It is better to light a candle than to curse the darkness…
Former City Councilman Eugene Brown said this often during his campaign. It stuck with me. I walked past the former confederate monument on my way to Black August in the Park. It was a crystalized hatred. Now it’s just an eyesore.
Yokel Critiques of Interstate Racial Violence and Resistance
by: Solomon Burnette
I’d been in conversations with Pierce Freelon, Raan & Taal Bar On, Chauncey Covington, Charlie Reece, Marc Lee, and a couple others, in the weeks before the toppling of the statue. We weren’t talking about bringing the statue down. We were talking about what would replace it.
I had a convo with Dr. Anthony Kelley at the Black August Festival and we began talking about Harriet Tubman as a possible replacement… Good Idea!!! The City and County of Durham should immediately move to have the confederate monument replaced with one of Harriet Tubman.
I’m from Durham. I’ve lived here most of my life. In a city run by Duke, confederate monuments never really ruffled my feathers. They just represented the obvious origins of the resource pool that so many of us drink from. Go figure in a tobacco town. The sharpest of us never cared much about statues because we know that grander threats lie elsewhere.
I appreciate the solidarity and diversities shown at the next day’s anti supremacist rally, following the statue’s toppling. I’m pretty sure most of the people who pulled down the monument weren’t from Durham, though. They seem to be part of a cadre of interstate anarchists and Marxists. The toppling was attributed to a “queer black “underclassman from North Carolina Central University. Anyone could have activated her. Racial violence in Charlottesville, V.A., should not provoke destruction in Durham, NC.
Such a tet a tet is a manipulable phenomenon that endangers more folks than it actually empowers. Against good sense, many may be drawn to the spectacle, pageantry, and thrill of publicly engaging Klansmen. My closest childhood friend is named after Caesar Cauce, who along with four other members of the Communist Workers’ Party (CWP), was killed by the KKK in the Greensboro Massacre of 1979. I’m glad that didn’t happen here. I’m not a communist, but the local party has not recovered and has been heavily infiltrated since. They lost a lot of good people that day. The Klan targeted their leadership. It was a politicide. It was a set up.
Mask on … Fuck it Mask off…
All the same, some friends and I attended the “Turn Back the Klan” rally. We were afraid that our peers could be met there with violence that they were unequipped to withstand. We found the notion of turning back the Klan to be somewhat shortsighted. All such a secret society would have to do is show up without costumes on and blend in with the migrant protesters as wolves amongst sheep. This is why they call themselves “The Invisible Empire”.
“The Kloran”, the ritual text of the KKK, states that the arch practice of their brotherhood is articulated in Romans Chapter 12 of the New Testament. This chapter ends with the orders, “…if thine enemy hunger, feed him, if he thirst, give him drink: for in so doing, thou shalt heap coals of fire upon his head. Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.” It advises playing the long game and guising the antichristian brotherhood within seemingly benevolent organizations.
This supremacist agenda has an arc of dynamic transformation spanning the last century; planned and executed similar to how American Grand Strategy think tanks chart the direction of foreign policy intergenerationally. There are grander forces at play than just the folks in sheets in the streets. We should be worried about folks who would advocate for universal education and then defund public schools. We should watch those who would advocate for welfare and Section 8 so long as female recipients dissociate from their lovers with felonies; fracturing black families. Be aware of groups and their perhaps unwitting colored agents who would market birth control towards Women of Color and fertility drugs toward white women. These interests would be best served if well-meaning citizens were enlisted in these processes ignorant of their raison d’etre.
The recent Solar Eclipse marked the anniversary of Nat Turner’s revolt in Southampton Virginia and this week the Haytian Revolution began. These auspicious occasions should be reverenced by diasporic people, lest we forget. On the low, these historic moments are probably what spurred the supremacists to march in Virginia when they did. Never mind them statues, get in tune.
“Nat Turner’s Confessions” quote him as saying,
“Spirit revealed to me the knowledge of the elements, the revolution of the planets, the operation of tides, and changes of the seasons…And on the appearance of the sign, (the eclipse of the sun last February) I should arise and prepare myself, and slay my enemies with their own weapons. And immediately on the sign appearing in the heavens, the seal was removed from my lips, and I communicated the great work laid out for me to do.”
Times have changed and they have not. Know your history. Know your environment. Each one teach one. Kill’em with kindness.
The Clarion Content has been following Solomon Burnette since his 2011 City Council campaign. A Durham native son made good, he is a graduate of North Carolina Central University with BA in European History.