We Didn’t Start the Fire. They Did.

Baltimore riots 1968: The Past is Prologue (AP Photo)

 

Regarding the protests in Baltimore following the death of Freddie Gray which have metamorphosed into throwing rocks at the police, looting stores, burning buildings including a newly constructed senior center, this can all be explained as a simple matter of logic.

Too much of THIS:

Eventually gets you THIS:

A riot is of course, a terrible thing.  They are often started because a terrible thing happened to start a riot.

“The limitation of riots, moral questions aside, is that they cannot win and their participants know it. Hence, rioting is not revolutionary but reactionary because it invites defeat. It involves an emotional catharsis, but it must be followed by a sense of futility.”

“But it is not enough for me to stand before you tonight and condemn riots. It would be morally irresponsible for me to do that without, at the same time, condemning the contingent, intolerable conditions that exist in our society. These conditions are the things that cause individuals to feel that they have no other alternative than to engage in violent rebellions to get attention. And I must say tonight that a riot is the language of the unheard. And what is it America has failed to hear? It has failed to hear that the plight of the negro poor has worsened over the last twelve or fifteen years. It has failed to hear that the promises of freedom and justice have not been met. And it has failed to hear that large segments of white society are more concerned about tranquility and the status quo than about justice and humanity.”
― Martin Luther King Jr.

“The poor suffer twice at the rioter’s hands. First, his destructive fury scars their neighborhood; second, the atmosphere of accommodation and consent is changed to one of hostility and resentment. “
—- Lyndon B. Johnson

President Lyndon B. Johnson and Rev. Dr. Marti...

The President and the Preacher understood riots in different ways. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

“I later heard somewhere, or read, that Malcolm X telephoned an apology to the reporter. But this was the kind of evidence which caused many close observers of the Malcolm X phenomenon to declare in absolute seriousness that he was the only Negro in America who could either start a race riot-or stop one. When I once quoted this to him, tacitly inviting his comment, he told me tartly, “I don’t know if I could start one. I don’t know if I’d want to stop one.”
― Alex Haley, The Autobiography of Malcolm X

Robbing stores, stoning the cops and burning your own neighborhood down and ripping shit up solves nothing, helps no one and will only make a terrible tragedy a horrible one.   The family of Freddie Gray should have been respected enough not to send his city up in flames and every looter, every criminal, every wannabee revolutionary who thinks they’re doing this in Gray’s name is lying to themselves.

They are not lying to me, because I fully expected this which puts me ahead of the mayor of Baltimore, the police chief and the governor of Maryland who all misread the signals.  Bad may get worse but the rioters didn’t start the fire.  The cops did and it’s too late to turn back now.  This fire has smoldered for years and it must burn itself out.   More damage will be done before it’s over and possibly more people will die, but if only someone had taken control of the Baltimore Police Department Freddie Gray might still be alive and the city wouldn’t be in flames.

Maybe this time they will learn.   They never have before.

The (Attempted) Rebooting of Malcolm X

malcolm x2

We’re down to the last days of Black History Month and I haven’t focused very much on it.   Like at all.   I’m of the belief Black History Month has gone on past its sell-by date, but that’s not my focus today.   I was given a reason to pay some attention  when found out some enterprising conservatives had seized upon  Malcolm X  ripping Democrats a new hole with his “political chumps” speech

First they came for Dr. King and tried to turn him into a Republican and now its Brother Malcolm  who is next in line to be body-snatched by the Right.

Anytime you throw your weight behind a political party that controls two-thirds of the government, and that Party can’t keep the promise that it made to you during election time, and you’re dumb enough to walk around continuing to identify yourself with that Party, you’re not only a chump, but you’re a traitor to your race.

They try and pass the buck to the Dixiecrats. Now back during the days when you were blind, deaf, and dumb, ignorant, politically immature, naturally you went along with that. But today as your eyes come open, and you develop political maturity, you’re able to see and think for yourself, and you can see that a Dixiecrat is nothing but a Democrat in disguise.

They’ve been down there four years, and they’re — all other legislation they wanted to bring up they brought it up and gotten it out of the way, and now they bring up you. And now, they bring up you. You put them first, and they put you last, ’cause you’re a chump, a political chump. –

Too Black, Too Strong, Too Malcolm.

I like that speech.   Malcolm was in the business of speaking truth to power and he didn’t hold back based upon which party was in power.   It’s easy to see why a conservative annoyed over President Obama and the Democrats constantly pulling down 80 to 90 percent of the Black vote would also like the speech.   Nearly 50 years after Malcolm made those remarks they still resonate (though the Dixiecrats part not so much).   Cutting to the chase and making it plain was a specialty of Malcolm.

But that doesn’t mean Malcolm was Herman Cain before Herman Cain.

