M. Joseph Sheppard | Charlottesville; The Dignity And Restraint Of Black America

 

While arguably the worst of America was on display during days of rioting, hate, violence egged on by a blatantly partisan leftist media, little mentioned or noticed was the dignity and restraint of Black America.

This was especially significant in the quietude of leading figures in the African American community from politicians to church leaders and even, perhaps most impressively of all, from significant members of the Democratic supporting media figures.

If there had ever been a time and place where mass street action, pulpit thundering, media pronouncements in paper and on television and political stage taking, it was during the Charlottesville days.

The cast of characters, both current and historical would have seemed to have met nearly all conditions for Black activism. White supremacists in the heart of the Confederacy, Klu Klux Klan members, and confederate flags in abundance.

Southern Civil War heroes under attack, both in their imagery in statues torn down or defaced, and for what some stood for in Jim Crow days. In fact there was a literal digging up of the past as crazed leftists attempted to exhume a rebel soldier.

With these affronts to the African American citizenry in full view of the nation the remarkable happened.

There were few Black faces seen among the rioters, there were none pulling down statues of Confederate heroes, no attacking of Klansmen nor tearing Confederate flags from white hands in street battles.

Instead there were, passionate but dignified opinion pieces, most aimed at President Trump for what the authors perceived as misplaced blame sharing and Black politicians echoing such sentiments in, as would be expected, more stringent terms.

Conversely the only virulent attack by a Black politician was from Missouri State Senator Maria Chappelle-Nadal, who hoped for Trump’s assassination and was roundly condemned by her Black Democratic colleague’s such as Congressman William Lacy Clay.

On the other hand there were measured responses attacking the very media who had so stirred up passions. In a remarkable video statement which went viral,  Candice Owens said among much else of significance;

“I mean there are what, 6,000 Klansmen left in our nation and you want me to actually process that as a legitimate fear every day when I wake up?”

Similarly basketball legend Charles Barkley also went on video to advise; "I have always ignored Confederate statues and that most black people probably haven’t thought about them "a day in their life." He said the black community needs to worry about more important issues like education and crime.

"That’s wasted energy," the NBA legend said. "I’m not going to waste my time screaming at a neo-Nazi who is going to hate me no matter what. And I’m not going to waste my time worrying about these statues,"

Barkley was echoed by Former World Champion Boxer George Foreman, "On anthem and White House protestors, they’re sore losers"

This same dignified restraint and objective point of view came to the fore in the aftermath of Dylan Roof’s murderous rampage in Charleston, where a single spark from more than justified community outrage might have turned into a racial conflagration. Instead, the grace of community leaders led to an enormous outpouring of public sympathy and appreciation.

It is frankly, a national shame that such similar restraint and mature reflection has not also been recognized and honored by the wider community of the nation across all ethnic groups as it well deserves.

America owes a great debt to the Black citizens for their patience and dignity and for providing a sign that outside of the media’s flame fanning things make be continuing on the sometimes maddeningly slow arc of racial progress.

 

 

 



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