The Unthinking Among Us
Today I need to take a break from the usual suspects and deal with some of our own. Since the rise of the Bush regime sellout Uncle Tom Negroes have had a field day. They have been given voice by various media outlets and funding by various "conservative" interests. Anf because they have been able to hijack portions of the Pan-Africanist and Nationalist platform, to the unitiated they sound good. But like the cream filled chocolate egg at easter, the inside is all mush. Before I get to the two persons who have earned my ire for the week, I need to address a few people closer to home.
I recently had a discussion on a messageboard in which two customs of various African people were critiqued. The first issue was one that made the New York Times recently, in which it was revealed that in Mozambique some women who are widowed were expected to hhave sex with one of the deceased husband's male relatives. The overall reason was so that the husband's spirit can leave the village secure in the knowlegde that his wife will be taken care of. The problem now of course is that with HIV-AIDS running rampant in Africa, such an arrangement can be a death sentance for a woman. I offered a critique of the practice in which I respected the concept of the widow being taken care of by the husband's family but I suggested alternative means to this end without the risk of HIV infection or the case that the woman did not want to be "taken care of" by that particular (or any particular) male. I said that perhaps the widow should be taken in by the family (male or female) and be considered a sister or whatever. Then she could decide that she want's to be with one of her husband's male relative or remarry into another family just as she had done when she had married her now deceased husband. Thus the extended family is kept intact and the womans right to decide what to do with herself is upheld.
To this discussion I was told that I was thinking as a Westerner, with no regard to "African traditions." Mind you this person did not once even make a suggestion as to how to deal with the situation at hand. But to make matters worse, once I mentioned "Female Circumcision" AKA FGM. This person made the usual claims about it helping reduce Masturbation and how it was healthy for the woman. Furthermore, instead of discussing female circumcision, we should discuss male circumcision and the various medical practices in American society.
Well not for nothing, but Western mutilization was not the topic of discussion. But this was a usual trend whereby critiqing African customs, even when offering alternatives, will lead some to defend the indefensible. It was even suggested that I didn't know what I was talking about. I mean never mind the number of women who have been documented having "circumcision" performed on them.
This is a really bad thing that we have in the ATR-Nationalist community. This tendancy by some to defend any and everything African. As if we are perfect when that is clearly not the case. If we were perfect we simply would not have sold each other into slavery. We would not have been subject to the cruelty of Colonialism. Millions would not have died in the Congo. We would have had no need for Garvey, Cabral, Tubman or Sojourner. No Toussaint and Haiti would have no Ton Ton Macoutes. No we need to admit that we are flawed like everyone else and that there are things we need to change.
That brings me to the related issue of stagnation of African culture. It has always annoyed me that European art can be anything from Picaso to things found in MOMA. Yet African Art (which technically should be anything created by an African from an African perspetive-and there are many), has been reduced to "primitive" art. If must be a carved Antelope or mask. Should that African artist stray from those motifs then he or she is being European. Thus African culture becomes stagnant. Ever looking back and not moving forward. Hopefully we will change this attitude and move our people forward while respecting our past and carrying on the best of it, and leaving behind that which is no longer useful or relevant. Now onto the Sellouts.
For some reason I went over to Capitalism Magazine. Not sure why but lo and behold I find ol' Walter "Willy" Williams still going on strong with his nonsense. A summary for the the article entitled Victimhood: Rhetoric or Reality states:
Summary: Since black politicians and the civil rights establishment preach victimhood to blacks, I'd prefer that they be more explicit when they appear in public fora. Were they to be so, saying racists are responsible for black illegitimacy, blacks preying on other blacks and black family breakdown, their victimhood message would be revealed as idiotic.
I have noticed a pattern here: No one wants to actually name names. If a black politician is out there actually saying that racists are directly responsible for blakc on black violence, black family breakdown or black illigitimacy, then put their name up there and then give them the space to rebutt the actual acusation. But this never happens because what Willy Williams is doing is taking soundbites of various people and the misstatements of laypersons and making it into the entire message of those of us who hold the government, corporate interests and individuals to task for thier negative influences on our communities.
Willy Williams does us a favor by laying out some stats which for the sake of argument we'll assume to be true:
Across the U.S., black males represent up to 70 percent of prison populations. Are they in prison for crimes against whites? To the contrary, their victims are primarily other blacks. Department of Justice statistics for 2001 show that in nearly 80 percent of violent crimes against blacks, both the victim and the perpetrator were the same race. In other words, it's not Reaganites, Bush supporters, right-wing ideologues or the Klan causing blacks to live in fear of their lives and property and making their neighborhoods economic wastelands.
What about the decline of the black family? In 1960, only 28 percent of black females between the ages of 15 and 44 were never married.
Today, it's 56 percent. In 1940, the illegitimacy rate among blacks was 19 percent, in 1960, 22 percent, and today, it's 70 percent. Some argue that the state of the black family is the result of the legacy of slavery, discrimination and poverty. That has to be nonsense. A study of 1880 family structure in Philadelphia shows that three-quarters of black families were nuclear families, comprised of two parents and children. In New York City in 1925, 85 percent of kin-related black households had two parents.
Does anyone see a particular pattern here? No? Notice the dates on the decline of the black family there is a bright line at 1960. What was going on in that time? Did we not at that point start to get into the implementation of Brown v. Board? Do we have the Voting Rights Acts (I and II)? What about the assasination of Dr. King, Malcolm X, et.al. Then the explosion of drugs into black communities in the 70's with Heroin? The Rockefeller Drug laws that put millions of black people in jails for simply possesing drugs. Not that we are condoning the sale or possesssion of drugs but when it is clear that rockefeller drug laws were being used to incarcerate blacks and not whites who make up the vast majority of users AND sellers, you can't just pretend that it's simply a matter of personal responsibility.
We also have, unprecedented in any time in human history a media machine that can infiltrate the home of all but the most strict parents; and even then...
No, Willy Williams would have us believe that somehow the skyrocketing black on black crime, and soaring out of wedlock children just simply happened. There were no factors. People are just robots. But let's put this question up to Willy Williams. Since, out of all the organizations and types of black folks around, Nationalists and Pan-Africanists have been talking up personal responsibility, black business creation and strong black family, why hasn't he taken up the issue of why the government made such a great effort to kill off or otherwise marginalize those individuals and organizations? He does not because "we too black." He along with Thomas Sowell and thier ilk are too busy trying to get noticed and "respected" by white people ( Mr. Willy Williams has already said as much). People like him are the type that get bent out of shape every December 26, when we are celebrating Kwanzaa. They are the ones who you don't see at certain cultural events. He knows nothing about what we folks are doing because he's too busy trying to get asked questions 'that white people get asked". See the Willy Williams of the world don't like it when we detail and document how white institutions work in opposition to black progress, in part by giving space to those who we would have put in check ourselves. See It's easy to cut people down, it's always harder to build a program to build them up.