There is nothing worse than an educated fool

by Gloria Dulan-Wilson

My father, Warner Dulan, Sr., used to say to me when I was a kid: There's nothing worse than an educated fool; and a little knowledge is a dangerous thing. You only get a part of the information and go running off half-cocked as though you're an expert." (for those who are not from Oklahoma Indian and Cowboy country, "Half-Cocked" refers holding a gun, and prepared to shoot without having all the info. It comes from the shoot first and ask questions later mentality).

It must be something about people raised in the extreme north, where there is a lot of snow, ice and cold - they just can't seem to get a firm grasp on reality and common sense. First you have Palin from Alaska - real piece of work. Now you have Michele Bachmann from Minnesota - people who have no clue whatsoever about Black people; the closest they have ever been to us is either via national geographic, or some weird mandatory high school tour to an "urban" community. But now they want to pontificate on our history and experiences as if someone suddenly gave them the magic insight to all things Black/African American. She knows just enough to start trouble, but not enough to be intelligent or conversant about it. (but then all she really wanted to do is start the trouble in the first place.)

My colleagues from Black Women For Obama For Change (BWFO4Change) just emailed me a bunch of roadkill that this Bachmann woman has spewed out in reference to the "benefits" of slavery. BENEFITS!!!

Mind you, Bachmann and her colleagues are the same now as their ancestors were when their cousins brought us over on the middle passage. These are the descendants of people who piled other human beings on top of each other, and threw them over board when they got sick. Sold them on auction blocks, walked away with the money; built plantations, factories, steam ships, cotton gins, (Basketball Arenas?) Whether she had made this statement 5 or 10 years ago, or something even more insipid, who is going to stop her? (rhetorical question)

Now, sadly, I have to admit I heard an ignorant "negro" say the same thing at a Caribbean cocktail reception, and I thought maybe I had had too much rum. He actually said he would rather go back to being a slave than to accept charity or welfare. That slavery was more honorable and families were kept together (???) I grit my teeth, held my breath (and nose) counted to ten and persuaded my Aries self to turn and walk off without reading him the riot act. Now at least I know where the fool got it from.

But, back to Bachmann - Wow! Why are we even giving her any space in our writing? She and Palin are the official diversionary tactics the Rep-ugh-blicans are using to keep us from focusing on the real issues. You know, how they are trying to dismantle what President Obama has put together. How they are trying to put the banks back in the positions of being predatory lenders and preventing low and middle class families from having affordable homes; how they are trying to destroy the health bill so that by the time we get it it will be a mere shadow of its former self. How they do outrageous, egregious stuff to see what kind of rise they can get out of us, so they can sneak some other crap in under our noses. They have a trojan horse they don't want to reveal yet, because they don't want to scare the beejeebers our of America - probably some Neo-Hitlerian Dude who has blonde hair, blue eyes, smiles, and has a mind like Simon Legree (or was that George Bush? one, or two? - oh well, very little difference, except for the looks).

No matter what they throw at us, I am perfectly clear, President Barack Obama is the best president this country has ever had, and will be re-elected in 2012. I am not at all surprised that they would try to claim that he is somehow responsible for the mess their Rep-ugh-blican president George Bush has caused. He spent trillions driving the economy down the sewage hole; he undid practically every diplomatic relation we had with practically every country there is. Now they are desperately throwing ideas up against the wall to see what sticks. What can they do to undermine Obama's leadership and charisma. Oh let's tie him in with slavery - let's see if they will go for that one. Expect more of this kind of crap as it gets nearer to their naming their candidate.

The Bachmann woman has no credibility - not with me. All I needed to see was Rep-ugh-blican and Tea Party, and the picture was clear.

As for the peculiar institution called slavery - which was the most heinous, horrendous, inhumane criminal acts perpetrated by one group of human beings against another, did you really expect her to have an inkling of what kind of devastation it had on nuclear families from Africa? When do we stop trying give people qualities they don't and will never have. A sense of humanity was/is totally lacking in a relatively large majority of the slave monsters here in the US. And you aren't going to change them.

It becomes a case of try to make it real compared to what? One thing I must say about the holocaust survivors, they made sure their children never forgot their history. We are being told to get over ours. Well we can't - because so much of their residual crap hits us in the face every day - from environmental racism, where we're positioned in the worst neighborhoods, to educational racism, where our classes are dumbed down - no doubt by teachers like Ms. Bachmann; to health racism, where you can't get decent up to date medical attention; to employment racism, where you are still the last hired and the first fired, no matter how skilled you are; to economic racism, where you are paid less than your white counterpart, and you work twice as hard, and know ten times as much. Or you are the subject of experiments without your knowledge, permission, or compensation, like Henrietta Lacks, and they let you die, while they harvest the very cells for others that could have saved your life as well.

Since we can't get real Black History and leadership classes in our public schools, perhaps this is the appropriate time to get it done in the Churches, Saturday Schools, and Home Schools. This does not take an act of Congress (though it would help), or a Presidential Executive Order, which would likewise be helpful. It only takes us. We the Black People. It's our responsibility to make sure this information is kept alive across the board. This is our story, and we must not allow anyone else to tell it, or distort it; or shut it down!!

We should have code words when we read this kind of nonsense - and we should make sure we all know it and our kids know it as well. We can call it "DWT'S" which stands for Dumb white theories - it's our inside codes - so when you see it in writing, hear it on CNN or radio - you can call it for what it is DWT (I almost said DWS, but didn't want to get in trouble). The "T" can also stand for Twit.