You think Malcolm X hated on liberals alone? If you do, you know the words, but you’re lost on the melody.   You can’t cherry-pick the man’s speeches looking only for the parts that jibe with your own beliefs.  Either you take Malcolm in his totality or you leave him the hell alone!

Malcolm X didn’t simply reject Democrats. He rejected the whole damn political game because he considered it institutionally and systematically racist and discriminatory. His goals with the Nation of Islam were in direct opposition to what Dr. King and the civil rights movement was about.   Malcolm left it up to King to fight to integrate buses and lunch counters and get arrested and have dogs turned loose on him.

Martin spoke of his American dreams while  Malcolm spoke of his American nightmares.

“And when I speak, I don’t speak as a Democrat. Or a Republican. Nor an American. I speak as a victim of America’s so-called democracy. You and I have never seen democracy – all we’ve seen is hypocrisy. When we open our eyes today and look around America, we see America not through the eyes of someone who has enjoyed the fruits of Americanism. We see America through the eyes of someone who has been the victim of Americanism. We don’t see any American dream. We’ve experienced only the American nightmare.”

“They know that as long as they keep us undereducated, or with an inferior education, it’s impossible for us to compete with them for job openings. And as long as we can’t compete with them and get a decent job, we’re trapped. We are low-wage earners. We have to live in a run-down neighborhood, which means our children go to inferior schools. They get inferior education. And when they grow up, they fall right into the same cycle again. This is the American way. This is the American democracy that she tries to sell to the whole world as being that which will solve the problems of other people too.”

“Sitting at the table doesn’t make you a diner, unless you eat some of what’s on that plate. Being here in America doesn’t make you an American. Being born here in America doesn’t make you an American.”

“Me, a Republican? Now that’s funny.”

It’s fine with me if conservatives searching for a Black hero bashing liberals as vigorously as they do  and they try to misappropriate some of Malcolm’s words to do it.   I’m not concerned because its pretty hard to retrofit a Black Nationalist acolyte of Elijah Muhammad like Malcolm X for the Fox News generation.  If they’re not careful they might mess around and expose themselves to a worldview that was at war with their own.  Enlightenment is what Black History Month is supposed to be about after all.   However, if they delude themselves it was only the asses of liberals he had a foot in they will totally miss what Malcolm made plain.

It’s fine with me if conservatives searching for a Black hero bashing liberals as vigorously as they do  and they try to misappropriate some of Malcolm’s words to do it.  It’s  hard to retrofit a fiercely symbol of Black manhood like Malcolm X as a Fox News Republican, but the Right can try if they want.    It won’t stick.   Malcolm rejected the choice of Democrat or Republican as a false choice,  but  if some White Tea-Party types want to read though The Bullet of the Ballot speech looking for some grenades to lob at Barack Obama they can go for it.    They should be careful not to mess around and expose themselves to a worldview  at war with their own.  Enlightenment is what Black History Month is supposed to be about after all.   However, if they delude themselves it was only the asses of liberals he had a foot in they will totally miss what Malcolm made plain.

…the black masses are learning for the first time in 400 years the real truth of how the white man brainwashed the black man, kept him ignorant of his true history, robbed him of his self-confidence. The black masses for the first time are understanding that it’s not a case of being anti-white or anti-Christian, but it’s a case of seeing the true nature of the white man. We’re anti-evil, anti-oppression, anti-lynching. You can’t be anti-those things unless you’re also anti-the oppressor and the lyncher. You can’t be anti-slavery and pro-slavemaster; you can’t be anti-crime and pro-criminal. In fact, Mr. Muhammad teaches that if the present generation of whites would study their own race in the light of their true history, they would be anti-white themselves.

This was a brother who didn’t play favorites.   Malcolm X didn’t see any distinction between White liberals and White conservatives.  He only saw oppressors whose shared racial identity made them adversaries of his own.    Too Black.  Too Strong.  Too much Malcolm to be any kind of Republican.

Any attempt by half-wit right-wingers seeking to body-snatch Malcolm X and turn him into  yet another zombiefied chicken-n’-biscuit eatin’ disgrace to the race like Herman Cain will be met with the acidic contempt and brutal truth it deserves.

Quentin Tarantino: Slave Profiteer

An exercise in good clean fun or repellent bad taste?

Yeah, I thought I was over and done with Django Unchained, but apparently Django Unchained isn’t done with me yet.

Tell me Quentin Tarantino has the right to make any movie he wants to make and I’ll agree with you (though if he decides to remake Birth of A Nation I’m gonna have a problem with it).

Tell me you agree with Q.T. when he says, “When you look at Roots, nothing about it rings true in the storytelling, and none of the performances ring true for me either. I didn’t see it when it first came on, but when I did I couldn’t get over how oversimplified they made everything about that time. It didn’t move me because it claimed to be something it wasn’t.”  I won’t agree with you, but I’ll concede you and Q.T. have a right to your opinion (though how the storytelling in Django Unchained “rings true” escapes me).

