Tag Archives: Race

HAVE YOU NO SHAME?: WHY ESPN OWES BLACK AMERICA AN IMMEDIATE APOLOGY FOR AUCTIONING OFF ODELL BECKHAM JR.

Rarely do I find myself using the same quote to address two separate issues in thirty minutes. Unfortunately, I have been forced to reiterate the biblical phrase (Luke 23:34) “Father forgive them for they know not what they do” that Yeshua ben Yosef (Jesus Christ — The Messiah — Jesus the son of Joseph) uttered when asking his heavenly father for a measure of mercy for those perpetrating an unconscionable evil that they did not understand.

As I am confident that you can imagine, the initial time that I cited Luke 23:34 on this date was in a posting addressing Trump’s blatant contradictions regarding the Alt-Left and the fact that there are “good people” within their ranks.

My subsequent usage of “Father forgive them for they know not what they do” has been caused by a colossal misstep by the Entertainment Sports Network (ESPN). Although I have never participated in a fantasy sports league, it is apparent that it is that time of the year for NFL fans to draft their teams as evidenced by ESPN’s fantasy sports mega fest. Inexplicably, the decision-makers at ESPN put a special touch on this year’s coverage; they auctioned off New York Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. to a gallery of white sports enthusiasts.

Although this decision by ESPN in the wake of the Charlottesville terrorist attack and Trump’s angry retraction of a condemnation of the KKK, White Nationalists, and the Alt-Right, to hold what amounts to a modern-day ‘slave auction’ is bewildering.

If nothing else, the above incident once again proves that when it comes to blind spots, whites reign without a rival. Although I always fight against the urge to generalize, however, on this occasion it appears that I am on relatively safe terrain to indict whites who would fill a political spectrum stretching from Antifa to the Alt Right with the charge that they are suffering from a witches-brew of racial insensitivity, cultural blindness, and historical illiteracy. Such a context makes me say, woe to every “minority population” that is ruled by such a blind society. Reinforcement for this view is found in the fact that millions of whites watched this spectacle and apparently found nothing wrong with it as many of them considered the auction process exhilarating and entertaining enough to seek to replicate it during the construction of their fantasy leagues.

When whites wonder why Race still matters in this nation, never do they consider that it is their many interlocking illiteracies (cultural, social, political, and historical) that are to blame.

Although I am confident that the following will bother most readers, however, racial bias, white bigotry, prejudice, discrimination, and institutional racism is woven into the fabric of this nation and will never recede from its bosom; it’s in our blood as a nation. American bigotry has been a fixture for so long that it is unsettling to consider who we would be if we were not fighting each other in a desperate pursuit of survival.

When you think about it, if this nation were absent racial conflict, there would be no population known as “white.” The only reason that “whites” exist is the presence of an “other” population that causes a multi-ethnic group of Europeans (English, Irish, Polish, Italians, Russians, and Germans) to rally against persons of African-descent on a continual basis. If you doubt this assertion regarding the defining effect that the descendants of enslaved Africans have on the development of “whiteness,” please tell me where else in the world do you find “white people” on the face of the globe? Where do “white people” hail from? Where is “white” land? Whether they like it or not, they exist as “whites” because “blacks” are their historical rallying point.

My understanding of such matters allows me to not be upset by the Alt-Right, Trump, or even the imbeciles at ESPN who failed to recognize what should have been the obvious racial overtones associated with auctioning off an African-American athlete to a crowd of eager whites who were jumping out of their seats to purchase that big black buck.

As a social commentator and writer on racial matters, I rest particularly well at night because I realize that there will ALWAYS be something for me to write about.

However, I will tell you one thing that I have never been able to comprehend. How is it that in a nation that has been haunted by racial matters for four centuries that neither blacks nor whites have any real understanding of what led to either the rise or perpetuation of America’s most peculiar problem. I am confident that you agree that if they have no knowledge of the rise of racial conflict in America that there is no conceivable way that they will ever develop and execute a plan to eradicate it.

Dr. James Thomas Jones III

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

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

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