New York, wake up. Harlem, you know the time without a watch or a sneak-a-peek at your cellphone. The changes are in the wind, and yes, we’ve been there before but there is something—different—and even if you can’t place your finger on it, something deep inside confirms it.
In Keith Boykin’s new book “Race Against Time: The Politics of a Darkening America” he asserts that we are in the middle of a cold, civil war. And coming from prominent journalist and prolific author Keith Boykin we should all pay attention.
Boykin is co-founder and first board president of the National Black Justice Coalition and is that brother who is courageous enough to take a deep dive into the political cesspool, looking through the blah-blah bullshit of politics to find out some truths.
Facts. This is a dangerous era we are living in, and in many places, the social order is unraveling, and this makes white people feel deeply threatened by African American progress. Now, we can take a moment and ask ourselves the biggest question, which is: “What progress”? And the answer (which is heartbreaking) is that for a large pocket of white Americans, any progress is too much progress. Facts.
Peep the bold title of Boykin’s new book—”Race Against Time: The Politics of a Darkening America”—the title says it all. The book doesn’t shy away from the statistical, in-your-face-facts, that America is changing in a way that’s making a lot of people uncomfortable about who they are.
Boykin knows his world. He’s a CNN political commentator, New York Times best-selling author, and a former White House aide to President Bill Clinton. Wait. There is more. Boykin teaches at the Institute for Research in African American Studies at Columbia University in New York and previously taught at American University in Washington, D.C. He was a co-host of the BET Network talk show “My Two Cents,” starred on the Showtime reality television series “American Candidate,” was an associate producer of the film “Dirty Laundry,” and he has appeared on many other TV shows, including BET’s “Being Mary Jane.” A graduate of Dartmouth College and Harvard Law School, Boykin is a Lambda Literary Award-winning author of four books.
Now, you understand the weight that Mr. Keith Boykin brings and the in-depth analysis that lives inside “Race Against Time: The Politics of a Darkening America.”
Why are African American people so hated in this country?
There are multiple reasons this country is negatively impacted by race, starting with the historical facts that this very land was stolen and the indigenous people subjected to genocide, in an attempt to wipe them, and their culture off the face of this earth. Now add in the mix, the infusion of slave labor, from Africa, that worked the business industries, owned by white slave owners, and the fact these men, women, and children were considered their property, and we have the foundation for a perpetual shit-show.
But the younger generation might cry out “that was then, this is now” and believe that not being in actual chains is evidence that equality has been achieved. They would be dead-ass wrong, but I can understand why they would feel the need to distance themselves from the brutal facts.
So, let’s fast-forward to the America of today. In Boykin’s “Race Against Time: The Politics of a Darkening America,” he identifies four, recent “cataclysmic crises” that have knocked the stuffing out of America: the pandemic, the economic shutdown, the rise of the racial justice movement, and the uncovering of racists, brought to light by the inept, and evil Trump administration and its ignorant, and dangerous supporters.
To borrow from the idiom derived from the Sebastian Junger nonfiction book, “The Perfect Storm,” to describe a rare combination of events or circumstances creating an unusually bad situation, the four crises came together, Boykin writes, after the murder of George Floyd. This is the African American man who was MURDERED by Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin. This murderer placed his knee on Mr. Floyd’s neck for nine minutes and 29 seconds, after he was handcuffed, and lying face down. We only know this because brave people recorded the murder.
Mr. Floyd’s murder, Boykin writes, “would provide the pretext for the president to instigate a new crisis of democracy,” one that led to widespread efforts on the part of the police to suppress the voices demanding justice by people of color, and their allies—but no such effort was made to silence the angry whites who stormed the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021.
People, can you imagine Black and Brown people who would have dared to be that stupid? This fact shows the way justice is measured in America. If you are white, you can get away with illegal acts.
America remains more divided than at any time in decades. That’s how terrified white people are of the new, multiracial emerging majority.
Boykin argues that African American voters have often been too forgiving of political leaders who have failed to deliver on their campaign promises.
I’m sincerely confused, does America believe that folks won’t rise up? We can no longer avoid its long-overdue reckoning with the past.
Keith Boykin and his new book, “Race Against Time: The Politics of a Darkening America,” is a deeply troubling and deliberately provocative book. He understands that we must raise essential questions about our path forward.
Here is what Keith Boykin author of “Race Against Time: The Politics of a Darkening America” had to share about why he believes we are in the middle of a cold, civil war.
AMSTERDAM NEWS: Thank you, for taking the time to discuss your new book, “Race Against Time: The Politics of a Darkening America.” America is getting darker, isn’t it?
KEITH BOYKIN: Yes, it sure is.
AMN: Please describe your new book?
KB: “Race Against Time” is really where we are as a country, right now. We are in the middle of a cold, civil war.
KB: It’s real. We are a country divided and we are at a point of dissolution, and it’s a dangerous place for us to be. In particular because millions of white Americans are very invested in protecting the status quo. They are doing everything they can to prevent this ‘darkening America’ and everything from fighting us in the streets, to racial profiling us, to leading an insurrection, against us, to passing voting restrictions laws, to make it more difficult for us to participate in our democracy, to gerrymandering congressional districts to prevent us from being [properely] represented in the countries legislature.
AMN: Mr. Boykin. That’s a lot.
Below is an excerpt from Keith Boykin’s new book: “Race Against Time: The Politics of a Darkening America.”
“After a deadly pandemic, shocking incidents of police brutality, a racial justice crisis, and the fall of a dangerous demagogue, America remains more divided than at any time in decades. At the heart of this national crisis is the fear of a darkening America—a country in which there is no longer a predominant white majority.
“As the Republican Party has lost the popular vote in seven of the last eight presidential elections, its leaders have incited white Americans in a last-ditch race against time to stop the advance of a new, multiracial emerging majority. Keith Boykin, longtime political commentator, has watched this white resentment consume the GOP over the course of a life in politics, activism, and journalism. He has also observed the divisions among Democrats, as white progressives have postponed demands for full racial equity, while Black voters have often been too forgiving of party leaders who have failed to deliver. America can no longer avoid its long overdue reckoning with the past, Boykin argues. With the familiarity of personal experience and the acuity of historical insight, Boykin urges us to fight racism, sexism, xenophobia, and homophobia, and save the union, not just by making Black Lives Matter, but by making Black lives equal.”