The “J” Word: Why “Jazz”?

PART ONE

When I think of the word “Jazz” I am reminded of the music I love the most, which is why I generally have a positive reaction to the word. Not that I have really cared too much about the word in and of itself. It is a very silly word. Actually, it’s stupid and insulting. Imagine someone referring to Chopin’s Nocturne in F-Sharp Major or Beethoven’s Violin Concerto as “fancy-schmancy” or “longhair” music, and you get the idea. Admittedly some of this Music, because it really is cheap, superficial, flashy and overblown for its own sake really does deserve the childish moniker of “Jazz.” Louis Armstrong’s West End Blues, on the other hand, or Miles Davis’s Tempus Fugit, or Sidney Bechet’s Summertime, or Gillespie and Parker’s Groovin’ High (1945) however, simply do not deserve to be categorized by such a word. Many of the greatest practitioners of this music have always detested it. “It’s a nigger word,” railed Miles Davis, in a rare 1980 radio interview. “It means nigger music…when white people hear the word they think of niggers fucking and shit like that.” Clarinetist and soprano saxist Sidney Bechet considered the word to be superfluous; he preferred to call the music “ragtime” throughout his life. To him Jazz was just “a name the white people have given to the music. There’s two kinds of music. There’s classic and there’s ragtime. When I tell you ragtime, you can feel it, there’s a spirit right in the word…But Jazz, ­ Jazz could mean any damn’ thing: high times, screwing, ballroom. It used to be spelled Jass…”.

Duke Ellington (with whom Bechet played briefly in 1925) himself said as much concerning “Jazz.” The word seems to have rubbed him the wrong way and he used it reluctantly, out of lack of choice for a better word. “By and large, (this music) has always been like the kind of man you wouldn’t want your daughter to associate with,” he once wrote. “The word ‘jazz’ has been part of the problem.”°

Indeed. “Jazz” has the stink of Storyville all over it. Since its closing in 1917 a huge amount of legends and fantasies have grown up around Storyville, fed in large part by the embellishments of musicians who once played in its establishments. For the record let it be known that, aside from solo pianists such as Tony Jackson, Kid Ross or Ferdinand Mouton (or LaMothe or LeMott) no jazz band (nor any other band) ever played in a Storyville brothel: most whorehouses were ill-equipped to house a six or seven-piece band on their premises. Joe Oliver, Freddie Keppard, Manuel Manetta, Edward “Kid” Ory, Johnny and Warren “Baby” Dodds, Lorenzo Tio, Jr., Peter Bocage, Henry Zeno, George “Pops” Foster, Alphonse Picou, Armand Piron, Sidney Bechet and their ilk plied their trade in grungy cafes and dance halls such as Pete Lala’s, The Big 25 or Tom Anderson’s cafe for distressingly long hours and for insultingly low pay. These establishments were often hot, sweaty and stinking of armpits, bad breath, wet farts and God knows what else–which explains why New Orleans’ Union Sons Hall, a popular dance hall among black New Orleanians, was cheekily referred to as the “Funky Butt Hall.”

In any event, the music that the above musicians were shaping between roughly 1890 and 1915 was very rarely, if at all, referred to as “jazz,” let alone “jass.” To Sidney Bechet and Louis Nelson DeLisle, it was always “ragtime music.” To others it was simply “The Music.” The shady origins of the word jazz–indeed, the very cheapness of the word itself–appeared to impress even in the minds of its creators that what they were doing was cheap, dirty, and disreputable–“jungle music,” as Rudy Vallee once insinuated on his radio program. If early jazz musicians plied their trade in ratty joints, it was certainly not out of choice.

“Who draped those basement dens

With silk, but knaves and robbers

And their ilk?

Who came to prostitute your art

And gave you pennies

for your part?”

–Duke Ellington, excerpt from text of Black, Brown and Beige

There are dozens upon dozens of other explanations for the origins of the J-word and all of them are rather ridiculous. Jazz, in 1912, was simply an adjective used to describe something spunky (as was jasm, a word dating to at least 1860) screwy and off-the-wall–the way Portland Beavers pitcher Ben Henderson described his latest (and unsuccessful) method of pitching. As for “jass,” speculations abound as to whether or not it is a derivation of “jaser” (the French verb to jabber on and talk shit) or a reference to the scent of jasmine (which the whores of Storyville allegedly wore) or whether it was simply cooked up by white New Orleans musicians (such as Tom Brown¹) once they made their way out of the South and towards Chicago, San Francisco and New York.

The truth is that “Jazz” was slapped on The Music as a way of selling it to the broader white American mainstream. The earliest known reference to “Jazz” in a musical sense dates from July 11, 1915.  This very revealing article, written by Gordon Seagrove for the Chicago Tribune, features a caricatured “darkie”² alto saxophonist woo-wooing away on his horn. So it is perfectly clear that as early as the summer of 1915 The Music–a potent mixture of blues, ragtime and secularized spiritual harmonies–was already being referred to as “Jazz.” The word was insulting, but it sold the music and helped to get some of these musicians out of Funky Butt Hall. (Note the two Z’s and not two S’s. It is not entirely clear as to how or why Tom Brown, Johnny Stein or Dominic La Rocca came up with “jass.” In my opinion, Jass sounds a lot like Ass–indeed, most of the records put out by the Original Dixieland Jass Band and its many imitators (between 1917 and 1920) sound like “ass,” and certainly not in a good way.)

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Duke Ellington, about 1930. “I am not playing Jazz…I am trying to play the natural feelings of a people”

I have already noted that New Orleanians generally disliked the term. Northerners were not much different. To James P. Johnson and Eubie Blake it was still Ragtime. Ellington’s own preference was for the term Negro Music. “I am not playing jazz,” he stated in 1930, in reference to his musical ambitions, “I am trying to play the natural feelings of a people.” Ellington had once counseled bandleader and arranger Fletcher Henderson on the matter. “Why don’t we drop the word ‘Jazz’ and call what we are doing ‘Negro Music’? Then there won’t be any confusion.” Reportedly, Henderson was not too keen on dropping the “J” word, assuming he himself had ever used it.

Of course, negative reaction to the J-word was not always limited to black musicians.³ Much of this resentment was echoed even by white musicians themselves, such as Red Norvo, who once said in 1944 “I certainly hope it isn’t jazz we’re playing, because jazz to me represents something obnoxious, like that Dixieland school of thought…the musicians it stands for are corny by today’s standards.”

Dave Tough, one of the core members of the white Austin High Gang, eventually gravitated to more modern sounds and remarked of Dixieland that it was “nowhere,” requested by slumming “snobs” on a nostalgic kick in 1940s Manhattan. “Those Dixieland characters come here to live their youth all over again,” Tough railed. “They like to think it’s still Prohibition and they’re wild young cats up from Princeton for a hot time. All they need is a volume of F. Scott Fitzgerald sticking out of their pockets.” Tough dismissed “Hot Jazz” as harmonically infantile, “a bad copy of the music that white Chicago musicians played who were in turn doing bad imitations of the music that they heard from the musicians who came from New Orleans.”

Charles Mingus, in 1969, said: “Don’t call me a jazz musician. The word ‘jazz’ means nigger, discrimination, second-class citizenship, the back-of-the-bus bit.” John Coltrane, a few years before his death, told an interviewer that “Jazz is a word they use to sell our music, but to me that word does not exist.” Anthony Braxton (like the late Ornette Coleman) will tell you the exact same things, and not mince words about it. In fact Braxton is deeply skeptical of many of the current trends in “Jazz,” particularly those inaugurated by the Marsalis Brothers under the tutelage of Stanley Crouch and the late Albert Murray; he sees in the current “Jazz” revival a “freezing” of what was once an innovative and living musical language in stoneª so that it remains locked forever in an American (and in this instance, Southern) past which we ought to have placed far behind us. Braxton assumed that Marsalis’s music was simply a comfortably nostalgic accompaniment to the increasingly toxic racism and reactionary politics of the Reagan, Clinton, and Bush “administrations,” and on a very real level he is right: as pleasant as Marsalis’s music can be at times, it speaks very little–if anything–of our contemporary world; the harshness and dissonance that one can find in his music is the harshness and dissonance of another, simpler time. Sadly, even in that “other time” (say, the 20s and 30s) much of the music did not reflect the temper of that time but simply glossed over it with the phony 23-Skidoo slush of The Clambake Seven or, God forbid, the horror that was the Andrews Sisters.

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Red Norvo: “Jazz…represents something obnoxious”

Today, the most vociferous opponent of the word “Jazz” is trumpeter Nicholas Payton, who has made it his mission to assassinate not merely the J-word but everything else associated with it.† To this end he has promoted the term #BAM, short for Black American Music. “There is no such thing as jazz,” he wrote in April of 2014, completely negating the idea of any sort of “Jazz tradition.” “(A)ny idea of what that might be is false. It’s impossible to build a tradition upon something that was never a designed to be a true expression of a community. The very existence of jazz is predicated upon a lie, just like racism.”

The lie being, of course, not merely that “Negroes” are a simple, funky, sexual, violent and primitive people without a history, without traditions, without art, without minds and so on and so fourth–no point in repeating oft-repeated lies–but also the very lie that any such creature called a “Negro” exists. When Duke Ellington spoke to Fletcher Henderson of the need to create a “Negro Music” he was simply utilizing the current and frankly most socially progressive language of that time. Duke Ellington’s “Negro” was not the Negro of Tom Brown, Stephen Foster, Joel Chandler Harris, or the Original Dixieland Jazz Band nor even, for that matter, Mezz Mezzrow. Ellington rejected that image of the Negro publicly and was even more vehement in his rejection privately: “And was the picture true/Of you? The camera eye in focus…./Or was it all a sorry bit/Of ofay hocus-pocus?”

Ofay hocus-pocus, properly translated, is essentially what mainstream jazz or jass was and quite frankly, still is. Today that hocus-pocus (better known as bullshit) is simply dressed up in the robes or respectability and topped with a tasseled hat. But even the squarest of the super-squares, the rank-and-file men on the street, know that the vast bulk of contemporary jazz is remote, effete, elitist and un-listenable and that the back-asswards racism of many a “jazz classic” make even some of the best of jazz unendurable. Louis Armstrong’s theme song “When It’s Sleepy Time Down South,” for instance–a lovely melody marred by idiotically trite lyrics–was straight Stephen Foster, a fact he himself knew quite well and seems to have performed the tune largely in a satirical manner: On one early rendition of “Sleepy” (from December 1932) he twists the lyrics and sings, “when it’s slavery time down South.”

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Nicholas Payton: “The very existence of jazz is predicated upon a lie”

“To speak of ‘jazz tradition’ is like to speak of ‘racial justice,'” Payton continues. “It’s not possible to have justice within the confines of race because race was specifically designed to subjugate certain people to an underclass so that the “majority” thrives. Injustice is inherently built within the racial construct. There has never been any tradition within jazz other than to ensure Black cultural expression is depreciated and undervalued.”

As a staunch anti-fascist, I  share both Braxton’s and Payton’s concerns about this thing called “Jazz.” I hate to look at The Music–my music–through the ugly prism of politics. Yet at some point such skepticism becomes inevitable.  As much as I enjoy vintage jazz–I have to confess that it is the virtual soundtrack to my life–I see ugly political trends running in tandem with the current enthusiasm for ragtime, “hot jazz” and “swing.” It is a disturbing thought that the music of Blind Boy Paxton, the Carolina Chocolate Drops, Craig Ventresco, Reginald Robinson, John Reed-Torres and innumerable other trad jazz and ragtime bands both in the U.S. and elsewhere could serve as a musical soundtrack to something else: the rise in far-right nationalism across the globe. Fortunately, it ain’t necessarily so: there is a German swing society located in Berlin which is vociferously anti-fascist and even Socialist in outlook. But I’m afraid that their progressive politics are, generally speaking, not shared by those who enjoy their music.

