The Global African: How Neoliberalism Infiltrated Black Politics

The more I examine the cancer that is neo-liberalism, the more I believe that the alt-right is merely a late-stage symptom of this political cancer. Neo-liberalism, being a sort of low-grade fascism to begin with (Mussolini himself defined fascism as a marriage between politics and corporate interests, a phenomenon which explains Neoliberalism perfectly, though few people want to admit this), will naturally manifest in its most extreme stages as Neo-Nazism. It is in the nature of Neoliberalism to absorb every opposition movement and turn it into one of its own. In fact it may very well be that the current opposition to the current world order is simply one of the many, many heads on this big bloated serpent called Neoliberalism, only a far prettier and more agreeable one. If this is true (and it’s still up for debate just how “real” the opposition to the current world political establishment is) then one can breathe a sigh of relief knowing that the many heads on the Neoliberalist serpent are beginning to bite each other.

So will Neoliberalism destroy itself? One can only hope. The only problem is this–what can we replace Neoliberalism with? A retooled and refined left-Socialism? Or a return to the ideals of the so-called “Great Society” of Lyndon Johnson which, on close scrutiny, weren’t all that great?

Beastrabban\'s Weblog

This is fascinating. It’s an attack on Neoliberalism from a Black American perspective, talking about the harm it has done to Black communities, churches, politics and people’s personal psychology and sense of self-worth. In this piece from the Global African, there’s a discussion between the host, Bill Fletcher, and a professor of Black Studies at Johns Hopkins university, Lester Spence about the harmful effects of Neoliberal economics. The second segment talks about the Paris conference on Climate Change, and the implications this has for communities in the Developing World.

They’re both important issues, but the piece that interested me was the first half, the critique of Neoliberal economics. Lester Spence, the professor being interviewed, has written a book about it. Apart from the economic theory itself, he also wanted to correct and supplement some of the ideas in Cornel West’s book, Racial Matters, and a work on Neoliberalism by a…

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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.

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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.”

Thank you, Mister Miller.

 

*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). 

On the Unrelenting Horror that is the Third World

The so-called “Third World” is the biggest carrier of the disease of White Imperialism; in fact all of the sicknesses and taints of European thought and values, all of their lies, ignorance and stupidity, are magnified a hundred-fold in the so-called Third World. Third World does not connote anything positive. Third World is a by-word for everything wrong in the Universe.

The so-called Third World is obsessed with keeping alive all the old values of Queen Victoria, King Leopold, Cecil Rhodes, Woodrow Wilson, Teddy Roosevelt and other imperialist scum while in the West, young whites are increasingly rejecting these same rotten values. Therefore the invasion of the West by uneducated and misguided refugees does not represent a positive browning of Europe; it does not represent any kind of “de-honkification”; if anything it is, ironically, a re-honkification of the Western World for reasons stated above. The refugee, in some respects, is even more of a white man than the contemporary European, depending upon his class and educational status. The refugee—to say nothing of the African, Arab and Asian elite—maintains white, honky values at their purest and most racist, because he or she has either not been properly educated, or the education they have received is generally Westernized, or—most likely—the minds of too many of these refugees have already been contaminated with bad Western ideas and values. When they are educated, it is invariably a cracker education since the so-called Third World has not even attempted to revolutionize its own educational systems; they have not even thought about creating entirely new and improved systems of education that may rival or even surpass Western systems.

The task of the Third World, upon liberation from Western Colonialism, was to build an entirely new set of civilizations–NOT to serve as vassal states, or appendices or apprentices to the rotten white First World. The task of Africa, Asia, and Latin America was to create a viable alternative to Western Civilization. Instead what we got was Europe on steroids, but in blackface–and still more or less owned by Europe and/or America. What we got was more of the same white, honky bullshit, but dressed up to look “African” or “African-American” or “Brazilian” or “Indian” or “Nigerian” or “Vietnamese” or “Chinese” or even “Romanian” (if you can call Romania Third World, which it practically is in many respects).

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The end result of a Saudi bombing in Yemen, 2016

Please note: Nigger and Honky are two flip sides of the same coin, and always have been. Scratch a nigger and you will always find a honky bleeding.

Is it any surprise that the Third World is completely fucked, and will continue to collapse just as the First World continues its own implosion? This author is not. He has not seen it all but he would naturally assume that the so-called “Third World” would belly up when the West bellies up, because Third Worlders suffer from a horrible dependency complex. The election of either Trump or Hillary will essentially spell the end of the West as we know it, as the US is the leader of the alleged “Free World” (free for those who can afford it, of course). And since your average Third World big shit lacks ideas of his own, we should expect the Third World to ape America once again. They always do, and without fail. Every single US-influenced nation will probably take Trump’s lead and elect a lunatic dictator.

If this happens, the bulk of the blame for the ensuing Armageddon must naturally go to the Third World. Because they represent the lion’s share of humanity; because their nations are in desperate need of retooling in every conceivable area, they hold the responsibility of reshaping world civilization; they hold the responsibility of holding the greedy and war-profiteering capitalist West in check. Their primary responsibility is to THEIR OWN PEOPLE.

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End result of a Muslim jihad in Thailand, 2008

Instead, they have repeatedly shirked this responsibility and served as hand-maidens, butlers, shoe-shine boys and prostitutes to Europe and America, often literally: Morocco, Tunisia, Brazil, DR, Kenya, Thailand, Indonesia and countless other so-called “Third World” nations are nothing but cheap brothels for the Developed World.

Morally speaking, these people are arguably worse than the average European or White American. The bulk of the blame for their moral degeneracy, naturally, must be placed on the shoulders of the Third World middle-classes and elites, who (with few exceptions) are the nastiest and most disgusting human beings ever to walk planet earth. They already have their own Hitlers; they have yet to start a World War. Unfortunately, that possibility cannot be ruled out, as nobody in the world seems to have the balls to try and stop them. The Indonesian elite, the Malay elite, the Rwandan elite, Congolese elite, Tunisian elite, Libyan elite, Egyptian elite, Nigerian elite, Chinese elite, Afghani elite and the Brazilian elite (just to cite a few of these respective horrors) can’t be criticized or exposed.

Of course not. There is no genuine intellectual tradition among these elites, short of sodomizing scholars, or baking students in ovens or simply forcing intellectuals into exile, into isolation in the West. Many of these intellectuals are themselves fraudulent, of course.

In the end we don’t have a new world, we don’t have a new civilization or any new way of thinking; just a bunch of ugly, dirty cities that look like a bunch of rotting projects; just illiteracy, disease, rudeness, vulgar tribalism, insanity, war, open sewers clogged with shit, rotting carcasses and flies. We have a return to feudalism and the bloodthirsty spirit of Neanderthal Man in blackface. The white man loves it, because it serves to make him look far more civilized and cultivated than he actually is. Every second the white racist whines about niggers and gooks but that is really just a part of the fun: dim-witted coonery and monkeyshines has always been a hot-ticket item for fat Western tourists.

The next great revolution should not be against the West, believe it or not: it should be against that stinking monstrosity the so-called “Third World,” the West’s loathsome half-castes; the half-Westerners who do the white man’s dirty work and who (as we should see) are indispensable to the success of the Western imperial adventure. For every redneck singing “Dixie” there are a hundred niggers, gooks and spics providing the back-up harmonies. They think the redneck is God. Without these spineless bastards, white supremacy would be defeated in a matter of months.

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.