Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Brother X-Squared at the Movies or Transformers 2: Revenge of the Fallen Reviewed--Tricknology and the White Man's Demagoguery

The We Are Respectable Negroes News Network (WARNNN) is proud to announce a new project: Brother X-Squared at the Movies. This new series will feature one of our most popular commentators and his unique perspective on the art, aesthetics, and politics of film. Brother X-Squared is a true Renaissance man and we know that his series will soon grow to become one of WARNNN's most popular features. For his first installment, Brother X-Squared offers his feelings on the soon to be Hollywood blockbuster movie, Transformers 2: Revenge of the Fallen.


Transformer 2: Revenge of the Fallen is perfectly titled. It is an example of the fallen white man. It an example of how the white man has tried to make the Black man fall to his level. It is an example of how the white man uses tricknology to try to create the fall of the Black man. In short, Transformers 2 is a prime example of the white man's duplicitous evil--but as our honored elders teach us, all Nubian warriors should study this film because it contains truths that are mixed with lies, and as Asian god knowledge warrior Sun-Tzu taught, we must know our enemies as well as ourselves in order to be victorious in battle.

Transformers 2 is a story about giant robots from the planet Cybertron who have brought their thousand year long battle to the planet Earth. The plot points are irrelevant because as that white race mixer Roger Ebert said, "If you want to save yourself the ticket price, go into the kitchen, cue up a male choir singing the music of hell, and get a kid to start banging pots and pans together. Then close your eyes and use your imagination."

You see, this is how tricknology works! It lulls you into a mindstate where you are receptive to the manipulation of your subliminals. Michael Bay, as an instrument of Zionist controlled Hollywood is a master of mind control and mental warfare. Consider how all of his movies have denigrated the Black man--Bad Boys 1 and 2 (what I like to call the Will Smith happy rapping negro meets doing the monkey shine Martin Lawrence); Armageddon (with that "magical", foolish, ape-like negro Michael Clark Duncan from the movie, The Green Mile); and Titanic where he doesn't even show the Black passengers (except for the good negro servants who instead of escaping continue to play music for their white social betters) on that boat and dares to waste 3 hours of our time waiting for a bunch of ice people to get their comeuppance from an iceberg. Just like the Nazi propagandists in World War 2, Michael Bay is an expert at implanting images into our subconscious in order to control our emotions.

Thus, and in keen fashion, Transformers 2 is an assault on the positive Afro-Asiatic mindstate that Nubians in America need to develop in order to protect ourselves from psychic violation by the white man. For example, we have worked long and hard to rewrite the white man's lies about Egypt. In Bay's version, this greatest of civilizations was populated by white people that looked like Elizabeth Taylor and Kirk Douglas--and don't ever forget how that devil John Wayne was cast as colored military genius, Genghis Khan.

Transformers 2 perpetrates an even more wicked lie.

In Bay's movie, the villains of the film, the Decepticons have actually hidden a machine that destroys the sun inside the Great Pyramid of Giza! Yes, OUR great pyramid, one of the greatest marvels of the ancient world. And here is where the white man's tricknology is so very deep, his attack on Nubian consciousness so profound, that this foul machine is designed to destroy the sun! Yes, the very life essence of the Afro-Asiatic man as a sun person! In short, the Decepticons are actually trying to commit genocide against the Black man in the service of the white, ice people. This wickedness is hidden in plain sight for all to see and for our children to internalize: Transformers 2 is a movie about the genocidal destruction of the Black man. It is the white man's wish fulfillment brought to life.

Transformers 2 is multilayered in how it attacks the Black man. Again, as I love to say, the white man is playing 3 dimensional Star Trek chess while you negro, lapdog, Obama post-racial types are playing a game of spades or checkers. In the mythology of the movie, there were several original "Primes" who made a pact to never destroy life as they searched the galaxy for suns to consume. To understand why this is important you need a deep understanding of the subtleties of the Black man's life force. The Black man needs the sun. As Gods we actually consume its heat and energy, but just like the Primes, we would never destroy life in order to satisfy our needs. The Black man as sun king is a life giver not a life destroyer, he is a positive not a negative. Inevitably, one of these legendary Primes decides to break this rule and to destroy the Earth. The other Primes then sacrifice themselves in order to stop him. Who is this betrayer? "The Fallen" of the movie's title.

Again, truths mixed with lies. This story is directly out of the teachings of Black genius Elijah Muhammed!

The fallen character who creates all of this violence and mischief in the movie is a proverbial fallen angel, who is in turn exiled and defeated by the Primes. In parallel, just like Elijah Muhammed taught us, the white man is actually an invention of an evil scientist named Yakub who betrayed the wisdom of the Gods. In Transformers 2, the Decepticons are direct descendants of this fallen Prime. And notice the name: "Decepticon" equals "deception." Again, the wisdom offered by the Afro-Asiatic transcendent mindstate proves revelatory. Just as the white man is a natural deceiver, the Decepticons are naturally evil!

The heroes of the film are led by Optimus Prime--the last of these legendary Primes. He is loyal to humanity and is compelled to be honorable and righteous. Again, Transformers 2 assaults the mental defenses of the Black man. Optimus is a slave to the white man's will! He is self-sacrificing and willing to do anything to protect the white man's world. Optimus, as in thinking optimistically--one of the tenets of the strong and righteous Afrocentric mental state--is noble, but again, here is Michael Bay's trickery, he is the leader of the "heroes," the Autobots, who are actively assaulting Black personhood.

The movie features any number of denigrating references to the Black man. President Obama, that halfrican leader of respectable negroes, is depicted as a coward who runs away when the Decepticons attack the world. There is a sad, indentured servant-like negro with rotten teeth who works in the foul, swine soiled butcher shop of one of the human protagonists (a Jewish character with a "pubic hair" like afro) so that he can buy some new teeth from the Sky Mall magazine...yes, the Sky Mall magazine--that level of wickedness is so multifaceted that I am still trying to figure out the racially coded meaning behind that allusion.

The worst and most foul of these assaults on the Black man are the two Autobot twins named "Mudflap" and "Skids." These characters are worse than that coon Jar Jar Binks from those hellish Star Wars movies. Apparently, these robots are the bastard offspring of that minstrel hip-hopper Lil Jon and coon extraordinaire Stepin Fetchit. Mudflap and Skids (names that are intentionally close to the racist slurs "mud people" and "spics") are lazy, uncooperative, and need to be "disciplined" like uppity slaves by an overseer named "Bumblebee" (who in another time would sting the captive Nubians with his whip).

The level of the wickedness on display in this movie knows no limits as these two robot Sambos are illiterate, have gold teeth (but their pants aren't sagging, thank goodness), and speak in the most stereotypical, nouveau slave, urban, hip hop, pidgin English imaginable. The worst part of Transformer 2's use of these images is that the fools in the theater with me were laughing at this nonsense! Yes, Black, brown, red, and yellow alike were cackling like they were hyenas! I could understand the white devils enjoying this visual assault on Black people, but for the melanin empowered people to not see how they are being violated, truly boggles the mind. Again, white supremacy is the greatest tricknology of all time and the white man is a master at deploying it in ways both subtle and gross.

The ways of white folks which are on display in Transformers 2 are clear to all mentally empowered and intelligent Nubians. Where by contrast, the white man's tricknology distracts you simpleton neo-slave, negroes with a "hero" in Optimus Prime so that any charges of racism will be diffused, all the while socializing you into believing the most pernicious stereotypes of Black humanity--stereotypes which you all internalize and reproduce.

In my Afrocentric, black god, transcendent and mentally empowered analysis of politics, art, and culture, I always return to the natural depravity of the white man and how through sex he has waged a long battle against the Black man's spirituality and rightful place as ruler over the Black family. Because he is a natural sex deviant, the white man cannot help but insert his fascination with unnatural sexual acts into his films and "culture."