You can even tell me Django is a masterpiece, isn’t supposed to be historically accurate because really, nothing else is either and we should be happy to see so many  Black folks getting work and getting paid to get their asses whipped and fed to dogs.

I’ll even agree with some of that.

“Okay, so maybe slave action figures wasn’t my best idea…”

What I WON’T agree with is I was wrong about my original contention that Quentin Tarantino is a race hustler who thinks he has a ghetto pass to say and do whatever he wants in his depictions of Black people because he’s a hip White guy.   Art is supposed to be provocative, but this is simply exploitative.   Selling slaves as action figures is some SICK-ASS SHIT and you do it only for one reason.  The same reason slavery was put in place:  PROFIT.

Consider the possibilities.  Little kids can play Calvin J. Candie and make Django and Stephen “Mandingo fight” or act like they’re selling Broomhilda or strip her naked and throw her in  just call them “nigger” all day long.   Sic the dogs on that lazy slave’s ass or whip ’em into line.   The possibilities are endless!

This is not bad taste.  It’s not even poor taste. It’s exploitative junk. You’ve heard of war profiteers? This is slave profiteering.  Quentin Tarantino might not sell Black human beings into bondage, but for $54.99,  he’ll sell you a toy of one.    Everybody plays the fool sometime but only a complete fool support a race mercenary who pimps the oppression of an entire race for a buck.

Malcolm X  wasn’t a film critic but he was highly skeptical of the benevolence of well-meaning White folks when he said,  “I’ve never seen a sincere white man, not when it comes to helping black people. Usually things like this are done by white people to benefit themselves. The white man’s primary interest is not to elevate the thinking of black people, or to waken black people, or white people either. The white man is interested in the black man only to the extent that the black man is of use to him. The white man’s interest is to make money, to exploit.”

Malcolm  was wrong in lumping all Whites as being motivated by selfish self-interest and he wasn’t thinking specifically of a cheap race hustler like  Tarantino when he made those remarks.

But he could have been.

Too late for Xmas, but right on time for birthday gift-giving.

The Mau-Mauing of the President

“Mr. President, take your campaign of division and anger and hate back to Chicago and let us get about rebuilding and reuniting America.”  — Mitt Romney

As a public service here is a clarification for Mittens:

THIS is an Angry Black Man just before he pops a cap in your ass.

THIS is not an Angry Black Man:

Romney’s ravaging of the president had the effect of angering MSNBC contributor Toure.  “That really bothered me,” he said. “You notice he said anger twice. He’s really trying to use racial coding and access some really deep stereotypes about the angry black man. This is part of the playbook against Obama, the ‘otherization,’ he’s not like us.”

“I know it’s a heavy thing, I don’t say it lightly, but this is ‘niggerization,’”

The focus here is on the wrong issue. It isn’t that Obama is angry and full of hate. He’s not.  That’s some old bullshit from Romney and he should either explain how the president is angry and hateful or retract his remarks, because it sounds like he’s blowing a dog whistle that a Black man is always on the verge of snapping and going off.

That isn’t even close to describing Barack Obama. As shit gets hotter, he gets cooler. You can’t come off as a Angry Black Man and get very far in America. Samuel L. Jackson has raised it to an art form, but he’s an actor playing a part. And he loves to golf. What’s Whiter than golf?

Unless your fear is Tiger Woods is a covert Black militant.

“I’m so mad. Boy, am I angry! Grrrr…”

The Angry Black Man is a stereotype. Right next to the Angry Black Woman rollin’ her neck and gettin’ all loud up in your face.

Romney has never run against a Black person for political office.  We can pretend the rules are the same, but they aren’t.  If you are a heterosexual White male,  if you are competing against a woman, a homosexual or a minority you have to take extra care not to lapse into stereotypes.

Perhaps he didn’t mean to lapse into racial coding, but suggesting the president is running a campaign of anger and hate and not supporting the accusation is a dog whistle.  Mittens demonstrated during his appearance before the NAACP, his awkwardness around Blacks.   Then again, Mitt doesn’t seem like he’s comfortable around anyone not White, wealthy and Mormon.

Romney blurted out something that plays to White fears without anything to support it. He tried to Mau-Mau the mild-mannered Barack Obama into Malcolm X. That is what Toure was upset about. He just put it across in terminology that surprised and outraged some White folks.

Black folks just shrugged and said, “Word.”

Mitt thought he was being fierce in putting Barack in his place. He just looked shrill and a bit desperate.    That’s what right-wing White men always say when they don’t know how to debate with a Black man. “You’re angry! You have anger issues! It’s an impotent little debating trick they pull so they can reassert their Alpha Male status.

