Donald the Unifier?: Maybe Black America Should Thank Trump for “Being Trump” After All

An understanding of racial concepts is by-far the most difficult thing for my undergraduate students to comprehend. Now, I fully understand how confused they must be when they hear my belief that the only reason they call themselves black is due to the presence of whites. The bare bones truth of Race in America is the fact that if white people did not exist there would be no black people. After all, the current racial identifiers have been haphazardly constructed over the past four centuries.

The historical record proves that regardless of geographical location or other peculiarities, the most reliable solidifying agent for any group is the presence of what is best termed the “other.” It is this opposing force that threatens a particular group’s access to limited resources and therefore causes them to mobilize under a racial or ethnic grouping. There is no room for sensible debate disputing either white’s status as the “other” for blacks or the phenomenal impact that White America’s decisions and actions have had on Black America.

The general threat that White America poses has sporadically caused blacks to abandon petty disputes in favor of an attempt to organize their prodigious politico-economic resources in an attempt to fight against white world supremacy and the tyrannical leaders who impose it on black men, women, and children.

Donald J. Trump, the current occupant of the Oval Office, is the most recent representation of white tyrannical rule over a politically disorganized black populace that has failed to make any significant strides for racial equality since the Black Power Era’s decline.

Although difficult to comprehend, Donald J. Trump is actually the best thing to happen regarding the political engagement of a black community whose interests in such matters tends to ebb and flow. It appears that the most reliable steroid shot for black political engagement is the appearance of a veritable “boogeyman” capable of efficiently reminding Black America of their subordinate status. A cursory examination of the plight of blacks displays that not even their lagging behind in every economic, political, health and educational measurable is as powerful as the arrival of a polarizing figure such as Trump. The mere presence of the alluded to figure reminds the black community that there is unfinished business in the battle against discrimination, bigotry, racial bias, and institutional racism.

Without the presence of a “boogeyman”, a sizable portion of the community has little interest in political engagement, while a few “educated” blacks can be found debating if Civil Rights Organizations such as the National Association for the Advancement of Colored or the National Urban League have outlived their utility.

Although unfortunate, it appears that the foremost pre-requisite to a significant reengagement with political matters by Black America is the appearance of a hateful, ignorant, and socially inappropriate figure that offends all. Donald J. Trump is that figure for Black America.

One needs to look no further than the quickening politicization of professional athletes occurring throughout the National Football League and the National Basketball Association for proof that Donald J. Trump has intentionally fashioned himself as the “other” as it benefits his drastic efforts to pander to a disenfranchised white populace; unfortunately for Trump, his traveling vaudeville show has also quickened the political pulse of Black America.

It is this increasing interest in political matters that causes me much concern as many are mistaking it for a growth in political acumen and sophistication. Trust me when I say that those are two very different things. Instead of serving as a sign of burgeoning political maturation, much of Black America’s increasing awareness of political matters is merely a superficial reaction that will invariably be overcome by some other distraction. I am certain that we agree that when this occurs, the African-American community will be left in an all too familiar position. Indicative of such knee-jerk reaction politics is the presence of persons such as Ray Lewis who do their best to ride the rising and falling political winds; an obvious indicator that their interests are in a word, unanchored.

At this crucial moment, it is imperative that politicized blacks infuse their community with a progressive political education aimed at improving the black community. Failure to do such will serve as yet another indicator that blacks have yet to develop an understanding of this thing called life.

Dr. James Thomas Jones III

© Manhood, Race, and Culture, 2017

Why African-American Undergraduate Collegians Need to Seriously Consider Attending an H.B.C.U.: The Case of Lipscomb University President Randy Lowry

Although I have been repeatedly reminded that my belief that African-American students should never pursue their undergraduate degrees on the campuses of Predominantly White Institutions (P.W.I.) I will never abandon that perspective.

Oftentimes, debates regarding this matter turn ferocious with my black peers who charge me with being a hypocrite as I earned each of my degrees form a P.W.I. I always counter their position with the reality that my long exposure to a white campus does not make me a hypocrite, rather it makes me an authority on this issue.

My staunch stance flows from the reality that at a moment where African-American collegians are experiencing their first dose of independence, an occasion that will invariably lead to differing levels of misstep, the vast majority are incapable of surviving the hazing that they will receive from ignorant white students who know little about the black experience or unsympathetic professors and administrators who carry decades of racially based prejudice into their interactions with the young black collegians mentioned above.

I have personally witnessed many brilliant black youths become disenchanted and eventually broken by their engagement with whites at a P.W.I. who have neither vested interest nor concern regarding their matriculation from higher education institutions that they consider their terrain.

