Quite possibly the most offensive aspect of African-American life is that one consistently exists under what amounts to an unbelievable demand from a significant segment of white America that boils down to the following assertion; “If you (African-Americans) don’t like it here (America), well then you can always go back to Africa.”

Any African-American who has lived in this nation for a significant period of time will tell you that this type of thinking and thought is ARIAN FOSTER 2never too far under the surface for many whites. In fact, Colin Kaepernick’s decision to not stand during the playing of the National Anthem was significant enough to raise the ire of a population of seemingly always angry whites who behave as if the sub-heading of the U.S. Constitution reads as follows; “America is a nation that was founded by whites and will forever serve the interests of whites.

With this as their primary thought regarding America, there is very little, if any, room for significant and meaningful inter-racial discourse regarding substantive matters such as politics, economics, Race, and power-sharing. In their resistance to even broach the topic of equitable power sharing in a nation as racially diverse as America, whites far too often appear to be little more than petulant little children throwing a temper-tantrum at even the insinuation that they should not control ALL of the nation’s resources. In the minds of such individuals, the only power that non-white groups shall ever possess are the scraps of power that is freely discarded by the dominant group.

Failure to adhere to the aforementioned racially unbalanced power dynamics that has historically ensured that whites will hold all of the politico economic power over others causes God’s petulant little white children to angrily demand that if Blacks do not agree with the existing arrangement, they can always ‘go back to Africa.’

Arian Foster, a running back for the Miami Dolphins, chimed in ARIAN FOSTER 1regarding this matter with the following statement. “We’re descendants of genocide, and people don’t like to talk about that. It’s the truth. We’re the descendants of genocide. So when you say, ‘You can leave,’ where to? I don’t know where my people come from. Am I from the Congo? Am I from Kenya? Am I from the Ivory Coast?

Although a bit unsophisticated in his articulation of this matter, Foster is nevertheless making a major statement regarding the absence of identity, not to mention the cavernous gaps that all African-Americans experience when attempting to discover their ancestral roots. In fact, without knowledge of our roots, it is impossible to understand the route that our ancestors traveled.

Alas, none of this really matters to those little petulant white children whose first and most consistent demand of African-Americans is that they not only ‘eat shit and grin’ on a daily basis, but also smile without a hint of disapproval while they swallow. From their perspective, African-Americans should be eternally grateful for the privilege of being an American.

Although I realize that what follows will be a series of questions that the vast majority of whites have never heard, nevertheless, it still needs to be presented to what can best be termed ‘the back-to-Africa crew’. I wonder, what exactly do such individuals actually think that African-Americans should be thankful for?

  • The theft of their ancestors from Africa?
  • The brutality that their ancestors experienced during the Euro-Arab-African Slave Trade?
  • The denying of their humanity for Centuries on the North American continent?
  • The customary rape of Black women and girls during and after the conclusion of American chattel slavery?
  • American traditions such as lynching of Black men, women, and children?
  • Blocking ALL educational, political, and economic endeavors?
  • The creation of Jim Crow Laws?
  • The murder of David Walker?
  • The Black Codes?
  • Racial Segregation?
  • Political assassinations?
  • The criminalization of Black skin?
  • The destruction of Black Wall Street?
  • The denial of the African-American vote?

Rest assured that this is merely an abridged list of the atrocities that persons of African descent experienced in this so-called ‘land of the free and home of the brave’.

So the question remains what should persons of African descent be thankful for in regards to their existence on the North American continent?

Don’t worry, I’ll wait for any response.

Dan Freeman

Let America be America Again

Let America be America Again LANGSTON HUGHES 1938

Let America be America again. Let it be the dream it used to be. Let it be the pioneer on the plain Seeking a home where he himself is free.

(America never was America to me.)

Let America be the dream the dreamers dreamed– Let it be that great strong land of love Where never kings connive nor tyrants scheme That any man be crushed by one above.

(It never was America to me.)

O, let my land be a land where Liberty Is crowned with no false patriotic wreath, But opportunity is real, and life is free, Equality is in the air we breathe.

(There’s never been equality for me, Nor freedom in this “homeland of the free.”)

Say, who are you that mumbles in the dark? And who are you that draws your veil across the stars?

I am the poor white, fooled and pushed apart, I am the Negro bearing slavery’s scars. I am the red man driven from the land, I am the immigrant clutching the hope I seek– And finding only the same old stupid plan Of dog eat dog, of mighty crush the weak.

I am the young man, full of strength and hope, Tangled in that ancient endless chain Of profit, power, gain, of grab the land! Of grab the gold! Of grab the ways of satisfying need! Of work the men! Of take the pay! Of owning everything for one’s own greed!