Transformers 2
has many such instances. The film itself is full of inter-species sex and miscegenation between humans and robots (one of which is naturally disguised as a white woman!). Shockingly, some of the sex in this movie is even bestial in nature. Transformer 2's worst and most depraved use of sex in order to humiliate the Afro-Asiatic Black man involves the movies climax where a giant robot named Devastator is assaulting the Great Pyramid of Giza. This monstrosity of a thing is tearing down one of the greatest marvels of Black genius while his testicles, yes his robot testicles, are swinging in the face of one of the human characters. Sick and gross.

This is the ultimate example of the wickedness of the white man's tricknology on display in this film: Devastator is doing what the white sex freaks call "tea bagging" (a sex act where a man puts his testicles and scrotum in another person's face...and not coincidentally "tea bagging" is also the name for what those closeted, white, perverted conservatives called their wannabe lynching party "protests" a few months back). Ultimately, Devastator was metaphorically putting his deceptive, foul, testicles quite literally in the face of the Black man's history and legacy.

Transformers 2: Revenge of the Fallen is an assault on Nubian consciousness. But, as good warriors, you are obligated to see this foul film in order to be fully prepared in all things as we battle the white man's wickedness.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Now Introducing Jim Crow 2.0--Those Poor, Oppressed, Conservative White Men Certainly do Need to be "Liberated" or Where is Limbaugh's MLK?

Jim Crow 2.0 has a certain ring to it, no? Courtesy of Alternet:

Whiny Conservatives: How Dare Rich White Guys Cry About Oppression?

In a a June 12 column titled "Miss Affirmative Action 2009," Patrick Buchanan observed, regarding Judge Sonia Sotomayor's stellar academic career, "To salve their consciences for past societal sins, the Ivy League is deep into discrimination again, this time with white males as victims rather than as beneficiaries. One prefers the old bigotry. At least it was honest ..."

Here then is a common lament among white conservative men; from listening to Buchanan and other rich, old conservative pundits, one would think that they were the most oppressed minority in America today. Often, they go so far as to imply their "suffering" is far worse than that experienced by African Americans during the darkest twilight before the successes of the civil rights movement.

In the maelstrom that has followed President Barack Obama's nomination of Sotomayor to the Supreme Court, the right-wing media have crafted a political narrative of white male oppression, exclusion and victimization.

Their solution? Crying about Jim Crow 2.0 -- the idea that the white man is treated unfairly -- and absurdly claiming for themselves a 21st century "civil rights movement" to "free" white men from so-called oppression. They see this as a moment when America's moral conscience should be aroused in the defense of white men as victims of racism and prejudice.

One could reasonably suggest that this agenda is laughable, clumsy and necessarily hamstrung by the hypocrisy of the agents involved.

As a matter of practical politics, the shrill labeling of Sotomayor as a "racist" and "intellectual lightweight" has threatened to further stigmatize the Republican Party as out of step with the political mainstream. Moreover, the very idea that the likes of Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity or Buchanan, a veritable rogue's gallery of the intolerant and bigoted, would have the moral weight or ethical authority to speak on issues of social justice (in any context) is itself absurd.

The deployment of the politics of grievance and reverse racism by the right proceeds from a well-worn script that is decades, if not centuries, old. Consequently, there exists a very real temptation to ignore the narrative of white victimhood that is generated by Jim Crow 2.0, precisely because its foundations appear to be so weak and illegitimate.

Thus, the relative silence by black public intellectuals and others on Jim Crow 2.0. Herein lays the greatest danger: This reimagining of history reveals a lack of critical language with which to discuss racism in the Age of Obama, as well as the ostensibly "post-racial" future which his election symbolizes.

Moreover, Jim Crow 2.0 is the logical result of a conservative, colorblind politics that has triumphantly succeeded in fashioning a political reality where the very discussion of race or racial inequality by progressives is itself smeared as illegitimate and racist.

With Jim Crow 2.0, the politics of race in America have witnessed a perverse inversion wherein "playing the race card" is now the exclusive province of white men -- the most economically, socially and politically privileged class in the United States.

Unpacking Jim Crow 2.0

The right's positioning of white men as victims of racism involves an appropriation of the justice claims made by the civil rights movement. In Jim Crow 2.0, oppressed white men are the newest victims of racism, discrimination and inequality. Within this fictional world, the racial order has been so upset by the election of Obama that reverse racism against white Americans (an oxymoron that itself demands engagement and rebuttal) is now the rule of the land.

The assertion that white men are oppressed is a tactically sound move that accomplishes two goals. First, it positions conservatives and the Republican Party as the true defenders of equality, justice and freedom in America. Second, it mocks the centuries-long efforts by African Americans for freedom, equality and the fruits of full citizenship.

The sum result of these maneuvers is that the "struggle" to "liberate" white men from "reverse racism" and "oppression" is made the primary civil rights issue of our time. To accomplish this goal, the right-wing media ape and parrot the symbolism and language of the civil rights movement.

For example, Buchanan, in his discussions of the Frank Ricci case in Connecticut, repeatedly references the evils of Jim Crow and the unfair hiring practices that were used to deny black Americans equal access to jobs and promotions. Likewise, in Buchanan's discussions of Sotomayor and her oft-cited comment that a "wise Latina" judge could potentially make better legal decisions than a White male judge, he suggests that her confirmation will serve to revive the evils of "separate but equal" as embodied by the infamous United States Supreme Court case, Plessy v. Ferguson.

The assertion that white men are an oppressed class in America is a given and working assumption for Buchanan -- an assumption and premise that goes largely unchallenged by the mainstream media.

Limbaugh also works diligently and steadily to advance the narrative of Jim Crow 2.0. On an almost-daily basis he conflates political partisanship with the systematic racism historically experienced by black Americans. For him, Obama is a reverse racist, who like "the other minorities" has learned "how to use anger" against white people as a weapon to advance his political career.

In opposition to the Democratic Party, Limbaugh refuses "to sit in the back of the bus" like the other Republicans. Limbaugh is not "oppressed" because he continues to resist, while the other Republicans are afraid of "fire hoses" and "police dogs."

Limbaugh refuses to drink from the "colored" water fountain. Undeterred, he references the political thuggery of such racial terrorists as Bull Connor and asserts that the Democrats are "standing in the schoolhouse door." As one of the prime architects of Jim Crow 2.0, Limbaugh depicts himself as a freedom fighter who against all odds will push these bullies aside as he works to advance the conservative agenda. In effect, Limbaugh reduces the black freedom struggle to a petty politics of partisan maneuvering within a narrative of white male grievance and victimhood.

As they work to legitimate a narrative in which white men are victims of oppression and racism, the architects of Jim Crow 2.0 have revealed a deep understanding of the symbolic power afforded to "heroic" figures. To that end, the right needs its freedom riders, Rosa Parks and Martin Luther Kings in order to communicate the righteousness of their cause.

In keeping with this strategy, Sean Hannity has rechristened the firefighters in New Haven, Conn., who were denied promotions because of a questionable exam as "the New Haven 20." It is a clear allusion to the Little Rock Nine, a group of schoolchildren who in 1957, under protection of the United States military, braved threats of violence and death in order to integrate their local school in Little Rock, Ark.

Frank Ricci, the "leader" of the New Haven 20 has been valorized. In the version of events offered by Hannity, Ricci, a dyslexic, studied day and night with the assistance of tutors in order to pass the exam for promotion only to see his hard-earned opportunity denied him by a lawsuit filed by the city of New Haven on behalf of a group of "unqualified" African American firefighters. For Jim Crow 2.0, Ricci is Rosa Parks, and the upcoming Supreme Court hearing of his case will be the equivalent of Brown v. Board of Education.

