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BlackCommentator.com: Identity Politics 101: For the Corporations and Financiers or the Politically Conscious? - Represent Our Resistance - By Dr. Lenore J. Daniels, PhD - BlackCommentator.com Editorial Board

   
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You really only got two choices: You can stay down and be weak, or you can stand where you’re at and be strong.
-Bill Withers, “You
BC Question: What will it take to bring Obama home?‘Your days of playing the fool are over. I’m going to tell you what education is, and what it’s supposed to do for you. Stop worrying about being alone. You want to be accepted. If people cannot accept you the way you are, then do without them. You’re not going to die from walking alone. If you are right, you will not really be alone.’
-Miss Taylor, teacher, qtd. in My Life in Search of Africa, John Henrik Clarke

Congress 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 beach resort.

Michelle 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.

The 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 in America.

It 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.

White 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.

Nothing 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.

Revelations 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.

It 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!

If 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.

Some 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?

SOS! 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 Black youth?

We 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.”

But 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.

Our 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.

But 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!)

Back 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.

We 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!

“We 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.”

What 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.

“What 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 a ruse.

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”!

“You 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 was born.”

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!

Identify the 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.

 
 
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Sept 22, 2011 - Issue 442
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Est. April 5, 2002
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