A few days ago I came across a rather intriguing Jamaican blog called Warren’s Blog. Of particular interest today me is the blog post, What is the Jamaican Dream? I do agree with much of the themes on his blog, but the question posed in the title of the blog post betrays one of, if not the major faults with Jamaican society.
When one speaks of the American Dream, what is usually spoken about is the National Ethos of the United States. Put in simple terms, it is the belief that through hard work one can achieve upward social mobility, success and prosperity, usually symbolized by home ownership. Now I am not prepared to debate the claims of the American National Ethos. What I do wonder is, why do we need to have an “American Dream” and not a National Ethos?
To answer my own question, it is because we have not developed a proper national identity, choosing instead to obtain our self esteem from what Britain, and now America, thinks of us. If we do indeed have a “Jamaican Dream”, then it is to get a degree, then migrate to the U.S. In fact it seems that the we have taken on the American Dream locally, except that we have replaced home ownership with motor vehicle ownership, minus the American dollars to buy the oil necessary to run such vehicles.
Can we develop our own national ethos? Perhaps, but that seems unlikely at this point, as we seem fixed on questions of means rather than ends. But wasn’t that always the main problem with the American Dream?
Wednesday afternoon a woman went all Beast Mode in my friends bar. Now half of my laptop screen is cracked, so I will not be able to post as frequently as I would like. I should be able to replace it come September.
One of the wonderful thing about this brave new world that we are in, is if you are technically capable of doing something, then you are by definition artistically capable of doing that thing. If you can use Sony Vegas, then you can be a film director. If you can use FL Studio, then you can be a music producer. For now, I will ignore questions of quality, but instead focus on one of the genres that has arisen as a result of easily accessible technology – the Supercut.
I discovered this wonderful and innovative new genre by way of Kevin Kelly’s blog, specifically an entry where he states that new genres are being created because “technology wants it.” Economies of scale, cultural trends and artistic experimentation play no part in this, modern art is simply the result of path dependencies created by technological forces. We do not question technology, according Kelly, we simply march to the beat of its drum. I don’t think that we are marching, so much as sleepwalking, only waking at imminent danger like nuclear holocaust, or acid rain. We should be more not just to threats to our civilization, but threats to our culture.
One wonders if the next stage will be a supercut of supercuts, as the supercut themselves become the the original. Perhaps they will become sort of cultural alarm system, telling us when a certain convention or technique is becoming cliched (of course, if you need d a supercut to tell you that….) However I get the sense that they are an idea of the brave new world our culture is headed towards
So you finally found my blog. Good. I know that you’ve been questioning yourself recently. You’re probably asking yourself whether or not it makes sense to continue trying to help your “black brothers and sisters,” or your “fellow countrymen” as you begin to understand the various social, economic, political and cultural forces that control you, they and your world.
You’ve probably had a conversation with an Afrocentrist, or a Rastafarian, and realized that most black radicals are averse to scientific, empirical and other rational argument, and are thus mired in superstition and conspiracism.
You’ve probably realized that your middle class peers would rather tweet about the latest Justin Bieber sex scandal or the Wendy Williams’ latest tips for tranny’s trying to tuck their dicks than try to understand why the hell their student loans are twice their yearly income.
You’ve watched, as middle class and ghetto people alike are continually distracted by “Church leaders” (I refuse to call them pastors or theologians), who use shitty arguments and wedge issues to distract the populace from their interests. Just look at how they use homosexuality to aggrandize themselves, while at the same time ignoring the many homeless, drug addicts, destitute and mentally ill that wander our streets. One wonders If any of these conmen churchmen have ever tried to minister to the homeless male prostitutes that frequent Trafalgar Road at night.
You’ve probably looked on as all around you, your fellow blacks try to weave, bleach and tattoo themselves into some ethnically indeterminate ideal , but instead end up disgusting, deracinated monstrosities. Complete with the boorish behaviour to match their vulgar appearance.
You have seen all these things, and you want to do something about it. Well, I am here to tell you , don’t. You will not do anything about it, because, you can’t. I mean, what would you do? Rap? Sing? March? Yes – you want to march, don’t you? You want to be that guy behind the stand or the pulpit who everyone is pointing at , who has the speeches and holidays named after him. You know, like Louis Farrakhan and the Million Man March. You remember Farrakhan and the Million Man March don’t you? Of course you don’t. And no one will remember you either. But the goal is not to be remembered. The goal is to win. And to win big.
