Category Archives: Politics

A LOOK BEHIND THE VEIL: THE SILENT SUFFERING OF BLACK PROFESSIONALS AT FOX NEWS

In the timeless classic, The Souls of Black Folk, W.E.B. Du Bois penned the following regarding the awakening of his racial consciousness and the subsequent falling of a “veil” between himself and the white world. It is this metaphorical “veil” that has served as a formidable obstruction that limits understanding between every racial/ethnic group in our diverse nation. Du Bois relates that

In a wee wooden schoolhouse, something put it into the boys’ and girls’ heads to buy gorgeous visiting- cards–ten cents a package–and exchange. The exchange was merry, till one girl, a tall newcomer, refused my card, –refused it peremptorily, with a glance. Then it dawned upon me with a certain suddenness that I was different from the others; or like, mayhap, in heart and life and longing, but shut out from their world by a vast veil. I had thereafter no desire to tear down that veil, to creep through; I held all beyond it in common contempt

Experience has taught me that the majority of whites are primarily concerned with finding reliable paths to improving their socioeconomic status, concerns that usually trump any participation in some vast conspiracy to extend African-Americans politico-economic marginality. Now the above statement most certainly does not cancel out the collusion of groups working together to protect politico-economic interests from rivals; in a Capitalist society, such politico-economic strategies are to be expected. Such efforts are neither strange nor peculiar. In fact, while African-Americans repeatedly accuse others of colluding and working against the collective interests of Black America, the alluded to strategies sit at the core of our calls for “Black Power.” Consider the following directives regarding the creation of “Black Power” by Stokely Carmichael and Charles V. Hamilton.

The concept of Black Power rests on a fundamental premise. Before a group can enter the open society, it must first close ranks. By this, we mean group solidarity is necessary before a group can operate effectively from a bargaining position of strength in a pluralistic society. Traditionally, each new ethnic group in this society has found the route to social and political viability through the organization of its own institutions with which to represent its needs within the larger society . . . the American melting pot has not melted. Italians vote for Rubino over O’Brien; Irish for Murphy over Goldberg, etc.

There is a consensus among the politically astute that politico-economic solidarity is crucial to any population “getting ahead in America.”

Unfortunately for the sake of racial tranquility, the separation that politico-economic collectivism requires tends to construct a veil that reminds one of Du Bois’ metaphors. Put simply; group efforts to circulate dollars among their own and mobilize political currency tend to unintentionally create an increasing unfamiliarity with other racial groups and ethnicities. Hence, whites are rarely provided a view beyond the “veil” that shrouds the daily realities of Black America.

Whites’ inability to see beyond the “veil” explains their ignorance regarding the tremendous challenges that black professionals face on a daily basis. Whites ignorance regarding black life is prominently displayed via their failure to understand that many black professionals consider a strategy of “eat shit and grin” as their most reliable path to professional success.

Despite what many opponents may believe, African-American professional’s public silence regarding the many indignities they routinely face does not mean that such events are neither serious nor damaging. Many black professionals hesitate to share the insults that they experience out of fear that others would doubt their authenticity. Nevertheless, shocking racial incidents in professional workspaces are relatively common for African-Americans.

I am confident that few Americans would be shocked to find that Fox News, that bastion of Conservative political thought, has found itself mired in a controversy involving African-American employees. I am also convinced that most will understand that black employees within Fox News have adopted the strategy of “eat shit and grin” as a means of surviving what can only be considered a hellish workplace.

Two African-American female employees of Fox News, payroll manager Tichaona Brown and payroll coordinator Tabrese Wright, have recently come forth with shocking claims regarding the treatment they and other black employees received within the alluded to institution. Brown and Wright allege a workplace filled with “top-down racial harassment” and inappropriate behavior by Fox News Comptroller Judith Slater. They allege that Slaver made “numerous racially charged comments, including suggestions that black men were ‘women beaters’ and that black people wanted to harm white people physically.” As if that were not bad enough, the duo accuses Slater of forcing black employees to engage in “arm wrestling matches” with white female employees as well as “forcing a black woman employee to ‘fight’ for the amusement and pleasure of her white superiors…”

Within a nation where racial animosity is an integral aspect of its identity, it is tough to believe white protestations that racial hatred does not exist within American workplaces. It appears that white’s feigned ignorance regarding racial matters absolves them from taking a definitive stand against racial bias and discrimination. One thing is sure; Fox News has much company among American corporate entities and institutions in making African-American professionals silence regarding racial hostility a pre-requisite for continued employment.

