Conservative black American absolutely shreds Critical Race Theory with new book about patriotism
The following is a reprint of the interview with founder and president Jimmy Lee Tillman II in the November 9, 2021 Law Enforcement Today article written by Lizzy Murica.
CHCAGO, IL – As divisive Critical Race Theory (CRT) continues to be pushed throughout the United States, especially in educational settings, one conservative black American patriot has written and published an intelligent, positive, and affirming answer to CRT rhetoric.
That patriot, Jimmy Lee Tillman II, wears many hats. He is a father and a grandfather. He is the president and founder of the Martin Luther King Republicans.
In addition, Tillman is a historian and the acclaimed author of Tillman’s Handbook of Great Black American Patriots & Guide to the National Parks and Landmarks, Statues, Museums and Historic Places dedicated to them.
This book is Tillman’s well-crafted answer to CRT rhetoric that “falsely attempts to re-imagine American history as a racist country founded to oppress all Black people.”
Tillman’s Handbook profiles 26 black Americans, from the Colonial era to modern times, who helped shape the history of America. The profiles include eye-catching historical photos, prints, and letters.
Tillman educates the reader on well-known figures such as Harriet Tubman and Dr. Ben Carson, as well as lesser-known but very impactful figures such as Robert Smalls, a sea captain for the Union Army who was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives.
One aspect of the book that is especially striking is its positivity. For certain, there is no glossing over of the trials and tribulations that black Americans endured. Indeed, many of the figures featured were born slaves or children of slaves.
And yet, the profiles paint positive and uplifting pictures of true patriots, devoted to America and its Constitution – patriots who worked tirelessly to shape this country in the face of daunting challenges, by rising in the political and civil rights arenas, by fighting in wars, and by influencing political leaders.
Educator and presidential advisor Dr. Mary McLeod-Bethune, for example, was born in 1875 as the child of former slaves, and she spent her life in the South throughout Jim Crow and anti-black violence, all the while laying foundations for the civil rights movement.
Tillman wrote of her:
“She possessed unwavering patriotism, a strong sense of racial pride and even walked with a cane that had once belonged to her friend, President Franklin Roosevelt.”
Dr. McLeod-Bethune’s strength and positivity came through in her will in 1955, when she wrote:
“I leave you hope. The Negro’s growth will be great in the years to come. Yesterday our ancestors endured the degradation of slavery, yet they retained their dignity.
“Today, we direct our strength toward winning a more abundant and secure life.
“Tomorrow, a new Negro, unhindered by race taboos and shackles, will benefit from more than 330 years of ceaseless struggle. Theirs will be a better world. This I believe with all my heart.”
Tillman’s book also serves as a travel guide, featuring an alphabetical listing and description of over 50 national parks and landmarks, statues, museums, and other historic places dedicated to the courageous black patriots who have played such a great and indispensable part in the growth of this country.
Recently, I had the pleasure of connecting with Tillman to hear his views on racism and Critical Race Theory, and on the book as his answer to the CRT rhetoric.
Part of Tillman’s goal with the book is to dispel lies that he sees being spread about black history, lies that perpetuate division.
He told me:
“I wanted America to know that, they [Critical Race theorists] say that in the days of slavery… that we couldn’t write or read, that if we got caught reading or writing, we’d be hung. That was the most fearful story they told to every black youth in America. But it’s a lie.
“Because here we have Phyllis Wheatley back in the 1700s writing General Washington letters, telling him, don’t give up the fight. How can someone who couldn’t read and write be writing letters and not be killed for that?”
“We have Benjamin Banneker writing an almanac, writing plans, arguing against slavery to the Supreme Court. Now that was in the 1700s. How come he’s not dead, hung for reading and writing, if it was outlawed for us to read and write at that time?…
“Frederick Douglass had his paper, the North Star. How are you going to start a newspaper if blacks can’t read and write?…
“You see, they are just passing parts of history to keep the vision of this separation afloat…. The CRT don’t want to list the accomplishments that Americans had in founding this country, from the Bunker Hills all the way to Afghanistan….
“It’s things that have been told, picked and chosen, just to keep America apart.
