Tag Archives: Black America

Black Panther: The Latest Victim of American Racial Bias, Paranoia, and Misunderstanding

Anyone who has been examined America’s history of racial animus understands that it is impossible to effectively argue against the assertion that Race changes everything.

The voluminous shadow of Race has and always will impact every aspect of American society. I make these poignant assertions with full understanding that this latest generation of Americans includes many individuals possessing copious amounts of optimism regarding the closing of a centuries-old racial divide. The alluded to naiveté is in a word, cute.

When I encounter the purveyors of such thought, I point them towards a daunting history of Race that effectively refutes their optimistic worldview. If such persons studied Race in America, they would realize that their current actions that amount to little more than being cordial and friendly to other racial/ethnic groups are nothing new. In fact, the Civil Rights Movement was full of moments where black, white, and Jew joined together in a concerted effort to break down the cultural/religious barriers separating them. Obviously, such overtures failed as racial animosity remains the single-greatest social problem facing Americans. It is reasonable to assert that racial discord is the stitching that holds “Old Glory” together. Although difficult to accept, the most strident attempts of our countrymen to lessen Race have been an exercise in futility because this nation is ravaged by Race in some form or fashion.

One needs to look no further than the highly-anticipated Marvel film Black Panther to garner the depths of how Race impacts every segment of American society. As crazy as it sounds, Race has constricted the minds and imaginations of what is permissible in the genre of Science-Fiction/Fantasy writing. Yes, Race is such a formidable opponent that it makes its presence in the fantasy world that houses the Ryan Coogler, directed film Black Panther. This highly anticipated film is the 18th movie emanating from the Marvel comic book world.

The moment that I saw the initial trailer for Black Panther, a voice in my head stated that this film was destined to polarize this nation for a host of reasons. I knew that an irrational population of whites would oppose the screening of a film focused on a black superhero and the requisite black supporting cast, but I also predicted that someway/somehow Black America would also divide itself. My intuition was correct as a segment of White America, a populace that knows no more about racial matters than their darker-skinned brethren, cried foul and advanced ridiculous arguments that asked African-Americans things such as “How would you feel if we made movies with white superheroes?” I paid little attention to such drivel as it is a reliable sign of willful ignorance regarding American racial matters. I am confident that you understand that I was more concerned with the reaction of my community to this big-screen debut.

Although it seems like a funny thing to say, the truth of the matter is that I know my “brothers and sisters” and fully expected that a significant portion of them would find something wrong with Black Panther. Anyone who has dealt with the so-called conscious community realizes that their search for conspiracy theories and racial paranoia lends itself to irrationality. Put simply, they are seeking an “Aha moment” that will explain why white Hollywood allowed this black superhero to reach the big-screen; for this crowd, profit motives are an insufficient explanation. The alluded to rag-tag band of pseudo-intellectuals and revolutionaries would most certainly find some way to educate us to the fact that Black Panther was a covert attack against African-Americans. As usual, my people did not let me down and offered irrational criticisms of the film such as:

  • Michael B. Jordan’s dating of a non-black woman compromises the worth of the film.
  • The Black Panther fights against other persons of African descent in the film. Obviously, this is social programming designed to encourage the black-on-black violence that is occurring in black neighborhoods.

Considering such asinine arguments, assertions, and positions, there is scant room to argue against my assertion that Race has driven this entire nation crazy.

The furor surrounding Black Panther proves that American racial matters are so pervasive that they exist in the comic book world. Let’s face facts, Race rules the minds of most Americans, it always has and always will. And unfortunately for the few sane individuals existing in this nation, there is not a darn thing that they or anyone else can do about it.

Dr. James Thomas Jones III

© Manhood, Race, and Culture, 2018

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

Considering Jim Brown’s Words: How Strong Is the African-American Claim of Ownership of America?

The connection that African-American men have with a nation that enslaved their ancestors have always been a contentious issue. The black man’s place in America has always been a conundrum. This centuries old issue was faced and remained unresolved by notable black men such as Nat Turner, Frederick Douglass, David Walker, Booker T. Washington, and W.E.B. Du Bois. Today, the question of “What is the black man’s relationship to America?” remains.

