The Black Bandwagon

Tribune Bias / Bigotry, Business, Community, Finance, Governance, History, Law, People, Political Analysis, Politics 24 Comments

The Matter of Black Lives

Ivy Reeves is a Community Advocate and Empowerment Speaker.

YONKERS, NY — June 24, 2020 — Politicians, entertainers, sports teams, and their owners are all jumping on the “Black Bandwagon.” It is not as if Black people have not been around since the beginning of time. In America, Black people have been around for centuries, and, during the time of captivity, the African people were called savages, animals, three-fifths of a human, and many other mean, nasty, and derogatory names. Having the culture, language, and religion stripped away, the brainwashing and mind screwing, make it almost impossible to be free again.

Suddenly, on May 25, 2020, the Caucasian, white elites, and Europeans grew a heart and developed a conscience for Black people after witnessing the cruel, senseless, and heartless murder of George Floyd. Why Mr. Floyd? Was it because it was witnessed by the world, during a pandemic, where people are quarantined at home with nothing else to do but watch television? It reminds me of the Christmas cartoon, “How the Grinch Stole Christmas”. They watched another senseless murder of a Black person, and their tiny hearts began to grow.

While there were 400 years of brutality such as rapes, beatings, lynchings, burnings of black bodies, during parties and outings, a term called “Picnic,” where they would “pick a ni—er”  and take pictures of themselves with black men hanging from trees in the background, a term called “Strange Fruit,” Black Lives clearly did not matter.

Blacks were sold away from their families like chicken or cattle.  When a Black male slave stood up to the slave master, he would be taken out onto the plantation, where the oppressor would embarrass and humiliate him by beating him, sodomizing him, and raping him in front of his family and all the other slaves. The purpose was to make an example of him and to intimidate the other Africans. Today the same method is used by attempting to take away the livelihood and quality of life by taking away job opportunities or firing you if you do not allow them to control you. And yes, just like years ago on the plantation, today we have a sad, sack of bootlicking, Sambos who will suck up to the oppressor just to have a tiny spot in their world.

When  “Mr. Charlie” the (oppressor) needed more livestock (slaves) to work the plantation, they would take a young male slave and his mother, cover the son’s head so that neither of them would know who the other one was and make the son have an intimate (sexual) relationship with his own mother, Hence the term “Mother F#**#r”.

If that were not bad enough, how uncaring, and horrific could a people be to take little black babies, chain them up, and use them as bait to catch alligators, so they could make belts, wallets, and shoes.

Tulsa, Oklahoma’s’ Black Wall Street, The Tuskegee experiment with black men being given syphilis, the Civil Rights Movement and now Black Lives Matter means things have not changed that much

After centuries of systematic racism in this country, one pandemic and one man’s murder has touched the hearts of this country and worldwide to actually have us believe that the dehumanizing hatred, disrespect, and humiliation of black people will cease to exist now. The wealthy, rich white people and the fake, phony politicians are searching for a photo opportunity with Black people during the election year. Some say they are now more sensitive to human beings whose skin is not the same color as theirs. Perhaps it is difficult for me to believe that after all the years of murdering, lynching, shootings, and other ways of killing, now, suddenly, there is this big change of heart. I got news for you! In the eyes of God, black lives have always mattered!

Black lives will always matter, but now we must act; we must make demands, and we must always stand strong and stand together when it comes to civil rights and being treated unjustly. When we do things for ourselves and for our black people, some white people like to say that we are racist. That will tell you just how ignorant some people are because they do not know the meaning of the word racist. Black people may, at times, be prejudice, bias, or discriminate, but not racist, especially here in America.

In the matter of black lives, black lives have always mattered. In this country, we just have not been treated as if we mattered. I do not believe you can teach kindness or compassion, and I fail to see any real, redeeming qualities in people that have been filled with hate for so many centuries.   I am open to seeing how long this Black bandwagon of compassion, change of heart, and sensitivity to blackness will continue, especially after the elections.  I pray for the best. Peace!

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Ivy Reeves is a Community Advocate and Empowerment Speaker.



TribuneThe Black Bandwagon

Comments 24

  1. Very well written Ivy, it is a shame that when the truth is written, people cannot handle it. Some have comments and want to take one issue instead of looking at the whole picture. There will always be issues, you cannot tell the culture of a white person by their looks, but you can tell a person with melanin by theirs.


    1. Were the slaves that were brought over from Africa to the US kidnapped or were they sold by other Africans? Is this a part of history that we are choosing to ignore also? Asking for a friend….

  2. When BLM is done with police reforms, will they focus on the non ending inner city genocide nationwide that is killing minorities? Can we look forward to the marches and outrage seen these last few weeks? Is the leading cause of death for black males age 18-25 still due to homicide? How many blacks statistically murder their own in one year?

