Category Archives: Race

How the Terrorist Attack by White Supremacist in Charlottesville is the Opening Shot in a Civil War for White America’s Soul

In a long forgotten admonishment, Malcolm X told white progressives that the most efficient manner that they could make a contribution to the struggle for racial equality is by returning to their indigenous community and combating white bigotry at that location.

In many ways, Malcolm’s sage advice was particularly poignant as it allowed progressive whites a glimpse of the virulent hatred that the white supremacist that call themselves the ‘Alt-Right’ harbor in their hearts and souls. Blacks have always believed that until progressive whites have been affected by the demonic possession that takes hold of such individuals that they can not comprehend the terror that has shadowed blacks for the past several centuries.

If nothing else, the recent terrorist attack in Charlottesville, Virginia provides whites with a clear view of the unbridled hatred and ‘by any means necessary’ politics that domestic terrorist groups such as the Ku Klux Klan, Knights of the White Camellia, and ‘Alt-Right’ have used against African-Americans for centuries. The hatred that I am referring to is a furious rage that seeks to destroy all that it contacts.

I am confident that for many progressive whites this most recent attack by white terrorists determined to rule this nation ‘by any means necessary’ reminds them of the ‘radical Islamic terrorist’ that Donald Trump railed against during his repeated criticisms of Barack Hussein Obama.

Most revealing has been Trump supporter and former Ku Klux Klan Grand Wizard David Duke insistence that the white supremacist who arrived in Charlottesville were putting action to Donald J. Trump’s promise to “make America great again.” I agree with Duke’s contention that the assembled white supremacists consider themselves Trump’s ‘storm troopers’ and this moment will be remembered as ‘a defining moment’ in how White America views itself.

For the first time since the founding of this nation, the white populace has witnessed the true wages of the socially constructed whiteness. It is difficult to argue against the assertion that the foremost symptoms of whiteness are a far-reaching social blindness and political ignorance that appears in the forms of xenophobia, racial bigotry, gender bias, and a general refusal to consider an alternative worldview that questions an omnipotent and omnipresent white privilege. Although difficult to consider, the loss of life that occurred in the Charlottesville protests may very well be the elusive threshold that causes sober-minded whites on both the left and the right of the aisle to finally recognize and take action against the lethal dangers associated with white domestic terrorism.

As always, the path to destroying white bigotry and institutional racism runs directly through White America. It will most certainly be interesting to watch their actions in the wake of a lethal domestic terrorist attack. Will they be able to join forces with like-minded individuals in a heroic struggle to extinguish white supremacy or will they cower in the face of white bigots who remind them that there is strength in numbers? Time will reveal which path well-meaning whites have chosen. More importantly, history will judge how they either confront or ignore this evil that has historically possessed the nation’s soul like a demonic spirit.

Dr. James Thomas Jones III

© Manhood, Race and Culture, 2017

What Black America Must Learn from the Unemployment of Colin Kaepernick and Suspension of Ezekiel Elliott

Public Disclaimer: I am a proud alum of THE Ohio State University and a lifetime fan of the Dallas Cowboys. I promise to let neither of those things significantly affect my reflections on what the 6-game suspension of Ezekiel Elliott means.

In the aftershocks surrounding Ezekiel Elliott’s 6-game suspension for violating the National Football League’s (NFL) ‘personal conduct’ policy, I have heard many of my African-American peers lament that the punishment dispensed by NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell as grossly unfair. A few have taken the step of insinuating that the fact that Elliott’s accuser is a white female is a deciding factor.

Although I consider Goodell’s punishment to be harsh when compared to prior league decisions regarding similar matters, I do not think that the Commissioner’s actions are attributable to any inherent personal prejudice or institutional racism in the NFL. However, I do believe that racial matters impacted the decision indirectly.

