Category Archives: Politics

Why Black Men Should Applaud the Development of a Black Woman’s Movement and Political Agenda

I must be forthright and state that I believe public protests and marches should be at best a minimal portion of strategies aimed at liberating Black America. A century ago, public protests and marches were a phenomenal way to inform naïve whites of bigotry, racial discrimination, and institutional racism, the need for such measures are long gone as all Americans realize that we have a Race problem in this nation. The historical record indicates that over the past half-century public protests have failed to make significant strides toward solving the underlying catalysts to racial inequality. Put simply; the typical march for racial justice amounts to little more than our people talking loud and achieving nothing.

Although I hold fast to the belief that marches such as the March for Racial Justice and the March for Black Women planned today in Washington, D.C. will fail to make a tangible difference in the plight of black people in America; there is a silver lining to be found regarding the latter. To the chagrin of many who oppose black liberation, it appears that a segment of African-American women have channeled the spirit and intelligence of their brave sisters of the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee, the Black Panther Party for Self-Defense, and the Black Liberation Army and realized that black women have tended to exist in a peculiar space that lends itself to political invisibility.

Consider for a moment that it is common for the needs, wants, and particular issues facing black women to be muted by their identity. Unfortunately, black women are too female to be adequately represented in the male-dominated African-American freedom struggle and too black to be centered in a women’s movement that disregards the pernicious evil of racial oppression. Verification of such an assertion is found throughout the entire feminist movement that has “welcomed” black women into their fold under the condition that they must adopt a pre-existing agenda that has nothing to do with their particular needs, wants, and desires. The issues that matter most to black women conflict with the “white world supremacy” that provides great privilege to white women; it is, after all, their first inheritance as an America.

In many ways, it should be difficult for anyone who has any love for black women not to applaud this courageous decision by march leaders to articulate a political agenda that highlights peculiar issues that will never be found within either the African-American freedom struggle or the feminist movement. This decision should ensure that black women are no longer eclipsed by an African-American freedom struggle that accentuates racial matters at the cost of ignoring gender issues or a white female-headed feminist movement that will never work toward eradicating white supremacy.

Although I know that many black men will shudder at the prospect of black women having a separate political agenda, they have little to worry about as African-American women have historically supported the African-American freedom struggle. I am confident that the March for Black Women will not change that fact. The alluded to fears should be quieted by the reality that politically astute, courageous, disciplined, and educated black women are central to the creation of and the maintenance of an active black community.

Failure to understand this fact dooms us all and ensures that racial disparities will continue unabated. And that is a reality that all of Black America should consider revolting.

Dr. James Thomas Jones III

© Manhood, Race, and Culture, 2017

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 IT IS CRUCIAL THAT WE SUPPORT PRAIRIE VIEW A & M UNIVERSITY IN THE AFTERMATH OF HURRICANE HARVEY

Although I am confident that the question of “What can I do?” is a common request from those seeking to aid those suffering in the wake of Hurricane Harvey’s passage through the Houston area. When I received this query from a former student who matriculated from Prairie View A & M University, I considered it, weird.

The alluded to student’s communication not only expressed a desire to aid the victims but also implicitly requested my advice regarding how he could make a significant and meaningful impact. I am confident that my response which was heavily influenced by the belief that “charity begins at home” simultaneously excited this young man as evidenced by his involuntary response of “I can definitely do that!!!!!”

My advice to this young man whose degree from Prairie View A & M University has paved the way for him to teach around the globe was to make a much-needed donation to his alma mater. As previously mentioned, my belief that “charity begins at home” is a guiding principle for all that I do, however, that was not the primary motivation behind my advice. The primary motivation behind my advice flowed from an official notification I received from the University informing all of the present state of the PV Panther family (students, staff, and faculty). The alluded to communication indicated that many members of the Panther family were displaced and scattered as a result of Hurricane Harvey, a natural disaster that had “the nerve” to pre-empt the start of our Fall Semester.

The University’s response to those impacted by Harvey has been to offer monetary aid and every other assistance imaginable regardless of the injury they have received.

Hence, it was easy for me to encourage this young man to begin his charitable giving at his alma mater as it is the correct thing to do. Now, this communication is most certainly not intended to prevent you from donating money to the Red Cross or any other relief entity. However, it is designed to broaden your vision of charitable giving and remember both Texas Southern University and Prairie View A & M University in this time of stress and strain.

As evidenced by the following communication, the students of PVAMU have taken the initiative to address and would greatly appreciate your assistance in this matter at the present moment and going forward.

In response to Hurricane Harvey, the Power Administration sends our deepest prayers to all those adversely affected by this unprecedented weather event. All of us have been impacted in some way from this natural disaster. We want to assure everyone that we have been diligently planning ways that we can help our surrounding community in alleviating some of the loss that many have suffered.