    Dr. Zuki

    1. Fathers Day weekend in the Windy City-116 people shot & 16 fatalities-all people of color yet no outrage by brown and blacks.

  3. To speak of an unprecedented wave of support across the United States by Americans of all colors, especially younger white Americans, as a jumping on the “black bandwagon” is disappointing and counterproductive, among other things. Protesting in support of BLM during a global pandemic is an extraordinary act of solidarity and should be recognized as such. This is no mere posturing on the part of young white Americans.

    There is, however, a critique to be made about white corporate America and the white political establishment, which has been forced to change tack or risk a loss of profits or popularity (i.e. electability in the case of the latter). The NFL is a textbook example, but there are countless others within the worlds of American business and politics for whom the charge of jumping on the “black bandwagon” is valid.

    And Ms Reeves is right to emphasize the brutality of inhumanity of white Americans and their treatment of black Americans. This is one of those great American open secrets and it is a story that needs to be told more often. Other cultures and countries have reckoned with the horrors of their history (such as Germany). Rather than hiding behind persistent founding myths of democracy, equality, and freedom, the United States would be well-served by confronting its own history openly and honestly. It was a country founded on genocide by religious fanatics from Europe and industrialized and enriched by slave labor. That is its history and its legacy continues to affect us today.

    Ms. Reeves’ resentment and anger are misplaced and misguided. Solidarity is the way forward. Nothing can be accomplished through self-imposed ghettos, be they based on race, ethnicity, gender, class, or otherwise.

  4. how does a Mayors appointee lose???
    how does the party nominee come in last???
    seems like the democratic party in Yonkers is broken down……

  5. Open questions to Ms. Reeves,

    If systemic racism was shown NOT to exist, nationwide, in our CURRENT police departments, based on statistical information available to everyone, would you address this or ignore the statistics and call me racist?

    How is it possible that NONE of the blame for the African American plight is ever placed on the African American community? Is it possible that EVERYTHING is the fault of others?

    Is the ultimate goal, and has the ultimate goal always been, for white America to GIVE black America monetary reparations to atone for the atrocities of the PAST that had nothing to do with anyone alive today?

    I ask these questions with the sincerest intentions to try and start a civil discussion that I truly don’t expect.

    1. As a black woman, I have to say that reparations is not the goal; it’s equality and fairness. The past atrocities was not by the hands of current white people; however, you still benefit from the actions of your ancestors. When white people take responsibility for their history and black people stop focusing solely on it, only then will we do better.

    2. There is a case to be made for reparations. Industrialization in the United States was fueled, not by cheap labor, but by slave labor. Not only did white America do none of the work, but they reaped all the profits and passed on that wealth to their progeny. From a class-based perspective, every union member today should be outraged by such widespread wage theft. To put it another way, present-day American wealth and prosperity simply would not exist today without the stolen labor of Africans and African Americans.

      But “the ultimate goal” has never been for black American to be given anything. Firstly, the notion of a “black America” and a “white America” is based on racist assumptions, namely that one can speak of monolithic groups that self-identify based on the color of their skin. I am white and share virtually nothing in common with many whites in America. Moreover, any financial restitution (for example) should neither be described nor seen as a gift. Rather, it is recompense (albeit inadequate) for hundreds of years of inhuman treatment, wage theft, discrimination, segregation, and violence. That’s a matter of acknowledging guilt. More importantly, it’s a matter of justice.

      As for statistics, anyone with eyes and ears has seen the racism and its consequences these past weeks. To hide behind self-serving statistics already indicates an unwillingness to engage openly with the issue, despite your self-described “sincerest intentions.”

      1. Industrialization in the US was fueled by slave labor? Industrialization in the US took place AFTER the Civil War. There was no slave labor. Many different groups of immigrants were discriminated against after the war yet persevered and eventually prospered. This was not an easy time for MANY.

        The US is not without her faults. Not by any means. But throwing money at a problem, without addressing the problem, is definitely a big one.

        You referred to “financial restitution” as not being a gift. I agree. This would be a handout. I refer to it as a handout because it would come without any acceptance of personal responsibility. You did not address the question of accountability. Once again, is it possible that the African American plight is EVERYBODY else’s fault?

        And as for statistics, our society relies on numbers for almost all decisions. Simply dismissing facts or stats as self-serving quickly diminishes your argument.

        Is there racism in the US? Absolutely. Is it systemic? Absolutely not.

        1. The link between industrialization and slavery in the United States has been well-documented by scholars of American history. Slave labor in places like Alabama, South Carolina, and Mississippi contributed to more than half of the nation’s exports in the first six decades of the 19th century, exports that consisted of raw cotton grown and harvested almost exclusively by slaves.