If one views the recent ruling regarding Elliott and the continuing unemployment of Colin Kaepernick from an unemotional position they would see that the decisions of Commissioner Goodell and team owners are motivated by rising concerns regarding league popularity; a polite way of referring to league finances. Put simply; the stewards of the NFL brand are caught in a peculiar predicament that forces them to do business in a manner that lessens the chances that those whites purchasing the bulk of game tickets remain loyal to the NFL brand.

When viewed in this light, it is apparent that Kaepernick’s difficulty in securing employment is an occurrence of collusion by NFL owners unwilling to offend patriotic whites who will never forgive the embattled figure for kneeling during the playing of the National Anthem. Elliott has likewise been sacrificed to appease women’s rights groups, many of which are filled with black women eager to follow their white ‘sisters’ lead in attacking the Dallas Cowboys running back regarding the highly questionable allegations. Make no mistake about it; the NFL realizes that if such groups disapprove of their handling of the Elliott case, their reaction will be furious and immediate.

In many ways, the most significant lesson that African-Americans can take from both matters is that regardless of the skills black workers possess, they are never so essential to operations that they can not be jettisoned the moment they affect bottom line financial realities. Although difficult for black workers to accept, when it comes to industry, they are never the machine performing the work, they are the grease that will be used until it is of no more use and then discarded.

We must never forget that for American Capitalists, it is ALWAYS about the money. And there is not a darn thing that Black Americans can do to alter that reality in this or any future life.

Dr. James Thomas Jones III

© Manhood, Race and Culture, 2017

President Lyndon Baines Johnson Closes the Coffin on White Participation in the Civil Rights Movement

Whites’ increasing resistance to racial equality perplexed African-American moderates who looked on in horror as their former allies, who now termed themselves neo-liberals, began propagating political principles that absolved them from any responsibility for racial inequality.

Whites couched their increasingly public attacks against racial progressivism within well-worn individualistic Horatio Alger uplift stories.  Neo-liberals shifting principles dramatically altered the political landscape in regards to racial matters. Whites reasoned that their retreat from the battle for racial equality was beneficial for African-Americans as it provided them an invaluable opportunity to independently address intra-racial social vices, political inefficiencies, and economic deficiencies.

After the Watts rebellion, whites considered benign neglect their lone opportunity to aid African-Americans. From their perspective, Blacks only hope of securing respect in America was to follow the same path to politico-economic empowerment that European and Asian immigrants traveled; meaning the mobilization of and strategic utilization of politico-economic caches. Although calls for African-Americans ‘to lift themselves up by their bootstraps’ were a familiar refrain, it remained neither fair nor achievable in the mid-sixties considering their dearth of politico-economic caches. Unfortunately for African-Americans, this reality did not prevent neo-liberals from shifting the blame for persisting racial inequities to their strong shoulders. The insinuation was obvious; whites were no longer willing to aid the American Negro. Neo-liberals publicly attacked Blacks for requesting group protection by admonishing that socially responsible individualism was the only path to racial equality, not offensive rallies, marches, and speeches.

From its genesis, neo-liberalism propagated flawed theories regarding Black suffering to a gullible white populace. For example, Neo-liberals disputed their former Black allies’ assertion that institutional racism was the real catalyst to persisting racial inequities. President Lyndon Baines Johnson articulated such thinking during a commencement address at Howard University on June 4, 1965.  Johnson’s speech signals progressive whites’ abandonment of liberalism for a more conservative politic. At the addresses opening, Johnson enveloped himself in traditional liberal jargon by acknowledging the pernicious effects of racial discrimination and calling for continued diligence in the battle to subdue it. The President pointed out,

[Y]ou do not take a person who, for years, has been hobbled by chains and liberate him, bring him up to the starting line of a race and then say, “You are free to compete with all the others,” and still justly believe that you have been completely fair. Thus, it is not enough just to open the gates of opportunity. All our citizens must have the ability to walk through those gates. 

However, the most significant aspect of President Johnson’s presentation occurred after these initial thoughts when he endorsed a new path to racial equality; Lyndon Baines Johnson then proceeded to blame Blacks for persisting racial inequities.

