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Wednesday, January 25, 2006

New Political Thought Vol.4

Often prominent political leaders of both donkey and elephant persuasion will say something to the effect of: while the United States hasn't always upheld its ideals, it has continued to get better and that's part of what makes the United States a great country. I think I've heard most often when speaking of civil rights and/or racial issues, especially around the Dr. King holiday. One the one hand this is true; I mean it is undeniable that American society is much better now than say, in 1833. However when I see these prominent political leaders (usually white and affluent) make such comments, it sounds akin to an abusive relationship in which the abuser says to the abusee: yeah I know I've abused you mentally and physically, but hey- it's not as bad as it used to be, right?

But we're stuck in this relationship for the long haul now. Shoot, you think we're just going to leave the House for which we literally laid the bricks? Even in divorce one spouse gets half of the assests, and reparations or not we ain't leavin' empty handed- I guarantee you that much. Black folk know- and have always known- that our own welfare is connected to the overall welfare of the country, as goes the phrase "when white America sneezes, black America catches a cold" (or something to that effect). If the ship goes down we'll be the ones without the life boat. So of course it's in our best interest to keep the ship running, all the while banging on the captain's door to steer the ship in a different direction.

It's kind of the "double-consciousness" W.E.B. DuBois spoke about in his landmark work The Souls of Black Folk: to ensure your own survival, you have to also ensure the survival of the entity that is the very threat to your survival. Black nationalist thought, as exhibited by Nation of Islam among others, calls for separation; in other words leaving the abusive relationship. The only sticking point is that, as I pointed out earlier, we ain't leavin' empty handed. So we do this dance where push America to stop being a hypocrite, and the rest of America sometimes moves in sync (as in the case of the end of legal segregation). But usually right after the pleasing dip, there is the spin followed by the mashing of toes (as in the assasinations of Malcolm X, Dr. King, and the infamous COINTELPRO which lead to the dismantling of organizations such as the Black Panthers).

Emancipated by Talib @ 2:41 AM

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