December 10, 2004

War between grasshoppers is to the delight of the crows

There is an East African proverb that says that a war between grasshoppers delights the crows. We all know this proverb and its “divided are easily conquered” meaning is a truism. Is this what has begun to happen in the black community, with the wedge and division taking place in the form of political ideology? I believe so.

Black people need to be clear on one thing and that is the fact that liberalism and conservatism are white defined and controlled political ideologies. There are no pure viable outlets for black liberalism or black conservatism in America. For example, reparations would most definitely be on the platform of black liberalism. However, it is not on the platform of white liberals and hence is not on the platform of “liberals”, because white plurality gets to define the agenda. In regards to black conservatism, there are black people who do not want to support lazy people, but they do not want a blanket policy to cut assistance for everyone, because some people benefit without abusing it. However, white plurality defines conservatism and it wants to cut aid on the assumption that it only breeds dependencies, ignoring those who use it as a leg up.

There have always been black people with diverging social view points. However, we did so in the context of an implicit black unity that was required for our collective interest in a racist society. We may have disagreed with each other, but few of us sided, in lock step, with the people who had kept us down for so long and for those who did, there was a term for such a person that I need not mention. We have always understood that politics was mainly an intra-white competition of class interests and that our greatest competition as black people was against white interest to keep us down in this society. Hence, the best that we could hope for was that in the white two party competitions would produce some crumbs that went to our benefit.

Today, both black conservatives and liberals, as a whole, cannot manifest their pure beliefs, but instead, must accept the package deal of each ideology, produced and packaged by majority white interest. There in lies the danger to black people. The majority of white people have never demonstrated an interest in our problems and in fact, a good percentage of them actively have worked to keep us down through various degrees of oppression and discrimination, while many others practiced consent through silence, as they benefited indirectly from our oppression. So in essence, what has transpired is that blacks have been recruited in the competition of white interest, while black interest have no viable outlet and hence go unattended to. Now, black folks are arguing with one and other over WHITE INTEREST.

The history of politics in America has always been a white phenomenon. It started with white men who owned land. Then it was extended to all white males. Then universal suffrage gave white women a say in politics. Then last and least, the voting rights ensured that blacks were able to exercise their constitutional right to vote as citizens. The game of politics has always been a game of the white people, for the white people and by the white people. As black people, the only roles we play are in helping one side or the other side win or lose. If we split evenly down the middle in choosing sides, mathematically, our influence is thus totally negated, because it would have the same mathematical effect in the equation as if we did not vote at all. The white interest that won would thus be totally the product of the non black vote.

There was a big shift in sides chosen by whites post the civil rights era and the end to legal apartheid. A large number of Southern whites abdicated the liberal ideology because it had come to the benefit of blacks, whom they were trying to keep segregated and below them. This brought about a tilt where the majority of whites are now ideological conservatives and the minority of whites is now ideological liberals. If only whites voted, the conservatives would always win going forward. Thus, the white liberal interest is now dependant upon non whites, blacks traditionally, to forward white liberal interest. They realize that most blacks know that the proactive white racists have pooled in the conservative ideology and that conservative white interest are seen as the party of white racist. Hence, they calculate that most blacks will always vote against white conservative interest, which means an automatic vote for white liberal interest, if a vote at all.

In does not take a rocket scientist to see the effect of this and what phenomenon gets a pass, which is the reality of RACE and racism in America. For over 300 years, the primary dichotomy in this society for black people has been RACE. It has been the black/white divide that unified us in struggle for equality. Today, too many of us now see the primary dichotomy in this nation to be that of conservatives vs. liberals, ignoring our historical nemesis, which has been white folks. This is not surprising, because if we are to be accepted as players in this white game of politics, we have to play by their ground rules, which is the ignoring of race and the cause and effects of 300 years of black oppression upon the present. In order to play this game, we must “write-off” or decouple the present from the past, never linking the two in an explanation of how and why blacks have so many problems today.

The effect of all of this will eventually be that black interest will disappear and we will be morphed and assimilated into the dominant white interest and politics. Class will usurp race completely in the way we look at social issues and problems. Black elites will begin to look down upon the disproportionate black poor masses like white folks used to look down upon the whole of black peoples. Even though the rates of black poverty will be consistently 3 times, or more, the rate of white poverty, well-to-do blacks will still look down upon the poor black masses as being personally responsible this, just like white folks. They will ignore the 300 year history of black oppression and assimilate into the class warfare that has characterized white politics in America.


At 6:53 PM, Blogger Constructive Feedback said...

Question for you, my brother Noah.

I can accept your views about the battling grasshopper.

I have to ask, however - What is YOUR capacity to yield and comprimise in order to stop the battle, prioritizing the important things and putting on the shelf the ego trips that are driving the battle so that the grasshoppers can align in their defenses against the crow?

Just as right as you think you are, the other grasshopper also believes that he is right.

Do you prefer that the crow "eat" this other grasshopper and thus you are left with your views left standing because the other grasshopper has been consumed OR does your willingness to protect the common grasshopper genome trump your frustration with how he things and thus you will protect him as your genetic BROTHER regardless of how he may think and how wrong he may be?


At 6:39 AM, Blogger Noah TA said...

If one accepts the democratic process, majority should rule. Ninety percent of the people should not have to meet ten percent of the people in the ideological middle. Moreover, when grasshoppers do fight, they should not do so in an arena and venue set up by the crows for that specific purpose.

At 10:28 AM, Blogger Scott said...

You don't accept majority should rule in America. Why should we accept majority rule in the Black community.

That seems rather hypocritical of you.

At 1:21 PM, Blogger Constructive Feedback said...


If you read between the lines of my many posts you will see that I support the adoption of a process in which we MEASURE the EFFECTIVENESS of any policy that is put forth claiming to resolve a certain set of problems and that we put a TIME CONSTRAINT on the support of this policy.

It would be foolish of me to go with your "majority rule" claim. As Scott pointed out YOU don't allow this same policy in America to silence you.

If we as a people can have a democratic process from within our ranks, which puts forth leaders as well as ideas, gives them a change to run their course and then evaluates the EFFECTIVENESS of these people and policies at ACHIEVING OUR GOALS I would have no problem giving 100% to the adopted mandate. I know that if in fact it is flawed this will come out in the wash and that my views will some day have a chance to be put into operation.


At 4:50 PM, Blogger Noah TA said...

What do you mean that I do not accept majority rule? I ask you...what choice do I have in the matter....and what choice do you have?

At 2:22 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You guys need to post more: this is the only blog that is any fun.


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