          In the span of 60 years (1801 to 1862), the amount of cotton picked by black slaves increased by 400 percent and allowed the American economy to transition from a colonial economy to an industrialized one, with the South its most prosperous region. The amount of wealth was staggering – by the start of the Civil War, there were more millionaires per capita in the Mississippi River valley than anywhere else and it was all a result of stolen wages and slave labor. It also benefited New York’s banks, Rhode Island’s mills, and manufacturers in Massachusetts, fueling New England’s industrialization, which in turn created nationwide industries and networks to transport and market cotton harvested by enslaved blacks.

          Unfortunately, such things are rarely, if ever, taught in primary or secondary schools. There might be some exposure to it in specialist classes at the college level, but books on the subject by respected scholars are widely available. Sven Beckert’s “Slavery’s Capitalism: A New History of American Economic Development” (published by an ivy-league university press) is available at the Riverfront library, for example, and is a good place to start.

          With this sort of history in mind (the sheer scale of wealth generated by enslaved, unpaid blacks), terms such as “gifts” and “handouts” are absurd, thus the emphasis on reparations and recompense. In fact, I don’t think the United States could actually afford to repay blacks for the actual value of their labor and their contributions to this country’s wealth and prosperity.

          1. Reparations have been paid in full and then sum. Whites fought to end slavery and won. White blood was shed to free black slaves and that is priceless. The civil war resulted in the most deaths of white males than In any other US war. Whites have paid the ultimate price loosing their fathers, brothers, husbands, and sons. Generations of whites gone! Blacks did not free themselves. Blacks should be thanking whites every day. Now go pick up your pants!

          2. I agree wholeheartedly with you that we should “repay blacks for the actual value of their labor”. But unfortunately all of the actual deserving individuals have passed on, many over 100+ years ago. On a side note, there still is the personal responsibility/accountability thing that you have completely ignored. Why is that?

          3. First, it’s unclear what “personal responsibility” actually means. Secondly, however one defines it, within the context of hundreds of years of racism, slavery, wage theft, segregation, lynching, rape, discriminatory policing and housing policies, among many other things, “personal responsibility” is a meaningless phrase. If anything, it belies a certain condescension that seeks to whitewash historical facts by emphasizing the deeply flawed American myth of pulling yourself up by your bootstraps. This sort of Puritanical moralizing is an obvious legacy of the religious fanatics who founded this country.

            Or, to put it another way, we’ll steal people from their homes in one continent, bring them to another continent and put them in chains for generations, finally “free” them but prevent them from having access to home and business loans or the wider American economy (e.g. racist and discriminatory hiring practices), over-police them, separate them from white communities, relegate their children to inferior schools, subject them to disproportionate arrests and sentencing for the exact same crimes as whites, and then talk about “personal responsibility.” It literally beggars belief that seemingly rational people today can speak of “personal responsibility” when presented with the reality of hundreds of years of structural racism and discrimination inflicted on black America by white America.

            And, as an aside, if only “personal responsibility” were the mantra when largely white Wall Street destroyed global economies as a result of their deceit and rapacity. Instead, “personal responsibility” morphed into a taxpayer bailout because white corporate America is, apparently, “too big to fail.” It also seems that paying taxes isn’t a matter of “personal responsibility” for white-owned and white-led corporate America. But such double standards are common in the racist whitewashing of America’s indefensible treatment of African Americans.

          4. I truly believe that you know EXACTLY what personal responsibility means. Playing the victim card is not the answer nor will it ever be. There are countless African American success stories throughout the past 160 years. They all had one thing in common. They did not allow their past to define them. Hard work, and in many cases a solid family structure, allowed many to pick themselves up and succeed. It is not easy. Many will fail, both black and white. But to not even try and just continue to play the victim card will just extend the cycle that so many are so desperate to exit.

          5. Quod erat demonstrandum.

            EDITORS NOTE: The Latin quod erat demonstrandum literally means “what was to be demonstrated.” It is actually a transliteration of a phrase ancient Greek mathematicians placed at the end of logical proofs; a kind of stamp that says “I proved what I set out to…”

  6. There are Blacks who are racist don’t kid yourself.

    Definition of racism
    1 : a belief that race is the primary determinant of human traits and capacities and that racial differences produce an inherent superiority of a particular race

    1. Why the sarcasm toward the writer? Your comment cheapens the level of discourse this article has elicited from this blog’s readership. If you find yourself ill equipped to summon the intellectual bandwidth to make truthful, helpful, informed, necessary or kind comments, please take a seat.

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