Romney knows poll after poll shows Obama blows him away when it comes to likability. He’d be better served by trying to make himself more likeable than trying to make Obama less.

Fake-Ass Black Militants and the White Conservatives That Love Them

Attention conservatives: THIS is what a brother who means business looks like.

Having never been White or a conservative I can’t begin to understand what it is about the Pseudo New Black Panthers Party that sets White conservatives into a frenzy.  As far as I know, the only one who takes these fake-ass Black radicals seriously are White conservatives.  The only reason I can figure they do is it plays into their paranoia that the Age of Obama is the harbinger for the upcoming race war or something.

When the small, but noisy, group of Black separatists issued a “manifesto” denouncing President Obama and speculated the choice in November would come down to the “ballot or the bullet” the conservative media and blogs freaked the hell out.   The conservative website, The Daily Caller breathlessly wrote:

In the Spring edition of the New Black Panther Party (NBPP) newspaper — cover reading “The Ballot or The Bullet: which way for black people?” — NBPP Chairman Malik Zulu Shabazz breaks down the presidential election, concluding the Democratic Party is the “institutional pimp of Black peoples and the Black Nation” and that Obama has “been a real disappointment.”

“Black peoples are the whores and prostitutes of the Democratic Party, and mistreated mistress that is courted in the late of night, but left hanging when it is time for real change in the light of the post election day,” Shabazz wrote, following a dissertation on the need to “Vote for Revolution.”

“Black peoples are the whores and prostitutes of the Democratic Party, and mistreated mistress that is courted in the late of night, but left hanging when it is time for real change in the light of the post election day,” he wrote, encouraging blacks to “vote for revolution.”

“Black America, you must decide who will best represent you in 2012. You must decide if you will choose the ballot as a means to change, or the bullet,” he wrote, adding that ““demanding change does come by any means necessary.”

The right-wing media does an excellent job of whipping their base into a mouth-foaming frenzy.  But they do a rotten job of doing even a little bit of historical research.  If they had they would have realized “the ballot or the bullet” were ripped off from a speech given by an assassinated Black leader some 48 years ago.

Whomever Malik Zulu Shabazz really is, he’s ripping off the far more articulate and infinitely more intelligent El-Hajj Malik El Shabazz, a.k.a. Malcolm X.   The phrases “the ballot or the bullet” and “by any means necessary” are instantly familiar to anyone who has listened to the deceased Black Muslim leader’s fiery and impassioned speeches.  That does not seem to include Tucker Carlson, Glenn Beck, Lou Dobbs and the idiots running Breitbrart.com.

Malcolm X gave a speech on March 29, 1964 entitled “The Ballot or the Bullet.” The Black Muslim leader was speaking about the need for Congress to pass the Civil Rights Act and warning of what the dire consequences might be if it wasn’t.

“Look at us! We’re tough! We’re mean!. GRRR! You scared yet?”

If you’re interested in freedom, you need some judo, you need some karate–you need all the things that will help you fight for freedom. If we don’t resort to the bullet, then immediately we have to take steps to use the ballot. Equality of opportunity, if the constitution at the present time [doesn’t offer it], then change it. Either it offers it, or it doesn’t offer it. If it offers it–good, then give it to us–if it doesn’t offer it, then change it. You don’t need a debate. You don’t need a filibuster. You need some action!

So what you and I have to do is get involved. You and I have to be right there breathing down their throats. Every time they look over their shoulders, we want them to see us.

We want to make them–we want to make them–pass the strongest civil-rights bill they ever passed, because we know that even after they pass it, they can’t enforce it.

In order to do this, we’re starting a voters’ registration drive. We have to get everybody in Harlem registered, not as Democrats or Republicans, but registered as Independents. We’re going to organize a corps of brothers and sisters who, after this city is mapped out, they won’t leave one apartment-house door not knocked on. There won’t be a door in Harlem that will not have been knocked on to see that whatever black face lives behind that door is registered to vote by a certain time this year. Nobody will have an excuse not to be registered. We’ll ask him to let us see your card. If you don’t have the sense of responsibility to get registered, we’ll move you out of town.

It’s going to be the ballot or the bullet…

The Pseudo New Black Panthers specialize in two things: dick-riding authentic Black leaders and pissing offf White conservatives. Why do I say White conservatives? Because those are their major constituents. The way they inflame fear and paranoia among the White right, you have to wonder if they are on the Koch Brothers payroll.

The Real Deal Black Steel

They know this kind of jive makes conservatives see red and double-check to make sure all their guns are loaded and ready for when the race war begins. Meanwhile, these fakes get all sorts of free pub. It’s a win-win!

All the Pseudo Panthers do is scare White folks that the big, bad Black militants are going to come to take their guns and rape their wives. It’s a crock. These clowns love to dress up, talk tough and do nothing. They never raised $10,000 for a bounty on George Zimmerman. They couldn’t raise $10 bucks if they passed the hat between themselves.

