MANSFIELD: A House Divided, Part II

The signs are all around us, if only we have eyes to see. We are witnessing the beginning of the crumbling of the greatest republic the world has ever known. And the reason it’s crumbling is because it hasn’t been all that great for all of its citizens, not even close. And now the powers that be are not even pretending to attempt to create an equitable society.

One of the last threads holding our nation together, the one thing we could virtually all agree on — the one cultural area that exurban and rural whites shared with urban blacks; the one point of consensus between progressives to conservatives — was our American fanaticism in regards to sports.

Whites who rarely encounter — and are uncomfortable with — a person that doesn’t look exactly them, and blacks who feel exactly the same in return, heretofore could occasionally be seen high-fiving and virtually hugging each other when their favorite sports team scored a victory or brought home a championship trophy. But those days are fast going, and soon will be gone entirely.

Whatever commonality disparate groups once shared has been forever ruptured, never to be mended, and we won’t be able to unring the bell that tolled the demarcation. The historic day was Sunday, September 24, 2017, when a huge number of black players and coaches — along with a goodly number of sympathetic white teammates — took a knee during the playing of the National Anthem.

Of course each group will blame the other for the dissolution of whatever modicum of camaraderie that existed between fans of different races and from different backgrounds: Whites will point angry fingers at black players, charging them with being disrespectful to flag and country, just as angry blacks will point back, saying that anytime we demand redress of our longstanding grievances we are told to “just shut up and play the game.”

But shutting up is no longer an option, we’ve been far too silent for far too long.

Blacks have been politely asking for decades that we as a nation begin to have a dialogue on race — and for just as long whites have (for the most part) steadfastly refused, in effect saying that no conversation is necessary. I get it; most whites don’t care to venture into territory that makes them feel uncomfortable. But blacks are steadfastly maintaining we must have such conversations if solutions are to be formulated.

The question now is, why should we be the only ones uncomfortable in this country, and if it takes something as “in your face” as kneeling on the sidelines to draw attention to the problem, then so be it. We’ll all be uncomfortable in America together, which, if you think about it, really is some kind of equality.

Attempts by the right to make this about patriotism instead of what it’s really about (centuries of unjust treatment) simply aren’t going to work. The genie is out of the bottle and it’s not going back in. Sure, the demonstrations might slowly abate (we’ll have to see what this Sunday brings) but unless addressed, the problem that sparked them will remain, and will remain unsolved.

Black folk are simply tired. We didn’t create this racial divide, whites did, but we’re the ones blamed for it and are victimized by it. This is the typical, hypocritical, white American response: we, the victims, get blamed if we speak out about injustice, as if the problem would simply go away, if we’d only shut up.  We’ve tried remaining silent, but to no avail.

Look, we blacks have done everything we can, everything within our power to try to heal the divide, to make white folks like us. Some blacks have even bleached their skin, straightened their hair with hot combs and chemicals — anything we could do to assimilate and be acceptable, but largely to no consequence. We’re still despised by a large — and now fast-growing — number of so-called white Americans who are being empowered by a poser residing on Pennsylvania Avenue.

It was our greatest president who said, “A house divided cannot stand.” Better we divide into two countries while we still can have an amicable divorce. Now, I’m not predicting that we will have another Civil War. There will be no armed conflict in America over race; and no foreign country will invade us, there will simply be a gradual (and eventually, hastened) decline — a slide into irrelevancy.

Read your history books: Most nations crumble from within. But it doesn’t have to happen to us. We can start now making plans for a divorce between the two Americas. The bonds of brotherhood have never really existed, so why are we still attempting to save a failed union?

From CoolCleveland correspondent Mansfield B. Frazier Frazier’s From Behind The Wall: Commentary on Crime, Punishment, Race and the Underclass by a Prison Inmate is available in hardback. Snag your copy and have it signed by the author at

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One Response to “MANSFIELD: A House Divided, Part II”

  1. Lynnie powell


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