That Afrocentrism is a failed ideology, mythology and pseudo-history should be obvious to all sensible people today. One such sensible person is Lipton Matthews, the writer of the Gleaner letter of the day for May 26, 2012. Matthew’s letter, entitled “Afrocentrism’s time has expired”, features the usual standard brand arguments and examples. We have the Aristotle/Library of Alexandria affair, the racist role reversal and , most importantly, its function as a therapeutic myth.
What is important (and unfortunately, unsurprising) are the responses in the comments section to the gentleman. The comments consist mostly of statements that condemn the writer as either a skin bleaching clown , or a brainwashed sellout. For example
Lipton you have been thoroughly brainwashed.
I agree, I’m wondering what his ethnic background is. Also, is he in a biracial(eurocetric relationship), which may explain wanting to bash Afrocentrism and implicitly affirming his social relations.
I had to laugh out loud at this one:
Miseducation and self hatred are enjoying a symbiotic relationship in your mind. It is unfortunate that the Gleaner provides a medium for you to spew this ignorant revisionist crap thinly disguised as acquired knowledge. I am sure a jar of bleaching cream would go a far way in erasing the most enduring remnant of your Africanness. I sincerely hope that your gratuitous display of knowledge is not a reflection of the diminished state of our Jamaican education system.
You see, many of the descendants of the slave regime adore paternalism. In other words, they believe in the bowing to massa in exchange for a bit of food, shelter and indoctrination of alien culture.
It should seem odd that none of the above – or for that matter – any other response, addresses any of Mr. Matthews arguments. But only if you have never had an encounter with an Afrocentrist. The Afrocentrist’s moral system can be compared to that of a mid-80s Saturday moral cartoon like G.I Joe or ThunderCats. You are either with the good guys, or you are against them. Such moral absolutism allows for no nuance, and has never served as a suitable explanation for people’s motives. Moral absolutism, however, gives what most Afrocentrists want, an easy, simple way for them to view the world, But, such a system is clear, simple, and wrong. Notice that there is no mention of Africanism, Powernomics, Marxism or progressivism.
What makes the Afrocentrist a bitch nigga, instead of merely a absolutist, is that the belief system is wrong on purpose. The point of a bitch nigga belief system is not to create a totalizing system to give one agency over the future, but a covert admittance to oneself that the goals that are being sought are quixotic, like a nation that has decided to commit itself to an endless war to give itself meaning. The Afrocentrist launches into a doomed quest for reparations, repatriations and Pan-Africanism, with no intention of winning but with all intention to fight forever.
In the coming weeks I will be putting forth my own ideas for national and black self-improvement. But before I do that, I will proceed to show that the previous movements that have engaged black people, are bitch nigga systems that are intended to be therapeutic and self-deceptive, rather than self-empowering. These include Rastafarianism, Black Men Vent style “nice guyism” Marxism, Black Nationalism, and of course, Afrocentricism.
Thugtician is the type of person you just know you couldn’t be friends with. Man is abrasive – but in a good way. Yeah, he won’t win over a lot of friends, but with videos like below, who cares?
Thugtician is a proponent of Men’s Rights, a movement that ranges from benign to backward-assed, formed as a result of men being increasingly marginalized in society. Whether you believe that women, for whatever reason, are the cause of said marginalization, is up to you, nevertheless, Thugtician makes a very effective case for how men should navigate the twenty-first century. What makes his message appealing, is that he makes it specifically for black men, whether it be in a majority, or minority black country, and without the self-pity and self-hatred that on hears in a Sergeant Willy Pete, or a Black Men Venter. That is another reason for his importance, he has given us a vocabulary to use, and it is in the naming of things that makes them visible.
You may have noticed that the volume of the above video has very low volume. Well about two and a half years ago I had downloaded and converted his videos from his Dailymotion account. The following day he had closed all his online video accounts. I had been planning to do some compression and noise reduction to increase the volume and remove the hiss. I was unable to do so due to a medical emergency.. Come out of the hospital and see the audios uploaded as videos on Youtube. Dudes forgot to do the compression.
So after much procrastinating I leveled the audios, got some more videos, and uploaded them to a file locker for posterity. Didn’t bother to get the hiss out. Get them while there hot. Multiupload link at bottom.
There is much schadenfreude to be had from the drop-off in the price of the Facebook’s Initial Public Stock offering. It is important,however, to realize that the belief that Facebook could be monetized comes from a set of beliefs that one author has described as “Digital Maoism.” That author is Jaron Lanier -computer scientist and virtual reality pioneer, and he has had quite a few criticisms about the direction the Internet has been moving towards.
