FIGHTING THE MAN & BLACK DOGMA
In the wake of Hurricane Katrina there were certain inevitabilities. No, scores of thousands of hapless souls trapped in a city on a precipice was not one of them. Personal and governmental responsibility would have relegated that scenario to the realm of imagination. Nor were looting and all the other manner and form of hooliganism and the resultant pain and death inescapable realities. Possessing the intestinal fortitude to issue a shoot on sight order would have kept the rats in their holes and preserved lives and many lasses' honor.
But there were inevitabilities.
You had to know it was coming. I could feel it; I could smell it. I knew it was only a matter of time - and not much time at that - before the levees of decency and common-sense were breeched by the storm surge of racial hatred and paranoia.
Then it happened. The inevitable allegations that President Bush, FEMA and rest of that infernal white establishment - whose mere shadow ostensibly rendered the New Orleans black establishment impotent - were at best indifferent to and at worst reveling in the plight of the city's beleaguered black community.
And that's how it started. Now, the usual pathology has appeared. From platitudinous racial tripe, we've transitioned to true paranoia and overt racial demagoguery, as the rabble-rousers who see a roarin' twenties bigot clad in a white sheet around every corner engage in their brand of looting.
Enter stage left, Kanye West, a purveyor of the cultural effluent known as rap. He had a hissy fit on stage during an NBC Katrina fundraiser and started stammering and babbling quasi-incoherently in what amounted to an assertion that the only thing black about George Bush was his heart. West said that America was set up,
" . . . to help the poor, the black people, the less well-off as slow as possible."
"They've given them permission to go down and shoot us . . ."
Lastly he proclaimed,
"George Bush doesn't care about black people."
Finding one of his many soullessmates in the hollowed hells of government, his remarks were defended by congressman Cynthia McKinney who said,
"As I saw families ripped apart, I could only think about slavery. [They] look like concentration camps."
Gee, with countrymen like this in our corner in our darker hours, who needs Al-Qaida?
Lost - no doubt forever so - on these folks are a few little, insignificant facts. For one thing, four of the five parishes hardest hit in New Orleans were predominantly white. For another, most of the rescuers were white and, lastly, the lion's share of the millions of dollars that are pouring in from all points has been doled out by white hands.
As for lending this perspective, that's as far as I'll go, since I'm not too fond of exercises in futility. And as I throw up my hands I can only echo the sentiments of Louis Armstrong, offered when asked how one plays jazz: "If you have to ask, you'll never know."
No, the McKinneys and Wests and Sharptons of the world may never know how to interpret the actions of white folks because those wretches view the latter through tinted glasses. But while they may never understand whites, if whites want to understand them they have to understand what I call "fighting the 'man' and black dogma."
Perhaps the best way to illustrate this phenomenon is with a real-life example. Everyone remembers the O.J. Simpson trial, and I think most of us also recollect how it divided the country along racial lines. Simpson was as guilty as sin, yet, polls showed that approximately two-thirds of black people thought him innocent and, astoundingly, the same percentage thought he shouldn't even stand trial.
Now, to explain this, pseudo-intellectual pontificators postulated theories having to do with blacks' disproportionately negative experiences with law enforcement and the legal system, providing the wrong half media with sound bites that pleased the politically-correct palate. But a better explanation came from a far more anonymous and far less guileful source.
Some years back an individual close to my heart got to talking about the Simpson case with a rather frank black woman, a person who, I imagine, was a "one-thirder." This woman explained that most of the black folks proclaiming Simpson's innocence didn't really believe it in their hearts, it was simply designed for white people's consumption. In other words, they were abiding by a tenet of black dogma: thou shalt always defend thine own and fight the "man."
This dogma dictates that racial-patriotism is the greatest virtue. As such, you don't give up one of your own to the opposition. It doesn't matter what he has done, what he is or who he has hurt, you don't give white people a victory.
What about right and wrong? Isn't it wrong to kill, steal and rape? Must not justice be done? Sure . . . but . . . there's a hierarchy here. And occupying the top spot is the greatest good of all: that racial-patriotism. It justifies all, spares none and gives no quarter. Everything must be subordinated to that imperative.
Of course, black people who reject and even abhor the dogma are easy to find. But since deviation from the dogma is apostasy, many are either given no voice or are cowed into silence. I suppose you could call them the silent minority of the minority.
Then, too, those possessing both a large podium and a stout heart are also present, and their voices are strong and defiant. They would be individuals such as Walter Williams, Thomas Sowell, Alan Keyes, Jesse Lee Peterson, Bill Cosby and the members of Project 21. But having left the liberal plantation, they've become the lynched minority of the minority of the minority, as they are held in contempt as race-traitors and labeled Oreos and Uncle Toms.
Such hostility is not surprising, however, because black dogma is not an invention of the intellect, and it certainly isn't divinely inspired. Rather, it's born of the emotional realm, having wrath as its impetus.
And there's a funny thing about anger and hatred: it blinds one. If you've ever wondered why rumors circulated in the black community that AIDS was the fruits of an effort to commit genocide against black people, or that the drug trade was being facilitated by the CIA for the purposes of undermining black progress, wonder no more. If you've ever wondered how it is that so many black people are willing to attribute anything and everything - such as Michael Jackson's skin bleaching, blacks' poor academic performance and their high rate of incarceration - to bigotry, wonder no more. An angry man is blind to truth, because anger is like darkness: the more there is, the less you can see.
