Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Would a Member of the Black Bourgeoisie Fry Chicken in His Underwear?

What does it mean to be a member of the black bourgeoisie? Is this an aspirational title? Is it measured by profession, trade, or economic resources?

I embrace the idea that we should all engage in acts of critical self-reflection when appropriate. Our conversation about Obama's performance in last night's debate where he mercilessly beat upon Mitt Romney, and the latter provided many options for a far more thorough thrashing than he received, prompted the following observation from one of our frequent commenters (the aptly named) Invisible Man:
Our President is the manifestation of Black Bourgeoisie Politics and you are the messenger. White liberals need/ promote Black Bourgeoisie politics because it attacks (and you are a intellectual pit bull at this) Republicans and the right wing who are a direct threat to them and the small Black Bourgeoisie class.
I appreciate this formulation because 1) it strokes my ego and furthers a fiction that my commentaries are read by the gatekeepers and "powers that be" who have yet to send a brother a check; and 2) it suggests that there is a coincidence/coordination of strategy and tactics by critics in the black counter-public of the Right-wing's nefarious political agenda.

While this model is appealing, we must be very cautious lest the conspiranoid fantasies of conservatives about a black hive mind, and Operation Black Steel, be confirmed in the service of advancing a fiction with does not serve our collective self-interest or the Common Good.

I do wish African-Americans were so organized.

We quite simply ain't.

The reasons are many. These include the systematic targeting and destruction of black indigenous community organizations by the state, for example. An inability to rally behind a common goal--other than that of electing a Black President--is also hobbled by the class divisions within the African American community, the ethnicization of the race, and resource scarcity.

Here is a puzzle. Barack Obama is a president who happens to black. He is the Head of State and Chief Executive of the most powerful country on Earth. However, the political interests of black and brown folks remain marginalized in the public sphere (and mass public too) and our life chances are significantly diminished compared to white Americans regardless of our class backgrounds.

Moreover, there is a broad belief that the politics of black respectability ought to still be leveraged for the purpose of black self-improvement and political empowerment. In short, despite the public protests to the contrary by the black public intellectual set, we all know that Bill Cosby did not say anything about the behavior of the ghetto underclass that is not self-evident to even the most half-opened eye and/or fair observer.

But, the Black Superpublic and the Black Culture Industry make even the most debased and derogatory representations of black humanity--see Chief Keef for example--a fiction that becomes real for the white gaze and those people of color who have internalized it.

And even if we were able to create a synergy of black political mobilization, respectability, and resources, the crises of a failed economy, social institutions, and infrastructure that decades ago deindustrialized black and brown inner city communities are stubbornly resistant to the types of citizen activism that many in the public would like to pursue. How can one fight anti-democratic institutions with democratic means?

I am not, nor have I even been, a member of the black bourgeoisie. I also do not eat fried chicken or watermelon in either "mixed" company or in public. I also fry chicken wearing only my underwear and have many lurid fantasies of beautiful women in my kitchen similarly attired, cooking, topless, grease splattering on their pert nipples as my hands wander all over their bodies from behind, before the angry lingam makes glorious union with a ready, happy, and hungry yoni

Ultimately, I am not a member of the black bourgeoisie for many reasons--first and foremost because I do not think they would have me. Nor, would I want to join any club that would take me as a member.

What says you about all of this black bourgeoisie stuff?


Anonymous said...

You mean to tell me that there's a black illuminate? That's strange. That would mean there are some all black companies in the Fortune 500. Jay-Z's deal with the Nets wouldn't be remarkable. A black Warren Buffet would be nice. One black president is a good thing. I like Oprah, too. There's a lot of work to do before there's such a thing as black bourgeoisie. Higher levels of cooperation would be a good starting point.


Anonymous said...

From what I understand (and I'm probably wrong), Black Freemasonry grew out of the Brown bag society. Also. There is a rumor running around that the Illuminate controls the rap industry. But for sure, there are black masons.

And Vic78... before we reach a higher level of cooperation, we first have to figure out how to start cooperating at all.

