Category Archives: history

The Immigration Mess President Trump Has Stirred Up!

“Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”

Okay—I am weighing in the immigration challenge America is now facing from President Trump. Whenever I hear or read that “Immigrants built America,” or “Love Trumps Hate,” or such things to show that President Trump is mean-spirited or hate immigrants because he is trying to slow down immigration to America, I understand many of those protesting don’t understand history.  The dream of the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island welcoming ALL immigrants is now passé due to the age of aggressive terrorism.  America has had “sleeper spies,” and others using the weak immigration laws to come and live in America and gradually undermine the real freedoms for those who want the best for America, and willing to do the hard work to make America better.  Those who REALLY know history understand that America is NOT Heaven!  Thus, our Founding Fathers has given us lofty ideals that only work for those willing to do the hard work of bringing such ideals into reality without constantly complaining about our weak humanity and/or the faults that past and present American leaders have that are clearly seen because they and their policies are so much in the eye of critical others doing very little to make life better for all, especially for the suffering native-born Americans.

 

American jobs for native-born Americans have been in trouble ever since the 1940s, when little by little, gains for African Americans have been eroded whenever laws were made to help them were gradually covered up by new laws and court rulings that water down the opportunities for African Americans.  For example, take the history of Civil Rights.  Initially, those laws were made to strike down the evil and negative laws made to keep African Americans “in their place.”  When you look at the numbers of immigrants who have come to American shores and have found success, often based on Civil Rights’ laws, you see the numbers of the masses of working African Americans declining.  In fact, some of the first drafts of the 1960 Civil Rights laws had Negroes crossed out, and “minority” added.  Dr. King and others were “encouraged” to make changes that would help ALL people, including poor white people, and NOT just for African Americans, aka “Negroes.”

 

After the terrible earthquake in Oakland, California some years ago, people, including unemployed and underemployed African American men risked their lives to rescue people. Some of those were promised employment; many companies got involved and promised to hire “minorities,” but when I checked, almost of those “minorities” were newer immigrants, and NOT one African American was hired.  However, if you looked at skin color, you could assume that those with darker skin WERE African American.  But when I got some of them to talk to me, I discovered they WERE NOT African Americans (descendants from African and African American slaves created in America to make America great!).  When I asked one of the supervisors why they had not hired African Americans, he told me that he didn’t have to do  because he HAD HIRED “minorities”!

 

When an acquaintance told me that African Americans were fighting a losing battle in trying to get the government to make things right for them by making employers hire African Americans, I was taken aback.  Then he showed me his federal records of how many “minorities” were hired every quarter.  When I saw a lot of Hispanic names and nodded by head, he said, “Do you think those Hispanics are REAL Hispanics?”  I nodded my head and he laughed!  He then explained that most of those were really Anglo Americans who either was married to an Hispanic, or somewhere in their history they may have had an Hispanic great-grandfather, but that they were really more Anglo American than Hispanic with blonde hair and blue eyes, but used their connection to Hispanics which helped him and others from having to hire African Americans!  Another employer told me that for almost every law passed by Congress to help African Americans, Anglo Americans could bring law suits and/or write new laws to either excuse them from having to hire African Americans, or find ways to not be forced to hire African Americans! This was proven when the government tried to force contractors to give more contracts to African Americans.  However, many Anglo American businesses suddenly sprung up and often wound up with more contracts which kept dollars within the Anglo American communities.  When African American men complained, they were told that women were ALSO minorities based on recent changes in laws that had been written to help African Americans.  Some women companies were actually companies owned by their husbands who become a minor partner and put their wives in as presidents and CEOs.  Others trained women and gave them resources so that they could “legally” outbid African American companies run by African American men!

 

From the 1960s to the present, many of us see the constant immigration of millions of immigrants as just another racist ploy to make sure that the masses of African Americans, especially men, NEVER get the opportunity to hope to achieve their part of the American Dream.  When one compares the millions of immigrants allowed in America to the millions of lost jobs for African Americans to the increase of crime by African American men to the rise of unwed African American girls and women, there is quite a correlation.  Some African Americans discuss such problems around others who look like them, but are often silent about their thoughts on immigration unless they are in the Democratic Party.  As more immigrants, legal and illegal, come to America, the numbers of registered voters rise in the Democratic Party.  And, such immigrants don’t even have to prove that they have the right to vote!  For those “successful” African Americans, they tend to be very quiet when others are discussing the immigration issues for fear that what they really think may be used to hinder their progress, so they “go along to get along.”

