By SUSAN K. SMITH
Crazy Faith Ministries
The near-hysterical reaction against critical race theory is a disingenuous playing of the race card by dishonest and desperate politicians who seem to know that without the issue of race – which includes the pervasiveness of White fear – they really have little to nothing to offer the masses of American people, including the masses of poor Whites who support them.
It has been White politicians who have unashamedly used race to win elections, overthrow governments and commit mass mob violence against White people. After they have played the card and netted the results they have sought, they have successfully shifted the narrative to blame Black people for whatever chaos resulted from their tactics, presenting themselves as the protectors of democracy and freedom.
It is no accident that students in this country do not learn the real history of this country and how white supremacist policies and practices have been the rule. They do not learn that slavery was the tool of America’s plantation economy and that the Civil War was definitely about slavery – not because so much of a hatred of Black people, but because losing free Black labor would hinder their quest for power and wealth.
Many people who live in Wilmington, North Carolina never heard of – because they were not taught – the Wilmington Massacre of 1898, waged by Whites who strategized, planned and successfully implemented a plan to get all Black people out of political office and to keep Black people from voting. The coup d’etat they waged is hailed as the only successful one in this country. Students do not learn how Black people were murdered on sight, how they were put on banishment lists that meant they were put out of Wilmington and warned never to return– along with Whites who sympathized with them and worked to ensure their freedom.
They do not learn that ballot boxes were looted of valid ballots and stuffed with ballots of the angry White populace who were incensed that Black people had gained so much political power during Reconstruction. They were intent that “White people would never be ruled by Negroes,” according to printed documents.
The American power structure has manipulated the telling of the story of white supremacy in this country so that the myth of white superiority and high moral standards would be maintained. They hid the stories of the violence White mobs carried out against Black families and individuals and instead pushed the narrative that Black people were bad, ignorant and incapable of both voting and of holding political office.
The instances of White mob violence have been covered up for decades. Just as residents of Wilmington do not know the story of the 1898 race massacre, residents of Tulsa, Rosewood, East St. Louis and other cities were similar atrocities were carried out have been kept in the dark.
We see how White participants and observers of White mob violence are engaging in revising the story of what happened on Jan. 6 right before our eyes. When their manipulation of the event is completed, the story will be that the violence meted out on that day was carried out by patriotic White people who were defending the United States Capitol from anti-fascists who had invaded the building. The story will be that they saved the nation’s capitol and that photos and videos of police officers being attacked were redacted to make it seem as though they were the perpetrators, when they, in fact, were the heroes. They will state that would never harm “law enforcement,” and they will do it boldly and arrogantly.
White people in positions of power and leadership know the truth. They know that if more White children knew White history that they would be shocked. It is not CRT that is the threat, it is their own sordid history. The emergence of the conversation about CRT has given them an excuse to continue their whitewashing of history so as to protect their children not from a course that is taught only at the graduate and post graduate levels of education but from the stories of how their own beloved ancestors were agents of white supremacist-inspired violence.
In these times where Whites seem ever more desperate to hold onto their power, it is incumbent upon us who can, to write the stories of what is going on today and to continue to research the history that has been kept hidden from all of us so as to protect the myth of American exceptionalism.
America has been most exceptional, it seems, in using their own hatred of Black people to paint a picture of a country which has yet to be the democracy it has purported to support.
Rev. Dr. Susan K. Smith is the founder and director of Crazy Faith Ministries. She is available for speaking. And she is an award-winning author for her latest book, “With Liberty and Justice for Some: The Bible, the Constitution, and Racism in America,” available through all booksellers. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.