Ishmael Reed: Novelist; Publisher, Konch Magazine

By Reed, Ishmael | The Nation, July 15, 1991 | Go to article overview

Ishmael Reed: Novelist; Publisher, Konch Magazine


Reed, Ishmael, The Nation


INTEGRATION, THE ATTEMPT TO MAKE EVERYBODY white and straight, having failed, the United States remains a land of many nations--gender, racial, religious, etc.--with some nations having more power than others. When George Bush, James Baker and Lee Atwater--the Willie Horton Three--designed the most racist national campaign since the election of 1864, they were playing to the irrational fears the white nation has regarding the old threat of enforced miscegenation and genetic annihilation, so successfully used by white nationalists of Germany during the 1930s and 1940s (they too regarded their culture as the one all others should emulate, "the mainstream" and "the universal") . The late Lee Atwater, to his credit, broke ranks with the originators of this ugly and despicable campaign by admitting to its true purpose.

Although the media, which are the main purveyors of "myths" that members of some American nations hold about others, portray black nationalism as the only nationalism in town (Al Sharpton, Minister Farrakhan, Sonny Carson, Public Enemy), white nationalism is much more influential. The media--which have less black, brown and yellow participation than the institutions whose racism they cover--often put a white nationalist spin on things. White reporters and commentators both male and feminist, including those on alternative radio and television, recently aided the white nationalist President by framing affirmative action as a racial issue, when the chief beneficiaries are white women. …

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Ishmael Reed: Novelist; Publisher, Konch Magazine
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