 

Millions of African Americans are quietly smoldering under the burden of subtle racism, high unemployment, inability to move up to better-paying jobs, constantly being overlooked for better because they have not profited from open doors have been closed for eons that are now open. Millions of African Americans are fighting the shadows of racism while the descendants of those who has caused our lingering sin of racism don’t have a clue as to why the masses of African Americans can’t be successful like the “wonderful immigrants who come here with nothing, but through hard work achieve the American Dream without crying about low wages or facing some sort of discrimination!”  Most Anglo Americans know more about the history of the Jews, or the Russians, or the Japanese, or about the French Revolution, or about almost every other ethnic group coming to America from foreign soil than they do about the African Americans who were created here and live right in their community.  Of course, if too many African Americans move into Anglo American communities, or get laws passed to get into predominately prestigious Anglo American neighborhoods and schools, Anglo Americans just move away and start a new suburb with higher real estate costs with better schools, parks, and family amenities rather than having to deal with learning how African Americans fare.  So, the smoldering of anger of millions of the masses of African Americans continues without most Anglo Americans and other ethnic groups understand that the powder keg of anger is growing.  Such growth will hurt all Americans when someone, some circumstance, some issue, or some explosive leader drops the match that will light such a powder keg—one that was built upon ignorance, inability to understand, fear, frustration, and/or greed.

 

When I see signs that say “Immigrants Built America,” I think about how such immigrants built America.  First, a lot of what was handed to immigrants to build America was stolen, plainly taken, or cheated from the owners of all of the resources in America—the Native Peoples!  Of course, some politicians, preachers, organizations, and thoughtful business people used their resources to try to make up from what the Native Peoples have lost.  These kind-hearted people endeavored to give Native People a good “white man’s education.  Or, give them better treaties to replace the over 4,000 treaties earlier immigrants broke with the Native People.  Or, some Americans helped some “reasonable” Native People have a share of money made from casinos or tobacco sales, while the masses of Native People suffered from health issues, mental challenges, poverty, despair, and a broken spirit.

 

When I see signs that say “Immigrants Built America,” I think about the billions created by African slaves and African American slaves, and low-paid African Americans who created the early wealth of early immigrants who passed on their wealth to their heirs and to later-arriving immigrants.  Or, later arriving immigrants were helped by earlier immigrants and others who sponsored them, trained them for business, and helped them create wealth by helping them open businesses where the children of later arriving immigrants could attend school, go to college, learn American economics, help their immigrant parents and grandparents run a family-owned business while at the same time, such children could create more wealth by obtaining higher-paying  jobs in engineering, technology, business, or become corporate executives and help bring to America their family immigrants who want to come to America, while native-born people continued to struggle to figure out how to survive a little better.  Millions of native-born Americans are STILL trying to figure out how to survive while millions of immigrants have gotten help to learn how to strive even more so that they could send billions of American-made dollars to their home countries, and/or pay to bring in family immigrants and their friends.

 

I shudder to think what will happen to the millions of disenfranchised native-born Americans who may never achieve a small piece of the American Piece of Pie of wealth.  At the same time, they are watching thousands of other well-to-do native-born Americans, with hundreds of immigrants march against some Americans (not just President Trump!) supporting better immigration  laws, stop immigration from certain Muslim countries, or even build a wall between America and Mexico.  Those marching share their signs and do their chants going against President Trump and others who are holding up on so many immigrants coming to America until America can figure out how to do better for the native-born Americans who watch recent (since the 1960s to date) immigrants continue to do well, clamoring, demanding, and appealing for those making newer (and stiffer) American immigration policies to go easy on immigration as they don’t plan to pay the higher taxes for the cost of supporting perhaps millions of immigrants who will be putting an added burden on our schools, on our social services, and adding to the unemployment of native-born Americans.  However, many immigrants DO pay taxes, spend some of their dollars locally, and try to be good American citizens.  Some have served, and are even now serving, in the military.  Others are serving in government and run corporations that employ millions.

 

So, what is the answer to reasonable immigration flow into America?  Become educated on just how much more America can afford to take with more immigrants coming to America while being unable even to balance the federal deficit; without being able to see that every able-bodied native-born person (legal and otherwise) have the education, training, and resources to support their families in a fashion whereby their children will believe that through hard work and perseverance that they, too, can enjoy a portion of the American Dream that millions of immigrants suffer through just to get to America and become successful.  Will President Trump’s hard stand on immigration solve all of the problems in America?  Probably not.  Will such policies help weed out sleeper spy terrorists riding on America’s weak immigration laws?  Maybe.  Will a hard line against new immigrants from certain Muslim countries for a short time get the support of enough Americans make Muslims here and abroad understand the rationale?  Just look at the negative response here and around the world.  Will a $25 million (or $25 billion!) wall built with deep sensors, wall depth, lights, cameras, surrounded by sophisticated barriers, and hundreds of new border guards severely stop the flow of illegal drugs and illegal immigrants solve all of our problems by not having such a wall work?  Only time will tell!

