Monday, March 28, 2011

More Pathologies of the White Conservative Soul: Did You Know that Socialist Thought Has Crippled Black America?

Act fast because for a limited time only, the Right-wing website Townhall has a good two-for-one sale on pandering foolishness and ahistorical race baiting.

As I have said many a times, the White conservative soul is quite ill. It is filled to the gills with the poisonous crack rock that is the politics of white racial resentment and victimology. In turn, this addiction is enabled by black garbage pail kids conservative, professional negro sycophants such as Herman Cain, Niger Innis, Juan Williams, Michael Steele, Allen West, and "journalist" Star Parker. Collectively, they are the metaphorical (if not literal) smokescreen for some of the most onerous policies of the New Right.

In their broken record-like performance, popular black conservatives hit all the talking points as they smile, grin, shuffle, and legitimate a narrative in which Black Americans are dumb, stupid, on a "plantation," and incapable of making well-reasoned political choices. By implication, white people, and conservatives in particular, are endowed with a special wisdom and agency that black Americans are not. The premise from which the black conservative imagination flows is excreta filled because of its utter disdain for the Black community. The implications for their parroted Right-wing dogma are just as vile precisely because the well-springs are so befouled.

Even given the low standards of intellectual rigor common to the Right-wing echo chamber, I always try to find a kernel of fact or historical truth in their utterances. John Rossomondo's piece, "Socialist Thought has Crippled Black America" (where he as the good, noble, white "father" offers resplendent insights into the "pathologies" of Black people) is an epic fail even by the Right's low standards.

Some choice excerpts:

Leading black conservatives lay blame for black America's rampant poverty and other ills squarely at the feet of the socialist orientation of black leaders such as Al Sharpton.

They say the black intelligentsia’s rhetoric has created a defeatist and demoralizing climate that has robbed millions of black Americans of hope and has sentenced them to an impoverished existence..

Niger Innis, national spokesman for the Congress of Racial Equality, says Marxists have worked hard to exploit blacks for the past century and divide them from the rest of society...

“The biggest tragedy in all of this is that the blacks did not know the poison of socialism and communism,” Innis says. “And they were led to believe it was the only alternative for fighting Jim Crow and pushing back against segregation...”

The black elites’ Marxist dialectic has pit white versus black and rich versus poor, and has disempowered countless black Americans in the process by promoting collective hatred and jealousy.

“It has really hurt the black community because the real uplift in this country is through individual initiative, activity and entrepreneurship,” says Bishop E.W. Jackson Sr., a prominent conservative black minister and Tea Partier. “This mindset that you are owed something and everything has to be the same for everybody is a very dangerous and insidious attitude that has crept into the black community.”
Beyond what is an obviously piss poor reading of history, there is so much wrong here.

Nowhere in Rossomondo's piece is there a signal to the realities of white supremacy, the power and influence of structures, the intersections of race and class where capitalism was used as a bludgeon to under develop Black America's economy, or the realities of the Racial state--in either its color conscious past or its colorblind present.

Even more absurdly, in the racial imagination of contemporary conservatism it was somehow super powered black villains such as the dastardly Jesse Jackson and the maniacal Al Sharpton who created a two tiered labor market, slashed the federal budget, and implemented racist bank lending practices which red-lined neighborhoods to make them ineligible for VA and FHA loans.

Conversely, John Rossomondo's race baiting essay ignores the deep traditions of capitalism and entrepreneurial behavior by black Americans from slavery to freedom where bonds people rented out their own labor and worked independently of the plantation as mechanics and artisans, to the importance of such legendary figures as Madam CJ Walker, or even to the near present where the Civil Rights Movement was struggling for equality in the consumer's republic.

Moreover, the idea that black resistance to white supremacy is somehow morally equivalent with white racism is the most problematic of the many fictions offered by the race baiting, yellow journalism of the Right. A belief in equal culpability is so historically myopic as to be dim. Nevertheless, the lie of false equivalence has become one of the key tenets of conservative victimology because it fuels the Right's specious and laughable claims that white people are somehow oppressed. Sadly, the big lie that equates black anger at white supremacy with white resentment (at being forced to deliver in some small ways on a metaphorical check stamped "insufficient funds") has so seeped into the neo-liberal, post-Civil Rights dialogue, that even President Obama in his vaunted 2008 campaign speech on race was forced to kneel and kiss said ring.