We, as a whole, want to introduce Panther P.U.S.H. which stands for Panthers United to Serve and Help. This is a new initiative designed to assist the community in any type of natural disaster or any unforeseen catastrophic event. Through Panther P.U.S.H., we have set up a GoFundme, so that PVAMU students, staff, and faculty can donate to the relief efforts. To donate, please visit:https://www.gofundme.com/pvamupush. We also invite those on campus to donate critical items, to those in need. In addition, we want to gather teams to help with physical community building for those who have lost homes and other resources near and dear to them.

It is in these times of struggle that we must unite as one – this human thing to do. We must push through the sadness of the situation internally and externally to continue to uplift our community. Prairie View A&M University and the surrounding community have suffered many adversities throughout our collective history, but we have always maintained, triumphed and thrived when we’ve worked together to overcome. This situation will not be any different. We encourage you to donate to our Panther P.U.S.H. GoFundMe efforts, and we look forward to continuing to serve the entire PV family.

Kendric D. Jones, SGA President

Xante Wallace, SGA Vice President

Once again, we must be very mindful that although it is important to give back to others, we must also realize that “charity begins at home.”

P.V. ——— “YOU KNOW!!!!!!!”

Dr. James Thomas Jones III

© Manhood, Race and Culture, 2017

Donald Trump: The King of Dog-Whistle Politics

I am confident that you remember the repeated charge of being a divisive agent in the battle for racial tranquility that a wide swath of white conservatives and misguided Negroes hurled at President Barack Hussein Obama. If one listened to the hateful rhetoric emanating from these sources, two things are obvious: (a) a decade after Andrew Hacker made the assertion that America was Two Nations: Black and white, Separate, Hostile, Unequal it remains true as America remains divided nation along DuBois’ ‘color line’ and (b) there was a segment of America determined to disagree with everything Obama put forth. Please keep in mind that this is not an implicit attack on White America as the ranks of the latter included many members of Black America’s revolutionary class. Sensible Americans realized that such baseless assertions were aimed at retarding any effort at advancing Obama’s agenda.

In hindsight, it is evident that the most laudable hallmarks of the Obama administration were its inclusiveness and commitment to diversity. The Obama administration seemed to be motivated by former Texas Governor Ann Richards assertion that if we want new ideas, we must change who is sitting around the table. During Obama’s two-terms, everyone, including those who vehemently disagreed with him, was welcomed to the table by a gracious and accommodating host. Those days are gone.

If it can be reasonably argued that President Obama set the tone-and-tenor for what should have been a productive dialogue, it makes sense to cite Donald Trump and his administration for setting the tone-and-tenor for the rising climate of hatred emanating from the “Alt-Right” as they seek to “make America great again.”

We all realize that “dog-whistle politics” are nothing new for American Presidents. However, it’s hard to cite a single American President whose sub-discourse or “dog-whistle” has been discernible by so many people as Donald J. Trump. Trump’s decision to populate his cabinet with individuals who spew vitriolic hatred at those who oppose their white supremacist plans makes what I am certain he thought would be a subtle message to the raucous elements of his base visible to all. The figures mentioned above include “Alt-Right” and white supremacist values such as:

  • Steve Bannon
  • Milo Yiannopoulos
  • Alex Jones
  • Sebastian Gorka
  • Julie Kirchner

Although I do not blame Trump for the existence of White Nationalism, Neo-Nazism, and other repugnant verbal and physical expressions of racial bigotry. Truthfully, the seeds for such questionable viewpoints were sown centuries before Trump appeared on the scene during the attempt to settle Roanoke. Trump is at worst guilty of watering and tending to those poisonous weeds via rhetoric that was hurled into public spaces decades before his Presidential campaign.

No one can successfully argue against the fact that the Office of the President of the United States of America sets the stage for the terms and conditions of political engagement. There is even less room to assert that Trump’s political ascension encouraged white supremacists to emerge from the murky shadows they have always occupied and step under a bright center-stage spotlight. Trump has done very little to dissuade figures such as Bannon and Gorka of their foolhardy belief that their political priorities are a welcome addition to a vibrant American political scene with malleable boundaries that adversaries agreed on decades ago.

Trump’s failure to recognize that white supremacy is outside of the alluded to boundaries is a troubling sign. His inability to articulate such without the aid of a teleprompter is not only more troubling but also proves that a man devoid of an either a moral compass or common sense has no business heading this nation.

