Point of View: Position Papers

There’s Nothing Funny About Black Racism
August 19, 2002

Michael Meyers, the executive director of the New York Civil Rights Coalition, issued the following statement today in response to New York City Councilman Charles Barron?s comments that he was only jesting when at Saturday?s Slavery Reparations Rally in Washington, Barron said he was ?mad? enough to want to ?slap? somebody white:

?At Saturday?s slavery reparations rally in Washington, D.C., New York City Councilman Charles Barron told the assemblage he was ?mad??mad enough to want to ?slap? some Caucasian. Also at the rally Barron self-identified himself as an ?elected revolutionary.? When asked the next day by a radio show host to explain his statement about wanting to slap somebody white, Barron answered that he was merely talking in ?black hyperbole,? that, in other words, he was just jesting.

?As this black American watched C-SPAN and listened to Barron and to the other speakers at the rally, it was clear that Councilman Barron was, indeed, thoroughly enjoying himself among his element?race demagogues and self-styled ?black revolutionaries.? These so-called militants first humored themselves into believing that they would bring millions to Washington, D.C. in support of slavery reparations and, second, by imagining that they are representative of the masses. As their pitifully small numbers at the rally indicate, their racial rhetoric is bigger and stronger than their pull. This was the usual throng of ?black power? chanters and Nation of Islam clones that love to get together, in fun, and bash ?whitey.? So, it was not at all surprising that among the speakers at Saturday?s rally, in addition to Councilman Barron, the so-called, self-identified ?elected revolutionary,? there was black racist Minister Louis Farrakhan.

?Minister Farrakhan demanded of whites ?millions of acres of land? for blacks to build on. Was he, too, jesting? Maybe yes, maybe not. But, I take Councilman Barron at his word that he was just jesting. Nevertheless, racism is not funny. And it was sheer black racism that was so loud and clear on the stage of the reparations rally on Saturday. No doubt, some of the people with whom Barron was just jesting really would like to slap some white people, if only with racial rhetoric, with lawsuits, with grievances about how ?whites? in America are blameworthy for slavery and, therefore, must collectively atone and pay reparations to the descendants of black American slaves. As difficult as it is to laugh at such racial nonsense, perhaps we should laugh at Councilman Barron silliness rather than, as some media do, take his rhetoric seriously. Indeed, judging by the group that gathered in ?Chocolate City,? at the reparations rally that gave so many TV viewers comic relief, this reparations movement is farce, all theater, a charade of power, and as fake as Councilman Barron?s sense of humor.?