My Thoughts On White Privilege In The Age Of The First White-Kenyan US President

“Because habit is transactional, in a raced and racist world, the psychosomatic self necessarily will be racially and racistly constituted. Race is not a veneer lacquered over a nonracial core. It composes the very bodily and psychical beings that humans are and the particular ways by which humans engage the world. Like gender and sexism, sexuality and compulsory heterosexuality, disability and bias toward ability, class and class oppression, and other characteristics of contemporary human beings, race and white privilege are constitutive features of human existence and experience as they currently occur. Sometimes these habits are consciously felt, other times not, but in all cases they help make up who and what human beings are.” – Shannon Sullivan, “Revealing Whiteness: The Unconscious Habits of Racial Privilege”, pg. 24

 

My Thoughts On white Privilege in the Age of the first White-Kenyan US President are that White Male privilege did not grow in the bushes of manicured lawns, so neither can Black privilege.

 

Often, it can be difficult for me to separate my daily pains that are a consequence of my actions, from those that were accrued from the society and global experiences that weigh heavy on all US Black people. And I can be honest enough with my Self to admit that yes, I have made erroneous decisions in my life that impact my present welfare. I can also be analytic enough to say, well, yeah, there is an entire sub-culture of people that fear, are intimidated by, just do not understand or are completely oblivious of people that look like me or come from my background that control and operate the resource distribution channels of this country.

 

White Male privilege can be difficult for me to discuss. In the same manner, I suppose that some very enlightened and hardworking Black Women find it difficult to discuss “Black Male privilege”(I wrote “some”, if that does not include you, then it does not). Not so much that “White Male privilege” does not exist, but that when you are a person that fights hard, doesn’t give up, and is bright, you tend to earn a right to this little thing call pride that often makes you forget that it is not always your fault things have not gone as you’ve planned.

 

I do not want my efforts to be overcast or shadowed by some amorphous dynamic cast and created by a select few White men that decided to rub their resources together and not allow me into their reindeer games. It would be the loudest skeleton turning in a casket in recorded history if I found out my legacy was reduced to what people did not allow me to do versus what I overcame. Yet, people are not always their accomplishments. Many of us are simply the results of a privilege born by the atrocious and predatory acts of others that look like us.

 

“Modes of public expression in black and white communities can vary considerably, but only white, middle-to-upper-class modes of behavior tend to be utilized and viewed as appropriate in class discussions.” – Shannon Sullivan, “Revealing Whiteness: The Unconscious Habits of Racial Privilege”, pg. 24

 

Deep down, I do not have an issue with that. I just wish I was playing on a more determined and aware team. As the metaphor in the Black community as been stated, I do not want to run on a team that cannot learn to accurately pass the baton. No one is going to be able to convince those that have determined that the world is their birthright to “civilize” no matter how uncivil that piece of deed might be. Begging for rights and a human dignity that should be a default has only resulted in the murders of a great number of very talented and thoughtful set of Human Beings.

 

I am not against the collective White citizenry of the United States. I am not. I sincerely doubt most of them even know what the hell is going on.

 

I am not against the collective White Male citizenry of the United States. I am sure a sizeable portion of them cannot even spell “privilege” let alone decipher it when it gives them a professional career without considering they cannot spell.

 

Hey, if I was a part of a collective that understood the power of unity to the point where they would give me a staff position even if I had a criminal conviction before a person without one just because they did not look like my brother or sister, hell, I’d take advantage, too. But unfortunately, I do not.

 

White Male privilege did not enter existence with the blade of grass. It did not sprout in the valley of the Pyramids alongside the Nile. White privilege did not find its origin as vegetation, fruit, rock, water, or air. White Male privilege was fought for. It was hard earned. It was a success story too long for a Twitter update, too bloody for an MSNBC discussion.

 

Sometimes when you play the victim too long, you become your own victimizer. Reforming an economy based on United States Slavery will never produce an egalitarian society. Black people asking for reform in this country is like a man being raped in prison asking his rapist to only put the tip in. The violation is too huge; the solution too demanding.

 

The US Black believes that because they have galvanized at the polls to elect a man born of a White college student and a deadbeat Kenyan that they have developed leverage enough to topple the socio-economic beasts that drain them daily. Has White privilege fled the White House just because Michelle Obama chooses the flowers in the garden?

 

White Male privilege did not grow in the bushes of manicured lawns, neither can Black privilege.

 

“In social psychology, the term <i>aggression</i> is generally defined as any behavior that is intended to harm another person who does not want to be harmed…” – Baron & Richardson, 1994(Citing found Advanced Social Psychology, pg. 304)

 

The treatment of the descendants of US Slaves, the Afrikans in the United States of America that derive their present citizenship because of their ancestor’s choice to be here, but a forced immigration, has been the same since July 4, 1776. It is the texture of US society for Blacks to be over worked, underpaid, housed in the worse conditions, and dehumanized through media. Reform measures such as the Civil Rights legislation has only presented a socio-psychological dynamic where Black people look at White people as those to seek permission to be treated as humans from. Any government that has to legislate human treatment is the government of a country of savages that do not deserve to be feared but to be defended against. White privilege is the residue of conquering savages reproducing and legitimizing their savagery through sophistication. White privilege is the ostracism of Blacks from certain circles of resource and capital heavy social pockets.

