Tag Archives: W.E.B. Du Bois

WHY WE MUST IMMEDIATELY SHUT DOWN THE NATIONAL MUSEUM OF AFRICAN-AMERICAN HISTORY AND CULTURE: TRUMP AND HIS ENTIRE CABINET DESPERATELY NEED IT

Dr. Anthony Quinn, also affectionately known as Tony, is undoubtedly one of my closest friends in the entire world. And I will tell you, if there was a poster child for what a man, regardless of Race, should be for his family, he is the gold standard. I consider him the Barack Obama of black fatherhood. Considering his past history, I was most certainly not surprised to hear that he had already purchased tickets to visit the National Museum of African-American History and Culture a full 8 months prior to a planned trip to Washington D.C. He is quite simply that type of fellow, a homey-type of responsible Negro.

So I hope that you can understand that the following request regarding the National Museum of African-American History and Culture has little to do with Tony and everything to do with the safety of the nation. Although I am most certainly not against the Quinn family visiting this historic museum, I am hoping that they and the droves of others who are planning a visit will give great consideration to my request that they delay their visit for at least a full calendar year as the museum needs to be closed to the public for at least that amount of time.

Tony, I love you, however, I hope that you can understand that it is imperative that the National Museum of African-American History and Culture be closed to the public for at least the next year because I am certain that it will take that long to educate the entire Trump administration about the contributions that African-Americans have made to this nation.

I am calling for the use of an American Christian tradition called the “lock-in.” A “lock-in” is when Christians are locked into the church for at least one night so that they can be immersed in the Gospel; the “lock-in” is most certainly beneficial to backsliding Christians.

It is time that the National Museum of African-American History and Culture be put to good use by “locking-in” newly elected President Donald Trump and his entire cabinet. I ask for one thing in association to this “lock-in.” Whoever is entrusted with locking America’s new President inside of the building, I hope that they place the chain outside of the entrance doors to ensure that any attempt to escape much-needed knowledge is aborted. Considering the cast of characters that we are seeking to educate, I think that it is necessary that we not only chain the doors but also have the Fruit of Islam circle the building as an extra security measure to prevent anyone from escaping this much needed educational experience; only the Lord knows the lengths that Trump and his roving band of imbeciles will go to escape enlightenment.

Now I am certain that there are a few of you who consider such actions a waste of taxpayer money. However, I would remind them of the cost of having the nation directed by an ignorant Commander in Chief. Trust me when I say that monetary costs should be the least of our concerns as we are all in peril with Trump and his band of nitwits making crucial decisions that they have little understanding of.

I am quite certain that you are well aware of Trump’s Black History Month gaffe that led him to speak about the venerable Black Abolitionist Frederick Douglass in the present tense as if he were still alive; the Commander in Chief was oblivious to the fact that Douglass died over a century ago in 1895. More recently, the latest addition to Trump’s roving band of idiots, Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos took to twitter to share words of wisdom by William Edward Burghardt DuBois, the greatest intellectual the American academy has ever created. The Department of Education twitter account shared the following words by the Harvard Intellectual,

“Education must not simply teach work – it must teach life.”

(W.E.B. DeBose)

Yes, you are reading that correctly, they misspelled DuBois’ name. And just when you thought that things could not get any worse for the U.S. Department of Education, they issued the following correction.

Post updated – our deepest apologizes for the earlier typo. — US Dept of Education (@usedgov) February 12, 2017

Unbelievably, during their attempt to issue a correction for a misspelling gaffe involving W.E.B. DuBois, they misspelled apologies with ‘apologizes.’ What a scary world we are living in at this present moment as we are being governed by a President who has no idea that Frederick Douglass died over a century ago and a Secretary of Education who has similar weakness in African-American history that are dwarfed by an inability to either spell or monitor those who are speaking for the government agency she now heads.

On second thought, maybe we should push the pause button on locking Trump and his cabinet inside of the National Museum of African-American History and Culture. It appears that we may need to start their enlightenment at a local elementary school, preferably a public school so that Secretary DeVos can add such experience to her barren qualification sheet, which will give them a solid footing in the basics. At least it is a start. And as with all Herculean efforts, we must start somewhere.

May God bless America because she and her citizenry most certainly need it.

Dr. James Thomas Jones III

© Manhood, Race, and Culture 2017.

