Wednesday, August 4, 2021

For the Record Podcast: Roland Martin Calls ADOS’ Definition of Blackness ‘Asinine’

*In this edition of our For the Record podcast, Lee Bailey talks to veteran journalist Roland Martin about the African American activist group ADOS, or American Descendants of Slaves.

The folks from ADOS believe that black Americans who can trace their ancestors to Southern slavery should not be represented politically, socially or in any other manner by black Americans who descend from African and Caribbean immigrants.

ADOS has been particularly critical of Oakland-born 2020 Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Kamala Harris, whose heritage does not pass their test of American blackness due to her Jamaican father and Indian mother.

Roland Martin, whose public criticism of the group and great-grandparent’s immigration from Haiti has put him in their crosshairs, says ADOS is running nothing more than a “purity test” that would, under their definition, exclude such black activists as Shirley Chisholm, Malcolm X, Colin Powell, Eric Holder, and “a whole hell of a lot of black people who can not trace their mother and father directly back to being descendants of slaves. To me, that is asinine.”

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Members of ADOS trashed Martin again recently after he appeared on MSNBC to discuss their treatment of Sen. Harris. (See video above.) An ADOS member with the YouTube name The Black Authority has a vicious rebuke of Martin’s appearance, saying the journalist went “full coon” on the program, and claiming that Martin once denied being a “black man” when white supremacist Richard Spencer asked if he defined himself by his race. “I identify as a man,” Roland responded to Spencer.

The Black Authority said of Martin: “This is why we have been saying that the descendants of slaves have to be distinguished because this is typical of individuals who do not trace their lineage back to the killing fields of American slavery.”

In this latest For the Record, Martin responds to ADOS point by point and also addresses the group’s criticism of Sen. Harris’ husband being white, reservations in the black community about her record as a California prosecutor, and more.

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