Black nationalism is an irrational ideology because it depends upon the gross exaggeration of white people’s wickedness... and black people’s nobility.
Consider a recent comment left on this blog by Michael Fisher. Regarding the two Nigerian newspaper columnists who have proclaimed that blacks are intellectually inferior to whites, Fisher presents this rhetorical either-or:
“If the [Global System of White Supremacy] doesn't exist and black people have not been able to make a go of it in half a century all around the globe, clearly something must be wrong with them. ... [A]bsent an outside retarding influence it must be a problem of genetic inferiority.”
Fisher’s assertion that black Africans are either innately dumb or else victims of a sinister global conspiracy to keep them down... first of all, it’s shoddy reasoning. Couldn’t blacks be innately dumb and victims of a white-supremacist conspiracy?
In other words, accepting Fisher’s premise that there is an effective Global System of White Supremacy [GSWS] does nothing to prove or disprove the proposition that blacks collectively are less intelligent than whites.
Indeed, if Fisher is correct when he declares – as in his current online debate with Cobb – that white supremacy is “the sole and overwhelming paradigm in humanity’s existence. [It] knows no borders, it knows no bounds, it rules directly and indirectly”... well, that raises a couple of questions:
What is necessary for a group of people to conceive, implement and maintain for centuries an effective system of world domination? Intelligence perhaps? Hello!
And what’s lacking in another group of people – those identified as “black,” who were architects of great ancient civilizations – that they now find themselves, everywhere on Earth, utterly controlled by whites and their “supremacy system”? How’d they fall for the okey-doke?
This element of black-nationalist thought – ceaselessly overstating the impact of white racism – runs the risk of calling attention back to the old superior/inferior dialectic. This is a rhetorical problem. How can you say that Whitey rules everything around you... without giving Whitey the credit for being smarter?
The solution: White people must be evil.
The Nation of Islam, for example, constructed a full-blown demonology (complete with creation myth) to explain why the “white blue-eyed devil” is on top.
Afrocentric professor Leonard Jeffries popularized the notion of whites as “ice people,” evolutionarily inclined towards violence and cruelty, compared with melanin-endowed “sun people” who are warm and empathetic.
Michael Fisher, on his blog recently, wrote: “[W]hite racism/supremacy is nothing but a death cult. They worship death.
“... A dead white man nailed to an ancient torture/execution instrument hanging everywhere, the spending of hundreds of billions of dollars on wars.... The whole society is permeated with the stench of death and decay.”
Poet Haki Madhubuti, in the audio track I uploaded earlier today, makes his own reference to “the faces white with death.” White men as “the enemies of the world.”
Cruel, devilish, death-worshipping white folks, dominating the world and keeping the black man down. Don’t you hate that? Don’t you hate them?
But now, see... having constructed this monstrous white enemy and exaggerated its power and influence... damn, how can you fight that? How could you possibly defeat a system so vast, an enemy people so effective in their designs, so ruthless in their ambitions?
Shit, you know they invented AIDS and turned it loose on the world, right? What won’t the white supremacist do? What couldn’t he do? And you’re going to fight him with what... a poem? A blog? A guerrilla army? Whitey got nukes, bitch! Think he don’t?
In the end, black nationalists, for all the mental energy they’ve invested in researching and comprehending the Global System of White Supremacy, are left with one intangible asset: their hatred of white people. And a cheap asset it is.
Click here and listen to a 1970 poem titled “Kill” by Anthony Hamilton of the Watts Prophets.
(By the way, the Watts Prophets grew out of Watts Writers Workshop, which was founded by a white man, Hollywood screenwriter Budd Schulberg, after the ’65 riots.)