There is quite possibly no greater indicator regarding the inherent bias and psychological dangers that black undergraduates face than the recent events that occurred at the residence of Randy Lowry, the President of Lipscomb University. According to those present, President Lowry’s invitation to a cadre of African-American students was far from genuine.

Those present for the event noticed that the man heading the University that they call home had set them up for an inside joke that only he and the other whites present were aware of. The “joke” pivoted on centerpieces specially constructed for the occasion. These adults who are in charge of a University placed centerpieces made of cotton stalks in front of their student guests. Obviously, this “joke” was a nod to a racist past that saw enslaved Africans picking cotton for whites.

When a few courageous students raised the issue, Lowry related that he was unaware of who was responsible for the centerpieces, however, they were “fallish” and that “cotton isn’t inherently bad if we’re all wearing it.” As if such an offense were not enough to drive home his true feelings regarding this matter, Lowry had another surprise up his nasty sleeve, he served the students what could be termed a “black meal.”

Predictably, when President Lowry was called on his egregious behavior, he turned to the media in a desperate attempt to quell this inexcusable incident. What follows is Lowry’s desperate attempt to explain away his behavior.

“Last night we invited Lipscomb African American students to our home for dinner to discuss their experiences at Lipscomb. Several students shared with me their concern about the material used for centerpieces which contained stalks of cotton…The content of the centerpieces was offensive, and I could have handled the situation with more sensitivity…I sincerely apologize for the discomfort, anger or disappointment we caused and solicit your forgiveness.”

The fact that Lowry has not been removed from the Presidency by an angered Lipscomb University community speaks volumes about that so-called institution of higher education. If no one else understands what Lowry’s continuation as University President means, one would expect the parents of the institutions few Black students to get the message with unbelievable clarity. That message is a simple one that your child is not only unwelcome at this institution, but also in physical and psychological peril.

As previously mentioned, I realize that I’m in the minority regarding my belief that black undergraduates have no business on P.W.I. campuses. I also realize that most will be offended by my reliance on Malcolm X’s quote “That only a fool would let his enemy educate his children.” However, even my most vocal opponents have to agree that it is frightening to consider that an institution headed by a man such as Randy Lowry has been given the privilege of molding the political priorities, historical understanding, and future outlook of black students. It is absolutely frightening to consider what will come out of such an arrangement. One thing is for certain, it will not be a positive for Black America.

Dr. James Thomas Jones III

© Manhood, Race, and Culture, 2017

 

FLAWED CULTURAL PRIORITIES: THE FOREMOST PROBLEM AFFECTING SO MANY BLACK MALES

I have learned that it is crucial that I choose my battles wisely. Now I admit that this commitment to avoid unnecessary frivolous conflict signals either the arrival of wisdom or is an indicator of a subconscious desire to conserve my mental energies. The latter is the closest that you will ever get me to admit that I am aging.

It is this commitment to choose my battles that recently led me to avoid a relatively petty disagreement with a male student. The alluded to conflict flowed from his belief that the sole purpose of life was money and the more of it that he possessed, the happier he would be. Trust me when I say that this young brother was the personification of what many consider a stereotypical black male in dress, speech pattern, and social inappropriateness. I am confident that you understand what I mean when I say that although this was our initial encounter, I already knew him well.

Maybe I can chalk up my decision to not engage this fellow to wisdom. I can tell you that within thirty seconds of speaking with him, it became apparent that he would never understand that a successful life should never be evaluated by one’s bank account or accruement of cars, clothes, women, and homes. I have learned that flawed value systems such as his are birthed by both an absence of education and dearth of mentorship. I am certain that you agree that such ingredients result in absolute disaster for black males, regardless of their age.

Many of my students who have turned their back on the pursuit of a “life worth living” are surprised to learn that their decision to pursue money over everything else would have been applauded by Southern plantation owners who “owned” their ancestors centuries ago. In fact, there were principally two things that white slave owners feared the moment that chattel slavery ended: (a) financial ruin (b) the obliteration of a Southern culture that served as pillars for both their wealth and political interests. It is evident that Southern plantation owners understood that although monetary resources are crucial to their reign, it was their cultural priorities that dictated the path forward. These “southern gentlemen” were willing to destroy the nation before they even entertained compromising on their cultural beliefs and preferences. Of all of the lessons that one can glean from this period, it is white southerners’ obsession with a cultural formation that served their interests that offer the greatest lesson for African-Americans males at this present moment. Unfortunately, these precious lessons regarding the importance of culture are consistently ignored by those who need to learn from them the most.