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Thinking About Some of America’s History

Over the years, many Reconstructionist historians, atheists, and others have bashed Christopher Columbus, the Pilgrims, the Puritans, the nation’s founders, European and other early entrepreneurs to America, explorers in America, slave owners, and Christians for their part in destroying Native culture, and expanding the free enterprise system.  They remind me of women who have been abused in relationships, and blame all men for everything wrong around them!

But, just like ALL men are NOT responsible for the abuse done to women, neither can we blame those above for the abuse done to Native Peoples, African slaves, or to the environment.  Yes, some of those with the above labels have done wrong—they just happen to be human, or greedy, or even evil.  But to blame entire groups is not accurate.  Let’s take Thanksgiving for example.

Some of the early settlers in America were looking for a place where they could practice their belief in the Creator without being abused by those with power.  When they found a measure of peace and survived harsh winters after burying many others, they were thankful to be in a new land.  They didn’t come to take over land from the Native People; they heard it was a New World, and that they could start a new life without powerful people controlling their lives.  They even tried to make peace with the Native Peoples, and find agreement to live together.  Some of the Native Peoples helped them survive in a weather to which they were unaccustomed.  Some of the Native Peoples welcomed them as new neighbors as there was plenty of land.  And, some of the Native Peoples taught them how to plant food, go after game, and survive in a land new to the new arrivals, but well-known by those who had long history in the land.

The Pilgrims gave thanks to the Creator for the help from the Native Peoples.  They gave thanks for those who had survived a cruel winter.  They gave thanks for the opportunity to start a fresh, and free, life in a land with so much potential.  Whether people were religious or not, the Pilgrims were religious, and thanked the Creator for all, for food, survival, and opportunity.  They had a time to sit down with the Wampanoag Native Americans at their thanksgiving table July, 1623 for three days, thankful for life, fellowship, the rain that saved the harvest, and good food as a result of the rain.  Unfortunately, this fellowship only lasted a few years as more people came to these shores, ignoring the ways of the local citizens, and turning to their god of Greed. Some historians say that celebrations in Florida, Texas, and Virginia happened before the gathering at Plymouth and came to be known as “Forefather’s Day.”

It was one of the Founding Fathers, President George Washington, who recognized the time and set the time aside to give thanks on a national day, October 3, 1789, even though there were those who opposed his religious inference.  However, he emphasized that the holiday would be inclusive for Americans of all faiths. Then, along came President Abraham Lincoln.  His desire was to keep the Union together perhaps more than to set the African American slaves free.  And, like President George Washington, he really didn’t want to arm ex-slaves and free African Americans to fight the English, or even to fight Anglo Americans in the South.  However, he was pushed to arm these men after considering the South was arming slaves to fight those from the North, and so many African Americans wanted to fight that he was forced to put them in uniform, and then forced to concede to some of the demands of the South if he wanted to bring healing to the nation.  So, he called the Nation to prayer during a time of Thanksgiving to ease the transition of the South into forming one country again.

Another President, Franklin Roosevelt, recognized Thanksgiving, but caused a firestorm by changing the date to fourth Thursday in November to allow more shopping days for Christmas, from the fifth Thursday, to which people were accustomed.  But, Thanksgiving survived and even grew when magazine editor Sarah Josepha Hale, a widow and penniless, worked diligently to make Thanksgiving a national holiday for all Americans.  Later in the 1970s, Native People learned to hate Thanksgiving, Christopher Columbus, and all that stood for progress over them.  Many saw the time as a time of betrayal by the descendants of the early Pilgrims, Puritans, and settlers.  Instead of working with Native Americans and respecting their laws and customs, including their burial lands, late arriving immigrants and some greedy Americans began taking more land from the Native Peoples, continuing to kill and disrespect them, cheating them, and pushing more of them onto lands that were not suitable for the sustainability of their livelihood.  Native Peoples could not see any thanks for them during the season of Thanksgiving.  While others prospered, their way of life quickly diminished, and their wealth was taken away.  However, the o92nd Street Young Men’s Christian Association (YMCA) in New York did manage to take the Thanksgiving season as an opportunity to do some good for those who were in need.  Just how much good has been done for the Native Peoples is still up for discussion.

