Left Racism vs Million Man March
djones at uclink.berkeley.edu
Fri Oct 20 04:13:40 MDT 1995
Despite the length, Mr. Davidson made only a few points. I am going to
leave Lenin out of this. Your use of him finally allowed me to understand
the meaning of mechanical marxism. I wonder if you are the kind of Maoist
Dumain had in mind.
The first paragraph reduces to this:
> But whatever our
>assessment, we are fundamentally wrong if we say they are the
>same as main enemy. They couldn't be even if they wanted to be.
The NOI has, to paraphrase Adolph Reed in another context, put a black
imprimatur on the (far) right-wing's--or, as Mr. Davidson would put it, the
main enemy's--analysis of underclass poverty and pathology. If Mr.
Davidson had read my post "Cult of the Male", he would have known that
George Gilder (fellow of the Manhattan Institute which until recently
housed Charles Murray)has expressed fundamental and explicit agreement with
Farrakhan's attempt to attempt to restore patriarchy (the cult of the male)
and undercut women's opportunity for economic independence.
The far right believes that if there were patriarchal families, the
so-called underclass would not be mired in poverty. No other policy action
has to be taken, except to undercut women's indepedence (via cuts in AFDC
and other programs) and to instill discipline in fatherless men (via
bootcamps as James Q Wilson has been shrilly urging). Previously this
analysis has had genocidal implications as the place where Black men were
to pick up this discipline was in the Vietnam-bound army.
As Jane Gregg has already pointed out, the NOI has also now fueled the fire
of moral panic about Black men's degeneracy. Farrakhan has focused on
their immorality, sinfulness and self-destructiveness as the FUNDAMENTAL
source of their own problems. The main enemy is waiting in the wings to
remedy these problems with their own solutions. Perhaps the Nation of Islam
will run the bootcamps or some equivalent institutions. Since they agree
with the far right about the source of the problem, what other solutions
could they possibly advocate?
No prognostication is needed however to conclude that this March has set
back any movement to expand opportunity for Black women. They have dropped
off the face of earth.
Let me make it simple for you, Mr. Davidson. Mr. Charley will not be too
successful if he shows up in the 'hood and attributes Black poverty to
peoples' pathologies resulting from their single mothers. This would
commence a deadly game of dozens indeed. If you remember, that is what
Dan Qualye proclaimed as he entered South Central Los Angeles. Remember
how he ignored all economic determinants and dissed a TV character--
Murphy Brown. Now Farrakhan is saying the same thing: single mothers raise
hoodlums and Black men need discpline. This is what the far right has
been saying all along, and now Farrakhan can push the same message with all
the legitimacy the event has generated.
By the way, check out the movie Boyz N The Hood. The kid (Tre) with a
strong father (played by Fishburn) goes onto college; the ones raised by a
single mother (Ice-Cube being one) end up dead. See how easy it is. Make
sure the women have no choice but to submit to domineering husbands, and if
they don't, force them to abort or sterilize them beforehand. This is the
far-right agenda. For them, THERE IS NO NEED TO TOUCH THE FOUNDATIONS OF
THIS ECONOMIC SYSTEM.
And everything Farrakhan has ever said is consistent with this
victim-blaming shit--and so Gilder waxes enthusiastic about Nation of
Islam. By the way, this 'reading' of this movie was made in an issue of
The Nation a couple years back, ed. by Adolph Reed and Julian Bond; to my
credit, I figured out the underlying meaning of Singleton's movie
Now this gem:
>we cannot underestimate that what many Blacks respond to
>is that fact that he is unbowedand uninhibited in his denunciations
> of white supremacy, plus the fact that he is not dependent
>upon white philanthropy.
Farrakhan thrives off the negative corporate media attention, as well as a
thuggish army of recruits. Telling white people that they are the product
of a lab experiment gone awry is not an attack on white supremacy, unless
you want to believe so because of the sadistic pleasure you derive from
laughing at Black people believing such shit. Farrakhan attempts to
accomodate Black people to the segregation imposed upon them--to give up
the fight to integrate worplaces, unions and schools and the fight to
restructure the general political economy. That was the point after all:
"we went to DC, and we didn't ask for a thing. They don't care about us,
and we are not really members of this nation anyway. We are on our on. We
gotta set up our own businesses." Oh, watch out Fortune 500. The blows
are just accumulating, aren't they, Mr. Davidson?
Perhaps you would like to inform this list of one thing that the Nation
of Islam has EVER done to fight white supremacy, much less the oppression
of proletarians, that is the vast majority of Blacks.
Moreover, as a representative of the petit-bourgeois, Farrakhan's real
vitriol is for those ethnic bloodsuckers--not white supremacists with whom
the Nation has openly cooperated-- thereby mystifying all real sources of
oppression. You can imagine that this too makes the main enemy quite happy.
In short, the Nation of Islam IS the main enemy. Farrakhan is Gilder and
Quayle in Blackface. But all you can see is color.
And Mr Davidson concludes:
> These men, for the most
>part, were not mobilizing to restore some reactionary patriarchy and
>subordinate women. They couldn't do it if they wanted to. The
>target of their affirmation was not women, but the retrograde anti-female
>and anti-children outbursts
Do you remember A Black Woman's Guide To Black Men? Which suggested
Black women must obey men and date only within the 'race' so as to restore
Black men's self-esteem. There's a program you can rally behind. And like
Al Haig, black men can return home and say we are in charge here. This
march will NOT contribute to check attacks against "bitches and who(re)s"
(you must know how prevalent such language is). Farrakhan has underlined
that there is no need to listen to women's demands for child care and equal
education, against job-related discrimination and workplace oppression. The
agenda is the moral uplift of men; everything else has been subordinated.
Indeed women have very little right to speak outside of their roles as
mothers and wives in this scary, scary world of Islamic reaction.
Frankly, you are beneath contempt to pretend this march will dent
The Nation of Islam circulates anti-female outbursts; it is indeed their
speciality and now they have even greater legitimacy than before. They are
behind this historic event. People are wating on them. And if you talk to
Black women--all your friends seem to be men--you will discover that many
of them are frightened by the aftermath of this march.
You seem to tell us not to worry about Black patriarchy because Black men
will never be rich enough to own their wives. They sure can try--with some
mixture of anti-feminism and disciplinary institutions for themselves. How
many blows against white supremacy have we counted up so far, Mr. Davidson?
>It was an
>upwelling of stable, proletarian patterns of value over and against Black-on
>Black anti-social activity and criminality.
This may come as a surprise to you-- not all Black people are anti-social
or criminals; the vast majority of African-Americans don't need to renounce
their anti-social activity and criminality. They have bosses and racist
state officials to renounce, however.
Let the frustration, outrage and sense of betrayal among Black people grow
against Louis Farrakhan. We should do everyting to encourage it, including
against every single figure who has supported him--from Benjamin Chavis to
Cornel West to George Gilder to Carl Davidson.
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