1 October 2015


by Patrice Lockert Anthony

"Straight, No Chaser," is a monthly column, based in large part, on James Baldwin's contention (which he wrote of in "The Fire Next Time") that part of the evolution and revolution around race issues in America will be African Americans acting as white America's mirror. My column will address race issues in America both specifically, and comparatively (race issues around the world).

While I care about, and will address, myriad race issues, I will, more often than not, examine issues between whites and blacks in America. White European racial aggression and oppression may not have begun with black folk in America, but it is, arguably, the most historically, legally, and subtextually defined relationship with regard to that bugaboo called, "Race in America."

There has been, and still remains, too much running away from obvious truths from our country's history and present day pathology. As long as this pathology persists, we cannot heal. I get tired of reading, and hearing about, the pathology of "Black Culture" as if that, or any culture's pathology, existed in a vacuum. As if it is absent of external causation. As if nothing ever happened before, during, or since which hasn't had profound effects, either extrinsically or intrinsically on that pathology's origins or continuum. So what are the events in human history/American history which have impacted African American existence?

These are the topics and issues I will be discussing, and yes, opining on, in this column. I hope that as a result of my thoughts and words others will be inclined toward open and engaged discussion with each other. I'm not interested in fisticuffs, hate, or baiting. I am interested in seeing if there are any people left in America who are ready for intelligent discussion and debate.

Religion, politics, education... our leaders in these areas are too often content to either close their eyes to the truth, or they are content with lies and ignorance. Unfortunately, these are the major highways of knowledge for most communities.

That type of leadership must end. Too many white Americans are desperately afraid of this conversation. So they fall back on their privilege (acknowledged or not) to create distance and walls. Too many black Americans are too deeply enraged (and terrified given the current climate of policing and justice in America) to have a calm and reasoned discussion. But the conversation must be had. Truth must come out. There is no other way to begin the healing.

In later columns I'll discuss white guilt, American craziness, private meeting space, the black lives matter movement, and a host of other topics. I look forward to putting my thoughts out there for you. I hope you are engaged by them. I hope you are moved by them. I hope they move you to seek evolution over revolution. Accord over discord. People who self- identify as oppressed will eventually choose a plan of action,because only the dead cannot rise.

In faith~

Straight, No Chaser

October 2015

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