Nevertheless, many Americans who honor Thanksgiving have become thankful for their prosperity; thankful for an opportunity to share with others; and thankful to be able to learn how to learn from different cultures, and thankful for their contributions.  Many Americans (including myself and my children) over the years leave their Thanksgiving dinners and serve in soup kitchens, help out in food banks, or do some acts of charity.  For some, it is very difficult to become thankful, walking past homeless people on sidewalks around Macy’s or other stores, or enjoying peace by watching the football games being interrupted by news of war overseas, girls caught up in human trafficking, crime in the inner cities, and high unemployment in this land of plenty.

So, in 2017, when you sit down to a fine meal of veggies only, or fish and rice, or turkey, cranberries, mash potatoes, gravy, green beans, varied salads, pie, cake, ice cream, and a drink (or several!), remember some of the words of Ben Franklin who expressed as only a pundit could regarding gratefulness for “…full Enjoyment of Liberty, civil and religious.”  However, since Native Peoples and many African Americans lack such “full enjoyment,” America still has some work to do to really honor the time of Thanksgiving in 2017, and each day in every way.  We can review the history of Thanksgiving and how those who came up with the phrase “thanksgiving,” can include prayer and worship as we move forward.  Of course, prayer and worship should include helping those less fortunate as an outward show of the outgrowth of prayer and worship.   This was illustrated by Representative Elias Boudinot to allow the citizens to do such after an arduous time of the ratification in 1877 of the Constitution.

America has come a long way in honoring the holiday of Thanksgiving, now with the Macy’s Parade, football all day, feasting, and sometimes, helping others.  Perhaps in 2017, we will remember the pain of the Native People during this holiday, understanding that not all of them own a share of a casino or smoke shop, many have become addicted to some form of drug, causing them to bring abuse on family members, and that many STILL don’t feel respected in the land that was formerly owned by their ancestors.  Perhaps, instead of feeding a homeless person or giving a blanket, each of us can adopt a Native family, adopt a homeless family, adopt an African American family, or adopt a newly-arrived immigrant from a war-torn country, and help them develop their talents into providing them with a real Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness.  [Adapted in part from Melanie Kirkpatrick’s book: Thanksgiving: The Holiday at the Heart of the American Experience]

WINTER HOLIDAYS

I don’t know all of the winter holidays around the world, but I do appreciate the three holidays that affect millions in America, and many around the world.  Those three are Hanukah, Christmas, and Kwanzaa.  I discovered much of this from Wikipedia, so take what I am sharing with a little salt!

This year, December 24, 2016, Hanukkah (sometimes transliterated Chanukkah, or spelled Hanukah) is a Jewish holiday custom based on facts, celebrated for eight days and nights, beginning  on the 25th of the Jewish month of Kislev.  This year, Hanukah begins tomorrow, on Christmas Eve.  The Jewish word “Hanukah” means  “dedication,” and is a reminder to commemorate the re-dedication of the holy Temple in Jerusalem following the Jewish victory over the Syrian-Greeks in 165 B.C.E.  The Syrian-Greek emperor Antiochus wanted to kill any Jews who observed Judaism. To enforce the new religious law over Jews, a high-ranking occupation officer  ame to a village to enforce rules that Jews needed to worship Greek gods, and to eat the flesh of a pig.  The residing high priest stood his ground and refused, but another villager told the officer he would speak on behalf of the village and would obey.

This residing priest, Mattathias, killed that villager, killed the high-ranking officer, and his five sons and other resistant villagers helped to kill all of the other officers and soldiers of this occupation military.  When the Greek army invaded and retaliated, the high priest, his sons, and others went into hiding, but trained all who were tired and wanted to take back their land.  They eventually won their war, took back their land, and became known as the Maccabees, or Hasmoneans.  When they went to purify their temple that had been desecrated by the invaders who also worshiped pigs in the temple, they discovered it might be impossible to follow the ritual of burning oil in the Temple’s menorah for eight days.  There was only enough oil for one day, but miraculously, the oil burned for the required eight days, leading to the celebration of lighting one candle in a menorah each night for eight nights, lighting one candle the first night, two the second night, and adding a candle each night until all eight candles have been lit.  Although there are many different types of menorahs, and from seven branches to nine branches, and many parents give their children gifts so they don’t feel left out of the Christmas cultural holiday time around many of them.  Much of the material for this came from these web sites: http://judaism.about.com/od/holidays/a/hanukkah.htm, and from Hanukah’s videos from http://www.history.com.