Even a cursory examination of American history reveals that Southern plantation owners understood that although monetary resources were crucial to their tyrannical reign, money never superseded the value and importance of what can be best termed cultural priorities. White southerners understood very well that it was their cultural priorities that pointed the path forward. One must never forget that these “southern gentlemen” were willing to destroy the nation before they compromised their cultural framework.

White Southerners’ obsession with holding onto a cultural formation that served their interests offers the greatest lesson for African-Americans males seeking either individual or collective uplift. Unfortunately, these valuable lessons regarding the importance of culture are consistently ignored by a population of black males that need them the most. Failure to honor such realities reduces so many black males useless to their peoples’ historical struggle against white politico-economic oppression.

One of the most poignant social commentaries regarding what happens when there is an absence of black cultural priorities emanates from comedian Chris Rock. We must remember that Rock is the same person who informed the nation that there was “a civil war going on in Black America between black folk and Niggers. And Niggers have got to go.” Chris Rock’s piercing observation delves into one of Black America’s dirtiest pieces of laundry, that being the reality that there is a significant segment of Black America that has willfully embraced, even celebrated a backward set of cultural priorities that encourages what can only be considered a backward lifestyle. The alluded to lifestyle is particularly astounding when one considers that its foremost advocates have attempted to take others to task for not joining them in their wayward perspective. those who champion it have the audacity to issue significant criticism toward those who have pursued financial responsibility, professional success, and educational achievement. Unfortunately, those who pursue the positive goals mentioned above are rendered social pariah by a roguish element of black men.

The alluded to lifestyle is particularly astounding when one considers that its foremost advocates have attempted to take others to task for not joining them in their wayward perspective. Consider for a moment the fact that those discussed above have displayed the audacity to issue significant criticism toward a portion of Black America that has pursued financial responsibility, professional success, and educational achievement. In many ways, it is hilarious that this roguish element of black men has done their best to make the educated in our midst social pariah.

Make no mistake about it; there seems to be a social, intellectual, and cultural poverty that shadows wayward black males. Chris Rock addressed this matter when he charged that “Nothing makes a nigga happier than to not know the answer to your question.” I applaud Rock’s courage to publicly address such matters that are regularly discussed by blacks behind closed doors.

In many ways, the curse of cultural alteration is that change is gradual and indiscernible to the untrained eye. Once the alluded to changes are noticeable, it is often too late to stop them. Although it is impossible to identify a single villain in many African-American males development of non-sensical cultural priorities, however, there is no doubt that this matter exists.

An excellent starting point for explaining this unfortunate development of “ends-justify-the-means” cultural priorities is the impoverished intellectual diet so many black males have become addicted to. It is evident that for many black males, television, movies, rap music, and the foolishness found in American streets have a disproportionate influence on their behavior and worldview. In many ways, such dubious entities have convinced those being discussed of what is and what is not ‘Blackness.’

It is the foolish adoption of a value system that makes the pursuit of material goods the lone goal of life as the most active agent in the “dumbing down” of Black America. There is no room to debate the reality that the individuals who engage in this process eventually find themselves mired in an unceasing world of ignorance that begets a lack of politicization, that begets economic ignorance, that begets poverty, which reinforces their pervasive ignorance.

At the present moment, it appears that this process has manufactured individuals, such as the student mentioned above, whose sole priorities are the pursuit of and consumption of material goods by any means necessary. It is this population that Chris Rock terms “Niggas.” Ironically, such individuals have been so busy pursuing trinkets that they failed to notice that the rest of Black America has taken a vote that agrees with the famed comedian’s point that it is most certainly time for them to go.

James Thomas Jones III

© Manhood, Race and Culture, 2017

MEASURING THE CONTENT OF OUR CHARACTER: WHY IT IS IMPERATIVE THAT BLACK AMERICA SEPARATES ITSELF FROM A CERTAIN CRIMINAL ELEMENT IN OUR MIDST

Although every fiber of my being wanted to feign shock at the racial identity of looters arrested in the wake of Hurricane Irma, however, it would have been disingenuous to do so. Additionally, I long ago abandoned efforts to hide my feelings regarding a certain incorrigible portion of Black America. Although sad to say, if you are being truthful with yourself, you intuitively know the racial identity of those seeking to capitalize on the above natural disaster by stealing tennis shoes and other material trinkets.

