Tuesday, July 04, 2017


Beneath the Spin*Eric L. Wattree

Black People Can’t Be Racists!!!? Give Me A Break!!!
The Contention Alone Is Racist

  Bro. Dyson,
While I fully embrace the overall point you're trying to make, you’re misinforming our people with respect to Blacks not being able to be racists in order to make it. As a result, when your Black followers run around quoting you on this issue, they’re making themselves look like unthinking idiots.  Black people can be anything White people can be - good, or bad. To deny that is to play right into the hands of racist bigots, because it suggests there's a fundamental difference between different races of people.  Racism is a state of mind, not just the power to PROJECT that state of mind.  Thus, the racist mindset comes first, and only then, the social injustice derived from that mindset.

You enjoy a measure of respect in the Black community, so along with that respect should also come a measure of responsibility. Thus, one would expect that you would use your position of honor in the community to help teach our people to think efficiently and with precision. So here’s the position I recently took with one of your adherents:
Being a racist is a state of mind, so it doesn't require power, all it requires is ignorance. According to your logic we also have to say that a Black person can't be a sexist, a homophobe, a xenophobe, or even an asshole because he doesn't control the system. And what about those who have racist attitudes toward people from OTHER countries (like Mexico and Muslim nations) where they don't control the system?  Are they not racists, or do they get a pass because they don't control the country?  And finally, what constitutes power?  What if a Black criminal pulls a gun on a White man?  Does he only become a racists after he pulls out the gun?  After all, the gun gives him the ultimate "POWER" over life and death, so to his victim he's the most powerful man in the universe.  So when did this Black man become a racist, when he decided to single out his White victim, or not until he pulls out his weapon of mass destruction, giving himself the "POWER" of life or death?
"Racist" and “racism” are two entirely different words. One is a noun and the other is an adjective. So a person can be a racist by attitude and predisposition without actually practicing racism as a way of life, or conversely, a second person can adhere to racist conventions (like working in a bank that refuses to give loans to Black people) without being a racist by either nature or mindset. Your argument fails to take those distinctions into account, and that’s where it’s flawed. To be a racist is a state of mind (a noun); to act on that state of mind is racism (an adjective). So while you are correct that in most cases Black people don't have the power to engage in racism, they are perfectly free to have a racist mindset - which makes them a racist.
So the point you seem to be TRYING to make is that Black people don't have the power to EXPRESS their racism as effectively as White people because we don't have the power to employ INSTITUTIONAL racism. But to extend that to say that Black people can't be racist AT ALL is not only a gross corruption of common sense, but it defies the very definition of the word. It’s what’s called a "factoid" - a lie that’s been told so often that people begin to accept it as fact. Because the fact is, we not only have racists in the Black community, but we also have "Bligots," those who harbor racist attitudes towards their own people - Clarence Thomas, Larry Elder, Omarosa Manigault, and Ben Carson just to name a few.
So it’s one thing to express your views, but when you do it, you should make every effort to express them with precision. Don’t try to corrupt the English language in an attempt to make it mean what you want it to mean; the only thing you accomplish like that is instead of helping people to understand your point of view, you cause most thinking people to dismiss you as an idiot.  Thus, you’re defeating your own purpose.
The primary reason I'm even bothering to address this issue is because I love Black people, and I know that many Black people listen to people like yourself because some of us tend to confuse credentials with intellect.  I also know that many people like yourself are given to telling Black people what they WANT to hear instead of what they NEED to hear. As a result, they go around regurgitating this nonsense and make themselves look like damn fools. So personally, I don’t care what you believe, but I hate it when Black people follow your lead in making comments like the one under discussion and I have to look at the smirks of satisfaction on the faces of White bigots,  because whenever Black people make ridiculous statements like the one above, it tends to reinforce the position of White bigots that Black people are just a bunch of ignorant and undereducated idiots. 
Have you ever noticed how when the news media wants to interview a Black person they seem to look around for the most ignorant, inarticulate, and uneducated Black person they can find?  They do that because they're looking for a sensational level of stupidity; people who give adrenaline priority over intellect; and people who will say EXACTLY the kind of thing that we’re discussing here. They’re looking around for someone who will validate the position that Black people are stupid.  I don’t like seeing that, or seeing Black people being used in that way. That’s the one and only reason that I’ve wasted even one brain cell on this silly nonsense. I don't like seeing Black people being portrayed as stupid, and by regurgitating the utter mindlessness that you're spewing, it helps the malevolent do just that.