 

“Aggression is not an emotion that occurs inside a person, such as an angry feeling. Aggression is not a thought that occurs inside someone’s brain, such as mentally rehearsing a murder you would like to commit. Aggression is a social behavior because it involves at least two people.” Ibid., pg. 305

 

The prolonged fear of admitting that the United States of America as a social study is bound to a creed of extending White privilege globally is to beg for the diminishing of Black people. The reason why Obama, the half Kenyan whose bloodline never crosses through the genetic trauma of Jim Crow USA, can promote the safety of the Israel state while it practices its own form of apartheid and holocaust on Palestinians and Afrikans is because he is the face of global white privilege. It is a team effort to conquer a planet, and team at that level is referred to as an allied force.

 

White Male privilege did not grow in the bushes of manicured lawns, neither can Black privilege.

 

“In social psychology, violence is aggression that has extreme physical harm, such as injury or death, as its goal.” Ibid., pg. 305

 

I am not against privilege. I think it is a very sagacious response to the demands of an aggressive humanity. Much of humanity is aggressive and bound by territorial, religious, or ideological systems. The insatiable appetite of human groups with mastery of war and destruction demands an equal or more forceful threat to be warded off. Lest that human group consume every other grouping in its path of fulfillment.

 

White Male privilege did not grow in the bushes of manicured lawns, neither can Black privilege.

 

Physical aggression involves harming others with body parts or weapons (e.g., hitting, kicking, stabbing, or shooting them). Verbal aggression involves harming others with words (e.g., yelling, screaming, swearing, name calling). Relational aggression (also called social aggression is defined as intentionally harming another person’s social relationships, feelings of acceptance by others, or inclusion within a group…Some examples of relational aggression include saying bad things about people behind their backs, withdrawing affection to get what you want, excluding others from your circle of friends, and giving someone the ‘silent treatment’. Relational aggression is similar to the concept of ostracism. Ostracism refers to being excluded, rejected, and ignored by others…)” ibid., pg. 305-306

My Thoughts On Ta-Nehisi Coates’ Response To Nate Thayer

“I believe that in all men’s lives at certain periods, and in many men’s lives at all periods between infancy and extreme old age, one of the most dominant elements is the desire to be inside the local Ring and the terror of being left outside….Of all the passions the passion for the Inner Ring is most skillful in making a man who is not yet a very bad man do very bad things.” – C.S. Lewis, “The Inner Ring”(1944)

 

This piece is written in response to Ta-Nehisi Coates’ ‘Lucrative Work-for-Free Opportunity’ article for The Atlantic (which is owned by Atlantic Media owner David G. Bradley based in the Watergate in Washington, DC), the company that a few months ago asked sports journalist Nate Thayer to republish an article, and when Thayer asked about compensation, he was denied. Well, all this is very well documented here, do not be a lazy surfer, check it out. Ta-Nehisi Coates stands at the bat as, possibly cleanup, definitely yet another swinger for The Atlantic to defend the magazine against the brouhaha of writers that felt The Atlantic’s business model is diminishing their evaluation, and thusly the evaluation of the very craft that brought you the First Amendment of the United States Constitution. If those people that hold so much to the history of human development cannot presume to make a living, then how easy will it be for the fattest pockets to put pressure on their staff to provide only content that suits the purposes of the fat pockets? Or governments? Or any other power that First Amendment rights were initially created to protect writers against?

 

If those people that hold so much to the history of human development cannot presume to make a living, then how easy will it be for the fattest pockets to put pressure on their staff to provide only content that suits the purposes of the fat pockets?

 

Now, while I do not personally regard my Self as a ‘journalist’, I do hold a Bachelor’s degree in media communications and I have written several “journalistic” type pieces over the years. Without me rewriting my resume here for you, I do regard the craft of writing in high esteem and I have sat in the training facilities of these “professionals”. I do consider my Self a Black media analyst and I do analyze Black media, and I’ve even written a few self-published works as well as having a contract with a major publishing house for a book of media analysis due out…any…damn…day…now(excuse me for that). All that is to say, although I don’t work for any popular brands that sell written works, I have met the standard squarely and I’ve told it, “we can fight if you don’t respect my penmanship.” Moving on.

 

As a writer, and more importantly, as a writer that doesn’t use their words to defend or dick ride those that purchase my works, I cannot promote a business model that asks writers to provide work for free. And to be honest, neither should those that write the checks and command the major brands. The content saturation model of big brands such as Huffington Post and The Atlantic creates a market where it wants content to be more valuable than the content creators, which is ass backwards. Let alone being defined as slavery. Even if the model is refined and defenders give the nomenclature of “intern”(*cough*indentured servants*cough*) to those poor hacks forced to choose between making a living and gambling on a dream, the results are surely the same. The value of the writer is siphoned, the content is pimped, and the only partner being valued and esteemed is the brand. But without those humans poring over brightly lit laptops, sipping day old coffee trying to remember what in the hell it was they scribbled here on this napkin(what in the phukkk is THIS?! Oh, sorry…) then you do not have a business or a brand. And as a writer, employment or not, I cannot advise anyone to take the responsibility of keeping brands alive if the brand has not taken even the slightest consideration that eating Ramen noodles as a daily dietary staple(as much as I love the Ramen) is not the lifestyle most of us seek to create.

