Waking up "Black America" - Whatever that is...
By Erik Rush
Anyway, the column was well-received; even many in the mainstream media admit that the pimp in chic clothing's motives are political rather than remedial. The biggest gripe was from a woman who claimed I sold too much stuff on my website. Yes – I realize that had nothing to do with the column. It was puzzling, too: The only things I sell on my website are three of my books, which of course no one is obliged to purchase. As for shameless plugs, I try to stay away from them (by the way, I also do freelance media production and graphic design, if anyone's interested), but "we all gotta eat", as they say.
Where were we..? Ah, yes. One gentleman wondered how it was possible I could get away with saying so many things that might be considered racist. Upon recognizing me as someone of mixed race, he got his answer. Unfortunate that such things are considered in the context of truth or falsehood contingent upon the race of the source.
I wrote back to this fellow that I occasionally write about race politics; to relegate my topics solely to one issue would be silly. Much of the mail I get is from whites who are gratified to have found one more person of color who says the things they feel they cannot. Given all that, I believe that my addressing race politics (at least once in a while) is important.
So, here we go: Like many black conservatives, I eschew use of the term "African-American" for a few different reasons:
It subliminally engenders division, something I believe we need to gravitate away from rather than closer toward,
There's an unspoken – or perhaps it has been spoken – convention that one has to be left of center to have any comprehension of the American "Black Experience." I was having a conversation with my sister (who still lives in New York) the other night about a childhood friend who is now a very big wig at AOL Black Voices ("Black News for the African American Community"). Being a mega-corporate interest, the site is of the highest quality technically; it is also very mainstream media, thus very left of center, with a decidedly VH-1/MTV-feel to it. No one there would deny that "afrocentricity" (a concept I've maintained is dangerous to start with) is the main concern. Black Voices lauds the escapades of individuals such as Barack Obama and Russell Simmons, is replete with scantily-clad black vixens and generally spoon-feeds black Americans urbanized, liberal, entertainment industry ideals.
To oppose AOL's right to promote Black Voices would be absurd and immoral. Also immoral, in my view, would be failure to point out that urbanized, liberal, entertainment industry ideals are extraordinarily destructive. It's admirable that hip-hop mogul Simmons is using some of his money to teach black South Africans to cut diamonds, which has the potential to significantly improve that nation's economy; my complaint is that Simmons made his money selling spirit poison to young black Americans.
And that's the crux of it: Whether one is discussing blacks or another ethnic minority in America, it's the propagandists and profiteers in the social activist arena who won't let us simply be Americans. If confronted, they reflexively deflect blame for this deficiency toward whites. Depriving blacks of their afrocentricity in itself is racist, don'tcha know – which leaves anyone who desires to intelligently discuss the matter between sharp pointy rocks and a hard place.
"White America don't want us to have our cultcha." I've publicly scrutinized this retort of theirs before. Why is it that only the baser and more hedonistic aspects of this "cultcha" are always the ones being defended? What about the spirituality, social and moral conservatism blacks embraced before the Democrat Party switched gears, corrupted the black clergy and began to enslave blacks through dependence rather than segregation and intimidation? What about blacks' ability to maintain their dignity and develop a thriving sub-culture during the age of segregation? What about the moral character it took to forgive and try to work with their former oppressors?
Trying to explain how such vehicles are self-serving and divisive over shouts of "racist!" or "race traitor!" are next to impossible. It appears the nature of blacks' sociopolitical awakening is that it must come to one in one's own time – if it comes at all.
One blessing, ironically enough, is the Internet and the general expansion of informational venues in media. No doubt this has aided in the proliferation of black conservatism in recent years. While Black Voices and the like are indeed out there, there are also places a young black person can explore and come away with the realization that liberalism in America has morphed into international socialism, that the Democrat Party was the party of slavery, that it was the Democrat Party that tried to vote down the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and that Abraham Lincoln, Martin Luther King and Johnny Ramone were Republicans.
I know: Johnny Ramone was white. I just wanted to see if you were awake.
Erik Rush is a New York-born columnist and author who writes a weekly column of political fare. He is also Acting Associate Editor and Publisher for the New Media Alliance, Inc. The New Media Alliance is a non-profit (501c3) national coalition of writers, journalists and grass-roots media outlets. An archive containing links to his writing is at www.ErikRush.com.. His new book, "It's the Devil, Stupid!" is available through most major outlets. His new book, Annexing Mexico, is scheduled for release shortly.
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