Saturday, September 13, 2008

Charity Should Begin at Home, Part 2: Black Folks' Mass Suicide by Coalition

African-American leaders are feckless and foolish. Most of them have an uncompromising commitment to mediocrity and political fantasies. One such fantasy has been the notion of a rainbow coalition. And we've been fools to buy into this fantasy. Most of us never developed the simple (yet life-saving) habit of asking, "What's in it for us [to support x, y, z position]?" Many of us still don't understand that what our (mis)leaders call "coalitions" and "alliances" actually consist of other people capitalizing off of our unique historical struggle.

Our lack of political common sense has already cost us. Dearly. In terms of political empowerment, we've already slit our own wrists. Our (mis)leaders encouraged us to support Latino and other non-White immigration, and to cry copious tears over the "plight" of various categories of illegal immigrants. We were encouraged to assume that non-White immigrants were somehow our natural, and automatic allies in the quest for justice.

Umm . . . No. People generally come to the United States to get paid. Period. There's nothing wrong with that. Like I said in Part 1 of this series, it is normal, natural, and fair for people to look out for their own interests. I would like to see more African-Americans acquire this mental habit. Somehow, we got it in our heads that other people of color are naturally inclined to help us in our struggle. NO. Helping us is not part of most immigrants' mission profile. People come here to find a better life for themselves. Not to join our struggle.

We are now reaping the consequences of foolishly supporting non-White (legal and illegal) immigration to this country. We are being displaced. We are being physically displaced in many areas of the country. This physical displacement leads to political displacement. Many currently Black congressional districts have large and growing Latino populations. NO Latino districts have growing Black populations. I've read reports estimating that this demographic shift will cause Blacks to lose 6-7 congressional seats after the 2010 census redistricting.

One example of this was last year's battle for the traditionally Black 37th Congressional District seat in Southern California. This district covers an area including much of Long Beach, Compton, and Watts. The death of Rep. Juanita Millender-McDonald led to a special primary election. A May 8, 2007 article from Politico.com talks about this political race. Here's the link:

http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0507/3888.html

An African-American candidate ultimately won the seat. See the July 3, 2007 article from the Los Angeles Times entitled, "Racial issues take a back seat in 37th - Multiracial support has Laura Richardson poised to represent a largely Latino district. Her take: 'We are a new America, very diverse.'" http://articles.latimes.com/2007/jul/03/local/me-congress3

However, it is important to note that Rep. Richardson won a Democratic primary with 10 other candidates running. She then went on to win the runoff election against 3 other candidates. This is not an example of a strong, solid victory. It sounds quite fragile. Decades of believing in a "Black and Brown Together" fantasy helped make this vulnerable situation possible. We enabled our own political disenfranchisement by supporting non-White immigration. We slit our own wrists.

As a side note, Rep. Richardson is half White. She has an African-American father and a White mother. I don't know if she emphasized this fact during her campaign. I also don't know whether or not she self-identifies as "Black" or if she's highly invested in indentifying as something distinct from Black, such as "biracial." The media refer to her as African-American. Her parents divorced, and she was raised by her White mother. http://www.cqpolitics.com/wmspage.cfm?docID=news-000002573713

The displacement and disenfranchisement of African-Americans in California's big cities is fairly obvious. What's not so obvious is that this process is being replicated in small towns across the South. Legal and illegal immigrants are overrunning rural towns all over "Dixie." Praise God, some of us are starting to wake up and see this for what it is: NOT in our interests. A Los Angeles Times article from August 31, 2008 entitled, "Immigrant raid divides a Mississippi town" mentions the variety of reactions to an immigration raid.

http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/nation/la-na-raids31-2008aug31,0,219718.story

The above story talks about the employment angle of illegal immigration. What about the political repercussions? What happens in these towns (and the South in general) if illegal immigrants are given amnesty and the ability to vote? Answer: The same thing that is happening in California. Blacks will be pushed aside in our traditional population centers in the South.

