Currently, The Butterfly Effect is probably the best know of all the effect theories. It basically says, if you change the smallest thing in the past, it can effect major changes in the future. As a person who believes heavily in Chaos Theory, it makes perfectly good sense to me. One of the funniest episodes of The Simpsons was a Tree House of Horrors episode that parodied the Butterfly Effect. Homer, after going back to pre-historic time and killing an insect, then returning back to the present and finding his world turned upside down, continued going back and forth making changes, with increasingly worse results. When he finally had the perfect world, family and home, better than ever before, he found out that this world didn’t make donuts, so he screamed and left that scenario before it started raining… but it just happened that in that scenario, when it rained - donuts fell from the sky. Finally, Homer reached a version of the present where everything looked normal, but when his family started eating, they all had tongues like frogs. After Homer thought a minute, he said “ahh, that’s not so bad” and went on with his meal.
The basic premise of an “effect” theory is that something happening will cause something else to happen based on some related factor or factors. The most talked about Effect recently is the Bradley Effect. The Bradley Effect is the theory that White people will “say” they will vote for a Black or other minority candidate if s/he is qualified when polled, then vote for that candidate’s White opposition when they get in the voting booth. The Bradley Effect is named after Tom Bradley, who ran for Governor of California. He was ahead in the polls among White voters, but lost decidedly on Election Day. It is believed that happened because White voters who never intended to vote for him said they were going to, or claimed they were undecided, because they didn’t want to be seen negatively as racist. Political pundits are now wondering whether Barack Obama will be subject to the Bradley Effect.
Some Pundits have created a new and very interesting theory called the Obama Effect. This theory states that, Conservative Republicans who say they would never vote for Obama when polled, will actually cast a vote for him in the booth. The premise behind this theory is that, while they don’t want Obama for themselves, they will elect him for their children because their children believe that Obama offers hope for their future, and Conservative Republicans will choose their childrens’ hope over their own fear. I think this one is a stretch, but I can’t say it’s impossible. Only time will tell.
The one effect I fear during this run for the White House is the Jack Johnson Effect. Jack Johnson was the first Black Heavy Weight Champion of the world. He was an intelligent and dapper man in his casual relationships, but when he was in the ring, he was known to taunt and brutalize his White opponents with his superior skills and strength. The term “Great White Hope” originated based on the effort to find someone who could beat Johnson. Jack Johnson was a source of pride for Blacks in the first decade of the 1900’s… to a point… because he also brought a great price tag. Johnson not only held the title that was considered to represent the greatest athlete in the world, but he also dated and married White women. The concept of a Black man beating a White man in public, and then walking off with a White woman afterward, and doing both legally, was too much for many White men of that day (I got jokes here, but I’ll let it… goooooo…). So every time Johnson won a fight, and reminded them of his superiority in “their” sport, White men would go out and indiscriminately brutalize Black people. Lynching, drowning, rape, mutilation, and other atrocities were all part of the reaction to Johnson’s victories. Thus, the Jack Johnson Effect: When Blacks experience a victory over strong White opposition, White Extremists will retaliate violently.
History has shown that there are White Americans that will fight and die for the right of African Americans to pursue their goals and receive their rights as Americans. History also shows there are White Americans who take pride and pleasure in showing their feeling of superiority, whether socially, or physically. I have stated several times that there will be repeated plots/attempts on Barack Obama’s life. That is an accepted part of a Black man running for president. I don’t fear for Obama, he made his peace with God when he decided to run, and three exposed plots to kill him so far haven’t slowed him down yet. I do fear for the safety of his wife and children, because anyone who kills the wife or children of Obama will become either a White Extremist cult hero or martyr like Byron De La Beckwith did when he killed Medgar Evers. But that’s not the Jack Johnson Effect. I fear for what will happen to regular ole Black folks after Obama wins.
This latest plot to kill Obama also included the bombing of a school. School and church bombings were a staple of white retaliation during the Civil Rights movement by those who felt that Blacks who wanted to be seen as equally human were taking something away from racist Whites; technically what they were taking was the “feeling” of superiority and entitlement. Taking personal offense at something that was not done to you personally, and then attacking innocent people in retaliation has been part of White Terrorism from before the Ku Klux Clan until now. And don’t believe for a moment that every act of violence against Blacks is Klan related, anymore than every shooting in the Black community is drug/gang related. There are just some sick folks out there, and the “rogues” are often the most dangerous. White Extremist Terrorism is not subject to just Black victims either, as the Oklahoma City Bombing proves. There, the victims were predominantly White, and the attack was done on a building that was known to have a daycare operating on the premises. The previous Oklahoma bombing of Black Wall St. in Tulsa, as well as race riots in East St. Louis, N.Y., and other cities, shows White Extremist Terrorism knows no bounds
White’s aren’t the only people who practice retaliation. Back in my teen years, when a carload of White kids shot me and my boy Tito while we were walking his sister home from work, my brother and some of the other Warlords went over to West Hempstead and gave a healthy beat down to pass on the message that behavior of that type was not allowed (beat downs were all we had since most Black kids didn’t have guns in the ‘70’s). Hey, Blacks and Latinos definitely do their share of killing, and sometimes they target Whites. But there is a major difference between going eye for eye based on a personal attack, and bombing churches and schools at random. Even the most vicious gang-bangers in Black and Latino communities know that churches and children are off limits. If a Black kid shoots another kid in school, it’s because he has a conflict with that kid, but Black kids don’t shoot up the whole school because they are bullied, or have a problem with their teachers, or they aren’t understood by their parents. Black kids understand that shooting a bunch of people for no reason can get your family wiped out. But I digress…
In this season of celebration, remember to be vigil. The origin of the Watch Night church service was that when news of the Emancipation Proclamation came through, being together and in God’s presence was the safest place to be… ‘cause there were White folks who would have done bad things to the newly freed slaves if they caught them. Just like in the Bible, the children of Israel had to fight their enemies most after they got in the Promised Land. Our battle should be first - spiritual, second - moral, third - intellectual, and “last” - political. And it should be fought with an army that is multi-racial, multi-ethnic, multi-religious affiliation, and multi-economic class. Obama’s victory is a major step in the battle for America to live up to its ideals, but the war is far from over, and the White Extremist Terrorists will be attacking, ‘cause the Jack Johnson Effect will be in effect. Be proud, but humble; fearless… but vigil…
In interviews with people at the McCain/Palin rallies, many good Americans express a fear of what an Obama presidency will “do” to their country. They say that if Obama is elected president, it will be the end of America as they know it. The reality is, America as they know it has already ended, and a new one is emerging. THAT’S WHY Obama is being elected president.