In total, the Right's deployment of the phrase "black Marxist intellectuals" is a catchall laden with buzzwords designed to scare and frighten the White Conservative soul. Those "crazy negroes" are fifth columnists and Socialists who cannot be trusted--a frame echoed by the charges that President Obama, a die hard corporatist, is somehow a "Socialist." Those "intellectuals" are also high foreheaded, book reading "elitists" who dare to think that they know better than the White populist, "real American" tea baggers such as the mama grizzlies and Joe the Plumbers. And most frightening to the racial id of the White Conservative Soul, as kin to the "giant negroes" which haunt the darkest recesses of the White racial id, those black Marxist intellectuals are interested in redistributing America's resources, getting reparations, and stealing the "well-deserved" monies of good, hardworking white people to give them to the undeserving masses of brown and black folk.

I have a simple request. If popular black conservatives are going to play the role of a succubus riding the chest and whispering into the ear of their White conservative masters as they lay intertwined in an intimate embrace on top of the soiled carcass which was the common good and the American middle class, that black conservatives at least make an effort to tell better lies, and to obfuscate history with more deft aplomb, as it would make for better sport.

Black Americans are a blues people. With that comes an appreciation for the ironies, tragedies, and triumphs of this country. We are also radical in our commitment to justice and equality. But in no way are we traitors to the American tradition. If anything, black Americans loved a country which did not love us back, and worked, died, and struggled so that the promise of democracy would be made whole for all.

And while this will be news to some, Conservatives are not the exclusive flame holders or guardians of American liberty. As exemplified by the muckraking tone of pieces such as "Did You Know that Socialist Thought Has Crippled Black America," the Right, already teetering on the wrong-side of history, is poised to fall into its maw as they lean over to take one more hit of the crack like, meth-infused drug that is white racial resentment. I only hope that they fall gracefully and do not reach out for a saving hand as I am loathe to interfere with gravity's inexorable pull.


Plane Ideas said...

Brillant analysis and salient narrative..Clearly one of the finest essay's of late on the pathology of white conservatism..

Mandatory reading for whites, hispanics, asians, and others before Black folks get to read and digest..


gordon gartrelle said...


You know that I've always been a fan, but ever since life and work ripped me away from the site, you've been on one hell of a roll.

In fact, my presence here may have been holding you back a little.

Keep pushing forward.

chaunceydevega said...

@Thrasher. We negroes are simple souls. Don't encourage us too much. This one could hit or miss. Who knows. I am enjoying watching you kill Cobb on his own site. Brother is lost right now.

@Gordon. Kind words. WARN needs you to grow. The seat is always warm. Let's build. Between mamacitas and mouth breathers the last two weeks are tiring. Will chat this week. As Palin says Gordon, don't retreat, reload!

Shady_Grady said...

The problem with Black conservatives is not that they're conservative (and usually wrong IMO) it's that as you mention they tend to be used (or be eager to be used in) the ugliest sorts of racist smears and fears applied to Black people.

There's a very strong and growing (white)conservative core that is only divided on race to the extent that they can't agree whether blacks are just naturally inferior or "liberal" culture has made them so. Most Black conservatives tend not to have much to say about the Bell Curve embrace by some (white) conservatives, the revisionist embrace of slavery and colonialism as a means for "civilizing" Blacks, the fetishization of the Confederacy or several other tone-deaf beliefs which have become more or less mainstream within conservative movements.

As the Sailers, Buchanans, Derbyshires, and Brimelows of the world call for Republicans to become an explicitly white nationalist party the Black conservative can normally be found lecturing Black people somewhere, instead of fighting racists within his own party. Should the Republicans heed this call, it will indeed be interesting to see what the Black conservative response will be.

chaunceydevega said...

@Shady. That bad culture or bad genes argument is a tired one. But it resonates. Funny, if white folks interrogated whiteness from the same premises. Oh they sort of did with eugenics, and we see where that got us. But, there is the riddle. Those folks--the social and genetic "lessers"--were outside of whiteness by definition.

Shady_Grady said...

I can't remember his name right now but quite a few years ago there was a Black "free-market" conservative that had what Paul Mooney would have described as his "n***** wake-up call" when the think tank he was working at gave positive gushing reviews to the Bell Curve and D'Souza's latest anti-black screeds. I think it might have been the book where D'Souza was writing that Blacks should pay America for slavery.

Anyway the fellow was outraged and threatened to leave and his bosses basically said "There's the door".

But too many of today's Black conservatives lack even that residual element of pride/self-respect. So it goes.

Oh Crap said...

@Shady Grady - do you mean Glenn Loury? His fall from grace was indeed pretty epic. Hopefully for his sake, he has not looked back.

Shady_Grady said...

Yes! That's the one. Loury. There was another one too but I can't remember his name now. He used to run with Bennett and Kemp.