_________________________

NOTES

°‘I was recently held up again at a Dublin street corner by a small crowd who were listening to a young man with a strong North of Ireland accent who was aloft on a little Irish scaffold. / “Glun na Buaidhe,” he roared, “has its own ideas about the banks, has its own ideas about dancing. There is one sort of dancing that Glun na Buaidhe will not permit and that is jazz dancing. Because jazz dancing is the product of the dirty nigger culture of America, the dirty low nigger culture of America.”’ Myles na gCopaleen, from an extract of his Irish Times “Cruiskeen Lawn” columns (1944)

¹Tom Brown (1888-1958) was a tailgate trombonist who brought his band to Chicago in 1915, billing it as “Tom Brown’s Band from Dixieland.” Brown was the brother of pioneering slap-bassist Steve Brown and a pathological racist and anti-Semite who once confided to journalist Al Rose that Europeans and Asians (“them foreigners”) refused to listen to jazz unless “niggers” were playing it, that “niggers” weren’t smart enough to discern any sort of harmony because, well, they were “just niggers.” As a side comment Tommy also noted  that these same “niggers” were riding on previously all-white tramlines, that “dagos” were getting all the good hotel jobs in New Orleans and that “Jews” were taking over Uptown–three notable developments in late 50s New Orleans which disturbed him somewhat.

²Gordon Seagrove, writing in the Chicago Tribune (1915), begins his article by asking a young lady “what is the blues?” The young lady answers, loudly and enthusiastically, “Jazz!”

“A blue note is a sour note,” explains an unidentified Chicago pianist in Seagrove’s article. “(Blue notes) aren’t new. They are just reborn into popularity. They started in the South a half-century ago and are the interpretations of darkies (sic) originally. The trade name for them is Jazz.”

³Much of the resentment on the part of Black American musicians to the word “Jazz” is due to racist assumptions concerning the true nature of The Music. Even to supposedly liberal and sympathetic minds (such as John Hammond or Patrick “Spike” Hughes, himself a superb jazz arranger) jazz was essentially a happy, primitive, supersexual party music where bored upper-class whites violated their sense of propriety by getting drunk, getting high, or giving or receiving a blow job under a cafe table. Leftist jazz critics (such as Rudi Blesh) read into The Music an expression of Negro misery, anger and resentment of the Jim Crow status quo. While this is true to an extent it does not give the whole picture of what The Music is about, and in fact is simply the white left’s paternalistic vision of Black “jazz” as a proletarian, anti-elitist folk music–a vision which is just as limiting as the right-wing “happy darky” caricature of “jazz” music.

ªBraxton: “The whole jazz platform, everything that’s happened since the 1960s in the jazz world, in my opinion, has come about through the liberal sector, and that sector has postulated a concept of “we are with you in communion around trans-African matters,” while at the same time, what they’re really saying is “we’re with you, but you had better follow our concept of what you should be. We’re with you as long as we can say that jazz goes to 1965, and everything after that is not black.” By chopping off the restructural component of the music, what we’ve seen in the last 30 years has been that without the head you start taking from the body, drawing from stylistic influences. From that point, the musicians would start to go further and further back in time; now we’re back to the minstrel period, back to Stagger Lee. But it’s taken for granted in every other community that evolution is a point of fact….

“It is coming out of New York; they brought the South to New York. By Southern strategy in this context, take the blues, for instance. The blues is being posited as the legitimate projection for African Americans to function inside of. More and more, the blues is being defined as an idiomatic generic state as opposed to an infinite affinity state, which is what it really is. The blues, in my opinion, is being used as a way to marshal and limit, or define the parameters, of African American intellectual and vibrational dynamics. With the blues, they can say “this is black music.” If it’s not the blues, if you write an opera, they can say, “oh, this is not black music.” If it’s blues, it can be received and appreciated as consistent with what African Americans are supposed to be involved with.”

Braxton’s concerns about “reductionism” in so-called Jazz music echo Frantz Fanon’s own observations concerning the Moldy-Fygge Jazz junkie’s revulsion towards bebop: “The fact is that in their eyes jazz should only be the despairing, broken-down nostalgia of an old Negro who is trapped between five glasses of whisky, the curse of his race, and the racial hatred of the white men. As soon as the Negro comes to an understanding of himself, and understands the rest of the world differently, when he gives birth to hope and forces back the racist universe, it is clear that his trumpet sounds more clearly and his voice less hoarsely. The new fashions in jazz are not simply born of economic competition. We must without any doubt see in them one of the consequences of the defeat, slow but sure, of the Southern world of the United States. And it is not utopian to suppose that in fifty years’ time the type of jazz howl hiccupped by a poor misfortunate Negro will be upheld only by the whites who believe in it as an expression of nigger-hood, and who are faithful to this arrested image of a type of relationship.” Frantz Fanon, “Reciprocal Bases of National Culture and the Fight for Freedom,” Wretched of the Earth. Bold-face mine.

†As a side note Vijay Iyer, a noted contemporary “jazz” pianist, also dislikes the term “Jazz” and dismisses it as an invention of the American record industry.

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“Oh, the Violins!”–When Vultures Cry

James Alan Fields, Jr. was once known as a “kind” and “shy” young boy–a “gentle giant,” according his teachers and classmates in Kentucky and Ohio. In reality this fat, bloated turnip and self-hating Jew was inwardly a seething mass of white racist ressentiment, who by the 9th grade already held deeply entrenched, radical views on race. Throughout high school he studied intensively the Waffen SS under a Mr. Weimer who, in his words, “used all the tricks to really ram home how evil and wrong the Nazis were” and–upon learning about Mr. Fields’ deliberately running over 14 people at the Charlottesville rally on August 12–“definitely feel like (he) failed.”

Unfortunately, Mr. Weimer did, but he’s not to be faulted for that. If Mr. Weimer can be faulted for anything it was naively thinking he could open a mind which was closed from the start.

As the fallout from “Bleeding Kansas, Part Two” continues¹, many participants and observers seem to be cracking up. Many of them have since revealed themselves as simply being swaggering blowhards who thought this “white power” business was just another good ole fashioned game of “cowboys and Indians.” Jason Kessler, one of the head Nazi goons at the August 12th rally, was chased off the podium by infuriated protesters a few days later when he attempted to clarify what his goon squad had attempted to “achieve” at his “Unite the Right” rally. On the 18th of August, he sent an angry Tweet calling the late Heather Heyer (killed by James Alan Fields) a “fat, disgusting Communist” and that her death was “payback time” for the “94 million” Kessler claims were killed by Communism in the 20th century.² Kessler, of course, has backtracked, denounced his own words as “heinous” and is now claiming that he was drugged out on “Xanax, ambien and booze” when he wrote the tweet. The poor wittle thing is now claiming that he is under a “crushing amount of stress” and receives “daily” death threats. (Wow, Jason. How horrible. Welcome to our world.)

Christopher Cantwell, known as one of the toughest of the tough, one of the most uncompromising of the Nazi horde, made a name for himself by waving his pop-guns around while being interviewed for VICE magazine two years ago. (As a side note, it should be remembered that one of main organizers of “Unite the Right,” Gavin MacInness, was VICE’s chief editor about a decade ago.) In a more recent video an unshaven Mr. Cantwell can be seen sniffling and sobbing and shitting his pants at the very thought that the police might be after him, that he had never intended to be violent, that all that gun-waving he did on his previous videos was just “him talking shit.” The contrast between the previous muscle-bound Ubermensch and the latest driveling, sniffling little puddle of snot could not help but make one laugh. (Again, Chris, welcome to our world.)

And the tears, sniffling and snot rags didn’t end with Can’t-Well. When Donald Trump dragged his feet in responding to the outrage in Charlottesville, many people rightfully suspected that Herr Trump’s true sympathies lay with the neo-Confederates and alt-righters. This writer has always assumed the worst about the Orange Honky, so Trump’s half-assed and weak insinuations that Antifa was really to blame for Charlottesville came as no surprise. But most everyone else in the media was either naively outraged, or “outraged” in the most disingenuous and opportunistic way –like, for instance, certain establishment Republicans/Democrats, such as Paul Ryan, Charles Krauthammer and Mitch McConnell, who took advantage of Trump’s waffling to gain a high moral ground that they had never held in the entirety of their careers: as if it were even possible to attain “moral high ground” in contemporary American politics.

The downpour of crocodile tears and retractions began in earnest and lasted for about a week, especially after Logan began systematically exposing individual members of the Charlottesville rally. Pete Tefft was rightfully disowned by his family, which appears to have some sense of decency. Peter Cvjetanovic, 18, another disaffected white ethnic, angrily claimed that he was “not a Nazi” (all appearances notwithstanding) and was simply “marching with them” because…well, because he liked “white history,” that’s all. No nigger-hater, he. Jarrod Kuhn, a leading organizer and member of the allegedly defunct Daily Stormer, now claimed he was just a “moderate Republican.” (If he is, then that would explain a lot; that would explain Dubya, explain the Iraq War, and probably explain the late Ronald Reagan laying a wreath at the grave of SS soldiers in Germany back in the mid-1980s.)  Kuhn is now whining like a little girl and claiming that his “life is over.” It should have never begun.

Andrew Anglin, webmaster for Daily Stormer, has since decamped for Nigeria to get his chocolate fix. (It has been well known in Nazi circles that Anglin, despite his ferocious hatred for blacks, Muslims and Jews, has a secret sweet tooth for chocolate and caramel. The latter he buys in the Philippines and Cambodia.³) Clay Aiken, once America’s favorite hillbilly crooner, recanted his support for Donald Trump. (Super-jock rapper LL Cool J, however, did not.)

Wendy Osefo and Gianno Caldwell, two establishment Negroes–one left, one right–could be seen shamelessly and stupidly crying last week on Fox News. Abby Huntsman, alleged “journalist” and one of one of Murdoch’s alt-lite pinup girls, sat there sandwiched between the two of them and smirking the whole time. At one point Miss Huntsman shit her pants when negro Neocon Gianno Caldwell blubbered that Trump was “morally bankrupt.” Of course, anyone with a brain knows that such a statement is true, but Abby Cunstman does not. One actually wants to vomit looking at these three: two spades weeping like a couple of kids and that smug, self-satisfied, plastic-surgery-faced half-caste sellout between them, trying to keep the whole ship from drowning in crocodile tears.

These tears continued on Fox for at least another day from Melissa Francis and Kat Timpf, two more of Fox’s resident Playboy bunnies. Miss Francis supports Trump but Kat Timpf went in on the Grand Oompla Loompa, stating “it’s honestly crazy for me to have to comment on this right now, because I’m still in the phase where I’m wondering if it was actually real life what I just watched!” Well, it was, sadly enough. Call it The Unbearable Lightness of Being in Trumplandia, because after seeing the last year unfold one’s head starts to feel that lightness you get when one is about to pass out in horror–not so much for what you have just seen but with a premonition of what’s next.

Soon there was weeping left and right–literally. I didn’t like this silliness, and felt compelled to write this essay just to put all of this into some perspective. The icing on the cake for me was seeing this obese, shirtless, uncombed BLM woman foolishly weeping–again–while confronting an equally obese white man in full Confederate regalia, silent, stoic, unblinking, standing in front of General Lee’s statue in Charlottesville, VA. A bunch of other furious protesters surrounded the fat Rebel with curses and middle fingers. The police finally broke it up and arrested the fat Rebel, handcuffed him, and ever so gently stuffed him in the squad car, to which he responded, “I’m just here to honor him, that’s all.” At that point I would have had to agree with Miss Timpf about the unreality of it all.