You can promise anything if you know you’re never going to deliver. Maybe the right-wing blogosphere and the people who get dumber by watching Fox News are putting bars on the doors and windows in fear of the Pseudo Panthers comin’ to get their mama, but this is karaoke Black militancy.

Malcolm X was a real Black militant. Huey Newton and the original-accept-no-substitutes Black Panthers were real Black militants.

This shit by the Pseudo Panthers isn’t militancy. It’s cabaret. It’s “Let’s scare the shit out of White folks” and it’s working.

I read Malcolm X. I listened to Malcolm X. I admired Malcolm X.  These fake-ass Negroes are no Malcolm X.

But they’re good enough for the White Right to use as the boogeymen of Scary Black People.  It’s great for creating paranoia, racial hatred, ratings and gun sales.  I really do not get what it is about the Pseudo-New Black Panthers that gets so many tighty whiteys in a wad. They talk a lot of mad shit. Oh GOD, how they love to talk about all their plans and what they’re going to do and how they’ve gonna fuck up White folks world.

And they don’t do diddly.  Who listens to the Pseudo Panthers?  Who hangs on their every word?  Who takes them seriously?  It’s White folks, not Black folks.

The only militants worth worrying about are the ones that don’t run off at the mouth, don’t announce their plans, don’t do media events and don’t bite off of dead Black Muslims and the carcass of the original real deal Black Panthers.

The Wrong Guys For the Right Reason?

The return of J&A's excellent adventure?

Even tragedies can present opportunities and the killing of Trayvon Martin is no exception.  The mainstream media took their sweet time in discovering what Black bloggers and media was already reporting, but now they have made this the biggest story in America.

It’s been great for ratings.  And it’s been great for Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton as well.  Instead of trying to bite off Occupy Wall Street or some other topic in the news, the two former unofficial presidents of Black America are back on their favorite beat, marching, demonstrating and protesting and all in the name of Trayvon Martin.

I have a colleague whom I used to work with at a newspaper and we get together to shoot the breeze. His problem with Jackson and Sharpton are their claims that they are “Black leaders.”

That sets my friend all the way off.  Who made THEM “Black leaders?” Did you vote for them? I know I didn’t! Where’s MY ballot?

There is something to that. Why are Jackson and Sharpton considered Black leaders? Why do Black folks even need leaders?  Who are the leaders of Latinos? Who speaks for lesbians? Who’s the great leader of Asians? Who’s the greatest White leader? Or does even posing the question seem ludicrous to even ask?

The last great Black leaders were Martin Luther King, Jr. and Malcolm X.  They became leaders the hard way.  They earned it and they were killed for being leaders.  You could not find two more different men with different approaches than Martin and Malcolm.  Jackson and Sharpton on their best day couldn’t touch them on their worst. Neither one of them are worthy heirs of King’s mantle of civil rights advocacy.  Neither one of them are as bold and willing to face White supremacy the way Malcolm X did.

What keeps J&A on the front pages is the passionate hatred they provoke from right-wing critics.  Jesse and Al are considered by the Right as race hustlers who stir up trouble, shakedown businesses, show up wherever there’s a controversy and a camera and are generally unscrupulous, unprincipled, con men.  Some of this criticism is both verifiable and irrefutable.

Any honest critique of Jackson and Sharpton must take in account their pros and cons.

Once giants walked among us.

Positives: protecting civil rights, keeping a spirit of activism alive, bringing attention to issues and stories that would go unnoticed and unaddressed otherwise, ticking off the right-wing something fierce.

Negatives: attention whores, lack of identified achievable goals, unwilling to get off the stage so younger leaders can emerge, egotistical, poor tacticians, dubious personal conduct,

The biggest negative is neither Jackson or Sharpton will confront and criticize Democrats and liberals when they come up short or sell out the interests of African-Americans.  A true Black leader has to be willing to be bipartisan in their criticism.  Jackson has mildly criticized Obama and Sharpton flaunts his connections to the White House. Can you imagine J&A publicly and vocally breaking with a Democratic president the way Martin Luther King, Jr., broke with Lyndon Johnson over the Viet Nam war and poverty in America?  With Jackson and Sharpton beholden to the Democrats, they can’t be truly independent.

Martin and Malcolm may have created the template for Al and Jesse, but what sets them heads and shoulders above Sharpton and Jackson is they never craved the spotlight.  King was a reluctant convert to political activism and X transformed himself from a small-time hustler, pimp, and convict to the most powerful and charismatic spokesman for Elijah Muhammad’s Nation of Islam until he broke with him.