White silence within Fox News regarding the above incidents of racial bias is yet another moment where individuals have allowed their financial interests to silence their moral compass. It is this expression of cowardice that leads me to believe that the majority of whites have little interest in looking behind the aforementioned “veil” that separates them from their African-American contemporaries. Unbeknownst to whites, their failure to take definitive action against racial bias in the workplace makes them accessories to the crime. Whites conscious decision to neither address nor counter-balance these occasions of workplace racial bias through tangible action are not only sickening but also makes one wonder how they can look at themselves in the mirror.

Maybe it is best that White America not peak behind the “veil” that shrouds so much of Black America’s misery and pain, at least if they do not see such things they will not have to carry the burden of being an accomplice to such matters on their shoulders.

Dr. James Thomas Jones III

© Manhood, Race and Culture, 2017.

COULD THE MOST SIGNIFICANT OBSTACLE TO NEW BLACK LEADERSHIP BE AN OLD-GUARD CONGRESSIONAL BLACK CAUCUS THAT REFUSES TO GET OUT OF THE WAY?

One of the best things about being an African-American Studies Professor working at a Historically Black University (HBCU) is the opportunity to witness the sheer brilliance that so many of our young people possess. Although much of that raw intelligence is dormant, the most important thing is its presence. I am certain that it is during this process of politicization that I am more potent as an educator.

One of the consequences of my focusing a significant portion of my studies upon sixties-radicalism is that I have a thorough understanding of the critical role that HBCU students played in the development and maturation of movement strategies, tactics, and goals. One can only lament what would the struggle for black liberation have been without the names of African-American student leaders such as Diane Nash, John Lewis, Stokely Carmichael, Huey P. Newton, and Bobby Seale.

Unfortunately for the sake of black liberation, it appears that an old guard Civil Rights leadership forged during sixties radicalism has forgotten the path that they traveled to positions that they have held for far too long. Contemporary black leaders failure to maintain the pipeline of African-American students entrance into the struggle for racial equality has slowed, if not entirely stopped this process. The primary consequence of such action has been the siphoning off of African-American collegians potential political contributions by a host of other movements whose agendas have little to do with the fight for racial equality. One needs to look no further than the relatively recent women’s marches that a host of African-American women participated in under a banner that paid scant if any, attention to the peculiar issues facing black women. The struggle for racial equality has never had the luxury of being headed by a politically inefficient leadership cadre that allows others to siphon off vital activist energies needed to raise the African-American community out of a multi-generational politico-economic marginality that has no end in sight.

Considering the above matters, I am confident that you can understand how pleased I was to learn that the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) had launched an outreach effort called “CBC on the Yard” that is to occur on HBCU campuses throughout the nation. A recent press release stated that “The goal of the tour is to listen, involve, and mobilize students to effect change in their communities and to get their thoughts on the direction of the country and issues that affect their lives.” The alluded to outreach efforts are focusing upon three of the traditional avenues of black uplift; voter participation, the civil rights movement, and financial literacy. Such efforts are a most encouraging sign.

In many ways, this move by the CBC to engage African-American collegians is akin to an admission that many members of this congressional entity have forgotten both the path that they have traveled and the lessons of an energetic Civil Rights Movement.  According to CBC Chair, Cedric Richmond (D-La) “We often think that young people have a lot to learn from us, but we also have a lot to learn from them, especially now when they’re the folks launching and leading Black Lives Matter and other grassroots movements. If we’re going to create a more perfect union for Black families, we have to listen, involve, and mobilize young, Black leaders, and ground zero for many of them is an HBCU.”

There is little room to debate Richmond’s contention of HBCU’s being “ground zero” for the cultivation of the next generation of African-American politico-economic leaders, however, it remains to be seen if the much-needed intergenerational discussions are accompanied by a necessary relinquishing of leadership positions by an old-guard leadership cadre that considers themselves fixtures in the fight for racial equality.

Make no mistake about it, the voices of the newest generation of African-American activists have arrived via social media outlets that old-guard Civil Rights leaders and organizations have no control over. It has been the unfettered access provided by social media that has provided this latest generation of potential black leaders an efficient means of avoiding the principal obstacle to the rise of new leadership within the black community, black leaders whose old ideas and strategies expired long ago.

