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Est. April 5, 2002
Mar 25, 2021 - Issue 858
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Just when you thought the outlandishly abominable antics and disturbing and derelict rhetoric coming out of the Republican party could not get any more ludicrous, party members have managed to outdo themselves. Earlier this month, South Carolina senator Tim Scott made the claim that woke supremacy was as bad as White supremacy. Yes, you read that right! Truth be told, given the deliriously frantic level of media coverage devoted to “all things seemingly provocative” or likely to get political pundits, bloggers, cultural critics, and other assorted political junkies riled up, ears perked and tongues were set wagging.

Indeed, with a straight face, the lone republican Black senator in Congress brazenly made such a bizarre statement. Needless to say, it did not take long for many people on the politically progressive side of the aisle to weigh in on the controversy; this broke it down and delivered the truth to Senator Scott. CNN anchor, commentator, and author, Don Lemon, spoke truth to power, alerting the senator, in no uncertain terms, to the undeniable truth that there is NO comparison between the two camps, not even in the slightest! As the days passed, a few other commentators of varied races and ethnicities took Scott to task for his wayward, untoward commentary.

First of all, what is “woke supremacy?” Let me answer my own question. It is a tired, played out term that has been developed and weaponized by the political, social, and cultural right to provide a perverse cover for those who resent being called out and taken to task for their vile, sinister, abhorrent behavior; many of them perennially revel in racist, anti-Semitic, sexist, homophobic, and xenophobic behavior. It is also a reductive entity employed by these same men and women who wish to deprive those groups — people of color, women, LGBTQ people, Jews, religious minorities, indigenous people, anyone they deem less than human and unworthy — of basic dignity and respect.

We are the group of people who, behind racist, right wing, phony liberal closed doors, and frequently — more so in public — referred to in such circles as “the other” and often much worse depending on what group is being demonized at the moment. Those of us who refuse to partake in such submissive, denigrating, degrading, demonizing, and dehumanizing behavior are seen as “troublemakers” or even as “unicameral.” The truth is that woke supremacy is a red herring. On the contrary, White supremacy is very much real! American history has proven as such in the past and present.

Last I checked, so-called “woke supremacists” have not lashed out at their opponents by enslaving them. They have not hung their enemies from trees, chopped off their genitals and stuffed them in their mouths, or in some cases, burned them alive.

To my knowledge, “woke supremacists” have never taken away people’s right to vote based on their gender. Moreover, “woke supremacists” have never oppressed their fellow Americans through sharecropping systems or deprived them of equitable educational opportunities and forced them to endure subpar opportunities.

Have these “woke supremacists” ever unleashed water hoses, German shepherds, and cattle prods?

Have these “woke supremacists” racially profiled and directly ,targeted ethnically based businesses, engage in wanton acts of misogyny, murder patrons due their race and gender and excuse such violence as the perpetrator having a “bad day” and/or engage in similar sadistic and overt acts of violence against their detractors?

On the contrary, White supremacists have! And guess what? They’re still doing it! Wisconsin senator Ron Johnson praised White insurrectionists who stormed the US capital on January 6th and vilified Black Lives Matter protesters; this is a textbook example of White supremacy.

At the moment, Republicans have brazenly, arrogantly, and brutally declared war on democracy. Their devious and violent shenanigans moved from Washington to political battleground states such as Georgia, Texas, and Arizona, where Republicans are pushing what they refer to as “election integrity” bills specifically designed to bolster voter suppression. Since Election Day 2020, at least 250 bills in more than 40 states have been introduced to suppress mail-in and early voting, enacting voter ID laws, shortening voting hours, and making it as difficult as possible for millions to vote.

There’s more! In Oklahoma, Republicans passed a bill that grants immunity to motorists who plow their cars into protesters. Not only that, far right wing governor Ron DeSantis of Florida has advocated new felonies for injuries or property damage that occur during protests attended by at least seven people. This, Senator Scott, is White supremacy!

As a southerner over 50 years old, a Black man who comes from humble beginnings, (as he has described his background and upbringing) and the inhabitant of a state that has had an ugly, intensive, brutal and oppressive history of mistreatment of Black people (even by southern state standards) Tim Scott likely knows better. In fact, I would go further and say he certainly does! This is why he went to FOX News and tried (unconvincingly) to defend his disingenuous remarks.

He is a person of color in a party that has declared political war on people of color — his own people. Thus, in order to save face and remain in the good graces of his GOP colleagues, Mr. Scott decided to engage in a shameful act of intellectual dishonesty. It is a sad and shameful commentary on his priorities. Guest Commentator, Dr. Elwood Watson, Historian, public speaker, and cultural critic is a professor at East Tennessee State University and author of the recent book, Keepin' It Real: Essays on Race in Contemporary America (University of Chicago Press), which is available in paperback and on Kindle via Amazon and other major book retailers. Contact Dr.Watson and BC.

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is published  Thursday
Executive Editor:
David A. Love, JD
Managing Editor:
Nancy Littlefield, MBA
Peter Gamble

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