Miami is a sneak preview of what will become of Black folks' political fortunes across this country if we don't change course right now. Looking at Miami, it's clear that living under the heels of Latino political overlords is not a pretty picture for African-Americans.

An article from the Winter 2008 volume of City Journal entitled, "The Rainbow Coalition Evaporates" also describes how some of us are belatedly coming to our senses. http://city-journal.org/2008/18_1_blacks_and_immigration.html

I just hope that this realization hasn't come too late. We've already slit our own wrists, and the blood is flowing freely. There's still time to bandage some of the wounds, but only if we immediately start looking out for our own best interests.

15 comments:

Anonymous said...

I have said it many times, black people - we need to learn to love ourselves before we can reach out and love other people. We don't care about the state of our communities, our women, and our children who are our future. This is one of the many reason that we have not been taken seriously by other groups. They realize the importance of community building and the importance of their people, most especially their children. We don't realize know what is important and we don't value ourselves. We are willing to play the conciliators and be generous when others are not willing to reciprocate. It angers me deeply that so many black "leaders" are still touting this line of a rainbow coalition. These non-black groups use black organizations, if you will, to gain a toe hold; then once they are strong enough, they break away and disassociate themselves. It is time for black people to face this fact and to form a new reality; where our own self interest are forefront in our minds and inform all of our decisions and actions. Unless we do that - we are doomed.

JS said...

Black people have become racial sycophants. I am only 26 but I have had a sort of epiphany recently after observing the racial trends both in the media, Internet, and in real life. It seems that black people are obsessed with gaining other group’s acceptance. Blacks desperately want to be included into other group’s social strata even if that “acceptance” is only about keeping appearances. Why can’t we be satisfied with each other’s company? Is it because we think other groups are culturally more dynamic?

Khadija said...

Welcome, Anonymous!

I'm also enraged at how so many of our (mis)leaders keep touting this rainbow mess. This issue is rapidly becoming an "extinction level event" for Black folks. We've already cut our wrists by supporting the entry of so many immigrants. To continue supporting open immigration is the same as cutting our own throats.

More of us need to enforce an immigration policy litmus test on aspiring and incumbent Black "leaders." Collectively, we're barely surviving the open cuts on our wrists. We can't survive cutting our own throats. Anybody who doesn't understand this is incapable of protecting our interests. It's as simple as that.

Peace, blessings, solidarity.

Khadija said...

Welcome, JS!

There's no need to explain that you've had an epiphany though you're "only 26." Wisdom doesn't necessarily correlate with chronological age. I wish our middle-aged and elder leaders would have some epiphanies. They seem to be in short supply.

Much of the seeking others' acceptance behavior that you've described stems from the collective self-hatred that we were programmed to have. Historically, only a few of the explicitly Black Nationalist groups (like the original Nation of Islam) were filled with Black folks who were satisfied with the company of other Black folks.

The current Nation of Islam accepts Latino members (including non-Black Latinos such as Mexicans). Min. Ishmael Muhammad (who is one of Elijah Muhammad's {illegitimate} sons) is married to a Mexican wife.

Peace, blessings and solidarity.

Evia said...

Hey Khadija--You finally went and started your blog. Well, Hallelujah!! LOL!

Anyway, on my Common Sense site, I've been writing about this same situation. The fact is that there is NO African American "community" any more.

One of the commenters to this topic on my blog pointed out that AAs don't demand reciprocity because we're not in the position to demand it--meaning we don't have the solidarity or the backing from among our own that is needed to insist on other people reciprocating.

Solidarity requires community and community requires families and families require LOTS of men and women committed to each other and the goal of a common destiny. Now, do we have this in the AA "community" or social circles?

Many AAs have no idea what a "common destiny" is and would start arguing about it even if it were explained to them. I mean, is the AA common destiny to return to Africa? Or is it to become full-fledged assisimilated members of mainstream America or is it to form a separate nation? We've discussed these all before.

