April 27, 2005

"The Shield" aka Thomas Sowell new phrase "Black Rednecks"

Thomas Sowell has a new book due to hit book stores this weekend; the book is entitled “Black Rednecks and White Liberals”. Thomas Sowell is described as a brilliant economist who apparently can not find work discussing economic issues in a country that is in dire need of the intellectual power of economists to help gain control of the growing debt and trade deficit the U.S. face in the new global economy. Thomas Sowell is loved by white folk, particularly the Conservative ones, based on his ability and willingness to use his blackness as a shield for their racism, meaning he say and write the things they dare not say or write less they be called out as the racist they are.

In his new book “Black Rednecks and White Liberal” Sowell continue his life work as “the shield” for white racism. I must say, I have not read the book as it is not available yet but I have read countless articles about the book and what it will offer, plus one of Sowell's most recent articles that covers what his book is about ; and this is what I am speaking to in this piece.

I would like to first deal with the term “Black Redneck”, in my assessment this phrase is equal to phrases like “White Nigger” and “Sand Nigger” which ascribes the behavior as described or represented by the ladder word to the group that the first word represents. Hence, a “White Nigger” would be a white person that engages in nigger behavior, but what is nigger behavior? We know the word Nigger does not have a history as being a word that describe a particular behavior; it was and still remains a disparaging word that describes Black people regardless of behavior or background. So what accounts for phrases like "Sand Nigger"? A word commonly used to describe Arabs. If we were to compare these two phrases; "Sand Nigger" and "White Nigger" what we will find is that the one thing those who are called these words have in common with those who were first referred to as plain old Niggers is that good ole white folk dislike them, thus a "Nigger" becomes a word ascribed to anything or anyone white folk find objectionable.

Such is the case with the word Redneck; Rednecks are considered to be “white trash” ignorant and backwards, in the past they were considered, lawless, lazy and sexually immoral. The most famous of all Rednecks is Jeff Foxworthy, who has made millions from describing what and who is a Redneck and if any of you have seen his show, you know most of the things he says that makes one a Redneck does not describe things that represent Black folk in thought or behavior which means the term Redneck as used in the term “Black Rednecks” is Thomas way of calling Black folk a disparaging name that will not easily offend us but ensures that white folk who love his work and find Rednecks objectionable understand that he share their resentment towards us and also think of Black folk as trash, ignorant, backwards, lazy, lawless and sexually immoral. I wonder how those white folk who are proud to be Rednecks will feel about him using a word they self identify as to describe Black people in a negative light.

Thomas Sowell is engaging in myth making, He is using his newly coined phrase “Black Rednecks” that describes a stereotypical Black person as a means of connecting with white folk and I am sure he hopes this word become part of the American Lexicon much like other mythical argument framing words like “Democratic Plantation” and “Welfare Queens”. Black men and women are not new to racial mythology that is perpetuated by the likes of Sowell and those he serve, how do we address such mythology is important. The Black Commentator answered this question by stating;

“The most important question to consider when debunking racial mythology is not whether it is true. If a myth is to stand the test of time it has to contain at least some truth, but just throwing inconsistent facts at it doesn’t make it go away, either. The most important questions to ask in order to debunk powerful racial myths are what values do they transmit and whose interests do they serve?”


Thus we come to the question whose interest does Thomas Sowell writings serve? Who values do they transmit? Who are the champions of his work? and what does the answer to these questions say to Black folk?

In his new book, Sowell will tackle race and racism to ensure that white folk are not thought of as racist and he will fight rigorously the idea that the present is the end result of actions of the past. Sowell will provide us with evidence;

“that black pioneers and leaders of the early twentieth century were not just "the cream of the crop" but emerged from a culture very different from that in which most blacks were raised and educated”


Which means our best and brightest were anomalies, more than likely he includes himself in this group.

He will tell us;

“How racial barriers erected by "black rednecks" prevented black cultural elites from separating themselves as much as they would have liked from lower-class blacks”


I guess here he will tell us how poor Blacks keep rich Blacks down.

And this one I love, he will provide us with;

“Proof: contrary to liberal myth, for most of history, slavery was not based on racism -- and most slaves did not differ racially from their masters”


Your guess is as good as mine how he will do this beyond repeating the white defensive argument that there were white slaves, none owned by Black folk of course and that slavery was about economics and this is proven because Black folk were enslaved all over the western hemisphere by whites who thought black folk were inferior to them, but hey it was not about race.

It is easy to see who values are being transmitted through Sowell work and it is as easy to see who interest his work serve, it is no wonder that white conservatives Champion his work, after all it is they who’s values is being transmitted and whom interest is being served. One irony about "Rednecks" is they are historically recognized as confederate flag waving racist which probably describe those whom Sowell serve which ultimately means he is the real "Black Redneck".

12 Comments:

At 2:23 PM, Blogger NmagiNATE said...

How much you want to bet Sowell won't get accused of Race Baiting? (At least not by the Jesse Jackson hatin' wings of both parties).

 
At 9:54 AM, Blogger bombsoverbaghdad said...

Welcome to 1984. In this age of media manipulation, Republicans are doing a great job of propping up blacks that are willing to write hit pieces against the black masses. I'd actually have respect for a black conservative if his or her #1 goal wasn't to blast black people and play down white racism. At least Condoleezza and Colin didn't do that.

Dude, post more often!! And check out my new banner!

 
At 9:15 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

News flash...Don't talk about a book you haven't read yet dumby! You may want to read it first so you can form a coherent opinion.

-Gip

 
At 1:23 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Better yet, at least read the article that you referenced rather than write an uninformed knee-jerk response.

Sowell's term "black rednecks" refers to blacks living in the worst of America's ghettos, which are negatively influenced by white redneck culture (not exactly a pro-white argument). This culture held contempt for education and glorified violence among other unfavorable qualities. Only 1/3 of white Americans lived in this culture, but 90 percent of black Americans did.

Sowell believes that white liberals promote policies that keep many lower-class blacks living in this redneck culture. To illustrate its consequences, he references the success blacks from the West Indies or African immigrants. For example, most black alumnus of Harvard are members of these two groups, and are not American blacks. Sowell believes that the difference must be attributable to cultural differences as it cannot be due to race.

You may not agree with Sowell, but at least make an honest attempt to comprehend his viewpoints.

-Corey

 
At 9:13 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks Corey,

This site is chock full of such ill-informed, hawkish, pseudo-black nationalist, afrocentric nonsense. But the worst thing is that these guys don't read.

-Gip

 
At 9:48 PM, Blogger Faheem said...

Ok and it just so happen that Gip and Corey both sign their name with a hyphen in front of it, i.e. -Corey and -Gip. If you are going to post as if you are two different people, the least you should do is don’t leave tell tell signs that you are a fraud and trying to pose as two different people. How lame is that. Cats like you are the reason many blogs do not allow anonymous posting and track IP addresses of those who visit their blog, but lest deal with what you have said.

If Sowell and you had a tiny bit of intellectual honesty you both would admit, that the extent that Black folk have been influenced by so-called Red Neck culture can not account for the disparities that are our present day reality. Sowell is simply making arguments to put white folk at ease and seeking to redefine what is so obvious the result of racism as being the fault of Black men and women. Kind of like the New Negro at Harvard is doing when he ask” Where did Black people go Wrong?”

The problem with Sowell argument is the time frame, Black men and women always revered education and fought to get that education, so our present day reality is not due to a contempt for education. If Sowell attend any seminars or read any books by Jawanza Kunjufu, he would know this but there are other experts in the field of education that can easily refute the bogus argument that Black men and women have contempt for education. Reading through some of the past blogs on this site will help as well.

On the issue of “African” immigrants especially from the “west Indies” and so on; I have addressed this issue before on this blog. While our brothers and sisters work hard for all that they have achieved and deserved all that they have attained, we would be fools to ignore that in many instances they make an effort to not identify as a Black man and woman born in America and thus they are treated different in many respects but here is the million dollar question. What accounts for the success of immigrants in America and the failure of immigrants in Europe? You see -Corey aka -Gip, when Black folk from the Islands and so on Immigrant to Europe the racism in Europe is different than here in America so much so that the same arguments you and Sowell are trying to pass off as truth about Black men and women in America is the argument of choice by white folk and negro men and women in Europe. They blame the culture of the Black immigrants. So tell me –Corey aka –Gip, how is it that a family from the islands can send one child to Europe and one to America and the one that arrives here always does better than the one sent to Europe? And white folk in Europe and Negro men and women in Europe just like you blame it on Culture but these children are from the same culture.

You should also seek medical attention for your personality disorder.

 
At 4:45 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You still must not have read the review that you linked to your commentary. Instead you posted some more knee-jerk reactionary rhetoric.

Sowell’s focus is not blaming inner-city blacks for their ills; rather he blames white liberals who perpetuate the “redneck values” that keep them from prospering. These white southerner values include deemphasizing education and the traditional family.

Here Drs. Kunjufu and Sowell are on the same page. Kunjufu attributes black performance disparity to blacks doing much less homework that whites or Asians and lack of male role models both in the classroom and at home. The policies that white liberals push discourage black educational performance and result in far too many black children reared in fatherless homes.

Your example of immigrant underperformance in Europe is a non sequitur. American blacks and immigrant blacks from the West Indies or Africa are people of the same race living in the same country. One group performs better than the other because it has not had years of white liberal policies keeping it down.

By the way, don’t automatically assume that people who disagree with you are the same person. There are many different voices out here.

-Corey

 
At 5:29 PM, Blogger Faheem said...

Speaking of non sequitur’s, the majority of what you have written is a non sequitur. I could quote what Dr. Kunjufu has written in his latest books to prove you wrong but that would be too easy and would be better served if used as a topic of discussion not simply to refute ignorance from you. One thing that can be certain is Sowell and Kunjufu conclusions are nothing alike and this to can be easily proven.

I take from what you have written that you believe white folk are holding Black folk down? Interesting.

I am aware there are different voices but I can recognize the same voice when I see it and your response proves my point. Do you think it is odd after you proclaimed our traffic is down you are still here?

 
At 7:50 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You definitely need to read Sowell and try to understand where he’s coming from before you make such sweeping generalizations about his work. How do you know that Sowell and Kunjufu are different on this point if you don’t know what Sowell said to begin with? (Please note that I never said that they always had the same conclusions, only that their positions on the core causes of the educational performance disparity between blacks and whites have a good deal of common ground.) They both believe that it’s not simply racism, but rather the breakdown of the traditional family and a disdain for education. “Too often”, Kunjufu says, “[our] children associate being smart with ‘acting white.’” I could post many links and references stating his positions, but I believe you would ignore them like you ignore Sowell’s writing.

I do believe that the policies advocated and implemented by white liberals hold blacks down; this is the essence of Sowell’s book. But this is not to say that blacks don’t have to assume some level of personal responsibility. Playing the victim and holding on to the past leaves one all too powerless.

-Corey

 
At 7:51 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Corey,

Plenty of whites don't live in a 'traditional' family or have a decent marriage, so I don't see that as the reason for the differences between the black and white success rates. Whites have also been the primary advocators of alternate lifestyles, etc. And they are definitely not more sexually or socially moral than blacks are. So you need to get off that fake pure and virtuous white folk routine!!

As for education, whites can't stand to see blacks get an education and I have experienced that attitude first hand plenty of times. Historically, that's exactly why blacks had to fight to be allowed admittance into schools. As for childish attitudes about what’s cool, that has nothing to do with race as plenty of whites behave the same. The difference is that poorly performing white students are more often afforded specialized tutoring or given intense attention and support by staff while black students are left on their own.

Blacks have indeed been exploited and victimized for the benefit of whites past and present. They have just as much right to speak on that fact as whites crying about affirmative action and everything else do. When they know full well they are the true recipients of institutional affirmative action and welfare - which is the only reason so many black are poor today.

Shemika

 
At 9:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Corey,

Plenty of whites don't live in a 'traditional' family or have a decent marriage, so I don't see that as the reason for the differences between the black and white success rates. Whites have also been the primary advocators of alternate lifestyles, etc. And they are definitely not more sexually or socially moral than blacks are. So you need to get off that fake pure and virtuous white folk routine!!

As for education, whites can't stand to see blacks get an education and I have experienced that attitude first hand plenty of times. Historically, that's exactly why blacks had to fight to be allowed admittance into schools. As for childish attitudes about what’s cool, that has nothing to do with race as plenty of whites behave the same. The difference is that poorly performing white students are more often afforded specialized tutoring or given intense attention and support by staff while black students are left on their own.

Blacks have indeed been exploited and victimized for the benefit of whites past and present. They have just as much right to speak on that fact as whites crying about affirmative action and everything else do. When they know full well they are the true recipients of institutional affirmative action and welfare - which is the only reason so many black are poor today.

Shemika

 
At 1:00 PM, Blogger Niels Westy said...

You wrote:

"Your guess is as good as mine how he will do this beyond repeating the white defensive argument that there were white slaves, none owned by Black folk of course and that slavery was about economics and this is proven because Black folk were enslaved all over the western hemisphere by whites who thought black folk were inferior to them, but hey it was not about race."

Sorry - but maby you should read up on some history.
slavery has existed throughout most of mankinds history, and as such it has nothing to do with racism.

Niels

 

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