 

Free is not a livelihood. Free is not compensation. Free is not a ticket to a more lucrative position. Free does not get you into more doors because no one respects free.

 

Ultimately, the argument boils down to how do you esteem your Self in the face of corporations, or bigger brands? Is the big business more important than the worker? Than the consumer? Than you? And that is a discussion that is on-going in this capitalist estate we call the United States of America. Since the inception of the federation, humans have been reduced to 3/5ths of a human to justify why businesses should treat them like they are beasts of burden. If your name is on the Fortune 500 list as an owner, getting money from the US Government is at best a subsidy, at worst a “bailout”. If your name is on the open mic list as a starving artist or writer, and you are getting a crumb of the money from the US Government that those on the Forbes listing might get, you are at best a “welfare case”, at worst a “lazy bum”. We have grown to place a stature on big business brands as divine Providences that deserve our esteem more than our own Selves. And the peer pressure to belong to one of these organizations reminds me of the pressure children face to fit in, or the pressure poor children face when hiding the fact that their family receives a Government dole out.

 

I think that metaphor is a substantial parallel, let’s explore it further, shall we? The insecurity of the child or teenager created by their fears of alienation is often reflected in their behavior. As esteemed professor emeritus of Stanford University, Philip Zimbardo writes, “Peer pressure has been identified as one social force that makes people, especially adolescents, do strange things–anything–to be accepted.” Since this is very important to our discussion here, I would like to quote Mr. Zimbardo further:

 

“There is no peer-pressure power without that push from self-pressure for them to want you. It makes people willing to suffer through painful, humiliating initiation rites in fraternities, cults, social clubs, or the military. It justifies for many suffering a lifelong existence climbing the corporate ladder.” Philip Zimbardo, “Lucifer Effect: How Good People Turn Evil” (pg. 259)

 

Profound, yes? Before I move on, I would like to one more authority on human behavior, and that is Cialdini. Cialdini writes in his book on persuasion, “Opportunities seem more valuable to us when they are less available. Interestingly, this is often true even when the opportunity holds little attraction for us its own merits. Take as evidence the experience of Florida State University students who, like most undergraduates, rated themselves as dissatisfied with the quality of their campus cafeteria food. Nine days later, they had changed their minds, rating that food significantly better than they had before. It is instructive that no actual improvement in food service had occurred between the two ratings. Instead, on the day of the second rating, the students had learned that, because of a fire, they could not eat the cafeteria for two weeks.”

 

Cialdini speaks more directly to us with regard to the pains humans will suffer in order to become part and parcel of organized humans:

 

“During the traditional ‘Hell Week’ held yearly on college campuses, fraternity pledges must persevere through a variety of activities designed by the older members to test the limits of physical exertion, psychological strain, and social embarrassment. At week’s end, the boys who have persisted through the ordeal are accepted for full group membership…What is interesting is how closely the particular features of Hell Week tasks match those of tribal initiation rites…Beatings…Exposure to cold…Thirst…Eating of unsavory foods…Punishment…Threats of death…What is it about hazing practices that make them so precious to these societies?…My own view is that the answer appeared in 1959 in the results of a study little known outside of social psychology. A pair of young researchers, Elliot Aronson and Judson Mills, decided to test their observations that ‘persons who go through a great deal of trouble or pain to attain something tend to value it more highly than persons who attain the same thing with a minimum of effort.’ The real stroke of inspiration came in their choice of the initiation ceremony as the best place to examine this possibility. They found that college women who had to endure a severely embarrassing initiation ceremony in order to gain access to a sex discussion group convinced themselves that their new group and its discussions were extremely valuable, even though Aronson and Mills had rehearsed the other group members to be as ‘worthless and uninteresting’ as possible. Different coeds who went through a much milder initiation ceremony or went through no initiation at all, were decidedly less positive about the ‘worthless’ new group they had joined. Additional research showed the same results when coeds were required to endure pain rather than embarrassment to get into a group. The more electric shock a woman received as part of the initiation ceremony, the more she later persuaded herself that her new group and its activities were interesting, intelligent, and desirable.” – Cialdini, “Influence: Science and Practice” (pages 75-79)

 

In the same way that I feel a person allowing someone to degrade them to join their fraternal order or sorority is not wise, I feel as though any demeaning of my craft, asking me to do something for free for some future bit of compensation, is also not wise. I might be able to understand this notion if The Atlantic was a not-for-profit, or a charity. It is not. According to Paul Carr the magazine has a “circulation of 482,267, and hosts a sold-out $2,800-a-ticket conference in Aspen”.

 

Free is not a livelihood. Free is not compensation. Free is not a ticket to more a lucrative position. Free does not get you into more doors because no one respects free.

Asking me to write for free is asking me to starve, to take a beating, to gamble with the possibility of enduring the cold all for the possibility of a job. This is hazing. Hazing might be a sexy proposition for some socially awkward or social mobility desperate soul, but my Self esteem is not that low, nor or my prices. And how long will It be before enough of us have submitted to the pressures of social acceptance and big business brands start hazing us in a more directly humiliating fashion?