They’ve Been Had: How Poor White People Have Been Tricked by the psychic wages of Whiteness Yet Again

Following Donald Trump’s recent Presidential victory, cross-sections of America are bewildered by the ascension of a person that they deem lacking any qualifications could rise to such a powerful position. Most Americans refuse to believe that a wicked cocktail of voter suppression, half-truths, and the repeated use of racially-tinged icons and innuendos that enchanted poor and working-class Americans throughout the nation paved Trump’s path to political power.
Although the factors mentioned above were crucial to Trump’s ascension, I still believe that the new President’s ability to tap into the angst, fear, and hatred of poor and working-class whites is the issue that the most recent Presidential election pivoted on. Put simply; the newly elected President accessed what noted scholar W.E.B. Du Bois termed ‘the psychic wages of whiteness.’
The above term is an apt description of poor and working-class whites propensity to consider themselves superior to other poor and working-class individuals solely based upon their racial classification. The pre-eminence of whiteness in every facet of their politico-economic analysis of not only their own but also other groups status invariably causes them to work against their interests illogically. Historically speaking, whiteness has blinded poor and working-class whites to the very class and worker issues that have extended their status as serfs to an exploitive ruling class.
Rest assured that Trump’s playbook of pandering to a frustrated and vengeful white populace who feels that non-whites have stolen their birthright to rule in a nation that was founded by white men to serve the interests of white men.
As mentioned above, these slick political maneuvers are nothing new. Consider the following moments that definitively display ‘the psychic wages of whiteness.’ It is this preoccupation with whiteness that paved the path for the U.S. Civil War.
One of the most omitted realities surrounding the U.S. Civil War is the fact that poor whites throughout the South foolishly picked up guns to preserve deplorable cultural priorities while wealthy whites made plans to further enrich themselves by not only maintaining but also expanding the chattel slavery system. It was an apparent obsession with whiteness that prevented the vast majority of Confederate soldiers from lessening the slavery system to bolster their economic status. The economic interests of the alluded to white men were severely curtailed by the presence of enslaved Africans.
History provides yet another example of ‘the psychic wages of whiteness’ during the post-Reconstruction era. During the demise of American Reconstruction and the ascension of the Jim Crow era, poor whites aided their wealthy white brethren in disenfranchising what should have been a natural ally, recently emancipated African-Americans. Unfortunately for poor whites, they foolishly worked to denigrate poor blacks by aiding in the extension of a southern culture that sought to re-enslave persons of African descent in every way imaginable.
Although painful to admit, the truth of the matter is that the Trump campaign’s use of not so thinly veiled racial dog whistling in which he has denigrated Muslims, Hispanics, African American’s, and all other minority groups worked. Despite what it says about us as a nation, the truth of the matter is that such race-baiting has worked in the past, apparently collaborated in the present, and promises to be a viable strategy in the future. Until whites can get beyond a preoccupation with whiteness that has repeatedly proven not to be a profitable strategy in regards to uplifting their politico-economic status, there is neither hope for class solidarity throughout this racially/ethnically diverse nation nor the improvement of their status. What a stupid people, poor and working-class whites have proven to be.

Alex Goodwin

W.E.B. Du Bois — A Negro Nation Within a Nation

No MORE CRITICAL SITUATION ever faced the Negroes of America than that of today-not in 1830, nor in 1861, nor in 1867. More than ever the appeal of the Negro for elementary justice falls on deaf ears.

Three-fourths of us are disfranchised; yet no writer on democratic reform, no third-party movement says a word about Negroes. The Bull Moose crusade in 1912 refused to notice them; the La Follette uprising in 1924 was hardly aware of them; the Socialists still keep them in the background. Negro children are systematically denied education; when the National Educational Association asks for federal aid to education it permits discrimination to be perpetuated by the present local authorities. Once or twice a month Negroes convicted of no crime are openly and publicly lynched, and even burned; yet a National Crime Convention is brought to perfunctory and unwilling notice of this only by mass picketing and all but illegal agitation. When a man with every qualification is refused a position simply because his great-grandfather was black, there is not a ripple of comment or protest.

Long before the depression Negroes in the South were losing “Negro” jobs, those assigned them by common custom-poorly paid and largely undesirable toil, but nevertheless life-supporting. New techniques, new enterprises, mass production, impersonal ownership and control have been largely displacing the skilled white and Negro worker in tobacco manufacturing, in iron and steel, in lumbering and mining, and in transportation. Negroes are now restricted more and more to common labor and domestic service of the lowest paid and worst kind. In textile, chemical and other manufactures Negroes were from the first nearly excluded, and just as slavery kept the poor white out of profitable agriculture, so freedom prevents the poor Negro from finding a place in manufacturing. The worldwide decline in agriculture has moreover carried the mass of black farmers, despite heroic endeavor among the few, down to the level of landless tenants and peons.