Come now, you don’t actually think that you can stand against an entire global Consumer Capitalist structure did you? But let us imagine that you did. You would be someone like say, Bob Johnson, at the turn of the millennium. You are living through the years with 1996 to 2003. Ignoring the whole 9/11 mix-up. You would have seen
No new genre of black music emerge, even as new economic and social situations arise that demand a new form of expression. This would seem rather odd, as rap and modern R and B would have been the dominant genre since the early 1980s, while most genres of music previous to that time had lasted 15 years at most . Compare the music of Woodstock and Motown in 1968 to hip hop like the Sugarhill Gang at the latter part of the 1970s
Dancehall music from Jamaica and heard the “Bug” ,”Kiki” and “Diwali” riddims that seemed to represent the future of dancehall music. I say “seemed” because the dancehall scene degenerated into its usual quarrelsome stupidity (lead by Bounty Killer of course), with both producers and songwriters never achieving those artistic highs again.
Films failing to give meaning to the present, from Hype Williams’ screw-up Belly, to the rise of the Buppie subgenre of black films (The Wood, Best Man), to the start of Madea in the theater, to the straight-to-DVD gangsta genre. This, after a decade of cultural products , from Do the Right Thing to Slam, that gave meaning to the past and helped to explain the present.
The rise of a legal-industrial complex that is nothing more than new millennium indentured servitude
The switch from industry and agriculture to a service economy, that required skills in STEM (science, engineering, technology and mathematics), that the education system failed to impart to black and Jamaican children
A Million Man March that didn’t do shit
Jamaicans re-elect the PNP a record four times, even though they do less than shit, including precipitate the largest wealth shift from the middle class to the rich post-slavery.
In other words, it would be as if the world gave up. You can try all you want, but if the world gives up you’re just running up the down escalator. Can you then blame Bob Johnson for selling out? For dumping Teen Summit and taking up Uncut? Even if wanted to turn the tide, who could he get to help him? Certainly not the people that watch BET. That’s the thing. When we say black people, we actually mean black persons. A person is an individual, with individual feelings ideas, dreams and aspirations. People are fucking animals. And the point of modern Consumer Capitalism is to turn persons into people (easier for analytics and economies of scale).
I am not telling you to become like Bob Johnson. In fact, I more interested in correcting his work than anything else. But more on that later. Right now, we need to stop giving a fuck about black people and instead start giving a fuck about black persons. I am not being elitist. I am only saying that appealing to mass movements is folly. It would be better to develop an agenda that is economically and politically viable. It will be difficult, but it is doable. Difficulty and social isolation did not stop guys like:
John Boyd and the Fighter Mafia, who defined new theories on maneuverability and air warfare, leading to the creation of several new aircraft that are considered invaluable to the U.S. military-industrial complex. And they did this in the face overwhelming institutional opposition and bureaucratic wrangling.
The Mont Pelerin Society,was started in 1947. They were ignored as kooks until 1973. Even Schumpeter made fun of them. After 1973, well to paraphrase Richard Nixon, “(Sigh), I guess we’re all neoliberals now !”
A bunch of policy wonks that didn’t know what they were talking about, yet still manage fuck up America and the World ForEVAH!
We may have to make some hard decisions. Like being mocked amongst our peers and colleagues. Constant solitude. Alienation from the people who are closest to you, who look most like you, and who rightfully, should understand you the most. But that is alright. It will be worth it, because,if anything, I have no intention of waking up to the type of world that Bob Johnson woke up to a generation from now. And , if I am right, neither do you.
