The Black Belt - By Bashorun J.K. Randle - Paul Ukpabio's Blog

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Saturday, 17 August 2019

The Black Belt - By Bashorun J.K. Randle


The media has gone crazy with shock and indignation over the video of a black man with the caption: “POLICE LEAD BLACK MAN THROUGH TOWN ON END OF ROPE.” It portrays two white mounted policemen leading by a rope a black man (43-year old Donald Neely), who was arrested for trespassing in a business district of Galveston, near Houston, - through the streets in broad daylight.

The outrage it triggered all over the United States of America and beyond was cataclysmic. It brought back memories of slavery and of lynchings carried out by the white supremacists (members of Ku Klux Klan). Leon Phillips, president of the Galveston Coalition for Justice was incandescent with fury.

“The officers should be sacked. If it was a white man, he wouldn’t have been treated that way. I guarantee there’s nothing in their (police) rules that authorises them to put a leash on a guy while you ride down the street on a horse.”

The response from Vernon L. Halle III, the Galveston police chief was amazing:

“Roping up suspects is sometimes the best way for mounted police to bring them in. the officers did not have any malicious intent at the time of the arrest. This is a trained technique and best practice in some scenarios. The officers showed poor judgment in this instance and could have waited for a transport unit at the location of the arrest.”

Even more devasting are recently released tapes of United States of America President (1981 – 1989) Mr. Ronald Regan slagging off the Tanzanian United Nations delegation as “......cannibals who weren’t even wearing shoes” as an excuse for defending the apartheid states of Rhodesia (now part of Zimbabwe) and South Africa in the 1970’s. After his tenure as President of the United States of America, he maintained an office at Fox Plaza in Century City, Los Angeles. Some years ago, while I was on a visit, I had a meeting in the same building. As I was about to enter the elevator, a security guard politely tapped me on the shoulder and pleaded: “Please step aside for the former President of the United States of America.” It turned out to be Ronald Reagan!!

Afterwards, one of those who were also waiting for the elevator (an African-American lady) burst into tears and declared: “Ronald cannot even recall that he was ever the President of the most powerful nation in the world. It’s a lesson for all of us.” Mr. Reagan died on 5th June 2004 at the age of 93. He had been afflicted for years with Alzheimer’s disease which black Americans often refer to as the Devil’s Curse.

The source of the damning evidence is none other than Tim Naftall, a former Director of the Nixon presidential library and clinical associate professor of history at New York University. When Naftall requested for transcripts of conversations between Richard Nixon (1969 – 1974) and Ronald Reagan (1981 – 1989), he got more than he bargained for.

It was clearly the voice of Ronald Reagan in a call (1971) to President Richard Nixon describing African delegates to the United Nations as “monkeys”.

At the time, Reagan was the blue-eyed boy of the Republican Party and Governor of California. “To see those..........monkeys from those African countries........damn them, they’re still uncomfortable wearing shoes.”

To make matters worse, current President Donald Trump ignited huge controversy when he lashed out at four female black politicians – left-wing Democratic congresswomen – former child refugee Ilhan Omar (Somali-American); Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez; Ayanna Presley; and Rashida Tlaib to go back to the countries from which they came. In a tweet that has gone viral Trump deliberately sought to depict the women as anti-American while insinuating that they are not truly American at all.

“If Democrats want to unite around the foul language & racist hatred spewed from the mouths and actions of these very unpopular & unrepresentative Congresswomen, it will be interesting to see how it plays out.”

However, pundits did a quick fact check and discovered that of the four congresswomen, only Ilhan Omar was born outside the USA (in Mogadishu, Somalia). Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez was born in the Bronx, New York City to an American father and Puerto Rican mother; Ayanna Presley hails from Cincinnati, Ohio, but spent most of her childhood growing up in Chicago, Illinois; and Rashida Tlaib was born and raised in Detroit, Michigan to Palestinian immigrants.