It's much like that tormented soul you once knew who harbored a burning antipathy, one on which the sun never set. Perhaps it was directed against you or someone you know. If you were the object, you could do nothing right as he viewed you with the most jaundiced of eyes. Your failings were never mere accidents, but always purposeful attempts to thwart him or be a thorn in his side. If you did him a good turn, it was perceived as quite the opposite or, at best, as having been driven by ulterior motives. You see, he knew what you were, or, at least he thought he did. And he knew what to expect from the likes of you.
So it is with the adherents of the cult of black dogma: they know what white people are and what to expect from them. They know that white people are consumed with concerns about race and are inherently bigoted. They know that whites conspire to keep blacks down and that their nefarious machinations are as many as the stars in the sky. They know all these things, or, at least they think they do.
This is why we hear some black folks become truly exercised over the use of the word "refugees" to describe flood victims. They know that the use of this word, assuming it is in fact inappropriate to the situation, cannot be an innocent slip of the pen or the product of a zealous effort to capture the drama of a disaster of biblical proportions. No, no, it's just another attempt by the white establishment to stigmatize black people. That's what whites do, you see.
At this juncture one may ask about the other side of the coin: is there not white dogma? Well, needless to say, every group contains elements that subscribe to a version of racial dogma. But, while this may disappoint you, you won't see this pen issue any desperate disclaimers, pretend as if differences between groups are non-existent or pay homage to populist ideas of being "fair and balanced." This is because I know that true balance involves being centered around the truth, not jumping through hoops to remain situated at the center of a political spectrum whose heart is occupied by the characteristic prejudice of the day.
So, what is the truth? It's something you will hardly ever read or hear in the media, for it's one of the many third rails of social commentary. Some dare think it, but to give it voice is forbidden. This truth is that, generally speaking, bigotry and racial hatred imbue the black community to a far greater degree than the white one. Racial dogma lies at the heart of black America, and while it is found in white America as well, it's present only at its fringes. It doesn't characterize the white collective psyche.
The reason for this is simple. There are two Americas, as a rather dim-witted presidential aspirant once opined, but not in the way he meant. You see, white and black children are raised with very different sets of values and ideas, yielding disparate world views. The average white child nowadays is raised with either little mention of race or with the idea that prejudice in any form is to be considered anathema. He isn't inculcated with ideas about taking pride in his "whiteness" or white identity any more than in his hair or eye color. Oh, don't get me wrong, white people have their obsessions, too. But these obsessions are as likely to involve any one of a plenitude of other things as they are to involve race.
In contrast, most black children are weaned on entirely different stuff altogether. From infancy they are barraged with the idea, transmitted both implicitly and explicitly, that race is a central factor in their lives. They are told to "take pride" in being black and may hear affirmations like, "You're going to be a strong, young black man!" In schools and often at home there is a gratuitous focus on the transgressions committed against those who they are told are "their people" and, furthermore, they're instilled with the notion that an invisible hand of oppression bedevils them to this day. The white man has kept you down; the white man has oppressed you. Theirs is to imbibe this daily, starting with a baby formula laced with black dogma.
This is an old story; it's the story of how hate has been perpetuated throughout the ages. It's no different from the plight of the millions of Arab children who are radicalized in madrassahs steeped in anti-American and anti-Jewish propaganda. And as the twig is bent, so grows the tree.
This is also why the Cynthia McKinneys, Jesse Jacksons and Al Sharptons of the world are the most loathsome of creatures. These false prophets maintain their power and control by perpetuating this cycle of hatred, thereby ensuring that each generation of black youth will feel alienated from their white brethren. In turn, that ensures that Americans will remain divided.
But there's another consequence.
By crippling generations of black children with black dogma - a philosophy of hate, defeatism, nihilism and failure - they corrupt their minds and consciences and damn them to a netherworld of moral, spiritual and material poverty.
And this is the genocide perpetrated upon the black community. It's not one that figures prominently in history books and is attended by grisly images of piles of corpses, and the agent of destruction isn't a virus or drug. It's a spiritual genocide, and its agent is found in the realm of ideas.
Of course, I don't expect the black dogmatists to lose much sleep over their ruinous stewardship of the black community. You see, long ago we learned that by their reckoning battles against oppression are only worth waging insofar as they enable you to fight the man. They proved this when they were willing to go to the ends of the Earth to overturn Apartheid in South Africa, while turning a blind eye to the greater transgressions being perpetrated upon Africans by black African governments. They prove it when they insist on resurrecting the ghosts of our antebellum past in every history discussion, while uttering nary a word about the present-day slavery rampant in African lands. They prove that what bothers them most isn't the weight of the iron fist that crushes the souls of their brothers, but the color of it. And lastly, and damnably, they prove that they believe that when the slave-master looks back at them in the mirror, those in bondage to him aren't called a slave class. They're called a constituency.
© 2005 Selwyn Duke - All
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Selwyn Duke lives in Westchester County, New York. He's a tennis professional, internet entrepreneur and writer whose works have appeared on various sites on the Internet, including Intellectual Conservative, nenewamerica.us (Alan Keyes) and Mensnet. Selwyn has traveled extensively in his life, visiting exotic locales such as India, Morocco and Algeria and quite a number of other countries while playing the international tennis circuit.