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Unpopular Ideas

Ramblings and Digressions from out of left field, and beyond....

Location: Piedmont of Virginia, United States

All human history, and just about everything else as well, consists of a never-ending struggle against ignorance.

Tuesday, November 01, 2016

With Forked Tongues

 Conservatives love to trumpet their patriotism, and so they are fond of saying, “America is the greatest country in the world.”   Yet the current Republic candidate for U.S. President, Donald F. Trump, uses for his motto, “Make America Great Again,” and they proudly wear baseball caps, usually red, emblazoned with those words.

It should be noted that like so much else of Trump’s delinquent behavior, he was not creative enough to have invented that theme.   His predecessors eight years ago used it quite often, and I recall that  Sarah Palin was especially fond of shouting out that theme to her screaming audiences in those, her long bygone glory days.
The word “again” in that motto must mean that at some time America was great, but that it is not now.   So can the Republicans have it both ways -- great now and no longer great now?

Apparently they can have that and many other things both ways, and the extent to which they have tried to inject that kind of Goebbels-type double talk into being a big part of the modern American character is one of the ways in which they have damaged this country so much in the last half-century.

The Goebbels playbook sees that kind of double talk as being legitimate for use by those who would work to steer their homelands toward the dark pit of fascism.

But actually an expression used by American Indian spokesmen in the times of Geronimo and Cochise, Sitting Bull and Crazy Horse, Chief Joseph and Looking Glass, had already put their fingers directly on the pulse of their oppressors and shown that that kind of duplicity has always been a part of the American character, at least amongst the “settlers” and their successors.   In response to numerous broken treaties and other promises made by the European invaders and thieves of the Indian lands, that expression was, “White man speaks with forked tongue.”

How was it that, as their words have rung down to us through the ages, that so many of those Indian chiefs, without having gone to  a brick-walled college or even grade school in North America or in the British Isles, were invariably able to reach such levels of eloquence in the English language?   One cannot read one of their speeches without being impressed.   And they made those trickbag military officers, land agents, and politicians with whom they were forced to negotiate look like beerhall fools.

Where are all those chiefs now?

After one sees a TV series like “Blackstone,” about life on the “Res” and that incredibly evil chief named “Andy,” one grieves.   Maybe if Andy had had a better name, on the order of “Crazy Horse” or "Black Kettle," he wouldn’t have been so given to double talk and its horrible consequences to his own people, while he and his several sidekicks worked to enrich only themselves.

That “forked tongue” declaration has hung on the walls of my mind ever since I first heard it decades ago, perhaps because of my mother and because of Martin Luther King.

My mother had a so-called “white” father, and he stayed in her life long enough for her to have been the one of his surviving children who looked after him in his old age.   Consequently she had almost the appearance that Richard Wright, the celebrated Rainbow (my term for “black” when that term is erroneously used to denote people) author of the mid-20th Century, ascribed to one of his grandmothers, when he said that she looked so white that she was white.   Yet my mother steadfastly avoided all “white” people, except in matters of employment, and she had no “white” friends.  That obviously did not pass down to me, as I have had a great many of those, from childhood on up into this, my very old age, several of them being so close that they could make a Trump supporter nauseous.

Still, the only criticism that I can remember hearing my mother make of “white” people as a whole was that they were deceitful.  "They don’t keep their word."

Then, in 1963, I was lucky enough to attend the famous “March on Washington,” which is now famous chiefly for being the occasion of the speech made by Rev. Martin Luther King on the plaza of the Lincoln Memorial.

In that speech King said that in a sense white America had given the “Negro” people a bad check that came back marked “insufficient funds.”   He was referring to the promises made to the freed slaves during and after the Civil War that largely had not been kept, a situation that still exists among the descendants of those slaves, and that could even be intensified in times to come, if the Republicans should have their way, though they would break their necks trying to accomplish that while insisting that they are actually doing something else entirely.

--Double talk with a vengeance, and yet far too many people, even two or three Rainbows, keep buying it.  But it is good that Condoleeza Rice and Colin Powell have finally seen the errors of their ways, as shown by their attacks lately on Trump – an added cause for hope through the next few days, in spite of all. 


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