is a shop of wealthy men and women, with few exceptions.
Corporate CEOs do not invite the homeless to parties at
their mansions. They invite politicians, who they identify
with and who support the interests of the corporation
on the invitation notice. Wall Street bankers identify
with other Wall Street executives because they share the
same interests, the same ritzy hotel spots at the same
Bachmann and Rick Perry identify with the “religious right”
and promote “conservative values.” Barrack Obama cannot
identify with Black Americans or Chicanos or Indigenous
peoples in the U.S. Black politicians, corporate workers,
banking employees cannot be Black, let alone identify
with Black America.
vast majority of Black Americans, regardless of class
or gender, identify with the dominate ideological structure
in the U.S.,
and that ideological structure manifests itself in the
political, social, cultural, and educational milieu. That
social and cultural milieu dares anyone to be Black
is not surprising that the Black “collective” in the United
States is fragmented. It is a “collective”
held together not by individuals making intelligent, self-determining
decisions based on free choice, but by a “collective”
manipulated externally in order to forget its past and
its role as the opposition in struggle with the
adaptable mechanisms employed by the dominate ideology
to maintain control over the Earth’s resources and proliferation
of information, knowledge.
American liberals backed away from movements to secure
labor rights and women’s rights in order to identify with
and further privilege the hierarchical, patriarchal, white
supremacist ideology that promotes greed, profits, competition,
and hatred before compassion, solidarity.
just happened! If anything, the ideology was not
killed in 1776. At the end of the American Revolution,
it was still there. It was not killed with the freeing
of enslaved Blacks or the creation of labor unions and
labor rights or with the election of FDR or JFK. It was
not killed with the Civil Rights or Women’s Movements.
Analytical and common sense understanding of the inhumanity
of war after war, the countless dead and maimed paid for
by taxpaying Americans, did not kill the ideology. “Sensitivity
training” and “diversity” seminars have not killed it.
of local police corruption and Oval Office cover-ups has
not killed it. Neither attending a Pow Pow, nor voting
for Obama, nor donning straight long hair to camouflage
a Black body, nor the purchase of a Blackberry and an
I Pod, or even eating organic food, killed the ideology.
remains more than a figment in the imagination of more
than a few people. And you can call them crazy, if you
dare, and dismiss them at your risk, but they never let
go of the idea. For them, the utopian image of themselves,
like Narcissus, reflected in the waters we drink and in
the air we breathe.
And the “love” of Self ideology has been contagious!
Dr. John Henrik Clarke were alive, he would say that this
contagious “love” affair with the Self assisted in the
conquering of communal societies in Africa and other similar
societies and, throughout history to our time now, the
exportation of the European Thought has successfully advanced
to groom the next generation of talking heads and uniformed
“patriots,” to radicalize the next Osama Bin Laden, and
to “baptize” and “educate” the next Black baby born.
will say, but wait, I hear bitterness! Didn’t James
Baldwin hear that too? I hear divisiveness! We are
all in this together - now! Now we are together?
Now the level of mud in which we swim is even?
I still hear Dr. King and see his tears when he asked,
where are you going, my liberal friend?
Calling Black youths! I think of the hours King
spent with Black youth in his last three years after the
gains seemed to yield little by way of dividends. Along
with the poverty campaign, did he envision brigades of
should have continued to train our children, Dr. Clarke
says. We should have established recruitment sites in
our homes and churches and recreational centers. We should
have lined them up and said, “Oceanography for you, medicine
for you. Metallurgy for you, airport design for you” (The
History of Slaves-The Black Holocaust).