 

“For one thing: Let’s lay to rest the notion that payment equals pro. A professional writer is a professional writer, no matter whether he’s being paid or not. Likewise, you can throw money at an amateur, and he’ll always be an amateur. The reason professional journalists need to be paid is not because money somehow magically makes them better at their job, but because real journalism is their job. The fact that some pros maintain their own blogs, or occasionally write stuff for free is utterly irrelevant to the argument.” – Paul Carr

Ida B. Wells, Black Women And The Historical Defense Of Black Men With No Reciprocity

In one of US history’s(or herstory’s) more prominent examples of US Black Women’s desire to expose the brutality meted out by White Patriarchy upon Black Men, Ida B. Wells exposed the myth of Black men as savage and lascivious rape perpetrators worthy of the lynchings (“lynching” pluralized) that had abounded during the waning Reconstruction era. Prior to her own documentation of over 728 lynchings of Black men in the South during that time, Ida, as well as Frederick Douglas had been under the media spell of what white “historians” and media gatekeepers such as Harper’s Weekly referred to as the “The New Negro Crime”. It was a spin on the ideas espoused by Thomas Jefferson in his papers on Virginia whereby Black people were reduced to a scientific animal, a brute that couldn’t think and demanded dependence on White people. This idea of us being “animals” was magnified as Black men capable of moving up the socio-economic ladder threatened to erode the United States caste system of White Supremacy. Paula Giddings, writing in her impressive recording of Black Women in US history, paraphrases Philip A. Bruce from his 1889 publication “The Plantation Negro as a Freeman” by stating,”…Blacks, ‘cut off from the spirit of White society,’ had regressed to a primitive and thus criminal state. Bereft of the master’s influence, Blacks were now even closer to the ‘African type’ than the slaves had been.”(p. 27) According the impeccable and bravely established research of Ida, only a third of the murdered Black men had even been accused of rape, and many of the men had been slaughtered more for the crime of miscegenation and involvement with White Women under false accusations than actual rape.

Black men do not need to be defended for acting out of a media programmed behavioral set. We do not need to be coddled for our lack of responsibility, and definitely do not need to be pampered when we treat rape as an acceptable measure our masculinity. Black men seem to feel as though we need permission to defend Black women. Most of those that I consider Hip Hop evangelist are afraid that women are going to take away their testicles if Women are allowed to speak against the atrocities that they find in Hip Hop. Nobody is going to take away your precious rap music; in fact, I feel as though Black Women will be the first to help you edify the music and allow it to be the art form that it once was.

I often find my Self in a position of hypocrisy because I have used the term “rape” as a metaphor for attack and violation. And I am not always proud of that moment, and yet, my lack of pride in that moment is based on the pain I realize those words caused people that I love. My confidence wanes on that line. I do believe that as a Black male, my socialization into manhood presented Black women particularly as an enemy. I do believe that many other Black men in the US, and beyond, have been socialized to treat women as objects of sexual accomplishment. As a male, I am judged by the sexual desirability of the woman I live with, my masculinity is weighed by the type of woman I enjoy looking at, and I have been judged by the degree of violence I am willing to subject a woman to. I don’t see media alone as the culprit for Black criminalization; I have to begin to point the finger at the agents of the influence who bear the burden of the dirty work and bloody hands.

Black feminists and Womanist are not my enemy. Black women are not my enemy. The historical arch of Black Womanism with its roots in an alienation from White feminism is the buttressing and moral/intellectual protection of Black Men. I can no longer dodge the assessment by far too many Black Women that Black men do not reciprocate the sacrifice and courageous stance, thus defense, of Black Women, that Black Women have always shown and demonstrated towards Black Men. Black Womanism and Black Feminism had as its roots the politics of respectability based on a desire to have Black Men as patriarchs of their households. No matter how archaic we might find that desire, it still speaks and influences much of what can be revealed about the passionate attachment to Black men that Black Women have. In return, US Black Men have developed a culture that is the most exogamous of any other group of men on Earth.

Why Do You Know What You Know?

Did you know that there was a 6.9 to 7.1 magnitude earthquake in China’s Qinghia province that killed an estimated(as to date) 580 people(according information released by China)? Did you know that an extremely sizable portion of ice from an Andes mountain glacier in Peru dropped into an existing lake and caused a tsunami that spread through nearby townships? Have you heard about the politician assassinated in India (who was fighting for the rights of the “untouchables”)in broad daylight? What else didn’t you know? What are you being bombarded with?

Why is NIgeria’s acting president Goodluck Jonathan being questioned? Just for the sake of your enlightenment? Just to continue a conversation that is existing in the media that seems to be coloring the people’s of Nigeria as militant and resistant to western influence? Is this a means to educate or prepare the minds of viewers for a future attack on Nigeria in order for the US and western allies to reap the benefits of Nigeria’s oil-rich lands?

What about this reemergence of the myth of the single black woman? Why is this important enough for the economist to do a piece on? What does the single black woman’s plight have to do with the economy? That last question is not to say the economist only deals with issues of the economy, but why are they dealing with this particular topic? Who has done the homework to prove that the reason for the suspect statement regarding black women not being able to find “eligible” black men is prison incarceration?

In 1994, Irving Kirsch proposed that hypnosis was a “nondeceptive mega-placebo.”(Clinical Hypnosis and Self-Regulation: Cognitive-Behavioral Perspectives, American Psychological Association, (Washington), 1999.) It means that there is a state of mind in which persons allow themselves to be placed into a state of high level suggestibility. Furthermore, the Scottish physician and surgeon James Braid, whose techniques of hypnotic state induction became influential in the study of hypnosis, defined “hypnosis” as the act of focusing the conscious upon a single dominant idea. Let me state the thinking of another person who has studied this phenomenon in depth. Hippolyte Bernheim, a French physician and neurologist, states that “it is suggestion that rules hypnotism.”