The second holiday, Christmas, officially beginning on December 25th (but may be celebrated by merchants right after Halloween, or before Thanksgiving) is based on more fiction than facts.  This holiday, or holy day, was started by the Catholic Church, and is now spread over much of the Western world, and even celebrated in some form in many eastern countries.  The real (?) story began when a somewhat thin, tall, dark-skinned wealthy priest, Nicholas, would go around at night on a horse being led by a somewhat short, chubby fair-skinned servant.  Born in 280 AD, in a place called Patara, which is a city of Lycia in Asia Minor (now Turkey).  This amazing man was known as the gift giver of Myra.  He is also the patron saint of children, sailors, Russia, and Greece as his influence spread from Asia to Europe.

When Nicholas heard of three sisters unable to marry due to the low economic standard of their father, he arranged to get into their house and dropped bags of gold into their stockings that were hanging up by the fireplace to dry.  When the sisters awoke and found the gold, they now had a dowry so they could be married.  As this story was told across the globe, children became glad to get to bed early so that Saint Nicholas (later made a Bishop) would bring them a present (which became a family tradition for families to buy or make gifts for children, then for each other, and later, for others).

The name “Nicholas” became pronounced “Sinter Klass” by the Dutch who brought their traditions to New York (earlier known as Amsterdam).  Such a pronunciation morphed into Santa Klass, and then became Santa Claus. The clothes of Bishop Nicholas morphed from mitre, jeweled gloves and crozier into a red suit which we see now.  There is more history on how an emperor wanted him worshiped as a god, but Bishop Nicholas rejected the idea and went to prison for several years.  When he was released by Constantine, the new emperor, and power controlled by the Catholic Church, Bishop Nicholas continued his former work of giving to others; the Eastern Catholic Church recognized him as a saint in 800; France made December 6 a day of celebration in the 1200s; and by the end of the 1400s, Bishop Nicholas was the most beloved holy figure after Mary and Jesus with over 2,000 chapels and monasteries named after him.  However, the English people stopped seeing Bishop Nicholas as their saint and chose to give more loyalty to Father Christmas, ignoring the Catholic tradition that Christmas means “the Mass of Christ.”  It was also at this time that the Catholic Church used artists to create drawings, statues, and all art to depict biblical characters that looked more like them.  The Lutherans followed deceptions in their art, as did the Swiss Christians, the English Christians, the American Christians, and even the original Santa Claus (Saint Nicholas) morphed from brown and black and other pigmentations of the Asians, Africans and others into colors that matched those who were more European-looking.  Thus, Christmas and much of modern Christianity is based on some facts, mixed with legends and fiction, which is covering most of the world. [based on information from several web sites, including Wikipedia]

The history of Kwanza, celebrated on December 26th is based on the travels and research of a former African American militant from the 1960s— Dr. Maulana Ndabezitha Karenga (born Ronald McKinley Everett), July 14, 1941, the 14th child and the 7th son of Baptist preacher.  After helping his father with sharecropping duties, Ron later moved to Los Angles to join an older brother who was a teacher.  Ron attended Los Angeles City College (LACC) where he was active in several African American groups, becoming very interested in Black Studies and African History, connecting with Jamaican anthropologist and Negritudist Councill Taylor who contested the Eurocentric view of alien cultures as primitive. Ron was soon named the first African American student president of  LACC, earned BA and MA degrees at UCLA.  While in college and active with several African American and African organizations, Ron took the name Karenga (Swahili for “keeper of tradition”) and the title Maulana (Swahili-Arabic for “master teacher”).  He was awarded his first PhD in 1976 from United States International University (now known as Alliant International University) for a 170-page dissertation entitled “Afro-American Nationalism: Social Strategy and Struggle for Community,” and a second Ph.D., in social ethics, from the University of Southern California (USC), for an 803-page dissertation entitled “Maat, the moral ideal in ancient Egypt: A study in classical African ethics.”

Dr. Karenga verbalized a set of principles called Kawaida, a Swahili term for normal, and called on African Americans to adopt his secular humanism and reject other practices, including Christianity, as mythical.  He fell in disfavor with the Black Panther Party, but was a champion of the sayings and work of Malcolm X.  He was imprisoned for what he felt were injustices based on lies told by other African Americans, but was pardoned after four years of a ten-year sentence.