The bulk of his techniques can be found in his book, “You Are Not a Gadget“, which I will be reviewing soon. But there is a very important point hat he makes about information aggregating platforms such as Facebook and Google. He cites a paradox; if these services were as good at retrieving information as they claimed they were, they would not be able to advertise! After all. the very first result would the best answer, making whatever advertisement being offered elsewhere on the page redundant.
Jamaican churches tackling homosexuality is like using prostitutes to tackle adultery. Just because you’re good at the thing you’re tackling , doesn’t mean that you can actually tackle that thing you are good at.
Meet Peter Garth. Lesbian Therapist. Not that he’s a lesbian, but, you get what I mean. The Hope Gospel Assembly pastor claims to have counseled numerous girls who have been “attacked” by lesbians, and has apparently been so effective that he has been threatened with lawsuits by parents. Of course, no evidence of this is offered, just his complaints that parents and bureaucrats are stopping him from curing lesbians.
What is surprising, is that that the good Reverend is surprised at same sex activity at a same sex high school. It seems that he has never heard about situational sexuality, or prisons, or English boarding schools. Hell, in the Corporate area, everyone is familiar with a certain all-boys school that seemed to never have a shortage of homosexual stories. You know, the one where the coaches check to make sure that the boys wear their purple underwear on Thursdays….
The gentleman gave his speech at the Jamaica Coalition for a Healthy Society press conference. The intention of the press conference was to show that they had “Compassion without Compromise” as illustrated by a list of 10 “affirmations”. Unfortunately, about seventy percent were made irrelevant by Affirmation Number Nine.
9) We do not consider sexual orientation to be a basic human right.
The idea that you can love the homosexual, but hate homosexuality should be seen as obvious nonsense. No one in their right mind would say that they love Christians but hate Christianity. But that is the implication of the above statement. To tell a group of people that their defining characteristic should not be considered a basic human right is tantamount to saying that they have no right to exist. This is no doubt, meant to be confrontational.
Garth said the Church has to be passionate in its fight against homosexuality when it examines the proclamation of the homosexual manifesto which was entered into the US Congressional Record on February 15, 1987, and which reads in part:
“We shall sodomise your sons, emblems of your feeble masculinity, of your shallow dreams and vulgar lies. We shall seduce them in your schools, in your dormitories, in your gymnasiums, in your locker rooms, in your sports arenas, in your seminaries, in your youth groups, in your movie theatre bathrooms, in your army bunkhouses, in your truck stops, in your all-male clubs, in your houses of Congress, wherever men are with men together.
“Your sons shall become our minions and do our bidding. They will be recast in our image. They will come to crave and adore us…. All laws banning homosexual activity will be revoked. Instead, legislation shall be passed which engenders love between men.
“All homosexuals must stand together as brothers; we must be united artistically, philosophically, socially, politically, and financially. We will triumph only when we present a common face to the vicious heterosexual enemy.
“If you dare to cry faggot, fairy, queer, at us, we will stab you in your cowardly hearts and defile your dead, puny bodies.”
A simple web search will reveal that the above is a part of a satirical essay that was entered into the Congressional record. In other words, the Reverend reported a hoax as if it were a fact. At this point, one must wonder if he is a fool or a charlatan.
The conflation of “homosexual” and “child molester” is an old tactic used by Jamaican pastors and Jamaican dancehall artistes. But the latest campaign against “predatory lesbianism” has a certain tone that is not usually found in other stories.
Yes, the stories use the usual tactic of salacious descriptions made by anonymous interviewees at an anonymous institution. And yes, there is also the fact there is no way to independently confirm the claims made in those stories. But that is not all. See, when respected media outlets make such reports in a country with high levels of un/underemployment among poor young men, it can serve to create a hostile climate against gays and especially lesbians. Don’t forget that we have had long since songs with lyrics like
When yuh hear a Sodomite get raped…
But a fi wi fault…
Two women gonna hock up inna bed
That’s two Sodomites dat fi dead.”
(Sodomites — A derogatory term for lesbians)
“When you hear of a lesbian getting raped
It’s not our fault
Two women in bed
That’s two Sodomites who should be dead.”
There will, of course, be the conspiracy theorists who point to international organizations that are in cahoots with the Ominous Coalition for Gay Rulership of the Earth. They will point to the Amnesty International reports and dancehall artistes, ahem, bowing to international pressure. But that’s just them confusing criticism for persecution, and relying on conspiracy theories to explain away the obvious.