What happens to a people in a society where their media outlets focus on particular topics from different angles in a prolonged fashion? How does the media effect of controlling the conversations we have create suggestibility in our minds? Why is the media of the US reminiscent of the continuous ranting of Jim Jones in his death trap “Jonestown”?

HOW do we prevent ourselves from being hypnotized zombies who must depend on a media that has been bought, seduced, punked and soiled by major corporations? Who do we trust when the first amendment is being abused by corporate lackey’s posing as journalist?

More on this later…

Interpretations of Groupthink and More White Terrorism…

“When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things. …
” – 1 Corinthians 13:11, Holy Bible, King James Unabridged

I was asked a question today.
The question was in the form of a multiple choice query.
The question was:
What holds bodies to the earth?
The first choice for an answer was gravity. The other choice was magic.

Now if I were in grade school, I would have immediately answered “gravity.” Being that I am no longer of the degree that would simply volunteer answers without consideration, no matter how simple the answer may seem, I said both. Gravity is a concept. It is a theory used to describe the inertial magnetic attraction of masses to one another while in an orbit or space flux. Magic is a term used to describe phenomena that may escape human comprehension, but are also based on the “laws”, or well-founded theories that have been accepted by the experts of said field. My argument, which was readily accepted, was that both are simply terms used to describe phenomena that lead people to a better understanding of their existence. I could have said God makes it such. If my definition of “god” can stand up the dialectics of debate, in which case, I would simply define “god” as power and force, then my argument would stand.

One of the first lessons we are taught is to define your words. In a contest for minds, and for attention, it can be very easy to persuade people’s emotions through metaphor, or symbol. This is why poets are trained to be consistent with their metaphors, to avoid the possibility of misunderstanding. We build our understanding, so that we won’t have a misunderstanding. Follow me?

The religious scholars have a tendency to demand that their interpretations of a particular symbol be taken as the only interpretation. This can be quite useful, more people are inclined to concrete thinking than abstraction. And if you can define the abstract in concrete terms that are palatable, you can redefine the total world view of a group of people. Throw in a dash of theology, and you can begin to define god, the powers and the forces, that rule a person’s world. The artist is usually left to his or her own whims with the creation of things, and often is given license by their followers. The follower of the artist is even given leeway by the artist to interpret the artist’s more abstract pieces, although the artist may use extremely concrete means to symbolize the abstraction. Still there?

Let’s take this a step further, shall we?

According to an article released by the Associated Press, nine suspects tied to a Christian militia that was preparing for the Antichrist were charged with conspiring to kill police officers, and then kill scores more by attacking a funeral using homemade bombs. Now, no where through this article, or on any of the stations that reported this story that I watched earlier, namely CNN and MSNBC, have referred to these organized cell of religiously motivated and politically conscious agents plotting to terrorize the local armed forces of the US as terrorist. This is a useful interpretation on the part of the US media that seems to have a deeply seated affective connection with these gentlemen. Why? Your guess is as good as mine.
I have worked the course of a year now in developing this understanding however. When an Arab member of the Islamic Faith even thinks about a political attack on US soil they are dubbed ‘enemy combatants’ and more colloquially labeled terrorists. The media has even dropped the use of the term ‘domestic terrorists” as we have not heard that term since the days of Timothy McVeigh who was a co-conspirator and perpetrator of the Oklahoma City Federal Building bombing. A quick Google search of the term ‘terrorist’ gave me this screen that I have preserved for you in digital.

As you can see the “Image results for ‘terrorist'” all depict Arab possibly Muslim individuals and likenesses. Why is this interpretation given when the term “terrorist” is defined as:

“an advocate or practitioner of terror as a means of coercion”
(“Terrorism.” Def 1. Webster’s Third New International Dictionary. 1st ed. Print.)

“1. As a political term: a. Applied to the Jacobins and their agents and partisans in the French Revolution, esp. to those connected with the Revolutionary tribunals during the ‘Reign of Terror’.

b. Any one who attempts to further his views by a system of coercive intimidation.”

(“Terrorist.” Def. 1. The Oxford English Dictionary. 2nd ed. Print.)

“1. One who adopts or supports a policy of terrorism.”

(“Terrorist.” Def. 1. Webster Comprehensive Dictionary. International. Print.)

“One that engages in acts or an act of terrorism.”

(“Terrorist.” Def 1. The American Heritage Dictionary. 4th ed. Print.)

I started to see a pattern in the dictionaries of latter dates, so I switched it up….

The definition of “terrorism”:

“The unlawful use of threatened use of force or violence by a person or an organized group against people or property with the intention of intimidating or coercing societies or governments, often for ideological or political reasons.”

(“Terrorism.” Def 1. The American Heritage Dictionary. 4th ed. Print.)

“the systematic use of terror as a means of coercion”

(“Terrorism.” Def 1. Webster’s Third New International Dictionary. 1st ed. Print.)