Equal opportunity is essential, but not enough. Ability is stretched or stunted by the family you live with, and the neighborhoods you live in, by the school you go to and the poverty or the richness of your surroundings. It is the product of a hundred unseen forces playing upon the infant, the child, and the man. Overt job discrimination is only one of the important hurdles which must be overcome before color can disappear as a determining factor in the lives and fortunes of men . . . The extent to which an individual is able to develop his aptitudes will largely depend upon the circumstances present in the family within which he grows up and the opportunities which he encounters at school and in the larger community.

African-Americans should have considered Johnson’s comments public warning that they were solely responsible for lifting themselves up by their bootstraps because neo-liberals, a population that included former allies, had abandoned the struggle for racial equality with a clear conscience, nonetheless.

Dr. James Thomas Jones III

© Manhood, Race and Culture, 2017

Excerpt from Creating Revolution as they Advance: A Narrative History of the Black Panther Party for Self-Defense

That’s It?????: Why the NAACP’s Travel Ban Displays How Lost Black Leaders are at this Present Moment

Make no mistake about it, to be black in America ensures a host of definitive moments. Often these classic moments are excruciatingly painful on physical, economic, spiritual levels. When the alluded to moments are considered in their totality, one is led to believe that African-American are at best unwelcome guests in a hostile land.

Of all the issues facing African-Americans, the most pernicious may be the reality that they will never be fully accepted by what is best considered a tyrannical white majority. Although difficult to take for integrationist-minded blacks, at the current moment, the majority of whites have little interest in working toward racial equality as they have tired of the racial conflict that has shadowed them since this nation’s creation. I believe that the words of the great emancipator Abraham Lincoln best convey the average white citizens perspective regarding racial dynamics. According to Lincoln,

I have no purpose to introduce political and social equality between the white and black races. There is physical difference between the two which, in my judgment, will probably forever forbid their living together upon the footing of perfect equality, and inasmuch as it becomes a necessity that there must be a difference, I am in favor of the race to which I belong having the superior position.

A cursory glance at American History will impress on anyone that persons of African descent have always been second-class citizens.

Malcolm X addressed this matter directly when he admonished blacks to cease attempts to separate this nation along geographical lines that made the South a hellish nightmare and the North a bastion of racial progressivism. Brother Malcolm warned a gullible black populace that “as long as you are south of the Canadian border, you are South!” It is this second-class citizenship that not only shadows African-Americans, regardless of age, gender, educational accomplishments, class, or political affiliations at every waking moment, but also defines blackness in America.

So, I was not particularly surprised when the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (N.A.A.C.P.) issued a “travel warning” regarding the dangers awaiting African-Americans in the state of Missouri. In fact, I thought that the warning should have extended to every inch of this nation as there is no safe-haven for African-Americans on the North American continent.

In many ways, the issuing of this “travel warning” proves that the N.A.A.C.P. leadership is prone to repeating previous errors. In actuality, the referenced “travel warning” amounts to nothing more than a “now y’all be careful out there” piece of advice. In fact, the measures greatest impact is not found in any increased protection for African-Americans in the state of Missouri; rather it displays the inefficiencies of a fledgling black leadership for the entire world to see.

I am certain that other groups only sigh and shake their heads when they realize that black leaders have yet to learn that it is imperative for them to organize Black America’s politico economic resources for crisis moments. One has to wonder how in a nation that has enslaved their ancestors, oppressed their immediate predecessors, and currently works to undermine all efforts at the advancement of Black America that black leaders could not make the mobilization of a bounty of politico-economic power their priority. It is after all the only means of protecting prior gains and making future advancements.

Unfortunately for Black America, the alluded to leaders continue to avoid tried-and-true uplift strategies that contradict favored reactionary politics. Hence, I am unsurprised by the new ‘travel warning’ because it does little more than tell the black populace “now y’all be careful out there.” This familiar refrain reflects what we have always done in this nation called America.

