One-drop Rule And American History

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[Post Election: Race Matters]

Alton Maddox Jr.’s November 15 column "Obama Not First U.S. President of African Ancestry"has caused quite a stir with many white readers, on the Black Star News website; some are lashing out in typical irrational manner whenever the subject matter is connected to race. Others have weighed in with measured responses, understanding the larger issue that Maddox is addressing.

Maddox correctly points out that under the "One Drop Rule," Obama wouldn’t be the first "Black" president. The "One Drop Rule" was created by Euro-centric racists who claimed that any "white" looking person with any percentage of Black blood wasn’t really "white."

Maddox uses the works of Dr. Auset Bakhufu, David Coyle and the eminent journalist and historian J.A Rogers to assert that we’ve had several presidents who were off-springs of the "One Drop Rule." They include: Abraham Lincoln, Andrew Jackson, Calvin Coolidge, Warren G. Harding and Dwight Eisenhower.

Now, several readers launched personal attacks against Maddox, one of the great minds in the law and history, for stating facts of American history too uncomfortable for some to bear. Reader "Dennis" says "I have a problem with this one drop Black makes you Black idea… does that mean every other race is inferior to Blacks?" Apparently, "Dennis" isn’t aware the "One Drop" rule was created by the authors of white supremacy, not by Blacks who feel "every other race is inferior to Blacks."

Reader "Ron Tuttle" says "Will you guys please get off the race subject…I’m so sick of listening to this Black and white bull."

We’re sick of it too Ron Tuttle. However, unlike you we don’t have the luxury of ignoring it. I always find it fascinating when some White people or brainwashed and bought Blacks like Ward Connerly, Shelby Steel and John McWhorter ask us to "get over race," especially when the epidemic problems of race can be seen by anyone who would bother to open their eyes.

Here in New York, we repeatedly witness the brutality and murder of Blacks by officers of the New York Police Department. Black men have been shot down, worse than dogs in the street.

Race has defined and stunted the lives of many Black folk. Unemployment, among Black men in some communities is at 50% and repeated studies have shown that employment is repeatedly being denied them because of their skin color; why is this not a national emergency? Where is the bailout for these human beings and citizens of the United States? Even though Blacks represent 13% of the population, we make-up half of the two million people imprisoned in America’s dungeons; and don’t tell me there is no correlation between unemployment/poverty and crime.

Blacks face institutional racism, in nearly every facet of American life; housing, infant mortality, health care, education. Given these realities how can anyone, in good conscience, ask us to "get off the race subject?"

Barack Obama is the President-Elect, but no reader "Steven" we haven’t "got past this racial barrier," yet as a nation; we do need to.

The "One Drop Rule" and the attendant history must be honestly addressed: the systematic rape and defilement of Black women by white men. The sexual objectification of Black women from the days on the plantation: That outrage is fundamentally at the heart of this debate, for historically the masses of those who fall into the "One Drop Rule" category were products of illicit "affairs" violently initiated against Black women.

America represents a mass of contradictions. People sing about "home of the free," but on whose backs were these "freedoms" cemented? Isn’t it the African slaves who toiled unpaid to build up this superpower? And would this have been possible if the wombs of Black women weren’t desecrated to mass produce slaves?

The awful truth is that Black women were used to maintain the unpaid "staff" on the plantations, as well as to satisfy the prurient, perverted penchants and excesses of slave masters. Reader "Aidan Meade" says Maddox should "read a book." I suggest Mead read "A Narrative of the Life of Fredrick Douglass, an American Slave." Meade might spend a lifetime trying to complete Maddox’s library.

Thomas Jefferson, who is also a by-product of the "One Drop Rule," is a stunning example of the racist hypocrisy. In one of his "celebrated" works "Notes on the State of Virginia" written around 1781-82, America’s third president said this about Blacks: "They secrete less by the kidneys, and more by the glands of the skin, which gives them a very strong and disagreeable odor." This is a curious statement, since Jefferson was, not only a "Founding Father," but a fondling one who repeatedly raped his teenage slave, Sally Hemings. The "disagreeable odor" didn’t stop him from using her as his sexual toy, and DNA studies have proven that there is a generation of Black Jeffersons now walking around the country, progeny of this presidential rapist.

The rape of Black women, from slavery through the Jim Crow Era into the 1960s, is the ultimate lie that indicts white supremacy itself. During the lynching period whites justified the mass murders of Black men with the "he violated a white woman" excuse, as popularized in D.W. Griffith’s epic slander propaganda movie: "Birth of a Nation."

Yet, we know the great warrior journalist Ida. B. Wells thoroughly debunked those fables.

Wells extensively documented that the vast majority of those accusations were baseless fabrications. And in those instances where there was sexual contact, she showed that it was white women who stimulated those contacts. The Scottsboro Boys Trial is an example. In that instance, two white prostitutes, Victoria Price and Ruby Bates, willing engaged in sex with nine Black teens. However, they cried rape to save face when their servicing of these Black youths was uncovered. Twenty years, and three all-white jury trials later, these innocent youths were vindicated, although, justice didn’t really come from the courts.

But, there’s another important point to be made here. White men, who routinely accused Black men, were in fact projecting the fear coming from their own depraved minds. White men had little problem with white men having sex with Black women. But the thought of white women "giving it up" to a Black man, like the boxer Jack Johnson, petrified them. In some circles, it still does.

To readers like "R. Besante" who characterize Mr. Maddox, and those of us who agree with him, as "race-baiters," I suggest you ask yourself: who created the white supremacy that gave us racism and the "One Drop Rule?"

I submit the guilty parties don’t look like Maddox. Kudos to the reader "Messagero," who is spot on: Race is a "social construct."

We can’t "get over it" by not talking about it.


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