New York Times v ADOS

 Farrah Stockman wrote an article for the New York Times entitled " Why a movement that claims to support the American descendants of slavery is being promoted by conservatives and attacked on the left." The article was published about a month ago. I intended to provide my thoughts on it sooner but I have been busy and also reading it a several times. In this post I intend to provide a summary and my own analysis. 

Stockman begins the article focusing on the controversy surrounding the film Harriet based on the life of Black American freedom fighter Harriet Tubman. The leading actress in the film Cynthia Erivo was cast as Harriet Tubman. Many Black Americans have been upset about this and the hashtag #NotMyHarriet has been popular on Twitter. Cynthia Erivo has made several disparaging remarks about Black Americans on her Twitter account for about six years now. Additionally, her statements have mocked Black American culture. Stockman mentions the hostility Black Americans have towards this film but she did not provide it with context. Stockman actually minimized the frustration of Black Americans. 

" In Hollywood Harriet Tubman is played in a new movie by a black British woman, much to the annoyance of some black Americans. "

Some Black Americans have hostility towards Cynthia Erivo because of her disdain for us, our culture, and history. Therefore, it is natural for Black Americans to be offended that she has been cast to play the roles of Black American icons such as Harriet Tubman and Aretha Franklin. The "annoyance" is justified.

Another observation that was made by Stockman in this article is the tension that has emerged between Black Americans and Black immigrants from African and Caribbean countries. The relationship between both ethnic groups has been complex.  However, Stockman made a statement that sounds like an insult in regards to Black American voters.

"Tensions between black Americans who descended from slavery and black immigrants from Africa and the Caribbean are not new, but a group of online agitators is trying to turn those disagreements into a political movement." 

Yes, there has always been tension but there has also been a positive dynamic between the two as well. Black Americans shared a bond with Marcus Garvey, Louis Farrakhan, Stokley Carmichael, and musical artist such as Heavy D in the past. However, the men I just mentioned came into America at time when the Black immigration  population was smaller and they were willing to assimilate into Black American society and build mutual respect. Since 1980 the Black immigrant population has increased and many people from these countries have demonstrated disdain towards Black Americans. Obviously not everyone from these ethnic groups feel this way but you get the idea.  Stockman makes an indictment against Black American voters with the statement above. She has used the words insurgents and agitators as if these American citizens are a terrorist group. This is dangerous because it could be used as propaganda.

Supporters of the ADOS ideology have been accused of being Trump supporters and conservatives all together. Stockman mentions that assertion. 

"Critics of the movement a Trojan horse meant to infiltrate the black community with a right-wing agenda, and question why the group would target Democrats, who have been far and more wide open about the discussion of reparations."

"You are willingly to let Donald Trump win, who clearly says he doesn't see reparations happening?" asked Talib Kweli Greene, a rapper and activist who has become a vocal opponent of the group. "Get out of here!."

Toni's Final Thoughts: Initially when I heard that a writer from The New York Times would do coverage for the 1st ADOS ( American Descendants of Slavery Conference) would be a good thing. I say this because at least someone could hear from the source. However, as I read the article I noticed that the writer presented this as a piece of slander. She wrote this piece with bias. The tone and style of it was presented with bias. She strategically used trigger words such as "insurgents" and "agitators." She also tried to play dumb as if she did not understand why Black Americans have become frustrated with the Democratic Party. Black Americans starting supporting this political party during the 1960s when Lyndon B. Johnson signed Civil Rights legislation into law. Since then most Black Americans have showed the Democratic Party unwavering support even when the party has ignored them. At this point I believe Black Americans have decided to critically think and reflect on their role in American politics as constituents.  Stockman also did not mention that Democrats have tried to ignore reparations and redefine it. 

Most people also forget that Black Americans used to support the Republican Party prior to the 1960s and remain socially and somewhat political conservative to this day. Booker T. Washington and many other intellectuals in the past were conservative. 

In regards to Talib Kweli he has been hostile to this ideology and movement because he has been a staunch supporter of Senator Kamala Harris. Ironically, she has had a long history of enforcing policies that harmed Black Americans but expected support from Black Americans in her quest to become President of the United States.

 I also noticed that she referred to this ideology as a group and recently Antonio Moore and Yvette Carnell have said that ADOS Chapters are forming around the country. Initially I thought this was a great ideology because history has shown us that groups can be compromised and "leaders" can be killed or compromised. However, if ADOS ( American Descendants of Slavery) is actually a group I can only speak for myself and say I agree with this sentiment in a theoretical sense. Said differently, I am not a member of any chapters and do not intend to join but the I support the ideology. Here is another point I want to make in regards to article. Fararah Stockman and the people that are becoming aggressive towards Black Americans leaving the Democratic Party have forgotten the golden rule. In the realm of politics the nature of politics is "quid pro quo" or something for something. No other group of people would give a candidate 95% of their vote and not push an agenda to get something tangible for their vote. Voting is a business transaction if the agenda does not support or elevate the business then the company moves on. With that being said this article truly missed the mark and I believe that it was intentional. I do not believe that Black Americans have a desire to join the Republican Party but rather focus on practicing and implementing logical political decisions. Those decisions are focusing on self-determination and no longer being exploited. 

Here is the link to the article
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