|Michael Baisden and The Mystification of the Negro
||[Jan. 16th, 2008|03:14 pm]
As Angolan Liberation writer Frantz Fanon teaches in the Wretched of the Earth; Black folk are easily mystified. |
One of the definitions of mystified as give by WordNet® 3.0 is: the activity of obscuring people's understanding, leaving them baffled or bewildered
Mystification is the process of masking or covering up central aspects of society or of social relationships. Conflict or critical theorists are interested in the ways in which forms of social domination based on sex, class or colonialism are camouflaged so that these social structures, and the state which assists in their reproduction, are seen as legitimate.
Mystification allows for domination that is not based on evident coercion or force, but is maintained by a wide variety of social institutions and cultural values.
Preface to Frantz Fanon’s “Wretched of the Earth”
One of the great examples of mystification in history is how Hitler was able to mentally and emotionally seduce the whole of the German nation with emphatic claims, appeals and challenges to national loyalty, and the use of the “Big Lie”.
I did a post a while back on Michael Baisden's scurrilous and unscrupulous attack on renowned grassroots organizers Color of Change and it's founder and President James Rukur; who led the way in the Jena 6 fight long before Baiseden even knew there was a Jena.
After having laid out the evidence of the lie that Baisden had perpetrated against these folks I (and george cook of www.letstalkhonestly.com said he received many of the same) received comments from Negroes saying things such as the following: that I and the bloggosphere should stop "attacking" Baisden (that's right, correcting a lie is an attack), and that I should just cut the brotha some slack just because he's not perfect. As if it requires perfection to not lie on somebody.
Why am I using the word Negro instead of Black; because this is Negroe thinking, i.e. thought that is the result of the MisEdcuation that Carter G. Woodson so eloquently and aptly wrote of 7 decades ago. Its thinking that results from bamboozling the Black man, and turning him into a Negro. A Negro in this lexicon being a Black person who has accepted a white supremist paradigmatic way of thinking, fed to him for the purpose of creating a Black person who will operate in a way that benefits the white power class.
It's only a diminished thought process that has caused Black people to routinely fall in love with anybody who presents any pretense of being down with us, no matter what their actions show.
It’s not that other groups don’t get mystified; its that Blacks as a group become mystified so easily and so often; and almost without fail this happens repeatedly. So now even if he’s proven to be a lying, cheating, hustling, charlatan, slanderer; we don’t care, because he’s our lying, cheating, hustling, charlatan, slanderer. And because he did one good thing, it automatically absolves him of all bad things he may do; serving as an eternal blank check to do anything detrimental he wants, and we’ll stand beside him as long as he feeds us what we want to hear - the nice and easy.
The mystification though does wear off if one we loves challenges us as opposed to constantly feeding our ego and sense of victim-hood; as can be seen in the case of Bill Cosby. And I don't use the terminology victim-hood lightly, as to say that blacks have not been clearly targeted for victimization; but some have the notion that we have no control over our own destiny or can make no changes for ourselves, and that our fate lies soley in the hands of the white man saving us.
Cosby being one of the more socially and culturally active artist in the entertainment world, post civil rights era; a man who supported Black colleges relentlessly and worked on to uplift his people through imploring (and funding) education and by working in his field of work to help them develop better images of themselves; is now a sellout for basically saying we can do better. Never mind that his urging is substantively no different than the chiding of the Black community by the likes of Marcus Garvey and Malcolm X against the moral degradation in the Black community, and for our need to rid ourselves of so much vice as part of the struggle; and of our need of self-reliance.
In one of his seminal speeches, The Bullet or The Ballot, Malcolm X says the following:
"I don't believe in fighting today in any one front, but on all fronts. In fact I'm a Black Nationalist Freedom Fighter. Islam is my religion, but I believe my religion is my personal business.... The economic philosophy of Black Nationalism only means that we should own and operate and control the economy of our community…
"This government has failed us, the government itself has failed us. The white liberals, who have been posing as our friends, have failed us. Once we see that all these other sources to which we've turned have failed, we stop turning to them and turn to ourselves. We need a self-help program, a do it yourself philosophy, a do it right now philosophy, an it's already too late philosophy. This is what you and I need to get with... Black Nationalism is a self-help philosophy... this is a philosophy that eliminates the necessity for division and argument."
