Thursday, August 18, 2011

They Live to Rape History: Black Conservative Allen West is Here to Save African-Americans from the Evil Democratic Plantation

So Black Conservatives fancy themselves as necromancers who are trying to save Black Americans from social death? How many spell points does that take?

The history of black folks in this country really is a plaything. Folks can abuse it. They can twist it. They can draw false analogies. They can lie about it. And at this point, I don't know whether to blame the black leadership classes or the colored masses for allowing this abuse of history to continue for so long.

A provocative thought: Why is the history of black folks, with the horrors of a centuries-long experience of slavery and The Middle Passage, with many millions gone, game for abuse in the name of political pandering? Would anyone ever dare play such a disingenuous game with the history of our Jewish brothers and sisters and the Holocaust?

Imagine, a Jewish Republican calling out his brethren who vote for the Democrats as being trapped in a death camp and that he is going to free them like Schindler.

That would be sickening and unthinkable. Just as it should be.

Allen West, like black garbage pail kid Herman Cain stays on the tired script that black Americans who are Democrats are somehow slaves in need of saving by Black Republicans. As I have called folks out for before, this is an obnoxious argument that is dependent on several even more offensive suppositions.

1. Note West's use of the word "sensibility." Apparently, Black folks are stupid, don't have agency, and they have been hoodwinked by the Democrats. Black people are mindless shuffling fools who have no sense of their own collective self-interest.

2. The idea of black Republicans saving black people from the evil Democrats is twisted in its narrative. Black Democrats, i.e. the vast majority of Black America is sitting around waiting to be saved on yee old plantation; the heroic, selfless Black Conservative empowers them to freedom; these liberated masses of black humanity then run to the good safety of the Tea Party GOP and the beneficence of the Great White Father.

3. As a group, Black Americans are the only ones stigmatized in this way. Where are the questions about poor whites having false consciousness as they vote for the Tea Party GOP? Where is the savior narrative regarding white people in Red State American who consistently vote for a party based on Culture War appeals and racial resentment, all the while said party has gutted the American middle class and transferred wealth upward to the plutocrats?

The Democratic Party equals plantation analogy popularized by the Republican Party and legitimized by their Black Conservative sycophants is dependent on one of the big lies that still lingers large in White American popular memory.

For Whiteness and those overly identified with it, chattel slavery was Gone with the Wind and black Americans really were not fit for freedom. Centuries of slavery was a few bad white folks being mean, and the majority were good--and if Michele Bachmann is to be believed the Christian slave owners were particularly kind and loving to their slaves:

Slavery, as it operated in the pervasively Christian society which was the old South, was not an adversarial relationship founded upon racial animosity. In fact, it bred on the whole, not contempt, but, over time, mutual respect. This produced a mutual esteem of the sort that always results when men give themselves to a common cause. The credit for this startling reality must go to the Christian faith. . . . The unity and companionship that existed between the races in the South prior to the war was the fruit of a common faith.

Moreover, Birth of a Nation was real and not a fantasy. Slavery is Song of the South and happy shiftless colored folks on the plantation singing spirituals.

It was not babies ripped from their mothers and killed on the docks by slavers during the seasoning process; chattel slavery was not millions of people dead and waters red with blood such that sharks learned to follow The Trans Atlantic Slave Trade for a quick meal; the plantation was a fun place, not one where people were raped, abused, killed, disfigured, and punished by devices straight out of the Medieval period.

Chattel slavery wasn't a twisted house of perversion where white men raped black men and black women in order to assert power, where slave owners would sell their own black children into slavery for profit, or give little white girls human dolls as birthday gifts or wedding presents. The Slaveocracy was of course not a world where the bodies of black women could be made accessible to any white man, at any time, and the bodies of white women were protected as the exclusive province and domain of their husbands.

The South was a folksy fun place, not a police state where whites lived in fear of slave rebellions and the daily threat that their beloved human property would poison them, burn them with fire, or slit the sleeping throats of kind and benevolent masters and their kin.

In all, the Slaveocracy was not an institution that lifted up the lowest white man above the most high, refined, and educated black person by mere virtue of melanin count. No, the South and the Confederacy was noble, honorable, and a "tradition" worth preserving.

If any group in America knows the value of citizenship it is Black Americans. The Black Conservative Plantation lie spits in the face of this fact, and reduces us to sitting in the back seat, mere passengers in the democracy that we helped to create. If the buckdancing for the applause of White Conservatives didn't pay so well, I would hope that Allen West, Herman Cain, Clarence Thomas and the other minstrel crooners for the Right would stand up for the dignity of their own people. But then again, slavery and colonialism also created a class of black and brown folks who wanted to be honorary Whites.

Said group had little sense of linked fate to their brothers and sisters. Why would we ever expect that those old, and quite lucrative habits, would ever change?


nomad said...

"slavery and colonialism also created a class of black and brown folks who wanted to be honorary Whites."

That is an interesting observation. This slave-driver class has received little historical attention. Where is this class today? Are they all Republicans?

chaunceydevega said...

Nomad. You know how I love talking about the slave drivers. They are still with us for sure. Black Conservatives being one type, and limousine liberal bigotry of low expectations types the flip side of the same coin.

Comrade PhysioProf said...

It's not exactly analogous to what you are talking about, but American jews who fail to buy into far-right-wing conceptions of Israeli politics and the domestic interests of jews in America and dare to criticize things that Israel does and the domestic agenda of far-right-wing American jews are routinely accused by far-right-wing American jews as "self-hating jews" or "traitors to the jewish people".

fred c said...

One good thing about being Irish-American these days is that one is virtually invisible. Unless your name is O'Shaunessy people hardly notice. So if some ignorant Irish-Americans do some stupid things, politically or otherwise, we don't all get blamed for it, or culled for study as a group.

I'll tell you one true thing though: our history has been subject to revisionist sanitation to a degree at least as great as the groups already mentioned. Much easier all around, because our long apprenticeship has ended and we are now accepted into the circle of Whiteness, at least in America, those Englishmen still laugh behind our backs.

No one talks anymore about the Penal Laws; the "door tax;" the "window tax;" the bounty on priests; the raggedy men; the Coffin Ships; or the Great Hunger. If one reads about the Famine these days, and is not bloody careful about it, it all looks like a perfectly natural catastrophe in which the English did their level best to try to help their beloved Irish cousins. The sanitized version, in other words.

I would never suggest that the experience of Irish-Americans, in America, even approached in horror the experience of Black Americans, that would be foolish. But I would point out that the worst part of the Irish horror took place in Ireland, during the several hundred year period of English mercantile colonialism, and it is by that yardstick that our journey should be understood.

(Interestingly, it was the same, certain people who abused the Irish and the Africans in question, over the same several centuries long period.)

Irrelevant said...

Why did you bring up the Irish.

fred c said...

The abuse of history is a thread in the post, and the whitewashing of negative events is a big part of it. But I was off on a tangent, that's for sure. I just think that it's important that no particular oppressed group feels like The Fates singled them out for suffering. History is rife with examples, as are current events.

Anonymous said...

The Irish are totally assimilated and considered white now. We are talking about ongoing oppression here. Please see earlier discussion about white racial frame i.e. it's not ALWAYS all about you.