How did things get this bad? How does the minority get to speak the loudest? The Wall of Silence (WoS) and the Black Women’s Empowerment (BWE) Internet movement may just be symptoms of a disease, but with some diseases, like AIDS, the symptoms are the disease. This is the principal issue of BMV/BWE, they are like AIDS, not an Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome, but an Acquired Ideology Deficiency Syndrome. It seems that at the end of the 20th century, black people in both Jamaica and the United States lost any sense of connection to a Grand Narrative. By a Grand Narrative, I mean a story of human history that gives meaning to the past, explains the present, and provides guidance for the future. Its purpose is therefore, not only historical, but teleological – it gives history and meaning. A past example would be that of Marxism. Modern examples would be Christian Fundamentalism, Californianism (technological utopianism driven by the belief that Moore’s Law can go on forever) and Radical Neoliberalism (the Kool-Aid imbibed by most of the West’s ruling parties)
Around 2007, a group of individuals came up with their own Grand Narrative of Late 20th/ early 21st Century African-American history. They intended to use their Grand Narratives to cause social change. They focused mostly on gender relations, each one blaming the other for the faults in the African-American community. The Wall of Silencers (Black Men Vent, Diary of a Tired Black Man, Sergeant Willie Pete) chided black women for their perceived masculinity, moving the black community away from black unity and black power by allying with the Feminist movement, destroying the black family unit, and whoring themselves out to men they call “thugs”, “bad boys” and other such undesirables, instead of choosing (of course) they. As such, they vowed to ignore and scorn any black woman that did not agree with them,and to stop talking about black women The Black Women’s Empowerment Movement makes the claim that black men fail to protect black women from insults and violence, has destroyed the black family by abandoning his woman and child, and failing to marry his woman en masse, is more willing to give love and devotion to (grossly overweight) non-black women, and sacrifices black women on the altar of the Black Community.
Now, there is nothing wrong with a narrative being ahistorical. The Jews, with their religious narrative, have it written in their Holy Books that they had been enslaved in Egypt by a cruel pharaoh, and were then liberated by the great leader Moses. That there is no archaeological evidence of this ever happening is irrelevant – enough time has passed between the time the enslavement was claimed to have happened and the time it was mythologized. Thus, the Jewish people have a powerful spiritual tradition to serve as a Grand Narrative. This is not the case however, with the Wall of Silencers (WoS) and the BWE. History does not agree with their narratives.
With the WoS:
Black women’s masculinity is played up by the media and their sassiness exaggerated by performers, such as actresses, comedians and cartoonists
Like most women, black women are attracted to charismatic men. The WoS has created a false dichotomy of “nerds” on one side and “thugs” on the other. It ignores that the type of man (Denzel Washington, Morgan Freeman, Idris Elba, Barack Obama, Neil DeGrasse Tyson, Michael Eric Dyson) who is able to attract several women to his company is not a passive-aggressive “nice guy”, but a charismatic person who radiates self-confidence. That the word “swag” has replaced the word “charisma” is irrelevant, the meaning is the same.
The BWE movement does not acknowledge:
That black men frequently took up arms and organized themselves to protect themselves and their dependents. The examples of Robert F. Williams’ Black Armed Guard, the Deacons for Defense and Justice who actively practiced self-defense, or the very visible Nation of Islam, with their Fruit of Islam security force are facts that are very hard to ignore.
Black men have always preferred black women, of all complexions, for lovers and spouses. A simple glance at the U.S. Census will show that.
When a Jew is presented with the facts regarding the Exodus, he may get upset with you, but based on who you come across, he might just shrug it off. But the BWE/WoS will not have anything to do with facts, preferring instead to stick their fingers in their ears and chant their mantras of DBR and ankle, hoping that the facts will just go away. And when they don’t, they create even deeper delusions for themselves. They then begin to echo movements in their decline like the Black Panther Party, embracing internal repression, paranoia and self-exaltation, while at the same time labeling anyone that opposes them on their turf as “sock puppets” and “concern trolls”. Thus, they begin to look less like movements, and more like cults. The question is, how did they get this way, and how can movements avoid becoming this way?
My point is that Civil Rights movement focused on systems change, not on helping black folks make the best of Jim Crow. State-supported segregation is gone but many systems, including the education system, continue to be racially biased. There’s nothing about the value of education that black youth haven’t heard 100 times. They just don’t trust the education system to deliver on its promise….. But there IS a reason to change the system, and we need to work to make it happen, because the history of social change is that it doesn’t happen by itself. And for all its good intentions, No Wedding No Womb not only doesn’t aim at systems change; it distracts from it.
It’s takes too damn long! The STRUCTURE is what IT IS. You and I both know we black folks have worked for structural change since the 1800’s. That mess takes time. You know it, and I know it. Also, didn’t you know that our government, the primary facilitator for “structural change” is bankrupt? THERE. IS. NO. MONEY. Combine that with the declining voting bloc of African Americans and “HOUSTON, WE HAVE A PROBLEM!”
