Reparations? Say, What?
Why isn't that fact ever included in slavery reparations?
I notice that many black Americans are highly religious, to the point of superstition. (I know I'm going to piss people off saying this, but I have worked alongside a lot of African-American women and I know what I'm talking about. Everything is about God to them.) I also notice that Peter Popoff is back.
Why does the Black Entertainment Television (BET) network host this charlatan? Look at his audience today, twenty years after being exposed as a fraud. Most of them seem to be black. What motivates them to follow a modern-day Massa? Isn't this the "slave mind" all over again?
Shame on Black Entertainment Television. Shame on Peter Popoff. And shame on all the people who prefer to have a tizzy about atheists rather than speaking out against real problems, like those who would fleece the gullible of their money. "I'm not a fundamentalist, but..." Well, I'm not a fundamentalist at all, and I stand for the true liberation of all people, not their continued enslavement to superstition. That means that all Americans, black and white, rich and poor, must finally adopt critical thinking and personal responsibility, and quit blaming con-artists like Popoff for "brainwashing" them. Yes, shame on Peter Popoff, but "Fool me twice...shame on me."
UPDATED: I recently reread this article, "The Homecoming: Paranoia and Plague in Black America," which has haunted me since I first read it, in 1995. HIV denialists assail the article and its author, Hanna Rosin, as “racist” - which is an outrage, since it is the denialists who are perpetrating a racist crime on black America and in Africa with their HIV-doesn’t-cause-AIDS/AIDS-is-a-white-conspiracy balderdash.
Each time Otis tells the truth [that he has AIDS], he becomes a pariah. He says his wife left him when people found out he was positive and started calling her a "diseased bitch " His 14-year-old niece, visiting from Georgia with her son, "freaked when she found out, started sereaming, 'He's been using the same bathroom, he touched my baby.'" When he confided in his minister, the man poinied at him the next day in church and preached about the sins of bad living. Otis won't go to an AIDS clinic, even for a prescription: "Nope. No way in hell. That's, you know ... a homo place, and your mama or your cousin or anybody could see you go in and then you're branded for life." ...
"One thing about corporate medicine is they find a way to make money off you until you're in your grave," he [Ron Simmons, who runs an "alternative" AIDS clinic] jeers, holding up a copy of his bible: Poison by Prescription: The AZT Story. "Black folks have what I call a healthy paranoia. After all, they did it once, so they can do it again." "They" is the U.S. government—specifically, the Public Health Service...
Black clergy, the community natural leaders, only feed the paranoia. When a clean-needles program was first proposed in New York City in 1989, Calvin O. Butts of the Abyssinian Baptist Church decreed he was "not in favor of cooperating with the devil," meaning those who might perpetuate addiction. Leading the national charge was Reverend Graylan Ellis-Hagler, who now presides over the Plymouth Congregational Church in Washington. "First, the white establishment pushes drugs into the community," he told the Atlantic in 1993. 'They cripple the community politically and economically with drugs. They send the males to jail. Then someone hands out needles to maintain the dependency."
Religious opposition killed needle-exchange programs in every city except New York, which squeezed through a trial program in 1991. The result is the only unqualified success story in the prevention war. In a city where half of intravenous drug users test positive, the program cut infection rates by 50 to 75 percent, according to a study of its 2,500 participants. Now, Ellis-Hagler is willing to relent, he says, "because there aren't strong enough feelings from the community to create a hysteria,"although he still finds the program "a pitiful last resort, and racist." It may be too late. By now, momentum has died down. Washington, for example, has only enough money for a tiny pilot program inconveniently located in a downtown federal building. The vacuum has been filled by a kind of generic sermonizing, drained of any urgency.
Ten years ago, ministers routinely refused to preside over funerals of people who died of AIDS, and funeral homes refused to bury them. That kind of disgtist has mostly been replaced by evasive homilies, expressed by a scattered few, such as Washington's Reverend Pervis "Fireball" McKenney, who takes pride in insisting, "I preach against all sin and that's one of them. I'm with the Bible on sin, and all sin is against God, period, whether it be homosexuals or whatever." In milder forms, ministers presiding over funerals will say "this person was a sinner, but he renounced that world at the end of his life," or they won't mention how the person died.
--Hanna Rosin, "The Homecoming: Paranoia and Plague in black America," (The New Republic, June 5, 1995, pp. 21-31).
What about the sin of omission?