America has become a bad Tom and Jerry cartoon. Perhaps it always was, when you think about it. After four centuries of unending, unceasing racial and ethnic violence in North America, the media’s pretended naivete about this basic American reality is worse than disingenuous. Why is Van Jones weeping on YouTube? What is it with all these “poor sapling” tears? I think I know, but I’m simply throwing the question out there for others who may not get it. Whatever the reason for all these crocodile tears, for all this faked outrage over the death of Heather Heyerª (the only person willing to lay down her life to end the alt-right)–please, just cut that out. Cut…That…Shit…Out. You look like a  bunch of idiots. Tears don’t stop fascists, not even crocodile tears.

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Cantwell: “Mommy, help me!!”

I guess that the Negroes to the left and right of us are trying to appeal to the conscience of a neoliberal global order that does not even see them, much less hear them. Or they are trying to appeal to the people living under that order who have been trained from day one neither to see nor to hear each other. Or they are trying to appeal to that small minority within the people who live under the Neoliberal order that can actually still feel, in the hope that they will take to the streets and cry with them in the Great Struggle of Tears to end structural white supremacy. The only problem with this approach is that structural white supremacy is represented not by sandlot bullies like Cantwell, Anglin and David Duke, but by Trump and Bannon, and behind them Hillary & Bill, Bush & Bush, the late Ronald Reagan, the late Margaret Thatcher, Obama, Ronald Dumbsfeld (sic), Theresa May, Jacques Chirac, Angela Merkel, Marcon, Berlusconi and Tony Blair. (The aforementioned people are definitely not Nazis but they certainly paved the way for their return, which is why I hold all of them accountable.)

 

 

Meanwhile Bannon has been kicked out for attacking Trump’s fan base (the neo-Confederates and fascists) and has scooted back to Breitbart, with conflicting reports as to whether he will support or attack Trump. Trump is digging in his heels and attacking the alt-Left, a political nonentity. Spencer is promising more far-right looney tunes in the weeks to come. James Alan Fields and the head of the North Carolina KKK are unapologetic and are not shedding any more tears than the Grand Oompa Loompa is.

Coincidentally it was a Marxist, Takiya Fatima Thompson, who also decided that weeping and wailing was bullshit and decided to buck the center-left trend. She  tore the Confederate statue down in Durham, North Carolina. It’s good to know that some people out there have some sense. Schoolteacher Yvette Felarca, who punched a neo-Nazi, said emphatically and without tears that clocking Nazis in the face was not a crime. And it isn’t. In this writer’s opinion she should have used a beer mug. The whole ideology Nazism anyway is violence personified. (By the way Ms. Falarca punched the Nazi in his stomach, and did not kick the Nazi in his face–unlike one of her white Antifa cohorts who, as I have noticed, has not been charged. So even white far-left radicals get preferential treatment under U.S. law, as opposed to their non-white counterparts. Maybe that explains why there’s been such a dearth of black, brown and yellow men at these demonstrations.)

The charges against Ms. Felarca are absurd. Felarca was, in her words, stabbed in the arm and hit on the head. A photo that I have seen of Felarca with a bandaged forehead confirms this. The Nazi in question–if you see the video–is twice the size of the petite, slender Felarca. I’m pretty sure that the Nazi who got “assaulted” by Ms. Felarca had to be rushed to the intensive care unit after those punches, which did not even bring him down–again, much unlike the white Antifa backers who toppled him into the street.

The pop-news site “Bustle” titles its article on Felarca, “This Middle School Teacher Argues Punching Nazis is Not a Crime.” No shit? General Eisenhower argued that bombing and shooting Nazis wasn’t a crime, either. He became the fucking President in 1953. Ms. Felarca is looking at jail time. What are you trying to get at with that title, Ms. Mendoza?

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Yvette Felarca: “I wont stop”–and no, she doesn’t cry

Many in the alt-right  suddenly lost their backbones when they realized that the establishment was not going to back them up. Of course the establishment is not going to rally to their side. The establishment, which is actually a bigger threat to human rights than Spencer’s ricky-tick Tiki-Torch mob, has its own interests at stake here, and outward displays of white supremacism are not on the agenda at the moment. It is much more important for the Neoliberal establishment (which, despite everything the Keks are spouting, is not in the least Marxist) to continue to build alliances and bridges with Third World billionaire stooges in Africa, Asia, the Middle East, and Latin America, and consistently refine white supremacism to the point where it will no longer resemble fascism at all, but simply something natural. In this new Neoliberal order 500 Sierra Leoneans can perish in the blink of an eye and no one will be outraged to the extent that people were outraged over Ms. Heyer’s death. Those deaths did not register in the Western mind.

And neither did the 65 people shot over the previous weekend in Chicago. Most of them were black, of course, and these shootings were simply “business as usual.” No tears were shed over them. They were “niggers being niggers” to conservatives as well as neoliberals, who would prefer not to call black people “niggers”: that would be bad for business. It wants black people to think, talk and act in ways that define themselves as such. The nigger stereotype must be made real and self-perpetuating, without any work on the behalf of the Neoliberal order. The systematic dehumanization, depersonalization and dislocation of African Americans must continue, but with that air of banality that cuts very close to Hannah Arendt’s own definition of the “banality of evil.” The same goes for Sierra Leone, for Syria, for Venezuela, for the Congo, for the Philippines, for North Korea, and every other nation which Westerners think to be “inferior.” Violence, dysfunction, depersonalization will be defined as “real black/brown/yellow culture” to the Neoliberal order. Come to think of it, it already is. WELCOME TO OUR WORLD.

This is something that those on the Left–those who don’t break down in tears when the shit hits the fan–need to keep in mind. The alt-right are merely the Brown Shirts in this fight; the real assholes are far deeper entrenched politically, culturally and economically, and it will take more than tears and marches to contain their reactionist fuckery. It will take discipline and organization, and patience, forbearance and absolute determination to throw out the organized criminality and insanity that passes for the New World Order.

monica-jackson-fox-5-crying-video
“Sob brother, sob sister”…
JJsXU63CAW3M
…yet no tears from this New Afrikan socialist

*Heather Heyer (1985-2017): “If you’re not outraged, you’re not paying attention.”

¹Bleeding Kansas, part one, was a dress-rehearsal for the First Civil War. The Second has yet to begin. According to the late George Carlin, who once joked about Civil War buffs in the 80s who liked to dress up and re-enact key Civil War battles down to the last detail, they do this “just in case we have to go through this again some time.”

²Of course, no one has ever suggested that Heather Heyer should have done the same to Mr. Fields, since corporate fascists and capitalists have killed at least 250 million people since 1800. This number may in fact be quite conservative.

³Anglin’s preference for darker (and underage) girls has made him the butt of ridicule among many hardcore white supremacists. He is also suspected of being Jewish, which is not unusual, since many Nazis suspect other Nazis that they personally despise as being Jewish. 

Also: Don’t be surprised to find that a lot of Nazis prefer “dark meat.” It is more common than you think. In fact one of the main reasons why these guys are Nazis is because they can’t get a “nice,” “ladylike,” “virginal” and “loyal” white woman who will give them the sense of authority they feel they can’t get in mainstream society.

ªNearly 500 people have died in mudslides in Sierra Leone meanwhile and nobody in the US has shed a tear over their deaths except, naturally, immigrants from Sierra Leone.

A Very Brief Reflection on America and its Obsession with Homicide

Apparently, in the USA, you can be murdered and have the case casually thrown out as if it were nothing. Actually, this is a Great American Tradition. Leaving aside the kind of casual, joyful killings of Jews that used to take place in the Ukraine, Romania and Croatia (among other places) under Hitler’s regime, or in Nanjing under Japanese fascism, or in Pinochet’s Chile, or under the Gang of Four in China, these casual killings of niggers, spics, gooks and even dagos are simply a part of America’s “culture”–if you can call it a “culture”–and have to be understood within this context.

We all know the United States (like any other “great” empire) was forged in violence. The United States, perhaps more so than any other nation in the developed world, perfectly exemplifies Fanon’s dictum about colonialism being “violence in its natural state.” I think I have written about this before in a previous posting. The sad truth about all of this disgusting violence is that–if history proves us right–it will not let up unless an even more violent reactive force holds it in check. This statement is merely an observation of the movement of history. One can safely predict what will eventually happen in the United States when the recipients of American state and social violence (on either side of the political divide) simply feel that they have enough.

Naturally the REAL perpetrators of American violence are at the top of the American social/political totem pole, not on the bottom. Bill Cosby does not run the United States of America, any more than O.J. Simpson does.Snoop Dogg doesn’t run the United States of America, and neither does 50 Cent or Kendrick Lamar or any other rapper, basketball player, footballer, corrupt black mayor or politician or writer or otherwise. But you can’t tell this to the likes of demagogic maniacs such as Baked Alaska, Gavin MacInness and their ilk.

Bill Cosby Case: Scottsboro Lite?

Taken verbatim from attorney Richard B. Herman, on CNN (excerpted, June 17, 2017):

Q (CNN) : So, Richard, uhm–would he stand a better chance to retry?

A (Herman): No, not necessarily, Fred. He (Kevin Steele, District Attorney) never looked at the case like a true district attorney. This was a politically motivated prosecution. The prior district attorney made the determination (that) they could not get the conviction, and therefore they did not allow Ms. Constand to be the witness in criminal charges against Mr. Cosby although that DA encouraged her to bring a civil litigation where the burden of proof is less. This district attorney (Steele) ran on a platform of indicting and prosecuting Mr. Cosby…He won, maybe on that provision alone–

CNN: Yeah.

Herman: And so he brings this litigation on facts and circumstances that took place fourteen years ago, where people have to testify to what happened then and after. There’s a lot of contradiction in (the) testimony and statements that were given, and the problem with the retrial here, Fred, is the problem they had during this trial. Ms. Constand had a relationship with Mr. Cosby. She had some 72 phone calls with him before the event took place–

CNN: That’s right.

Herman: Three meetings in his house, before the event took place.

CNN: That’s right.

Herman: Then subsequent to the alleged attack, Fred, six months later, she reached out to get tickets for her parents to see his show. That’s not consistent with someone who was sexually assaulted. No forensic evidence to prove Quaaludes, nothing at all.* This is a very difficult case to ever obtain a 12-0 conviction. (It’s) not gonna happen next time…

___________________________________________________________________________________

*So in other words, this so-called “trial” was just another one of those good old fashioned, all-American, O.J. style legal lynchings that have been so popular throughout American history. In fact (as it turns out) the goddamned DA himself, Mr. Steele, ran his entire political campaign on putting a high profile black man behind bars, which to me sounds like the kind of shit that white Southern demagogues (like Cotton Ed Smith and his ilk)

andrea-constand-30d030e76270d402
Definitely not a “catch”–not with that jawline!

used to do about a century ago. This trial is simply the 21st Century version of the notorious Scottsboro Boys case. Professor Black Truth, a vlogger on YouTube, put it very succinctly when he said that Cosby could have been any high profile black man–the whole idea was to disgrace black men across the board by picking one of the most powerful. “It’s the symbolism of it,” he said. “After all, you go after some Pookie or Ray Ray nobody’s going to care. But if you go after a black man who’s got some name recognition and notoriety, that’s the kind of racial coding white people understand and go for. They like that, they know what that means.”