For those of you who want to take it further, I guess you could read Frederick Douglass' My Bondage and My Freedom - everytime I read it I get a clearer and clearer understanding of who these people are - and the fact that, other than modern equipment and a better perfume and deodorant camouflage, they are the same people who smelled like "wet chickens" in "Roots".

And if you want to take it even further, get our elected officials up off their keesters and make sure they they are including in all their legislation, interaction, and programs Black historical information and clarification programs.

Someone once said that the most dangerous thing is an "educated Black mind." Well we definitely need to make sure that we and our children are armed to the teeth. Knowledge, coupled with action is power. So here's what we can do - whenever we feel we must vehemently disagree with a DWT, find a school or a church, take a camera and a tape recorder and do a teach in so that it won't be filtered through the mean stream newspaper, and our kids (and adults) who need to hear it most, will have the benefit of doing so first hand.

Stay Blessed &
Gloria Dulan-Wilson

The letter from BWFO4Change follows:

To: BWFO4Change Journalists
People like Michele Bachmann are saying things they wouldn't have dared to say 5-10 years ago. The article below says Bachmann and Christian Social Conservatives have the audacity to imply Black children were better off during slavery because Black families were together. She is truly ignorant and doesn't know American history and deliberate efforts to destroy Black Families.....

What has happened to white women like Bachmann and Palin who don't understand the politics of oppression?

Stephanie M.
Michele Bachmann Salutes the Upside to Slavery
ForbesBy Osha Gray Davidson | Forbes – 23 hrs ago
Michele Bachmann Salutes the Upside to Slavery

Say what you will about slavery, at least the 'peculiar institution' kept Black families intact.
That's according to a "marriage pledge" signed recently by GOP presidential aspirant, Michele Bachmann.

Representative Bachmann's grasp of American history has never been firm, particularly when it comes to slavery. She has stated that the founding fathers "worked tirelessly until slavery was no more in the United States," despite the fact that several of our Nation's founders owned slaves and fought to keep slavery alive in the new republic.

Not that the two positions are necessarily mutually exclusive. Slave owner Thomas Jefferson wanted to use the Declaration of Independence to outlaw slavery. That was a minority opinion among the founders, however, and Bachmann's generalized assertion is a clear misreading of American history.

The pledge Bachmann signed this week is sponsored by The Family Leader, an Iowa-based group of Christian social conservatives. The "Marriage Vow – A Declaration of Dependence upon Marriage and Family," attempts to buttress its argument that "the Institution of Marriage in America is in great crisis" with statistics and scholarly citations. Here's one such attempt:

Slavery had a disastrous impact on African-American families, yet sadly a child born into slavery in 1860 was more likely to be raised by his mother and father in a two-parent household than was an African-American baby born after the election of the USA's first African-American President.

If that sounds questionable to you, there's a good reason. Leaving aside the implication that President Obama is somehow responsible for all problems within the Black community, the institution of slavery didn't recognize the very concept of "family" among captive Blacks. Marriage between slaves was, after all, illegal. And parents and children were routinely separated, forever, at the auction block.

The pledge provides a footnote to support their claim, citing a 2005 study, The Consequences of Marriage for African Americans. I decided to ask one of the study's authors, Dr. Lorraine Blackman, what she thought of The Family Leader's "pro-family" interpretation of slavery.

"That's just wrong," she said. "It is a serious error."

Blackman, an associate professor at Indiana University's School of Social Work, pointed out that she wouldn't have objected if, instead of 1860, the pledge Bachmann endorsed had selected a year sometime after slavery ended.

"As soon as they could," Blackman said, "former slaves rushed to get married." This led to a relatively high -- and quickly growing -- rate of marriage among African Americans.
According to the study Blackman co-wrote, by 1880, 56.3 percent of Black households were what we now call "nuclear families." (For Whites, that figure was 66.9 percent.) By 1950, nearly 80 percent of Black families were headed by married couples. By 1996, that figure had dropped to just 34 percent.

This is a serious problem, argues Blackman, but it won't be solved by rewriting history to make slavery appear to have any redeeming qualities.

FOOTNOTE: I have to close by saying that Blackman's argument has merit historically;there were more intact Black families before the 60's. So we really need to be looking at what's happening to our nuclear families now, in the 21st century - not because of Bachmann, but because our own enlightened self interest. (Oh by the way, whites are having baby mama drama too - but I know I didn't need to tell you that; our country is in a sort of moralistic downturn - not unlike the economic one we're dealing with.) We have played fast and loose with some folkways and mores that were deeply embedded in our psyches as far back as before we left the Continent (were stolen from the Continent, pardon me). It was what carried us through the entire 400 years of hell we endured here. But we suddenly now don't seem to be able to conjure up the love, respect, support, and regard for each other. I could attribute it to subtle forms of brainwashing. But I now have to say that whatever it is, we have to be diligent (militant) in putting a stop to it, and redirecting ourselves back on the path to autonomy, self sufficiency, health, wealth, and love. There will be more Black seniors living than youth, because so many of our children are killing each other and themselves -

So rather than argue with Bachmann, who has no merit, let's deal with the issue that we got issues, and they have to be dealt with (nice little circulatory ending, what?)

Stay Blessed

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