Dr. James Thomas Jones III

© Manhood, Race and Culture, 2017

Will Black America Fail to Respond to Donald Trump’s Planned Attack on Affirmative Action Before it is Too Late?

Color me extremely amused at the recent implosion of the Trump administration. In light of the public battles that seemingly emanate from this administration, it seems appropriate to call its members “the gang that couldn’t shoot straight.”

Even in the midst of discord displaying that there are few things high-ranking members of the Trump administration agree on, there is consensual agreement that they will do their best to obstruct every path out of poverty for Black America. It is this common ground of resisting the advancement of African-Americans via an attack on Affirmative Action on collegiate campuses that has provided new combatants Donald J. Trump and Jeff Sessions ample room to lower the volume on their public feud.

In many ways, this most recent attempt by the Trump administration to reduce the number of African-American students on collegiate campuses excavated a familiar predicament of being, “damned if you do and damned if you don’t” for most African-Americans.

In reality, this attempt to challenge Affirmative Action during college admissions via a flimsy argument that the policy violates whites equal protection under the law rights provides the clearest view of both why so many Americans voted for this polarizing figure and the Trump administrations foremost goals and objectives. A segment of America has selected Trump to “make America great again” by hitting a reset button that allows for whites to become the preferred population when it comes to employment opportunities and seats at American universities. There is no other logical or illogical explanation that would explain the current political climate and the imminent attack on Affirmative Action policies.

In many ways, this attempt to deny African-American students access to higher education validates a long-held suspicion that whites seek a monopoly over every American resource. Consider for a moment the frequent refrain from whites that it is the cavernous educational achievement gap that is the catalyst behind racial disparities. This relatively straightforward argument blames Black America for its impoverished position. According to whites, if only blacks would alter their priorities and place their emphasis on education over rap music, literature or gold teeth, and marriage over producing children out of wedlock they would be saved. I am quite certain that many a white political pundit has mused if blacks would focus their attention on education, the poverty that has ridden them as a biblical curse would expire.

Consider for a moment the following quotes from white powerbrokers regarding the ultimate utility of education.

  • Education makes a people easy to lead, but difficult to drive: easy to govern, but impossible to enslave.

Peter Brougham

  • It is in fact a part of the function of education to help us escape, not from our own time — for we are bound by that — but from the intellectual and emotional limitations of our time.

T.S. Eliot

  • What sculpture is to a block of marble, education is to the human soul.

Joseph Addison

  • Education is the ability to listen to almost anything without losing your temper or your self-confidence.

Robert Frost

  • Learning is not attained by chance, it must be sought for with ardor and attended to with diligence.

Abigail Adams

  • What we have learned from others becomes our own reflection.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

The above quotes lead one to believe that Trump’s attack on Black America’s access to higher learning is borne of a dogged-determination to extend the ‘have not’ status of Black America well into the new millennium. In fact, it is not unreasonable to believe that when judged by history that the Trump administrations most crowning achievement may be the lengths that it went to protect the interests of whites.

I wonder, how will Black America respond to this blatant attack?

The disappointment surrounding the Trump administrations plan to begin “…litigation related to intentional race-based discrimination in college and university admissions” should be merely the sound before the organized political activism of astute and angered black populace.

Only time will tell if Black America has reached a level of political maturity that allows it to rally in a fight against a substantive political issue such as the Trump administration’s pending attack on Affirmative Action that far outweighs relatively trivial matters such as Umar Johnson’s proposed school.

If history is any indicator, we should expect Black America to once again drop the ball by failing to arrive on the political battlefield with the seriousness this matter requires. Failure to organize our politico economic currency with the intention of confronting those entities that seek to obstruct traditional avenues of advancement will doom future generations of Black America. Most disappointing of all is the reality that we could prevent such events if we cared enough.

Dr. James Thomas Jones III

© Manhood, Race and Culture, 2017