What that means, of course, is that if a black man goes too far in American society–if he dare imagine himself to be the equal to a white man in all respects, or just any respect–white (colonial) society will attempt to slap him back down in “his place,” which could be anything from a job in a dishroom to a prison cell to a six foot hole in the ground. (Or, he could shine shoes at your local Greyhound bus station, grinning and giggling the whole time. That would be nice, wouldn’t it?) Cosby’s own elitism and snobbery notwithstanding, many whites loathed the fact that he was wealthy and powerful (nothing new there: many, if not most, of the lynchings that took place in America in the Bad Old Days were motivated out of economic jealousy, and not only of Blacks), and above all, the thought that Cosby actually had the money to buy NBC must have infuriated many white Americans beyond reason, though they tried not to show it.

Speaking of the Scottsboro Boys case (they are pictured above)–Mychal Denzel Smith, a NYT bestselling author and sometime writer for The Guardian (UK), said in a tweet that we should not make the Cosby case out to be another Scottsboro. Maybe such a comparison is jumping the gun, but it sure as hell smells like Scottsboro all over again: Scottsboro lite. Cosby himself has said as much without making that exact reference, which, given Cosby’s myopia on the true nature of American race prejudice, seems almost funny. (Three years earlier Smith had this to say concerning Cosby’s refusal to see yet another race-tinged court case–that of George Zimmerman and Trayvon Martin–for what it really was: “What Cosby, and others who would have us focus less on Martin’s race and more on other factors contributing to his death, would prefer is that we operate as a color-blind society. But if we choose not to see race, then it is impossible to see actual racism – and there is plenty of it to go around.”)

Right-winger Newt Gingrich once talked “on code” to his white settler constituency with his feigned outrage at then-President Barack Obama for saying that if had a son, “he would look just like Trayvon.” (Of course, Moldy-fig Newton.) Gingrich and his ilk don’t mean what they say when they insist–in Newt’s words–“we should talk about being Americans.” Newt’s own track record, of course, suggests otherwise. In reality Gingrich and Company refuse to tell the difference between Cosby, Obama and Trayvon Martin, not to mention me, Mychal Smith, Professor Black Truth, Tupac, Pookie, Ray Ray and Rastus the Cream of Wheat man. All “coons” look alike to redneck settlers and those cuddly, soft-spoken, well-meaning, paternalistic center-left petty bourgies who love to call themselves our “friends.” We won’t get into the fact that all too often, less blacks can be found living in neighborhoods where the latter (left) congregate than among the former (hard right): even fucking Jim Goad can point that out. Besides, that is not the point at all.

There is an absurd irony of Dr. Cosby (we already forgot he was a doctor) being caught in a race-tinged scandal organized by a troupe of America’s ugliest white women (with one

bill-cosby-completely-blind-confined-to-home-diaryofahollywoodstreetking-com_795297
Cosby is now “completely blind”

of America’s most crooked high-profile DAs). Cosby is now legally blind. There is a sad comeuppance (once again) in this fact. Cosby had long blinded himself–by public admission, anyway–as to just how virulent, deep-rooted, and tightly structured American racism really is–the kind of racism that historically reduced able-bodied black men to the point where they felt they needed to steal–perhaps to eat, perhaps just for kicks: either way, it really doesn’t matter, since it all adds up to the same thing. That a man would lose his life over such a thing–that U.S. law enforcement would see more value in a goddamned 99-cent slice of half-stale pound cake than an actual human being speaks volumes about the absolute inhumanity of American society. It should come as no surprise to anyone who has seen the US military’s actions in Iraq, Afghanistan, Somalia and countless other places. We do not need to go over US history with even a fine comb to turn up still more examples of the sheer callousness of these people (meaning Americans, of course, and certainly not just white Americans). But Cosby’s pound-cake speech treated the matter as if it were just a pathetic joke. “What,” said Cosby, “was he doing with a piece of pound cake in his hand?” Well, Cosby, why take a man’s life over a shitty piece of cake? Better yet–why is Kevin Steele trying to jug you based on a pack of convoluted lies?

 

Bill Maher, Bill Cosby, Quaaludes and Other Not-so-Nice Things

This is strictly off-the-cuff, a few ramblings on topics that are raging on social media while in the meantime, the Congo is a dysfunctional ruin, India is turning Nazi, Yemenis starve and Syrians get blown to bits, Gaza is still a nasty ruin, slum dwellers in Rio still get their heads caved in by Brazilian killer cops (especially if they are pretos), Russian fascists are infesting the globe and even reaching their hoary tentacles down in Cancun, hipster fascists, redneck scum and negro/cholo thugs rampage throughout America unchecked (and fools like Jim Goad are still publishing books. Worse, many people still believe that Jim Goad is still relevant.)

Number one: I didn’t think much of the Bill Maher “house nigga” flap because I didn’t even watch it when it happened. And when I did see it, I simply shrugged. To me it was just some typically tasteless, cute, white-boy shit. Having grown up around white boys, I am not going to be surprised by the things they say when they think they are being witty, nor am I going to excuse whatever it is they say. I don’t hate them, but I know them; where I grew up in America, I had to know them and their intentions. It did not surprise me that Mr. Maher put his foot in his mouth (and possibly on purpose) one more time. So, what?*

People have forgotten the seventies or, God forbid, the eighties. The levels of racism on TV during that time were nothing short of toxic. They have forgotten scumbags like the late Morton Downey, Jr., among others. Channel Five and Channel Twenty were still broadcasting those disgusting racist cartoons from the 30s/50s (among other things) yet unlike today, nobody said a fucking word about it in any newspaper or magazine column. Not one fucking word. There was a particularly revolting cartoon (I think it was the Isle of Pingo Pongo) which showed a stereotyped “coon” with a Victrola in his enormous white lips, and I remember actually throwing shit at the TV screen in disgust. But other than my family, nobody cared–which is why I find the hysterical reaction to Bill Maher’s cutesy-poo wise crack so disingenuous.

I have yet to watch a complete episode of “Politically Incorrect” by Bill Maher because frankly, I don’t really like Bill Maher. He comes off as smug and self-satisfied, perpetually smirking, smart-alecky and bumptious–a typical New York dick, as Ken Shakin  (also from New York) would put it. I remember one episode in which Mos Def appeared on the show, alongside Salman Rushdie and the late Christopher Hitchens. Mos Def basically had his own ass handed to him by the other three panelists, but then again, Mos Def had it coming: he is not the brightest bulb on the intellectual tree. My gut feeling was that Bill Maher allowed Mos Def on the panel discussion as a form of progressive comedy relief–a way of putting on a coon show while maintaining an illusion of “progressive inclusiveness,” or whatever the fuck you want to call that. In the end, the show–in my view, anyway–wound up putting niggers in their intellectual place again. Too bad I, or some other far more sharp-witted black intellectual (such as Playthell Benjamin or even Ta-Nehisi Coates) hadn’t been brought on the panel.

Coincidentally, Ta-Nehisi Coates did cross swords with Bill Maher a few years later when Maher brought up an old trope about blacks and Cadillacs. Unfortunately Coates appears to be too young to remember the stereotype; it must have went out with the seventies. And Maher must have forgotten an even older trope concerning Jews and Cadillacs, which probably bears some relation to the anti-Semitic notion that Jews are a bunch of “negrified Orientals” (the type of shit that Henry Ford, Celine and Gobineau were pushing nearly a century ago).**

To my mind, Maher simply isn’t a very funny man. He seems to rely on an old Jewish comedy shtick–the kind of thing Lenny Bruce, Groucho Marx, Mel Brooks (to cite a lesser example) did far better, which is take down everyone and everything around them with a sort of cruel, Swiftian irreverence. Maher tries too hard. His “house nigga” shtick would have come off better if he had known how to deflate that tension he had built up after he’d dropped The Word. Lenny Bruce could do this, but then again Bruce was a comedic genius. Bill Maher is not. He could, possibly, pull his head out of the dirt by appearing on his next show as an actual house nigger, swallow-tail coat, Yiddish accent and all, obsequiously serving ice tea to a frock-coated Ice Cube while muttering, “yassuh, boss.” Possibly.¹

*

Bill Cosby, meanwhile, is stewing in a boiling cauldron of legal issues that may or may not be of his own doing. Again–much like Bill Maher–I’m not a huge Cosby fan, though as kids we used to watch Fat Albert religiously (and even cruelly mocked it on private home-made comedy tapes, which were so offensive and obscene that Maher’s shtick would seem less than nothing). I didn’t like the Cosby Show of the Eighties, which to me epitomized that new buppie shit that I was inundated with by the end of that benighted decade. I view the Cosby debacle several ways: one, as an hysterically prudish reaction against the licentiousness of the 70s and 80s (when everybody who was sexually hip–or thought themselves to be–dropped Quaaludes, and said fuck all about it); two, as yet another media takedown of a black American icon, this one far more powerful and influential than O.J. Simpson could ever hope to be–he’d even considered buying NBC at one point (which is probably the real reason why the feds decided to jug him). After watching the Cosby case on TV or social media, one can never look back on his legacy with the same eyes: Fat Albert, his stand-up routines of the sixties, his show in the eighties and above all those books he authored on Parenthood and all that now appear shoddy and fraudulent. Again, this could be the whole rationale behind the Cosby case, in spite of the existence of Cosby’s court deposition.

The third way? I personally see Cosby’s downfall as an ironic comeuppance after his notorious “pound cake” speech. The absurdity of a man of Cosby’s stature resorting to drugging extremely ugly white women in order to bang them doesn’t quite add up, and the deposition appears to speak for itself. I would not be surprised if the deposition was faked, but I would be equally unsurprised if the deposition simply is what it is. The reason why I call all of this “comeuppance” is simple. Here you have a proud member of the black elite chiding the black lumpen-proletariat for not pulling up its pants or, to use Cosby’s words, “not holding up their own end of the deal”–when he himself has had quite a bit of trouble keeping his own pants on.

When I first heard the Pound Cake speech, I smirked. Oh, really? I thought, knowing full well that Cosby was an outrageous snob. Well, I then thought, upon further consideration, perhaps Cosby was right, when you look at how insufferably decadent African American cultural life had become by 2003-2004. Those were the “saggy pants” years, for those of you who have already forgotten; the years of Chingy, Plies, Snoop Dogg, Jay-Z, and a virtual avalanche of coonish, gold-toothed rappers that virtually no one in that fucked-up decade even thought to challenge. 50 Cent was not a “coon” then like he is now. 50 Cent, for better or worse, represented Black America throughout the world in the 2000s mass media. That was the rationale behind Cosby’s 2004 speech.

But I took issue with it because Cosby and his ilk (Michael Jordan, Kanye West, Jay-Z, etc.) are collectively worth hundreds of billions of dollars, and not a dime of their money has gone into creating the Black Economy that some of them love to talk about. They will weep crocodile tears over the 1921 tragedy in Tulsa while barely putting a penny towards the creation of another Black Wall Street, something which–even given today’s economic crisis–is entirely feasible. Whole skyscrapers lay vacant in downtown Detroit, and not one of these black elites–Cosby included–has ever considered buying even one of them, let alone five or six of them. Certainly 550 million dollars could cover the cost of purchasing and refurbishing downtown Detroit, if not that then maybe a billion–and what is a billion compared to the 1.1 trillion purchasing power of Black America?

Yet the thought has never crossed the minds of our black elite. I doubt if it had crossed Cosby’s mind. He had wished to buy NBC while completely ignoring the possibility of constructing his own alternative to NBC. Over one hundred years ago, when Jewish immigrants were run out of New York by Edison’s anti-Semitic goon squad–Edison’s henchmen targeted the nickelodeon trade of the early 1900s, which was primarily run by Jews–they moved as far away from the East Coast as they possibly could, finding cheap real estate in a little village called Hollywood-land. It was there that these immigrants created (to quote Neal Gabler) “an empire of their own,” one which, ironically, did precious little to either promote or enliven American Jewish or any Jewish culture anywhere in the world.

