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Posts Tagged ‘black respectability politics’

Some Older Posts about the Problem of Police Murdering Black People

June 1, 2020 30 comments

As some readers will remember, I have been writing for many years about what state-approved lynching of black people, especially men, by cops says about american society. Needless to say, my observations about this phenomenon go beyond blaming the cops (who are guilty, of course) to issues such as the intersection of racism and capitalism in a rapidly declining empire. And yes.. what we are seeing now (in post-1965 era) has a much more to do with maintaining the cosmetic appearance of a terminally declining order than actually achieving anything substantive. Think of it as the cosplay accompanying the ongoing final decline of an empire- and read the above-linked short series if you interested in my reasoning for that specific conclusion.

In the past, I have also addressed issues such as why police are much more likely to kill unarmed black men than say arab or somali men. Long story short, the second worst thing to happen to black people in this country was Christianity which ensured their mind was as enslaved as their bodies. Therefore they do not react to the lynching of other black people with the same deadly ferocity as say arabs, somalis or any other ethno-linguistic group. Here is a quote..

It is very likely that police murdering Muslims from the ME at even a fraction of rate of Blacks in USA would severely compromise the personal safety of themselves and their families. In contrast to that, police murdering black people in USA will at most result in more marches, prayers at some church and tearful interview with relatives on TV. European whites did not get kicked out for good out of Asian and African countries after WW2 because they feared peaceful marches, prayer assemblies and tearful testimonies. American whites did not get kicked out of North Korea, Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan because of nonviolent resistance by the local population.

Belief in Christianity and consequent self-hatred is also why many older and even some young black people seeking respectability are unwilling to openly say that cops are murderers even when the evidence for that assertion is very clear. Here is a quote from that post..

At the risk of being even more controversial, it is fair to say that the effect of Christianity and its institutions on black people in USA has been largely negative. Religions with their focus on the “next life”, false “morality” and victim-blaming have always been the opiate of the masses. It is telling that black people are among the most devout followers of Christianity in USA. Moreover, their strong belief in Christianity is an important part of why so many in the older generation believe in bullshit concepts such as “respectability” and “acceptance” by whites.

There is also the problem of most black “leaders” still coming from the background of organized religion. It also does not help that most all them are scam artists who are too happy to play the house slave for monetary rewards. To put it another way, the religious convictions of black people and the type of people who end up becoming their “leaders” has a lot to do with why there has not been progress in the field of civil rights since the 1970s. It is also why the black community has been unable to respond to problems such as mass incarceration, continued systemic racial discrimination and frequent state-sanctioned murders of its members.

As mentioned in previous paragraph, there is also the issue of the ‘black mis-leadership class‘. To make another long story short, the vast majority of black political leadership since the 1970s is made up of frauds and hucksters who will throw their supporters under the bus at the slightest chance of personal profit. These CONmen and CONwomen have no real interest in the betterment or upliftment of the people who vote them into office. Here is a quote from that post..

Over the past few years, I noticed something interesting about the response of almost all of the so-called ‘black leadership’ types to large protests about police brutality against black people. To make a long story short, even though they acknowledged the existence of this problem almost every single one of them did nothing beyond push for a few cosmetic measures and make long speeches. And this includes that black neoliberal president aka Obama.

In other words, they took great care not to upset the status quo while using those events to cynically get more black people to vote for them in elections. When I looked at this issue in more detail, it became obvious that we have not gone past the level of change achieved by the civil rights moment of 1950s-60s. Which is a nice way of saying that black ‘leadership’ since the 1970s has largely been about pretending to fight for equality for their constituency while simultaneously supporting the status quo and getting rich.

Finally there is the issue of ‘black respectability politics’, which is regrettably still a thing among older black people– especially older black women. There is a reason why aneoliberal CONman such as Obama, whose policies as a president did a lot of damage to his own group, still has high approval ratings among older black people- even though he is the political equivalent of Bill Cosby. In summary, this is much deeper problem than many would like to believe.

What do you think? Comments?

Barack Obama is the Political Equivalent of Bill Cosby

March 3, 2019 11 comments

Let me start this post by making one seemingly outrageous prediction- a couple of decades from now, the legacy of Barack Obama will be widely seen as similar to that of Bill Cosby today. To be clear, I am not suggesting that Obama is going to be tried and sentenced in court for drugging and raping women as Bill Cosby was in 2018. Rather, Obama and his specific brand of neoliberal black respectability politics will elicit the same degree of revulsion and pity as the mention of Bill Cosby and his older brand of that same viewpoint do today. Some readers might remember my previous series on why the Obama presidency was a disaster for establishment democrats.

The parts relevant to this post are that Obama was, politically speaking, a Reagan-era republican whose policies either preferentially hurt the interests of black people (e.g during the foreclosure crisis after 2008) or did very little to help them (e.g. police brutality, drug decriminalization and criminal justice reform). But more importantly, he did all of this while claiming the mantle of black leadership- which is a fancy way of saying that he was a conman who advanced his career as the ‘great black hope’ while at the same time stepping over a large number of innocent black people. And he still received over 95% of votes by black people during his re-election in 2012.

