IT’S NOT JUST THE “BLACK CARD” CANDANCE OWENS. IT’S THE FULL DECK

Celebrity Deck of Cards

 


“Life is like a game of cards. The hand you are dealt is determinism; the way you play it is free will.” –  Jawaharlal Nehru


 

We Are One in the Spirit

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IT’S NOT JUST THE “BLACK CARD”
CANDANCE OWENS. IT’S THE FULL DECK
by Kendall F. Person

In 1804, Haiti staged the most successful slave rebellion in the whole wide world. The first African nation to devastate its imperial ruler when it defeated France, even with help received from the United States. There are several factors in Haiti’s remarkable war victory, beginning with the French being outnumbered and outclassed. But perhaps it was  Haiti’s  inside game, that gave them the edge. Joker

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In 1851, Author Harriet Beecher Stowe published Uncle Tom’s Cabin, which would become one of the most influential and bestselling books of that era. Such a remarkable achievement, Ms. Stowe’s celebrity would rise on the international stage.

Based on the real life of a man named Josiah Henson, who unlike in the theatrical version of the novel, died a free man. Beecher was of the first authors to humanize slaves, which gave white readers a reason to pause, to take a moment inside the looking glass self, and what many found in the northern states, rose the abolitionist trumpet and may have given President Lincoln all the moral authority he needed, to declare war on the Confederate states.

But not everyone was engaged, as the deep south was livid and began a propaganda campaign to discredit the main character – Tom (only the child of one of his slave masters called him Uncle Tom, as a term of endearment and show of respect). Unbeknownst to the Southerns at the time, it would become of the most successful rebranding campaigns  in literature, phrase definition and race relations in American history.

The Privilege Card

Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh – The Privilege Card

Tom was a proud, God-fearing man, who held the respect of nearly everyone he crossed paths. In fact, his owner – because of a dying request by his daughter – declared Tom a free man, but did not complete the paperwork before his untimely death. Minstrel shows with white actors wearing black face, would become as popular as the book, but since it was not the same audience, Tom’s portrayal as a boot-licking, watermelon seed spitting, flogging boy to his White master, and willing to betray the other slaves, for as little as a “good boy,”  Uncle Tom became widespread in Black communities, as a Benedict Arnold.  But in fact, it was Sambo whose allegiance to their oppressor led to Tom’s beating death.

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In the late 1980’s, Uncle Tom was a widely used derogatory term in the Black community, specifically on college campuses. Being an Uncle Tom meant a Black person’s allegiance was clearly against them. Rather they were shuckers & jivers or straight up traitors or just friends with who they knew, made no difference, for being labeled an Uncle Tom would drop one’s rank to the bottom of the social ladder, and it was not unusual for ‘the Tom’  to be bullied, as well.

Buffeted by the smash hit tv show A Different World, memorialized by the rising star Spike Lee on film and with recording artists like Public Enemy,  X-Clan and Poor Righteous Teachers in the recording arts, the Black Greek community on non historically black college campuses would soar in popularity.

I recall one light skinned Black girl, who everytime we saw her, someone would refer to her as a Tom, because she was rarely if ever spotted with Black students – male or female. But Shelly (not her real name) would fool us all as she had a plan to live her life by her choosing; by gaining respect within the powerful UC Davis Black greek community. She would undergo the demanding  and demeaning pledging process to become a member of a popular Black Sorority. But upon crossing into sisterhood, after earning her respect and colors, she was rarely spotted within the circles. But she had her ticket, and no one ever referred to her as a Tom again, no matter who she was with.

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The Haitian leaders knew that their downfall would not come in combat with the French Army, but from the inside, as there were slaves whose allegiance was to their oppressor. So the unorthodox strategy was simple, to weed out the would be traitors, before they could sell out, and making the Haitian Revolutionary Army even stronger.  When the French attacked, little did they know, that they never stood a chance.

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The Full Deck

Playing the Black Card

Candance Owens – The Race Card

There is no such thing as the Black Card. Candance Owens made it up for its visual effect to intensify her brand of rhetoric, I imagine, The most commonly used phrase is the Race Card, and contrary to popular belief, each racial demographic has one, and many have played. But this should come as no surprise, as every single government form, application or document ask the question: What is your race? And American is not an option, as Owens’ suggest.

Playing The Privilege Card
Kavanaugh and Gorsuch, President Trump’s Supreme Court Justice Appointees, both went to the ultra elite high school: Georgetown Prep. The geographical location is limiting enough, but a $56,000.00 annual tuition, eliminates all but the one percenters. And the fact, it is an all boys school cannot be understated, as the transformation of the Federal and Supreme Courts  makeup under President Trump, has been an exercise in keeping the masses occupied, with unnecessary dilemmas, while the masterplan flows untouched.