Who Bears Responsibility?

The ability of the right to mine white racial resentment as the fuel for Jim Crow 2.0 is not surprising given the long relationship between white racial resentment and identity politics in American society. In keeping with this precedent, the ability and willingness of the right to quite literally play with history as it rewrites the civil rights movement, an event of radical energy and liberal aspirations, for the purposes of racially conservative and reactionary politics is also to be expected.

However, what is surprising is the preponderance of silence by African American pundits, critics and public intellectuals in combating Jim Crow 2.0. While it embodies a set of political values that are seen as increasingly marginal in American politics, the ability of Jim Crow 2.0 to gain traction, and to persist for as long as it has, signals a divide of experience, memory and values that may be deeper than previously imagined.

Could a failure to critically engage Jim Crow 2.0 be a result of an inability and unwillingness on the part of Americans to think critically about the relationship between racism, history and inequality? Likewise, does Jim Crow 2.0 resonate with its audience because Americans (white, black and brown alike) are afraid to ask if white privilege is in any way unsettled or challenged by the election of Barack Obama as president of the United States? Most importantly, how does this narrative of white male oppression and victimhood complicate the continued struggle for full racial equality and justice in the Age of Obama?

Ultimately, Jim Crow 2.0 will continue to have life to the degree that these questions remain unasked and unanswered.

Monday, June 22, 2009

On the Senate's Apology for Slavery, Chris Matthews' Confusion, and a Bit of a History Lesson or Yes, the North Owes Us an Apology for Slavery Too

I like Chris Matthews a great deal. I find his interviews to be sharp, incisive, and rigorous. But, he isn't much of a historian. Luckily, I have friends who are. Introducing our newest guest blogger, Thaddeus Stevens, who kindly offers Chris Matthews a little American History 101 on the North's role in America's slaveocracy.


"Stop talking about the South. As long as you're south of the Canadian border, you're South."

Malcolm X "The Ballot or the Bullet" (1964)

Brother Malcolm might have been talking directly to Chris Matthews of MSNBC, whose anti-historical outburst against the South during his interview of two southern Congressmen on Thursday afternoon has floated around the web.

Let's get our history straight. Slavery was an institution legal in all of the 13 Colonies and briefly legal in all of the founding 13 states of the United States. Slavery's legitimacy was supported by provisions omitted from the Declaration of Independence and inserted into the U.S. Constitution. While not all of the figures rated as Founding Fathers were slaveholders, they all compromised explicitly with the continued legality of slavery. Nor was slavery a minor institution in early America. Blacks, mostly enslaved, constituted about 20% of the population in 1776 and again in 1790 at the time of the first U.S. Census.

While Vermont, Massachusetts, and New Hampshire led the way with early abolition measures, other states in the historical North moved much more slowly, such that there were a number of slaves in New Jersey who were freed by the ratification of the 13th Amendment to the Constitution: the very provision that ended slavery in much of the South.

So, if the South wasn't solely responsible for slavery, then it certainly was the cradle of race prejudice and discrimination, right? Well, not exactly. Alexis de Tocqueville, writing about America in the 1830s, noted that race prejudice was least obvious in the South where slavery prevailed. It was much more strident in states where slavery had been abolished and was even more marked in states and territories where slavery had never existed. Race riots, which before the 1960s consisted almost exclusively of white mobs attacking blacks and other people of color, were practically nonexistent in the South before Emancipation but prevalent in the North where black men and women were free. Perhaps the greatest urban riot in American history, the New York uprising of July, 1863--a combined anti-conscription and anti-black pogrom--focused on the black communities of Manhattan. Blacks in the North and Midwest had to arm themselves against violence from their ostensible neighbors in the free states.

Segregation or "Jim Crow" was born in northern cities (see C. Vann Woodward, The Strange Career of Jim Crow.) Philadelphia and New York were in process of becoming racially segregated while Richmond, Savannah, and New Orleans had essentially residential integration. Surely, slavery ruled race relations in those latter cities--all southern--but the differences in appearance of say Philadelphia and New Orleans in 1850 was there for all to see. Philly had a ghetto (still does) while blacks and Creoles lived all over the "Big Easy." The laws of slavery governed often even free blacks in the South. The "law" of the mob governed free blacks in the North. Barred from the vote, the jury box, and many economic pursuits in much of the North, many free blacks could be excused for not being able to tell the difference between 'freedom' in the free states and slavery in the slave states. Indeed, after Congress extended slaveholders' power into the North through a new Fugitive Slave Act, many black women and men found that true freedom lay far to the north, in the British Dominions of Canada to which they fled. (Frederick Douglass departed upstate New York for Canada upon receiving news of John Brown's capture at Harper's Ferry in 1859. Despite the fact that Douglass had cautioned against an armed uprising against slavery led by Brown, he knew that an uppity black man would find scant justice at trial for treason in these United States.)

Let's not forget the Civil War. The Confederate nation was certainly proclaimed to protect and extend slavery but the North didn't initially fight the C.S.A. for purposes of Emancipation. We can take President Abraham Lincoln's word on that. The Civil War, one of the most profoundly transformative events to ever occur in the U.S. is not a simple subject. The North didn't set out to free slaves and not all southerners defended secession. If one counts blacks as southerners, 33% or more of residents of the eleven Confederate states served the C.S.A. under threat of violence and prayed, worked, and finally fought to preserve the Union. Moreover, there were nearly 200,000 WHITE Union regular and irregular soldiers, probably representing 2,000,000 of the South's civilian population. Meanwhile, there were areas in the North with strong Confederate sympathies, not least New York City (then consisting only of Manhattan.) The Union military was full of officers who were born in the South and the C.S.A. military had more than a few officers born in the North. Tennessee split, with the eastern part turning towards the Union. Virginia split permanently, with its western mountain region rejoining the Union. Conscription resistance, partly a sign of lukewarm support for the larger Union, was epic in parts of upstate New York, rural Pennsylvania, and rural Ohio.

Lincoln, the Emancipator, was born in Kentucky, a slave state, and married into a prominent slave holding family there. Robert E. Lee early in the Civil War executed his father-in-law's will to manumit his considerable estate of enslaved people: late in the War, Lee wanted to emancipate black men and recruit them into the Confederate armies.

What I think a reasonable person should conclude from all of this is that the United States is a very complex country but one country through it all. There are regional differences and yes, the North did generally fight the South during the Civil War. But the American South is not our historical scapegoat to be sent out into the desert to die for our sins; for all of our sins. The South is not in the Caribbean or South America. The South is as American as...pecan pie. Today, as in the past, people born in the South migrate to other parts of the country and this is and always has been reciprocated. While the South didn't get much immigration from abroad after 1810 during the 19th century that is no longer the case. The modern South is an international immigration destination.

Let's lay down the bloody shirt at long last, Chris. Even my namesake, a Civil War-era Pennsylvania politician who was called "the scourge of the South" didn't think the South was all bad. He worked for enfranchisement of nearly one million black men in the South during Reconstruction and tried to enact land reform for them and for white men loyal to the Union, too. Not even the "radicals" he led wanted to read southerners out of the American family if they pledged their loyalty to the Union and gave up slavery. And while my namesake also wanted racial equality in America, that hope plus a nickel wouldn't have gotten him a cup of coffee anywhere in his Congressional District in central Pennsylvania back then, and he knew it.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

A Cure for the Dating Crisis Between Black Men and Black Women--Gordon Gartrelle Dreams Up a Foreign Exchange Program: Grass-Eating Boys for Baby Boys

Slate recently ran a piece about soushoku danshi or “grass-eating boys,” the Japanese men who are rejecting sex, materialist consumption, and competitive careers, all of which defined the popular image of Japanese manhood in the ‘80s. Grass-eating boys are not only viewed as undesirable by many Japanese women; these beta males are blamed for contributing to Japan’s dwindling birthrate and slumping economy.

