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A Litany Of Lies

 

“Those who forget the past are doomed to repeat it.”
 
Posted at site of the Jonestown massacre


Black people cannot overcome oppression as long as lies distort their past…

 

Eugene Stovall

Oakland, California, December 2016

 

 

On June 28, 1971, Jerome Johnson, a black street hustler, posing as a photojournalist, crept up behind Joe Colombo. The boss of the powerful New York City Colombo crime family stood at a podium facing the wildly enthusiastic crowd attending New York City’s Italian Unity Day rally. Jerome Johnson gained access to the stage wearing press credentials issued by the Colombo’s own people. Pulling an automatic pistol from a camera case, Johnson fired three shots into Colombo’s head and neck. Though grievously wounded, Joe Colombo survived.

 

Jerome Johnson was not so fortunate, Seconds after the black assassin pulled the trigger, Colombo's son and bodyguards wrestled him to the ground. Then they moved aside and a Mafia hit man stepped up and shot Jerome Johnson full in the face. As Johnson lay dying, the hit man leapt off of the stage and disappeared into the crowd.

 

Jerome Johnson should have known that he would never get away with shooting Joe Colombo. He should have known that the Mafia would eliminate anyone associated with such a high profile hit. Somebody lied to the would be hit man.

 

Jerome Johnson exemplifies how acting on someone’s lies can result in terrible consequences. A Litany of Lies have trapped the masses of black people in the false reality of post-racial America.

 

 

Indifference And Complacency Spawns Ignorance

 

When the government assassinated John F. Kennedy, the white folks immediately wanted to know the who, the how and the why. Even as Lyndon Johnson took the oath of office on Air Force One, white folks were searching out the facts and debunking the lies. When the government suggested the ‘magic bullet’ and ‘lone gunman’ theories, white researchers, newsmen and academics offered a lot of evidence to contradict the government’s claims. Even though the actual assassins were never caught and remained free to commit other atrocities, the overwhelming majority of white folk’s opinion makers scoffed at the government’s Warren Report and continued their inquiries into the assassination of their president.

 

When Martin Luther King was murdered in Memphis, black people accepted the official media version with little reaction. No high level black scholar, black politician or black preacher sought out information or demanded the truth about King’s murder. None of the SCLC elites ___ Jesse Jackson, Ralph Abernathy, Andrew Young ___ challenged the ‘lone gunman’ theory. and incorporated the official version of the lone assassin into their own litany of lies. When violence erupted in various black communities across the country with the announcement of King’s murder, the government issued its standard lone gunman theory. The legitimate black leadership ___ NAACP, Urban League, SCLC and Congressional Black Caucus leaders ____  even helped the government to get the black community to accept the official explanation. Within no time, black people accepted the government’s announcement and became quite indifferent to the assassination of their black civil rights champion.

 

In 1978, Jim Jones murdered 900 black people on his plantation in Guyana. Several hundred of the victims were sent to Jonestown by the State of California. Some were orphans under the ‘care’ of the California Youth Authority; others were parolees from the California Department of Corrections. Jim Jones influenced Democrats, like Willie Brown, Jerry Brown and George Moscone, with campaign donations. These politicians, in turn, helped Jones acquire victims from the State of California for his ‘death camp.’ The official version of the Jonestown massacre was that the victim’s committed suicide___ poisoning themselves by drinking the cyanide-laced Kool Aide provided by Jim Jones.

 

The government of Guyana, however, issued an official autopsy report performed on the Jonestown victims before their bodies were released to the U.S. government. The Guyanese government found that 90% of the adults at Jonestown died of gunshot wounds and most of the children were murdered by injections of cyanide from hypodermic needles. But these facts are not what black people believe happened in Jonestown. Their complacency and indifference makes them ignorant about the Jonestown tragedy.

