Talkin’ Loud and Saying Nothin’: The Weirdification of Contemporary Black Activism

Like a dull knife
Just ain’t cutting
Just talking loud
Then saying nothing

James Brown

If nothing else, the study of History can be very illuminating in regards to our contemporary situation and issues. It is the gift of historical study that provides the solution to contemporary problems.

The realization of such makes the appearance of Cultural Nationalism within our midst downright puzzling; not to mention its appearance amongst an activist community that one would expect to have staved off historical and cultural illiteracy. Aside from fanciful cultural celebrations, bizarre linguistic alterations, and dress, Cultural Nationalism has proven incapable of impacting the politico economic issues chaining our people today.

Not even Ron Karenga’s US organization was able to make a dent in our people’s suffering; an organizational failure that when compared to the Revolutionary Nationalist Black Panther Party karenga ushighlights the myriad fallacies, flaws, and inadequacies found within Cultural Nationalism. Taken in its totality, it became apparent during the sixties that the pseudo-African language, dress, and piece-meal historical constructs that Cultural Nationalist groups undertook throughout the sixties amounted to little of nothing as their was neither a political institution developed to engage a hostile white establishment, nor a move toward economic collectivism to develop institutions capable of employing community members. Put simply, the donning of a dashiki is a fashion choice, not a revolutionary act.

Unfortunately, it appears as if we are now within a Cultural Nationalist renaissance that makes me call upon one of my favorite quotes of Malcolm X regarding the 1964 March on Washington, “It was a circus, with clowns and all.” The proliferation of Cultural Nationalist ideologies and belief systems has made the movement look like a three-ring circus.

Cultural Nationalists have historically been fringe groups with a miniscule following of naïve, uneducated, gullible people whose failures in life made them unbelievably receptive to charlatans presenting themselves as race leaders possessing a plan to daddy graceameliorate all that ails them. Two of the earliest manifestations of such leadership are Daddy Grace and Father Divine. A mere perusal of the activist landscape today points to innumerable individuals and groups that have assumed their position.

Contemporary Cultural Nationalists are little different from those that came before them in that they advance a significantly flawed analysis of contemporary issues affecting an economically exploited and politically disorganized community with often persuasive arguments that inform their gullible followers that if they would alter intangible aspects of their life, meaning the way that they view themselves, their value system, and beliefs, they would be able to conquer tangible issues. It is only within the sci-fi world that many Cultural Nationalists exist that changes to intangible variables will affect the tangible world. History dictates that those who engage Cultural Nationalism will divorce themselves from reality; meaning they will characterize themselves differently, attempt to adopt a value system that counteracts pre-existing values, and ridicule others for not coming into knowledge of self.

Unbeknownst to Cultural Nationalist converts the vast majority of the ideology and specialized metaphysical areas of study that they religiously spend weeks, years, and sometimes decades learning is little more than historical innuendos and half-truths not grounded in much truth. It is quite simply, busy work that ultimately leads to nothing more than ‘wasted water’.

I have recently come across Cultural Nationalists of various groups who have harped upon issues such as space aliens, a vibrating universe, sharia law, nuclear reactors being housed in pyramids, the fact that the Euro-Arab Slave Trade never occurred, gamma rays being shot into the minds of citizens, and even one person who slave ship 3admonished that we should not hold those who have murdered African-American males down in American streets as they were under mind control by the Rothschild’s and therefore not responsible for their small role in the larger plot to kill us. However, reasonableness is lost on Cultural Nationalists as they have become as steeped in the teachings of whatever group they have joined as the Christians they criticize on a daily basis. They are little more than sheep being led around. Put simply, these people are hooked upon Cultural Nationalist ideas and arguments that continually busy their minds and distract them from the tangible suffering that their people experience.

In light of the obvious suffering that persons of African descent on the North American continent continually experience, the time for what could be best termed “mental masturbation” sessions has expired. Although I obviously have strong feelings regarding the proliferation of Cultural Nationalism within our community, and consider Revolutionary Nationalism as the only path to liberation, I think that we may need to put our distinctive cultural beliefs in the same closet that Malcolm X advised us to put our religious beliefs. Malcolm advised such because if we don’t, we will simply come malcolm-x-23together an argue about inconsequential minutiae the entire time we are together; precious time that could be used to strategically plan improving the tangible existence of our people. The failure to lay down the innumerable rivalries and petty beefs that occur between Cultural Nationalist groups guarantees an extension of the tangible misery that our people are experiencing and a continuation of our status as a people who the world looks upon as those who are continually “Talkin Loud and Saying Nothin”.

Dr. James Thomas Jones III


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