The piece continues,

[grass-eating boys are] often close to their mothers and have female friends, but they're in no rush to get married themselves, according to Maki Fukasawa, the Japanese editor and columnist who coined the term in NB Online in 2006.

Why do these guys seem so familiar?

I’ve got it! They’re like baby boys, the hopeless man-children who are considered unsuitable partners for black women and who have long been blamed for hindering the black underclass. Let’s give this comparison a more thorough treatment:

As is clear from this scientific approach, grass-eating boys and baby boys are surprisingly similar, with the exception of their dispositions toward sex.

Let’s conduct a little thought experiment: What would happen if we switched the two populations, i.e., sent our black baby boys to Japan and brought the grass-eating boys to the U.S. to live among black folks? Since this is simply an exercise in thought, we could disregard the many practical obstacles (apparently, grass-eating boys don’t like to travel outside of Japan, and baby boys would need clearance from their parole officers to leave the States).

So let’s say black baby boys go to Japan:

1. Japanese women would get their hypermasculine alpha males.

2. Japan’s birthrates would soar (we all know how fertile these baby boys are)

3. The Japanese economy is boosted by the increased consumption of goods (just think about the amount baby boys would spend on shoes alone).

4. Baby boys would get to have fun with unfulfilled Japanese women.

5. America would shed a largely unproductive population.

6. There would probably a spike in Japanese crime rates and fatherless children.

This last one is troublesome, but the benefits would outweigh the drawbacks.

Now let’s imagine the grass-eating boys coming to the U.S., where they would encounter a wealth of single professional black women. Nothing would happen because these black women and grass-eating boys wouldn’t date each other.

First of all, we would have to pretend that professional black women are as open to dating non-black men as they claim to be (in tones that make their interracial dating sound like either an ultimatum to black men or a consolation prize).

Grass-eating boys have the same major flaws as baby boys, namely limited career ambitions and indifference to marriage. Sistas have been there, done that. And while it's probably not a big deal that grass-eating boys won’t buy nice things, it’s definitely a problem that they aren’t really about sex. Stereotypes aside, a meh attitude toward laying pipe simply won't fly with sistas, despite how much they lament black men's supposed oversexedness.

Damn, even in a thought experiment sistas can’t win .

Glenn Beck's New Low, pt 2: The Discreet Charm of Ayn Rand

I am without apology in my love of bringing in my friends so that we can go all G-Force on those knuckleheads who dare to oppose us! Accordingly, Werner Herzog's Bear is back at it again with his sequel to Glenn Beck's New Low Part 1:

Last time I went over the reasons why Nazism was and is a product of the extreme political Right. Again, it pained to even have to make such an assertion, which is about as obvious as saying that the earth is round and the pope is Catholic.

If you remember the clip of Glenn Beck and his guest claiming Nazism and racism are products of the Left, they used the specious rationale that the Right is all about individual freedom, and the Left is all about collectivism. How those who are against a woman's right to choose, are in favor (mostly) of prosecuting the "war on drugs," against allowing gay people to marry, and who howled "treason" at anyone who protested the war in Iraq are all about individual rights is beyond me.

Beck's guest was Harry Biswanger of the Ayn Rand Institute, and his assertions about "collectivism" reflect the usual Randian fallacies:

"Well, this Von Brunn's culture is a tribe of racist, anti-Jewish, anti-Negro, anti-immigrant, everything, and therefore he's a phenomenon of the left, because racism is a form of collectivism. The right wing is individualist -- believes in individual rights, freedom, the dignity of each individual life. But it's the left wing -- you know, Hitler was National Socialism, right? It's a leftist phenomenon."

Ah yes, no one on the Right spouts "anti-immigrant" rhetoric! And no one in that camp would ever make oblique, dog-whistle references to George Soros' Judaism, surely not! (In my search for this link I saw some scary, scary stuff. Just putting his name into Google will reveal all the evidence you need that anti-Semitism is alive and well on the Right.) And no one on the Right would ever casually send out "anti-Negro" (wtf with that terminology, by the way?) materials and "humor" to their co-workers, or even broadcast such offensive things over the airwaves.


As I've already demonstrated, the Right has plenty of collectivist tendencies. (Like the Left, the Right is "collectivist" in certain areas and "individualist" in others, it's just that Randians don't have any grasp of subtlety.) Oddly enough, voices on the conservative right have been cloaking their appeals to in-group solidarity and hatred of those who don't belong (Beck's "we surround them") with paens to the radical individualism of Ayn Rand. Michelle Malkin and others have talked stridently of "going Galt," referring to the hero of Rand's thickest pile of literary dross, Atlas Shrugged. The love to claim that they are truly "Libertarians" at heart, even when supporting a war intended to bring democracy at the point of a tax-funded bayonet.

It's hard for me to rip the Randian fascination better than Colbert did, but I'll try. I should admit at the top that my reading of her is limited to some of her more analytic essays. They tried to justify a philosophy so self-centered and anti-social that it borders on the sociopathic. We are social animals, after all, and to deny that fact, as Rand does, denies one of the very things that makes us human beings.

Rand's Objectivism meshes well with the immature solipsism of adolescence, a time when just about everyone doesn't want to do what their told, and thinks no one understands them. This pretty well explains the popularity of Objectivism among teenagers and young adults, who are easily swayed by simple answers and any philosophy that makes them feel more important and tells them to make themselves happy, anyone else be damned. Most of the Rand-lovers I know rejected it once they grew up and experienced the complexity of life in the adult world. (In that way there are some interesting connections to be made between Objectivism and radical Marxism.)

Unfortunately, when they still subscribe to Objectivism, the little Randians prostlytize with missionary zeal. A friend in college pressed a copy of The Fountainhead into my hands as if it were holy writ, imploring me to digest it. I could only get ten pages in, considering that it contained prose more wooden than the USS Constitution. I was wary anyway after many intense arguments with a high school friend who adored Rand and called anything to the Left of her "socialism." As someone who admires the teachings of Jesus and the Buddha, I was and am horrified that anyone would try to portray basic human empathy and altruism to be evil. Being aware of history, I knew that in the nineteenth century laissez-faire capitalism had failed as miserably as Soviet communism in the twentieth, so I wasn't exactly enchanted by that facet of Rand's thought either. (If anyone doubts me read Dickens or witness the recent fruits of financial deregulation.)

For some reason that's a hard fact for many 19 year olds to grasp, however, especially those with a middle class or wealthy background. Rand's myopic understanding of human nature allows them to think of the social standing they were born into as something that they have earned, and the grinding poverty endured by others as a product of laziness and therefore undeserving of help. Rand's readers, like Beck's viewers, embrace this conceit and can conveniently think of themselves as Galt-like rugged individualists, even if the American middle class is highly funded by the federal government. (Interstate highways connecting cities to suburbs, the home mortage deduction, subsidized student loans, state universities, Social Security, Medicare, etc.)