Neither Martin or Malcolm were wealthy or sought the spotlight the way their would-be successors have.  You can’t fault them for finding a way to turn a buck off of being a political gadfly, but it leaves them open to charges that they are chasing publicity and dollars, not justice.

I was too young to march with Martin Luther King or listen to Malcolm X, but their authenticity was above reproach. . They were the real deal and they both got taken out for it. Al and Jesse? I think they believe what they say, but I don’t need “leaders” any more and I don’t want to be “led.”

Obama has proven you can be a leader through obtaining political legitimacy.  Jackson and Sharpton both mounted presidential bids, but they never seemed fully committed.  If conservatives really want to make J&A relics of a previous time, they need to stop trying to demonize the pair  That gets them nowhere and only makes Jackson and Sharpton even more beloved, and why not?  Pissing off the Right has a considerable upside.

Conservatives could neutralize J&A, but what it would take is something they have shown little interest in.   Make Dr. King’s dream a reality and they’re both out of business.

That would require the Right to give up their fear and loathing of uppity Black men.  But since conservatives like the Koch brothers like their Negroes docile and childlike (Where’s my mint julep, Herman Cain?) and hate to be reminded racism still exists that seems unlikely.

We are going to have to learn to live with Sharpton and Jackson, warts and all.  Reservations aside, Trayvon Martin needs champions to find justice for him and while they are no Martin or Malcolm, this is the right cause even if they are the wrong men.

The right men for the right cause?

Herman Cain: The Happiest House Negro

Herman Cain on the Wall Street occupation:

The real Uncle Ruckus

I don’t have facts to back this up, but I happen to believe that these demonstrations are planned and orchestrated to distract from the failed policies of the Obama administration.  Don’t blame Wall Street, don’t blame the big banks, if you don’t have a job and you’re not rich, blame yourself.” –

Herman Cain

Not everyone wants to be rich, For some of us it’s enough just to be a decent human being who pays their bills, cares for their family and isn’t concerned with accumulating absurd wealth and expensive toys.   Living a simple and humble life has a dignity all its own.

Not everyone wants to be a House Negro and suck up to White people and eat the scraps from their dinner table.

Not everyone wants to be like Herman Cain.

Some of us want to be men and take care of our responsibilities like men, but because some banker made subprime loans or invested stupidly and played games with people’s lives so they have no money and have no jobs, being a man, especially a Black man is tough and getting tougher.

But Herman Cain wouldn’t know anything about that.  Being a happy house slave means what concerns Black people doesn’t concern him.

This sad little man’s campaign motto should be, “I don’t have facts.to back this up BUT….”    Since when has not having the facts ever stopped a fool like Cain from speaking foolishly?

Malcolm X put it far better than I ever could and he was right then and he is right now about old House Negroes like Herman Cain, the Neo-Coon, Neo-Con Artist.  He’s the real Uncle Ruckus.

To understand this, you have to go back to what [the] young brother here referred to as the house Negro and the field Negro — back during slavery. There was two kinds of slaves. There was the house Negro and the field Negro. The house Negroes – they lived in the house with master, they dressed pretty good, they ate good ’cause they ate his food — what he left. They lived in the attic or the basement, but still they lived near the master; and they loved their master more than the master loved himself. They would give their life to save the master’s house quicker than the master would. The house Negro, if the master said, “We got a good house here,” the house Negro would say, “Yeah, we got a good house here.” Whenever the master said “we,” he said “we.” That’s how you can tell a house Negro.

"Yes, Herman, I mean YOU."

This modern house Negro loves his master. He wants to live near him. He’ll pay three times as much as the house is worth just to live near his master, and then brag about “I’m the only Negro out here.” “I’m the only one on my job.” “I’m the only one in this school.” You’re nothing but a house Negro. And if someone comes to you right now and says, “Let’s separate,” you say the same thing that the house Negro said on the plantation. “What you mean, separate? From America? This good white man? Where you going to get a better job than you get here?” I mean, this is what you say. “I ain’t left nothing in Africa,” that’s what you say. Why, you left your mind in Africa.

On that same plantation, there was the field Negro. The field Negro — those were the masses. There were always more Negroes in the field than there was Negroes in the house. The Negro in the field caught hell. He ate leftovers. In the house they ate high up on the hog. The Negro in the field didn’t get nothing but what was left of the insides of the hog. They call ‘em “chitt’lin’” nowadays. In those days they called them what they were: guts. That’s what you were — a gut-eater. And some of you all still gut-eaters.

