Monday, April 15, 2019

Why Black folks don't like string.

by Rod Williams - Please bear with me and follow my logic.  Black people don't like string because if you braid multiple strands of string together you get rope and rope was used to lynch Black folks during the era of Jim Crow and that is why Black folks don't like string.

If you were following that logic, then you can follow the logic of Dr. Fallon Wilson who in a guest column in The Tennessean on Sunday, Cherry tree treated better than Shawn Joseph, explained why Black folks don't much care for Japaneses cherry blossom trees. She says, "trees have always been a pernicious thing for Black people."

From about 1877 to 1950, Wilson says, a whole bunch of Black people, 4,400 she says, were lynched in the South. They were lynched from trees, so "trees have never meant joy for black people in this country. They have often symbolized fear and mob-sanctioned death." 

I don't think Black people were lynched from Japanese Cherry trees but nevertheless, this legacy of Southern lynching of Black people from trees has apparently made all Black people dislike all trees. I think they should make an exception for little decorative trees like Dogwood and Japanese Cherry trees, but I am not Black so what do I know?  I wonder if a study has ever been done to determine that Black people really do not like trees? I wonder if Black people enjoy going on hikes in the woods, or sitting under shade trees. I have seen Black people in city parks sitting under big shade trees.  Maybe they didn't get the memo.  When a Black family buys a home, do they cut down all the trees?  Do Blacks ever plant trees?  

She goes on to say that the deal that drove Joseph Shawn from office with a big fat bonus was a "professional lynching" and due to White supremacy. "White supremacy" she writes, "is an odious and intoxicating scent that if one has not done the emotional work to deconstruct one’s own white privilege than that person is likely to default to it when encountering an issue with a black person, let alone the first black director of schools."

If you didn't get the part about trees, then the part about "doing the emotional work to deconstruct one's own white privilege," won't make sense to you.  

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