It is past time that American leaders on both sides of the aisle lay aside their bickering and take a serious look at Trump as the inherent risks associated with such ineptitude are unconscionable. When one considers the difficulty Trump had denouncing white supremacy and domestic terrorism, it should be frightening to think what could come from his dealing with foreign policy matters such as Russia, North Korea, China, and a host of other crucial issues that will permanently alter this nation going forward.

Boy do I miss Obama; hell, with the way things are going right now I miss George W. Bush’s leadership. And as you well know, that is a thought that I never in a million years thought that I would have. However, these are desperate times.

Dr. James Thomas Jones III

© Manhood, Race and Culture, 2017

 

 

 

WHY IS THE WHITE MALE SUPREMACIST SO ANGRY?: Lessons to be Learned from Charlottesville

It’s hard for most African-Americans to understand the existence of angry white males. This difficulty only increases with the realization that white men have historically held every advantage in this democratic nation. There is little room to debate that white males have historically been American industrial leaders preferred worker population. White males’ historical favored status leads most to question why he is currently behaving as if he has existed under a yoke of oppression that has been reserved for blacks for the past four centuries.

The genesis of white male anxiety and public expressions of anger is closely associated with increasing concerns regarding an evaporating privileged status. When one listens to the rhetoric being spewed by white supremacist leaders, the fear associated with white males’ expiring socioeconomic privileges is palpable. Predictably, for the vast majority of white men, the loss of their privileged position feels like they have fallen under the yoke of oppression.

Although most Americans consider any argument that paints the white male as an oppressed population, foolhardy; such a reaction does a severe disservice to the genuine socioeconomic issues facing white males. Nearly every discussion revolving around the angry white male conflates this highly diverse population into a monolithic group with a similar background (highly-educated, entrepreneurial, politically savvy, and financially prosperous) and singular goals (white world supremacy). Nothing could be further from the truth as the white male population is as diverse as any other American population with varying levels of educational achievement, occupational skill, and politicization. Such matters are critical to understanding the angry white male who assembled in Charlottesville, Virginia, in a desperate attempt to re-establish their ownership of America and inform all that they were prepared to resist every attempt to push them from center stage.

While most dismiss the antics of the angry white males such as those in Charlottesville who have found both brethren and a political voice within white supremacy groups, it is a phenomenon that must be noted and addressed by the nation. The angst of poorly educated and financially marginalized angry white males is understandable if one understands the flawed historical analysis that it rests on.

Make no mistake about it, the white male angst displayed in Charlottesville is directly attributable to a fallacious reading of American history. This reading of history places the white man as the central protagonist in every historical event; hence, it is not a quantum leap to expect those who have been indoctrinated with such information to believe that they are supposed to not only dictate what occurs in America but also reap the most significant politico-economic rewards from those events.

Political protests like Charlottesville communicates an obvious anger by white males at the realization that the world has shifted in a manner that their standing dinner reservation that has historically allowed them to skip to the front of a crowded line of groups grasping for politico power and economic resources has been canceled. It appears that a few white males finally understand that class has superseded race in American economic matters.

Unfortunately for angry white males, the realization that class concerns matter more than race has not led them to abandon the failed strategies of their economically marginalized ancestors who attacked other poor groups and not the elite as they sought to be the richest of the American poor. I am certain that it is painful for white supremacists to admit that they have been exploited by the white elites; figures such as Carnegie, Rockefeller, Gompers, and Trump.

This historical record indicates that elite whites have exploited poor and working-class whites whose only comfort was found in their superiority to blacks. Remarkably, the vast majority of poor and working-class whites fail to realize that their only escape form poverty in inextricably tied to other poor populations. Ironically, in a nation fixated on race, the solution to white workers plight is an accentuation on class.

It is truly a peculiar situation to watch angry white males avoid challenging white elites, their actual oppressors, and doom themselves to an endless struggle against other poor groups for the few crumbs that fall from the table of prosperity.

One can only wonder how long angry white males will continue to cower in the face of an American elite class and attack other poor groups who hold the key to their escape from economic exploitation. Although I am confident that this reality is excruciatingly painful for angry white males to accept, their oppressor looks just like them; he is white and male.

To the chagrin of angry white males, their oppressor is solely motivated by financial realities, not petty racial matters. It is the alluded to concern with financial power that has facilitated poor and working-class white males loss of favored worker status in the U.S. labor market. The cause of white male anger has little to do with a statue of Robert E. Lee and everything to do with the unavoidable reality that they are no longer the favored worker class in America. It is with this realization that I am requesting angry white males to stop blaming African-Americans for your economic decline, you know that we have no say in that matter, and turn your full-attention toward the elite (such as Donald Trump) whose pursuit of a dollar has placed you in this tenuous predicament. Whether you want to accept it or not, white elites could not care less who they exploit as long as it is hugely profitable.

Dr. James Thomas Jones III