Instead, Jewish Hollywood promoted white, Anglo-Saxon (honky) culture and white, honky, Anglo-Saxon values. There is nothing even remotely Jewish about “Gone With the Wind” or “Meet Me in St. Louis” or any of the classic Hollywood films, and “The Jazz Singer” is too laughably corny for a racially sensitive soul such as myself to get angry about. (Seriously.) Actually, there’s nothing all that “Jewish” about Politically Incorrect (assuming that one can assign certain characteristics to “Jewishness”) but that’s beside the point. Once again, the American cultural elite has shown itself to be just that collection of cheap, shoddy, decadent bastards that they generally always were, with surprisingly few exceptions (and I won’t mention their private lives). Even if Bill Cosby didn’t drop Quaaludes in unsuspecting women’s drinks, the fact that he belonged to an elite that had done nothing to pull the black underclass out of its misery should give one pause. The fact that this decadent, do-nothing black elite has presided over a virtual cultural genocide for the past four decades in America–while fattening itself off the proceeds of that genocide, and making derisive and condescending speeches about the attendant social catastrophes of those years–should (ideally) piss somebody off.

This elite had a chance to build a new Black Wall Street far beyond anything their counterparts in the 1910s had ever dreamed of, and with far more resources at their disposal. Instead, they were too busy having fun at our expense–buying Bentleys, sniffing coke, jetting off to Rio and dropping roofies in whore’s drinks. And yet these pigs dare scoff at us rank-and-file black men and condescendingly tell us, with a goddamned jock’s sneer, to “man up” and “get a job”!!

*

*Another Bill, Bill O’Reilly, is just a joke, a fucking embarrassment to the neocon/neoliberal establishment, with his idiotic and antiquated Irish ethnic ressentiment towards “fags,” “coloreds” and “commie scum.” O’Reilly makes the white establishment look bad. He is the type of nitwit who appeals to New Jersey cops, Boston barflies, Trumpistani hardhats, and all those dolts in Arkansas who still think the Civil War was fought over “States Rights”–a dinosaur, a throwback to the days of Joe McCarthy and the fucking Honeymooners, so sidelining him is really no skin off Uncle Sam’s backside.  

**Cadillacs were once known disparagingly as “Jew canoes.”

¹Update, June 12, 2017: I actually listened to the show this time, and Ice Cube gave Bill Maher a well-deserved shove in the ribs. And Bill is still not Lenny, so if you haven’t seen the show don’t expect much. Dr. Dyson comes off as rather verbose and disturbingly obsequious.

Brief Reflections on American Prudery (1)

“Still, when I’m not engaged in sexual activity, it makes me sad to think that my arousal is based in crude animality. On the most basic level, there is little difference between my fantasy life and a lion’s mating rituals: male finds desirable female; subdues; ejaculates. Yet I want sex to be a shared delight so strong it releases me from the strictures of everyday living. So the urge to dramatize poses of degradation is what Miller calls “a sultry, passionate rebellion” against the fact that one’s needs do not result in what one wants. I will always want sex to be more than the physical act of intercourse it will always insist on being.”

Hannah Tennant-Moore, A Rosier Crucifixion: the erotic world of Henry Miller

Americans, on the left as well as the right, seem to be using all kinds of rhetorical alibis to justify their fear of human contact; the right uses the old saw of “moral values,” “Christianity” and “immorality” and the left (like good Stalinists) loves to hide behind a solipsistic smokescreen, denouncing heterosexual desire as inherently “phallocentric,” “patriarchal” and “misogynist.” This is not quite true. It is just as idiotic as assuming that all white men are inherently Nazis with a genetic disposition to kill anything that does not look like them. Scratch the surface of either one of these posters and you will find just another uptight middle-class blue-stocking who simply believes that old white, patriarchal notion that sex is essentially “filthy.”

I know what I am talking about. I grew up in Reagan-Era America and attended a Parochial Catholic school which was rife with puritanical views about sex, heterosexual or homosexual, but largely heterosexual. It was an all-male high school. Every other day it was drummed into our heads that sex outside of marriage was “sinful” or that reading Playboy was “immoral” and “disrespectful towards women” and all sorts of other prissy bullshit. And yet the school teachers and administrators turned a blind eye to young male bullies molesting and even raping more vulnerable young boys in study hall, in the bathroom and in the gym shower. In fact homosexual harassment and bullying was so widespread it was considered a joke. I know because such bullying happened to me, and more than once. Yet on the other hand, gays were openly sneered at by the student body, porn (hetero) was passed around under the table and more kinky sex was being had by many of these students than in a public high school. The hypocrisy that these people had concerning sexual matters was so glaring that to this day, I refuse to believe a damned thing that Americans have to say on the subject of sex. The bottom line is that we still think sex is dirty, yet we have found far more creative and convincing ways of justifying our essential hatred of the physical.

The thing that browns me off about all of this is the way that many of these supposedly “liberated” and “self-actualized” women have internalized white, Victorian male paternalism towards their own gender–the main difference being that these women have reshaped these anti-sexual Victorian values to justify their own basic revulsion towards physical contact. It is nothing new, really. Anthony Comstock has made a comeback, albeit shaved, trimmed, toned, wearing hipster clothes and shrieking “misogyny” when he really means “too little morn and too much maid!”

It never ceases to amaze me, even now, how something as beautiful as a woman being confident in herself, in her body, in the power of her sex could be twisted into something dark, something shameful, something dirty. For a long time, I was blinded to its beauty because of that. I felt like I had to answer to society before I answered to myself and allowed parts of me to be hidden because I was afraid of what would happen if I let that truth out.

Sheriden Channel, “Confession: I Have an Insatiable Appetite for Sex”

We “Americans” love to prate on and on about “values.” We throw the word around without even thinking to analyze precisely what we mean when we bring it up.  Values to whom? Values for whom? And what on earth do you “value” so? And what is this thing do you call morality? I already know, the answer’s right there. “Morality” and “values” in that fucking country is simply a choice between putting a dick in your mouth and not putting it in your mouth—that’s all. Keep the dick out of your mouth and you’ll be fine, you won’t go to hell, and Jesus won’t shit all over your ass. You can bomb all the ragheads you please, but please don’t lick your girl’s cunt outside the confines of holy matrimony, because THAT is a sin. If it all sounds idiotic and primitive, that’s because it is.

This is a white, Christian hangup. It is no accident that among people who are not WASP or WASP-oriented (as are Saudis, many South Asians, evangelical Africans, etc.) these hangups are rarely, if ever present. Progressives in Brazil, in Italy, Germany, Japan, Turkey, Ghana, etc. thankfully deal with the issue of male privilege, patriarchy and domination in their own fashion and according to their own respective needs and generally avoid middle-class American solipsism about sexuality. It is very sad to see even progressives in that lousy country (USA) demanding more and more chains under the guise of “security.” If this insanity continues, one day the USA will be the least free nation on earth, and we will have nobody to blame but ourselves and our fear of our own minds and bodies, and our basic stupidity and spinelessness.

To The Blaze, Fox News and Shitefart: Shove it Up Your Ass!!

This is a brief post, and a bit off the cuff.

Fox News–and the rest of the alt-shite bunch–apparently think people’s outrage over fascism is funny. They also think it is illegitimate and uncalled for, and that anyone who opposes them should simply stop whining like children and accept Trump as president. To my mind this is as idiotic as the Germans accepting Adolf Hitler as their chancellor–oh, wait, they already did that 84 years ago. Oops.

Oh, well. No use pulling up that analogy because we already know what happened in Europe six years after Hitler was “elected.” The gist of that fandango was that Der Fuehrer wound up burning Europe to the ground. The silver lining to World War Two was that a weakened Europe made possible the liberation movements of Africa, Asia and the Middle East. But that’s not the point.

The point is that whatever happened between 1933 and 1945 in Germany wasn’t very funny. Well, the alt-shite seems to think that it is. But they are free to laugh their asses off at the prospect of an American Fourth Reich, where protesters and “dindus” and “mudslimes” get gunned down in cold blood. There is no crime–legally, anyway–in laughing at other’s misfortunes. But the alt-shite remains utterly clueless to the untold millions of people who are furious with them, so let’s just let them laugh. Marie-Antoinette also laughed, as did King George III, Fulgencio Batista, and the last Czar of Russia. George Wallace also laughed before he had a few bullets pumped up his ass.

The so-called “Triggly-Prof” who exploded at police on NYU’s campus said exactly what needed to be said, and with the right amount of outrage. It is ludicrous to expect any conscious individual anywhere in the world to simply be “calm” and “objective” and “reasonable” in the face of an ultra-reactionary regime that, to put it very lightly, is doing everything wrong, is an international laughingstock, and thinks that World War Three will be just like the Super Bowl. It is important to protest, even though (admittedly) they have not gotten very far in deterring the Dakota Access Pipeline, let alone throwing Trump, Pence, Bannon, Sessions and all the other honky hoodlums in Guantanamo (where they belong). It is important and central to what a democracy is supposed to be–we all know that the United States has never been one, even from a purely technical standpoint, but that is also beside the point.

WE DON’T ACCEPT THIS ASSHOLE. Period. We are not obliged to accept the clown, let alone suck his goddamn dick.* The honkies and Gunga Din coons cheering him on are still infected with a retrograde British Tory feudal mindset that should have died out two hundred years ago, but didn’t–hence, Southern Culture. Let the rednecks blow his ass if that’s what they want to do. We refuse. We will continue making fun of this clown and driving him nuts until both he and his fucking goon squad call it quits. And if the Feds want to step in and silence us, let them do that; it should give the more milquetoast among us a backbone and stand up IN REAL TIME, and not with cheap memes ridiculing Trump’s fucked-up haircut.

What do I mean when I say STAND UP? Look at the ongoing protests in Romania, for example. And let’s recall how the so-called “Founding Fathers” reacted to England’s various Acts between 1765 and 1774. The very existence of the United States–not to mention the Great Western World–did not come about by holding up peace signs and making memes ridiculing the Kings of England and France, or the Czars, Archdukes, and other semi-feudal overlords of Europe’s past. Today’s “Enlightened West,” replete with functioning toilets, street lamps, subways, newspapers, a “free” press, separation of church and state, etc., came about through conflict.  Omelettes are not made with unbroken eggs.

Of course much of that “conflict” had dire implications for 4/5’s of humanity, something which the clueless and utterly solipsistic alt-shite does not seem to get. “Europe is virtually the creation of the Third World,” Fanon has written. The European/American alt-right can’t get it through their thick skulls that the “Islamofascists” they bitch about are, likewise, the virtual creation of the West, since “Islamofascism” (not withstanding occasional waves of religious fanaticism in pre-1492 Islam) has no precedent in Arab, Turkish, Persian or Mandinkan history before European colonialism. They don’t get it, and they never will. These same pigs squeal about Chicago and Baltimore and Detroit, about the niggers who live there and the “illegals” wreaking havoc, blah blah blah. They squeal so hysterically about it that they never stop to think how in the hell niggers and spics ever ended up in Chicago. The Trumpite thinks Chicago is actually in Africa though any cursory scanning of a map will tell you otherwise. But what’s logical about Trumpism?

The one good thing that can be said about this clique of redneck street thugs (ie., the Trump Cabinet) is that they are succeeding admirably in discrediting the American conservative movement. They have only been in the White House for two weeks, and yet they have done enough damage to American “conservatism” to last 50 years. Give them four more years (God forbid eight) and we will safely shove the American neo-con movement (of which Trump is the ultimate manifestation of, no matter what the alt-shite pretends to believe) on the shelf with Nazism, Stalinism, Pol Pot, Peronism and Jefferson Davis’ Lost Cause.