***Yeah, I had to go back to the Malcolm x school of thought and grab the dictionary. Google is still my friend, but the library was my first love. Go figure.***
As the definitions above allude, there is no racial, national, or ethnic origin for a terrorist. Why is it that the media continues to avoid the term when discussing white males who fit the standard of “terrorism” without room for contradiction? As often as the media use the term, I would find it very difficult to imagine that they are simply attempting to expand their vocabulary. In fact, I find it almost demeaning of my intelligence that they would not incorporate a more inclusive set of individuals. To be certain, the only time we hear the term is when an Arab Islamic political group or person attacks or threatens a western power or a country that has been imperialized or is about to be.
The interpretation of the media singles out Arabs as terrorists. Although there have been more cases of acts of violence and intimidation used coercively in this country by white males. So my question to you is this:

What keeps white males from being labeled as “terrorist”?
A) Institutional Racism.
or
B) Groupthink.

Erykah Badu’s Window Seat: All The Groupthinkers Get Down On The Floor…

The voice that is heard is often the opinion that gets voiced the most afterwards…

 

“Can I get a window seat…don’t want nobody next to me…I just want a chance to fly…a chance to cry…” – Erykah Badu, “Window Seat”(2010)

 

So, I’ve been on a twitter Hiatus, and I’ve noticed that I’ve been losing hits to the blog. Eh…what can you do right? Sometimes spiritual health is more important than ratings and hits. In essence, I’ll still be away for awhile, but I’ve sort of grown accustomed to blogging at this rate of one post a day, so, I’ll attempt to keep it up.

 

 

If you are on a mobile device, click link here for video(mp4 format) of Erykah Badu’s Window Seat

 

So what should I find when I check through a few of my other favorite social media sites….Erykah “On and On” Badu has put out another video(of course, we are going to discuss Erykah Badu’s Window Seat, did you not see the video and Erykah Badu’s booty?). Not one to critique the grand mind and artist that most brothers in the community credit with transforming Dre from Outkast to Andre3000, well, let us say I wouldn’t dare critique this piece without due diligence. The video opens up with a voice over of the original broadcast of President Kennedy’s arrival in Texas, and the news of gathering crowds to see the former President before his assassination. Before the crisp static of the broadcaster’s voice begins, we are told that the video is “Inspired By Matt and Kim”. That inspiration would be the video of indie group “Matt and Kim” that stripped down to their born day skinnies while walking down New York City’s Time Square.

 

 

Although I must say Mz. Badu is looking real nice for a sister that has had three children. I’m not going to even qualify my manhood. She looks right. And yes, fellas, I saw the bubble bounce. Of course, I also read the words “Evolving” written across her back. The question is what does one take away from this? What does the evolution of Mz. Badu mean for the rest of us who have gotten over the fact that we probably will not ever get a chance to palm the exposed one’s callipygian? In the retelling of Black Afrikan Amerikkkan(Black African American) history, will we not recall this as that time Erykah Badu got naked in that video? Will Black history remember the artistic penetration Erykah was pioneering when Erykah Badu went nude in a video?

 

And yeah, I’m being slightly facetious with Erykah Badu’s Window Seat. I understand the degree of courage it must have taken the sister to strip naked in downtown Dallas. The question remains, and lets not get too persnickety here…I witnessed the culture of Black Women in the US go from yelling about a rough neck, to practicing the 5% teachings, to practicing the ancient rituals and beliefs of the
Yoraba. We all have had our spiritual transitions, and even our political ones. The question is, what is Mz. Booty Badu’s naked commentary on groupthink going to influence? You do realize that Erykah Badu’s Window Seat, her exhibition, will now also be a part of a particular range of groupthink?

 

Well, before we discuss this, what exactly is groupthink?

 

The phrase coined by William H. Whyte in 1952 as the title of an article in Fortune Magazine.(source). In that article it is written,”Groupthink is becoming a national philosophy…Groupthink being a coinage — and, admittedly, a loaded one — a working definition is in order. We are not talking about mere instinctive conformity — it is, after all, a perennial failing of mankind. What we are talking about is a rationalized conformity — an open, articulate philosophy which holds that group values are not only expedient but right and good as well.”

 

The phrase is given considerably more concentration through the work of Irving Janis. Irving Janis in 1972 “used the term ‘groupthink’ to describe the type of decision making that occurs in groups that are highly cohesive, insular and have directed leadership.”(Newell, Lagnado, Shanks, 2007, p. 202) Janis is quoted as stating that “groupthink-dominated groups were characterized by strong pressures towards uniformity, which inclined their members to avoid raising controversial issues, questioning weak arguments, or calling a halt to soft-headed thinking”(Jani & Mann, 1977, p. 130).

 

Janis considered and put together a model of the groupthink, and delineated the symptoms of groupthink:

 

-the illusion of invulnerability creating excessive optimism and encourgaging extreme risk taking;

 

-collective efforts to rationalize in order to discount warnings that might lead members to reconsider their assumptions;

 

-an unquestioned belief in the inherent morality of the group, inclining members to ignore the ethical or moral consequences of decisions;

 

-stereotyped views of rivals and enemies as too evil to warrant genuine attempts to negotiate;

 

-direct pressure on any members that express strong arguments against any of the group stereotypes;

 

-self-censorship of doubts or counterarguments that a member might have in order to create an illusion of unanimtiy within the group; and

 

-the emergence of self-appointed ‘mindguards’ who protect the group from adverse information that might shatter shared complacency about the effectivenss and morality of the group’s decision.