To see entire chart, visit Mother Jones March/April issue 2018

An All White Judicial

from Mother Jones, March/April issue 2018

Playing The Connections Card
During the height of the Iraq War, a company by the name of Halliburton was given a contract  worth billions. The vice president of the United States at the time, was a man named Dick Cheney, who was hawkish when it came to invading the sovereign nation. Cheney began his two terms as VP to George W. Bush in 2001. He resigned as the CEO of Halliburton on July 25 2000, only 4 months before the Presidential elections. Although there was immense controversy – not over the fact that the VP’s former company received the contract, but that there was no way for them to lose, since the government accepted no other bids, gifting billions of American dollars to a company connected to Vice President Cheney.

 

The Because I can Card

former Philadelphia Starbucks Barista – The Because I Can Card

Playing ‘The Because I Can Card’
When the Starbucks barista in Philadelphia, called the police on two Black men who were sitting down chatting, awaiting the arrival of the third person, once he arrived, they had every intention of becoming paying customers. But in the eyes of Starbucks and its patrons, they were already customers from the moment they walked in. So why did the barista bring down the law upon them? Because she could.

Playing The Race Card
In 1991, when Clarence Thomas declared the Anita Hill Sexual Harassment Hearings in the Senate a high-tech lynching, even though his entire philosophical belief was based on that no such thing existed. So when the cowardly Senators voted him in, the seat vacated by civil rights icon Thurgood Marshall, brought politics and shame into the highest court of the land.

Playing The Black Card
In conservative commentator Candance Owens’ unfortunate lecture for PragerU Playing the Black Card, she puts on a modern day minstrel show.. Ms. Owens has become a rock star in conservative political circles – mainly by insulting Black History, Black thought, Black Leaders and the Black Community, in general. I do not begrudge her for her success, as making money in the era of President Trump has become an industry within itself. But this is real life, with troubling effects, and  I do believe, that one day, she and others like her, will be ashamed for doing more harm and no good to an already challenged race relations. But make that money, girl.The Connections Card

Her entire presentation was targeted toward a conservative White America, for them to better understand ‘how we sell books’ how we compete in a competitive world and worse yet, how Black Americans are eternal victims, but not her. Even in the charming depiction of her Grandfather, there is something that does not ring true. No disrespect intended, but my Grandfather too owned his own home and long after he died, he had taken all precautions to assure my Grandmother never had to work a day in her life. The family favorite photograph, however, is one of him sitting next to Dr. King, so even his hard work and good fortune, there was still inequities, that no man could have conquered alone, except Owens I guess.

Beyond the facade of generalizations, there is certain truth to the story she weaves.  But if she were sincere, she would do more than talk, like write her congressman and demand they do away with the Census: Historical and Ethnic Demographics, that has been in place since 1610. It has been beneficial for Americans to forget, that our nation is raced based and has always been.

 

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Debunked Pastor Mark Burns

Debunked Pastor Mark Burns

Since 2016, and the emergence of Trumpism, some Black conservatives remain true to its foundation: like former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice,  music mogul 50 Cent,  Federal Judge Janice Rogers Brown and Super Bowl winning coach Tony Dungy to name a few.

Not all black conservatives with a megaphone – no matter how loud they shout or how minstrel the dance – can cause much damage. Youtube host Jesse Peterson is too deranged to leave a lasting mark. ‘Pastor’ Mark Burns was debunked on national television on everything displayed on his bio – posted proudly on his church website. Katrina Pierson, Paris Dennard and Stacey Dash are all but washed up to matter. But Owens, as well as Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, can do harm – he in his silence and she with her noise (over 10 million views  combined).

It is a full deck. And all demographics have struggles and stereotypes that ring true -either deserved or from a historical perspective, and yes, perpetrators of eternal victimhood actually exist, but African Americans do not have a stranglehold, on what I believe to be a mental health issue.

Owen’s Prager presentation does not rise to anything above misuse of her enormous platform. It reminds of Rodney King’s Can’t we all just get along?” Though his highly anticipated speech lacked eloquence, it was at least filled with heart and soul, and a quiet attempt, to heal our historically broken race relationships. While Owens is an attempt to incite. And although we are not in a physical revolution like the Haitians, as a united nation, we are in a time of critical change. In Uncle Tom’s Cabin, Sambo and his compatriot, were not punished by their peers, nor society in general. But when they realized what they had done, the deep regret and sorrow that washed over them, would remain for the rest of their natural lives. And the psychotically abusive slave owner and rapist, remained in power, but died a lonely man.

this is… The Neighborhood



 

images The Full Deck courtesy of pixabay
photo manipulation by Kendall F. Person

References
¹Mother Jones: These Charts Show, How White, Male and Conservative Trump’s Judicial Nominees Have Been, Kate Harlow March 2018
²The Neighborhood: Clarence Thomas and The High Tech Lynching, 
³The Neighborhood: When We Were About Four or Five
¼Prager: Playing the Black Card, Candance Owens



 

 

 

 

3 Comments on “IT’S NOT JUST THE “BLACK CARD” CANDANCE OWENS. IT’S THE FULL DECK

  1. Nice article Kendall, very broad and accurate depiction on the way we play the cards we’re delt. Kinda all comes down to the choices we make after receiving your hand.

    Liked by 1 person

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