Dr. Karenga created Kwanzaa in 1966 as America’s first pan-African holiday. Looking at Christmas, his goal was to “give Blacks an alternative to the existing holiday and give Blacks an opportunity to celebrate themselves and their history, rather than simply imitate the practice of the dominant society.” However, one might find some similarity between Kwanzaa and Hanukah.  Kwanzaa is inspired by African “first fruit” traditions, a name from the name for the Swahili first fruit celebration, “matunda ya kwanza.” The ceremonies of the holiday promote African traditions and Nguzo Saba, the “seven principles of African Heritage” that Karenga described as “a communitarian African philosophy”:

  • Umoja (unity)—To strive for and maintain unity in the family, community, nation, and race.
  • Kujichagulia (self-determination)—To define ourselves, name ourselves, create for ourselves, and speak for ourselves.
  • Ujima (collective work and responsibility)—To build and maintain our community together and make our brother’s and sister’s problems our problems and to solve them together.
  • Ujamaa (cooperative economics)—To build and maintain our own stores, shops, and other businesses and to profit from them together.
  • Nia (purpose)—To make our collective vocation the building and development of our community in order to restore our people to their traditional greatness.
  • Kuumba (creativity)—To do always as much as we can, in the way we can, in order to leave our community more beautiful and beneficial than we inherited it.
  • Imani (faith)—To believe with all our heart in our people, our parents, our teachers, our leaders, and the righteousness and victory of our struggle.

Dr. Karenga is the Chair of the Africana Studies Department at California State University, Long Beach. He is the director of the Kawaida Institute for Pan African Studies and the author of several books, including his “Introduction to Black Studies”, a comprehensive Black/African Studies textbook now in its fourth edition. He is also known for having co-hosted, in 1984, a conference that gave rise to the Association for the Study of Classical African Civilizations, and in 1995, he sat on the organizing committee and authored the mission statement of the Million Man March. In 2002, scholar Molefi Kete Asante listed Maulana Karenga on his list of 100 Greatest African Americans.

This is the only holiday of the three where the founder is still very much alive, and can be contacted directly.  Dr. Karenga still speaks at various functions and is available as a special speaker on things involving African history. [based on various web sites, including Wikipedia, and my own personal knowledge of this holiday.]

 

 

The Trump Revolution

American voters have elected their 45th president—Donald Trump—a political revolutionary, and the most least likely person to have been elected to preside over a much divided, multi-cultural, multi-ethnic, multi-agenda people.

When the dust has settled and pundits examine how a person with better political experience, and more money—former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton—could have lost, they may find that the general mood of the American public was distaste.  There was distaste for the debt that the professional politicians have allowed America to fall into.

Such distaste has had many fronts.  Distaste for the in-fighting and long-term control professional politicians have had among themselves, without showing much interest for the mass of Americans not connected to the political machinery.  Distaste for how the professional politicians have allowed such poor treatment of its veterans.  Distaste for the debt that many American students have found themselves in, while the professional politicians have grown rich with their connections.  Distaste for the ever-increasing employment and support for illegal immigrants while native-born Americans lose homes, cars, and even their own self-respect due to severe underemployment, or growing unemployment.  Distaste over the abundance of goods bought from other countries, making some American retailers very wealthy, while American factories continue to shut down and/or fail to regain profitable operations.  Distaste over how many foreign governments America has helped without a sufficient reciprocal return on the investment of capital and loss lives.  And, distaste on the inability of America’s professional politician’s inability to negotiate the safe return of American citizens taken captive by ruthless dictatorial groups.

The win for Donald Trump for President may have been a vote against the professional political machinery, as well as a vote FOR the Republican Party.  Many Republicans did not (do not!) like Donald Trump.  However, many faithful Republicans voted Republican which helped to carry Mr. Trump into the White House.  They might not like Donald Trump, but they would rather have any Republican as President as an attempt to have a return to more sensible and historic American values that honor the traditional nuclear family; hard work up rather than a weak hand down; strong economic development over socialist-type social programs; a stronger military; favor for 2nd Amendment rights; and an opportunity to use one’s potential to make as much money as possible without the frustrations of government controls that inhibit such.

Donald Trump has made a lot of mistakes as a husband; some serious mistakes in dealing with contractors; created serious human rights’ errors in dealing with immigration, Muslims, and Latinos; angered women with his statements and too much “hand’s on” with them; frustrated the Republican Party; and made many in the media turn against him.  However, he presented himself as a much-needed (and wanted!) political revolutionary that the masses of the American populace wanted.  And, these voters were willing to take him with all of his personal and social faults in order to join him at snubbing their bruised noses at the professional pollsters, professional politicians, and even the professional media.  Only time will tell if they made the right choice—beginning with his cabinet choices, advisors, his first 100 days in office, and his positive accomplishments during his term (or terms) in office!

