“No one is going to give you the education you need to overthrow them. Nobody is going to teach you your true history, teach you your true heroes if they know that that knowledge will help set you free.” – Assata Shakur
By Staff Writer | Khalil Hakim
I have always sarcastically marveled at the Education System in America. How it selectively omits and changes the narrative of key components of its history. How American exceptionalism is slowly creeping its way into the American History narrative. How certain information is just left out. There is still no excuse for people to not know the truth about American history. With the advent of Google, how can you not get the correct information regardless of your education level?
So, with that being said, I have a way too serious question for you today: When did the white race start? Just think about that for a second. In America, there is the Black and White race. When and where did the quote-unquote white race start? Its kinda like the race “Indians.” The genocidal maniac Christopher Columbus named the native Americans “Indians” because that fool thought he was in India. DOH in Homer Simpson voice!
DOH in Homer Simpson voice!
So who called “white” people “white” people. Did they name themselves? That’s a great question and I’m glad you asked it! Having served in The United States Air Force for eleven years. I had the pleasure of living in Europe for five of those years. During those five years, I NEVER heard an Italian, German, Russian, Spaniard, Brit, etc. refer to themselves as “white.” Why is it that their descendants who now reside in the United States of America call themselves white? Did they get revelation from heaven that they are now “white?”
When was the human grouping, called white people, invented? Why did the human category arise? How was it made normal? What purpose did it serve? Who benefited and how? Well, what I discovered that “white people” did not exist before 1681. You have to understand the social context that a large majority of the people that labored in the British Territories(Maryland an Virginia) where actually were poor British men, there were some men and women from Africa who were rendered slaves within the colonies, there were also Irish, Dutch, Portuguese, and other Europeans. These laborers can be compared to the 99% from an economic standpoint. The landholding and ruling elite consisted of British men, and they can be thought of as the 1%. Sound familiar, I guess not much has changed in America!
Well, I discovered that “white people” did not exist before 1681. You have to understand the social context that a vast majority of the people that labored in the British Territories (Maryland an Virginia) were actually poor English men. Some men and women from Africa were rendered as slaves within the colonies; however, there were also Irish, Dutch, Portuguese, and other Europeans. These laborers can be compared to the 99% from an economic standpoint. The landholding and ruling elite consisted of British men and they can be thought of as the 1%. Sound familiar, I guess not much has changed in America.
What we need to understand is that a vast majority of the laborers lived together and slept together in the same community. Lets be clear, there were plenty of free Africans throughout the colonies. They worked their required time and by law were free men and women. Now, there were some exceptions, but they are just that, exceptions. For the historical record and law being a laborer from Africa, being from Holland or England made little to no difference.
Enslaved African people were disgruntled laborers by virtue of enslavement but European laborers were increasingly frustrated. Harsh punishment began to be imposed for minor infractions often adding many years to one’s term of service.
These unfair punishments stresses that came from them found a voice and specific targets for their aim through the leadership of Nathaniel Bacon who led a rebellion.
The rebellion was enormous, uniting laborers across nationalities, indentured, enslaved, and free, which engulfed Virginia for more than a year and was ultimately squashed when England shipped troops to the colony. Bacon’s Rebellion made a significant impression upon the ruling elite having posed a threat to the version of capitalism they were fostering – one dependent upon unpaid and underpaid labor. In letters to the legal oversight authority in England, the ruling elite communicated the intent to deploy a divide and conquer strategy to ensure that such a rebellion would never arise again.
It is only after Bacon’s Rebellion and following the express intent to divide and conquer that we see the use of the term “white people” in law. Over the next several decades, a series of laws were passed, giving poor whites and indentured servants more rights and privileges while at the same time, putting increasing restrictions on Africans. Essentially, racism was being institutionalized as a tool of control by the oligarchy. These laws created an entirely new bottom to society and tossed people of African descent and members of Native Tribes down in it.
These laws did little to advance the material wealth of the group of people called white laborers. They were on the “white team” but they never got into the game of obtaining generational wealth. They were never able to get the education and live next door to the rich ruling elite, but their whiteness gave them the authority and the power to treat people of color however badly they wished without threat of prosecution.
Fast forward to today as in the 17th and 18th Centuries, today’s oligarchy fears nothing more than the idea that the blacks, poor whites, Hispanics, Asians and everyone else who makes up the 98% and are getting screwed by the capitalist system will unite against them. The ignorant and fearful racists who march around with tiki torches chanting “blood an soil” don’t even know they are getting played and they, themselves, are part of that 98%. They cannot understand that it has never been about black and white or blood and soil. It’s about green and gold and who controls it. The truth of the matter, they don’t!
They are being manipulated, playing right into an ancient game instituted a long time ago. The elites pit us against them like dog fighters. The wealthy elite class market patriotism and love of country to get poor-whites to buy into the illusion that they are part of something but in actuality they are no more than just pawns in the game that are nothing more than collateral damage. While Multi-national Corporations, Wall Street Bankers, Big Pharma, the Fossil Fuel industry and the modern-day oligarchs are laughing all the way to the bank.
Khalil Hakim is a former Veteran of the U.S. Air Force and holds a Bachelors of Science Degree in Telecommunications. Hakim also studied Theology at Phillips Theological Seminary. Hakim was the pastor of Shekinah Glory for 14 years. He is a poet and the author of the critically acclaimed novel “Fade to Black”. He is also the founder of 4KB Publishing as well as a Staff Writer for the Black Wall St. Times.