One thing is sure; there is a desperate need for innovative thought as old stratagems and tactics of yesteryear have failed to mobilize the masses of black folk within racial equality struggles. Although I am certain that they will never address this matter, the only real issue blocking the ascension of a young cadre of black leadership is the gracious exit of an aged Civil Rights Leadership; if I had to venture a guess, I would say that old-guar Civil Rights leaders will do what they have always done and held on for dear life to their ‘positions of importance’ as it is their only point of relevancy in an ever-changing society that they are too old to keep up with.

Dr. James Thomas Jones III

WHY HASN’T BLACK POWER COLLECTIVIST ECONOMIC PLANS WORKED FOR BLACK AMERICA?

One of the most reliable indicators that a person has not only studied, but also comprehended the multi-faceted and incredibly complex issues that have faced persons of African descent from the moment that they arrived in the Jamestown colony is the understanding that of all the solutions presented after that moment, collectivist economics and political solidarity provides the best opportunity for liberation. Honestly, there is little room to argue against the belief that the “Black Power” strategies mentioned above have historically provided the greatest opportunity for “the liberation and salvation of the black nation.”

Although difficult to admit, when one considers the politico-economic marginalization rooted throughout Black America, it is apparent that “Black Power” politico-economic constructs have failed miserably. Considering this harsh reality, we must diligently seek to answer the following query; “Why has Black Power failed to uplift the black community?”

In light of the certain tendency for our people to deliberately derail important matters such as this one with diversionary minutiae, I think that it would be wise to define Black Power. Once again, by providing this definition, I am only seeking to avoid this discussion being intentionally sidetracked by unnecessary haranguing regarding alternative definitions of “Black Power” for no logical reason. To prevent such ‘mental masturbation,’ I have decided on the definition of Black Power that Charles V. Hamilton and Stokely Carmichael’s used in their brilliant book, Black Power. According to this duo,

The concept of Black Power rests on a fundamental premise. Before a group can enter the open society, it must first close ranks. By this, we mean group solidarity is necessary before a group can operate effectively from a bargaining position of strength in a pluralistic society. Traditionally, each new ethnic group in this society has found the route to social and political viability through the organization of its own institutions with which to represent its needs within the larger society . . . the American melting pot has not melted. Italians vote for Rubino over O’Brien; Irish for Murphy over Goldberg, etc.

When stripped to its essential parts, Hamilton and Carmichael’s construct amounts to a call for politico-economic collectivism. From their perspective, politico-economic collectivism has been the path that “each new ethnic group in this society has (traveled) to social and political viability through the organization of its institutions with which to represent its needs within the larger society.” Considering the relative simplicity of this route to liberation, one must ask, “Why has Black Power not worked for African-Americans?”

The answer to the above query is fairly straightforward, yet woefully troubling and disconcerting. The answer is that during the past 60 years, the vast majority of African-Americans have failed to make either collectivist economics or political solidarity a fixture in their lives.

Considering that most reasonable-minded individuals agree that political activism is essential to the uplift of the black community, it appears that such a perspective has failed to inspire African-Americans who make up 13% of the nation to participate in the electoral process at a rate that exceeds their proportion of the American populace. Black political participation occurs at a blasé rate until a figure such as Barack Hussein Obama appears.

As political participation lags behind, many African-Americans have foolishly convinced themselves that the key to “the liberation and salvation of the black nation” is the generation of financial might. Unfortunately for Black America, it appears that their political inefficiencies are only exceeded by their understanding of economic collectivism.

As mentioned in a recent post on this site, one does not need to look any further than the embarrassing manner in which African-Americans fail to circulate the dollar within their community to understand a primary pillar in their economic struggles. It appears that for all of their adoration of Malcolm X the vast majority of African-Americans have failed to heed one of his most basic admonishments regarding economic foolishness. Malcolm charged his people with the following admonishment, “You run down your community when you don’t circulate your dollar amongst your own.” Consider the following data regarding the circulation of dollars.

  • It takes 6 hours for a dollar to exit the black community.
  • It takes 17 days for a dollar to exit the white community.
  • It takes 20 days for a dollar to exit the Jewish community.
  • It takes 30 days for a dollar to exit the Asian community.

