by Lavern Merriweather
On the anniversary of his death, there was a lot of remembrance for the late John F. Kennedy. Many of the news programs and cable outlets did countless tributes. They also focused on his alleged killer, the just-as-late Lee Harvey Oswald. The 8 minute film shot by a man named Abraham Zapruder who just happen to be there that day running his little millimeter camera created an image that has been watched and debated on for decades now. I for one, however, have absolutely no interest or desire to salute the legacy of John or any Kennedy for that matter.
A while ago, I wrote a post criticizing the Kennedys and their volatile relationship with the late Dr. Martin Luther King. And Brotha wrote a post trashing beloved and admired Italian explorer Christopher Columbus. That got me to thinking about how certain white male public figures throughout history who have been glorified, in spite of the dirty little underbelly beneath their surface. It’s like that old saying; if you were to randomly lift up a rock, you’ll be very surprised by what you find under it.
Yet, with a number of celebrated white male denizens of the past, I probably wouldn’t be that shocked at all to find out what just what type of asshole they really were. I always find it exceedingly interesting that a lot of the white people who tell black people to stop living in the past have no qualms whatsoever doing that very thing when they are waxing nostalgic about some revered white male who is famous, not one time ever mentioning how utterly despicable he was. From politicians to aviators, authors to rock stars, white folks, particularly those in the media, love to go back in time wearing the most rose colored of lenses. They never want to see their heroes for who they really were. Mind you, these are the same folks who never let one minute pass to remind us Negroes how messed up and shitty our celebrities are.
Famed flyboy Charles Lindbergh made no secret of his full support for the Nazis, even at one time saying how America should just back out of the war and let them rule over the United States so they could get rid of – in his words – ‘the more inferior blood of the country’. Yeah, guess whose stamp I won’t be buying or using when it’s handed to me at the post office. I’ll just ask for somebody else.
Same thing goes for the aforementioned Columbus. What Brotha didn’t mention was that Columbus also encouraged his men, who were infected, to pass the disease on to the Native women they were having sex with. That way, they could pass whatever they caught on to their men. Talk about your role model!
He’s almost as bad as the white males on the face of Mount Rushmore like Washington and Jefferson who declared all men equal while owning other human beings as cattle. Or one time president Harry Truman who once said that, and I quote, “Any man is a good man as long as he’s not a ni**er or a Chinaman”. Remember, these males were once elected officials making rules and laws that affected a lot of people, many of whom were the very ni**ers and Chinese folks that he claimed were no good.
Speaking of presidents who didn’t have black people’s back, there was one show talking about Kennedy that I did watch. It’s an amazing show called “African Americans: Many Rivers to Cross”, hosted by Louis Gates. On one episode Mr. Gates was having multiple conversations with people that participated in the freedom riders movement. He showed videos of them preparing for the hostility that they would face trying to integrate lunch counters in the South. There were also pictures of some of the sadistic violence that they experienced while in Alabama, as well as other states.
A former staffer of Kennedy’s said that the president didn’t want to send National Guard troops to protect the protesters, even after countless requests and being told many times that they needed outside protection, since most of the law enforcement in those towns was just as dangerous to the safety of the bus travelers as the bolder racists. According to him, despite the fact that Kennedy had been warned of the impending threat, he didn’t want to be bothered. Kennedy felt that those brave souls fighting for change were an annoying nuisance. He had more important things to worry about than a bunch of foolhardy Negroes who should have known better anyway. Kennedy seemed to think that if they did go ahead as planned then they brought it on themselves. Don’t forget that Kennedy is the very same person who appointed his brother Robert as head of the CIA and gave authorization for him to wiretap Dr. King.
There was also the absolutely shameful way he treated performer Sammi Davis Jr. Yet, for some inexplicable reason, many black folks still think of him as some kind of savior like they do with former president Bill Clinton, even while he flat out refused to send troops to war torn African countries such as the Sudan, Darfur, South Africa and Rwanda. He, however, made sure all the white people stuck there had a way out though. Then again, many white presidents have put on a good show for the masses while behaving differently behind closed doors.
Woodrow Wilson thought nothing of having a showing of that D.W Griffith garbage “Birth of a Nation” at the White House. I wonder if Hollyworthless will do a film about how the black help of Wilson’s felt being so extremely disrespected. Doubtful, seeing how even leaders who weren’t worth their weight in dogshit are thought of as exceptional human beings. It really should depend on who you ask. So, I don’t think they’ll be asking anybody that would disagree. Bottom line is they don’t want to know the truth. They would rather be greeted on Fantasy Island by Mr. Roark and Tattoo.