Don’t be so quick to give everybody a ghetto pass

Back during slavery, when black people like me, talked to the slaves, they didn’t kill him, they’d send some old house negro along behind him, to undo what he said. You have to read the history of slavery to understand this. There were two kinds of negroes:there was that old house negro and the field negro. And the house negro always looked out for his master. When the field negroes got too much out of line, he held them back in check, he put them back on the plantation. The house negro could afford to do that ’cause he lived better than the field negro. He ate better, he dressed better, and he lived in a better house. He lived right up next to his master in the attic, or the basement. he ate the same food as master ate, and wore his same clothes, and he could talked just like his master;good diction. And he loved his master more than his master loved himself. That’s why he didn’t want his master hurt. If the master got sick, he’d say, “what’s the matter boss, WE sick?” When the master’s house caught afire, he’d try putting the fire out. He didn’t want his master’s house burned. He never wanted his master’s property threatened. And he was more defensive of it than the master was. That was the house negro. But then you had some field negroes who lived in huts, had nothing to lose, they wore the worse kind of clothes, they ate the worse foods, and they caught hell:they felt the sting of the lash. They hated their master…oh, yes they did…if the master got sick, they prayed that the master died. If the master’s house caught afire, they prayed for a strong wind to come along, this was the difference between the two. And today you still have house negroes and field negroes…


I’m a field negro…


The Honorable Malcolm X

Yeah, I am too, Mr. Malcolm…


This article is written after perusing a few articles on MSNBC-owned is a collection of black commentators that appear regularly on the MSNBC television network. MSNBC is owned by General Electric with sponsorship through Microsoft. The same Microsoft that donated millions to the George W. Bush campaign. Don’t be surprised, your whole government is taking checks from a media outlet. My main concern here is why is MSNBC feeling so comfortable promoting a “Black” website? Why are the commentators so at ease with being the minions for yet another white owned “Black” medium? And more importantly, what should the average Black person in america think of all this…


I’ve been reading a few articles from, and I’m starting to feel a quaint distance from much of what the “Black” intelligentsia is putting out. For instance author Melissa Harris-Lacewell, wrote an article regarding a trip to south africa[“Black American culture exported to Africa” By, ](Are Black academics going to follow Barack everywhere? I’m reminded of a saying parents ask their easily misled children:”If he jumped off the arch, would you?”). In the article, she complains about the cultural imperialism of America, by saying,”Tourist areas reflect the power of global capitalism and cultural imperialism, making shopping for groceries and clothing entirely indistinguishable from an American shopping experience. Television and radio are completely familiar, as are brands, styles, and dining.“ and ends saying she is distraught by the cultural artifacts that we, blacks in america proper, are exporting, with expressed concern over the term “nigger/nigga”, with this statement regarding hip-hop, she writes:


It was powerful and wonderful to hear the music of my young adulthood pumping in the middle of the night in a South African club. (Mos Def was even on my flight from JFK airport.) I can remember when many believed that hip hop would not survive a decade; now it is the global cultural expression of urban youth. But my enjoyment of hip hop’s cosmopolitan reach is tempered by the anxiety I have about hearing so many young, Black South Africans grooving to the N-word.


To be fair, those children of the slave master, and the slave master exported the term “nigger/nigga” a long time ago, so please don’t blame the victim. When I say “exported”, I mean that those who used the term originally to refer to black american slaves used this term to separate the Black slave, the black 3/5’s of a human of america from all those other highly melanin concentrated skin bearers in Afrika from those of us who were being stripped of a culture, being stripped of a family, being stripped of any conscious awareness of our being with the exception of us being slaves working for crumbs in america(oh, you didn’t know that slaves received wages, please read “Negro in the Making of America” by Benjamin Quarles) were using this term abroad for many centuries before any musician decided to utilize the term on a mass distributed recording.


We have this tendency to get media jobs from white establishments, or at least a pay check from them, and then we begin to spout out all the arguments that they wish they could spout out. You have to hold firmly to that desire to express everything you realize about black culture. You can’t allow yourself to be used as a tool for control and a silencing implementation for whites just because you have something to say about the culture. So many Blacks on television don’t realize they are pawns being moved by a knowing media player. And for the record, I use the term nigga.


I like the word nigga. I put in my cereal. I put it on my chicken. I sprinkle a dash over my baked potato, it gives it a flavor you just can’t purchase at your local 5-star eatery. I didn’t like how Randall Kennedy attempted to weaken the term for legal purposes. If a brother calls me a nigga, well, hey, that’s my brother. If any white person uses it around me, I feel I have the right to grab the closest brick and play 32 pins with their mouth as the alley. Some might cry that that is unjust, yeah, what do you call the enslavement of the poor people’s of the west coast of africa for 310 years?(I track the beginning of slavery from the time Sir John Hawkins was commissioned to bring slaves to these shores on the ship “Jesus” in 1555 and it’s “official” ending with the emancipation proclamation in 1865(source citing: Davidson, Basil The African Slave Trade (Boston: Little, Brown, 1980), p. 28. As cited in Williams, Harry Louis II No Easy Walk (Downers Grove: Inter Varsity Press, 1998), p. 37. ))


We can play these games all anyone wants, but the pain of the collective Black memory is not assuaged by self-seeking professors paid by the elite academic community attempting to vilify black rappers or Blacks who take whites to account for their lack of cultural consideration. Let me pause here for a moment of clarity. I’m not attacking anyone or name calling. I’m simply placing people’s positions, job and influence, in the context of history. For far too long Black people have been used to control other blacks, or to express white thoughts in Black bodies, which is called by proxy. If the direction of the Black people is not that of a single unified nation -such as what the goal of the Jews became, and they were given the land of Israel- then we have to question any one, black, green, red or other, what is your purpose for saying whatever you are saying? Why do you choose to air out Black thought through a white medium?


Let us not forget that Black people came into existence as an ethnicity due not to color fright, due not to racism, due not to a fear of big butts taking over the planet(well, maybe), but due to classism. Never let it leave your mind that elite blacks, rich Black Afrikans from the shores of Mali sold poor tribal Black afrikans to the Portuguese, the Spanish, and the English. Never forget that. There is a reason why the “underclass” Blacks have more cultural sway than the more elite. Mainly, our history shows that elite Blacks cannot be trusted to hold their powers in check, and have time and time again allowed white western interests persuade them to do harm unto their racial and ethnic kith and kin.


What you have to understand about an MSNBC, or any television network, is that they don’t have our(read: Black american) interests at heart. Never forget where we came from and how far we have to go. And never forget that white media rulers have always done what is best for their ratings. Don’t sell your self short black intellectuals. Don’t do it.

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