 

 

From the Supreme Court To The Streets Of Montgomery

 

Recently a Filipino high school teacher delivered a lecture about Rosa Parks and the Montgomery Bus Boycott to her ethnic studies class. She covered the highlights of the story. In 1954, Rosa Parks spontaneously decided to disobey a bus driver’s order to relinquish her seat to a white man and was arrested. Rosa Parks’ arrest sparked a year-long boycott of Montgomery’s public transportation system by the black community.

 

But then Marin County ethnic studies teacher offered her class of mostly white students an alternative theory of the Rosa Parks’ story. She pointed out various anomalies in the official version of Rosa Parks’ story. For example, Rosa Parks was unusually well dressed for a secretary coming home from work. She was even wearing a pearl necklace. The teacher theorized that the Montgomery bus boycott was staged to catapult Martin Luther King into national prominence.

 

At the time, the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee [SNCC] and the Congress Of Racial Equality [CORE] were agitating to implement the 1946 Supreme Court desegregation decision. Brown v Board of Education gave CORE and SNCC additional grounds for protest. The government did not approve of neither SNCC nor CORE. So the government encouraged the Southern Baptist Convention to create a black caucus, the Southern Christian Leadership Conference [SCLC] and hand-pick a black leader, Martin Luther King to implement the government’s desegregation plan. The teacher believed that the Montgomery bus boycott was planned at the highest levels of government in order to coordinate the activities of the SCLC, the NAACP as well as the Montgomery Police Department.

 

The next day a black parent came to the Filipino teacher’s ethnic studies class. The black woman angrily challenged the teacher’s revisionist history of the Montgomery bus boycott. In front of the entire class, the black woman shouted at the teacher over and over again, “What do YOU know about Rosa Parks?”  The black parent wanted the teacher ___ as well as her entire class ___ to know that black people consider history a matter of genetics, not a matter of facts. According to this parent, black people will tolerate no challenge to their historical orthodoxy ___ no matter how much at variance black history is with actual historical facts.

 

The Marin County parent’s logic differs little from the logic of George G.M. James, author of Stolen Legacy. James theorizes that Greek Philosophy was written by the Egyptians. For proof, James claimss that Alexander the Great invaded Egypt, looted the famous library at Alexandria and sent its literary treasures to Aristotle in Athens. According to James, Aristotle used the stolen texts to create the substance of Greek philosophy.

 

But James’ claim is historically inaccurate. Alexander, himself, never entered Egypt; the city of Alexandria, named for the Greek conqueror, was not established until decades after Alexander’s death; and the famous Alexandrian Library was established by the Ptolemaic dynasty, several centuries later. Certainly, the great harbor of Alexandria and the Lighthouse of Pharos beckoned Greek ships from Athens, but not to steal Egyptian culture, but to steal gold, silver, wheat and corn. 

 

 

Desegregation: The Legacy that Made MLK A National Hero

 

In the 1950s and 1960s, Martin Luther King and his SCLC organization agitated for the government’s desegregation plan for America. In addition to public transportation facilities, the SCLC promoted the desegregation of public schools and lunch counters. Desegregation was a necessary first step in the privatization of the schools. Integrated schools eliminated the need for the cadre of black teachers and administrators to run segregated black schools, decreasing the number of black teachers and adminstrators and increasing opportunities and salaries for white teachers and administrators. Desegregation slowly squeezed out black business opportunities in favor of white businesses. Under the SCLC, desegregation was just another method for white people to steal other people’s land and resources ____ something they have done throughout history.

 

Most importantly, SCLC administration of the government’s desegregation plans allowed whites to retain the ‘privilege’ of beating, jailing and killing any black person attempting to exercise their legal rights until white people, themselves, became ‘adjusted’ to the idea of desegregation. The desegregation of black communities allowed the government to increase criminal activity dumping tons of drugs and weapons, establishing black gangs and instituting a program of mass incarceration. In return for their participation in the plan, black churches were allowed to remain segregated amd economically viable. Furthermore, , black preachers received political appointments and access to corporate boardrooms. Under the SCLC’s leadership, desegregation impoverished the masses of black people while enriching the emerging class of black elites rightfully called ‘poverty pimps.’

