« on: Today at 08:02:32 AM »
Last week, former South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley—the latest Republican to toss a hat into the 2024 Republican presidential nomination race—also became the latest right wing critic of Critical Race Theory (CRT); in a now viral Tweet, Haley said: "CRT is un-American."
Let’s unpack her ignorant insouciance...
So, when I tagged Ms. Haley into my reply on Facebook, I reminded her and her followers that one of the critically important aspects of CRT is that it explains the "why" of America's centuries old practice of white supremacy, including why the naturally brown skinned, first Indian governor in American history calls herself "Nikki Haley" instead of her birth name that honors her culture—"Nimrata Randhawa.”
Gov. Nimrata Randawha
On some level, I understand Nimrata/Nikki's reticence to identify as Indian instead of white because let's be real, there's no way on Earth that she ever gets elected governor in South Carolina, the very first state to secede from the Union to preserve Black enslavement, if she doesn't choose to Anglicize her name, lighten up her makeup, and do her level best to dilute the truth about America's tortured history regarding race.
The fact that it took Dylann Roof's mass murder spree at Charleston's Emanuel A.M.E. Church to get Nimrata/Nikki to push to take down the Confederate Battle Flag from the state's Capitol is further proof that she, like nearly ALL of her fellow Republicans over the past decade, clearly shows more deference to the Confederate, KKK, and White Citizens Council ghosts of racism past, then showing any respect for the Black victims of white supremacy. Remember, Nimrata/Nikki, trying to get back into the good graces of the right wing racists, went onto conservative Glenn Beck's show in 2019 and said that the Confederate flag stood for “service, sacrifice and heritage.”
Nimrata/Nikki is not alone, as the three Republicans mentioned the most as possible presidential nominees in 2024 also support bans on CRT—bans that are really attacks on teaching real American history.
Former President Donald Trump was the first, as he pushed back against removing publicly funded memorials to Confederate generals like Robert E. Lee, Stonewall Jackson, and J.E.B. Stuart back in 2017 following the Charlottesville Riots by white supremacist groups—right before his infamous comment that "there are good people" among the KKK and Neo-Nazis that clashed with peaceful protesters that weekend. Recently, Trump has loudly opined that public schools should be pushing “patriotic history,” not CRT.
The same holds true for Florida's Republican Gov. Ron Desantis, who said in 2021,"In Florida we are taking a stand against the state-sanctioned racism that is critical race theory...we won’t allow Florida tax dollars to be spent teaching kids to hate our country or to hate each other."
The problem with Desantis' position is that CRT does nothing of the sort; I am not sure whether the governor took any CRT seminars at Harvard Law, but I took two at the University of Florida College of Law back in the late 90's, and both were deep dives into the role that race and systemic racism played in slavery, Jim Crow, and the effects of white supremacy in limiting economic, educational, and health care opportunities for Blacks and other racial minorities. There surely was no "indoctrination" into radical thoughts by my professors, Kenneth Nunn and Winston Nagan, just a presentation of facts that allowed me to make up my own mind as to what all of it meant.
As with so many things in the modern era, the real problem is that right wing politicians like Haley, Trump, and Desantis take advantage of voting bases who lack intellectual curiosity and do NOT read beyond whatever short caption accompanies an article that they stumble across on social or traditional media sites.
Blissful ignorance—then and now…
But the reality is that such right wing attacks are the desperate moves of people who feel helpless to stop the reality that America is becoming less white each decade. In my home state of Florida, this reality is shown in the Florida Department of Education's latest available information on racial demographics in public schools that reveal that white students make up 37.4 percent of public school students, Hispanics comprise 33.9 percent, and Blacks comprise 21.9 percent of the state's public school students. Those statistics are even more pronounced in other states of the old Confederacy, where Black students comprise 50 percent and higher of students in some of the larger public school districts in those states.
Graduating seniors from Frederick Douglass High School in Atlanta. The Atlanta Public Schools System, like the Birmingham, Alabama system to the west, is over 70% Black.
These stats compel me to ask what's really at play when realizing that most of the Republican elite send their children to "Christian," "Catholic," "Episcopal," and secular private schools founded in the mid-1960's—right around the time integration was taking root in public schools. Back then, diversity opponents wanted to run from inclusive schools while today, diversity opponents wish to hide the truth about their recent and ancient American ancestors’ overtly discriminatory acts towards Blacks and other people of color.
Indeed, the modern right wing elite keep pushing for their great unwashed masses to believe that teaching the truth about America's racial past keeps the races divided—and heaps guilt upon the descendants of those very whites who benefited from legal slavery and Jim Crow.
Such is utter non-sense, as Blacks and other non-whites have ALWAYS literally fought to preserve and perfect this American Union despite knowing that the Union was more often than not the source of their woes.
Despite a stellar record flying over Europe during World War II, the Tuskegee Airmen faced attacks on their abilities to fly and fight throughout the war.
An enlightened American student should know all about this nation's brutal chattel slavery, and how "King Cotton," along with tobacco and sugar cane crops harvested by enslaved Blacks, were THE reasons that the fledgling United States quickly grew into a global economic power.
An enlightened American student should know all about Jim Crow and the sharecrop system, one in which Blacks did all the work—while whites reaped all of the financial benefits from the late 19th Century to even today, when Black farmers are still at a competitive disadvantage to their white neighbors.
An enlightened American student should know all about the lynch mob era, and how Black men, women, and children were routinely killed in macabre public spectacles by angry or jealous white mobs.
Laura and L.D. Nelson, mother and son, lynched on May 25, 1911 near Okemah, Oklahoma. This postcard was popularly sold across America for the next two decades.
An enlightened American student should know all about the underfunding of Black public schools from K-College, an underfunding that my parents and ALL of their friends from the South often remembered (and still remember) having used books and equipment that was handed down from the white public schools.
An enlightened American student should know all about segregated hospitals that lacked the life saving equipment at better funded white hospitals, and how the establishment of land fills, paper mills, and chemical plants in or near Black neighborhoods is the reason why generations of Blacks have suffered from various cancers and pulmonary diseases at far higher rates than whites.
The Florida A&M University Hospital was the only full service facility for Blacks in North Florida and South Georgia during Jim Crow. The hospital closed in December of 1971—five months before I was born at the newly integrated Tallahassee Memorial Hospital.
An enlightened American student should know all about redlining, restrictive covenants, and discrimination towards Black World War II vets who were often denied the very G.I. Bill provisions that helped create a robust white middle and upper class for the remainder of the 20th Century—and how those impediments still impede Black economic progress to this very day.
But if Republicans like Donald Trump, Nimrata "Nikki Haley" Randawha, and Ron Desantis have their way, not only will young white students lack a basic understanding of these and many other lowlights in American history, but so will future generations of Black, Brown, Natives, and Asians who may never understand that chants of “Back the Blue” and "Build that Wall," or building pipelines on Native reservations while pushing to destroy gaming casinos, AND the Exclusion Acts that limited (and from a legacy perspective, still discourage) Asian immigration, ALL stem from white supremacy!
Lest we forget...
-Chuck Hobbs Hobbservation email