Saturday, April 29, 2006
A friend of mine said he was browsing the web when he came across an article by a gentleman named Cobb. The article was posted on a conservative blog known as Booker Rising. Throughout the article, the gentleman took great exception to my views on Darfur. He went on to take some personal shots at me while quoting extensively from my article. Well, I checked it out for myself, and my friend was right. But rather than respond in kind, I will attempt to, once again, state my position on this issue--and especially as it relates to the house Negroes among us and why they think the way they do.
"If the massas house caught on fire the house negro would fight harder to put the blaze out than the massa would. "Massa got sick house negro would say :what's the matter boss, we sick? "We sick" he identified himself with his master more than his master identified with himself"
The debate that is now being waged about Sudan is a classic one. On one side of this issue is the intellectual house negro who wants to protect massa's house and his stake in it. He wants nothing to rock the boat or upset the apple cart--nothing that would take him away from such a happy and (in his mind) fulfilling existence. To him, the only thing that matters is keeping the status quo in tact,--thus, insuring he will remain in the house for a long time. This is the crux of the black conservatives position and simply stated, it goes like this: We can and should do nothing in Darfur, because they are Africans and we are Americans; and other than similar pigmentation we have nothing in common.
I subscribe to an opposite school of thought and the other side of the argument. I think it is fair to say that I am in the field negro camp on this issue. His life on the plantation is not so great, and he does not see what belongs to massa as his own. He realizes that his very existence is tied to something larger. He views his race as a collective of all black people and not just those on the particular plantation on which he resides. His position cannot be suncretized with the house negro. The people of Darfur are not on our plantation, but we should care about those other field Negroes and refugees who are going through hell right now. Additionally, we should realize, that but for the grace of our creator we could all be in that same position. Unlike the house negro, we don't see this as their problem, we see it as our own, because we look at them and see ourselves.
Of course this entire field negro, house negro predicament is a very interesting one for most African Americans. It's a constant struggle for identity and a sense of belonging--grasping to achieve that American dream that was not meant for us in the first place. The field negro does a better job of dealing with it because he knows that this is not his dream. This so called melting pot was never meant for him, and he accepts that. The house negro can't juxtapose that position, because after all, things are going so well for him. He absolutely believes he was meant to be a part of the American dream and he belongs in the melting pot.
Nothing could be further from the truth. However, I do understand this is tough for you--the house negro--to deal with. After all, this is the country of your birth; but most of your ancestors wanted no part of it. They were brought here against their will, yet they helped to build it and make it what it is. NOW you want a stake in it if only because of what your ancestors have contributed. But there is a problem.... those in the majority population do not embrace you as one who should be celebrating this great experiment in democracy called America. Unfortunately for you, they consider you to be just a part of the experiment--a kind of human lab rat if you will--whose contribution had nothing to do with the actual research and science that made it successful. When they see the house negro with his social and financial success, they say, ' wow look at all that we have done! Look at how far we brought the negro. We gave him civil rights, and we have made the American dream attainable for him.'
But here is the question most black Americans should ask themselves: Do you really have a stake at the table, and is this great democracy called America your democracy? Does massa fully embrace you as one of his own, or are you just some lab rat that helped to make his experiment a successful one? Individuals of Cobb's ilk would scream in the affirmative; yes I am an American, and yes I have a stake in this pie. So therefore, why should I care what happens to a bunch of Africans in Africa? After all, I am an American now, I have no connection to Africa and Africans. My pie after all is right here. It's the same silly argument many black West Indians use when they came to this country from the various islands. I am American now, and don't you dare call me black American because I am from Jamaica, or Barbados, or fill in the blank. No, your black ass is black, period! Not West Indian, American or whatever you want to call yourself because you want to identify closer with white Americans. That's how they see you, and that's how you should see yourself. To black conservatives who want to turn their backs on Africa, I say, your black ass is African whether you like it or not, and that's how massa sees you, even if you are living in the house with him. When you say, why should I care about a bunch of poor Africans half way across the world? I don't think you realize just how ignorant you sound.
But I will tell you why you should care; just remember that no matter how successful the American experiment seems to be, there is always the possibility of side effects, and the chance that one of the ingredients used in the experiment will have a negative result down the road. Just remember, that the people of Africa and the rest of the world are watching how we treat our brothers and sisters in Dafur, and how much outcry we can generate against the atrocities being committed against our own people. If we act like we don't give a damn about our own, why should anyone else care about them or us for that matter? Don't we realize that when we dehumanize and marginalize these people, we are doing the exact same thing to ourselves? When this is allowed to happen the rest of the world devalues the black life, and there is no separation between you, the house negro, and your refugee brothers and sisters in Africa. It's no accident that thousands of women and children were slaughtered in Rwanda while the world looked away. It's easy to look away when what is being slaughtered has less significance and is less human to you. By the way, those Africans doing the slaughtering suffered from the same self hatred that has manifested itself in this debate.
Anyway my house negro brothers and sisters, you just keep thinking that somehow you will be viewed differently because you are a black American and not a black African. At the end of the day, you will be in for a rude awakening. The Jews know it, and you will never see an American Jew not support Israel one hundred percent. They know that their existence is inextricably linked to that of Israel. We should know that about Africa too, but unfortunately we are too busy trying to impress each other with intellectual mumble jumble, and living comfortably in the house to see it.
Now if you will excuse me, I gotta head down I95. I have a rally to attend.
Posted by field negro at 11:44 AM