Linked to from: Copyright.php.


The story of progress ia favoured by the most powerful among us; many then echo it. However, for it to prosper, history must be replaced by selective memory; and realities burnt that give the lie to it. Willful, adolescent forgetfulness is then encouraged; nonetheless, sooner or later, quickly or painfully all must realize that learning requires respect for past experience — that of others as much as of ourselves.

The foundations of justice, hard won over thousands of years, for the past fifty have stealthily been rearranged. Everywhere oligarchs have risen — the eight who own fifty percent of U.S. wealth more powerful now than the pharoahs ever were. Since time immemorial the only justice there has been, has had to be fought for and won. Commonly however, it has been surrendered — as that which I blithely enjoyed has been &mdash through ignorance and complacency, supported and promoted by the powerful, whether teachers or kings.

At the start of the Black Lives Matter movement in 2014, following the fatal police shootings of Michael Brown, Eric Garner, Tamir Rice, and others, the term "woke" once again rose to prominence. Since 1938, at least, in America's Black community it has meant to be conscious, educated and informed, of the potential for racist violence. Lead Belly recorded a song of protest, "The Scottsboro Boys", recounting how, in Scottsboro, Alabama, in 1931, nine African American teenagers were falsely accused of raping two white women, and sentenced to death. All were finally pardoned and exonerated, unanimously but posthumously, in 2013.

Only ten years since the boys were exonerated, and more than eighty since Scottsboro, Republicans and the farther-right have now co-opted by the term "woke" for their whitewashed, revisionist history, using it as a pejorative for "identity-based social justice". Running for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination, the governor of Florida, Ronald DeSantis stated:

We reject woke ideology... the belief there are systemic injustices in American society and the need to address them... We will never ever surrender to the woke agenda... the rise of this woke ideology is an attempt to really delegitimize our history and to delegitimize our institutions, and I view the wokeness as a form of cultural Marxism.

The Scottsboro Boys

edit: 12 Jan 2024.

The Scottsboro Boys were nine black teenagers: Haywood Patterson (age 18), who said he had ridden freight trains for so long he could light a cigarette on the top of a moving train; Clarence Norris (age 19), who had left behind ten brothers and sisters in rural Georgia; Charlie Weems (age 19); brothers Andy Wright (age 19) and Roy Wright (age 12), who were leaving home for the first time; the nearly blind Olin Montgomery (age 17), who was hoping to get a job in order to pay for a pair of glasses; Ozie Powell (age 16); Willie Roberson (age 16), who suffered from such severe syphilis that he could barely walk; and Eugene Williams (age 13); Of the nine, only four knew each other prior to boarding the train.

Two dozen people had been "hoboing" on a freight train, an equal mix of blacks and whites. A group of white teenage boys attempted to push Haywood Patterson off, claiming that it was "a white man's train". A group of whites gathered rocks and attempted to force all the black teenagers from the train but failed. Humiliated, they told a sheriff that they had been attacked by a group of black teenage boys. The sheriff then deputized a posse, stopped and searched the train in Alabama, and arrested the black teenage boys together with two young white women, whereupon the women accused the boys of rape. The case was heard in three rushed trials, and all of the defendants, except for 13-year-old Roy Wright, were convicted of rape and sentenced to death.

~~ from the detailed accounts, in Wikipedia: The Scottsboro Boys, retrieved 10/1/2024.


comment: *

subject: *

name: *