Carter G. Woodson, who along with authoring the seminal MisEducation of the Negro, was also the inventor of Black History week, which would later become Black History Month; in the previously referenced book makes an issue of moral fortitude and the necessity ridding ourselves of such pervasive vice as part of the struggle – that moral character is a part of the struggle. And he didn’t say we need more money from the government to make that happen. While the book as a whole is about the systematic means in which the oppressor has gone about bewildering the Black masses with false knowledge and a false self-image, he still writes of the internal part of the struggle that’s about what we do for ourselves.
But the moment Cosby stepped out of line with the Black ‘perpetual victim police’; he was cast down in an instant and branded a sellout. He focuses too much on personal responsibility, says Michael Erik Dyson and others; funny, he doesn’t focus on it any more than Carter G. Woodson, Marcus Garvey, and Malcolm X routinely did as a matter of course. I guess they’re sellouts too.
My point is not to hail Cosby in some light of perfection, I have some problems with him myself (though I think he's more right than wrong, just takes too many liberties with language); but my point is to make a comparison.
The comparison being, as long as we are not challenged by someone, we’ll love anyone who pretends to be down for us or our cause for even five seconds, never mind that he/she may prove time and time again that they’re not. Once we have it in our mind, and a flowery feeling in our gut, said person can do no wrong; except challenge us.
Lie to us, cheat us, steal from us, abandon us; fine, just don’t challenge us.
Look at former D.C. Mayor Marion Berry. Crooked as an 80 year olds arthritic finger, but because he gave some black folks some summer jobs way back when; our community decided we didn’t care if he ran the city where we lived into the ground and stood as a poor representation of us. And what’s sad is that this is absolutely typical and played out throughout the United States, from Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatric to your local councilmen where every you live; we’ve got sellouts and criminal negroes who get elected again and again who haven’t done anything positive for our community since before cable television; or for every one positive thing they do to keep us loving them; they have 5 side deals going selling us out, and or are committing crimes to stuff their own pockets at the people’s expense. Hell, as far as I can tell Kwame never did any good; he was just the golden boy and Black folk became mystified just cause.
Jesse Jackson walked beside Martin Luther King 45 years ago and registered a lot of Black folks to vote 25 years ago, so never mind that he’s been robbing Black folks blind ever since and pimping our struggle for his own personal gain. He gave a great speech at the Democratic National Convention, so why worry about the dagger in his left hand.
We chinned and grinned over Bill Clinton for the whole 8 years of his presidency and beyond; but what did he actually do for Black people besides entertain us with his saxophone play on the Arsenio Hall Show and give some good southern Baptist preacher speeches where he spewed some nice empty rhetoric?
As Bill Bradley pointed out while debating Al Gore at the NAACP during the 2000 presidential primaries, if Al wanted to do something about racial profiling on the interstates all he had to do was walk down the hall to his boss.
And what did his boss do about racial profiling for 8 years; he appointed a blue ribbon panel to study the issue for a year (classic stonewalling tactic) then did nothing with the results; when a simple stroke of the president’s pen could have virtually ended the practice on federal interstates – no legislation needed.
So Bill gave some Black people some positions in his cabinet, great, George W. Bush 2-uped him giving Black people even higher positions; so what does that mean?
I mean, it’s not to say that Bill didn’t have any policies beneficial to Black folks as a whole; but this pretense that he went above and beyond the pale, or that he’s so wonderful to us that we owe him some allegiance and wonder as some great benefactor; is ridiculous and completely without merit.
He's called the ‘first Black president by Black people’ because of all the negative stuff he did (smoke weed, give a pimp-dified pulpit speeches, and get head under a desk) which shows what Black folks who call him that think of their own people -- MisEducated Negroes to the core!
Other interesting reading on Frantz Fanon