 

 

Desegregation under SCLC leadership progressed well until 1968, when King went to Memphis to demand decent wages for black workers. The government became so incensed over King’s betrayal that it had him shot in the head. White elites would tolerate no challenge to the existing economic order from the SCLC ____ or any other black organization. When the black community predictably erupted over King’s assassination, the white media gave them James Earl Ray as a sacrificial lamb.

 

I sell books, my own as well as books by other authors, at book shows and through other distribution outlets. I offer William Pepper’s book, An Act Of State: The Execution of Martin Luther King to those who want to know who murdered King. Pepper’s book chronicles how the government, including the Memphis police department, the FBI, the CIA and the US Army, conspired to eliminate the government’s top agent, gone rogue. I do not know how many black people have read Peppers’ book, but no black person ever purchased this book from me. Black people, it seems, are uninterested in learning the facts concerning the death of their great civil rights leader.

 

Trump’s Choice For MLK’s Mantle Of Leadership

 

Donald Trump paraded a number of black surrogates before the public, but none fitted role of Trump’s personal African-American, his 21st century Martin L. King, the Rev. Mark Burns. Trump showcased Mark Burns, Pastor of the Harvest Praise & Worship Center of South Carolina, at the Republican National Convention. Pastor Burns then appeared on such media outlets as MSNBC, CNN and FOX News. With neither dignity nor sobriety, Pastor Burns displays a George “Kingfish” Stevens demeanor. Burns relies on a barrage of incoherent blubberings to impose his opinions such as denying that Trump is a racist or that president-elect solicits the support of neo-Nazis or Ku Klux Klansmen. Trump is sponsoring Pastor Burns’ claim to Martin Luther King mantle. Though Mark Burns is far less articulate than M. L.K,, the two preachers serve the same masters. And to white people, Pastor Mark Burns represents the Trump administration’s return to the ‘good ole days’ when one could trust the ‘good ole darky’ who like Martin Luther King would say:

 

If any blood be spilled, let be ours and not that of our white brothers .

 

Supreme Court Brown v Board of Education: A Closer Look

In 1951, lawyers from the NAACP filed a class action suit against Topeka’s Board of Education on behalf of thirteen black parents and their 20 children. The suit called for the Topeka school district to reverse its policy of maintaining separate schools for black and white students. The Topeka NAACP had carefully recruited each of the black plaintiffs named in the suit. The named plaintiff, Oliver L. Brown, was a parent, a welder for the Santa Fe Railroad and an assistant pastor at Topeka’s St. Mark’s A.M.E church. Brown's daughter, Linda, a third grader, had to walk six blocks to a bus stop where a bus took her some miles away to the all black Monroe Elementary School.  Sumner Elementary School, seven blocks from Linda Brown’s house, admitted only white children. Thurgood Marshall, assisted by a legal team that included Loren Miller, represented the plaintiffs in the class action suit. The NAACP lawyers appeared before the Supreme Court and won a unanimous opinion. On May 17, 1954, in the case of Brown v Board of Education, the Supreme Court found the Kansas law permitting the segregation of public schools, unconstitutional.

Eight years earlier, Thurgood Marshall and the NAACP assisted William Hastie to successfully argued the case of Morgan v Virginia before the Supreme Court. In this 1946 landmark case, in a 6-1 decision, the Supreme Court ruled that the segregation of interstate travel facilities was unconstitutional. Prior to the case, William Hastie was the governor of the U.S. Virgin Islands. After winning the case, Hastie was appointed later a judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit. Thurgood Marshall’s 1954 Brown v Board of Education case has been hailed as the landmark decision  ___ the first to strike down segregation throughout the United States ___ while Hastie’s and Marshall’s 1946 Morgan v State of Virginia has been largely forgotten ___ or rather ignored.

