H. Rap Brown’s Blacks And Authority ::: Highlighting Chapter Four Of ‘Die Nigger Die’

If you have not read my highlights of Chapter One of H. Rap Brown and ‘Die Nigger Die!”, please click here. I have included an important disclaimer that I wish to apply to this post as well. Also, in case you have read that, but not my highlights on Chapter Two of ‘Die Nigger Die!’, you can click here. If you have not read highlights of Chapter Three, those are linked here.

 

In his introductory paragraph, H. Rap Brown continues his Whyte/Black/Negro America framework. He reinforces his belief that Whyte America insists on defining life for Blacks, and those standards are enforced internally by Negro America.

 

One of the basic problems any Black child has to deal with as he grows up is authority. First, there’s the big white world that forces a white God and white Jesus on him and has him worshipping somebody that doesn’t even look like him. There’s that big white world telling him what’s right and what’s wrong and how to do and how not to do and all of it is designed to keep him oppressed, to keep him down.
And all of that is reinforced by negro america, which is a mirror of the big white world and does the white world’s job inside the Black community.

“Die Nigger Die!”, H. Rap Brown, pg 47

 

Peter Kropotkin once wrote that a true anarchist does not believe in utopian notions of order. He stated,”He studies human society as it is now and was in the past; and without either endowing humanity as a whole, or separate individuals, with superior qualities which they do not possess, he merely considers society as an aggregation of organisms trying to find out the best ways of combining the wants of the individual with those of cooperation for the welfare of the species.” Much of what we see here written by H. Rap adheres to this sort of definition of authority and socially imposed hierarchy.

 

If authority is to be used, it should not be a coercive type thing. After all,
what dictates that a person can be put in an authoritative position over someone else? If it’s experience, then respect should come from that, not authority. People should adhere to rules because they respect them and not because some position mandates that respect. Now if you raise a legitimate issue with a person and they respect it, then they’re gonna adhere to it. It’s like the principle of self-determination. But when you’re in a certain position and you tell a cat to do something with no grounds for it, it provokes a type of rebellious behavior.

“Die Nigger Die!”, H. Rap Brown, pg. 48

 

Like Black Panther Party alum, Assata Shakur, H. Rap also was targeted by FBI. While he was on their Top Ten Most Wanted, and she was first Woman to be added to their Most Wanted Terrorist list, both activists drew ire of national authorities. Most members of Black Panthers Party of 1960s and 1970s from Afeni Shakur to Huey Newton to Elaine Brown to Geronimo Pratt to Bunchy Carter, would live lives defined greatly by US Law Enforcement’s misuse of authority.

 

In this country, authority is a cover for wrong. I don’t respect wrong and I don’t respect authority that represents wrong.

“Die Nigger Die!”, H. Rap Brown, pg 51

 

Another grand quote for these ages from H. Rap. As hinted to above, H. Rap’s philosophy in practice is replete with consequence. Definitely a definitive stance and standard to apply to anyone claiming to speak truth to power.

 

The whole concept of authority has to be redefined. People have to understand that individuals, not positions, merit respect. Negro america and white america assume that positions mandate respect. When this respect for position does not materialize, they begin to utilize force. This is why the Black world has rejected both negro america and white america and their ideas of authority.

“Die Nigger Die!”, H. Rap Brown, pg 54

 

From chapter one of this book to this chapter, we have read H. Rap’s consistent theme of redefinition. His entire autobiography to this point is a recipe of reasons for reconsidering how US Citizens, primarily US Blacks, define their world view, or Weltanshauuung.