Jimi Hendrix, Martin Luther King and the Republicans

Here is  a download of a fine 3+ minutes in
American history. It may not be everyone’s taste choice but to bring patriotism
to the irreverence of Woodstock and the whole anti-establishment movement would
not have worked unless the arrangement was created for that particular
audience. That’s why it’s a classic because it was so well attuned to an
obstreperous segment of our nation’s population in 1969, and it still speaks to
many Americans even today.
For Jimi Hendrix, an American of African descent,
to express his American heritage in the way that he did is pretty amazing
considering the way America has treated its darker-skinned artists who traveled
the roads of a nation that shut the doors of its hotels and restaurants to
people who inherited too much melanin. In previous generations many
African-American entertainers went to live in Europe where they were not
restricted.
Jimi Hendrix was born in Seattle, Washington, right
near Canada so perhaps did not encounter as much negativity in his early years.
We lost Jimi Hendrix to an accidental overdose of barbiturates at the age of
27. I wish we could speak to an alternate Jimi Hendrix who made it through
successive years and trends and histories so he could give his perspective on
all that has happened. Would he still put his patriotism on stage for his peers
to enjoy?
It’s embarrassing to admit how much trouble
America has had accepting humans who probably simply exhibit the biological
adaptations that helped them survive in the planet’s hot zones. If you don’t
believe in evolution, then I guess you don’t accept the idea of biological
adaptation either.
Our forefathers said, back in the day, that all
men are created equal: they did not say all “white” men. But we know of course
that the forefathers meant all white men because black men were counted as 3/5 of a person
and white and black women were not counted at all. As a woman, you can see why I would fight against allowing Conservatives to gain power especially if they
are Fundamentalists who advocate that we return to a strictly literal
interpretation of our founding documents.
I believe that Americans of African descent cannot
afford to be Republicans (although I would never deny that right to them) for
the very same reasons as white women. These extremist Conservatives, should
they get their way, could (might) erase all human rights except those that
belong to white men. We should not still be at this disgraceful place, however
tempting exclusion might seem to some as a simple solution to complicated
relationships. We are proud of a creed of equality that we do not practice.
Shame on us.
As we celebrate Martin Luther King’s birthday I
say that he knew all this – and he fought against it all his too short life.
Perhaps that’s what Jimi Hendrix was doing too.

This is the view from the cheap seats.
By Nancy Brisson

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