"Eric, who is responsible for crafting the dictionary definition of racism? As you correctly state Eric, bullshit in, bullshit out. Dr. Neely Fuller's stance regarding what constitutes a racist/racism closely mirrors that of Dr. Dyson and Dr. Anderson. Do you submit they too are full of lies?"
In a word, yes - they're either full of lies, or the rumor of their powerful intellects has been greatly exaggerated. The handful of so-called "learned" individuals who are going around spewing the myth that Black people can’t be racist are doing much more harm to the Black community than good. First, their position is a corruption of common sense and defies the very definition of the word "racist," and secondly, it antagonizes potential allies by sowing division during a time when the poor and middle-class, of every stripe, are in dire need of unity to fight off the neo-fascist agenda of Donald Trump and his corpo-Republican alliance.
The English language is what it is, and so is the definition of the word racist. As for who compiled the definitions in the dictionary, that’s irrelevant, because the dictionary doesn't DETERMINE what the English language is, it merely INFORMS us of how the English language is used. So the fact is, the "learned" gentlemen that you cite are not simply lying, or either grossly out of touch with reality, but again, they're doing the Black community a horrible disservice. It makes us look like we're so undereducated that we don't know the difference between an adjective and a noun.  Yes, we do live in a racist society (an adjective). But a racist society is made up of racist individuals - including Black people (a noun).  Dyson is trying to split hairs in order to promote his flawed point of view, but the English language is clear - if you're a racial bigot or prejudice, you're a racist, period. A clear definition of the word "racist" is in the dictionary.
Noun: racist; plural noun: racists
a person who shows or feels discrimination or prejudice against people of other races, or who believes that a particular race is superior to another.
"[Her] comments have led to her being called a racist"
But in spite of this clear and concise definition of what constitutes a racist, if these “learned” individuals insist on holding to their self-serving, ad hoc position on this issue, they should consider the following. With every yin to an argument, there’s also a yang. So if they insist on taking the position that Black people can’t be racist like White people due to our position in society, the flip side of that is, neither can we be as brilliant, creative, or intelligent as White people for the exact same reason.  Because who we are as individuals is either innate, or defined by the individual, or forged by society. We can’t have it both ways. Being "equal" means we’re just as good as White folks, but also, just as bad.  If we're not, we're not "equal." 
And no, I'm not missing the point. I fully understand the technicality that Dyson's argument is based upon, but it's dumb nevertheless. He's saying that Black people can't be racist because our behavior, regardless to how prejudice or bigoted toward others, doesn't promote the White supremacist agenda of this society. Thus, a Black bigot can have the exact same character flaws as a White bigot, but it has to be called something else other than racist since it doesn't promote White supremacy.  But the flaw in that argument is this - the term "racist" doesn't just refer to an individual's promotion of the WHITE supremacist agenda, it refers to the promotion of ANY form of racial supremacy. Just because White supremacy is the prevailing form of bigotry in this particular society, that doesn't mean that it's the ONLY  form of racism. So yes, a Black bigot is also a racist, he's just a different kind of racist - he's a BLACK supremacist as oppose to a WHITE one. Whether or not  his preferred form of bigotry is the prevailing form of racism in this country is meaningless, he's a racist nevertheless, he just happens to be on the opposing team.  In other words, just because the visiting team doesn't control the ball park, that doesn't mean that they're not baseball players.
So we've got to be careful when we  go around trying to change the definition of words and redefine reality "all willy-nilly," because Black people have already been there, and done that. We already know what a serious impact the meaning of words can have on our lives.  What if they decided to change the definition of "human" to exclude all people with Black skin, and then began to claim that Black people aren't human? That could very easily be done by using the exact same kind of word manipulation that Dyson is trying to employ here. So he's opening up a can of worms that many thoughtful Black people have been fighting for centuries:  
"The myth of genetic inferiority of people of African ancestry is centuries old, tracing back to when the first slave boat arrived on our shores in 1619 in Jamestown, Virginia. The myth of genetic inferiority of people of African ancestry not only legitimatized slavery, but also biblically sanctioned it. It was aided by people like Nobel Laureate William Shockley, who in 1956 voiced his theory of a genetic basis for racial inferiority. As part of his theory on the biology of ethnicity, Shockley stated that people of African ancestry belonged to a lower species of humanity, and deserved sterilization."  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/irene-monroe/theory-of-blacks-intellec_b_589916.html
So the very last thing that Black people want to do is to reignite a debate on what Black people can and "can't be." Dyson should know better.  Eventhough Black people can more than hold their own in such a debate, its mere existence could have a negative impact on the Black community. It could have a negative impact on our ability to find employment, for example, because as we see in the case of Dyson supporters, people actually believe this nonsense.  So it wouldn't be outrageous to see signs like "NON-HUMANS  NEED NOT APPLY." And with this conservative Supreme Court, Clarence Thomas would be the very first one jumping up to claim that non-humans lack legal standing in bringing discrimination cases before the court, and a policeman can’t be charged with murder for the killing of a non-human. So no, we don’t want to start tinkering with the meaning of words, and somebody needs to send Michael Dyson that message.
It's very important - especially in a racist society - to establish that Black people can be anything White people can be - good, or bad, and that there is no fundamental difference between Black people and any other race other than our culture and the color of our skin.  So yes, we can be racist just like anyone else, but the key to growth is to enlighten our minds to the point where we're above such ignorance.  That's the key to being special.  We don't want to be known as the people who can't be racist, we want to be known as the people who have risen above it.   