Making matters worse is the reality that Miami was not the only city that saw its black citizens exhibit such inexcusable behavior. Houston, where I reside, experienced similar antics with individuals seeking to exploit devastated citizens by pillaging their homes under the cover of darkness.

Make no mistake about it, this is not a short-sighted argument asserting that African-Americans have a monopoly on lawlessness during difficult times, however, it would be shocking to not find black faces when such activities are occurring. It is this reality that further solidifies my belief that there is a roguish element within our midst that needs to be extricated from our community by any means necessary. The alluded to subculture serves as a consistent disruption of black progress.

In his celebrated address at The March on Washington, the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., advanced an argument where all Americans would be judged by “the content of their character.” When one considers the deplorable behavior of many within our community, I shudder to think what an evaluation of “the content of their character” would reveal. It is past time for the best segments of our community to execute definitive steps to address the criminal element in our communities; such decisive is desperately needed as these individuals consider our communities a refuge for their lawlessness.

Although it may be politically incorrect to state these things, however, the truth of the matter is that the alluded to criminals and hell-raisers are a significant distraction to an embattled community that cannot afford such inefficiency. With the many formidable non-black opponents fighting black advancement, it is shameful that there is an element in our midst that has consciously decided to aid those efforts via criminality and unprecedented dysfunctionality.

Until we address those who relish the opportunity to be a supreme intra-racial disruption, there is little hope that progress will occur. Hence, at this moment it is imperative that non-criminal elements within our midst step forward and denounce criminality, social dysfunction, and other social vices that severely curtail all of our endeavors. History indicates that politico-economic collectivism is the only reliable path for group improvement, hence, it is time to separate ourselves from those whose actions prove that they have neither interest nor desire to uplift the community. Trust me when I say that it is one of our primary steps in lifting the African-American community from an unfortunate position that they have occupied for far too long.

The American historical record indicates that politico-economic collectivism is the only reliable path for group improvement, hence, it is time to physically separate ourselves from those whose actions prove that they possess neither the interest nor the desire to uplift Black America. Trust me when I say that this is a fundamental step in the fight to uplift the African-American community from the unfortunate position that it has have occupied for far too long.

Dr. James Thomas Jones III

© Manhood, Race, and Culture, 2017

 

 

 

 

MIAMI (Reuters) – Miami area police arrested more than 50 suspected looters during Hurricane Irma, including 26 people who were accused of breaking into a single Wal-Mart (WMT.N> store, authorities said on Tuesday.

City officials on Tuesday lifted a local 7 p.m. to 7 a.m. curfew that had been in place since Sunday. As normality began to return, police commanders said officers will work 12-hour shifts, 24 hours a day, to discourage any more criminality.

“I said we would not tolerate criminal activity or looting or anybody who takes advantage of our residents,” Deputy Chief of Police Luis Cabrera said at a news conference. “I was not joking.”

The Wal-Mart incident took place on Saturday night at a store on the north side of the City of Miami, said Miami-Dade Police Department spokesman Alvaro Zabaleta.

Among others suspected of looting were six men arrested on Monday and accused of breaking into stores at the Midtown Miami shopping complex, near the fashionable Wynwood district, before making off with merchandise that included shoes, bags and laptops.

The looting attempts spanned the city, said Miami Mayor Tomas Regalado, from the well-heeled Brickell and downtown neighborhoods to the low-income Liberty City and Little Haiti areas. He said police will stay vigilant as the cleanup goes on.

Officers have also been busy trawling roads that can be perilous for motorists because power cuts shut off traffic lights at intersections and streets have accumulated shredded vegetation spread by the storm’s powerful winds.

“We have never experienced, not even with Hurricane Andrew, the amount of trees that are downed in the city,” Regalado told the news conference. Hurricane Andrew hit Florida in 1992.

Since Irma began bearing down on the state late last week, authorities have been warning any would-be looters against taking advantage of the situation.

Rick Maglione, the police chief of Fort Lauderdale, about 30 miles (48 km) north of Miami, told residents to stay home during the storm and look after their loved ones. “Going to prison over a pair of sneakers is a fairly bad life choice,” Maglione said in a statement.

Miami police posted a photo on Facebook of several accused looters sitting in a jail cell under the caption: “Thinking about looting? Ask these guys how that turned out. #stayindoors.”

 

Committed to investigating, examining, and representing the African-American male, men, and manhood by offering commentary regarding the status of Black Men and Black Manhood as it relates to African-American Manhood, Race, Class, Politics, and Culture from an educated and authentic African-American perspective aimed at improving the plight of African-American men and African-American Manhood in regards to Politics, Culture, Education, and Social Matters.

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