And what is Glenn Beck, if not a contrarian 19 year old Rand disciple grown up to be a raving liar on national television? Of course, like my friends who finally sold off Atlas Shrugged at the used bookstore, he outgrew Rand, too. Her "individualist" ideas are a fig leaf cloaking Beck's inherently collective mindset, one that sees shadowy enemies everywhere who are out to destroy America. (In the clip at the top, he even put liberal professors like me in the crosshairs, so I take this personally.) I'm not fooled by the talk of "individualism." His use of the Big Lie (which I mentioned last time), extreme paranoia, messianic nationalism, thinly veiled appeals to violent revolution, and constant villainization of groups supposedly primed to give America a "stab in the back" reminds me of a certain "collectivist" movement he is at such obvious pains to distance himself from.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Self-Interest as a Compelling Argument in Favor of Affirmative Action

"One lesson that I have derived from participating in this debate, for heaven knows how many years, is the simple-minded assumption that you either deserve to be there or you don’t. There isn’t just one index of merit, and the point of admissions is not to bestow gold stars on people who’ve done well before, to predict the future. It’s to choose students to invest in who are going to make the university better and are going to make society better. Those are bets on the future."--William G. Bowen

As the Sotomayor debate ramps up (again) in the next few weeks, here is a reasoned voice on affirmative action from The New Yorker. Surprise! Major corporations, the U.S. military, and institutions of higher education support "affirmative action" because they have learned that a diverse pool of talent is in their immediate material self-interest. As my parents said, "don't trust folks to act rightly, trust them to act in the interest of their pocketbooks"--anti-climactic but often a perspective that is little heard in this emotion filled debate.

School Days

William G. Bowen joined the faculty of Princeton in 1958. He became provost in 1967 and served as president of Princeton from 1972, the year Sonia Sotomayor matriculated as a freshman, until 1988. At Princeton, Bowen was involved in the decision to admit women to the university and recruit more minority applicants and faculty, and his 1998 book, “The Shape of the River,” co-written with the former Harvard University president Derek Bok, was the first extensive study of affirmative action in university admissions.

Bowen will be releasing another book this fall with new research into equity and access in American higher education. We sat down in his office at the Mellon Foundation on Wednesday morning. An edited transcript of our conversation follows.

You became president of Princeton University, in 1972, at the same time Sonia Sotomayor arrived as a student. Do you remember her?

Oh, very well. I remember her extremely well. The reason I remember her extremely well is, first, she was a presence. Not in the sense that she was someone who pushed herself on you, which she never did—it’s not her character at all—but just because of what she did, how accomplished she was. You couldn’t help but notice a student that exceptional.

She was chosen—I was one of the people who did the choosing—as the Pyne Prize winner in her class. That’s the highest prize Princeton bestows on undergraduates, given to a student with a record of excellent academics. But you can’t be considered for the Pyne Prize unless you’re more than that. It’s for leadership, it’s for being a responsible citizen of the university community, and she had it all. She had, as they say these days, the full package. And so we chose her and I presented the prize to her at alumni day and she was a great recipient.

About halfway through her time at Princeton, she filed a petition to the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare. What was it?

It was a complaint that the university was not doing enough to hire and advance Latino and Hispanic faculty members, and to recruit students. That was, I’m sure in some respects, true, and she, as a student, wanted things to happen faster than in fact it was possible for them to happen. All of this takes time, and patience, and effort, which on some level she certainly understood.

But I’m sure she felt, as others did, Let’s put a little pressure on the system and see if we can’t get things to move faster. And someone observed that the university did quite a bit better—in fact, a lot better—along these lines before the petition was ever actually reviewed or handled in the government.

Critics of Sotomayor have made a couple of complaints about her Princeton years. One is that she got preferential treatment, and the second is that she showed all of this resentment toward the institution and focussed on the negative, even though she eventually joined Princeton’s board of trustees. What’s your response to that? And why do you think there’s been such an intense focus on a fifty-four-year-old’s experiences when she was in college?

Well, I think she has said, correctly, that her move from Cardinal Spellman High School to a different environment was a formative experience. I think that she grew considerably during her undergraduate years. They changed her, just as she changed the institution, so in that sense it’s appropriate for people to look back on those days.

But I think the criticisms that you identified are entirely off-the-mark. This is a woman of enormous ability. She was going to succeed and going to thrive wherever she was, in any setting. And she did. She accomplished what she accomplished because she was good! I mean, not only was she incredibly smart, as I think there’s plenty of evidence to demonstrate, but she was ... very steady and mature. Remarkably mature. That’s one of the things I remember about her.

And so she put her talents to very good use, to very constructive use. Now on the question of resentment, I don’t think she resented the university at all. I think she saw the university as an excellent university, but she thought it could be better! And it needed to be better. So did I.

She worked very purposefully, but always constructively, to take a good place and make it better. When she received the Pyne Prize, she was certainly very gracious and very generous in her response. I think she’s stayed involved in Princeton over the years because she cared about the place.

If Sotomayor was going to succeed no matter what, then what role do affirmative-action programs play for people like her?

Well. There are not that many Sonia Sotomayors in the world. There just are not. The whole purpose of affirmative-action programs isn’t to find the one-in-a-thousand Sonia Sotomayor, but to diversify campus communities and to identify people of promise who would do well, but who didn’t necessarily have all the qualities and characteristics that she had.

I think the book that Derek Bok and I wrote demonstrates empirically how well the minority students who were recruited to these selective universities performed. And how well they performed after college.

One of the striking findings in “The Shape of the River” is that the civic contributions and engagements of the minority graduates of these selective universities were far greater than the civic commitments and contributions of their white classmates. Now that was in part, of course, because there was a need for them. American society needed a wider array of talent and they have, in remarkable measure, met that need.

What would you say is the one misconception that you keep on encountering when you look at the current debate over affirmative action?

One lesson that I have derived from participating in this debate, for heaven knows how many years, is the simple-minded assumption that you either deserve to be there or you don’t. There isn’t just one index of merit, and the point of admissions is not to bestow gold stars on people who’ve done well before, to predict the future. It’s to choose students to invest in who are going to make the university better and are going to make society better. Those are bets on the future.

In the introduction to the paperback of “The Shape of the River,” Glenn Loury wrote that the debate over affirmative action revolves around two competing claims: the procedure-based morality of “color neutrality” and the outcome-oriented morality of racial justice.

The way many Americans learn about civil rights—the way I learned about Rosa Parks in second grade—very much focusses on color blindness. The idea of racial justice often coexists uneasily with that basic narrative. In a recent Supreme Court decision striking down affirmative-action programs for some school districts, John Roberts reflected the opinion of many conservatives when he wrote, “The way to stop discrimination on the basis of race is to stop discriminating on the basis of race.” What’s your response to that?

You might find interesting the last speech that Lyndon Johnson ever gave, right before he died. I won’t get the quotation exactly right, but it’s worth getting right, because it’s a great quotation.

He said, Yes, today blacks and whites do stand more or less on a level playing field, but they’re not in the same place. Whites see the world from the mountain place, blacks see the world from the hollow of history. It’s a great phrase: “from the hollow of history.”

It affects the way the world works today. You can’t just be ahistorical and forget all of that, and think that you’re going to get the best outcomes. I think the real answer to the quote that you gave me from Roberts is, “Yes, the way to end discrimination is to not discriminate, that’s true, but it just doesn’t go far enough.”

I think the Sandra Day O’Connor opinion in the Michigan Supreme Court cases was really extraordinarily powerful and really broke new ground. It was very different from the Powell opinion in the earlier Bakke case, because she pointed out that for the country to succeed, to achieve all it wants to achieve, you need to have—it is desirable to have—people of a variety of backgrounds, appearances, and persuasions in visible roles.

I think that’s right, and that’s one of the reasons the army is a great example. You don’t want all white commanders and all black soldiers. That’s really not a good idea!

One of the good outcomes of the O’Connor decision was the rejection of quotas and just giving points because you were black or whatever. The University of Michigan was told that, at the undergraduate level, you can’t do that. That’s wrong. I agree! That is wrong because it fails to capture what the whole portfolio of the person looks like.

