In 2016 I began to be stirred by patterns. I looked back over 50 year cycles from the end of the Civil War to 2016 and found my mind and heart stirred. It’s not just a 50 cycle, but it is blatantly obvious in a 50 year cycle.
When there is an opportunity to truly crush racism and build toward more equality, there is a severe backlash that occurs. Reconstruction led to the formation of the KKK and the building up of Jim Crow laws. WWI gave opportunity for Blacks to serve alongside whites, only to return to a nation where Southern states were putting up Confederate statues to remind Blacks of who was REALLY boss… and the president himself showing the racist film, “Birth of a Nation,” in the White House. With the rise of the Civil Rights Movement came a resurgence of violence, including the bombings of black churches and the assassinations of Malcolm X and MLK, Jr.
The nation had finally elected a Black president… and then we get another backlash. It culminated in 2020 when we couldn’t look away as readily while Ahmaud Arbery, Breona Taylor, and then George Floyd (among so many others) were murdered. Since that time, while the murderers of Ahmaud Arbery and George Floyd have been held accountable, anti-Black movements are on the rise again. CRT has become the new bogeyman among white nationalists, along with using the word “woke” as a pejorative.
Along with the overt and covert things done, there is a recent study released on the Minneapolis Police Department. And it reminded me of the 50 year cycle as well. The MPD was operating in clandestine ways to intimidate the Black community, much like many law enforcement agencies did in the 60s. It’s not that it JUST happens every 50 years. It is that major events cause major collisions about every 50 years.
And that is because this stuff happens all the time.
From the report:
For Diala Shamas, an attorney with the Center for Constitutional Rights, the revelations are echoes of a covert FBI program from the 1950s to early ’70s, known as Cointelpro, that illegally conducted surveillance and sabotage against civil rights groups and other organizations, sowing paranoia, distrust and violence. Targets included the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., the Black Panthers, Malcolm X and many others.
The Minneapolis Police Department acted like the FBI in the Hoover days. They had perceived “enemies” and did all they could to spy on supposed enemies:
Regarding social media, it spotlighted departmental abuses turned up in a review spanning activity between 2010 and 2020.
Officers used “covert, or fake” accounts to seek and gain access to the online profiles of Black individuals including an unnamed City Council member and a state elected official, the report said, as well as groups such as the Minneapolis NAACP and Urban League. The activity included friend requests, comments on posts, private messages and participation in discussions.
“When doing so, officers posed as like-minded individuals and claimed, for example, that they met the targeted person at a prior demonstration or protest,” the report said.
We have every opportunity to move forward… and we refuse. White people too often say, “Why can’t ‘THEY’ just get past all this?”
My question to white people has become: Why can’t YOU?