“The greatness of America is when we all are one. We are not one race, we are just all bound by laws we agree upon, and how we treat one another, under a Judeo-Christian value system. That’s a true American.”
“I think the Democratic Party needs racism to keep their black voters angry, because right now there’s nothing to hold them to the polls. We just saw in Minnesota where the defund the police was overwhelmingly rejected, especially by the black community. And you see what happened in Virginia.
“So right now they are being exposed… They are trying to tear down all their Democratic generals like Lee… and all the Confederate statues who were Democrats. They don’t want to tell you about the Democratic white citizen council or how the Ku Klux Klan was the military ring of the Democratic Party. They don’t want to have this information out….
“They give you the pictures of slavery, because if you want to show the images of Jim Crow, and busing, and all that pain that happened that King was fighting against, you more than likely will see the faces of the leaders right now that are in the Democratic Party….
“I don’t want the Democratic Party… to put America back on the plantation mindset: blacks are inferior, they vote one way, they think one way, they’re monolithic.”
Regarding the effect he hopes for his book, Tillman told me:
“The impact I would like to see my book have on people is to start a dialogue and to open the eyes and minds of white Americans, white patriots, even white liberals, of the true history of the black man and woman here in America, and their contributions to America.
“And that we should be looked at as Americans, because we were here from the beginning of the founding of the country, and we fought for the founding of the country.”
Tillman then reflected on Crispus Attucks, who has been described as “the first to defy, the first to die” by poet John Boyle O’Reilly. As Tillman recounts in his handbook, Attucks was the first man killed in the Boston Massacre, and he thus became the very first casualty of the American Revolutionary War.
“If it weren’t for the blood of a black man, we might not have the country that we have today….
“They want to say we’re a racist country, always been racist, but we went to war after the death of a black man….
“You can’t say that a country that went to war because of the death of a black man, that we were always a racist country.”
“So if people can look at the blood, tears, and sacrifices that we made, not just the Southern history of America, but all history of America, the blacks at the Alamo,… the making of the plasma machine [by Dr. Charles Drew],… [George Washington Carver] mak[ing] tanks and building engines to sustain them in the war….
“I hope that the book teaches, not the struggles, but all the successes.”
“There were times in America when America was trying to right its wrongs. So in my book I talk about things that America was doing to right its wrongs.
“I talk about Frederick Douglass and Harriet Tubman begging Abraham Lincoln to go to war.
“Even though people might say, he didn’t want to free the slaves, it was all semantics, he wanted to keep a country, Harriet Tubman and Frederick Douglass went to their graves knowing that they talked Abraham Lincoln into taking the country into war just to make it live on the foundations of this principle in the Constitution that all men are created equal.”
Tillman went on to say:
“Only in America can a slave rise through prominence and be a leader of a state or a country.”
Tillman also kindly offered some advice and encouragement for parents who right now are struggling against the implementation of CRT in their children’s schools.
“The best argument I would give parents who are going out there, saying they don’t want that taught to their children is that Martin Luther King said he wants sons of former slaves and slave owners to sit at the table of brotherhood.
“CRT takes us away from that table. It puts one set of Americans in one place, and the other set of Americans in another place.
“And we want all our children to be equal, and not separated.
“If you parents say you want our children to be together and not separate, that will destroy the message of separating us.”
Fully taking on the accusations of racism being levied against some parents who are against CRT, he added:
“And so, not to sound racist, but you white parents… out there who don’t want your children and grandchildren to be taught future racial programming, please fight against CRT.
“Don’t be afraid. You’re not a racist for saying you want your child to be friendly with a black child, you want your child to learn with a black child…. There’s nothing racist in saying you want your children to be together….
“In America, we went to war. Whites died just to free slaves in America….
“We lost so many lives just for blacks to be free, and that should never be forgotten.”
“I hope that people understand that we are just one country, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all. That’s what we are.”
Tillman’s Handbook of Great Black American Patriots & Guide to the National Parks and Landmarks, Statues, Museums and Historic Places dedicated to them can be viewed at the Tillman Family Press website and purchased at this link via Lulu.
For a limited time for LET readers, Lulu will also be offering a 20 percent discount on the book with the coupon code: EARLYBIRD20.