NFL Hall of Famer Jim Brown is the latest to weigh in on the dilemma. When one considers Jim Brown’s importance during the highly volatile sixties protest scene, it is understandable that his opinion matters. I am confident that I have much company in believing that Brown would join those who have taken significant issue with assertions that America is “the land of the free and the home of the brave.” It seems that such expectations are errant as the famed Cleveland Browns running back has taken an oppositional position to the recent spate of NFL protests by admonishing that he would never “desecrate my flag and my national anthem.”

Jim Brown’s position on this matter contradicts everything that we thought that we knew about his political stance on Race in America. I am confident that most will agree that Brown’s embracing of the flag and the national anthem reveals a portion of his heart that most never knew existed. One thing is certain, the famed football player has removed all doubt surrounding his view of this matter by definitively embracing America via a declarative statement that “This is my country.”

Although there is a significant portion of my being that wishes to attribute Brown’s comments to a yet to be diagnosed brain injury, Failure to attribute this shocking political stance means that the significance of the hellish existence that black men living on the North American continent have endured for the past 400 years has little significance to the former Cleveland Brown running back. Brown’s statement was so disconcerting that it has remained in my mind for several weeks. Put simply; I have not been able to shake Brown’s utterance.

After much pondering, I shocked myself when I began to consider Brown’s position quite logical and supported by the black experience. Jim Brown’s declaration that “This is my country” has forced me to re-evaluate long-held positions regarding African-Americans stake in this nation. The black claim to America is nothing new as there has always been a portion of Black America that have refused to surrender their birthright by distancing themselves from America. To the chagrin of whites, the alluded to individuals have not only claimed America as their own but also asserted that they have the most significant claim of all.

Although most will scoff at the assertion that blacks are the most American of all Americans, the historical record actually supports the claim. When one considers the contributions that blacks have made to this nation from Jamestown through the present moment, Brown’s claim appears less outlandish than when initially stated.

Although we rarely discuss it, there is no getting around the fact that the initial attempt to settle the North American continent without the aid of Africans was a drastic failure that resulted in a “lost colony.” Furthermore, from the development of Jamestown, it has been the labor of persons of African descent that have enriched this nation at an unconscionable level. As if those historical realities were not enough, we must never forget that it has been an often maligned and oppressed black populace that regularly points the architects of this American democracy back to its pillars of “freedom, justice, and democracy.” When considered in its totality, it is obvious that African-Americans have always been an active agent in forcing this nation to re-engage the process of renewing its democratic principles.

After much consideration of this matter, I must agree with Jim Brown and like-minded individuals who state that our claim to ownership of America is particularly strong. In fact, it is actually much more substantive than any other population currently residing on the North American continent.

Dr. James Thomas Jones III

© Manhood, Race, and Culture, 2017

Diamond and Silk: 2 Real Coons

One of the most beautiful things about being an African-American is that there is so much diversity to be found within our Race. I DIAMOND AND SILK 4don’t care if you are talking about the vast physical beauty found within our Race, as you well know we run the gamut from the darkest ‘blue-black’ skin all the way through being “light bright, damn near white”, a funny quip that my Black Studies Professor Paulette Pierce once stated during one of our classes.

Even Dr. Pierce’s brilliant description fails to fully capture many within our Race who are so fair-skinned that they chose to ‘pass’ as white during opportune moments.

Put simply, even a surface-level study of Black America will reveal that one is hard-pressed to find any area — politics, social, cultural, economic, educational, religious, spirituality — where there is consensual agreement. And for the first time in my life, I am fine with that diversity; it truly is what makes our people even more beautiful than God originally intended them to be.

Before I move forward, I must re-emphasize my belief that there is nothing wrong with diversity in our midst. However, and I am quite certain that you were awaiting this ‘however’, words cannot describe how troubled my soul is regarding the appearance of what should be considered ‘The New Millennium Minstrel Show’ starring Donald J. Trump’s 2 favorite pickaninnies Diamond and Silk.

Although I cannot imagine that you have missed these sisters national tour of stumping for Republican Presidential hopeful TRUMP 2Donald J. Trump, however, if you have been fortunate enough to miss their public buffoonery, just imagine a modern-day minstrel show that serves as nothing other than a consistent assault upon the brilliance, intelligence, style, and eloquence that we all know resides within Black America.

