in countries like Nigeria, Somalia and Libya. Ethiopia, the one nation in Africa that was never colonized, is now buckling under the weight of ethnic tensions. As it was done to Africa, so it is being done here in America—corporate colonization is a cancer upon our planet.
Fifty years ago, Martin Luther King gave a speech on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial titled “I have a Dream”. In his stirring oration, King made the case for equality and justice. He noted that the fate of “black”, “white” and all people are inextricably connected:
“Many of our white brothers, as evidenced by their presence here today, have come to realize that their destiny is tied up with our destiny. They have come to realize that their freedom is inextricably bound to our freedom. We cannot walk alone.” ~ Martin Luther King Jr.
Martin Luther King, Malcolm X and brave voices in the 1960’s realized that justice must be inclusive if the status quo of racism was to be broken. This is why the very powers who they spoke against silenced them with a vengeance the minute they pivoted from sectional causes and embraced a collective movement. If we truly are to bend the arc of history towards justice and away from racism, we must walk away from paid agents of the establishment who fetishize racism while exacerbating racial friction.
Racism is a virus that is unleashed against the marginalized not just by “white” people but by a system that co-opts the souls of opportunists who trade in their dignity for infamy. A couple of days ago, Shireen Mitchell went on the Joy Reid show and audaciously asserted—with zero proof—that the Decedents of Slaves group, an initiative started by Yvette Carnell and Antonio Moore, were assets and bots of Russians. This is the same insidious propaganda that was used against Charlie Peach, a well known political writer in Atlanta, to besmirch her character and get her kicked off Twitter by claiming she was a Russian agent. According to the black intelligentsia, if you are not 100% wedded to one ideology or another, your life just doesn’t matter. How can society be free of racism when outright bigots and duplicitous overseers are trying to keep us in the chains of the very system that purveys injustice?
“Power has learned to tip its bayonets with women & people of color.” ~ Marc Salomon
Politicians and media personalities are not leading conversations with the intent to heal but with every intention of keeping hate and racism alive. Injustice is a business model that employs a cottage industry of demagogues and frauds. We need to really think twice about weaponizing suffering for the sake of conquering opponents. There has to be a space for atonement and forgiveness, how can we erase racism if we can’t allow people to make amends. However, this requires honest dialogues instead of contrived political speeches.
A year and a half ago, during Election Day, I aired a special segment of the Ghion Cast [which you can see below this paragraph] to announce my endorsement for Virginia’s gubernatorial race. Far from backing Northam or his opponent Gillespie, I decided to support no one. I knew then what is evident to most now, Northam was just another malignant politician who pretended to care about justice when all along he was working on behalf of corporate plantations. I hope you really watch the video with full intention, because I go into detail how both political parties are colluding with moneyed interests to eviscerate hope from billions globally while they use identity and ideologies to keep us distracted.
Democrats and Republicans—as well as the entire political and media establishment from left to right—are equally toxic. All the grifters you see being paraded before us, irrespective of their color, gender of ideology, are frauds who line their pockets while they pretend to be standing against injustice. They speak half-truths to power while they add logs on the inferno of racism that is burning all of us. It is high time that we stop paying attention to these race agitators and hustlers and instead seek a path away from manufactured dissension.
“The media’s the most powerful entity on earth. They have the power to make the innocent guilty and to make the guilty innocent, and that’s power. Because they control the minds of the masses.” ~ Malcolm X
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Originally from Ethiopia with roots to Atse Tewodros II, Lij Teodrose is a former community organizer whose writing was incorporated into Barack Obama's South Carolina primary victory speech in 2008. He pivoted away from politics and decided to stand for collective justice after experiencing the reality of the forgotten masses. His writing defies conventional wisdom and challenges readers to look outside the constraints of labels and ideologies that serve to splinter the people. Lij Teodrose uses his pen to give a voice to the voiceless and to speak truth to power.