But you and I both know there would be massive disagreement among AAs about this if there were any attempt to discuss this even among many in our own social circles.

If any Jewsish leader for ex., demanded reciprocity in exchange for something valuable given, s/he knows they've gotten hundreds of thousands of Jews who have their back because there is the consensus around a common destiny for the bulk of Jews. The vast majority of Nigerians, for ex., have a consensus **among members of their ethnic group** about their common destiny.

This is NOT the case with many AAs because lots of AAs are not sure who exactly is in their group. and many AAs don't want to be in the AA group due to self-hatred issues. There is ABSOLUTELY no way to avoid dealing with the issue of self-hatred among many AAs. That's the bottom line. I mean, for ex. why did Ishmael Muhammed marry a Mexican woman?

Was it because the majority of AA muslim women have "bad attitudes," or are fat and/or multiple babymamas which is what many other AA men **claim** as the reason that so many other AA women are unfit to be wives, which they **claim** FORCES them to marry non-AA women, if they marry at all? Is that the reason why this guy preferred a Mexican woman?

My point is that if we don't deal effectively with the self-hate and re-create **families** (of some sort) that consist of people who are committed to each other and their children, nothing else we do is going to matter.

Khadija said...

Welcome, Evia!

{excited waving}

I'm so happy you stopped by. Yep, I felt compelled to actively join the cyber campaign to save Black women and girls. You and so many other sisters have been an inspiration in this regard. Thank you.

Some thoughts in response to your comment:

Yes, there are certain things on a MASS scale that cannot be accomplished without a mass consensus. And a mass consensus requires a mass of people at least wanting to move in the same direction.

This necessary prerequisite no longer exists among AAs. So, your reader is correct----We are definitely NOT in a position to operate like the Jewish community, Nigerians, Mexicans or anybody else. And, as we've discussed previously, much of this is due to collective self-hatred.

Large numbers of "us" are desperate to remove themselves from "our" category. By hook or by crook. If they have to make up new categories for themselves to "escape" Blackness, such as "Cablanasian," that is what they will do.

My point about Min. Ishmael Muhammad was to let it be known that even groups who could previously be expected to strongly look out for our collective interests aren't the same anymore.

The reconstituted NOI has also been tainted & corrupted (to a certain extent) with the rainbow coalition fever. It's galling everytime I hear Min. Farrakhan refer to "our Latino brothers & sisters." In terms of Min. Ishmael specifically, I think he was raised in Mexico. I don't think he's ever spoken about how or why it came to be that he has a non-Black wife. Of course, he claims to be strongly pro-Black. Whatever...

Even though certain MASS scale endeavors are no longer feasible, we can still do many things on an INDIVIDUAL & SMALL GROUP scale. We can still demand reciprocity on an individual & small group level.

As individuals and small groups (who share the same values & aspirations for ourselves---such as your expression "Survive & Thrive"), we can still accomplish much. A small organized group will always outperform a large disorganized mass.

Scripture teaches this with the examples of small groups of believers overcoming much larger armies. History teaches this with the example of a small number of White colonists ruling over & controlling many more millions of Black South Africans. Current events teaches this with a much smaller number of Israelis holding out against a surrounding ocean of Arab nations.

As organized individuals & small groups we can STOP our (mis)leaders from continuing to cut on our throats. We can STOP them from continuing to support open borders and amnesty for illegal immigrants. We can dissuade & discourage (mis)leaders from continuing to rally our unthinking support for illegal aliens.

I refuse to entertain any more "Black & Brown" or "Blacks & Latinos" talk anymore. From anybody. This is another issue that I've been spreading the word about to every sister within earshot. As well as those AA men who who still ACT in support of AA women & children. [I don't respond to lip-service anymore. I require action.]

