The Day America Died – Part 3: The New Jim Crow
By H. J. Harris, author of “Solving The Race Issue In America.” (www.solvingtheraceissue.com)
As we move further into this new year, I ask myself, “Where is the America I was taught to trust and believe in?”
Things are happening right now in America that I thought could never happen in this land of the free and home of the brave. Are we brave enough to face the truth?
“Did America die? When did this happen? Is America on life support?”
Perhaps America died when certain leaders and their enablers refused to accept that the 2020 election was fair, proper, and free of election fraud. They ignored the findings of the US Supreme Court, the Attorney General, the Election Security Agency, and virtually every other court and state election board in the country.
Is it a blow to the heart of America when the validated vote of the American people – the cornerstone of the American democracy – is disputed by certain leaders with baseless, false, unsupported allegations of election fraud.
Perhaps America died when a white policeman murdered George Floyd by kneeling on his neck for over nine minutes. The world watched in real time as George Floyd cried for help and called for his dead mother, as the life drained from his body onto a hard, cold Minneapolis street.
Is it a sucker-punch to the belly of America that the lawyers representing the policeman who kneeled on George Floyd’s neck want us to believe that George died of drugs or other physical ailments? These lawyers are asking the jurors and the world to ignore what our eyes saw, and our ears heard for over nine minutes. This line of defense has been done before. Remember the filmed beating of Rodney King.
Perhaps America died on January 6, 2021 when a violent group of the former president’s supporters attacked and occupied the United States Capitol. This mob halted the constitutional process of certifying the Electoral College votes and forced our legislators – in the Citadel of Democracy – to put on gas masks, run for cover, and evacuate the building.
According to the New York Times (1/11/2021), five people lost their lives in the Capitol Assault of January 6, 2021.
Perhaps America dies today – when her soul is once more under fatal attack.
An article by Amy Gardner in The Washington Post (3/11/2021) reveals that Republican
lawmakers in 43 states have proposed at least 250 laws that would restrict voting rights.
This current national assault on voting rights is taken from the racist playbook of voter suppression that seems to be required reading for republicans throughout the nation.
The playbook for voter suppression was developed from a coup that took place on American soil – “the Coup of 1898 in Wilmington, North Carolina.”
After the legitimately elected government of Wilmington, North Carolina was overthrown in the “Coup of 1898,” white legislators in the state government enacted “Jim Crow” laws that would suppress the rights of black voters. The state legislature passed laws requiring voters to pay poll taxes, pass literacy tests, “grandfather clauses” – anything that would undermine and excluded black people from voting.
Once North Carolina showed the way, similar “Jim Crow” voter suppression laws spread throughout the south – virtually eradicating gains by black Americans after the Civil War.
In 1898, the goal of the state legislators was to prevent the re-occurrence of the 1898 liberal political victory that had been destroyed by the “Coup of 1898.”
Today we have the “New Jim Crow.” The true goal of today’s national assault on voting rights is essentially the same as in 1898 – to ensure that the victories by the democrats in winning the presidency and control of the US Senate would never be repeated in upcoming elections.
This national movement of voter suppression can be the final deathblow to the American heart, soul, spirit, and dream.
The voter suppression movement started in 1898 lasted for over 60 years – until the bloody civil rights movements of the 1950’s and 1960’s.
If this Republican initiated movement for voter suppression is not addressed immediately, it can undermine the democratic foundation necessary for America to live out its creed – that all people are created equal with certain unalienable rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
Throughout history, the high ideal and authenticity of the American dream has consistently and continuously been assaulted and attacked by the forces of evil.
When political, religious, and spiritual leaders stand by in silent acquiescence as these attacks occur, the sins of the past will be relived in the present and perpetuated in the future.
Abraham Lincoln understood the dilemma when he said, “America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves.”
Lincoln proclaimed that a house divided against itself cannot stand.
A single blow does not kill the giant. The “New Jim Crow” – a thousand small blows of hypocrisy, lies, deception, injustice, and insincere apologies weakens the giant until it is no morel
America dies a little each day as the smoldering embers of racism and injustice are fanned by flawed leaders who proclaim the American dream for some, while subjecting other Americans to unspeakable suffering of fear, poverty, injustice, and pandemic.
America dies a little each day when our citizens, our political leaders, and most of all our religious leaders, stand by in quiet acquiescence, as our country turns it back on the Golden Rule – do unto others as you would have them do unto you.
Our children are watching. What example shall we give?
We have a choice. We can be the “better angels” that Abraham Lincoln described in his First Inaugural Address. We can follow the light and walk the talk so eloquently set forth by the founding fathers – “that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”
Or we can continue in the darkness of untruths and bitter division. We can build our house upon the sands of lies, hypocrisy, injustice, and fear … “and when the rains descend, and floods come, and the winds blow and beat upon the house that is America, it will fall, and great will be the fall of it.”
When did America die?
The answer America is not in our stars, but in ourselves.
Are we brave enough to face it?
© 2021 LifeSkill Institute, Inc., PO Box 302, Wilmington, NC 28402
Learn more about “Solving The Race Issue In America” and contact
Dr. Herbert (H J) Harris at: www.solvingtheraceissue.com
Email: [email protected] Phone: 800-570-4009
About the author: Dr. Harris personally experienced the Civil Rights era of the 1950’s and 1960’s. He attended the 1963 March on Washington, observed and heard Dr. King’s “I have a dream” speech at the Lincoln Monument. Harris has been a keen observer, recorder, interviewer and participant at pivotal moments of the racial evolution of America.