“When someone takes your freedom, they don’t voluntarily
give it back to you. The only way to get it back is to
take it back.”
we did not take anything back: we gave! We see now that
assassinations and big deals and handshakes “ended” African
Independence and, in the U.S., Civil Rights, a movement
that really never ended because, I argue, it is questionable
if such a thing as “African Independence” ever happened
or if Black Americans were actually granted rights, civil
or human rights with Troy Davis, having just lost his
life and 23 million mostly Black and Brown people in the
dungeons of the U.S., and so many others unemployed and
living among an old friend, poverty.
current enslavement to corporate capitalism makes it possible
for the partakers in the great love affair of the Self
to turn their collective backs and pretends the mud is
really leveled and we are all drowning in it - equally.
if you listened carefully in July of this year,
2011, you would have heard what King foresaw when he spoke
about a certain promissory note: “The median wealth
of white households is 20 times that of black households
and 18 times that of Hispanic households,” “Wealth Gaps
Rise to Record Highs between Whites, Blacks and Hispanics”
Pew Research Center).
(No, no talk of race, please! It angers me!)
then, Black Americans should have taken care of their
business, should have organized and educated, should have
“turned the pages,” Clarke says, after the leadership
was assassinated and others imprisoned. Instead,
he says, “too many of us were out front talking.” We’re
the leadership now. We’re the ones you, Master, have been
looking for! We should have spoken with “one African
voice,” says Dr. Clarke. We should have worried about
what “we owed to our future.” But we became busy focusing
on our individual selves.
began a love affair with our appearance and material things.
We followed the dictates of the newest slaveholders, the
corporate enslavers, the politicians, media, fashion,
and entertainment icons. Today, progress: we turn our
backs too on the enslaved labor of mostly women and young
girls in Bangladesh
and in China
and the poor and incarcerated among our ranks!
will never be whole in the world until we realize that
whatever we are in the world, be it Caribbean Island, be it United
States, be it Pacific, our political
and cultural heartbeat is Africa.”
happened to Africa those many centuries ago is still happening
to Africa through its descendants
wherever we are, whatever role we play in this long, long
conquest of Mother Earth. The subsequent behavior of those
groups who left what is now called Africa for lands north,
in what Clarke calls the “icebox” of what later becomes
Europe and who returned to Africa with a vengeance, is
inexcusable. But just as inexcusable is the behavior,
the thinking, or non-thinking of the others.
got you into the concept of thinking that a European could
be religious or democratic? The two things he can’t afford
to be, and if he dared to be either one for twenty-four
hours, he is finished” (Christianity
before Christ). Democracy does not suit the corporations or the financiers of the New World
Order any more than it does the average American liberal.
It is not a call to nationalism or even to Pan-Africanism but a call to examine
the reality in which all of humanity is coerced into bowing
every morning, noon, and night in one direction. This,
in turn, becomes a system and it is labeled, falsely,
life. It is a call to recognize and understand that a
collection of European Thought, not even recognized as
such by Europeans and their counterparts in the U.S. who
do not even recognize themselves as a race, a dominant race, attempting to
maintain dominion over the Earth’s resources and humanity,
is in control The rhetorical jargon of the “post-racial”
day speaking in one voice of “human accomplishments” on
behalf of “people everywhere” in the wake of racism, is
The European concept of life, says Clarke, “is a violation of harmony…harmony
with nature…[with] common sense.” In other words, corporate capitalism as
life violates “common sense”!
come out of a culture where certain things are assured
by virtue of coming out of the culture. You didn’t have
to fight for them…if you obeyed the laws that governed
the culture, the material resources of the culture, based
on your need, came to you automatically. These were things
of a socialist nature that not only existed in a culture
before Karl Marx was born but before Europe
What African, Dr. Clarke says, after dynasties of relative peace, anticipated
what was to come? What host would expect to invite someone
into their home for dinner, serve the meal cooked by the
wife, play and smile at the children, and then proceed
to enslave the host and family and rape the wife (A
Great and Mighty Walk, documentary).
You really only have two options - and neither involves the electoral process!
politically conscious and start organizing!
BlackCommentator.com Editorial Board member, Lenore Jean Daniels,
PhD, has a Doctorate in Modern American Literature/Cultural
Theory. Click here
to contact Dr. Daniels.