And that, sums up the philosophy of BWE/WoS – don’t think about the future. Its too far away, and besides, it takes too long. Just work on what you can from the system now. The sad thing is, that the people who created the modern structure were in the smae place she was, but they chose to work hard and bide their time. Mises, von Hayek and the Mont Pelerin Society were the laughing stock of the economic community for thirty years, yet their neo-liberal ideas are the default economic system for the modern world. The Christian Fundamentalists that were once thought theological dunces.are now the mainstream in much of America and the Caribbean.And so it goes. It would seem that if any movement truly wants genuine change, they will have to actually grit their teeth and put in the work. Let the BWE/WoS , Human Bio-Diversity types, the (batty)manosphere and the Pick-Up Artists huddle together, and rant impotently. The rest of us have too much at stake to waste time with such foolishness.
Interested Reader: Hey Satan! I’ve recently stumbled across a subgroup of black women on the Internet called the BWE. What exactly are they?
Satanforce: Black Women’s Empowerment is a subculture of black women that believe in separating from the black community, which they view as a cesspool of nihilism and death, by intermarrying with white men. Or by learning parkour.
Interested Reader: Oh damn! Why do they feel this way?
Satanforce: Haven’t you heard? Black men beat, rape, sodomize. cheat on, disrespect, publicly humiliate, pimp, divorce and abandon black women at a rate unseen in any other race of men! But when it comes to other races of women, well – they know how to behave themselves!. Just look at the first Presidents of Senegal, Angola, Nigeria and Botswana, C.L.R. James, Cheikh Ante Diop, Richard Wright, James Farmer, W.E.B DuBois, Thurgood Marshall….. At the same time, they use black women as sacrificial mules for their little ‘movements ‘ , using black women’s labour for their own personal advancement, and to gain access to… a better class of woman.
Interested Reader: What are some these BWE websites?
Interested Reader: I’ve been reading some of these BWE blogs/websites, and boy, they are full of jargon like DBR, rainbeau, and NBAB! What does it all mean?
Satanforce: Damaged Beyond Repair (DBR) Refers to all (and only) black men. The idea is the for whatever reason, black men who are not these women’s kin are troubled misogynists, who are verbally abusive at best and serial rapists [insert white male police link] at worst. This is of course, backed up using confirmation bias ad highly circumstantial statistics.
It stands for Damaged Beyond Repair. TM Evia’s blog. Which is a person, usually a male who brings new meaning to word dysfunctional and takes out his inferiority complex and pain on unsuspecting (usually black) women. So a DBR isn’t always racially or gender based. It’s about the behavior, but the behavior tends to be displayed mostly by black males – because of all of the above
Rainbeau – A handsome non-black (but almost always white) man who is interested in an interracial relationship with a black woman. A portmanteau of Rainbow and beau.
Mammy/Sista Souljah – One of the fundamental doctrines of the BWE is that black woman handicap and martyr themselves at the altar of the black community and black men. They see these women as being caught in a trap set by black men, who use black women to fight on their behalf while castigate black women for this “fact” by condemning black women who have anything good to say about black men, or participate in civil rights as “mammies” and “Sista Souljahs.”
Guardian of all Things Dark and Lovely (GATDL) – A person or organization (eg. Abagond,Jim Crow Museum) that refutes the stereotypes about blacks through empirical, statistical or rational arguments, while at the same time taking pride in their blackness. The phrase is of course, used sarcastically.
Nothing but a brother (NBAB) – a designation given to black women whose relationships are exclusively with black men, and who enthusiastically avoid white men. The BWE ‘movement’ sees these women as a threat to their cause, as they put out the message that black women wish to have nothing to do with white, I mean , non-black men.
Interested Reader: Okay, I’m understanding now. But why do they feel that white men would be interested in them?
Satanforce: Ah! Enter the movement’s bible – Is Marriage for White People? By Ralph Richard Banks! Just by the subtitle “Get you a white man ’cause niggas ain’t shit”, you can see that this book captures the attitude of the BWE ‘movement’ perfectly! The main point is that black women (in the United States) have so outstripped their male counterparts in terms of achievements that they should look to white, I mean non-black men for relationships. Black women are more likely to marry down, when they should be marrying out (of the race.) Just look at the statistics! Twice as many black women are college graduates! And all the “good black men” are dead, in jail, gay, or worse, with a white, I mean non-black woman.