In light of such economic inefficiency, it is unsurprising to find that of the 1.1 Trillion dollars of annual spending power that passes through the African-American community, a number that means that on average every man, woman, and child within the African-American community has in excess of $26,200 at their disposal on a yearly basis, a paltry 2% of those dollars are spent with black-owned businesses. One can only wonder where does all of that money go? The answer to the above query is equally daunting and astonishing. Studies indicate that African-Americans spend a significant portion of their dollars in the following areas.

  • Tobacco — $3.3 billion
  • Whiskey, Wine, and Beer — $3 billion
  • Non-alcoholic beverages — $2.8 billion
  • Leisure time spending — $3.1 billion
  • Toys, Games, and Pets — $3.5 billion
  • Telephone services — $18.6 billion
  • Random Gifts — $10 billion

There is little doubt that the political disengagement and economic foolishness listed above would banish any populace to socioeconomic marginality.

What makes Black America’s continuing politico-economic marginalization even more disconcerting is that it could have been eradicated if we only adhered to a few ground rules a litany of “race men” have provided. Considering that so many of our people have found comfort in the Church and guidance from scripture, I think it appropriate to relate that African-Americans have continually behaved as those described in Jeremiah 5:21, “Hear this now, O foolish people, Without understanding, Who have eyes and see not, And who have ears and hear not.”

One has to wonder when God will cease sending prophets to these woe-smitten people who have repeatedly proven that they have no desire to use either their eyes or ears to save their kind. It is too late in the game for our people to continue making the same politico-economic mistakes that they have always made. Unfortunately for our sake, it appears that they have yet to tire of banging their heads against an immovable wall.

Dr. James Thomas Jones III

© Manhood, Race, and Culture, 2017

What Black America should learn from the Indian attacks on Nigerian students

I am confident that you understand that I initially considered it inconceivable that I would ever learn any lesson from the recent beating of several Nigerian students by a mob of Indians in Noida, India. However, after much reflection upon the incident, it occurs to me that the African-American community needs to adopt the staunch defiance that the Indian people displayed during this event.

I am confident that anyone who has witnessed the cell phone footage of the beatings will immediately take issue with the insinuation that replication of these horrific actions is needed. However, I would hope that before you closing off your mind to this matter that you would lend me your ear regarding what very well may be the best path forward for a community that has been marginalized and maligned at every turn.

The key to understanding why I believe that it is past time that African-Americans replicated the Indian people’s vigilante justice is why the beatings occurred. According to numerous reports, the beatings delivered to the Nigerian students resulted from the drug overdose of an Indian teen. The family of the deceased teen alleged that it was Nigerian students who provided the drugs that took their child’s life. Instantaneously, the Indian people searched for any Nigerian to whom they could send a stern message regarding their unwillingness to allow outsiders to enter their community and execute any evil. Make no mistake about it; the alluded to attack was a stern warning to outsiders that there would be zero tolerance for any such conduct within their community.

One victim of the attack related that the Indian mob voiced their displeasure via ‘rods, bricks, and knives.’ In addition to the whipping that was doled out, the local Indian community also expressed their disdain by evicting the Nigerian students from their living arrangements.

Understandably, the Indian community is uncompromising when it comes to outsiders compromising the sanctity of their families, community, institutions, and homes. The actions of the Indian population placed what I would term a logical question before me, that being, considering the historical oppression that they have experience, why has the African-American community failed to assume a similar position regarding the compromising of their community by evildoers inside and outside of the race?

When one considers the African-American community’s last-place status in every measurable category, it would seem that they would have long ago adopted the same uncompromising position being displayed by the Indian community. Undoubtedly the centuries of misery and suffering within Black America is a by-product of their unique ability to be compromising in regards to negroes whose sole purpose appears to be the destruction of their indigenous community and accommodating in regards to their dealings with outsiders whose singular focus is capitalizing upon an economic inefficiency philosophy. The alluded to economic inefficiency is best displayed by the unfortunate reality that the vast majority of the 43 million African-Americans in this nation do not understand the fundamental reasons that they should support black businesses. This failure to comprehend the utility of black economic collectivism is the only reasonable explanation for the shocking reality that Black America annually has over 1.1 trillion dollars ($1,100,000,000,000.00) at its disposal; predictably, black businesses receive less than 2% of the alluded to monies.