The field Negro was beaten from morning to night. He lived in a shack, in a hut; He wore old, castoff clothes. He hated his master. I say he hated his master. He was intelligent. That house Negro loved his master. But that field Negro — remember, they were in the majority, and they hated the master. When the house caught on fire, he didn’t try and put it out; that field Negro prayed for a wind, for a breeze. When the master got sick, the field Negro prayed that he’d die. If someone come [sic] to the field Negro and said, “Let’s separate, let’s run,” he didn’t say “Where we going?” He’d say, “Any place is better than here.” You’ve got field Negroes in America today. I’m a field Negro. The masses are the field Negroes. When they see this man’s house on fire, you don’t hear these little Negroes talking about “our government is in trouble.” They say, “The government is in trouble.” Imagine a Negro: “Our government”! I even heard one say “our astronauts.” They won’t even let him near the plant — and “our astronauts”! “Our Navy” — that’s a Negro that’s out of his mind. That’s a Negro that’s out of his mind.

We need a lot more Field and a lot fewer House Negroes like Herman Cain.

What Sort of Leadership Do We Want From Our Leaders?

He's no Malcolm X, but could we handle Malcolm X today?

President Obama went to the Congressional Black Caucus dinner and spoke about Black unemployment, Black problems and Black people.  All the things critics like Maxine Waters and Tavis Smiley and all the other professional “leaders”  have ripped Obama for not saying he said out loud and on the record.

“With patient and firm determination, I am going to press on for jobs. I’m going to press on for equality. I’m going to press on for the sake of our children. I’m going to press on for the sake of all those families who are struggling right now. I don’t have time to feel sorry for myself. I don’t have time to complain. I am going to press on.

“I expect all of you to march with me and press on. Take off your bedroom slippers, put on your marching shoes. Shake it off. Stop complaining, stop grumbling, stop crying. We are going to press on. We’ve got work to do, CBC.”

Seems they didn’t dig Obama telling them to “stop complaining.”  Complaining is what Waters and Smiley do best.  Smiley sputtered,  “How does he get away with saying this to Black folk?” Waters sniffed indignantly, “I don’t know who he was talking to because we’re certainly not complaining,”

Negroes, please!   I hate to see bourgeois Black people get their ass on their shoulders when they get called out.  Tavis all you do is talk and if talking’ could solve a problem we wouldn’t have any.  Maxine,  you’ve been in Congress for 21 years!  How are your constituents in South Central L.A. doing these day?  With all the ethical clouds hanging over your head where do you get the balls to be so damned morally superior?

Waters and Smiley are so focused on their disdain for the messenger they didn’t bother listening to the message.

"You talkin' to me? I know you aren't talking to me."

With all the whiny responses to the president’s remarks I got to wondering.  What would happen if a real flamethrower spoke to the CBC?   How would these proper and respectable Negroes handle being called out by a Black man who spoke in capital letters and with no regard or concern whether or not they wanted to hear what he had to say.

What would happen if Malcolm X spoke to a group of politicians and professional Black leaders?   What would that sound like?

Maybe something like this.

“Usually when people are sad, they don’t do anything. They just cry over their condition. But when they get angry, they bring about a change.”

“Children have a lesson adults should learn, to not be ashamed of failing, but to get up and try again. Most of us adults are so afraid, so cautious, so ‘safe,’ and therefore so shrinking and rigid and afraid that it is why so many humans fail. Most middle-aged adults have resigned themselves to failure.”

“The greatest miracle Christianity has achieved in America is that the black man in white Christian hands has not grown violent. It is a miracle that 22 million black people have not risen up against their oppressors – in which they would have been justified by all moral criteria, and even by the democratic tradition! It is a miracle that a nation of black people has so fervently continued to believe in a turn-the-other-cheek and heaven-for-you-after-you-die philosophy! It is a miracle that the American black people have remained a peaceful people, while catching all the centuries of hell that they have caught, here in white man’s heaven! The miracle is that the white man’s puppet Negro ‘leaders’, his preachers and the educated Negroes laden with degrees, and others who have been allowed to wax fat off their black poor brothers, have been able to hold the black masses quiet until now.”

“You can cuss out colonialism, imperialism, and all other kinds of ism, but it’s hard for you to cuss that dollarism. When they drop those dollars on you, your soul goes.”

“Look at yourselves. Some of you teenagers, students. How do you think I feel and I belong to a generation ahead of you – how do you think I feel to have to tell you, ‘We, my generation, sat around like a knot on a wall while the whole world was fighting for its hum an rights – and you’ve got to be born into a society where you still have that same fight.’ What did we do, who preceded you ? I’ll tell you what we did. Nothing. And don’t you make the same mistake we made….”

“Our people have made the mistake of confusing the methods with the objectives. As long as we agree on objectives, we should never fall out with each other just because we believe in different methods, or tactics, or strategy. We have to keep in mind at all times that we are not fighting for separation. We are fighting for recognition as free humans in this society.”

“Yes, I’m an extremist. The black race… is in extremely bad condition. You show me a black man who isn’t an extremist and I’ll show you one who needs psychiatric attention!”