We can STOP individual college admissions officers from denying AAs our fair slice of the affirmative action resources that our people's struggle created. [I've discovered in my own efforts, that some AA academics involved in the admission process were simply unaware of the trend line I discussed in Part 1 of this series. And seemed genuinely alarmed at its implications for the future.]

I know that there is much that we can still do, because there is much that we have already done!

You've already helped individuals & groups accomplish important things. You and other Black bloggers mobilized individuals & small groups for literally life-saving missions. As individuals & small groups, we STOPPED Rev. Hot Comb and the NAACP from actively supporting the Dunbar Village superpredators that are in custody. We also helped Citoya Greenwood and her daughter escape the Dunbar Village hellhole.

Yes, the Black "community" is dead. The type of healthy, all-Black community I was blessed to grow up in is gone. It's not coming back. Big Mama's house is long gone. It now sits as a condemned ruin with zombies running around inside & out.

Despite all of this, there is still much that we can accomplish as small bands of survivors from the ruins. At a minimum, we can block the efforts of those (mis)leaders who are trying to keep Black women & girls locked in the zombie-infested house. We can also block the efforts of those (mis)leaders who would give our food away to other people.

Peace, blessings and solidarity.

tasha212 said...

First of all, congrats on your blog. I think that black people have been tricked into believing that we have shared interests with non-white groups, especially Latinos. The thing is, we do. Latinos, especially Puerto Ricans and Mexicans suffer from alot of the same problems that black communities suffer from. The problem comes from the inability of black people to demand reciprocity in all dealings with others and even with ourselves. Hell, we don't even demand anything in exchange for our votes. I don't think it's a problem to form coalitions with other nonwhite groups. The problem is that we continue to forget to put our needs first and in failing to do so we continue to be shortchanged. If it came down to it, I would be more willing to form a coalition with Latinos than whites.

Khadija said...

Welcome, Tasha!

{excited waving}

Thanks for stopping by, and for your kind words. You're one of the sisters I'm imitating by hosting my own blog. Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. Thank you so much for being an inspiration to me.

So...You believe we have shared interests with Latinos. If that is so, how exactly do the things that they want benefit us?

1-How does amnesty for illegal aliens benefit Blacks? How does increasing the numbers of potential Latino voters help us? The pattern so far is that their electoral gains come at our expense. We are losing congressional seats, mayor's offices, etc. to Latinos. NOT to White candidates.

2-How does being replaced by Latinos as the #1 minority group in this country benefit Blacks? They want to get into this country, by hook or by crook. We supported that in the past. How has increasing their numbers here helped us? How would further increasing their numbers in this country help us?

3-How do bilingual services help us? How do requirements for the presence of billingual (Spanish-speaking) service providers in government offices, hospitals, etc. help us? How does government money diverted to pay for billingual programs help Black schoolchildren in the public schools?

I don't see how anything that Latinos want benefits us. In fact, their "wish list" has been contrary to our best interests so far. If I'm missing something in this scenario, please let me know.

Peace, blessings and solidarity.

tasha212 said...

Khadijah,

Now that I have read your comment I see what you are getting at. I was thinking more in terms of poverty, crime, racism, high dropout rate, innercity high crime rate, ect. I think that Latinos and blacks do share common interests. Latinos are like everyone else who in a white supremist society sees it as in their best interest to distance themselves from blackness as much as possible. I'm referring to to Latinos who have been here, not the recent immigrants.These are just my thoughts.

BTW, I included you on my blog roll.

Peace and in solidarity
Tasha

Khadija said...

Tasha,

Thanks for the link love; I truly appreciate it!

My bottom line is that most of Latinos' CORE interests (some of which I've listed above) are in direct conflict with our interests.

Also keep in mind that the Latinos that are already here are often related and connected to the ones that are on their way to the US. For this reason, I don't think the distinction you're suggesting (already here vs. recent/aspiring immigrants) is a valid one.

