TheGrio Daily

The Five Race Wars, Pt. 2

Episode 23

“When you sew the seed, the harvest will come in due time.” It’s Wypipo Wednesday! For this Wypipo Wednesday Michael jumps back in with part 2 of The Five Race Wars. theGrio Daily is an original podcast by theGrio Black Podcast Network. #BlackCultureAmplified

You are now listening to theGrio’s Black Podcast Network, Black Culture Amplified. 

Michael Harriot [00:00:05] Hello and welcome back to another episode of theGrio Daily, the only podcast that actually knows what the Lonely do at Christmas. Like the same thing everybody else does, right? They eat a lot and cry. I’m Michael Harriot, the world famous wypipologist and this is theGrio Daily. It’s Wypipo Wednesday again, right? Like, remember last Wypipo Wednesday when we were talking about the great race wars, right. We’ve dedicated every Wednesday of August to White History Month because, you know, we like to be fair. We believe in equality and equity. And we want to give white people a little taste of their own history because we don’t discriminate against anyone. So last week we were talking about the great race wars, why we had to stop, because it got a little too, too bloody. We stopped that Louisiana’s race war, which, you know, was when the floor grew slick with blood. I can never get that phrase out of my head. So now we at number three, right. 

Michael Harriot [00:01:19] The number three race war in American history. It happened back in North Carolina where, you know, we are really talking about the Cold War, but this one. It was a war that we constantly see through American history. It’s the war against BDE and if you don’t know what BDE means, like ask one of your homegirls, they know, they can tell. This one is about the fear of the most hated thing in all of American history. Black penis. And Karens. See, leading up to North Carolina’s 1898 election, there was this town called Wilmington. But see, Wilmington was a majority Black town where African-Americans held the political positions and the economic power. Now, how did they do that? Well, see what the Black people in Wilmington would do. They had what they called a fusion party, like they were like, this is how we’re going to do. We’re going to vote in every election. They will let everybody know. And the interesting thing about what they did is when they let people know how they would vote, the poor white people would follow the Black people’s lead and fuze their vote. They didn’t care if it was democratic. They didn’t care if it was Republican. They followed the Black people’s lead and created what they called the Fusion Party. So white democrats, poor white farmers in Wilmington, they sided with doing what was right. And that Fusion coalition created free public education. They created voting rights for Black people, until white people started getting upset. Right. So nine white men upset with being subject to Negro rule, they started this campaign to unseat the Fusion Party by saying “North Carolina is a white man’s state and white men will rule it and they will crush the party of Negro domination, but not the majority so overwhelming that no other party will ever dare to attempt to establish Negro rule.”. 

Michael Harriot [00:03:34] So the secret nine like they were really, really powerful. They were rich. Like three of them became governor later on, and they created what is described as the meanest, violent, dirtiest campaign since 1876. That’s when white people created this thing. And I don’t know if you heard it is called Jim Crow. The slogan of their party From the mountains to the sea. Will be but one word. Nigger. That wasn’t actually the slogan. That didn’t really happen slogan. You know white people are really bad at slogans. You know, they stole I’m having it at McDonald’s from us anyway. They declared that Wilmington’s white minority needed to unite. But like, the poor white people like. Nah these Black people, like, they really know what they’re doing. Like they’ve been working for us, right? Like their political positions help us. And then this white lady came a long way. She wasn’t even in Wilmington. She was in Atlanta. Right. She was like this really prominent feminist in Georgia. But in 1897, she spoke to the Georgia Agricultural Society about the problems that white people, especially poor white people, face. The Black men stealing the white women with their big penises. I mean, this is a really accurate description of her talk. So she said that the problem that plagued white society was that Black men were taking the innocence of white women. “And if it needs to be lynching to protect white women’s dearest possession from the ravening human beast, then I say, lynch. Lynch a thousand times a week if necessary.” This had nothing to do with the people in in Wilmington. Some of them saw it. But then this Black dude who wasn’t like he had actual BDE. He wrote a response. He owned a newspaper, right. It was called The Daily Record. So he was like, I am going to say something to this crazy white woman. 

Michael Harriot [00:05:55] So he pointed out that Wilmington was filled with mixed race children because white men were, more often than not, the interracial rapists. He refuted Felton’s claim by countering that white women were really having consensual sex with Black men because they couldn’t be satisfied sexually by white men. And this is an actual quote “Meetings of this kind go on for some time until the woman’s infatuation was a man’s boldness, bring attention to them, and the man is lynched for rape. Every Negro is called a big, burly brute, when in fact many of those who have been dealt with had white men for their fathers and were not only Black and burly, but were sufficiently attractive for white girls of culture and refinement to fall in love with them, as is very well known to all.” Man, you know, white people went crazy over that. I mean, they went ape, but Manly didn’t stop. He wrote another one. He said, Don’t ever think that your women will remain pure while you are debauched hours. You sow the seed. The harvest will come in due time. Boy, that secret nine passed that thing around, all amongst the poor white people. They probably had to read it to them because, you know, anyway, Wilmington was furious. So they held this political rally that was actually called the White Supremacy Convention. And the white residents loaded the ballot boxes with fake votes and warned African-Americans what would happen if they voted. But by Election Day, Black Wilmingtonians had decided not to vote, many of them hoping to avoid violence. 