People tend to confuse themselves by trying to make truth much too convoluted. They do that in order to try to contort truth into a configuration that lends comfort to their preferred way of viewing reality.  But all they're doing in the end is deluding themselves. Truth is truth, and if you have to spend time tweaking it, what you're actually doing is trying to tweak truth into a convenient lie, and  that's exactly what's being done in this controversy.
The simple fact is, a racist is a racist, and that includes ANYONE who is bigoted toward people of another race - period.  Anything that you try to add or take away from that very simple definition is a distortion of truth and too convoluted to be viable. Truth is simple. John Coltrane played saxophone - PERIOD!  Case closed.  Simplicity is the key to efficient thought, but we now have a group of people who went out and picked up a receipt for sitting up in a class that they didn’t fully understand, and then became so full of themselves that they think they’re now qualified to redefine reality in a way that lends comfort to their political point of view - “All dogs have fleas, and my cat has fleas, therefore, my cat is a dog.” They then expect us to accept their pompous pontifications based on a receipt they picked up somewhere saying that they’re “learned.”
Unfortunately, some of us buy into that, but I don’t.  I say their corruption of truth is ridiculous, and the emperor has no clothes.  Truth will always be truth and it's inalterable, and trying to do so turns it into a lie.  A German Shepherd is a dog, the Sun is hot, and a racial bigot is a racist. Those are immutable facts, and they always will be, regardless to how many letters are behind the person’s name who’s either lying, or deluding him or herself into trying to prove otherwise.
So while you may not have been able to go to college, you should never confuse credentials with intelligence. Knowledge is free, and some of the greatest minds I've ever known held court while sitting on empty milk crates in the parking lot of ghetto liquor stores, while some of the weakest minds I've ever known roamed university campuses in pursuit of credentials attesting to an intellect that their minds were far too weak to substantiate.  So it is incumbent upon us to learn to think for ourselves and never sell ourselves short, because the adversity that you've endured also constitutes an education, an education that should never be underestimated. 
While you may not realize it, adversity has made you more, rather than less.  So use your adversity like a slingshot, and allow it to hurl you into a world of wisdom, knowledge, and excellence.  You don't need the White man to educate you. Who says he corners the market on knowledge and wisdom?  And neither do you need some Black man waving a receipt from the White saying he's been approved to educate you.  Dyson was "educated" by the very same White man he is now trying to criticize, and the only reason he's allowed to do so is because he's playing into the hands of that very same White man.  Cornel West also has a tendency to do that.  So seek to become a "Eulipian" and base your assessment of reality on independent and self-cultivated knowledge. Always be independent of thought, and embrace the power of your own intellect, because that's the only knowledge, wisdom, and intellect that we can trust. Group-think is not thought at all.  It's an accommodation, and more often than not, the very source of societal dysfunction.

