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Escape to Your Independence

Black news from Pasadena - Editorial - Modern Jim Crow examples - escape to independenceA few weeks ago my oldest granddaughter asked me for examples of modern silent forms of Jim Crow. I gave a few examples like the discrimination in employment that still happens quietly. I directed her to Isabel Wilkerson's book, "THE WARMTH OF OTHER SUNS", and Michele Norris' book, "THE GRACE OF SILENCE." These books are about the great migration that tell the story of how and why Black Americans left the south. These books tell us how Blacks headed for points west like California and New York to escape the blatant racism of the south.

What they discovered was arguably better, but, in fact, was just a new type of racism and Jim Crow. This new brand of racism had no sheets but covered itself in housing covenants that discriminated based on race, school segregation that saved the best schools for white kids, and Friday night lynching of Black men and rape of Black women for sport by hooded Klansmen.

The Civil Rights Movement made it better when housing covenant laws were defeated and school segregation was declared illegal by the courts, but treated as fact by local school boards. Blacks used the vote to help elect Black school boards and black mayors and appoint Black police chiefs and get jobs where they could not get them before.

But in the end, the doors of real power remained closed. These are the doors to the economic power of America. Lest we forget, America is great because of slavery and a few hundred years of free labor by millions of enslaved Black Africans. Someone once said that behind every fortune there is a great crime. I can think of no greater crime than one race forcefully kidnapping and enslaving millions of people of another race and treating them like cattle for the economic benefit of the other race.

There are other crimes that no one talks about. The Kennedys are rich because grandpa Joe Kennedy bootlegged Scotch whiskey during prohibition, selling it to America. The oil and railroad barons, like the Rockefellers, took people's land because they needed it for tracks or oil exploration to build their wealth. They stole land from Native Americans and stole the labor of Asians, and Blacks.

And there is the great crime that keeps Black America at the bottom of the heap. Don't forget that at every turn there were Blacks that were willing to cooperate with whites or whoever would pay a price for their help in keeping their own people down. In Africa, there were chiefs who were willing to trade their people who made up the tribes of their Black conquests. The drug dealer who is willing to sell the poison of heroin or crack to his own people for a profit is another example, as is the pimp who sells his woman into a modern slavery called, prostitution.

As the Civil Rights movement made major progress with integrating society, there were thieves and criminals in boardrooms selling the economic rights of a people.

Robert Johnson of BET made his fortune on the backs of his people. The crime he chose came when he was faced with the advice of white men who said to him he could become a billionaire by selling the pride of Black America through promotion of songs and poems of self hatred. The other advice came from his wife who told him to use BET to uplift our people. He chose the lower road.

Johnson chose to bypass Black college graduates and professionally trained artists and reach down into the depths of the Black gangster world and lift them up as role models for our young to follow. Role models with names like the gangster 50 Cent, and the dope smoking Snoop Dogg who demean our women in song, and role models with names like NWA (Nigg**s With Attitude) that demeaned Black Americans, and so many wonder why Blacks are left behind.

This summer I turned 71 and celebrated 50 years of marriage to my Miss Ruthie. I take great pride in being called grandpa by my seven grandchildren. I take even greater pride that there is a legacy to leave for my family that leaves no great embarrassing crime that marks who I am. To my children and grandchildren I say Jim Crow is still around. Be vigilant. Watch for him. Be prepared. Try to lead, not beg. Escape to your independence as soon as possible, and don't accept the racism. Fight Jim Crow wherever he/she shows its ugly head.

The Escape to independence means acquiring income producing assets like Real Property and marketable skills that can form the root and base of your own business. Remember the stories of sacrifice like the story of your grandparents who worked together to gain property for your future. Remember the family who saved one spouses salary to buy income producing assets (Real Property) while sacrificing to live on the other's salary, just to give you a better future. Never forget that when one door closes, another one always opens, as when this grandfather was fired from one job and took it as an opportunity to train for a new profession and build businesses.


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