Being a white Northern liberal married to a Black Southerner gives rise to some interesting in-law discussions.
I saw on family Facebook that Taleeb Starkes, author of ‘The Un-Civil War: Blacks vs N—–‘, which Amazon describes as a ‘race realist endeavor’ is a featured speaker at St.Stephen’s Church in Louisville, KY next weekend.
‘Race realist’, is a label that is adopted by some white supremacists, and claimed by Taleeb Starkes on his website, blksvsnggrs.com. His book cover features raging flames. The bottom of his home page is a photo gallery of violent crimes by Black perpetrators against white victims. It is very frightening and the immediate emotional response is to avoid those people at any cost. Unfortunately, for the white reader the simplest interpretation is that ‘those people’ are Black people.
‘Race realism’ is a term with various definitions, but has been used by those who seek a scientific justification for social prejudice. That kind of pseudoscience has a very long and ugly history, not least of all in American slavery.
“Our rulers and media executives will try to turn the story of Hurricane Katrina into yet another morality tale of downtrodden blacks and heartless whites… . [But m]any whites will realize — some for the first time — that we have Africa in our midst, that utterly alien Africa of road-side corpses, cruelty, and anarchy that they thought could never wash up on our shores.”
— American Renaissance, 2005
Very far from the American patriotic spirit that inspired volunteers from all over the country to respond to a natural disaster, but a good example of the lingering prejudice that led to stalled rescue efforts and many avoidable deaths.
The only book we really needed was British historian Edward Long’s History of Jamaica, which contains the first detailed description of negroid personality and behavioral traits. If we had followed Long’s sage advice, maybe we would have followed through with our plans to ship the negroes back to Africa before the outbreak of the American Civil War.
On Taleeb Starkes’ page is a photo of himself sitting next to Bill Cosby, who has had his picture taken with many people in his distinguished career. I could not find any formal endorsement, though Starkes says it ‘made Bill Cosby smile.’ Yes, Mr. Cosby is smiling in the photo.
Bill Cosby never, even in his harshest exhortations, used a racial slur to single out some of the most disadvantaged from the rest of us. In fact, he spoke out strongly against the use of the word for any reason.
It is one of the great tragedies of the Cosby family that Bill and Camille’s son, Ennis was murdered by a white man who was looking for someone to rob.
At his trial, prosecutors relied on jailhouse letters where Markhasev allegedly confesses to the slaying and writes, “I shot the nigger … I went to rob a [drug] connection and obviously found something else.”
No amount of good citizenship could protect Ennis Cosby from being profiled as a young Black man driving a nice car. To what extent did racism make it easier for a young white man to take his life? And how much does self-hatred and internalized despair play into the violence that puts poor women and children in the line of fire?
Taleeb Starkes cites his work as co-producer of the documentary, ‘Mothers of No Tomorrow’, which interviews three Black women who lost sons to urban violence.
The director, Sixx King, had this to say in a 2012 interview for EURWeb.com
King wants to make one point very clear: This is not just a Black problem, it is an American problem. “More than 7,000 Black people are murdered in this country each year, which is significantly more than the total 6,754 American soldiers killed in Afghanistan and Iraq since 2001,” he explains. “Once other people segregate this issue out and attempt to make it a Black problem, they are able to detach themselves from it. Domestic terrorism is decimating all of our communities,” he concludes.
Segregation is a white privilege. White people don’t have to carry collective blame for crimes by other white people, such as Adam Lanza who turned a classroom into a slaughterhouse with a weapon his mother bought for him, or Stephen Howells and Nicole Vaisey, who kidnapped and sexually abused two little girls, with plans to abduct more.
It’s racist and unfair to hang crimes by individuals on others who have no involvement– just because they may check the same box on a census form. But racism is far from dead, and a word that revives national memories of slavery is a double-edged sword. If you follow the internet connections for Taleeb Starkes you will see connections with websites such as American Renaissance and TheBlackSphere whose home page is a collection of Black crime stories. Starkes may say he is reworking America’s worst racial slur to condemn disgraceful behavior, but most white people won’t make that distinction. It’s too easy to just assume Black people are guilty till proved innocent, or just generally scary except for a few good ones.
Like Norma Rae said, ‘lie down with dogs, wake up with fleas.’ Taleeb Starkes is in bad company, his internet presence is shallow, he appears to be a self-promoter. We live in hard and mean times with an angry national mood and a Black president who is dealing with crises here and abroad. Beware of starting fires, you will not be able to control the damage.