Although I have my own feelings regarding their endorsement of Trump as a Presidential candidate, it is not that decision which disturbs me to the core. It is the degrading manners, indecent behavior, and boorish language that they have exhibited on national stages across the nation that has proven most disconcerting.

Now I am certain that there are many who will say that I am being hypocritical in this matter. Such individuals will highlight that thatDIAMOND AND SILK 1 on the one hand I am willing to embrace and celebrate the fact that African-Americans are not a monolithic population; however, I repudiate Diamond and Silk for their political expression in the same breath. Such criticism is flawed at its core. I do not disagree with Diamond and Silk having a political voice, I disagree with their sophomoric antics that have never been aimed at liberating Black America. My critique is not aimed at their political choice, rather a denouncement of their repeated behavior that has undoubtedly damaged our collective image.

I would hope that African-Americans, regardless of their political leanings/affiliation, would agree that Diamond and Silk are modern day minstrels whose language, style, rhetoric, inability to hold a decent conversation, and total lack of political acumen contributes nothing to present-day political discourse. What these two fools’ antics does achieve is to substantiate the most prejudiced beliefs that whites hold about African-Americans.

After watching these two sisters ‘perform’, I am reminded of the great Malcolm X quote, “It was a circus, with clowns and all!” It is time that all Americans on the Left, Right, and the Middle of the political spectrum shunned this buffoonery and took persons such as Donald J. Trump to task for even allowing such foolishness to be included in this very important political season.

Let’s remove the clowns from the stage and get down to more substantive discussions regarding the future of America.

Dr. James Thomas Jones III

©Manhood, Race and Culture, 2016

 

 

BAMBOOZLED: HOW BLACK ELECTED OFFICIALS REPEATEDLY STEAL AND DELIVER THE BLACK VOTE TO THEIR FAVORITE CANDIDATE

Although we hate to admit it, the truth of the matter is that the vast majority of Americans have little understanding of politics and by extension what their vote should be used for. Dare I say if the average American has little clue regarding the utility of the vote that the average African-American is even worse off in this regard.

In today’s Representative Democracy that allows for every citizen of legal age and good standing with the nation to voice their opinion regarding the future direction it should go, it is imperative that HILLARY 3citizens not only participate in the electoral process, but also participate in an intelligent manner that serves to bolster the nation by advising the correct path it should travel to sustain itself.

It is this precious vote that allows citizens to not only elect, but also to remove those whose vision threatens to damage the nation.

It should go without saying that the poorest and most marginalized in our society should not only be the most engaged in the political process as those elected shall set the rules for what is, and more importantly isn’t, permissible within the nation-state, but also the most informed; they should have a special impetus to be informed as they know very well the perilous existence that they, and their people, have experienced for decades, if not centuries as a result of their non-participation.

Unfortunately, the exact opposite has occurred, it appears that those who are most marginalized politically and economically are the most detached from the political process.

As with most negative things, African-Americans portion bountifully exceeds that of others. Not only are they detached HILLARY 1from the political process as related by a familiar refrain within many segments of Black America that it does not matter who is in office, but also susceptible to being used by national level political leaders and organizations as pawns in a larger political game that they will never see any tangible benefit from.

The game being run on the vast majority of African-Americans is a very simple one for Black elected officials such as those currently endorsing Hillary Clinton to execute.

The alluded to members of the Congressional Black Caucus, who are behaving as if they are in someway related to the Clinton’s, simply grab their candidate of choice, on this occasion it is Hillary Clinton, and usher them through several photo ops with notable African-Americans and appearances at Black churches, not to mention ‘community forums’ that raise nary a major issue facing Black America.

Unfortunately, that is quite simply more than enough to not only earn the Black vote, but also cover any previous contradictions or racism that even a mild ‘vetting’ process would expose.

In the end, the elected official who arranged this charade will receive some hidden benefit while their people languish in the HILLARY 4poverty that they have come to know so well. The elected official will move forward with a clear conscience as they never intended to do anything to aid Black America and honestly, Black America never demanded anything be done for them.

This sordid tale is sad, yet true. And will most certainly not stop anytime soon.

Dr. James Thomas Jones III

©Manhood, Race and Culture, 2016.

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