Michael Harriot [00:07:42] But again. It was so many Black people and their ideas were so good and the Fusion Party won anyway. And on the morning of the election. The white people got up. Gathered each other and said, look, if the Fusion Party wins. We got another answer. So the Black leaders wrote a letter like, look, we don’t agree with what Manly said. We just want a vote. Look, we ain’t got no problem with ya’ll. We ain’t trying to take y’all white women. They ain’t that cute anyway. The next morning, 500 white Wilmingtonians, went to the armory, armed themselves and burned down the office of Manly’s newspaper. And then they went to the Black section of town with a mob of 2000 people and killed every Black person they saw. They killed children. Women they forced. The fusion is Mayor and Alderman to resign at gunpoint. And as Black people left the city, the terrorist dragged the most prominent businessmen to the train station and said, Hey, you got to leave. And since that day, Wilmington has been a majority white town to this very day, and it’s always been ruled by a white majority. They overthrew that government with violence. That is a civil war. That is a coup. That is an insurrection. But if it’s white people against Black people, it can only be described as a race war. 

Michael Harriot [00:09:22] Now, the next one is the war against Black power. So let me tell you the story. And I know this story by heart. So in 1913, this young college kid, fresh out of college, got this job in the Library of Congress, and everybody saw that he was really good at categorizing things. And so in World War One, he got this job working in the War Department, and he parlayed that into finding un-American people. And that dude’s name was J. Edgar Hoover. And he took what he learned at the Library of Congress and surveilled every Black person and every Black movement for 50 years. His counterintelligence program that we call COINTELPRO was involved in the assassination or attempted murder of Fred Hampton, Malcolm X, and every single significant Black leader in American history. He tracked Ossie Davis, Ruby Dee and a pregnant Black Panther who was pregnant with a kid that we would come to know as Tupac Shakur. Now, when people hear about this, they always dismiss COINTELPRO as some conspiracy theory. But this is what happened. This is how we know it’s true. On March 8th, 1971, this group of white people broke into the FBI office in Media, Pennsylvania, and they stole a bunch of FBI files. And then they called the newspapers and said, look, y’all want to see something. And they sent all of these newspapers, the documents they had stolen. And in those documents was the floor plan drawn by an FBI foreman of the apartment where Fred Hampton was killed. That’s how we know the FBI killed Fred Hampton. 

Michael Harriot [00:11:13] They uncovered a letter to Martin Luther King from the FBI telling Martin Luther King to commit suicide. They found evidence that the FBI had infiltrated every Black student organization at every college in America. They found the actual COINTELPRO documents that said Hoover’s programs had five stated goals. One, to prevent the coalition of Black nationalists because, quote, In unity, there is strength. Two, to prevent the rise of a messiah who could unify the militant Black nationalist movement with the nonviolent civil rights movement. Three, to pinpoint potential troublemakers and neutralize them before they exercise their potential for violence against authorities. And five, to prevent Black nationalist groups and leaders from gaining respectability by discrediting them to both the community and to white liberals. And it worked. This is how we know that the FBI believes Stokely Carmichael had, quote, the necessary charisma to be a real threat in this way, because during the freedom rise, he began using this phrase that said, Black power. This is how we know. Hoover sent a letter to FBI agents telling them that we must mark Martin Luther King now, if we have not done so before, as the most dangerous Negro of the future of this nation. And this is how we know about Gary Roll. I. 

Michael Harriot [00:12:52] N 1960, 27 year old Gary Rowe, he joined the east view of the Klu Klux Klan, the most violent chapter in history. In 1961, after receiving a call from Birmingham Police Commissioner Bull Connor. Rowe and his homeboys went and bombed the Freedom Riders. And then they went to Selma and shot a white woman who was trying to help the protesters gain the right to vote named Viola Loiseau. And then, in April 1960, Rowe was also present when Klansmen planned to bomb a church called 16th Street Baptist, where four little girls were killed. And in the book Burglary, the discovery of J. Edgar Hoover’s secret FBI, they wrote, The public and the Congress had an unprecedented glimpse of how the US government watches its citizens, particularly Black citizens. They were spying on them because there was a war. 

Michael Harriot [00:14:00] See, in 2019. two civil rights groups filed a Freedom of Information request for documents concerning the FBI’s surveillance of groups related to Black Lives Matter. So in response, the government released, like this big trove of documents, figuring they weren’t going to go through them. And they were showing that the FBI, Homeland Security, every federal agents had been undercover inside the Black Lives Matter movement for years. And what they were telling them is that there was a danger of Black supremacists to local and state authorities. But inside this file, there was this paper that they kept mentioning that explained everything clearly. But when they got to the paper, everything was Blacked out and it was called the Race Paper. See, the race paper was the basis for surveilling Black groups and organizations since the early 2000s. But when they released it, there were no dates, no names, not even punctuation. They had Blacked out everything. And essentially the civil rights groups, nine pages of Black paper. And the race paper is COINTELPRO. It’s the Kurt-Holden war. It’s the race war. And it’s still going on. And that’s why theGrio daily exists. And that’s why we have Wypipo Wednesday. And that’s why August is White History Month. Because we have to know this to move forward. So don’t forget to download theGrio app. Don’t forget to subscribe. And don’t forget to tell a friend. And as always, we leave you with a Black saying. If you think a man in a hood is scary, wait until you run across a white man with a flag. 

Michael Harriot [00:16:01] Thank you for listening to theGrio daily. If you like what you heard, please give us a five star review. Download theGrio app. Subscribe to the show and share it with everyone you know. Please email all questions, suggestions and compliments to a podcast at theGrio dot com. 

[00:16:18] You are now listening to theGrio’s Black Podcast Network, Black Culture Amplified. 

Maiysha Kai [00:16:29] Don’t forget, you can listen to theGrio’s Writing Black Podcast hosted by me, Maiysha Kai. This isn’t your typical writing podcast. We interview any and everybody that has anything to do with writing from comics to poets to authors to journalists, to politicians and more. Remember, that’s Writing Black every Sunday, right here on theGrio’s Black Podcast Network. Download theGrio’s app to listen to writing Black wherever you are.