*If this is what Donald Duck really wants from people like us, then he should buy a one-way ticket to St. Petersburg. I’m sure he’ll have access to all the Russian scags his mouldy old heart desires. 

Cry, the Benighted Country (3): A Short Note on the Election of a Lunatic

Why am I not surprised at the outcome of the election?

And why am I not equally surprised when the redneck rubbish that supported him are now flashing their usual shitty grins, molding their greasy hands at the thought of all the “coons” and other “untermenschen” they think they are going to kill?

To be honest, I have been expecting this outcome since the late 80’s. I am not the only one, either. One of my teachers at Howard University, writer William Joyce, once stated to our class bluntly that “fascism is coming to the United States.” That was literally thirty years ago. Since that time Joyce has had sense enough to leave that ridiculous country behind him and start over in South America. Fascist sentiment among the majority of white Americans has been lurking just beneath the surface of their fat, bloated faces for decades.

However, the “liberals”–in reality, smug, self-satisfied moderates–have never taken such sentiments seriously, because the “liberal” likes to believe that his own sentiments are the laws of the universe.

I remember such “liberals” well. These nicey-nice folk have consistently ridiculed and patronized people such as myself. They have persistently addressed the most pressing problems in the United States and the world at large with what the French refer to as “langue de bois,” or wooden language–in other words, the sterile, idiotic double-speak of the academy. I have tried talking to these castrated buffoons for decades. I have insisted that the essential nature of the United States and of its white majority was fascistic. They called me and people like me “paranoid.” Some even suggested that the “problems” that I was “bitching” about were simply figments of a sexually frustrated imagination. I recall being told–and on more than one occasion–that I needed to just “calm down” and forget about the smoke that was rising from the floorboards of our collective house, that I needed to just “get a woman” or “get a life.”

As if having access to money and a large number of available sexual partners (which I have experienced from time to time) would shield one from the likelihood of getting murdered by the police or by a lynch mob, or stop a nutjob like Trump from becoming the most powerful man in the world.

2_ball
The new/old “settler” America awakens

Today I sit here on social media and read the depressing deluge of bitter messages decrying the election results. I am also reading about wild, savage packs of ofays grabbing women “by the pussy,” scrawling swastikas everywhere, spitting on Muslims, shooting protesters, beating gays to a bloody pulp, slapping Asians and mocking their English (and arresting them for being assaulted). I really don’t have much to say about all that at the moment, other than–I TOLD YOU SO. WE TOLD YOU SO.

WE HAVE BEEN WARNING YOU DUMB MOTHERFUCKERS FOR DECADES ABOUT THESE SO-CALLED “GOOD” AMERICAN PEOPLE, AND ABOUT DEMAGOGUES LIKE DONALD TRUMP. We have told you that these people are no joke, that they don’t give a shit about “your” idea of America. They don’t want a “post-racial” America the way you see it because frankly, they have no idea what that is; they’re afraid of the very thought of what that might entail. They want the America they once knew–Dick van Dyke’s America. In black and white.

Now the truth has been set in your lap.

The truth is that American people would rather have a 70-year old con artist who “grabs women by the pussy” than Green Party candidate Jill Stein. The last thing working white America wanted was a dyke or a kike (or even another nigger) in the Oval Office. The young liberals and self-styled “radicals,” their tender souls “butt-hurt” over real or perceived “microagressions,” stood idly by, frustrated, confused, angry, scratching their empty heads while Hillary’s corrupt neo-liberal goon squad curtly pushed Bernie aside. (To Bernie’s discredit, he did not put up much of a fight after the states refused to count all of his ballots–millions and millions of them. It makes me suspect that Bernie simply threw the whole thing).

The truth is that your average “salt-of-the-earth” white American would rather eat out of the fucking garbage can with that orange-faced circus clown in the Oval Office, rather than sit pretty with a “nigger” in the White House, or with “faggots” sharing his bathroom or his workspace. The truth is that white America really lives in the 1930s (which is the only reason why they still love Swing music) whereas the rest of us are just slightly closer to the 21st century. Your average white Southerner still lives in the 1850s and right now is just salivating at the thought of whipping niggers again, stringing up wetbacks or dune coons and burning them alive. The truth is that the white American mainstream media has been dropping little hints down through the decades–through commercials, ads, movies, books, design, passive-aggressive remarks by politicians from both ends of the political spectrum–that they don’t really want Democracy: they want security and protection of their money and their property. They are SETTLERS. White, European settlers on non-white land. One need only look at white South Africans or Israelis or the pied-noir of Old French Algeria to see the truth of this. Or the British in Kenya. Or the Lebanese in West Africa or Brazil.

In fact, one need only look at a contemporary political map of the United States to see who voted for Herr Trump and who voted for Madame Shillery. The blue areas, who went for the latter, are represented almost entirely by the rotting metropolitan areas of the U.S.–and the red areas (Trump) are represented by the remaining 90+ geographic percentile of the United States. By the settlers, in other words. The map speaks volumes; it means that the bulk of the LAND in that country is in the hands of ultra-reactionary settlers. (It is the LAND that counts, ultimately. It is the LAND that so-called “progressives” in the U.S. should have set their political and social priorities on in the first goddamned place–NOT piece-meal handouts from a government that simply wants to keep its population (especially its minority population) docile.)

Liberals imagine that Democracy, in and of itself, constitutes a bulwark against authoritarianism and ultra-reactionism. They are wrong. In fact, fascism can function quite well within a Democratic framework, providing that the majority of the people within that Democracy harbor strong fascist and racist sentiments. If it is the will of the people to elect fascists to power, then fascists they shall get. This is but one factor that explains Trump’s triumph. (The other factor, of course, is that the so-called “left” made no effort to try and win over the alienated and uneducated poor whites, but instead spent the past four decades calling them “honkies” and “trailer trash.” Hell, even Fanon understood better than that. “The settler,” Fanon wrote, “is not merely someone to be killed.” If the Black Panthers could win over hard-core blue-collar whites into leftism–Chicago poor whites organized the Young Patriots, a group that actually appropriated the Confederate flag by putting a raised fist in it–then there was no reason in hell why the BLM and Occupy crowd could not have done the same.)

The current self-styled radicals–BLM, Occupy and the so-called Social Justice Warriors–brought nothing to the table that could have reasonably attracted some of these toothless poor whites. These “radicals” do not understand that whatever it is they want must be fought for, and most likely with blood. If they had had any common sense they would have worked themselves to the bone to win over enough poor whites to help sway the election. But since they were and are essentially Soros-funded* (like the Arab Spring crowd) and largely middle-class and coddled (and wanting to stay coddled) it simply never occurred to them to bring anything to the political/social/economic table other than angry whining. And the last thing a poor white redneck wants to hear is whining from people he’s been taught to despise for over three centuries.

The poor and middle-income whites–well over half of them–were foolish enough to vote into office a man who as soon watch them starve to death (like the British did the Irish) as he would drool over his own little daughter’s tits. The Latinos who voted for him did so because they hated “negritos” more than whitey did, and sincerely hoped he would keep out those hated “arabicos” and parvenu spics from Mexico who allegedly give Latinos a bad name with their mangled English and crude manners. The Negroes who voted for him were simply a bunch of misguided, macho shines who jump whenever whitey tells them to. Michael Moore accurately predicted that this man would win and that in the months to come, the after-party would turn into a prolonged socio-political-economic Walpurgisnacht. (Remember that this clueless frat-boy is also the Commander-in-Chief of the world’s most powerful army.)

Democratic fascism–fascism within a democratic political framework–has also been defined as “illiberal democracy” by Fareed Zakaria. America has been such since the very beginning. It has not changed.

Don’t be surprised if Donald pulls a Reichstag number by blowing up the fucking White House, or the Lincoln Memorial, or Roosevelt’s face on Mount Rushmore. If he does (through some useful idiots of his own) he’ll forget all the mealy-mouthed crap he’s been talking for the past 3 months or so in a weak attempt to placate Afro-Americans and Latino-Americans. He will turn a blind eye to radical right militia groups (in the US) if they decide to go on a bloody racist rampage. And since he seems to love Putin so much we should not be surprised if Trump takes it upon himself to mimic the worst aspects of the man–but in his own way. He has been a proven liar and backstabber. He is not above jettisoning all semblance of democratic order (not that there is much anymore in the US) and simply imposing flat-out martial law. He will stab the white working classes in the back; he won’t give them a penny, much less their old coal-mining jobs back. (And why would be, seeing that coal mining is now done largely by machines?)

It has been argued by some that Trump is not a true conservative; that he is, in fact, a liberal in far-right populist clothing. I don’t believe this is true. Donald Trump is only about–well, Donald Trump. This is old news. I predict that he will line his own purse with all the money he can steal from America, then hop on the soonest plane to St. Petersburg when the bombs start to drop. History will not look very kindly upon Trump and the alt-right “mainstream,” to put it very gently. After all Julius Streicher and Goebbels used to be the German “mainstream” eighty years ago.

Speaking of Nazi Germany–has anyone noticed that 11/9, in addition to being 9/11 in reverse, is also the anniversary of the infamous Kristallnacht of 1938?

*open to debate. I’m beginning to suspect that all these twitter and Facebook radicals who shriek about Soros are simply tagging him as an example of alleged “Jewish” control of the world.

Henry Miller, the Cops, and Keith Lamont Scott

“Months have passed since the incident and yet I can’t forget his face, his manner, his whole being. He’s a man, and I can say it calmly and soberly, whom I could kill in cold blood. I could shoot him down in the dark and go quietly about my business, as if I had just brushed a mosquito off my arm.

“He was unclean, unfit to associate with human kind, even with those misfits behind the bars. As long as I live I shall never forget that cruel, ash-grey face, those cold, beady man-hunter’s eyes. I hate him and all that he stands for. I hate him with an undying hatred. I would a thousand times rather be the most incorrigible convict than this hireling of those who are trying to maintain law and order. Law and order! Finally, when you see it staring at you through the barrel of a rifle, you know what it means. A bas puissance, justice, histoire! If society has to be protected by these inhuman monsters then to hell with society! If at the bottom of law and order there is only a man armed to the teeth, a man without a heart, without a conscience, then law and order are meaningless.”

–Henry Miller, “The Soul of Anesthesia,” The Air-Conditioned Nightmare.

*

Miller’s books are a grab-bag of sheer genius, sharp insight, German romantic bombast, and occasionally flat-out nonsense. Sometimes all four can manifest themselves on the same page, or even the same sentence. I have always been a fan of his works. Personally I take issue with his Orientalizing of blacks, Chinese, Jews, and others whom he idolizes as much as he trashes (well, that is Miller for you: he is, or was, a walking mass of contradictions). And you can have his romanticized view of the Old South, which comes perilously close to that reactionist old-school Agrarian crap–the kind of nonsense that Allen Tate and Company eulogized in I’ll Take My Stand (1929).

As a self-admitted “Brooklyn Boy,” I don’t think Miller ever truly understood what the South was all about, anymore than he truly understood Jews or African Americans or in particular the Chinese, whom he was overtly fond of extolling in long rhapsodic passages in his books. Miller was a first-generation German-American profoundly alienated from mainstream American culture. For Miller, the Others–whether artists like Kenneth Patchen, Beauford Delaney or Dr. Marion Souchon, or Jews (like Bezalel Schatz or his second wife, June Smerdt-Smith-Mansfield-Miller-Corbett), or blacks (like Duke Ellington, Delaney, DuBois and Armstrong)–were screens onto which he projected his own rage and disgust at Anglo-Celtic-Germanic America. Miller extols Patchen and Delany to tear down a philistine America. Not that it was necessarily a bad thing, however: Anglo-America needed it. It still does. But all of this is beside the point.