Interested Reader: I just skimmed through his book and Amazon and, well, he seems to have a point. There are definitely more than enough white men (in America) for every black woman and the relationship market is definitely messed up for black women who want black men on their level. Why should black women be held hostage to black men’s failures? I mean, these guys just go around getting black women pregnant and then abandoning them with their children? Why shouldn’t they abandon those losers and marry outside their race?
Satanforce: This is going to take some work.
There may be more than enough white men for every black woman, but there aren’t enough white men for every white women. In fact, while black women outnumber black men by 1.9 million, white women outnumber white men by 4.6 million. That’s some competition.
The idea that black men are two legged penises screwing down the damn place then running away removes any sense of responsibility from black women. Yes, black men shouldn’t be having sex without protection, but when black women have modern medical technology that allows them control of their reproductive system before, during and after intercourse, they have no excuse. They literally hold the keys to the castle.
Relationships are not some interaction between supply and demand. Too assume that would require one to make essentialist claims that fail to take into consideration the unique traits and individual characteristics of one’s partner. Relationships require work and time, not stereotypes and how-to books.
Interested Reader: Phew! I almost got caught in the Matrix there! So what do you think that the BWE should do?
Satanforce: Black woman have managed to (not undeservedly) build up a shield that effectively prevents them from being criticized. I call it the “Maury Shield.”
No matter how many times she fucks up, there’s always someone to pick her up, tell her its alright, and go after that bad old black man!! Black women do not need a million and one blogs telling them that they are beautiful and great, and wonderful. The only thing they need is to make choices and take responsibility. That is all.
Angry Black Woman responds.
Angry Black Woman: LOL Satan! You’re such a loser ! You’re just upset that you got you’re ass kicked all over the place over on Christelyn’s blog!
ABW: OK Fine! But you must admit that a black man is hardly a catch for a black woman , yes ? I mean, just look at the statistics – there are only 3 eligible black men for 100 available black women! Let me break it down for you. Its 87 black men to 100 black women, out of that 87, minus 2 black men that are gay, minus 8 black men who only want white women, minus 25 men who are felons, minus 10 blah, blah , blah….
Satanforce: That may be true, but African-American women do manage to even it out. 80 out of 100 black women are obese, leaving only 20 out of 100 black women for the majority of black men that are not chubby chasers. 37 black women are single mothers, bringing the additional burden of another man’s child into the relationship. 5 black women are in prison, 2 black women are carpet munchers, 48 black women have herpes, and 6 black women are HIV positive. So that leaves -78 black women for every 100 black men.
ABW: Wait a minute! That doesn’t make any sense? Some of those results are going to overlap! And what were the years that those studies took place? Where did those studies take place? What were the sample sizes? What is the criteria used for herpes infection? You’re messing with the statistics!!
ABW: Yeah whatever. But you must admit that more and more black women are leaving black men and the decrepit black community for, ahem greener pastures, yeah?
Satanforce: Perhaps. But I doubt that their motives are as clear as you say. I can thin of a few reasons why black women would want to cling to your little “movement”, as well as how you are counting black women who may have motives not having to do with your agenda.
Including men who want to fuck black women but not want to marry them.
Including Black women who do NOT have issues with black men even though they may have noo sexual or romantic interest inn black women
Holding black men to lower standards than white men
Women who use the BWE as a shield because they are afraid of being attacked by black people who do not approve of their relationship
ABW: Anything else?
Satanforce: Black women who just want sex from white men.
ABW: I was being sarcastic.
Satanforce: Sure. Don’t forget black women who use white men as sugar daddies.
ABW: See, that’s the thing with all you black men! You want to shame black women for making their own choices!! Well, we’re not gonna take it!!
Satanforce: No. No one was up in arms when Angela Basset co-starred with Ralph Fiennes in “Strange Days”. I still read G. Pascal Zachary’s articles,especially after he married a Nigerian woman and moved to Ghana with her. What we dislike is the blatant pleasure you all seem to get at the thought of a poor black man or a fat black woman failing. That’s the rub. You seem to believe in getting a white man and a graduate degree, not as measuring rod for personal success, but as a beating stick for those who you feel are lesser than you. The truth is, the only thing that anyone needs to feel good about themselves is the ability to make choices and take responsibility. You don’t need a white man, or any one else to make you feel good, and certainly don’t need to demonize black men feel good about yourself either. All you need do is be yourself, and love yourself. That is all.