H. Rap Brown’s Black Organizers, Opportunists And Police::: Highlighting Chapter Seven 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. Those of you seeking chapter four highlights can click here. Chapters five and Chapter Six are linked respectively.

 

In chapter seven, H. Rap Brown’s opens with a discussion about is involvement with DC’s poverty program. His tale involves him having to handle Black opportunists who had been pitted against him by institutional financiers of these programs.

 

I don’t hustle against other people for that money thing. You got negroes going around now talking about Green Power is better than Black Power. As long as america has the power to change the color of money, then money don’t mean a thing…”Power comes from the barrel of a gun,” like Mao said, and not from the size of your bank account.

“Die Nigger Die!”, H. Rap Brown, pg 75

 

Once again, I sense that thread of definition that weaves throughout this book. He touches on a topic that Professor Jared Ball has written and curated research on. Namely, this myth that one can purchase national liberation of an entire population of more than thirty million at time of H. Rap Brown’s writing. While I sense our limited options, I do believe it is foolhardy to phrase Black Banking, Black group economics, or Black financial security as a revolutionary tool or even radical. It is a survival mechanic, at best, and just another opportunist scheme marketed as “messianic measure” at its worst. H. Rap addresses it blatantly as a “hustle”, a con.

 

H. Rap describes Gaston Neals’s New School of Afro-American Thought organizing an arts festival in Washington, DC. According to H. Rap Brown, there was a Whyte right wing group, Voice of America, that apparently also received funding from same institutional authorities. Voice of America wished to video record Gaston Neal’s community program. H. Rap response:

 

Don’t let the muthafucking crackers tape nothing. They just wanted to use it as propaganda in Africa, to try and show how happy we all are with all this freedom and democracy they got here in this country, and we know that’s a crock of shit.

pg 76

 

In our own times, I doubt most video footage of socio-political activity is utilized for such measure, but I definitely agree to overall sentiment here. Whether it is Instagram images, Twitter hashtagged images or protest b-roll, and even full blown theater distributed documentaries, there is probably always an ulterior motive for displaying public grievances against a state. H. Rap Brown deals with a much more pronounced propaganda. My present era, USA 2017, decades after repression, is a lot heavier with neoliberal, “go get the money” style socio-politics.

 

In his concluding pages of this chapter, H. Rap Brown relates his dealing with local police in this nation’s capital, District of Columbia. In his words, he was asked by police to join on a number of occasions. He was relentless in refusal. He addresses how working in those Black communities of Chocolate City(back when it still applied), gave him leverage to demand certain concessions even with law enforcement.

 

I went over there one other time to talk with this Captain about the police messing with some people. I told him that the community was about to explode if he didn’t do certain things. I told him that we’d unleash the people on his ass. So they started doing things like integrating patrol cars. It really showed me how much the structured feared our community and that the strength really lies in that community. The cops ain’t worth shit if a million muthafuckas decide to kick their ass…But we must understand that the cops are not the only problem. Cops serve the system, just like the army in Vietnam. The system allows cops to be what they are.

pg 78

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