In terms of problems that our groups may have in common such as high dropout rates, etc.: Just because they have a similar problem DOES NOT mean that they perceive themselves as being in the same boat with us.

In fact, in my opinion it's in Latinos' best (long-term) interests to get as far away from us as possible---It's in their best interests to try to portray themselves as a hardworking, "model" minority. Like the Asians have accomplished. Latinos can't really accomplish this if they're hugged up with us. This is a logical reason (above & beyond White supremacy brainwashing) for them to distance themselves from us.

We've already established the unfortunate public image of NOT being hardworking, etc. by allowing ourselves to be the public face of welfare. When was the last time you saw a White or Mexican person on tv who publicly admitted to being on welfare?

Like I said in part 1, this isn't about animosity towards others, it's about looking at this in the cold, harsh light of reality. From my perspective, Blacks & Latinos have divergent & often conflicting CORE interests.

However, I welcome dissenting opinions. I appreciate your input and the fact that you've taken the time to discuss this issue with me. Please feel free to add more to this discussion, if you wish.

Peace, blessings and solidarity.

blackwomenblowthetrumpet.blogspot.com said...

Hey there Khadija!
{waves}

AMEN and AMEN!

Peace, blessings and DUNAMIS!
Lisa

sdg1844 said...

I bear no hostility towards anyone who has none towards me. See, my Black Nationalist is coming out. Why in the world is it a bad thing for Black people to have an agenda and look out for our own best interests?

Why is that whenever we focus on ourselves, we're the bad guys and nurture hate towards others? I came up on the NOI of the 70's and 80's, so I'm old school when it comes to so-called coalitions.

I don't need anyone's doggone acceptance. What I want is for Black people to start putting ourselves first. I'm tired of us apologizing for being us.

I'm tired of others using our tools, our blood and our hard work for their own advancement. Yet they show nothing but contempt and disrespect for us.

Tired, Tired, Tired.

Khadija said...

Welcome, SDG1844!

Yes, I also have a soft spot in my heart for the ethnic self-respect taught by the old-school Nation of Islam. "Accept Your Own, and Be Yourself!" Ethnic self-respect is a very good thing. I wish more AAs would try it.

Yes, when AAs look out for our own interests, we are told that it's a bad thing called "separatism." When others do it, it's simply common sense.

The main thing is that so many waves of other ethnic groups have gotten fat & comfortable from exploiting us (waves of immigrant slum merchants over the decades), and/or riding our civil rights coattails.

I don't blame these other people---one is supposed to take advantage of opportunities. I blame US for being gullible & self-hating enough to always defer to these other people's interests.

Peace, blessings and solidarity.

Clarice said...

"Yes, when AAs look out for our own interests, we are told that it's a bad thing called "separatism." When others do it, it's simply common sense."

Agreed. The backlash mentioned is real and must be acknowledged and then overcome. It is what it is - so how to overcome it. The way to overcome that resistence is to just do. People hear what they see. Let the actions speak. Too many 'leaders' talk thus feeding into the resistance and the negative perceptions. The talking is largely an attempt to gain acceptance. The mentality being 'oh they are not liking us so we must stop and make them comfortable and gain that acceptance and approval' - if folks are not comfortable with reciprocity that is their problem. Fair exchange is no robbery.

Acceptance that does not come from within the soul of the individual is meaningless. Self acceptance born out of a sense of self respect is more powerful than any external resistance. Unfortunately too few people recognize this. Even fewer recognize the need to acknowledge the nature of the 'game' and play strategically using the cards on hand to achieve goals of importance. Successful, thriving groups, acknowledge the resistance, work around it, often co-opting the energy of the resistance to work in their favor and - just push through the resistance often silently until they are in a position to speak and negotiate from a position of strength that benefits them.

V/r

Clarice

Khadija said...

Clarice,

You said, "...if folks are not comfortable with reciprocity that is their problem. Fair exchange is no robbery."

Exactly!

Peace, blessings and solidarity.