WHAT IF JESUS WAS REALLY BLACK—HOW WOULD THAT CHANGE HISTORY?

How about a little controversy today?

Back in 1954, I asked a very disturbing question with my Sunday School teacher, Sister Calhoun at the 7th Street Christ Holy Sanctified Church.  I hadn’t been in this church very long, and was somewhat of a newcomer, thus, to ask such a challenging question upset the other students.  They did not know that my grandfather was a church planter and fantastic Bible scholar with the Church of the Living God (PG&T).  He had come from a Baptist background, having a father as a Baptist preacher from Texas, and had asked many questions which challenged Christians around him.  And then, there was my mother, a church musician, who had taken me around various church denominations when they needed her services. She pondered many questions, was an avid reader, and had this close connection with the Creator.  They both tolerated my questions as I grew up, sometimes giving me direct answers, or telling me that I would discover the answers in time.

As Sister Calhoun was teaching, I kept looking at the pictures of the biblical characters and was struck with how pink-looking they were.  I had discovered earlier in life that when white people spent time in the sun, they often tanned, or turned red.  I kept looking at the pink-looking biblical characters and could not understand how they could have spent so much time in the sun, living where there was so much sunshine, and still look pink!

When Sister Calhoun took a breath, I had my hand raised and asked my question.  “Why are these people in the bible so white?”  Sister Calhoun’s jaw dropped; the students murmured their displeasure—no student was supposed to ASK questions; we were supposed to just listen and be prepared to answer questions during a review by the Sunday School Superintendent, Deacon White, or some other respected adult.  How dare I, a church new-comer, stop the flow by asking such a dumb question!  Some students mentioned something that’s was just the way it was.  Other students voiced why was I so dumb.  And, others chatted their displeasure that this new person was stopping the flow of how things progressed.

Sister Calhoun looked at me after she had regained her composure.  She said, “Well, we buy our material from a white Christian publishing company, and I guess they just thought that the bible characters were white.”  I didn’t like the answer, and asked another question, much to the chagrin of the other students, now busily complaining about this newcomer.  “Why don’t we have our own material?” I asked.  Sister Calhoun quietly responded with, “Well, it takes a lot of money, and white people have the resources, and we don’t.  Now, let’s get back to our lesson so we can do well when the class is reviewed.”  “Yeah!” the other well-dressed students shouted, more in anger than in a mere consensus.

I had a lot more questions throughout my Christian journey.  Often, my questions were met with jeers and frustration from others who had been trained to not question God, and not to question the way things were.  As I grew older, I learned to somewhat fit in with the status quo, but more questions kept popping into my head, and I began more reading, researching, and questioning God.  I remembered how I felt as a 12-year-old asking questions.  I asked my mom, who gave me good answers, or said she did not know the answer, but that I could ask God.  I remembered feeling God asking me if I would be willing to go against almost 2,000 years of accepted Christian history, and go against thousands of years of Jewish and Hebrew and early civilization history.  I pondered His question, and said “No!”  However, the questions kept popping inside my head, causing me to write the publishing company that produced the Sunday School material I questioned as a 12-year-old.

Jim English from the David C. Cook Publishing Company replied to my inquiry.  During our communicating back and forth, he received permission to have me come and bring my research and spend a week with this huge publishing company.  I met Joseph Bayly, one of the Vice Presidents, and author of “The Gospel Blimp and Other Modern Parables.  Those I met listened to my questions with an open mind.  Then, one of the researchers showed me art work the company use to use in the 1880—all of the biblical characters were blonde and blue-eyed.  He then compared that to their current art work, mentioning that they had changed hair color, eye color, and skin tones to more closely match the characters.

When I protested that the current artwork was better, but was NOT authentic, giving them some of my research, they agreed.  However, they said, “It would not be wise to all of a sudden show Jesus and other bible characters with darker skin and darker hair.  Most of our customers are white Christians, and would be shocked at the art, and would stop purchasing items from us, which would not be a wise business decision.  However, probably in the next 100 years (this was in the late 1970s), I am sure that publishers, including our company, will show Jesus and all bible characters with more authentic skin tones, etc.”  This time, I dropped my jaw!  So, this was about business. Then, someone asked me a very challenging question: “If black people had the resources and controlled art and publishing, don’t you think they would create biblical characters in their image?”  Reluctantly, I had to agree.  Then, I was introduced to the art director—he was an African American!