The World War and its wild aftermath seemed for a moment to open a new door; two million black workers rushed North to work in iron and steel, make automobiles and pack meat, build houses and do the heavy toil in factories. They met first the closed trade union which excluded them from the best paid jobs and pushed them into the low-wage gutter, denied them homes and mobbed them. Then they met the depression.

Since 1929 Negro workers, like white workers, have lost their jobs, have had mortgages foreclosed on their farms and homes, have used up their small savings. But, in the case of the Negro worker, everything has been worse in larger or smaller degree; the loss has been greater and more permanent. Technological displacement, which began before the depression, has been accelerated, while unemployment and falling wages struck black men sooner, went to lower levels and will last longer.

The colored people of America are coming to face the fact quite calmly that most white Americans do not like them, and are planning neither for their survival, nor for their definite future if it involves free, self-assertive modern manhood. This does not mean all Americans. A saving few are worried about the Negro problem; a still larger group are not ill-disposed, but they fear prevailing public opinion. The great mass of Americans are, however, merely representatives of average humanity. They muddle along with their own affairs and scarcely can be expected to take seriously the affairs of strangers or people whom they partly fear and partly despise.

For many years it was the theory of most Negro leaders that this attitude was the insensibility of ignorance and inexperience, that white America did not know of or realize the continuing plight of the Negro.  Accordingly, for the lat two decades, we have striven by book and periodical, by speech and appeal, by various dramatic methods of agitation, to put the essential facts before the American people.  Today there can be no doubt that Americans know the facts; and yet they remain for the most part indifferent and unmoved.

The peculiar position of Negroes in America offers an opportunity.  Negroes today cast probably 2,000,000 votes in a total of 40,000,000 and their vote will increase.  This gives them, particularly in northern cities, and at critical times, a chance to hold a very considerable balance of power and the mere threat of this being used intelligently and with determination may often mean much.  The consuming power of 2,800,000 Negro families has recently been estimated at $166,000,000 a month—a tremendous power when intelligently directed.  Their manpower as laborers probably equals that of Mexico or Yugoslavia.  Their illiteracy is much lower than that of Spain or Italy.  Their estimated per capita wealth about equals that of Japan.

For a nation with this start in culture and efficiency to sit down and await the salvation of a white God is idiotic.  With the use of their political power, their power as consumers, and their brainpower, added to that chance of personal appeal which proximity and neighborhood always give to human to human beings, Negroes can develop in the United States an economic nation within a nation, able to work through inner cooperation to found its own institutions, to educate its genius, and at the same time, without mob violence or extremes of race hatred, to keep in helpful touch and cooperate with the mass of the nation.  This has happened more often than most people realize, in the case of groups not so obviously separated from the mass of people as are American Negroes.  It must happen in our case or there is no hope for the Negro in America.

Any movement toward such a program is today hindered by the absurd Negro philosophy of Scatter, Suppress, Wait, Escape.  There are even many of our educated young leaders who think that because the Negro problem is not in evidence where there are few or no Negroes, this indicates a way out!  They think that the problem of race can be settled by ignoring it and suppressing all reference to it.  They think that we have only to 3wait in silence for the white people to settle the problem for us; and finally and predominantly, they think that the problem of twelve million Negro people, mostly poor, ignorant workers, is going to be settled by having their more educated and wealthy classes gradually and continually escape from their race into the mass of the American people, leaving the rest to sink, suffer and die.

Proponents of this program claim, with much reason, that the plight of the masses is not the fault of the emerging classes.  For the slavery and exploitation that reduced Negroes to their present level or at any rate hindered them from rising, the white world is to blame.  Since the age-long process of raising a group is through the escape of its upper class into welcome fellowship with risen peoples, the Negro intelligentsia would submerge itself if it bent its back to the task of lifting the mass of people.  There is logic in this answer, but futile logic.

If the leading Negro classes cannot assume and bear the uplift of their own proletariat, they are doomed for all time.  It is not a case of ethics; it is a plain case of necessity.  The method by which this may be done is, first, for the American Negro to achieve a new economic solidarity.

It may be said that this matter of a nation within a nation has already been partially accomplished in the organization of the Negro church, the Negro school and the Negro retail business, and despite all the justly due criticism, the result has been astonishing.  The great majority of American Negroes are divided not only for religious but for a large number of social purposes into self-supporting economic units, self-governed, self-directed.  The greatest difficulty is that these organizations have no logical and reasonable standards and do not attract the fines, most vigorous and best educated Negroes.  When all these things are taken into consideration it becomes clearer to more and more American Negroes that, through voluntary and increased segregation, by careful autonomy and planned economic organization, they may build so strong and efficient a unit that twelve million men can no longer be refused fellowship and equality in the United States.

