Sunday, January 18, 2009

BBC News...Echoes...

Black Washington looks to Obama...

I wonder if the BBC News has it right?

"On his desk beside the name board that tells you he is director of marching bands at Howard University in Washington DC, John Newson keeps a miniature bale of cotton."

"When he lifts it and turns it in his hands his eyes take on a curiously distant quality and stories of this country's divided past come tumbling out.

He is a dignified, professorial figure these days, but he can remember the old times in rural Louisiana when he was put out of school three hours before the local white kids and sent to the local plantation fields to chop cotton - back-breaking work for a little boy in the boiling heat of the Southern summer."

Are you crying yet? I am. It reminds me of when I was a kid and had to pick cotton to help support my family. That was from the age of five to age twelve. I pulled a gunny sack (potato sack) first then graduated to a 12 foot cotton sack.

"It is a small story of change in a country which has changed enormously since little John Newson was sent out into the cotton fields of Louisiana all those years ago.

He is moved at the idea of a black man taking power in the White House, and not just for what it says about the long road African-Americans have traveled since he baled cotton when he should have been sitting in class or playing with his friends."

My cotton picking days were back in the forties when we were considered Okie White Trash. I never wore shoes until I started to school. I didn't need them and no one cared since we were just Okies. People expected that. And people expected my siblings and me to have patched up clothes.

The BBC News tells a couple more sad stories about blacks who had it bad,(a hundred years ago) but they're too sad for me to read. I never owned a slave and don't know anyone who has but the BBC News and these people they tell about want us to remember those days anyhow, days none of us can remember because we weren't there. That'll give them an excuse to get away with things; things like blaming whitey for their troubles, and to continue to be slaves, or at least, victims

There is a lot in common between blacks and Okies. We all had hard times years ago. We both were insulted and spat upon and had to live through it.

The difference though is, we Okies don't try to blame everyone alive today for our troubles of fifty or sixty years ago. You blacks should try not blaming everyone else for your failures. Maybe then you can be proud enough of America to become Americans instead of 'African-Americans!'



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