 

Now, back to bare back Badu…

 

We are given a metaphor. The butterfly. Well, the reversed butterfly…(I coined that if you do porn). The naked woman. The black naked woman. The assassination. The social group as herd. The human as fish, and prone to form schools as such. Much of what is addressed as the bootyful Badu returns to her nativity, commits a very real act(that guy behind her probably doesn’t have much time to wait to get those clothes she’s so daintily tossing behind her…), this is a real act of transformation…but how much is it diverging from groupthink? I don’t know yet…what are your thoughts?

My After Thoughts On HCR…Before

When the votes had been tallied, and the results had finally came in. After John McCain had given his speech, and the, at that time, president elect, “catted” his way to the bullet proof shield in Chicago, my first reaction was to let everyone know that he wasn’t black like us. I still hold on to that fact, and I am often forced to stand on that position. And I will. I also will stand on my position that the Health Care Reform package is a good thing for those that are in need of it.

During my darker hours I was smart enough to find ways to get government assistance. Not quite as much as Wells Fargo & Co.(they got $25,000,000,000), or State Street Corp.(They got $2,000,000,000), but I suppose I got enough for my purposes at the time. I used to walk past the Health Care for Kids center and witness the single mothers who’s children may be in need of check ups for school, illnesses and sicknesses that occur in the process of developing strong immune systems that can’t always be alleviated through healthy diets. I understood the means and the methods of holding one’s government accountable. After passing by so many homeless veterans waiting on the VA, I understood also the need for patience, and self-determination.

I can tell you that those who worked out deals with the government out of the offices of JPMorgan Chase & Co., Citigroup Inc., Goldman Sachs Group Inc., Bank of New York Mellon Corp., and Regions Financial Corp. aren’t complaining about what they didn’t have before, or what conspiracies the government has concocted. They are trying to get more money.

I am not to happy that the mandate has passed, I would have opted for the public option. I am, however, glad that some may leave dead end jobs that were held only because of insurance prices, may now take heart, and become entrpreneurs. I am also pleased that more students seeking higher education will be able to take advantage of the $36 billion promised in the reconciliation bill through the Pell Grant. More than that, I’m hoping to negotiate some of my own personal college debt away!

What is ‘Politics’? (part 2)

I wanted to revisit this particular topic, in lieu of the Health Care debate, and my belief that many in the American Black community are still blind to a full and comprehensive understanding. Due to my own ignorances, and constant need for edification, I will take counsel with my elders on these topics. Hopefully you will be blessed with understanding from our discussion…

Brother George, many people have been discussing fascism as though it doesn’t exist in this society. I really need some help and describing this particular ideological as it shows itself in practice…

“We will never have a complete definition of fascism, because it is in constant motion, showing a new face to fit any particular set of problems that arise to threaten the predominance of the traditionalist, capitalist ruling class. But if one were forced for the sake of clarity to define it in a word simple enough for all to understand, that word would be “reform.” We can make our definition more precise by adding the word “economic.” “Economic reform” comes very close to a working definition of fascist motive forces.”

Alright! Alright. Hold on, though sir. Could further explain it in terms that might give me an example, or how it works in everyday dealings?

“Such a definition may serve to clarify things even though it leaves a great deal unexplained. Each economic reform that perpetuates ruling-class hegemony has to be disguised as a positive gain for the upthrusting masses. disguise enters as a third stage of the emergence and development of the fascist state.”

Break it down for me a little more, OG….

“The modern industrial fascist state has found it essential to disguise the opulence of its ruling-class leisure existence by providing the lower classes with a mass consumer’s flea market of its own. To allow a sizable portion of the “new state” to participate in this flea market, the ruling class has established currency controls and minimum wage laws that mask the true nature of modern fascism.”

OH SYHT!!! My fault, sir, but that was profound! Alright, let me reiterate for my own comprehension. The ruling-elite, those with power of money to control the governing representatives that have been elected by the lower classes, need to create the illusion of “freedom” to hide their pimping and parading, they allow the lower classes to spend their hard earned money on consumables and the like. But they have created ways to limit the amount of money made, products with planned obsolescence, and use race as a means to keep the competitive edge off certain sectors of the middle class…

I want to thank you for speaking with me, my brother…I love you…rest in revolt…

Concessions, Applause, and Book Plugs…The Black Agenda Conference…

Nothing makes my day better than spending it in the neighborhoods of the black community, listening to arguments about Jay-z, and brothers from St. Louis reminiscing about how the bloods and crips first came here. The height of the day was hearing brothers discuss the murder of Hitman-T at eighteen, and his body being expunged from the ground, and left on his mother’s doorsteps. Yeah, great way to start your day off on a positive note.

So, once I returned home, I was excited to read my e-mail (we might as well just start calling it g-mail…it is coming) and my DMs (Direct (Private) Messages from my twitter account), and find a set of videos left by a good brother of mine, and a sister asking me to watch The Black Agenda that was recorded early today. From listening to old gang bangers, to listening to older black politicians and academics. Yeah, my life, right?

