Many of us have noted how easy it is for people to kill insects; people think nothing about killing bugs. Some people even think that dogs and cats deserve less than considerate care. This is true of some people who do not own pets, for the most part.
When considering the foregoing, it becomes apparent that, in order for human beings to commit atrocious acts of violence against other life forms without guilt, they must hold the thought in their minds that those life forms don’t have the same value as their own lives. In other words, they must separate themselves from victims and assume the superior position. In that regard, it is all right to kill lesser beings. This is why most people don’t think twice about killing ants or other small critters that happen to cross their paths.
We must keep this idea in mind when observing the violence that Black people have endured at the hands of white Americans. It is clear that Black people are not considered to be the same kind of human beings as their white counterparts in America.
It is clear that situations like the 1921 Tulsa Massacre could not have happened if the whites who destroyed the entire Greenwood District, known as the “Black Wall Street,” thought that the Blacks who lost their homes and lives were equal to themselves.
It is also clear that the kind of slavery that Black people endured in America could not have occurred if the whites who enslaved them thought they were really mistreating beings on the same level as they thought themselves to be.
Other evidence of the “othering” of Black people by white people can be seen by the fact that Black people were actually put in zoos for the entertainment of white people.
For example, Sarah Baartman, a South African Khoikhoi woman, also known as the “Hottentot Venus,” was considered a freak attraction in 19th century Europe and was actually put on display. After her death, her remains were placed on display at the Parisian Musee de l’Homme until 1974!
A similar situation happened to Ota Benga, a Congolese Pygmy who became Exhibit A in the monkey house at the Bronx Zoo. There are also stories about human zoos (called “ethnological expositions” or “Negro Villages”) where groups of Blacks were displayed as communities.
The irony is that so-called white supremacists have acted in a very inferior manner, akin to animals, in the way that they have mistreated Black people and others.
In Tulsa, there was a conscious, systematic destruction of 40 square blocks; up to $4 million went up in flames, and scores of Blacks were buried in unmarked mass graves. Blacks were rounded up and placed in internment centers by deputized white people. The community was actually bombed by airplanes.
Afterwards, the city of Tulsa took land for itself that had belonged to African Americans. This was arguably the worst example of white attacks on Black people in America outside of the institution of slavery.
Now, the question that may be asked is this: if white people consider Black people inferior to themselves, why would they deliberately destroy what has been called the most successful Black community in America, Tulsa’s Greenwood?
The answer probably lies in the following notions: 1. Black success dispels the notion of their inferiority and hence derails the idea of white supremacy; 2. White supremacists actually believe that Black people are inferior and, as such, they are justified in being treated like animals, and 3. Jealousy.
Black people should not exist based on treatment they have received, and yet they have achieved successes in every level of society. The more success the community demonstrates, the greater the attempts to oppress them.
One lesson that we should learn from Black Wall Street is that the Greenwood Community thrived because Black people relied on each other.
With this said, we must keep in mind that the really rabid white supremacists see us as inferior animals, and they really believe that they are a superior human species. They are also concerned that they face annihilation due to their dwindling numbers and the growing number of minorities in America.
Because of this, we must stick together in order to fight what has become a threat to Black survival. A Luta Continua.