It always saddens historians when humankind repeats some of the darker annals of their history. As forever students of history, it is our job to look into matters from the past with more scrutiny, always in search of more evidence to what happened throughout decades. These slices of time often contain a bag of mix nuts – some good and some very, very bad.
When I saw the news today, it didn’t come as a shock as Civil Rights History is my area of expertise and scholarship.
The Civil Rights Movement beginning in reality back in the 1920s, was a tough time for America in spite of the financial prosperity of Wall Street. Yes, the roaring Twenties were steep in the Gatsby mystery and over the top wealth; however, there was another side that most laymen seldom hear about in their history classes in grade school or college. It is not until one goes further in their history education – graduate level and beyond – that we hear of the true happenings from that period, which was dark, twisted and wicked.
Long before Billie Holiday’s Strange Fruit, the torrid tales of hangings and oppression on the black population in America was a horrific story most people don’t learn unless they lived through that period. As most from the era are now long gone, the people today only have legends, myths and urban tales of how things were – pieced together through written and pictorial accounts.
Part of that history was the Klu Klux Klan – an organization created by the Democrats in the Reconstruction era to exact revenge on the Republicans and newly freed black people because their economy was threatened with the abolishment of slavery. Made up mostly of Southern plantation owners, these Blue Dog Democrats were angered by Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation and decided to take matters into their own hands. They tortured Republicans and Black Americans without mercy while proving to be a terror organization many lawmen where also a part. Therefore, they were left unfettered as they burned through the South with vigor.
As many know, there were separate platoons during WWI for whites and black soldiers. However, separate, they were equal in the eyes of the military. Many black soldiers won recognition for their participation in the Army. Furthermore, while in Europe, they got used to living in areas where there was no segregation based on pigment. When they came back to the States, it was a culture shock to be segregated once again as it was still taboo for whites and blacks to intermingle in most social circles.
In fact, West Harlem, during this time, rose to be a prominent upper class area for Blacks while East Harlem was considered the working class Black population. Most of the beatnik blacks were also in the West Side which always denotes the upward mobility of a class with a rich history in the arts.
Fast forward to the Sixties during the Civil Rights Movement with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. – the era most Americans think is the crux of liberation. This time was also particularly blood after a Klan quasi-hiatus during the Second World War and Cold War Fifties. They came back though their numbers never reached the pitch level of the post-WWI era.
Again activism sparked their resurgence and this caused many to lose their lives. The Freedom Rides were particularly gruesome – where both Blacks and Whites were brutally beaten for sitting on the bus without division. The brutality coupled with television, became more a central focus of social injustice in our world that change was demanded by people who saw this violence and were outraged.
In the Eighties, the Klan began to look foolish and irrelevant with the advent of talk show television and Jerry Springer. They became the freaks of our country and an embarrassment of a bygone era. Their views were chastised and they fell out of vogue with most of Middle America, where they once were popular.
And here we are today… Historians besides myself who’ve studied the various eras of American History can tell you, this is not good but the activists like Antifa and BLM have opened up the Pandora’s Box once again.
In Charlottesville, Virginia on July 8th, history is, once again, repeating itself. As I predicted in January 2016 with all the Black Lives Matter protests, the sleeping Klan cells have apparently come alive again, and now they plan to rally as a backlash to all the historical monuments Liberals want to remove from Southern towns. This type of social activism, when it goes on long enough, never ceases to reignite the Klan as it’s done many times throughout our history. This is just historical fact and for those who are truly dedicated to learning history soon see the fact patterns and threads that make these cause and effects quite evident.
It’s sad to see this because we had come so far before Obama was our president. In fact, we’d come far enough to elect our first Black president; however, with the Liberals’ constant identity politics, banter and cultivating groups like BLM, it has divided our country and dialed back fifty years of our History and advancement. One would think it would be just the opposite, but the proof is in the evidence In reality, we had really come very far in forging one society where so much tension had lived for well over a century, but now we’re faced with it all dissipating because Liberals have no platform but hate and division.
Granted it will take another twenty years before today will be weighed and judged by historians but it will come as no shock if they say this time period is one of our darkest hours. One can only hope President Trump will somehow find a way to dial Obama’s negative legacy to a time before he was president because only then can we hope to find some way to truly gain an understanding that the divisions within us are in our hearts and minds, not in our skin pigmentation.