The theme was “We Count”, and Tavis Smiley was sitting at a round table(enough of the subtle gestures already guys…) with the likes of Rev. Jesse l. Jackson, sr., Minister Louis Farrakhan, Michael Eric Dyson, Cornel West, Angela Glover Blackwell, Michael Fuantroy, Dr. Julianne Malveaux. They were affectionately referred to as Tavis smiley and the Panelist…I thought they were going to dim the lights, and drop a few highlights on them while the music began to play…instead, Tavis asked everyone to hold and pray. Thank you. I didn’t know if Michael Phleger would be able to hold a note. Oh, yeah, Michael Phleger was the one who gave the invocation, yeah, the white Michael Phleger gave the invocation for the Black Agenda…yeah.

It was hosted by Wayne Watson president of Chicago state university(affectionately known as CSU…Geez, guys…who’s writing this stuff…), and before the marquee guests appeared he asked the students to participate in the 2010 census. Now why would he bring that up? When have you ever heard someone talk about the census? He states that participation in the census will help the federal government allocate funds to the black community…

I was so glad that Jesse L. Jackson was the one to make the comments about the moral center, and the black agenda being the moral agenda…I’m not going to say it…well…maybe the good Christian monogamous brother believes he is Abraham…

The gist or the overall theme of the conference and much of all the panelists’ discussion was that the American Black Agenda was the American agenda. I ultimately understood the dialogue, and was glad the dialectic was pronounced. However, I also would like to state that every time American Blacks attempt to depend on the state of White America to heed their call, nothing but concessions amount from the talks. This is still planet earth, and rule number one among the living seems to be the need to demand power, and not ask for it. The hope of better treatment for the millions of American Blacks in this country from millionaires is very strange to me. And ultimately, those who say let your work show, I’m in the belly, and I have been here for the most of my life, and I have never seen you.

I see the gangster discussing how they have shot people and how the organizations of young men in the streets of St. Louis has grown. I hear the pain of the brothers and sisters when referencing work and jobs. I hear them when they talk about the various prisons across the state of Missouri, and how one can avoid the traps. I believe they have taught me more about the black agenda than those who live comfortably working at such institutions as Prince George University, Georgetown, and Princeton, Bennett College for women. I have no compunctions with them discussing moral codes because they also discuss their moral dilemmas. I trust them. And because they see me striving for this degree, while living among them, they trust me as well.

Rest in Revolt, Bro. Malcolm…And Let The Dead Bury Their Own…

Sometimes I have to laugh at people to keep the last pieces of my sanity from completely sending me into the abyss. I think deeply about what I read, and what I hear. I attempt to reflect the best part of that back into the world, through what I say and what I write. I consider the Brother Malcolm X to be a guide post in my life more reasons than one. I think about all the articles I read based on Oprah’s theory of the down low brother and “homo-thug”. I listen to the banter about Atlanta, and I laugh when someone begins to question a man’s sexual preference based on if he likes receiving oral stimulation from a woman more than vaginal penetration. I wonder if any of these people would have asked Malcolm those questions, or had those thoughts running in the back of their heads as he mentions he spent seven years incarcerated.

So today, as I read my twitter stream, I begin to giggle at this one young sister that I follow. The sister is one of those high strung women that thinks because she looks a certain way, (that being light-skinned), that she is entitled a certain respect in all things American black. I read a comment she made today about the release of Mr. Thomas Haggin, the one of the suspects arrested at the Audubon Ballroom after the assassination of Brother Malcolm. Mr. Thomas would become the only one of three men sent to prison for the assassination to admit his guilt. The sister typed shock that the brother was being released in rhetorical question.

What I responded to the sister might have been slightly rude. What I typed possibly might have even gotten my account blocked from following her. I mentioned that the brother had done his time, as Malcolm had done his once, and asked her if she was going to “put in work” for Malcolm. Knowing that she would rather post and update her twitter stream than plan to kill the person responsible for the assassination of a brother she looks up to in death, but possibly would have repulsed in person, I continued my conversation with others there, not expecting a response. Not saying that I am doing more, of course, my life being what it is, I would suppose my efforts should be considered with high regard. Those who have seen the ugly face of war should be relieved of any obligations to return.

That being said, in the same vein that I regarded the actions of Maulana Karenga and the US organizations involvement with the murder of Bunchy Carter, I read and learn of the history, respect the elders that survived, and learn from their flawed victories. There were wars and disputes that existed before I did. The black struggle for self-determination and nationhood has had people from different sides of the aisle with extreme passion and dedication take shots and fight one another. Just as I have fought with people, and have done things that others might either be afraid to do, or ashamed to do. We all have a past. We all have to thank God for the opportunities given to us to live among the hurt, as those that hurt live among us. It is not my duty or my job to the memory of Malcolm x to attack Aziz Muhammad(who subsequently was made the regional captain of the East Coast and head of the very Mosque that Malcolm built upon his release by Minister Louis Farrakhan), Kahlil Islam, or Thomas Hagan.

If you feel it is your duty, let me remind you that when you attack that man, you attack a brother that was in the climate that “allowed him [Brother Malcolm] to be assassinated” that Louis Farrakhan has taken accountability for creating. You attack a man who not once said that the other brothers who were set free some twenty odd years ago had anything to do with the assassination. You attack a man that while serving forty years has received a master’s degree, and has been working to take care of his wife and children. But, he is in Sunset Park in Brooklyn if you need answers. I’m sure he is more than just the man who killed another man you probably wouldn’t have understood either…