I am the farmer, bondsman to the soil. I am the worker sold to the machine. I am the Negro, servant to you all. I am the people, humble, hungry, mean– Hungry yet today despite the dream. Beaten yet today–O, Pioneers! I am the man who never got ahead, The poorest worker bartered through the years.

Yet I’m the one who dreamt our basic dream In the Old World while still a serf of kings, Who dreamt a dream so strong, so brave, so true, That even yet its mighty daring sings In every brick and stone, in every furrow turned That’s made America the land it has become. O, I’m the man who sailed those early seas In search of what I meant to be my home– For I’m the one who left dark Ireland’s shore, And Poland’s plain, and England’s grassy lea, And torn from Black Africa’s strand I came To build a “homeland of the free.”

The free?

Who said the free? Not me? Surely not me? The millions on relief today? The millions shot down when we strike? The millions who have nothing for our pay? For all the dreams we’ve dreamed And all the songs we’ve sung And all the hopes we’ve held And all the flags we’ve hung, The millions who have nothing for our pay– Except the dream that’s almost dead today.

O, let America be America again– The land that never has been yet– And yet must be–the land where every man is free. The land that’s mine–the poor man’s, Indian’s, Negro’s, ME– Who made America, Whose sweat and blood, whose faith and pain, Whose hand at the foundry, whose plow in the rain, Must bring back our mighty dream again.

Sure, call me any ugly name you choose– The steel of freedom does not stain. From those who live like leeches on the people’s lives, We must take back our land again, America!

O, yes, I say it plain, America never was America to me, And yet I swear this oath– America will be!

Out of the rack and ruin of our gangster death, The rape and rot of graft, and stealth, and lies, We, the people, must redeem The land, the mines, the plants, the rivers. The mountains and the endless plain– All, all the stretch of these great green states– And make America again!

Langston Hughes (1938)

Petty Protests and Inconsequential Activism: Why Colin Kaepernick’s Protest Misses the Mark of Aiding the Black Liberation Struggle

Muhammad Ali, the agreed upon ‘Greatest of All-Time’ by sports fans once quipped, “A man who views the world the same at 50 as he did at 20 has wasted 30 years of his life.” I absolutely love this particular quote for myriad reasons, most notably because it reminds me to continually re-evaluate my political positions and beliefs.

It is this re-evaluation process that has led me to take significant issue with Colin Kaepernick’s recent decision to not stand for the Kaepernick 2playing of the National Anthem. Put simply, Kaepernick’s decision to publicly protest in this method is little more than a public tantrum that does absolutely nothing to advance the cause that he claims to be representing.

Let me first relate that in another period of my life, I would have wildly celebrated Kaepernick’s antics, I myself routinely refused to stand for the playing of the National Anthem. During those years, I considered it one of the most poignant ways of protesting the historic wrongs and injustices that this nation has perpetrated against my people for the world to see.

A much less wise version of myself would have not only agreed with Kaepernick’s refusal to stand for the National Anthem, but also considered it a significant blow against “the man”. I also imagine that had I been asked about my one-man crusade, my response would have been eerily similar to Colin Kaepernick’s recent response to this matter. The San Francisco quarterback responded in the following manner to a reporters questioning his actions,

I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color…it would be selfish on my part to look the other way. There are bodies in the street and people getting paid leave and getting away with murder…I am not looking for approval. I have to stand up for people that are oppressed…”

As much as my twenty-year-old version would have agreed with Kaepernick’s position, I now realize that as a forty-something-year-Kaepernickold African-American male who has wrestled with this thing called Race for several decades that oftentimes an absence of experience leads us to prematurely celebrate before victory has been seized. Let me be absolutely clear, it is not that I disagree with Kaepernick’s decision to not stand for the playing of the National Anthem, it is that he, and a host of other like-minded individuals believe that this rather mundane public protest is significant.

Now endowed with an insight that only life’s lessons can bestow, I consider Kaepernick, and likeminded individuals who have rushed forward to support not “stand(ing) up to show pride in a flag that oppresses Black people” as persons who fail to understand either the issues facing African-Americans or have any semblance of an understanding regarding their eradication.

Make no mistake about it, Kaepernick’s decision to protest the National Anthem reminds the nation, including a segment of Americans’ who devoutly avoid racial issues, of long-standing patterns of racial discrimination executed by ordinary American citizens, as well as long-standing patterns of institutional racism perpetrated via American institutions. The NFL Quarterback was able to protest while neither denying nor dismissing the incredible contributions of African-American activists who have strove to “Let America Be America Again” by spending their entire lives as trailblazers and torchbearers illuminating and paving a path to success for individuals such as Kaepernick.