Now did this require Michigan to spend more money on admissions? Absolutely, it required them to spend more money on admissions! You couldn’t look at applications in such a simple way, and I think that’s all to the good.

Can that be overdone? Of course. Anything can be overdone, but it is worth investing resources in allowing yourself, your system, to make thoughtful judgments. You need to have the right metrics when you judge outcomes. One of the aspects of our current research is that we think much more emphasis needs to be put on graduation rates, not just access. Getting through, finishing—and finishing well.

Basically what you’re saying is that fostering diversity or providing racial justice does not end at the point of selection. It requires work and time and practice.

When we first aggressively recruited different people who had not even been in the applicant pool, we thought that putting them on the campus would be enough. Wrong. It wasn’t enough. You had to do a whole lot of things—thinking about the counseling you provided and so forth.

This work we’re doing right now is a great example of what we’re talking about. When you look at the college choices different groups of students make, large numbers of highly talented minority students do not go to programs for which they’re really qualified. Why? Often, they don’t understand it’s important to do that, and they don’t have the help in completing the financial-aid forms and the applications that, as a parent, I was able to do for my own children.

So being in the white upper-middle-class brings its own systemic advantages.

Huge, huge. The research we’re about to publish next September is just a dramatic confirmation of what you have just said. The differences in college-going patterns and college-completion patterns by socio-economic status, forget about race, are huge.

You mentioned socio-economic status. What do you say about the argument that we’ve over-focussed on race and we should focus more on class-based affirmative action?

I think that we do need to do more in focussing on socio-economic status and we argue that in the “Equity and Excellence” book. But it’s not a substitute for race-sensitive admissions because, again, if you look at the data, you find that if you focus just on socio-economic status you’re not going to begin to address the disparities in outcomes by race that we see in America today.

One critique from the left of O’Connor’s decision is that the idea of fostering diversity is a gauzy notion. They argue that affirmative action should be explicitly focussed on addressing disparate outcomes. They ask: Who is diversity for? A white person gets to meet a black person for the first time?

My answer to that question is that it’s society being served. I don’t think of it as conferring benefits on this group or that group to the exclusion of some other group.

One of the other telling findings in “The Shape of the River” was that the alumni of the selective institutions that we studied, including those white alumni who didn’t get into their first-choice school, were still strong supporters of affirmative action. You might have thought that, well, to their way of thinking, they might have lost out to some minority candidate. But overwhelmingly they thought these were the right policies.

I’ve always thought that was very interesting. The extent of support for affirmative action among student bodies—the graduates of the places like Michigan, like the Ivy League, like good liberal arts colleges—is very strong because I think they see the broader benefit.

What would you say to people who ask, “If a black man can get elected President, why do we need affirmative action?”

The answer is the same as the answer to the Sotomayor question: How many Obamas are there in the world? The fact that you have one success story is terrific, wonderful. But it doesn’t mean that the same outcomes or the same opportunities are going to be there for everyone else. They’re not.

Monday, June 15, 2009

We Call Bovine Scatology on Fox "News": Did You Know That James Von Brunn was a Liberal? We Didn't. Glenn Beck's New Low, Part One

Anti-negro? no comment...

Glenn Beck's nonsense knows no bounds. I was so dumbfounded by this argument that I could not catch my breath as I choked on the bile that rose up from my stomach as I watched this garbage. Luckily, one of my people was able to perform the Heimlich maneuver and thus saved my life. Courtesy of one of our favorite guest bloggers, Werner Herzog's Bear, we now proceed to open a can of whoop ass on Glenn Beck. Let's form like Voltron (I have always wanted to say that) and take care of business:


When go you go into the political sewer, how can you get any lower? When you abuse the image of Tom Paine, turning a proto-socialist, cosmopolitan, Deist into a ueber-capitalist, nativist, Bible thumper, how can you distort history even more? Glenn Beck knows, since he recently claimed on his show that the Nazis were a Leftist movement, a statement as preposterous as "Woody Hayes was a Michigan Wolverines fan" or "Ronald Reagan was a Trotskyite." In short, it is the exact opposite of the truth.

If the last few months have taught us anything, it is that Glenn Beck will spout the most obscene lies possible to prop up his misguided vision of the world. As a historian, and especially as a scholar of Germany, I feel that I simply cannot let this go without comment. Not only is Beck committing crimes against the historical record, he is doing so in order to distort the nature of the tragic killing at the Holocaust Museum this week.

Since the claims of Beck and his guest are so outrageous, I'll deal with them in bullet points. Here are just a few of the reasons that the Nazis were a product of the extreme Right, not Left, in Germany:

-The various strands of ideology that fed into Hitler's worldview: anti-Semitism, pan-Germanism, anti-feminism, beliefs in "Aryan" superiority etc. grew out of the extreme political Right in late nineteenth and early twentieth century Germany, mostly as reactions to the changes brought on by modernity. (In a literal sense, these ideas were radical expressions of "conservatism.")
-After World War I, Hitler accused various elements of a "stab in the back" that led to Germany's defeat. Along with Jews, he also blamed the political Left for the nation's ruin, and called for the eradication of Bolshevism.
-Before Hitler's rise to power, his brown shirted "storm troopers" engaged in lethal street battles with Communist militias, seeing them as their mortal enemies, rather than Leftist allies.
-As is well known, the Nazis received a plurality (about a third) but never a majority of the popular vote. Hitler took power only after being appointed chancellor by president Hindenburg with the support of the old guard German Right, who saw Hitler as an ally to their interests.
-Once Hitler came to power, the first people he attacked and imprisoned were his political enemies, the Communists and Social Democrats (Socialists). Just because the Nazis called themselves "national socialists" does not mean that they were on the Left. The operative word for them was "national." There are tens of thousands of Leftists who were killed in concentration camps for their opposition to Hitler, and this makes Beck's lies all the more disgusting, since they seek to erase the memory of Nazism's first victims.
-In every European nation occupied by the German military during World War II, the greatest resistance came not from the political Right, which in places like Vichy France collaborated enthusiastically with the Nazis, but from Communists and others on the Left. (If you want to see a dramatic illustration of this fact, watch The Sorry and the Pity sometime.) Again, Beck shits all over the memory of people who risked their lives to stop Nazism.
-After war began in Europe, many of the biggest voices calling for American intervention were on the Popular Front left, whereas hardcore conservatives like Henry Ford and Charles Lindbergh not only opposed intervention, but actively sympathized with Nazi Germany.

And one last one, just to make all of this more relevant

-Von Brunn, the neo-Nazi who murdered the guard at the Holocaust Museum, was an avid poster at Free Republic, and a vocal "birther" to boot (a "birther" is someone who denies that Barack Obama was born in the United States.)

Now, just because Von Brunn and Nazis in general belong on the political Right does not make them representative of all on that side of the spectrum. Similarly, as someone on the Left I hardly feel obligated to defend or even feel any kinship towards the anarchists who go around breaking and burning stuff at anti-globalization protests. At the same time, it would be preposterous for me to claim the most radical anarchists are in fact on the Right. Beck, however, just chooses to lie about the nature of Nazism, perhaps because his alarmist, paranoid, hateful, and deceitful rhetoric gives tacit and sometimes active support to fringe whackos on the far Right, whom he doesn't want to be associated with.

Or he just might be using a tried and true method of mass media manipulation: "If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it." The source? Joseph Goebbels.