When I questioned the art director, he explained that he gets the assignments, oversees the work, but since all of the artists and photographers were white, his hands were tied, and he was not about to jeopardize his future quibbling over more color for the biblical characters.  Then I asked those over him why they didn’t hire more African American researchers, artists, etc., they explained that they had tried, but the Elgin, Illinois area was not conducive (at that time) for Black people to feel comfortable living in the area.  Plus, they could not match the salary that African American artists were offered by Ebony and other African American publications.  Now that several African American publications had become more successful, those publications were able to compete very well with Anglo American publications for artistic talent.

Before I left this publishing company, they showed me plans to help African American churches have their “own” material.  The company would wrap the front and back covers, with the suggested African American pictures, around Sunday School material from Cook.  In fact, I was told, they were going to hire more African Americans to become consultants, and asked if I would be interested.  Although the money wasn’t that great, I served for a short time as a consultant, meeting up with African American Christian conventions, showing displays of publications, including those that were more oriented to African American churches.

I continued my quest of asking questions and observing other Christian groups, both black and white.  I spent a little time working with the African Methodist Episcopal Church, and noticed that they had their own publishing company, but didn’t use a lot of art.  I spent time working with the Assemblies of God church, and asked questions about their history, and their lack of African American leadership in their upper ranks.  I asked questions and visited with Methodists, Presbyterians, Church of Christ, Catholic, Church of God in Christ, and may other Christian, as well as non-Christian religious groups.  When I worked with the African American Baptists, I noticed that they had their own publishing houses and used more pictures and art depicting people of color.  Some African American publishers even created an African American Bible, but I knew that all of the characters in the Bible were NOT Black, or African.  Then I made a trip to Rome where I visited the Vatican.

At the Vatican, it was a very interesting experience as I began to see where racism against Black people came from.  As a tour guide was showing a group all of the art and statutes, I could not help but stop him and ask, “Did the artists and sculptures used authentic Jewish people as models?”  The guide gave me a very dirty look, and the other tourists acted like my 12-year-old Sunday School class.  When the guide said, “No,” I had another question.  “So who were the models for all of these paintings and statutes, and when were they made?”

By now, the murmurings of the other tourists grew louder, and the guide was very angry, but tried to give an answer.  He said, “We used Roman citizens, but they artists worked hard to make the art and sculptures as accurately as possible.  Now, moving on, let me show everyone…”  As he moved on, much to the delight of the crowd, I continued to look at the artistic lies that had been sold around the world.  Later, I would discover that such artistic lies were picked up by the Lutherans, the English, other European Christians, and finally made its way into the churches in America.  Now, I was somewhat more eager to stand against the artistic lies of the Christian churches, but still had that feeling that I really didn’t want to continue the assignment of discovering where so much racism against Black People came from—the Catholic Church, and most all other Christian churches, bible schools, and seminaries.

I began to examine the “Christian” and “Bible” movies from Hollywood, looking at the script writers, producers, and directors.  Many of them appeared to be backslidden Jews and Christians, or those who did not have a connection to the Creator.  They have continued to make “Christian” and “authentic” Bible-type movies.  Only a few in the last few years began to use authentic Black people in roles other than as slaves and servants.  One movie even showed Samson as a Black man.  This did not go unnoticed by Black people around the world.  Then two Christian brothers made a recent movie, “War Room,” where most of the main characters were African American, including the daughter of Dr. Tony Evans, pastor of Oak Cliff Fellowship, one of the greatest Bible teaching churches in America.

Dr. Evans is also one of the foremost African American Christian publishers in the world through the Urban Alternative. He didn’t just ask questions, and find answers—he began publishing his findings for over 30 years.  He was also the first African American to earn a doctorate in Theology from Dallas Theological Seminary.  Not only did he ask questions as he grew, but he went out and studied the material used by some of the top Christian pastors and Christian leaders.  This has allowed him to have a voice of reason on radio, television, and within the sports industry as chaplain for the NFL‘s Dallas Cowboys and is currently the longest serving NBA chaplain which he has done by serving the Dallas Mavericks for over 30 years.

Since I began asking questions about the racism falsely portrayed in The Holy Bible as taught by early Catholics and other Christians, I have discovered others beyond Dr. Evans also asked, answered, and published their findings.  This includes Dr. Fred Price, Dr. I.V. Hilliard, and many from Anglo American Christians like Dr. Joel Freeman, and Jim Wallis.  And, then there are those who don’t portend or pretend to be Christians who have compiled “non-Christian” research. At the top may be a somewhat unknown organization doing a lot of research that is very disturbing to most people of the Anglo persuasion, as seen by this website: http://www.realhistoryww.com/, and there are more similar websites and youtube videos uncovering history that was NOT taught in school, college, university, church, or seminary.  Stay tuned!