Consider the following information regarding the manner that groups circulate their dollar within their community. According to several studies, it takes the following period for a single dollar to exit the communities listed below:

It takes 6 hours for a dollar to exit the black community.

It takes 17 days for a dollar to exit the white community.

It takes 20 days for a dollar to exit the Jewish community.

It takes 30 days for a dollar to exit the Asian community.

If nothing else, the reality that a single dollar exits the black community within 360 minutes of it touching a black hand should be a sobering statistic that verifies why outsiders derisively term African-Americans “liquid money.” The correcting of this irrational and ridiculous trend stands as a central pillar in the liberation of Black America.

The recent action of the Indian community definitively proves that it is the collective community that sets the standards for their community. If there is one area that Black America has been derelict within, it is their well-worn pattern of accommodating, if not championing, negative behaviors and lifestyles that serve as unconscionably important socialization agents. Put simply; the willingness to allow the free-flow of social irresponsibility and economic inefficiency into their community from both black and non-black sources dooms the African-American community in ways that are too numerous to list.

There is no doubt that it is past time for Black America to adopt the uncompromising ways of other groups and enforce a rigid code of conduct regarding what is and what is not acceptable regarding not only fellow African-Americans but also any outsiders seeking access to the black dollar. Trust me when I say that our failure to do the above in an organized manner will inexplicably prove yet again that the yoke of oppression that has hung around the neck of persons of African descent is insufficient to create either the dawning of common sense or a spirit of politico-economic collectivism.

Dr. James Thomas Jones III

©  Manhood, Race, and Culture, 2017

The Failure to Prioritize: An Essential Ingredient in the Extension of Black America’s Oppression

There is probably no more frustrating quality found among African-Americans today than their inability to evaluate current events and then prioritize. Trust me when I say that it is our failure to prioritize matters affecting our collective well-being that not only extends African-American suffering but also makes us accessories to our oppression.

The lack of a significant response from Black America regarding Trump’s decision to repeal the Affordable Care Act speaks volumes about the average African-American’s inability to monitor, prioritize, and respond accordingly to pressing political matters. Instead of addressing the looming curtailing of reasonable access to health care, Black America has preoccupied itself with relatively mundane issues such as a proposed Atlanta Orgy, the 20th Anniversary of the Notorious B.I.G.’s murder, or some other brain draining social media topic such as Remy Ma’s ‘Shether.’

Considering the disproportionate amount of time that African-Americans spend upon topics that can be efficiently termed “mental masturbation” exercises, one could be fooled into believing that their community is not lagging behind other groups in every single political, economic, and educational measurable. A critical mass of African-Americans decision to bury their head in the sand regarding our contemporary politico-economic blight that paves the way for African-Americans to behave as if they do not have a single care in the world, put simply, so many within our community behave like “good time Charlie’s.”

Although I would never deny the pernicious effects of discrimination and institutionalized racism, the failure to take life seriously also severely compromises African-American progress at every turn. Black students across a wide-swath of educational levels often behave as if they have absolutely no interest in learning anything of utility during their educational experience. Anyone who has dealt with our people will tell you that the following variables exist. There is a segment of African-American males of varying ages and socioeconomic classes proudly flaunt their immoral ability to skirt responsibility for their offspring. Many females within our midst busy themselves executing voluminous amounts of unnecessary mischief that invariably facilitates the arrival of a small mindedness that serves as the primary socializing agent in their children’s lives.

Make no mistake about it, until politicization becomes the standard mindset of Black America, these issues will not only remain but also serve as a reliable point for our individual and collective exploitation.

This issue should be considered an absolute blessing and curse. The blessing is that the development of a politicized mind and the ability to prioritize continually shifting political issues is achievable via a voracious regimen of study dedicated to Black life. The curse is that the most reliable agent in black activism is an outrageous offense from whites. Until the African-American community abandons its usual reactionary position and begins to understand that pressing political matters such as the repealing of the Affordable Care Act are markedly more important than the anniversary of the death of the Notorious B.I.G., ‘Shether’, or an event such as the “ATL Orgy” that definitively proves the comprehensive nature of the social dysfunction enveloping far too many members of our community, liberation will continue to elude Black America. The addressing of this matter requires an abandonment of reactionary politics. It can be done. However, it is solely up to Black America, and there is “the blessing and the curse” that continually haunts our collective liberation.

Dr. James Thomas Jones III

© Manhood, Race, and Culture, 2017.