One thing bolstering his lie about Nazism being a Leftist phenomenon is the Ayn Randian ideology about the Left being "collectivist" and the Right being "individualistic." This is rather odd coming from a man who tells immigrants to give up their culture, impugns the patriotism of anyone he disagrees with, and who constantly tells his viewers they are a "we" who surrounds a shadowy "them." In my next post I will dissect the increasing prevalence of Randian thought on the Right and break down its falsehoods.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

The Day Hip Hop Died Part 2: Who Wins this Batttle? Eli versus Reh Dogg

Here is some Sunday afternoon fun for you all. In the spirit of Mad Max: Beyond the Thunderdome (wasn't the theme song amazing?), I bring you the battle to end all battles. No, it isn't Rakim versus Kane (a dream match-up) or Hova versus Nas or Biggie versus Pac...oh no! This battle is THE titanic struggle for hip hop supremacy in the 21st century. In the left corner I present quasi-mentally retarded high school emcee, Eli, a wordsmith of the first order:

In the right corner stands Reh Dogg, the spawn of Rubik's cube (his effort to channel Gza or Rza), the master of disaster and poor video production. Random factoid: I think I may actually know Reh Dogg from my time as a radio dj on WVOF 88.5 FM in Connecticut...what a small and horrible world in which we live:

Regardless of the outcome we can all take solace in the fact that either of these "MC's" is better than Lil' Wayne.

You make the call! Who is the winner in this awe inspiring clash of the Titans?

Friday, June 12, 2009

White Men Are Oppressed (Again)--Sean Hannity Carries Forth the Legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Sean Hannity is a great man and an even more wonderful Conservative. I sleep well at night, knowing that conscientious, honorable souls such as he are keeping the legacy of the Black Freedom Struggle alive and protecting its memory...insert hand into mouth and induce vomiting.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Reverend Wright on Obama and "the Jews" or It is Time for a We Are Respectable Negroes Flashback!

"Them Jews aren't going to let him talk to me," Wright said. "I told my baby daughter, that he'll talk to me in five years when he's a lame duck, or in eight years when he's out of office."

With friends like Reverend Wright one does not need enemies. I must ask the obvious, how long until the Right in their conspiratorial genius proceeds to link Obama, Wright, and the White supremacist who attacked the Holocaust Museum in Washington, DC. I forgot, they already have--see Glenn Beck's interview with lead coconut/banana/masturbatory fantasy for the Right-Wing, Michelle Malkin:

BECK: Now, when Jeremiah Wright says "Them Jews ain't gonna let him talk to me, an ethnic cleansing is going on in Gaza, ethnic cleansing by the Zionist is a sin and a crime against humanity and they won't want Barack talking like that because they will say that he's anti Israel." What's the difference between the language of an anti Semite that is also nuts and goes, kills people, and the language of Jeremiah Wright?

MALKIN: Yeah. I'd like to hear from some of these people on the left how they explain that away. I'd like to hear from the White House for that matter how he explains that away. I'm certainly glad that President Obama spoke up about the need to be vigilant against anti Semitism yesterday, but where was he when he was sitting in the pews of this virulent anti Semite for almost 20 years and not saying a word about it?

You know what will wash the foul taste of this demagoguery out of my mouth? A We Are Respectable Negroes Flashback!

Reverend Wright Investigative Report Number 1--Preliminary Report, Infiltration, and Findings

What follows is my initial report regarding my investigation into Reverend Wright and his recent behavior in relation to the Obama campaign. More information to follow.

To: The Council of Negro Elders, Midwest Division
From: Chauncey DeVega, field operative
Re: Initial Report on Reverend Wright and Operation Crabs in a Barrel

I have recently returned from my assignment and will be completing a comprehensive report for our permanent files. In short, and as expected, my recent mission has confirmed our worst fears. Reverend Wright was in fact replaced by a duplicate at a previous time, a time which heretofore remains undetermined. I am working with forensics and our remote viewing teams to generate a time line for the scenario. I am also concerned that Reverend Wright may be one of many key figures that have been replaced by our enemies. The mission summary follows.

Per standard operating procedure, I infiltrated the target area via High Altitude Low Opening drop. My movement to the rendezvous point was uneventful and I made quick contact with our informant. Upon contact, I confirmed the agent's identity and reviewed all the materials and intelligence provided by said contact. On face value, these documents confirmed our initial suspicions. As outlined by the mission plan, I exercised my authority to infiltrate the compound in order to visually confirm the intelligence and to gather further hard evidence.

Our operative directed me to an access point and I entered the facility. Luckily, the auxiliary computer servers and network interfaces were lightly guarded, and I only had to dispatch three tangos upon entry. Using the tech provided by our contacts at DARPA (tell them thanks for me), I quickly accessed the protected files on the server and copied them to my flash drive. I exfiltrated the target area and met with the Pave Low at the designated landing zone. I have begun reviewing the files, and what follows are the preliminary details of the operational plan for (what our enemies have labeled) Operation: Crabs in a Barrel.

Wright has in fact been replaced with a duplicate. Based on the data, we are unsure if the doppelganger is an exact biological copy or if it is a cybernetic device. Based on the advancement of our enemy's technology, it may in fact be a person who has 1) been altered to have Reverend Wright's appearance and 2) has had the mental engrams of the original Wright implanted in his mind with some modifications. It appears that our rivals have successfully combined three personality types in the Wright duplicate. As you know, this process (what was once called "brainwashing") was pioneered by the Nazis, with help from the American eugenics movement(s), in the 1930s and 1940s. SPECTRE had some success with this technique during the 1960s and 1970s. In the 1980s and 1990s Cobra gave us fits with their efforts to combine cloning with mental conditioning and brainwashing (who can forget that Serpentor debacle?). It seems that the Greater Opposition Party (GOP) has taken this Cobra technology and moved it one step forward. What follows are the 3 personalities which have been identified in the Wright duplicate. These inferences are based on the Wright copy's body language and its parallels with the personality files in our databases.

Personality Element 1: Thor, the God of Thunder

Notice how Wright's pose during the NAACP speech mirrors the Norse God, Thor. Wright's subconscious believes he still has both Thor's hammer, as well as his godlike powers to control the elements. I also suspect that the Thor personality type, and this is only a hypothesis, may give the Wright duplicate powers which many may consider to be "other-worldly" or "supernatural."

Personality Element 2: The Black Minstrel

In keeping with the ironic turns of events brought about by Operation: Crabs in a Barrel, the Wright duplicate includes a minstrel as part of the psychological profile. Make note of the sad face and eyes. The Wright duplicate, in his dancing and posing during the NAACP meeting and at the National Press Club, was performing in a manner dictated by the engrams of the minstrel personality implant.

Personality Element 3: Mr. T

This is the final element in the Wright doppelganger's personality matrix. Mr. T is tough, resourceful, and smart. However, Mr. T is also highly sensitive, easily provoked, and has moments of irrationally. The Mr. T element in the Wright duplicate is likely the most explosive, yet remains simultaneously the most deft and adaptive. Our field agents will be apprised of the presence of a Mr. T in the personality matrix of the duplicate. Because the Mr. T element is so dangerous, all agents should exercise an appropriate level of caution if they are going to effect a capture of the Wright doppelganger.

We will continue to monitor Wright for evidence of further personality types. Generally, it is ill-advised to combine more than 3 elements in one matrix, however, given the GOP's level of sophistication they may have been able to add additional types. As you can see, these personality types when combined have made for a particularly dangerous foe. In my next report, I will compare the Wright duplicate's known abilities with those of his likely foes.


Chauncey Devega

General, and off the record, the GOP's plan shows a shocking level of sophistication. Historically, our foes are clumsy and heavy-handed (e.g. Willie Horton; Clarence Thomas; Fox News), but this is some of their best work since the MLK sex tapes and their assassination of Malcolm. I do worry that regardless of what comes to pass in the Indiana and North Carolina primaries that Operation: Crabs in a Barrel is in its first stages. Also, please tell Agent 36 that her cultivation of the contact within the GOP was exceptional. It rivals her work in addicting Rush Limbaugh to Oxycontin back in the 1990s. I am recommending Agent 36 for a distinguished service commendation for her role in this operation.