The euphoria surrounding Kaepernick’s protest has led the vast majority of supporters and opponents to ignore a basic query of ‘How does sitting on your ass during the playing of the National Anthem Kaepernick 3solve any of the voluminous problems facing Black America?’ The truth of the matter is that such fleeting public protests barely address, let alone reverse racial inequality in any significant manner. Unfortunately for the future of Black America, today’s cadres of attention-seeking contemporary activists appear to consider symbolic public protests as the ‘gold standard’ of activism.

This reliance upon highly symbolic, yet totally intangible, protest has seemingly duped an entire generation of so-called activists into believing that such ‘antics’ are akin to the grassroots activism and institution building of yesteryear. It is this institution-building that holds the key to Black liberation, not symbolic public protests that do little more than invigorate social media sites and users.

If the legions of individuals who support Colin Kaepernick’s courageous decision to not stand during the National Anthem really want to eradicate racial inequality maybe their activism should extend well-beyond celebrating an inconsequential protest and dedicate their resources toward the historic grassroots struggle to address tangible issues within our community such as supporting the independent Black school movement, job creation, political participation, supporting Black entrepreneurs, and volunteering their time tutoring African-American school children.

It is in the aforementioned areas, and a host of others, that the potential for racial uplift and therefore racial equality is found. What is the alternative you ask? Well the only realistic alternative is for our activist community to continue what has been their greatest post-Black Power Era tradition of sitting on their asses as Mr. Kaepernick displayed during his protest, griping about racial issues without doing anything definitive toward the creation of independent Black institutions, and watching as the world go by.

Dr. James Thomas Jones III

©Manhood, Race and Culture, 2016


They Say That It’s The White Man that I Should Fear,

 but it’s My Own Kind Doing All The Killing Here!


Eight months ago, I penned the following words in this space.

One of the most disturbing crimes that I have recently read about was the murder of 9-year-old Tyshawn Lee in an alley on the South Side of TYSHAWN3Chicago in a neighborhood called Auburn-Gresham. Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy succinctly summed up this incident when he referred to it as “…an act of barbarism, the assassination of a 9-year-old child as a gang retaliation to get back at his father. Tyshawn Lee was failed on many, many levels.”

Merely recognizing the sheer barbarity of this act that extends from earlier conflict involving Tyshawn’s father does nothing to correct the stupefying socioeconomic issues affecting Black Chicagoans or the African-American community in general.

Court papers highlight that this murder was a direct extension of gang warfare. Authorities believe that rival gang warfare reached an unprecedented level after the death of reputed gang member Corey Morgan’s brother and the wounding of his mother. The attack apparently made Morgan blood-thirsty for revenge as he allegedly told fellow gang members “…that since his brother was killed and his mama was shot he was going to kill grandmas, mamas, kids and all.”

Less than a year ago, I was writing about the senseless death of 9-year-old Tyshawn Lee, today I am pondering what it means that Nykea Aldridge, 32, a mother of four and the cousin of NBA superstar Dwayne Wade was murdered while pushing a child in a baby stroller down a street attempting to make it to a school to register her children for school at 3:30 p.m. Friday. Apparently, her two killers, whose bullets struck Aldridge in the head and arm, were aiming at an undisclosed African-American male. There is no doubt that the only thing that makes Nykea Aldridge any different from the other 2,600+ people that have been shot in the American city that has earned the moniker of Chiraq and 463 people who have been murdered in the ‘Windy City’ is her relation to Dwyane Wade.

The problems facing Chicago are neither new, nor fleeting. They are as permanent as the skyscrapers that make up the skyline. The NYKEA ALDRIDGE 1foremost question regarding the historic pattern of African-American males killing one another is why has this occurred? The only reasonable answer to this query is that there is a woeful lack of understanding regarding what a man ought to be and ought to do in the ‘Windy City’.

When you really think about it, the blessing and the curse of humanity is that they are social beings. Put simply, the influence of socialization upon the development of human beings is so phenomenal that it literally determines who they will become and what they will come to value throughout their entire existence.

The reality that we learn everything we know, or at least what we think we know, shines an unbelievably negative light upon the construction of Manhood ideology for a significant portion of BLACK P STONE RANGERS 1African-American males within the ‘Windy City’. The present state of Black Chicagoan young Black males is one of the most obvious examples of what occurs when our community fails to teach African-American males ‘what a Man ought to be and ought to do’. When left to their own devices, young African-American males invariably develop a manhood culture that centers upon hyper-aggressiveness, ends-justify-the-means economic formulations, sullenness, promiscuity, offensive language and inappropriate dress; not to mention a dire hostility regarding the development of the mind.

Unfortunately for the African-American community, ignorance is not a trend; rather it replicates itself at an alarming exponential rate. History indicates that once ignorance arrives, it is darn near impossible to reverse its damaging affect. The aforementioned logic is quite possibly the only explanation of Black Chicagoans killing each other in gangland style murders for as far back as anyone can remember. The following chart lists the number of murders that have occurred in Chicago between the years of 2001 – 2014.