 “People involved in a revolution don’t become part of the system; they destroy the system… The Negro revolution is no revolution because it condemns the system and then asks the system it has condemned to accept them…The price of freedom is death. “

“Who ever heard of angry revolutionists all harmonizing ‘We shall overcome … Suum Day…’ while tripping and swaying along arm-in-arm with the very people they were supposed to be angrily revolting against ? Who ever heard of angry revolutionists swinging their bare feet together with their oppressor in lily-pad park pools, with gospels and guitars and ‘I have a dream’ speeches? And the black masses in America were–and still are–having a nightmare.”

“I’m not going to sit at your table and watch you eat, with nothing on my plate, and call myself a diner. Sitting at the table doesn’t make you a diner, unless you eat some of what’s on that plate. Being here in America doesn’t make you an American…. No I’m not an American, I’m one of the 22 million black people who are the victims of Americanism. One of the 22 million black people who are the victims of democracy, nothing but disguised hypocrisy…. I’m speaking as a victim of this American system. And I see America through the eyes of a victim. I don’t see any American dream; I see an American nightmare.”

“Sitting at the table doesn’t make you a diner, unless you eat some of what’s on that plate. Being here in America doesn’t make you an American. Being born here in America doesn’t make you an American.”

“If you’re afraid of black nationalism, you’re afraid of revolution. And if you love revolution, you love black nationalism. To understand this, you have to go back to what the young brother here referred to as the house Negro and the field Negro back during slavery. There were two kinds of slaves, the house Negro and the field Negro. The house Negroes — they lived in the house with master, they dressed pretty good, they ate good because they ate his food — what he left. They lived in the attic or the basement, but still they lived near the master; and they loved the master more than the master loved himself. They would give their life to save the master’s house — quicker than the master would. If the master said, “We got a good house here,” the house Negro would say, “Yeah, we got a good house here.” Whenever the master said “we,” he said “we.” That’s how you can tell a house Negro.

“We, the Black masses, don’t want these leaders who seek our support coming to us representing a certain political party. They must come to us today as Black Leaders representing the welfare of Black people. We won’t follow any leader today who comes on the basis of political party. Both parties (Democrat and Republican) are controlled by the same people who have abused our rights, and who have deceived us with false promises every time an election rolls around.”

“I’m nonviolent with those who are nonviolent with me. But when you drop that violence on me, then you’ve made me go insane, and I’m not responsible for what I do. And that’s the way every Negro should get. Any time you know you’re within the law, within your legal rights, within your moral rights, in accord with justice, then die for what you believe in. But don’t die alone. Let your dying be reciprocal. This is what is meant by equality. What’s good for the goose is good for the gander.”

“If it doesn’t take senators and congressmen and presidential proclamations to give freedom to the white man, it is not necessary for legislation or proclamation or Supreme Court decisions to give freedom to the Black man. You let that white man know, if this is a country of freedom, let it be a country of freedom; and if it’s not a country of freedom, change it.”

Yeah, if Malcolm X spoke to some of these so-called “Black leaders” there would be smoke coming out of their ears and their heads would explode.

At some point Waters and Smiley and all the professional pessimists who call out Obama for not showing concern about issues of poverty, unemployment and the suffering of African-Americans will to have to decide if they’re primarily interested in only criticizing him when he’s wrong instead of supporting him when he’s right

It used to be Black people responded when they were challenged by their leaders and yes, Barack Obama is a leader.   He’s not a fire starter as Malcolm X was and he’s far too careful at times but this is not the first time Obama’s policies have come wrapped in a moral lesson.  Waters and Smiley don’t want to be challenged.  They want to be asked real nicely.   They don’t even want solutions to problems.   What would they do if they had nothing to bitch about?

What would they say if Malcolm X challenged them to stop complaining, stop grumbling, stop crying?  If a Black moderate like Obama annoys them so much how would an outspoken Black nationalist rock their world?  Malcolm loved Black people but he wasn’t afraid to chide Black people for not stepping up their game.   Writing in The Atlantic Ta-Nehisi Coates pondered the parallels between the fatherly advice both men gave Black Americans.

Always lurking among Malcolm’s condemnations of white racism was a subtler, and more inspiring, notion—“You’re better than you think you are,” he seemed to say to us. “Now act like it.”

Ossie Davis famously eulogized Malcolm X as “our living, black manhood” and “our own black shining prince.” Only one man today could bear those twin honorifics: Barack Obama. Progressives who always enjoyed Malcolm’s thundering denunciations more than his moral appeals are unimpressed by that message. But among blacks, Obama’s moral appeals are warmly received, not because the listeners believe racism has been defeated, but because cutting off your son’s PlayStation speaks to something deep and American in black people—a belief that, by their own hand, they can be made better, they can be made anew.

Barack Obama is no Malcolm X.   No one would argue that,    What else can’t be argued is Black people aren’t what they used to be either.