My Personal Happiness Pill Part 2: Pastor Manning Crank Calls Our Elders

As grandma said, "same to you, bastard!" Forget Prozac, I am going to just watch Pastor Manning all day, everyday.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

My Personal Happiness Pill: Pastor Manning Interviewed on the Howard Stern Show

Howard Stern is a great interviewer because he creates an environment which disarms his subjects. Because guests on Stern's show are anticipating an experience so bizarre and outlandish, as a defensive measure they reveal a great deal by answering the very plain spoken, yet revealing questions, which Stern (aided by Robin Quivers) asks. The Pastor Manning interview is a masterful example of this approach.

Some choice moments:

@4:04--Manning's observation that only trashy white women would get with black men during the time period when Obama's father married his mom. Second point: "that everybody knows that African Men will jump over beautiful, educated, black women to get with one trashy white woman."

@7:00--"Prior to working as a burglar." Notice the parsing of that phrase.

@9:00--Pastor Manning describes his theological training. To be honest, I was surprised he studied under such notables as James Cone and Cornel West at the Union Theological Seminary--are they embarrassed, ashamed, or proud? Interestingly, his "doctorate" is a title granted by the church of which he is a minister...hmmmm.

@2:40--Pastor Manning discusses his marriage and dating history. Apparently, as a young man fresh from the fields of North Carolina, Manning moved to New York City. Beware the wicked race mixing ways of the North, as Manning was seduced by a young White woman in the stockroom of Lord and Taylor.

@4:15--Barack Obama is Senator Tarzan? I have to admit that is pretty funny.

@5:06--Oprah Winfrey is a Babylonian whore! Damn!

@7:49--Madness versus Craziness.

Monday, June 8, 2009

What’s the Best, Worst, or Strangest Thing You’ve Witnessed While Taking Public Transportation?

Ride with the dirty laundry on public transportation. Pay no attention to the people sharing a bus or subway with the dirty laundry. Obviously these people haven't heard a thing. Nor have they seen anything. Nor have they wondered why. These frightened people don't exist. The secret is safe with them.

—Bill Cosby

The Cos’ suggestion that black folks’ conduct while taking public transportation is an indicator of the health of the black public sphere is interesting. In the realm of public transportation, general norms of public behavior often press up against more specific black norms of respectability. Step on a bus or train in a city with a lot of black folks. You will see altruism, selfishness, conviviality, ignorance, vulgarity, and humor all on display.

You will see people assist mothers with strollers, cede seats to the elderly, and help riders lock their wheelchairs into place. You will hear “sirs” and “ma’ams” coming from kids’ mouths. You will see locals helping tourists with directions. Sometimes you will even see riders spotting the fares of complete strangers. You will see several people reading (mostly the Bible, trashy ghetto lit, and school textbooks).You will see that most people are quiet, friendly, and respectful.

You will also see people play (always terrible) rap and R & B loud enough for everyone to hear. You will hear people talking loudly--yelling really--about sex and violence. You will see people littering, leaving trash and food on the ground or seats, even though there are trash bins near. You will see people with no home training in norms of decent public behavior.

Because I am frequently disgusted by the conduct of public transportation riding ign’ants, individual instances of rude behavior, loudness, and vulgarity don’t stand out to me. What I remember vividly, though, are the moments of social policing in which black public transportation users are so fed up with ign’ant behavior, they confront the ign’ants. Two particular instances come to mind:

1.) I was riding a bus in the afternoon, right when school let out. A couple of bookish kids were being clowned by a group of their ign’ant schoolmates. An older brother stepped in and chided the ign’ants for teasing the couple. Predictably, the ign’ants started cursing the older brother, which prompted him to respond, “You never know, I may have a gun on me right now! Keep on talkin’, I might shoot up this whole damn bus!” The rest of the riders went from admiring this guy for saying something to realizing that he was an ign’ant too.

2.) A few weeks ago, I heard a man yelling as he got on the bus, “Hurry up before I knock yo teeth down yo mothafuckin throat. You stupid as fuck!” Then, a girl who as about 11 or 12 years old got on the bus and everyone realized that the man was yelling at this little girl, his daughter. The other riders just shook their heads and look exasperated as this man continued to curse and berate his daughter.

A few minutes later, a second man went to exit the bus and confronted the father, saying, “You think that was the right thing to do, huh? Man, you a punk! I’ll kick yo ass. Get off this bus on the next stop! You don’t yell at no little girl like that, you ol’ punk!”

The father was clearly scared and apologetic, telling his confronter, “You right. You right. That’s my daughter, but I shouldn’t have done that. I shoulda handled it better. You right.”

The confronter then exited the bus yelling, “Don’t never let me catch you on these streets. I’ll beat yo ass!” Once it was clear that his confronter was gone, the father tried to save face by saying loud enough for everyone to hear, “I’ll be done killed somebody in here. I woulda shot him, but I can’t go back to the penitentiary.”

Again, the elation the other riders felt upon seeing this father get punked disappeared immediately, as we were reminded that this loser was the little girl’s role model.

Respectable negroes, what is the best, worst, or strangest thing you’ve seen while riding public transportation?

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Name That Racist Tune With Daniel Carver of the Howard Stern Show

I am quite partial to Johnny Rebel by the way. Question: how long until Rush Limbaugh or Sean Hannity starts using some of these songs as bumper music?

A bonus clip from the Howard Stern Show's roast of Daniel Carver where comic awkwardness ensues posthaste:

Chauncey DeVega says: African-American Veterans of D-Day and the Existential Power of Barack Obama's Presidency

Elderly White men, watching a Black President deliver the speech at Normandy with quiet reverence and respect, is one of the many reasons I believe that somehow, we will find a way to resolve our collective American dilemma.

Supporters of Barack Obama's candidacy for presidency often discussed the power of existential change that would result from his victory. Here, we meant the power which accompanied the idea of a Black American in the White House as President--a claim about what a person of color in that office would symbolize for America's national identity and shared political culture.

The commemoration of the Allied landings at D-Day, and the invasion of Fortress Europe during World War Two, are examples of these moments. Now, I am not so naive as to believe that a Black man who happens to be president will be a radical change from business as usual by virtue of his mere presence as Chief Executive. Why not? Because a two party system and a centrist politics deem that radicals do not rise to become President of these United States of America.

President Barack Obama's power and importance is rooted in the fact that a Black American, a few generations removed from a moment when his people were systematically excluded from American political life, can participate in one of a nation's most cherished ceremonies is the existential change which so many of us awaited.

In short, many of us never imagined that we would see a Black American fulfilling the role of president as national caretaker and ceremonial leader. This is why we cried and cheered when Obama was elected: for once, the check was not returned, stamped insufficient funds. Thus, President Obama's speech on the anniversary of D-Day is laced with irony as it is a raceless and colorblind moment that is simultaneously pregnant with racial meaning.

While some would like to make Black Americans, and people of color more generally, peripheral to American history, we have always been central to it. In this way, President Barack Obama's speech at Normandy completes a circle of history because while White society has long denied the role of African-Americans on D-Day (an erasure enabled by popular culture both in America and abroad) a Black man now serves as Commander in Chief:

These brave soldiers (as respectable Negroes) knew that service was an important weapon in the Black Freedom Struggle because it would make the justice claims of Black Americans undeniable. Obama knows that he is the direct product of their risk taking and labor. In silent acknowledgment, these veterans must be smiling in quiet satisfaction as President Barack Obama is in many ways the fulfillment of their efforts:

A bonus: some clips from the documentary A Distant Shore: African Americans of D-Day--

Clip One:

Clip Two:

Clip Three: