I’ve often been told that I was angry. An angry black man to be exact. I used to vehemently reject that label until I took stock of all the things that pissed me off and/or truly had enough power over me to disrupt my mood. More things in this world, especially as it pertains to social justice and uplift anger me than I care to admit. For the sake of clarity I’m gonna give you 10 reasons why I’m an Angry Black Man.
To be a negro in this country and to be relativity conscious is to be in a rage almost all of the time ~ James Baldwin
1. The myth of Ronald Reagan
Ronald Wilson Reagan was known as the “Great Communicator”. As with most labels, talking points and platitudes from the right, the moniker “Great Communicator” is euphemistic speak for something much more sinister. By great communicator they really mean to say that he was a great liar. One that is able to effectively articulate the dastardly deeds that his party had in store for the country by couching said message in between some innocuous sound bites with his signature evil grin. Our 40th president saved his best acting for his post Hollywood career because his emulating even a marginally effective sitting president was a more Oscar worthy performance than anything he ever had as the B list actor that he was.
I would have to dedicate an entire blog post to the guy recite all the ways in which Reagan was a foul and failed president, so for the sake of brevity I will provide a truncated list of infractions
- He tripled the nations debt
- He slashed taxes for the top 1 percent and raised it 18 times on the middle and lower classes
- He ignored both the AIDS & crack epidemic that took root under his watch
- His vice presidents son (Neil Bush) was at the epicenter of the largest savings and loan scandal that the nation has ever seen (to the tune of 1.5 trillion)
- Helped arm and empower Saddam Hussein, Osama Bin Laden, Iran and the Taliban
All in all the dude sucked royally and the hero worship he receives today should be enough to drive any sane man mad–so yeah, I’m angry about that.
2. Fox News and the Corporate media conglomerates that purposely confuses the masses
The Fairness Doctrine was created in 1949 due to a rise in misinformation and outright propaganda being accepted as empirical fact by much of the public. For 50 years it for the most part succeeded in keeping the public informed when it came to matters germane to its interest. When Ronald Reagan took office in 1980 he immediately began chipping away at this law until it was finally abolished in 1987. So if you ever wondered why the Bill O’Reilly’s’, Sean Hannity’s and Rush Limbaugh’s of the world incessantly heap praise on one of the worst presidencies in the modern era, understand that these men would not have jobs in media were it not for Ronald Reagan doing away with a law that forbade them from being the lying talking heads that they are today–at least not unchallenged. Thus began the making of the anti-intellectual society that we currently suffer through today.
The idiot age that has finally come to fruition was not just the fault of Reagan and his right-wing party, it was a bi-partisan hit job on the American people because not even 10 years after the Fairness Doctrine was repealed by Reagan, Bill Clinton signed the Telecommunications Act of 1996 (the very year that Fox News was born) which basically killed mom and pop ownership of local media and granted corporate owned media outlets carte blanche powers to consolidate media markets around the country. The end result is a lot more media voices with a whole lot less diversity in the perspective that powers those many voices. Fast forward to 2014 where millions of people hold steadfast to truths that have absolutely no basis in fact ,like where this president was born or what religion he claims or even more long standing and scientifically proven facts like the world being older than 6000 years. Either way it’s enough to drive any sane person mad. So for the sake of sanity Fox is a major reason why I’m an Angry Black Man!
3. The Ban the N-word movement
I’m personally offended that the word nigga has some how become the only word in the English lexicon that Americans ( black & white) feel need to be banned( regardless of the context). I’m not here to defend the words usage but I do question the logic being employed. What good is getting rid of the word nigga if you are doing nothing to abate the nigga condition? That’s sort of like putting on deodorant without taking a shower.
Several years ago I watched in sheer disgust as the NAACP conducted a mock funeral for the word. It was an utter spectacle and an all-time low for the organization that still calls itself colored. The only thing more ridiculous than the idea of trying to bury a word that has been an active part of the urban vernacular for most of the 20th century (and on into the new millennium) is the guy they choose to bury the word. They actually had Kwame Kilpatrick do the Eulogy.
How are you going to ask an n-word to bury the n-word?
If such a sad spectacle (and major fail) was not bad enough we now have the NFL commissioner stepping into the fray to give his unsolicited, unwanted and unworthy opinion on the matter (backed by punitive measures). Now mind you this is the same guy that has neither the empathy nor social awareness to lend a sympathetic ear to the concerns of the Native American population that take serious umbrage with the Redskin moniker. Now he wants to interject and legislate the speech of black men in the NFL– ain’t that some shit!?! Even more maddening is the fact that I hear so many black people co-sign this foolish and morally empty gesture. They act like he’s doing this out of sheer altruism and not because of the fact that two of his white players purposely used the word in its most offensive contexts. So basically he’s going to penalize the black players in the game because he has two white players who embarrassed the league this year. Yeah, that makes a whole lot of sense.
4. Reality Television
I’m first and foremost mad at myself for knowing who many of the characters on these shows are in the first place. Unfortunately for me I tend to vicariously follow these shows via my Facebook timeline every time they come on. If it was as simple as blocking (or deleting) the people that watch these sort of programs and provide play-by-play details of the ratchet optics, believe me I would. But it’s not that easy because these shows have captivated people of all walks. From the projects to the pulpits these “reality” programs have become cult like hit shows– especially with black women. I even have sisters that religiously watch these wayward programs telling me that I should stop using the N-Word. The
audacity niggacity of these particular women truly befuddle me. It’s wrong to say the word nigga but completely okay to act out the worst of nigga behavior for all the world to see and even worse, for young impressionable minds to think that such untoward behavior as exhibited on these shows are okay to emulate.
the more of this young girls see on TV…
The more of this we will all see on World star Hip Hop…
She Watch Channel Zero was song on Public Enemy’s ‘It takes a Nation of Millions To Hold Us Back’ album that dropped way back in 1988. It no longer takes a nation of millions to hold black people back–Bravo is doing a pretty good job at it.
5. Black Conservatives and the house nigger mentality
The good Dr. Clarke said it all. Nothing left for me to add. Actually I have plenty to add but I have so much disdain to express vis-a-vis the house nigger mentality that it would take an entire blog post dedicated to the subject.
6. White Supremacy
White Supremacy is indeed one of the most wide spread un-diagnosed mental illnesses that exist today. It’s an affliction that transcends religion, race, creed, culture, and geographic boundaries. When white people in America finally get a grip on what an insidious force white supremacy is and begin to successfully combat it, the world as we know it will begin to move towards peace. The world would also begin to see a semblance of fairness as it pertains to how the wealth of the world is redistributed.
White supremacy is not just the enemy of black people and indigenous people across the globe, white supremacy is also an enemy to most white people. Why? Because it’s a facade. A mere false notion whereby the top 2-5 percent reap 85 percent of the benefits that the majority champion–under the guise of white privilege. It really is high time that White America collectively wake up and realize that the greatest problems that this country face were caused and co-signed by a white majority. The wayward white male voting patterns are to blame for all of the wars and strife that engulf this nation– almost 100 percent. From the countries two longest running wars in Afghanistan and Iraq all the way back to the Civil War (and before) where over 500,000 died quite literally in the name of preserving white supremacy (99 percent of the participants did NOT own slaves).
Congressman Paul Ryan recently made headlines for what could only be labeled a “blame it on the blacks” excuse (for pretty much all of the countries financial woes).
“there is a tailspin of culture, in our inner cities in particular, of men not working and just generations of men not even thinking about working or learning the value and the culture of work…So there’s a real culture problem here…that has to be dealt with.” ~ Congress Paul Ryan
Now this is coming from a man that voted to go to war in Iraq (2 trillion plus tax dollars), he voted for the Afghan war (2 plus trillion tax dollars) and the Bush tax Cuts (1 trillion). Now that’s at least 5 trillion dollars alone that this man wasted since becoming a congressman. Then there’s the Medicare part D boondoggle that’s costing the tax payers 62 billion alone this year with the progressive scale that it’s on promising to raise that figure to 150 billion annually by 2019.
Now you don’t need to know algebra (or even a calculator) to come to the conclusion that congressman Paul Ryan’s proclivity for wasteful spending is far more responsible for the nations 16 trillion dollar debt than anything going on in the hood. Even he knows this. The quoted Paul Ryan musing is what you call a dog whistle. A sort of wink wink codec to white Americans to say, “once we get rid of our black problem all will be right in the country”–meanwhile he’s robbing them blind increasing their taxation while decreasing their representation in the form of tangible government benefits and services. This of course is not a new tactic. It’s a tried and true method of coalescing their base. This Southern Strategy that congressman Paul and others in his party actively employ is wholly dependent on the white supremacist worldview. Lyndon B Johnson best expressed this phenomena when he said:
“If you can convince the lowest white man he’s better than the best colored man, he won’t notice you’re picking his pocket. Hell, give him somebody to look down on, and he’ll empty his pockets for you.”~ LBJ
LBJ in appealing to the white Southerners common sense was able to help them help themselves by getting his Great Society programs off the ground–the very same Great Society programs that are under attack by Paul Ryan and others under the guise of fixing the countries black problem.
The presidency of Barack Obama has galvanized the dormant descendants of the Dixiecrat movement (think Tea Party) and got them reengaged in the political process and this is the fools gold that Ryan and others in his fledgling party are playing to. Lee Atwater who was a former Reagan Aide and former campaign manger for George H.W Bush is known as the modern day architect of the Nixon Strategy. He in very laymen terms explained to Ryan and others how to execute this strategy in 1981 when he said:
“You start out in 1954 by saying, “Nigger, nigger, nigger.” By 1968 you can’t say “nigger” — that hurts you. Backfires. So you say stuff like forced busing, states’ rights and all that stuff. You’re getting so abstract now [that] you’re talking about cutting taxes, and all these things you’re talking about are totally economic things and a byproduct of them is [that] blacks get hurt worse than whites. And subconsciously maybe that is part of it. I’m not saying that. But I’m saying that if it is getting that abstract, and that coded, that we are doing away with the racial problem one way or the other. You follow me — because obviously sitting around saying, “We want to cut this,” is much more abstract than even the busing thing, and a hell of a lot more abstract than “Nigger, nigger” ~ Lee Atwater (as Reagan aide)
This lesson from Atwater has not been lost on anyone in today’s republican party. It however was not his last message to them or the masses. It is also one that is sadly lost on them all. Lee Atwater’s death bed mea culpa should serve as a stark and dire warning to the GOP that today employs the worst of what he had to offer the world and to the part of white america that still needs to feel a sense of ethnic and cultural superiority in order to vote for a given candidate.
“My illness helped me to see that what was missing in society is what was missing in me: a little heart, a lot of brotherhood. The ’80s were about acquiring — acquiring wealth, power, prestige. I know. I acquired more wealth, power, and prestige than most. But you can acquire all you want and still feel empty. What power wouldn’t I trade for a little more time with my family? What price wouldn’t I pay for an evening with friends? It took a deadly illness to put me eye to eye with that truth, but it is a truth that the country, caught up in its ruthless ambitions and moral decay, can learn on my dime. I don’t know who will lead us through the ’90s, but they must be made to speak to this spiritual vacuum at the heart of American society, this tumor of the soul”~ Lee Atwater (from his death bed)
Even those who have benefited the most form the white supremacist construct at the end of life regret harboring such a divisive and superficial worldview. Those in America that don’t actually benefit from such a worldview would be doing themselves (and the world around them) great justice by ridding themselves of such an ideology.
7. Stand Your Ground and The rise of the Zimmerman defense
The Zimmerman affect should be enough to raise the ire of every person of color who happens to be, or have love ones that are young black men. The gross injustice doled in the wake of the cold blooded murders of Trayvon Martin and Jordan Davis and the subsequent exoneration for the murderous intent that went into their killing is as frightening as it is maddening.
The George Zimmerman acquittal and his failure to initially be arrested for the crime of murder was about white supremacy. The fact that a mostly white jury could not bring themselves to convict Michael Dunn for the cold blooded premeditated murder of an unarmed 17 year old Jordan Davis despite mounds of evidence is because of white supremacy.
The sense of entitlement and the victim-hood displayed by both George Zimmerman and especially Michael Dunn is the most maddening aspect of their trials. The following quote by Michel Dunn in a conversation with his girlfriend sums up perfectly what’s wrong with his thought process
You know I was thinking about that today, I was like I’m the fucking victim here, I was the one who was victimized, I mean I don’t know how else to cut it, like they attacked me, I’m the victim. I’m the victor, but I was the victim too.”
Since the untimely and racially charged murders of Trayvonn Martin and Jordan Davis more innocent unarmed black people were inexplicably gunned down by white men. Robert Bruce Black, Brian Cloninger, Theodore Wafer and Claudius Smith all joined the ranks of “victims that needed to stand their ground by gunning down a defenseless black person. Apparently it’s a dream of many white men to gun down an unarmed black kid and beat the case. They want to be like George like we wanted to be like Mike. It’s disgusting and any black man that is not angry at this seemingly growing trend is devoid of both a brain and spinal cord.
8. Black bigotry, intolerance and overall lack of political astuteness
The opposite of white supremacy is progress. White supremacy on its face is regressive and reactionary politics/policy. Policies promoted to purposely divide the populous (divide and conquer) to foster a society more ripe for corrupt capitalist to exploit.
Far too many of my so called conscious brothers think that the answer to white supremacy and all of its affects is black unity in the form of huddling the black masses (all 13-15 percent of the country’s black population) and in Marcus Garvey like fashion building our own colony away from from the “evil white man”. What such a supposition fails to account for is the inherent good and evil that exists in all men. If you talk ALL black men with you to that colony of blackness you would no doubt be taking some inherently evil and flawed minded black men with you.
First and foremost our percentages in this country are such that we need other groups to vote along side us in order to maximize a progressive minded influence. As black people we must disabuse the notion that that we are this countries most aggrieved population (even if we are) and be able to look for enough past our own historical disenfranchisement to empathize with the contemporaneous disenfranchisement of others. Even if their current plight is is not nearly as bad as the reverberations of the disenfranchisement wrought on our ancestors. If we are not going to join or co-sign the movements of the LGBT community, the immigrant community or any of the other groups like the labor movement, or women’s suffrage movement then the least that we should be doing is NOT speaking ill of those movements or worse–joining the chorus of hate and misunderstanding as it pertains to those respective groups.
One of the biggest criticisms of Obama is his lack of a “black agenda”. In that critic I often hear black people bemoan the fact that this president has done so many things for gays an immigrants, but nothing for blacks. This is a critique often bantered about by some of the more politically astute blacks. What I often find myself explaining (to no avail) to the men and women that make these proclamations is that the measures that this administration took on behalf of the LGBT community and the immigrant community were low hanging fruit. He did what any person of conscious would have done in his position at this pivotal time in history. There is no such silver bullet to solve what ails inner city America. There is nothing to repeal with a mere pen stroke. Our issues are much more deeply rooted. Therefore the panacea requires much deeper thoughts and far less regurgitation of bygone era black separatist politics.
At best black people comprise 15 percent of the countries population but our contribution to what made America the first world power that she is in no less than 50 percent. This country literally moves to the beat of the African drum. Wear that as a sense of pride but disabuse the notion that we are superior and are best served by separation from territories that our ancestors helped to build. While in many ways it may seem that we are regressing but we are a long way from were we started. I would not want to live in the 40’s, 50’s or 60’s. We were doing far worse collectively. White supremacy has to continue to die out. It’s dying a slow death and whatever we can do to speed up that death would assist in moving not only the black community forward but this whole nation and the world as well. One final thought to ponder…
There could be no Michael Jordan if there were no James Naismith ~ Unknown
9. Respectable Negros
The respectable Negro is not to be confused with the House Nigger and definitely not to be confused with the negro that simply shows respect to their fellow man.
If there was an aviator in the dictionary to represent the respectable negro it would probably be a picture of the HRNIC (head respectable negro in charge) himself Don Lemon. If you know Don Lemon and can identify his major malfunction than you know what i mean when I speak about the anguish that respectable Negroes world wide are able to illicit in you average angry black man. If you are unfamiliar with the antics of Don Lemon then I have to apprise you on what a respectable negro is in a future blog post. For now judge for yourself…
10. Today’s hip hop landscape
I was born in 1973, the same year that many historians of the genre credit Cool Herc with creating rap. I was also born and reared in Brooklyn NY which is arguably responsible for birthing the worlds greatest MC’s hailing from any single borough, city, county or municipal jurisdiction, so when I see what has become of the culture it makes me Mad Rapper type angry.
We went from this….
I can’t be the only one mad at what has become of the culture.
Even Malcolm has something to say about it… http://vt.tumblr.com/tumblr_n11rwfAPer1tt8zae.mp4#_=_