Although I long ago decided to neither debate nor argue with people who are not governed by logic, this Stacey Dash fiasco has led me to put my long-standing principle aside.
As an educator, I have participated in innumerable seminars that have invariably included some facilitator making the following statement, “If you have a question, please feel free to ask it, because I can guarantee you there are others who have the same question but are afraid to ask it.” This post is less about Stacey Dash and more about those African-Americans, also known as Negropeans, who have somewhere along the way become comfortable in their political, cultural, and historical illiteracy. Unfortunately for such individuals, each of the aforementioned illiteracies reinforces one another and leaves them in a feeble, illogical intellectual state that is impossible to escape.
Mrs. Dash, who is apparently seeking publicity for a yet-to-be-released book titled There Goes My Social Life: From Clueless to Conservative sprung onto the front pages of America’s continuing battle over racial matters with the following statement:
“We (African-Americans) have to make up our minds. Either we want to have segregation or integration, and if we don’t want segregation, then we have to get rid of channels like BET and the BET Awards and the Image Awards, where you’re only awarded if you’re black. If it were the other way around, we’d be up in arms. It’s a double standard. There shouldn’t be a black history month. We’re Americans, period.”
Although it would seem impossible to top her initial statement, Mrs. Dash equaled the idiocy of the above quote with the following blog posting.
“I look forward to the day when people don’t self-segregate based on skin color, while loudly complaining about a segregated society…
My problem goes back to the notion that every area of life needs to break down exactly according to demographic ratios except in those areas in which black people have decided they want to have their own space. I don’t have a problem with black people having their own space. I have a problem with the folks at BET absolutely freaking out when other institutions don’t match up to what they think is best…
BET lies to American black people by telling them that the rest of America is racist, so stick close to your own kind. Anything that promotes segregation is bad!
And they’re absolutely mortified that someone like me — an independent-thinking black woman — dares call their bluff.”
The most troubling aspect of this entire fiasco is not Mrs. Dash’s failure to understand the grave differences between prejudice, discrimination, and racism, nor is it her undeveloped understanding of the historical antecedents to racial segregation; the most troubling aspect is that so many African-Americans, in their desperate pursuit to be ‘Americans’ agree with the Fox News correspondents ridiculous statements.
I am not shocked that there is a significant population of African-Americans who believe that if they simply ‘go along to get along’ the specter of race will eventually disappear from this nation, sadly, there has always been a segment of our population that foolishly believed that such hopes and dreams were a form of political activism. Such individuals have historically advanced the fairy-tale belief that if African-Americans, particularly the less savory socially challenged parts of Black communities, would educate themselves and learn how to behave in public, whites’ would allow our citizenship to bloom like a flower and become Americans, not African-Americans or Black Americans.
It is obvious that Stacey Dash and her traveling band of Negropeans are desperate to shed the cloak of racism that has dogged all Americans from the moment that the first whites arrived on the North American and conflicted with Native peoples. Unfortunately for Stacey Dash and the Negropeans, Race is not only a social construct, but also one that has governed how this nation operates, simply ignoring it will not lessen its impact; those who seek to ignore, instead of addressing, racism are similar to people who believe that if we simply ignore cancer it will disappear.
If Mrs. Dash and her traveling band of Negropeans had only studied the history of this nation they would have learned that in his magnum opus The Souls of Black Folk (1903), W.E.B. Du Bois made the following prophetical observation, “The problem of the twentieth-century will be the problem of the color line.” Du Bois statement was reasonable considering the daily lynchings and economic exploitation that often pitted European immigrants against one another as well as Black workers, all of whom were engaged in a desperate attempt for survival. Integral to each of these groups understanding of their survival was conforming to residential segregation that cut along not only racial lines (Black vs. white), but also European ethnic lines (little Italy, German village, etc.).
It must be very confusing for a person such as Stacey Dash, and the Negropeans who agree with her, to comprehend that African-Americans did not construct this nation’s racial obsession; they are the foremost victims of it.
Dash has fashioned an illogical argument that accuses African-Americans of ‘self-segregating’ from ‘mainstream’ society via the creation of cultural celebrations and mediums that allow their voice to be heard. Mrs. Dash’s argument is historically unsupportable. The historical record indicates that virulent patterns of racism by whites forced both European ethnic groups and African-Americans to develop parallel societies that served their needs. Put simply, if whites had a school, the Irish, Blacks, Polish, etc. needed a school, if whites had a beauty pageant to celebrate their women, non-white groups needed one as well, if whites had a church, the aforementioned groups needed one as well. Although I am certain that Mrs. Dash and the Negropeans will illogically take our ancestors to task for creating institutions (political, cultural, and economic) that provided them a political voice and celebrate their historical record without saying a mumbling word about the existence of Polish History Month, Irish History Month, etc. The fact that they are governed by neither logic nor reasonableness makes such arguments possible. Put simply, whites were unwilling then, as they often are now, to share resources with any one else; there message has always been the same, either assimilate or be left out of desperately needed, yet plentiful, resources. Throughout the early-twentieth century white ethnic groups such as the Russian, Irish, Polish, Germans, Italians, etc. managed to assimilate with the dominant group and re-emerge as white. Such a path has historically not been an option for African-Americans. This is a harsh lesson that Mrs. Dash and the Negropeans will eventually learn.
Consequently, I warn Mrs. Dash and the Negropeans to tread lightly on this matter of asking African-Americans to abandon their parallel institutions that were created out of sheer necessity due to the racism of ‘mainstream’ white society. History dictates that there is an insatiable desire by whites to monopolize every part of society and demand that others come around to the correct point of view; read, their point of view.
The abandonment of independent Black institutions for a foolish attempt to integrate with white society will never generate equality and first-class citizenship for African-Americans. It will only lead them back to ‘the good old days’ when whites controlled everything and evaluated the worthiness of others according to their usefulness in extending the tyrannical rule of white world supremacy.
One thing is for certain, Stacey, and her roving band of social media based Negropeans, is still the absolute embodiment of Clueless.
James Thomas Jones III
© Manhood, Race and Culture, 2016.