I did not need Henry Miller to tell me anything about the brutality of American police, because I already know what American police are capable of. I posted the above quote because Miller’s sentiments about American law enforcement are precisely in alignment with my own. Miller’s disgust corroborates my own. Miller’s rejection of America’s phony sense of innocence regarding its treatment of criminals–not to mention the very society and culture that helps spawn these criminals–corroborates my own.

Keith Lamont Scott was not a criminal, but the cops in Charlotte-Mecklenburg wished to believe that he was. It’s an old, old story. Today the police in Charlotte have “confirmed” (not) that Keith Lamont Scott, who was killed on Tuesday, September 19th, actually did have a gun in his hands when they confronted him. Purportedly, the video footage (if one looks hard enough) shows that Mr. Scott was armed. According to Yahoo News:

Police say Scott was holding a handgun, which investigators recovered from an apartment complex in Charlotte, and posed a threat because he was not obeying police orders to remain in his vehicle and drop the weapon. An officer subsequently fired his gun, hitting Scott, who was later pronounced dead.

Scott’s family, however, said he was not armed and was holding a book while waiting for his son to be dropped off from school.

The officers were searching for a suspect who had an outstanding warrant, according to a police statement. Police said Scott was not the suspect officers sought.

Police have identified the officer involved in the shooting as Brentley Vinson, who has been employed with the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department since July 21, 2014, and is currently assigned to the metro division. He has been placed on paid administrative leave as the investigation continues, according to Putney.

Vinson was not wearing a body camera at the time, but the other officers who responded to the incident were.

My answer to all of this is simple. It does not matter if the late Mr. Scott was or was not carrying a gun in confrontation with the cops. I have not seen the footage. In my mind, it does not matter whether I see the footage or not. I am convinced that Mr. Scott would have been killed whether he was or was not armed. In that case he would have been better off taking one of those suited-up thugs with him to the other side.

There is really no point in going over this ground again. To quote the late, great James Baldwin, “it has been said, and said, and said; it has been heard and not heard.” It is well known that the American police, like the bulk of law enforcers the world over, simply do not, never have and never will have the interests of the average man or woman on their front burners. The cops may be human beings, but they serve the interests of beasts. The cops are in the streets of Charlotte, Washington, D.C., Houston, Baton Rouge, Baltimore, London, Paris, Harare, Mumbai, Istanbul and other urban cesspools to maintain what the elite of these respective nations has determined to be “order.”

This “order” can be spelled out in layman’s terms. We already know what it means. The order is a pyramid. We know that; it’s just that we are generally far at the bottom of the pyramid or, just perhaps, somewhere in the center, sandwiched between the big shits in the capstone and unwittingly putting more weight on those at the bottom of it. Those at the bottom are generally black, generally Africans, and carrying the stinking weight of the world. For them, life is often more unbearable than death; yet we wonder why so many of them resort to drugs or alcohol or kill each other in impotent rage, filled with anger that they feel they can’t take out on a cop, let alone an Elite. For the elites, life is generally light, airy, whimsical, full of humor and goofy things; that Hollywood actor is always full of gags if he’s not full of drugs.

But there is a difference. Mister Mega-Star takes drugs because it’s fashionable, not because he can’t deal with the struggle to feed himself, let alone his family. He can live wherever he wishes; he can have the sex partner or car of his choice, and show up wherever in the world he feels like in the blink of an eye. Hell, he can buy an island! If he feels miserable, it’s his own undoing, not that of society, since he IS society: his misery is simply an existential hangover, a feeling of emptiness, a crisis of conscience after being confronted with the cold reality of his fake, shallow lifestyle: Jay Gatsby multiplied by a thousand.

Mister Gatsby has several McMansions at his disposal; the poor darkie is lucky to have a room in a flophouse. Mister Gatsby is a gourmand who enjoys dining and stuffing himself until he bursts; the poor darkie who does the same in a fast food joint is a glutton. Mister Gatsby “collects” things but that blue-collar darkie is just wasting his money buying sneakers. Mister Gatsby has super-models waiting on him hand and foot, ready to sacrifice whatever radical feminist sentiments they may hold dear at a moment’s notice. The poor darkie, or wetback, or gook, who does the same, is “promiscuous,” not a “playboy.” His woman is a “skank” and a “hoodrat.” If he has no status within his community he has to content himself with his imagination; outside of his head, people flee from him in horror. He uses his right hand, or pretends he is gay; every day you see him haunting peep show booths and adult book stores, smelling like a goat and pawing over young men on buses and subways.  The entire value system of the society is determined strictly by color, even more so than class–which explains why an outrageous elite snob like Bill Cosby can have his reputation irreparably damaged yet Roman Polanski, Woody Allen or even Ed Gein and Charles Manson can be begrudgingly admired as “outlaws.”

Lousy food, lousy education, shitty housing, filthy streets, dysfunctional families, high unemployment or underemployment, tainted water, unclean air, a staggering murder rate, an out-of-control drug trade–not to mention the proliferation of alcohol establishments and shady “store-front” churches that no one likes to talk about: this is the world of the poor darkie. (The last two are just part of an underground economy in the black ghettos that has existed for literally centuries; again, nobody likes to talk about it.) This world is not “Africa” or “Ape-frica”: it is simply the dirty end of the American cloth, the one Uncle Sam uses to wipe his ass with. This “order” exists all over the world in varying degrees of severity. Not all of the ghettos are “black,” of course–sometimes they are white–but they might as well be: “black” is not a race, it’s a condition, as well as a state of mind. The overwhelming majority of the elites are on the precise opposite end of the color/caste spectrum, even if a few happen to be blacker than my wallet.

In other words, the very existence of cops is to protect Mister Gatsby from the poor darkie.

So in re-reading the above statement by Henry Miller, I am willing to absolve any one in those Benighted States who deems it necessary to carry a gun to defend himself against the cops. My heart does not in any way bleed for a cop shot in the head by some random citizen. Maybe I’m wrong on this score; maybe a murdered cop can be a “good guy.” But we all know that these “good cops” have usually toed the thin blue line of silence and complicity and kept their goddamned mouths shut as to the large number of domestic terrorists* among their ranks. Moreover, the police in America (and elsewhere) have made it perfectly clear that they see black people as moving targets. And seeing how they treat Native Americans on a regular basis, these cops still see themselves as a bunch of gun-toting cowboys–settlers, in other words. White, European settlers on red land.

We Afro-Americans know more than most that the cops are not our “buddies.” They are nobody’s friend, in spite of a few shining examples of cops who are caught doing some wonderful, charming things like buying ice cream for kids, or leading prayers, or partying–all caught on video camera to show the human side of an overwhelmingly oppressive force. Personally, I could fucking care less. A storm-trooper is a storm-trooper, even if he is doing the Charleston or the Suzy-Q. A nazi is a nazi, no matter if he reads my books or digs my paintings or my music. That nazi does not cease to be a nazi even if he takes off his uniform. He has to drop not only the Nazi ideology but the emotional and irrational racialism that made him put on the uniform in the first place.

There are many idiots, even avowed “liberals,” even Blacks, who still insist that in spite of the rapidly mounting evidence of police corruption and brutality, that The Law is The Law. It is not possible to tell these idiots that their forefathers spoke those exact same words at the height of Southern Jim Crow or even during slavery itself, or that Hitler’s, Stalin’s and Mao’s stooges operated precisely upon this same principle. No, sir. The Law is NOT The Law when it is 1) written by greedy psychopaths for the benefit of greedy psychopaths; 2) reinforced by murderous thugs. The Law is not Holy Writ. When the two situations above mutually manifest themselves within a given society, “The Law” has lost all moral authority–in which case, there has to be a new Law. But before there can be a New Law there must be a new and more just order. Until that time, citizens are obliged to defend themselves–even if violently–against the current socio-political Mafia that calls itself the New World Order.

*

“He had paid for his crimes in full, that is my belief,” writes Henry Miller. “If he should commit fresh ones I would blame it on the police, on the lawmakers, on the educators, on the clergy, on all those who believe in punishment, who refuse to help a man when he is down or try to understand him when in impotent rage he turns against the world. It doesn’t matter to me what crimes are chalked up against Clausen; our crimes, all of us who are on the outside, who go off scott-free, are greater. If we did not actually force him to become a criminal we most certainly helped him to remain one. And in speaking of Bud Clausen I am speaking for the great majority of men and women who suffered the same fate; I am speaking for all those to come, who will follow in his foot-steps and who have no redress until we on the outside become more enlightened and more humane.”

Thanks, Henry.

 

*It has been found that a disproportionate number of neo-Nazis and closet Klan members have also infiltrated America’s police, as well as America’s military (or “killitary,” to be more accurate). 

Cry, the Benighted Country: No More Gifts or, “Which Side are the Savages on?”

“This letter is a gift for you. Bear in mind, though, that some gifts can be heavy to bear. You don’t have to accept it; there is no obligation. I give it freely, believing that many of you will throw the gift back in my face, saying that I wrongly accuse you, that I am too sensitive, that I’m a race hustler, and that I blame white people (you) for everything.” George Yancy, “Dear White America,” New York Times, Dec. 24, 2015

I’m sorry, but statements like the above make my eyes hurt. I see exactly what the author intended in writing his open letter to White America. What I don’t understand is why he felt he had to write it.

Between this letter and the massive wave of police terror afflicting black and brown (and, apparently, young white) people in the United States, absolutely nothing is new. The only thing that has surprised me is the speed with which the scales have fallen from our eyes concerning America these past two years. In spite of a black President, in spite of the enormous contributions that African Americans have offered to those United States, we are still considered somehow inferior, unworthy of the same respect shown people who are not black. Even our own elite conspires to keep the bulk of us at the bottom of the world’s racial totem pole: by refusing to invest their hundreds of billions in poor black communities, by refusing to educate those of us who are semi-literate (or worse), house our homeless and keep the drugs off the streets and the gangsters from destroying the lives of our children. Better yet, our elite has never once given a thought to creating industries that can offer employment to millions of African Americans; instead they hoard their money somewhere on some little island in the Caribbean, and blow it on dope, hookers, fancy cars and McMansions. Meanwhile, everyday black people keep getting casually gunned down–if not by cops then certainly by thugs from within the community and racist scum from without.

I repeat: none of this is new, save for the cell phones recording it.

 

I have heard–and in some cases witnessed–horror stories involving the police wherever I’ve been in the United States. One of my older brothers, who is autistic, was brutally beaten by P.G.County Police about 20 years ago. My youngest brother, who doesn’t have a criminal record, was pulled over by the police for kicks and called “boy,” among other things. When I was a student at Howard University, I overheard a story about a young pregnant woman (in D.C.) who was body-slammed on the sidewalk by an irate rookie cop; the two drunks (both black) who were telling the tale were laughing about it. My mother spoke of an incident in the 80s in which a cop literally rode upon the back of a black “suspect” as one would ride a horse–in broad daylight. At Howard, the campus police could be as thuggish and corrupt as the police off-campus; in fact, campus police once casually brutalized a fellow student who turned out to be the son of Andrew Young. (As a side note: decades earlier, an uncle of mine was lynched in Depression-Era Florida by a mob of rednecks; my father witnessed it first-hand.)

I witnessed one loathsome incident back around 1992. It was directly in front of the Martin Luther King Memorial Library, ironically enough. There was a drunken black man being collared on the ground in front of the library being taunted and tortured by a black DC cop. I referenced this incident in my previous novel, “NATE,” published in 2006. The only people who had stopped to stare at the incident were blacks and an occasional white; everyone else kept passing by, I wrote, unmoved, unconcerned. It was true.