Ben G-

Anonymous said...

@Ben G. We are guaranteed to vote for the same party. It shows that cooperating is possible.


CNu said...

Of course there is an organized and self-selected bougie element..., and Chicago's own late Steve Cokely talked endlessly about it.

Comprised of lawyers, judges, physicians, and members of the black professional and managerial class - the membership of this organization serves a gatekeeping parasitic role wrt the flow of public funds into and out of the disenfranchised underclass.

nomad said...

Not clear what's meant by black bourgeoisie. If you mean black middle class, you are definitely bourgeoisie. I tend to define it that way. There are obviously at least two strata of that class. The other class of blacks is the proverbial underclass, which again has at least two distinct strata.

Black Sage said...

I'm drinking out the same brown paper as Nomad is. – InvisibleMan

I highly encourage you both to refrain from drinking whatever you and Nomad are consuming because it’s obvious to me that your favorite chalice has been toxically spiked. You two NEGROES are out of your damn minds. How in the hell could you expect the POTUS to be within the vanguard of a revolution? I perfectly understand that the POTUS has essentially turned his back on Black folks. I understand that Obama has further entrenched and is leading this empire down the path of becoming a totalitarian state by building a $2 billion dollar, 1 million square footage project in Bluffdale, UT. simply to listen in on your phone calls and sift through the emails of millions of Americans and without going through the proper channels to do so, including the compromising of your communications as well, with your Black-ass.

Obama, in a sense, is being held hostage with his hands tied behind his back by the very policies and legacy of this Eagle Empire of ours. Don’t you understand, he doesn’t have any wiggle room to rescue you from your hell hole of a life if that’s what you want to refer to it as being?

Now you and Nomad have a hyped fantasy about Obama riding throughout the HOOD on a black horse in a full replica of Paul Revere regalia yelling: The skin-heads are coming, the skin-heads are coming!! Negroes Please!!! Obama is not in the White House simply to save your sorry, Black-ass! Again, the will power, fortitude, conviction and the spark to effect true change within this American regime must be born amongst the PEOPLE! In sum, just because unorganized people like you and Nomad fall noticeably short in your freedom quest and instead, resort to becoming keyboard virtual revolutionaries, isn’t the POTUS’ fault. WAKE UP, YOU TWO LEMMING NEGROES!

Now, me and CDV are supposedly members of the Black bourgeoisie…., Negroes, get a life! By the way, I still eat watermelon while standing next to White folks and that is not Mr. Witherspoon frying chicken in his undergarment, that’s actually me!

nomad said...

Not bourgeoisie, huh? What are you?

Plane Ideas said...


Yet again has delected my comments another proof of his Blac Boogie status this inability to handle dissent when it comes from the nigger activist bandwidth..

Hue and low self esteem traits which were caused by the oppressive nature of white pathologies created the Black Boogie class it still lingers and exists in our Black communities..

It has value on many levels yet it also creates Black apologists, Black passivity and has been an obstacle to authentic Black Liberation..

All the Black posters and of course our drama queen CD are part of the Black Bourgeoisie..

Had to get this in before CD strikes with his magic wand and deletes my,lol,lol

Anonymous said...

This is tangential to your topic, however I feel it's still broadly topical. I would like to see more discussion about the larger picture. If enough people can see the larger picture, we can all work together to make a new advance for civil rights and civil liberties.

This Doug Casey video captures it pretty well. Based on historical trends. We're staring right in the face an event that is at the same scale and scope as the French Revolution, but on a global scale.

The video also explains some of the process of Libertarian thought, and how Ayn Rand is not held in high esteem as the left and right try to assert to much.

Invisible Man said...


