Many Blacks will be attending the presidential inauguration on January 20 like most Black students matriculated to Howard University, hopefully, only in the early 1960s.These students had a Eurocentric vision of the world and were searching for fun. Of course, there were exceptions. On the other hand, the African-centered students stood out like sore thumbs. In addition to Dr. Martin L. King Jr., Dr. John Henrik Clarke should be posthumously honored on January 20. Dr. Yosef Ben-Yochannan should also be honored. The same honor could be given to the late Dr. Chancellor Williams and Dr. Nathan Wright of Howard University. All of the professors opened some of our eyes to the Nile Valley presence in the United States.
Brown v.Board of Education is closing our eyes once again. In New York City, for example, Mayor Michael Bloomberg has seized control of the public school system and has disenfranchised Black parents. Rev. Al Sharpton joined Schools Chancellor Joel Klein to maintain the status quo. Currently, an African-centered education is outlawed in New York City. Compare the Sankofa International Academy in Brooklyn.
Dr. Leonard Jeffries and Anthony Browder should have their hands full in the nation’s capital this year. They are both well-versed Egyptologists. Blacks who intend to attend the presidential inauguration should have already enlisted their expertise.
Unless Blacks have an understanding of “Kemet on the Potomac,” touring Washington, D.C., on January 20 will be like “the blind leading the blind.” Most of the symbols and architecture have Kemetic origins. Benjamin Banneker is the city’s master planner. It is insight and not eyesight that distinguishes the sightless from the sighted.
I hope that President-elect Barack Hussein Obama is not suffering from the same educational maladies that had beset Drs. Carter G. Woodson and W. E. B. DuBois. These men distinguished themselves later in their lives. Their takeoffs were bumpy.
Woodson, the “Father of Negro History Week,” admitted that it took 30 years to get Harvard out of his system. He would write “The Miseducation of the Negro.” DuBois sought a commission for “wearing a wire” under Joel Spingarn for the intelligence branch of the U.S. Army.
Enslaved Africans not only completed the building of the White House in 1809–the White House was rebuilt in 1815 after the British torched it in 1814.Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. will swear Obama in on stones of the Capitol steps laid by his revered African ancestors. Hopefully, Obama will see the “big picture.” Otherwise, the fate of a people who refuse to organize will be sealed. January 20 will be a rite of passage for Obama. In placing his hand on Abraham Lincoln’s bible and taking the presidential oath of office, he will be transformed from ordinary citizen to “leader of the free world.” Whites expect him to be Shine of the Titanic. Bush 43 and the former living presidents met with Obama last week to give him his orientation into the secret society. The business of the “founding fathers,” who met secretly in Philadelphia to write the U.S. Constitution in 1787, is serious. Each president is expected to follow the script.
Like Bush 43 respects his dad, Bush 41, Obama must respect his dad, Barack Hussein Obama Sr., a Harvard-trained economist and an advocate of African socialism. White supremacists love to separate Black sons from their fathers. These are the seeds for white paternalism. Hurricane Katrina pointed out that the central problem in the United States is the unequal distribution of wealth and not the deregulation of Wall Street. Dr.Martin L. King Jr. saw this problem in 1968 and, therefore, he launched the Poor People’s Campaign. This must be Obama’s message. Maat must guide him. After the inaugural address, there will be a presidential parade. Blacks were not allowed to participate in this parade before 1865.On the other hand, Blacks were half of those who witnessed Lincoln’s second inauguration. Black men had saved the Union. They deserved the ratification of the 15th Amendment. Frederick Douglass would walk near the president’s barouche in the parade and attend the inaugural ball, alone, at the White House. Douglass witnessed Vice President Andrew Johnson of Tennessee looking at Lincoln with homicidal eyes. Lincoln would be assassinated the next month. Compare 1963 with LBJ in Dallas, Texas.
Out of deference for the Reconstruction Amendments, President Ulysses S. Grant permitted “race-mixing” at his second inaugural ball in March 1873.Blacks and whites were dancing with each other. Abundant food of every stripe was in the ballroom. Each guest had paid $20 for a ticket.
The withdrawal of the federal government’s effort to enforce civil rights also started in 1873 and after the inaugural ball. Grant’s replacement of Attorney General Amos T. Akerman with George H.Williams was the first step. kerman had been a “champion of civil rights.”
Williams announced that his plan of elevating negotiations over the prosecution of white supremacists would encourage the South to protect the rights of Blacks. By 1874, the judicial enforcement of civil rights would become a dead letter. The Democratic Party, as an accomplice, would kill the Civil Rights Act of 1875.
By 1877, Justice Joseph Bradley of the U.S. Supreme Court was assigned to untie the knot in the Tilden-Hayes presidential dispute. Rutherford B. Hayes would win with the stipulation that federal troops would be withdrawn from the South. Bradley would return to the Supreme Court and replace slavery with apartheid in the United States. Immediately, Bradley decided the Civil Rights Cases, the Colfax Massacre and the Slaughterhouse Cases. To be sure, Bradley was laying the groundwork for Plessy v. Ferguson.
A similar Supreme Court currently exists in the United States. Chief Justice Roberts leads it. The future of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 is on the court’s docket. Northwest Austin Municipal Utility District No.1 v. Mukasey will decide its fate. Every national Black organization should be filing amicus curiae briefs if motions to intervene in the Northwest Austin Municipal Utility are denied.
Dr. King raised the key question in his book, “Where Do We Go from Here: Chaos or Community?” Blacks must move from a colony to a community. White America is not only in a recession but also in recess. Unemployment for whites has not reached double digits. If Blacks were only in a recession, we would be getting over like a fat rat. Unfortunately, the economic term “depression” is inadequate to describe our plight. The unemployment rate for Black men has exceeded 50 percent for years. In the Great Depression, the unemployment rate for whites was only 25 percent.
We must draft our own dictionaries and our own textbooks that must incorporate Black economic concepts. These are conditions precedent to a Black agenda. Our plight must be expressed in Black terms. “Power concedes nothing without a demand.” The squeaky wheel will get the grease over the next four years. Letters of support for this column should be addressed to: Alton Maddox, 16 Court Street, Ste.1901, Brooklyn, N.Y.11241 Jan.17–UAM Dinner-Dance to support 2009 Freedom Retreat for Boys and Girls at the Cotton Club, 656 West 125th, from 9 p.m. until. Sumptuous buffet prepared by the Cotton Club’s master chef. Entertainment by vocalist Ann Sinclair and the Cotton Club Allstars. Prizes and awards. Jan.21–Rally to sustain the Brawley struggle at 7:30 p.m. at the Elks Plaza, 1068 Harriet Tubman (Fulton Street) near Classon Avenue in Brooklyn. Take the C train to Franklin Ave.
See: www.reinstatealtonmaddox.net for “The Next Step in the Brawley Struggle,” “Would Dr. King Fear Tawana Brawley?” Test Your Knowledge of Brawley and Defamation,” “Roller Coaster Ride for Blacks,” and “Critical Lessons in Black History.”