In fact, I have a conspiracy theory of my own:
The Fundamentalist churches that now dominate the Jamaican Christian landscape manipulate the public and their congregations into hating homosexuals. They use frames such as the homosexuality-as-virus and the lesbian-recruitment frame to incite the people to fear and hate homosexuals, which makes them ignore the issues that actually affect them day-to-day. Their end is theocracy, or at least some version of it that puts them in a position of power over the majority of Jamaicans.
Thy have already shown their lust for power, in the control of two major universities, by a denomination that requires that one be a member of that denomination to work at those schools. Not to mention their increase role in politics and law firms. Never mind their opposition to the teaching of science in schools. All of this is to the end of rendering Jamaicans into complete submission to a Christo-fascist regime, which nothing more than a totalitarian state in the manner of Iran.
But of course, that’s just a silly conspiracy theory – right?
Think about it, don’t we all have some form of interaction with homosexuals at least once a week? You go to Kingston Public or University Hospital for treatment and you are surrounded by battymen – it’s like a damn fishtank. Worse still is Airport, which seems to be a recruiting point for effeminate men. And let’s not forget the various call centres in operation in both our cities – those places are a Jamaican San Francisco. And yet we have no rape, or recruitment being carried out at those places. In fact, the work carried at those places is necessary, if not vital to our nation’s functioning.
We all know that there is an image of a man-hating, ultra-masculine, wife-stealing, home-wrecking turbit-gyal of a lesbian in a lot of Jamaicans’ heads But the Fundamentalist churches has no right to those perpetuate negative stereotypes about our fellow citizens. The best way to arrive at a reasonable conclusion is serious engagement , where people can speak to each other as equal human beings with dignity. The thing is, I don’t think that the Fundamentalist church is up to the task.
Recently, it has become fashionable to elevate certain media types known collectively as Web 2.0 to an almost messianic status. Which means that it has become quite fashionable to condemn those who espouse messianic views of Web 2.0. The pernicious scientism and links to Big Data that are part and parcel of the Web 2.0 “computer romanticism” will be examined a later date, but there is a feature about the Web 2.0 skeptics that should be examined beforehand.
Let’s say that you are school district engaging in yet another futile attempt to get students to stop writing in that damn txt speak.
To stop this brain rot, you decide to have a month of no txt speak. Now, what would be the best way to get this message across? You could use TV advertisements, but your target demographic lives on Youtube and Hulu. A poster maybe? Not without half-naked chicks, and that’s a no-no. Then you remember your Media Ecology class that you took in Grad School, so you go and drag out “Amusing Ourselves to Death” by, yup, Neil Postman. You search through the various gems in the book , but then this one grabs your attention:
In other words, Ms. Babcock hopes that by watching television, people will learn that they ought to stop watching television. It is hard to imagine that Ms. Babcock does not see the irony in this position. It is an irony that I have confronted many times in being told that I must appear on television to promote a book that warns people against television. Such are the contradictions of a television-based culture.
Then it hits you – if you want children to stop using text messaging, you will have to tell them to stop by sending text messages. So then, Postman’s paradox can be stated as such:
A critique of an institution that requires usage of that very same institution in order to have any meaningful effect – rendering the critique self-refuting.
Therefore, any wholehearted denunciation of a medium will inevitably fail, as you will have to use that very same medium to make your point come across, thus revealing you as either a fool or a hypocrite. I say wholehearted, as opposed to nuanced, as technological advancement in any medium will cause the previous medium to be able to replicate the one that preceded it. Radio becomes encapsulated by television, and the Internet encapsulates everything previous to it, rendering it the Proteus of media. I am, for the purposes of the above example, ignoring bandwidth ,as seeing Richard Nixon’s face would reveal an inverse relationship between his words and the truth , while the web browser “features” can be a distraction onto itself.
Media is not the only place where Postman’s paradox applies. It can apply in the case of a black man who can only get message across by using the apparatus provided by that very same racist society. Or the anti-consumerist who uses the very capitalist system that he is protesting to get his message across.
Why Postman’s paradox does not apply to himself, and what nullifies the paradox, is the realization that institutions, media, ideologies and other technics are not a choice between good and evil, but good and bad. But never neutral.
His most recent post is one on Marissa Alexander, a Florida black woman who now faces 20 years inn prison for firing a gun in self-defense. Who was she defending herself against? Her abusive husband. Or so the story goes. Yet already the comparisons to another Florida case have started.