And in that regard, what makes the self-serving stupidity being propagated by these pseudo-intellectuals so horribly egregious is the fact that this nation is currently knee-deep in a CLASS WAR in which the enemy's most potent weapon - their ONLY weapon - is division.  So by running around spewing this nonsense to the unthinking, Dyson and company are lending comfort to the enemy. They're helping to keep people who are normally of good will,  and who SHOULD be our allies in this war against corporate feudalism, hostile, antagonistic, and throwing spitballs at one another.  That's dumb, and if Dyson were actually the powerful intellectual that he seems to think he is, he'd recognize that fact, but that seems to be yet another truth that has managed to allude him. The fact is, if Dyson wasn't disseminating this counterproductive nonsense for free, the Koch bros. would be willing to pay him to spew this reckless and unsubstantiated stupidity. 
As Black people, we can't out-scream the White establishment, because they control the media, and we can't out-fight them, because they control the police and military, so our only option is to out-think them, and we have the intellectual creativity to do just that - and they know it.  The very same creativity that went into the making of a Ray Charles, an Areatha Franklin, or Charlie Parker can very easily be redirected toward math, science, and social development. They recognized that while we were in slavery - that was one of the reasons they established a Jim Crow society in the first place, and it's also why so many conservatives hate Barack Obama so intensely, because he's walking, breathing evidence of that fact.  So instead of going out of our way to antagonize potential allies, we should use our natural creativity to first, educate ourselves, and then educate the public to the fact that the new paradigm in this country is not about race, but about class. 
Racism is simply a man-made construct designed to keep the poor and middle class divided. So we shouldn't buy into this lunacy. ANYBODY can be a racist if they're ignorant enough, and Dyson is inadvertently proving that fact with his racist assertion. But wouldn't it be ironic if the people brought over here in chains ended up teaching America how to survive?  So we shouldn't be telling America what Black people "can't be," because we can be anything we decide to be.  We should be showing the entire world what we can be.  So we need to trade in our reputation for being soulful victims for one of being brilliant educators. Instead of teaching America how to dance and shoot jump shots, we need to be teaching them how to think. That's what we should be focused on throughout the Black community - knowledge, not nonsense.

Not All White People Were Created Equal: White Privilege in America 

During WWII, even the United States and the Soviet Union had sense enough to put their differences aside long enough to fight off Nazi fascism, but these so-called learned individuals who are running around spewing this stupidity have obviously learned absolutely nothing from history. The current GOP represents nothing short of creeping fascism. They don’t care any more about poor and middle-class White people than they do Black people. So people like Dyson should be educating the public to the dire need for the people to come together to fight off a common and insidious foe instead of stirring up division among the poor and middle-class for their own selfish benefit.
By going around spewing the myth that Black people can’t be racist, Dyson is placing his own desire to gain personal street creds above what’s in the best interest of the Black community. Black people make up only13% of the population, so if we intend to make any progress in this country whatsoever, it is essential that we seek out allies, not go around spewing antagonistic nonsense. And beyond that, politically motivated claims such as this serve no useful purpose. If Dyson's contention had any validity, and by having that knowledge it would benefit Black people in some way, that would be one thing, but his ridiculous assertion has absolutely no remedial value in addressing the current conditions being faced by the Black community - in fact, it only serves to stirrup anger and hostility, so rather than being remedial in nature, it actually makes things worse.  What benefit can we possibly derive from going around claiming that Black people can't be racist (like the White man)?  It may make us feel good, and justify our hostility toward White victims of this society, but other than that, the only purpose it can possibly serve is to turn off badly needed allies who could help us to improve our lives, and the lives of our children. Thus, our ignorance is killing us.

Thus, while we should never bite our tongue when it comes to speaking truth to power, before we start shooting off our mouth, we should make absolutely sure that it is, indeed, truth that we're speaking, and not counterproductive stupidity that plays right into the hands of our enemy.
I've Known Bullshit
Every newspaper, every nook,
I see blatant bullshit wherever I look.
Prolific bullshit,
pro and con,
Man deceiving man,
like human pawns.
Bullshit our children
whenever we can
On the role of government,
and the sojourn of man;
We bullshit the people
regarding their lot,
While failing to address
the conservative plot.
And now I hear even Santa's a myth,
So even my mother was touched by his kiss.
My threshold for Bullshit is extremely low,
I sense him wherever he hides;
While Langston Hughes has known his rivers,
I've known Bullshit in every disguise.
Known bullshit lovers of innocent women,
Who fades with a piece a ass,
I've known bullshit preachers who loved the Lord,
But not nearly as much as your cash;
I've known bullshit politicians,
who "Just want to help"
Right up til they get your vote,
Then after reciting their bullshit oath
can't wait to start cuttin' your throat.
Bullshit's' a stalker, who seems to haunt me;
I see him wherever I go--
On the street, in the store,
In the eyes of my lover,
Though I try to deny that it's so.
I used to
Simply shut my eyes,
so I wouldn't see him no more,
But my ears betrayed me and--
Knock, Knock, Knock--
"It's Bullshit. Open the door!"
I came up with a plan to take a stand, and
Confront Bullshit wherever he hides;
Like the terrorist he is, you must weed him out,
By confronting him where he resides.
I learned
That shit will be shit because shit is shit's nature,
So it's really not Bullshit's fault;
It's the fault of society for embracing ignorance,
For the enemy of Bullshit is thought.
Eric L. Wattree
Citizens Against Reckless Middle-Class Abuse (CARMA)
Religious bigotry: It's not that I hate everyone who doesn't look, think, and act like me - it's just that God does.

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