Many years later and I would find a cop in front of our door in Langley Park, Maryland, after my mother called to report a racist incident being perpetrated by our Latino neighbors. I recall talking to the cop and he appeared to be trying to say two things at once—the first thing being the words which could be heard and the second carefully couched whispers under his breath. I realized what the cop was telling me under his breath: fuck your mother. He said it more than once. It was a white cop with a Latino partner.

Naturally, I didn’t fall for the bait.

After that incident, and a number of others, I became convinced that a lot of the police brutality incidents were in fact carefully (and perhaps subtly) provoked by the officers themselves—they knowing full well that they are policing communities full of desperate, despairing, angry, divided, bitter people. And for sheer spite and a petty sense of their own omnipotence, these rogue cops continued to subtly and overtly push people around.

George Yancy wrote an article for the New York Times in December of 2015. The gist of the article was a plea—yet another—on the part of Black America to White America. After three centuries of such pleas on Black America it does not bear repeating what the gist of this plea is. We already know it, or should know it.

I have read many of your comments. I have even received some hate mail. In this letter, I ask you to look deep, to look into your souls with silence, to quiet that voice that will speak to you of your white “innocence.” So, as you read this letter, take a deep breath. Make a space for my voice in the deepest part of your psyche. Try to listen, to practice being silent. There are times when you must quiet your own voice to hear from or about those who suffer in ways that you do not.

In other words, it is the same old hoagie sandwich in a new wrapper. White America, I really am a human being. White America, accept me as your brother. For I really am your brother. I bleed like you. I eat, drink, vomit, defecate, urinate, copulate, walk, talk, sing, dance and even die like you. In fact, I may even be related to you.

The sad part about this plea is that—like countless other attempts on the part of black intellectuals to gain the ear of White America—it passed unnoticed, unheard. George Yancy shouted his self-effacing and mock-eloquent words into a massive white void where nothing of substance gets heard, anyway. It is hard to be heard above a sea of racial slurs, fat demagogues, ringtones and auto-tuned, Stepinfetchit gangsta rap.

What if I told you that I’m sexist? Well, I am. Yes. I said it and I mean just that. I have watched my male students squirm in their seats when I’ve asked them to identify and talk about their sexism. There are few men, I suspect, who would say that they are sexists, and even fewer would admit that their sexism actually oppresses women. Certainly not publicly, as I’ve just done. No taking it back now.

In my opinion, Mr. Yancy is demanding far more from White America than what it can possibly give. His plea is couched in abstraction and riddled with clueless idealism. I would assume that Mr. Yancy is not a stupid man, and not half as blind as he makes himself out to be. I say “blind,” because somehow Yancy conflates his sexist tendencies with the overwhelmingly oppressive power of a racist state which, as it turns out, is the most powerful nation on earth—a state that can literally erase him at the slightest whim, with not a tear shed, and with the flimsiest of alibis. Yancy confuses his having been “fed a poisonous diet of images that fragment women into mere body parts” with America’s massive adult entertainment industry, which actually provides such sexual malnourishment to hundreds of millions around the world.

Meanwhile, Michael Eric Dyson has a few choice words of his own–his own “gift” to White America, one could say–concerning America’s KKKiller KKKop Mania.

 You hold an entire population of Muslims accountable for the evil acts of a few. Yet you rarely muster the courage to put down your binoculars, and with them, your corrosive self-pity, and see what we see. You say religions and cultures breed violence stoked by the complicity of silence because peoples will not denounce the villains who act in their names.

Yet you do the same. In the aftermath of these deaths, you do not all condemn these cops; to do so, you would have to condemn the culture that produced them — the same culture that produced you. Condemning a culture is not inciting hate. That is very important. Yet black people will continue to die at the hands of cops as long as we deny that whiteness can be more important in explaining those cops’ behavior than anything else.

You cannot know how we secretly curse the cowardice of whites who know what I write is true, but dare not say it. Neither will your smug insistence that you are different — not like that ocean of unenlightened whites — satisfy us any longer. It makes the killings worse to know that your disapproval of them has spared your reputations and not our lives.

You do not know that after we get angry with you, we get even angrier with ourselves, because we don’t know how to make you stop, or how to make you care enough to stop those who pull the triggers. We do not know what to do now that sadness is compounded by more sadness.

Oh, well. Dyson says here what has been said countless times before, from Douglass to Baldwin to Ishmael Reed. The white majority response to such remarks has always been the same, their reprisals  only slightly softening with each passing decade. But from day one the overall intent of the white majority towards Blacks in the U.S. has been unwavering.

The intent is to keep the niggers corralled. Keep the niggers in their proper place. Keep the niggers from freaking out—or, to be more precise, to keep African Americans from fully recognizing that when they bleed, it is no different than when a European or a Euro-American bleeds; that like any other people on the planet, they have a right to their own outrage and moral indignation, and that they have the human right to redress and ultimately correct the injustices heaped upon them in any way they see fit.

But the African American is not an abstract concept that can be manipulated and defined by entertainment execs or U.S. senators or alt-right demagogues or Tom Wolfe. The African American is a human being, and demands to be recognized as a human being. The African American is not “different,” deep down. All we “want” is what everyone else wants—to live, no more or no less free as anyone else on this planet.

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“Which side are the savages on? Where is barbarism?”

If your average white American bled like the black American bled; if the average white American lived merely one week in the body of the average black American; if the average white American were forced to live just for five months as a Native American in the bowels of the Oglala Reservation, or a Puerto Rican in Spanish Harlem, or a Salvadoran in Langley Park, Maryland, the entire country—and not just white Americans—would be screaming for a bloody revolution. The rest of the country would fall in line with the rebellious white man without a second thought, because in America—even today—whatever any white man says is elevated far above what anyone else has to say. The white American’s views of reality are held as the laws of the universe, and this unfortunate fact has led hundreds of millions of people around the world to embrace the neo-coon Rap culture, to beat niggers and firebomb mosques, or to take a fat, ignorant thug like Trump seriously.

In fact, it took far less abuse from England to rouse the American colonists to revolt against the British crown. And it is considered not only just, but necessary, for a Ukrainian, or a Chinese, or a Romanian, or an Egyptian, or a Libyan to take up arms against a corrupt regime. Of course one must remember that the American mass media takes great care in defining precisely which Egyptians, or Romanians, or Libyans are actual “revolutionaries” and which ones are simply “terrorists”; and those of us who understand the U.S. media know damned well that all too often, those freedom fighters designated as “terrorists” are those who are fighting for interests not compatible with those of the U.S. Government, or U.S. economic interests.

“They require of me a song,” James Baldwin once said, “less to celebrate my captivity than to justify their own.”

How the Black Lives Matter Movement fits into this remains to be seen; judging by the rough treatment they receive at the hands of American police, and their demonization in the American mass media, one would think that the aims of BLM are precisely in opposition to those of the American State. Actually, in a real sense, they are: for the American State—judging by its bloody record alone—has never given serious consideration to the civil rights or the human rights of African Americans. The 13th, 14th and 15th amendments to the Constitution have been repeatedly violated in cases too numerous to mention here.

But I doubt this new movement’s ability to implement change in America. I have the gut feeling that BLM is essentially a controlled opposition, funded and directed by the same oppressive force it appears to confront. Maybe I’m wrong. But I have noticed a glaring difference between BLM’s reaction to the death of an African-American, no matter how socially dubious–and that of a non-black. When Dylan Noble, an unarmed, emotionally disturbed 19 year old white man, was casually killed on June 25th by Fresno, CA police, BLM was mum. They were equally silent when, in the previous week, six Latinos–Anthony Nunez, Fermin Vincent Valenzuela, Vinson Ramos, Melissa Ventura, Pedro Villanueva and Raul Saavedra-Vargas–were gunned down in cold blood by “America’s Finest.” Tactically, this is as mindbogglingly stupid as it is racially divisive. I’m no conspiracy theorist, but I feel that there is an ugly method in such madness from this new movement–if one can call it a movement.

Whether BLM will up the ante by striking at the heart of American racist oppression–that is, the American economy–remains to be seen. Their hearts appear to be in the right place. But at my age–and having seen a previous (and much milder) pro-black surge in the late eighties to early nineties–I know that these kids are barely making a scratch upon the behemoth of racist oppression in the United States. The “Black Lives Matter” movement is howling into that same white void–the void of white noise–that Dr. Yancy and Dr. Dyson shouted into, and with the same result: stasis.

*

Black America has given enough “gifts” to White America. Pick virtually any era and one can find such “gifts” in abundance. Our own bare, black asses were “gifts” from Africa, by which both Northern and Southern slave-owners used to build the very foundations of the American metropolis; indeed, much of the White House and the Capitol was built by slave labor. (And let’s not mention Crispus Attucks and Benjamin Banneker.) In the 1890s, at the beginning of the “Nadir” of race relations in the United States, Americans were given the gift of Ragtime—the first truly American musical art form. (Naturally, Native Americans mght dispute this, with good reason.) For decades after that the “gifts” came and went: Jazz (via King Oliver, Duke Ellington, Louis Armstrong, Bessie Smith, Lester Young, Charlie Parker, Sonny Rollins, etc.), The Negro Renaissance (via Langston Hughes, Countee Cullen, Alain Locke, W.E.B. DuBois and too many other names to mention here), and innumerable inventions such as the golf-tee, the light-bulb filament, the ironing board, the gas mask, mobile blood banks, the internet, the cotton gin, ice cream, the potato chip, and food which was actually edible and a way of speaking English that didn’t stink of England. And a new way of comprehending reality–particularly among black intellectuals–that offered a spiritual alternative to the colonial cultures imposed upon the rest of the world by Europe. Hip-hop was but one of the manifestations of this new spiritual reality.

I, myself, and many of my artist friends who are black, have offered our own gifts to America; some of us have pleaded and continue to plead with white America to recognize our humanity. I, for one, never bothered and will never bother to plead my humanity to a group of people who, collectively speaking, always thought of me and my life as a bad joke. I personally don’t see the point of giving anything to such a people. America, at this stage in history, is not worth the trouble. It persistently demands of Black America that we “like” them. Unfortunately, in America these days, there doesn’t seem to be very much to like. I don’t need to waste my time tallying a laundry list of America’s ills, since the reader can find these details elsewhere, and in abundance.

America is not the center of the Universe. There are certainly other nations on earth where a creative black person can apply his or her genius, talent and drive. White America imagines that we have no memories and no history; they are wrong. They have almost always been wrong about the world, and most particularly about their own countrymen. They have never known us, anymore than they have known themselves, or anybody else on earth. We already know what our past gift-bearers have gotten in return for their “love” of America.

No: it’s too late. Worse, actually: it’s over. Done.

*

When Frederick Douglass declared in his Fourth of July speech that the crimes committed against black Americans* would “disgrace a nation of savages,” he was not being hyperbolic, but stating a simple fact. The worst crime committed by these white American savages has not, ironically, been these countless lynchings, beatings, burnings, brandings, castrations, rapes, nor scorched-earth pogroms such as Wounded Knee or Elaine, Arkansas (where up to 600 blacks were butchered in 1919). It has been the outright insistence that the African American—particularly the African American—be “happy” in the face of such systematic dehumanization.

“They require of me a song,” James Baldwin once said, “less to celebrate my captivity than to justify their own.” The African American was told to smile when getting raped and to tap-dance after being castrated; and to add insult to injury, the narratives of such sickening racist brutality were either denied outright, dismissed as “paranoia” or, still worse, carefully re-shaped to appear as comedy. It makes one ask the question that Jean-Paul Sartre asked, in his well-known preface to The Wretched of the Earth, “which side are the savages on?”

 

*Douglass could have just as well mentioned Native Americans, or the Chinese or even the Irish.