Like the Trayvon Martin media movement, it will fail. Even if she has the charges dropped, no major change in American society will take place. That’s because American black women have a serious image problem. See below, from the Huffington Post website:
Corey disputes the so-called warning shot into the ceiling with photographs that show bullet holes much lower, going through a kitchen wall and into the living room where Corey said Gray and his boys were.
“The fact that nobody got hurt has to be balanced with the fact that someone could have gotten hurt,” Corey said. “The kids being right next to him changed everything.”
About four months after Alexander was released on bail, on orders to have no contact with Gray, she got into an altercation with him at his home that gave him a black eye, Corey said.
Alexander was arrested and charged with battery, to which she pleaded no contest……”Everybody is still ignoring that she got out on bond and chose to go back over there and hit him a second time,” Corey said. “That was kind of an indication of where putting her on probation, where you might have been able to do that before, was off the table since she disregarded a judges order.”
In a 21st century media environment, where people are forced to navigate through dozens of of talking heads, hundreds of tweets, Facebook alerts and RSS Reader updates, people need their messages simple. Simpler than a newspaper article. Simpler than a 500 word word blog post. Simple as a stereotype.
This has nothing to do with civil rights. This is a public relations issue.
That is one of the main problems with blogs like Abagond’s. The message is simple, but directed towards the wrong people. Explaining something only unmasks that thing, it does not change it. In fact, it may only create a form of fatalism that is usually disguised with pie-in-the-sky hopes (reparations anyone?) and slave morality. Preaching to the crowd still leaves a crowd that only came to feel good. In 500 words.
When people think “Black woman” and “serious news” , who do you think comes to mind – Mae Carol Jemison? From Tawana Brawley to the Duke Lacrosse team case to the whole Srauss-Kahn incident, when people hear about black women, they think, “just give it a few more days.” That is why the us/them split when arguing on social issues inevitably fails, whether it be on talking head TV or on activist blogs. Both sides of the opposing argument demand unconditional surrender neither party will be willing to accept. But in a society with a massive power imbalance, in favour of middle-class white people, failure is the only option for everyone else.
500 words is good for the mediation of stereotypes – not their destruction. No, stereotypes can only only be manipulated, not destroyed. That should be one of the first things any movement should do, manage stereotypes.
The 1960’s Civil Rights movement in the United States is usually thought to have had started with Rosa Parks refusing to give up her seat to white person while traveling on a bus. But a nine months previous, a young woman named Claudette Colvin had also refused to do the same thing . The reason why the Outkast song is named after the former, and not the latter woman is because the latter was not a woman at the time, but a pregnant 15 year old that was a walking stereotype of what white people think about black women.
What does Miss Colvin think about having Rosa Parks getting all the credit for giving up her seat?
“Let the people know Rosa Parks was the right person for the boycott. But also let them know that the attorneys took four other women to the Supreme Court to challenge the law that led to the end of segregation.”
At the time, the NAACP at least understood how to mold people’s perceptions, when it came to public relations. If they had the sense now that they had then, the Shirley Sherrod affair would be a model for how to manipulate media outlets – complete with how to edit and leak videos for maximum effect. Instead, you have this fool Julian Bond trying to fit into a news cycle that apparently runs off the same steroids that Usain Bolt uses.
Marissa Alexander, Trayvon Martin and the We are the 99% movement highlight the problems facing modern mass movements all over the world. The followers of these movements see the marching but not the backdoor meetings and thinking that took place to give people something to march about. Those backdoor meetings designed, not just the political strategy, but the necessary ideology that was created to address the political, legal and economic obstacles that faced. And those ideologies failed. And continue to fail. Marxism continues to be a joke, with Afro-centricism being an even bigger joke
The massive decentralization that has been enabled by social media has come to be a curse, not a blessing. People become organized as individual, amorphous agents, acting in massively parallel steps, but without command or control. They are a body without a head. A movement without direction. A people without an ideology.
No one has managed to come up with a successful, practical ideology that can rejuvenate the black and white American middle class. Which means that no one has come up come with an ideology of the Jamaican middle class, seeing has how we scorn originality like panhandlers and Jehovah’s Witnesses.Which has left both of our societies in a downward spiral that has resulted in mass de-industrialization, debt traps, speculative bubbles and hopelessness.
Being able to relate to the public is what will be the first step in mobilizing the middle classes to create the change that will be in their best interest. For too long, our thinkers have divorced themselves from the people, creating self-defeating narratives that are mainly retreads of past, failed ideologies. But that does not mean that the past is merely a garbage dump of ideas. We simply haven’t looked far enough into the past to show us the way forward.