Rick Perlstein, a historian and expert on the Richard Nixon era declared on CNN:

“We often talk about the dog whistle in American politics. Trump has
transformed that into a train whistle. At the very top, Republicans have always steered away from letting these kinds of dark energies loose in the land. Not anymore.”

Rick Perlstein offered no apologies. He was adamant that when Ronald Reagan dubbed African UN delegates “monkeys”, President Richard Nixon just laughed.

From the archives, the memory of Emmett Till was resurrected:
“Emmett Louis Till (July 25, 1941 – August 28, 1955) was a 14-year-old African American who was lynched in Mississippi in 1955, after being accused of offending a white woman in her family's grocery store. The brutality of his murder and the fact that his killers were acquitted drew attention to the long history of violent persecution of African Americans in the United States. Till posthumously became an icon of the Civil Rights Movement.

Till was born and raised in Chicago, Illinois. During summer vacation in August 1955, he was visiting relatives near Money, in the Mississippi Delta region. He spoke to 21-year-old Carolyn Bryant, the white married proprietor of a small grocery store there. Although what happened at the store is a matter of dispute, Till was accused of flirting with or whistling at Bryant. In 1955, Bryant had
testified that Till made physical and verbal advances. The jury did not hear Bryant's testimony, due to the judge ruling it inadmissible.

Decades later, Bryant disclosed that she had fabricated part of the testimony regarding her interaction with Till, specifically the portion where she accused Till of grabbing her waist and uttering obscenities; "that part's not true," Bryant stated in a 2008 interview with historian Timothy Tyson. Till's interaction with Bryant, perhaps unwittingly, violated the strictures of conduct for an African-American male interacting with a white woman in the Jim Crow-era South.

Several nights after the incident in the store, Bryant's husband Roy and his half-brother J.W. Milam were armed when they went to Till's great-uncle's house and abducted the boy. They took him away and beat and mutilated him before shooting him in the head and sinking his body in the Tallahatchie River. Three days later, Till's body was discovered and retrieved from the river.”
 
On a sad note, we have as Breaking News: US Mass Shootings: What We Know About The El Paso And Dayton Attacks

“In distant parts of the country, just 13 hours apart, two mass shootings rocked the US over the weekend. The first, a massacre in the Texan border-city of El Paso, left 22 people dead. Nine people were later killed in a shooting in Dayton, Ohio.

In El Paso, Police first received reports of gunshots at 10:39 local time (16:39 GMT) on Saturday.

A gunman had opened fire with an assault-style rifle in a crowded Walmart on the city's east side. Nearby businesses were placed on lockdown and shoppers were evacuated.

In addition to the 22 fatalities, 24 people were injured in the shooting. Eight Mexican nationals were among the dead and the victims' ages range from 15 to 90. Officers arrived on the scene within six minutes and the attacker surrendered after he was confronted by police outside the store. The assailant, named by US media as Patrick Crusius, a resident of the city of Allen, in the Dallas area purchased the weapon legally, police say, and was able to carry it into the Walmart because of the state's "open carry" laws.
 
The 21-year old has been charged with capital murder, meaning he could face the death penalty. Meanwhile, a few hours later, in Dayton, Ohio, nine people were shot and killed and 27 were injured in the shooting which began at 01:07 local time (05:07 GMT) at the local Ned Peppers nightclub on E 5th Street.

Seconds after the shooting began, the gunman was seen running towards the venue and being hit by police gunfire as he reached the door of the nightclub.

Police confirmed they killed the gunman at the scene within 30 seconds of him opening fire.

The suspect, 24-year-old Connor Betts, used a .223-calibre assault rifle with high-capacity magazines that he had ordered legally from Texas.”
 

Bashorun J.K. Randle is a former President of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN) and former Chairman of KPMG Nigeria and Africa Region. He is currently the Chairman, J.K. Randle Professional Services. Email: jkrandleintuk@gmail.com

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