But how does any of this make him similar to Bill Cosby? Well.. for beginners, Barack Obama and Bill Cosby, in addition to many currently serving black political leaders, are part of what is best defined as black respectability politics. In fact, the black backlash against Obama has already started to build as we can see in the NYT piece which correctly points out how Obama used the white fear of young black men to advance his career and make himself rich. I would go so far as to say that Obama is now seem more positively by white people than black people (except maybe older black women). But how does this make him the political equivalent of Bill Cosby?

To understand this, we have to go back to an era decades before most of us (including me) were born. Bill Cosby, you see, was one of the first black entertainers in USA who was both widely successful and considered respectable. His standup comic career started in the early 1960s, an era when many states in USA still had separate drinking fountains for white and black people and Jim Crow laws are still in vogue in the retarded.. I mean southern.. states. More relevantly, this was an era when every black person in showbusiness was either portrayed as either a slave, servant, stupid, subhuman or otherwise flawed. If you do not believe this, just check out any movie On YouTube with black characters from the pre-1960 era.

So how was Cosby able to succeed in that era? Well.. for two reasons. Firstly, he was able to put forth the image of an articulate, intelligent and harmless black man telling good but inoffensive jokes for his white audience. Secondly, his success with white audiences at a time when there were few universally famous black entertainers resulted in him receiving unconditional support from his black audience. Barack Obama was the first black politician with a national reach who successfully appealed to white voters tired of idiots such as Bush43. His popularity among the black community increased only after it became obvious he could beat HRC in 2008 primaries.

And this brings us to the question as to why Obama had a large white following before getting a similar black one. Well.. in case it is not obvious enough, the appeal of Obama to white voters was almost exclusively based in the fact that he portrayed himself as an articulate, intelligent and harmless black man who shared many of the beliefs about themselves and those ‘other undesirable’ people. Sure.. he changed his speaking style in front of predominantly black audiences and pretended to care about the issues affecting them- but let us face it, he never cared about them. While his pre-2004 political career in Chicago is rarely talked about nowadays, it is a well-known fact that he built it by colluding with all sorts of shady people and causes, including urban “gentrification”.

In other words, Obama was always willing to walk over multitudes of poor black people to further his own career. Ironically, he would then turn around and try to get them to vote for him because of his skin color. This is also why his rise in local Chicago politics was slow until a set of unusual circumstances allowed him to win a Senate seat in 2004, thereby giving him a national stage. Yes.. that is correct- if Jerri Ryan (of Star Trek fame) had not sued her then husband for divorce and revealed lurid details about their sex life, Barack Obama would not have been elected to the Senate in 2004. To make a long story short, he used his new-found visibility to position himself as a national-level black leader who just happened to more popular with whites.

But why did Obama’s popularity take off so quickly among white voters? Well.. for starters, he studiously avoided talking about the legacy of racial discrimination in USA- and when he did broach that topic, Obama tried to make it sound that most of it was in the past (at least when talking to whites). He was also clever enough to not support the Iraq War and generally take positions which looked good on paper but entailed no real sacrifice on his part. He portrayed himself as the political equivalent of Cliff Huxtable, and that does make Michelle Obama his Clair Huxtable. The LIEbral class in USA ate all that shit up because they could finally support a token black politician and tell themselves and others that they were not racist.

There is a reason why writers on SNL and rich white LIEbral actors still sing the praises of Barack Obama, in spite of the sheer mediocrity of his presidency- not unlike how Bill Cosby’s career took off in 1970s and 1980s, despite the mediocrity of his family friendly acts and shows. A lot of white people just wanted to make themselves and others around them believe that they were good people and not really racist. And there is one more major similarity between Barack Obama and Bill Cosby. Both were, and are, big proponents of the scam of black respectability politics. See.. according to proponents of black respectability politics, racial discrimination against blacks in USA was their own fault and could be totally corrected by embracing CONservative beliefs.

As it turns out, that bullshit does not work and racism against black people in USA is due to the perception of their skin color by white people- most of whom are incredibly mediocre. Sure.. black respectability politics can help a few black people (Bill Cosby, Barack Obama, Cory Booker, Kamala Harris etc) succeed, but they can do so only by screwing over many scores of people who look like them in order appease a few rich white people who might throw them some crumbs. Some might describe this behavior as treacherous, but that is what still passes for black misleadership (political and cultural) in USA. Hopefully this will change..

To summarize, both Barack Obama and Bill Cosby are street-smart, but mediocre, men who built their careers by pandering to white liberals while simultaneously screwing over tons of black people and then demanded fealty from the very people they abused to make their benjamins.

what do you think? Comments?