alcalloway.jpgYou were summarily denounced as un-American if labeled “militant” or “radical” during the Civil Rights Era, especially during the 1960s and ‘70s. Negro integrationist leadership led the charge against blacks who decried the use of the name “Negro” and who promoted self reliance and connection to “the Motherland, Africa.”

Civil rights strategist Bayard Rustin and NAACP leader Roy Wilkins led the pack, receiving national and international attention in the white press, followed by too many editors of the then-Negro press.

Consciously or otherwise, what their appeasement policies did for white nationalism in America — and the world! — was to stifle the voices of black liberation bursting from American inner cities and hamlets and spreading throughout the Diaspora.

So many artists, writers and activists had to “stick and move,” like famed boxer Muhammad Ali did in the ring, to sidestep eager law enforcement harassment and arrest for all manner of spurious charges. From the White House, through lead antagonist J. Edgar Hoover, head of the FBI, to the white policeman on the beat, the thrust was about getting so-called black militants and radicals off the streets.

A most engaging idea that surfaced from the developing underground counter-culture of that era is that of chickens coming home to roost. Back then, disaffected black intellectuals especially, and some Native Americans and Latinos, were saying that what you (the American people) allow government to do to us today will be done to you tomorrow.

Tomorrow is here.  Actually, it has been here for some time. Yes, chickens have come home to roost. Isn’t that what the present White House, Wall Street and Main Street debacle is all about? The greedy insiders ran out the front door with so much wealth, knowing that working people would have to make good on the debt they left, or that America’s financial (capitalist) system would fail.

White America has been asleep at the switch for so long that it has even forgotten where it is. When jobs were moved out to the suburbs so that companies did not have to train and hire blacks and other so-called minorities, Main Street did not see what was next.

What has been happening at increasing speed is the movement of training and jobs to developing and undeveloped nations, where profits are magnified through cheap labor and from which America derives little or no taxes. Plant and office closings have derailed the prosperity of many American towns and cities.

Why haven’t Americans denounced these moves as un-American greed? White Americans believe in a system that has historically benefited them, that’s why. Blacks, on the other hand, hang passively behind a leadership that coaxes them to be calm, wait and pray, while leaders enjoy the fruits of middle-class living afforded via the “system.”

Rodney McGill, a black former drug dealer turned preacher, sits in a Martin County, Florida jail today with bail set at $1.4 million. He was arrested on charges of mortgage fraud,
grand theft and racketeering. His mortgage broker wife is also in jail, bail set at $1.4 million. The cops say the couple had a ponzi scheme going.

That’s somewhat like the Wall Street ponzi schemers who have absconded with so much loot, yet none of whom are anywhere near a jail. The McGills sold homes at very high prices, knowing the real estate market was faltering. That left people with mortgages they couldn’t afford. The McGills had purchased these homes months before for considerably less money. Investors were promised a quick profit, and those who did make money excited others to invest.

Like any pyramid or ponzi, people at the top profit, not the people who get in later, or the bottom feeders. But Rodney McGill insists that everything was alright with the banks that participated.

In a Sept. 22 Palm Beach Post article, McGill said, “We were all on the ride, and whoever was left on the ride got left holding the bag. That’s why you’re hearing about R. McGill and people like us.”

Come on now, you mean nobody in Washington or Wall Street is in jail?

Al Calloway •