Manufactured Black Leaders
This Year of Remembranceis an important time for African Americans and should start with an honest evaluation of the Black community in the United States. This critical analysis is the most important step Black people must take before they can fully embrace their humanity, and free themselves from continually cursing untold generations. Direct confrontation with the political forces of injustice ended with the death of King. Many mistakenly believed that Dr. King’s primary struggle was focused on fighting segregation. Yet, on several occasions, King stated that a re-evaluation of oneself, and the destiny of African Americans, was the core of his philosophy. Direct Confrontation was Kings method of engagement, which [DS1] is avoided by most Black politicians today. Instead of engaging the enemies of Black growth and development, all the major Black politician, focus exclusively on what they can personally gain by supporting their handlers positions; however detrimental they may be to the Black Collective. Many of these politicians, especially Obama, speak highly of King, but fail to adopt his philosophy of direct engagement with the forces of oppression. King’s overall strategy to confront white barbarism, was direct engagement of oppressive forces, and most importantly, his philosophy was community centered.
Therefore, a genuine critique of African American progress should not begin by measuring the success of the celebrity class. An authentic evaluation of Black progress must begin by measuring how far the collective in the Black community has moved up the ladder of success, which is a more accurate assessment of the community’s health. The success of African Americans must not be measured by how many Blacks are given political positions within the corporate-controlled economic system (a virtual sliver of a minority of Black Americans). The success of African Americans is better determined by measuring communal growth and development (What is the state of the local school? Is there clean nutritious food available in the neighborhood? Do families have access to safe and clean housing?) The assessment of progress based solely on the individual is, at best, an illusion and worse, used as a psychological weapon to confuse the collective into believing in a false progression, while in reality, the Black community is regressing and under vicious attack unlike any other time in history.
The obsession with individual advancement, at the expense of ignoring communal growth, is an alien value that has negative repercussions for real Black growth and development. No individual can exist in any meaningful way outside of a nurturing community. In many ways, the individual is incapable of embracing their full humanity, outside of their primal community. An alien community, no matter how honorable it appears to be, is incapable of completing one’s unique evolutionary process, which is a product of culture. Our evolution and growth as human beings will develop more naturally from the cultural nutrients only available within an individual’s primary culture. This is the place par excellence where the building blocks necessary for human growth and development reside.
African Americans’ growth and development has been stunted because they have exclusively searched for cultural nutrients outside their primal culture. Essential life-building nutrients are available only from within one’s own cultural milieu. This partly explains why the African Americans who are celebrated by White liberals are separated from their culture and in many ways forced to ignore their history. The Black celebrated class is vetted by neoliberals who do not represent their constituents. Only after being vetted by neoliberals do they become eligible for funding for their political aspirations or to advance their careers. This is especially true for those in politics and the celebrity class in general who must also pass a vetting process before they are allowed to advance in their profession. Once in position, their primary agenda is not to represent the interests of the Black community, but to uphold the agenda of those who are responsible for their success. Black politicians and celebrities could reject this unholy alliance and appeal directly to the community for support. They do not have to betray the community but do so out of greed and fear.
Black politicians are the greatest obstacle to real growth in the Black community. They shamelessly deceive Black voters into embracing what King called “the fanatical death throes of a dying system.” Malcolm X described this dying system more clearly when he questioned why any sensible African American would integrate into a burning ship that is sinking before one’s eyes? Another highly effective neoliberal deception is the lie that only the democrats can protect African Americans, a lie perpetuated by mainstream media. This paternalistic relationship was addressed during the civil rights movement and articulated most clearly by Dr. King, who said: “One of the most damaging effects on the personality of the Negro may well be that he has been victimized with the delusion that others should be more concerned than himself about his citizenship.”
Disregarding the historical record, which reveals that white liberals have always chosen whiteness over justice. Still, African Americans continue to believe the myth that someone is coming to save them, when history clearly shows that White liberals in general, have never valued Black life. Black Americans have always been viewed by the neoliberal political class as nothing more than a number used to keep white elites in power. After taking office, the liberal politician shows his real face, revealing that his concern for Black people is indistinguishable from the ultra-right, who have no regard for Black life.
In this sacred Year of Remembrance, African Americans remain as estranged from real political power, as they are from themselves. The collective has made no real gains in four hundred years. The Voting Rights Act of 1965 and the Brown case in 1954 were greatly exaggerated regarding any real impact on Black life. These legal decisions misled millions into believing that Black people would be protected by law and could finally be respected as people of sacred worth. This has not happened and still, even today, African Americans remain prisoners to what King called the “myth of time.”
In this Year of Remembrance and Re-Evaluation,the time has come to check the historical record and accept reality. It is a major challenge to convince Black people that the Democratic Party has deceived them and that they must look elsewhere for an exit strategy and develop a genuine path to freedom and salvation. This will be painful for most African Americans, and as Mark Twain reminded us with his pithy saying, “It is much easier to tell a lie than to convince someone they have been lied too.” The refusal to evaluate unwarranted support for a political party that does not value Black life is akin to cultural suicide.
In this Year of Evaluation, African Americans must address one of the most important questions in their four-hundred-year history in North America. What does the White neoliberal really think of them? For some, the answer to this question is obvious. On the other hand, the Black middle class finds little value in addressing this question at all. They fear what it would do to their privileged status. How would it impact their money? Therefore, it’s better to continue pretending that someday the people of goodwill will do the right thing.
Self-denial does not invalidate the truth. The relationship between African Americans and White neoliberals has been one that a parent has for their problem child. Their paternalistic behavior is not unlike the relationship between the overseer and enslaved Africans on southern plantations. The overseer had complete authority over the enslaved and prevented him from making any moves without his approval. This is the real relationship between African Americans and the Democratic Party. The White liberal controls their every movement, which is not unlike the role of the slave master on the plantations. African Americans only have value as voters and not as human beings. Their value ends once the liberal is placed into power where he continues to keep the masses in the same oppressive system that many incorrectly believed had been dismantled.
In this Year of Remembrance, African Americans must free themselves from the illusion that they are free. This distortion of perception is fueled by neoliberals who seem to have some strange power over African Americans. Most African Americans are uncritical in their devotion to the Democratic Party, because Black leadership no longer exists in the community. Their uncritical attachment to the Democratic Party prevents them from adequately critiquing it. Yet, this is the moment history has provided them to wake up and confront the forces that have prevented them from experiencing real freedom.
This brief moment of awakening may be the last opportunity for African Americans to free themselves from neoliberals who have taken over the positions of power once held by the southern planter-class. Once awakened, African Americans can begin the long journey of freeing themselves from the strongholds that imprison their spirit. They will never overcome these strongholds without first recognizing that they are held captive by liberals to political myths of salvation designed to give them only the illusion of freedom. In reality, African Americans have never experienced political freedom and although Dr. King attempted to provide them with a portrait of what it meant to be free, he knew that most African Americans were incapable of understanding how it feels to be free. Thus, he struggled in earnest, trying to provide them an example of what real freedom looked like.