FROM WHITE HOODS TO WHITE LIES by black photojournalist Johnny Silvercloud
One of the modern self-described abolitionist is black photojournalist Johnny Silvercloud. He writes about race and justice in ways that require a thoughtful consideration and response. To begin the conversation here are two of his writings:
“All those angry, yelling, vulgar white faces. What ever happened to them? When the Civil Rights Act was placed into law, did all these people just vanish? Did they all out of nowhere, realize that they were wrong, and we were right, and stopped their racist thoughts and ideologies?
I highly doubt that the white faces in the first Civil Rights Era just automatically let go of their racist ideologies. Those people only accepted the Civil Rights social change with contempt and learned how to BEHAVE when laws changed. These old racist white supremacists, similar to insurgents after the collapse of the Iraqi Army in 2003, only laid low, kept their racist ideologies, and waited. During this wait, there was a refinement of white supremacy. White supremacy — racism in America — had to adapt, and it did….
Being that white supremacists always preferred hoods and masks, nothing really has changed. Instead of preferring white hoods, they now prefer white lies. The white, Ku Klux Klan hood, while still existing in reality, has long been abandoned for a metaphorical one: double-speak, coded language, deflections and transference in discussion. The empty claims of colorblindness while still acknowledging and observing color differences. The tone policing. The clinging relationship to ancient symbolic relics of a racist past, all while denying racism modern day. This blatant dishonesty towards the state of nonwhites in America, serves as a new and improved white hood or mask to shield responsibility and accountability of the State of race relations. The common German is more accountable and observant of their collective crimes against Jews than the white American is towards their crimes against black and native peoples….
This is what happened: When the Civil Rights laws passed, all these racist whites from these photos (and those who were never photographed, which is numbered to be far more) just sat back and never talked about it. They decided then and there to take their sins silently to their graves, all while letting their grandchildren lie or play stupid, pretending it never took place. I did it myself; wondered where my dad was in 1963. 1965. 1970. It’s a shock if white people never thought to think about where their parents were during all of this. Much like racism itself, I’m sure these whites NEVER talked about it. Never brought it up. I said it before…while we as black people are trying to discover our ancestors, white people are stuck trying to forget and bury their klancestors. Sure, there are a few white folks from this old era, telling their racist stories on their death beds. Trying to make amends, looking for that forgiveness bug that makes the black community so (in)famous.
For the most part, the majority went to hell hating people because of their skin color, which will be the same destination for modern day whites who share the same congruent disdain for a mass of people fighting for their humanity. As far as these old photos go, nothing has changed.”
The second Is: THE DEVIL IS NOT WELCOME HERE:
“If you speak as the “devil’s advocate” and it’s really YOUR point of view, YOU are effectively “the devil”.
With that being said, the devil is not welcome here.
Another problem with the Devil’s Advocacy Brigade is the fact that they always act like their
disinformation isn’t mainstream thought already. They always act like their disinformation is new; it isn’t. When it comes to racism, white America announces itself in all forms of art, entertainment and education tenfold — so it’s should be no surprise when a black abolitionist has an intimate understanding of the white point of view. When it comes to sexism and other forms of misogyny, men follow the same pattern….
What’s worse is the sociological problem with devil’s advocacy by design; it’s a privilege flex. In regards to racism, a white privileged person is essentially flexing their white privilege by being so distant from a problem that plagues others, a problem to many that they technically benefit from.”
WHAT DO WE AS FREE METHODISTS WHO VALUE EVERY PERSON FROM EVERY RACE AND WERE FOUNDED BY 19th CENTURY ABOLITIONIST B.T. ROBERTS, SAY TODAY? WHAT DO WE SAY NOT ONLY TO THIS 21st CENTURY ABOLITIONIST BUT TO OUR OWN CHURCHES AND CHILDREN?
These are some of what BT Roberts said in his own words:
“The token echoed the sentiments of B. T.’s poetry. He begins his poem to Florilla — a piece of brotherly affection and moral instruction — with the abolitionist slogan.
To my dear Sister
The voice of a Female Slave
“Am I not a woman and a sister”?
Though curly locks my head adorn,
Though darkly sable be my face,
Yet courses not within my veins
The purple blood of Adams race?
Though with the invader’s ruthless hand,
From friends and home I’m torn away,
To be a slave in Christian’s land,
Deprived of Freedom’s genial ray;
Though Master’s whip hath torn my back,
And made the crimson current flow,
In torrents down my quivering flesh,
Till Death had almost eased my wo;
Though Tyrant’s galling chains enclose
My mangled limbs in dire embrace,
Though marks of bruises, and of blows,
Eternity can ne’er efface;
Yet have I not that form divine
Which God to all mankind hath given?
Is not that soul immortal mine
Which e’er must dwell in hell or Heaven?
Abides there not within my breast
Devotion pure Affection deep?
Oppression’s rod can ne’er arrest
Those powers of soul that never sleep.
As then if you were made a slave
You’d others have to feel for you,
Deeply within your heart engrave,
For me such feeling deep and true.