2001 667
2002 604
2003 454
2004 453
2005 454
2006 477
2007 448
2008 513
2009 460
2010 438
2011 437
2012 504
2013 420
2014 421

Although it is one of the most difficult things to admit as an African-American male who fights against the characterization of younger African-American males as uncivilized thugs with a predisposition toward criminality, I now understand that there is a significant population of African-American males whose socialization flows from a dysfunctional culture that rests upon woefully flawed manhood constructs.

There is no other explanation for the motives behind the actions of those Black males that murdered Tyshawn Lee eight months ago black malesand Nykea Aldridge this past Friday. The types that murdered Lee and Aldridge have grown out of a dysfunctional culture with what could only be termed a terrible understanding of ‘what a man ought to be and ought to do’.

Situations such as that occurring in Chicago definitively display how far African-American males have fallen from their rightful place as the protectors of their community against external aggression. All too often we are the aggressors that make our community nearly inhabitable for Black men, women, and children.

Although the killing of African-American men by white law enforcement officers has dominated the newspaper headlines for quite a period now, the bigger story is the alarming rate that we are killing each other in American streets. Every major city has its own story regarding senseless genocidal killings within their local African-American communities. The fact that we are not discussing this matter with the same vigor that we are attacking killings that are occurring at the hands of law enforcement officers reveals much about the value that our community fails to place upon Black lives.

It is time that we take responsibility for ourselves, our children, and our communities. Although difficult to accept, it appears that we are one of our foremost enemies and it is past time that we definitively address the enemy within ‘by any means necessary’.

James Thomas Jones III

©Manhood, Race and Culture, 2015.






I have always viewed individuals who claim that God paused during what must be an inconceivably busy day to communicate with them extremely skeptical.

Let me be absolutely clear, I have read scripture that indicates that God has spoken to ‘believers’ during trying times, however, in the modern day context I have come to consider individuals who claim that God has spoken to them as liars seeking to dupe naïve followers into believing that they have some special connection to the Most High. Experience has taught me that such moments are little more than a ruse aimed at advancing a self-advantageous agenda.

The latest in what I personally consider a lengthy list of religious charlatans is none other than Creflo Dollar. Incredibly, Pastor Creflo 2Dollar has not only reported, but also gives extreme significance to a recent dream, or nightmare, that he experienced. According to Dollar, God came to me in a dream last night and said that Trump is his chosen candidate.” And that was not all that God said to Pastor Dollar during his rapid-eye movement slumber. Ol’ Creflo also revealed that his omniscient — all knowing — God personally apologized to him “…for the mixed messages he was sending.”

Apparently the alluded to apology was the last indicator that Pastor Dollar needed to be convinced that as he put it, “…Trump has been touched by the hand of God.

I am certain that you expect for me to dismiss Pastor Dollar’s ‘dream’ as yet another example of why the Black clergy has seen its ‘difference-making’ ability within the African-American community decline over the past half-century. Make no mistake about it those are my personal feelings, however, I think that a quick dismissal of Pastor Dollar’s foolishness would be a grievous error because a sizable portion of African-Americans voters are heavily influenced by ‘Passa’s’ such as Creflo Dollar on a weekly, if not moment-by-moment, basis.

One must remember that the Black church has historically been the center of African-American life where an albeit scattered and inefficient bloc of Black voters could be accessed; one needs to look no further than the appearance of politicians at Black churches weeks prior to voting time for validation of this assertion. When an extended tradition of Black parishioners following the lead of ‘Passa’ in regards to whom they should vote for, Pastor Dollar’s dream could very well translate into an unprecedented nightmare for Black America.

Make no mistake about it, ‘Passa’ is the most politically powerful Black man in America on the Sunday prior to Election Day. It is for this reason that a figure such as Pastor Dollar should be widely Creflo 1criticized for allowing a mere dream to be his guide-post for real-world political matters. Although Dollar fails to realize this, however, when it comes to political matters, the stakes are high. The seriousness of Black political matters was best characterized by Fred Hampton who remarked that ‘politics is nothing but war without bloodshed’; political matters are too important for any segment of Black America to have their political position dictated by a ‘Passa’ who believes that an ‘all knowing’, yet apologetic, God appeared in his dream and told him that Donald Trump was his political choice. If we foolishly follow the ridiculous dictates of a figure such as Creflo Dollar I am absolutely certain that his dream will usher Black America into a hellish nightmare that none of us will be able to wake-up from.

Dr. James Thomas Jones III

©Manhood, Race and Culture, 2016

Committed to investigating, examining, and representing the African-American male and offering commentary regarding his status in regards to Manhood, Race, Class, Politics, and Culture from an educated and authentic African-American perspective aimed at improving their plight in regards to politics, culture, education, and social matters.

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