I borrow liberally from E. Franklin Frazier’s definition of the Black Bourgeoisie. The burgeoning black middle class,emerging at the end of the civil rights struggle, creating inter class conflict as the gates of affirmative action allowed a certain segment into the promised land of economic opportunity, while keeping the masses stuck in time to be exploited economically by either the prison industrial complex, non profit industrial complex or raison d'ĂȘtre for mostly white and some black democratic government bureaucrats

This was a shift from communal rights and community( remember what the block was like back in the day) to individual comeuppance and striving
These individuals became more conservative and less active towards civil rights and social policy, while demonstrating a hostility toward those left behind.

I put forth that "Black Bourgeoisie Politics" promotes the protection of rights gained by the Black middle class and more importantly rights enjoyed by white liberals. Think about the amount of money that goes into the intellectual and artistic study of poor Black people who get very little in return and certainly no empowerment.

And we are not organized, which is why the model works, but the universities, and philanthropic foundations are organized. The democratic party is organized.

You say Barack Obama is a president who happens to be Black. And there is the rub, Sir! President Obama was elected because he was Black, that was the "hope" I say he was elected because white America( after Kartina, 9/II, the invasion of Iraq, and the banking scandal) understood Intrinsically that the status quo that benefits them, could not hold, unless a Black man was elected. but they needed a certain Black man who would immediately "un black" himself once ensconced in "da white house" And Look what this Super Man was able to do. Keep Occupy Wall Street from totally going berserk because he's a Black Man. Keep the Black middle class from realizing that their communities are burning down. Keep the Oligarchy and Military, and Prison Industrial complex humming smoothly, while creating new revenue streams for exploitative profits, i.e charter schools.

And you know this, yet you write about this presidential race as if it were the good guy verses the bad guy. Every once in the while you expose the myth, dead center, with the same adroit articulateness you use the rest of the 96% of the time when you're writing the narrative the DNC wishes it had the foresight to write. Now far be it for me to expose your charming humble pie, but uhm googling your name, clearly some body is paying attention, which is why I'm privileged to be part of the dialogue. But as to why you aren't paid,-yet? Because you're doing their work for free. But that's our story since Plymouth Rock landed on us. What have they ever done that we did not do for them for free? But as I said, you hang in there. I'm sure you will be able to capitalize on your craft and I'm sure you are current in media trends as oppose to the death rattle of news papers and such

chaunceydevega said...

@Vic. I love it when I hear ign'ts on the bus talking about the Illuminati controlling Wayne Gucci and Two Chains and other assorted mouthbreathers. If they sunk that low they ain't the power set folks imagined them to be.

@Cnu. Of course there is a black professional class. The boule is real too. There are gate keepers. I was more playfully exploring the idea of who gets to decide, what is appropriate behavior, what are the criteria for the club, and what if you can't stand the Jack and Jill types and they don't like you either?

@Nomad. I am not middle class. I wish I were. Working class? Yes.

@Blacksage. You should write comedy. Is that political Thunderbird they are drinking? I do like Witherspoon's use of the brown paper bag for his flour. So obvious I am gonna start doing that. His kitchen hygiene is spot on too.

@Thrasher. I am leaving your comment up so that younger people can learn how not to behave. You are a 50 years or older black man who is begging someone to stop deleting their comments on a website. That is some Facebook tween b.s. if I have ever seen it.

Moreover, you insult said person and keep wondering why they keep sending you away. Something is wrong with a "legend from the D" who is obsessed with trying to post a comment on a website where the host has politely asked him to be gone and reform himself. If you acted like you had some sense, stopped pretending to be different people online, and ate a little humble pie things would be fine. I think the sweaty basement dwellers have influenced you badly . Do they have walking with some swagga, pants sagging or perhaps too tight like the black hipster set be wearing, rocking chief keef on the walkman and wearing shades at night?

@IM2. "Because you're doing their work for free. But that's our story since Plymouth Rock landed on us. What have they ever done that we did not do for them for free?"

You got that right.

Black Americans spend about 98 percent of their income--could be higher or lower now and effectively subsidize just about every other racial group--immigrants who open businesses in our communities especially--in this country. Black people should go on a consumer strike. Won't happen. It would cause a bunch of problems and some of our justice claims would have to be responded to. How? I don't know.