 

‘A Message For Our Time’

 

Congressman Barbara Lee and Mayor Elihu Harris sponsor a lecture series in Oakland, California. The November, 2016 keynote speaker for the Lecture Series was Rev. Fred Gray.  Lou Fancher interviewed the Rev. Gray for an article that appeared in the East Bay Times on November 17, 2016. Fancher’s article described Fred Gray as a civil rights leader with a “message for our time.” Calling the Lee/Harris keynote speaker, a leader whose credentials give him the mantle of legitimacy, the East Bay Times article said that Fred Gray could ‘educate’ blacks about what they needed to do to improve themselves in Donald Trump’s America. The following are highlights of Lou Fancher’s interview with the Rev. Fred Gray.

‘During the Civil Rights Movement, attorney and preacher Fred Gray practiced the patience, peace and unflagging activism, which still resonate today…

In 1955, he successfully served as lawyer to Rosa Parks, Claudette Colvin and the Montgomery Improvement Association during the 381-day Montgomery Bus Boycott.

“Don’t expect those of us who removed the evil barriers 60 years ago to come up with solutions. Young people need to come up with those solutions,” Gray said.

“This country has never really faced up to solving the race problem. It’s so ingrained. It’s not going to go away by itself. It started when WE [my emphasis] brought slaves here. It’s going to take every conceivable form of action if WE’RE [my emphasis] ever going to face up to it and solve it,” he said.

The reference to ‘WE’ in the East Bay Times article puzzled me. Since it is generally assumed that white slave masters brought black slaves to America, I wondered whether Gray identified himself as a descendant of the slave masters or a descendant of the slaves. But, of course, black preachers serving white interests always seem to have this unique identity problem. : http://www.eastbaytimes.com/2016/11/17/civil-rights-leaders-message-for-our-time/]

‘A Message For Our Time’ Redux

 

Judge Loren Miller, one of the NAACP attorneys to assist Thurgood Marshall  Brown v Board of Education case before the Supreme Court, spoke at Cal State-Hayward [now Cal State-East Bay] in 1965 at the invitation of a faculty committee. The faculty committee asked Judge Miller to discuss his participation in the case and evaluate the impact of the court’s decision. The faculty committee also invited me to present an updated view of the Brown decision in light of the state of the civil rights movement in 1965. I was asked to engage Judge Loren Miller in a town hall discussion and facilitate a question and answer session with the audience. I prepared for the event by studying Brown v Board of Education and reading Martin Luther King’s Stride Toward Freedom and Gunnar Myrdal’s An American Dilemma. I also familiarized myself with Morgan v Virginia.

 

Shortly before the event, however, my faculty contact informed me that not only did Judge Miller object to the town hall discussion, he objected to my participation in the event in any capacity. Furthermore, the faculty contact informed me that Judge Miller did not want me present during any part of his presentation. On the evening of the event, my faculty contact directed me to an unoccupied classroom where I was to remain until Loren Miller had completed his remarks.  After Judge Miller completed his presentation, answered questions and left the campus, I was allowed to speak to those interested in hearing what I had to say. Afterwards the event, I received a letter from State Superintendent of Schools, Max Rafferty, thanking me for me for my cooperation.

 

The Lee/Harris Lecture Series organizers also must have been relieved that someone like me did not attend the Fred Gray lecture. Rev. Gray would still present ‘the message for our time’ which probably would not be much different then what the whites pay black leadership to say. And the audience, greedily slurping down the cultural ‘Kool-Aide’ would be intolerant of any differing point of view, in any case. Still there is a need to discuss the real truths of black history including Brown v Board of Education, the arrest of Rosa Parks, the Montgomery Bus Boycott and the imposition of a SCLC leadership over black people in America. More importantly, black people need to understand the relationship between SCLC’s leadership, desegregation  and black communities suffering economic deprivation, mass incarceration and police violence. Furthermore, a discussion of the NAACP’s role in these events would be enlightening, considering the frequent and well-publicized meetings between various NAACP leaders and Ku Klux Klan as well as the infiltration of organizations like Black Lives Matter by white people representing the NAACP. Until such discussions take place in a proper intellectual setting, a litany of lies will continue to guide black political, economic and social behavior.