Speech delivered on June 26, 1934. The date that Du Bois resigned from his post with the NAACP.

The Black Matrix: How the ‘Cool’ is Compromising the Lives of so many African-American Males

One of the most memorable scenes in cinematic history is found in Black Males 3“The Matrix” when Morpheus offers Neo a life-altering choice in the form of two pills; a red pill and a blue pill.

The choice provided Neo an opportunity to either continue living in a world that was “given” to him or seeing the world as it really is.

Although I admit to being guilty of engaging in hyperboles, however, this scenario resonates with my soul as I liken it to my “great awakening” at Prairie View A & M University (PVAMU).

There is no other way to describe my mindset when I arrived at PVAMU other than naïve to the current state of African-Americans. Much like Morpheus alluded to Neo, I “knew something was wrong but I simply could not put my finger on it.”

It was while at PVAMU that I met my own Morpheus, Dr. James Thomas Jones III; no disrespect intended for other professors such as Dr. Ronald Goodwin. However, when it comes to awakening me to the real world, I must pay homage to Dr. Jones as he most certainly gave me my red pill.

While majoring in History at PVAMU, I was exposed to Booker T. Washington’s Tuskegee Plan, seduced by the eloquence of W.E.B. BTW1Dubois and mentally set afire by Malcolm X and the Black Power Era. Put simply, I was forever changed by my exposure to what can only be termed ‘Black Genius’. Ironically, it was learning about the rough road that my ancestors had traveled that provided me a clear focus regarding my contemporary existence as an outcast among my African-American peers.

I grew up in the Oak Cliff section of Dallas, Texas; an area of the city that most would consider filled with urban blight. My aforementioned outcast status flowed from my innate desire to study history in an effort to illuminate my mind. Put simply, I quickly discovered that the pursuit of educational endeavors within my so-called community was not only frowned upon but also publicly discouraged by the vast majority of those around me.

One thing was certain if those around me found disdain with my pursuit of knowledge, their insatiable materialism had a much more intense effect upon my view of them and the entire Race. The ‘red pill’ allowed me to see that my contemporaries had swallowed the ‘blue pill’ and therefore had no means of being able to even realize the error of their ways. There was no doubt at all that the vast majority of those around me were not heeding Lupe Fiasco’s warning to not overdose on “the cool”.

It does not take much analysis to realize that African-Americans have a vested interest into a “matrix” of materialism that not only shuns black males collegethe development of the mind but also takes the historically unprecedented step of being outright hostile to such endeavors. It is this inability to prioritize that has so many within our midst living to impress an uncaring world with trinkets while the things that should matter continually worsen over time.

I avoid using broad strokes when painting my people with all of my being, however, the conclusion that the vast majority of my peers, regardless of their socioeconomic status or educational attainments, have more respect for “trap niggas” than those who are diligently working to re-build our community is obvious.

What a shallow people we have become.

In a recent article on this site titled, “Falling To Answer When Opportunity Calls” Dr. Jones issues a much-needed call for an black males 2African-American cultural Renaissance. We should view this as a call to action reminiscent of when Morpheus asked Neo, “Now you see what the Matrix is. What are you going to do about it?” Although I can only speak for myself on this matter, I plan to definitively respond to this call by diligently working to revert African-American culture back to its roots of respectability, intellectual pursuit, self-help, and politico-economic collectivism.

Consider this a public pledge to end the cultural dysfunction that makes ignorant behavior being ‘cool’ and intellectual thought the opposite. It is my, and your, duty to awaken our people from this daunting trance and turn them toward more productive endeavors. We can no longer afford to equate achievement for African-American males with rap lyrics and jump shots. As stated in the book of Jeremiah, truth “is like fire set up in my bones”, and I must tell all of my people. We must awaken, the time is now.

Patron Payton

© Manhood, Race, and Culture, 2016

W.E.B. DU BOIS — LAW AND JUSTICE

Daily the Negro is coming more and more to look upon law and justice, not as protecting safeguards, but as sources of humiliation and oppression. The laws are made by men who have little dubois2interest in him; they are executed by men who have absolutely no motive for treating the black people with courtesy or consideration; and, finally, the accused law-breaker is tried, not by his peers, but too often by men who would rather punish ten innocent Negroes than let one guilty one escape.

W.E.B. Dubois, The Souls of Black Folk