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What does black nationalism in 2004 look like? What are its objectives? What should its plan of attack be? With the current reality in America, what are the most effective things that we as a people can do to contribute to this effort?


There is no passion to be found playing small, in settling for a life
that is less than the one you are capable of living. - Mandela

© MBM

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I think there's a convergence. Sure there are some with pure historical so-called Nationalist views... But, as far as I'm concerned (since I won't let anyone else or history define the term), Black Nationalism can still be summed up in what Malcolm X said:
  • The political philosophy of black nationalism means that the black man should control the politics and the politicians in his own community ; no more.

  • The economic philosophy of black nationalism only means that our people need to be re-educated into the importance of controlling the economy of the community in which we live, which means that we wont have to constantly be involved in picketing and boycotting other people in other communities in order to get jobs.
Personally, I hope to de-mystify and "mainstream" (in terms of Black political thought) ideas of Black Nationalism. Those ideas are something we all fundamentally agree on but, I guess, haven't taken them to their full logical conclusion, IMO.

We all believe we should create, promote and support Black business and recycle our "dollars" and marshall our economic power within our own communities in as much as possible. Those, IMO, are all "Black Nationalist" ideas. We just don't readily associate the term with it.

To me though, ultimately or rather as far as the immediate future is concerned there has to be a synthesis of Nationalist and so-called non-Nationalist ideas. As I allude to on another thread, by neccessity these ideas have to instruct us on how we engage reality and hence have to find a happy medium and co-exist, IMO.

Nevertheless, thoroughly planned and well constituted BLACK *CONTROL* - effective, lasting empowerment apparati - over the institutions and instruments in American society that touch Black lives is my definition of Black Nationalism. It's at once a goal and an insistent means, however small and incremental, that works towards that end.

I think I've posted a lot of things that reflect on what Black Nationalism "looks like today". It's reflected in N'COBRA and it's unyeilding pursuit for REPARATIONS despite public sentiments... It's reflected in the African-American delegations and positions/petitions to the UN in general and the WCAR in particular. It's reflected in Afrocentricity and African-Centeredness.

Black Nationalism is an idea that transcend so-called ideological distinctions.
[That's my romantic view! brosmile]

[This message was edited by Nmaginate on December 16, 2003 at 11:40 AM.]
Nmaginate said...
quote:
The political philosophy of black nationalism means that the black man should control the politics and the politicians in his own community; no more.


The economic philosophy of black nationalism only means that our people need to be re-educated into the importance of controlling the economy of the community in which we live, which means that we wont have to constantly be involved in picketing and boycotting other people in other communities in order to get jobs.



Could not have said it better! Working toward economic independence and self healing is the tonic we need. We have to face the fact that we live in a world of White Nationalism, we have to look out for our own.

The truth will set you free, but first it will piss you off.
quote:
Originally posted by JuneBug:
Nmaginate said...
quote:
The political philosophy of black nationalism means that the black man should control the politics and the politicians in his own community; no more.


The economic philosophy of black nationalism only means that our people need to be re-educated into the importance of controlling the economy of the community in which we live, which means that we wont have to constantly be involved in picketing and boycotting other people in other communities in order to get jobs.



Could not have said it better! Working toward economic independence and self healing is the tonic we need. We have to face the fact that we live in a world of White Nationalism, we have to look out for our own.

_The truth will set you free, but first it will piss you off._
CORRECTION: MALCOLM X said.

I just happen to believe likewise. (I won't claim those words to be mine.)

Thanks for the AMEN Brother!
Black NATIONALISM 2004 and Beyond...

Means to continually conceive of ourselves as a NATION and to aspire to function as one via approaching/exploring self-determination through "consociationalism"...

Self-Determination as described by the UN:
    Article 1

    1. All peoples have the right of self-determination. By virtue of that right they freely determine their political status and freely pursue their economic, social and cultural development.
quote:
Originally posted by Nmaginate:

Nevertheless, thoroughly planned and well constituted _BLACK *CONTROL*_ - effective, lasting empowerment apparati - over the institutions and instruments in American society that touch Black lives is my definition of Black Nationalism.


IYO, can this be achieved within the existing structures of government and society? For example, in black cities do black folks have greater "control" over our lives than in other cities? I sense your belief that black nationalism can occur within our existing geographic and governmental reality? Is that true?

Can your view of black nationalism today be captured in the concept of "working the system" to the greatest degree possible for our advantage? Getting more people to vote, to run for office, to run businesses in our communities, to open schools, to practice medicine there, etc. Is this what you're saying?

If so, how do you personally make the difficult distinction between this level of BN and a more literal version that some still propose?


There is no passion to be found playing small, in settling for a life
that is less than the one you are capable of living. - Mandela
quote:
I sense your belief that black nationalism can occur within our existing geographic and governmental reality? Is that true?
Geographic perhaps... Governmental - NO!

I'm reserved to the opinion that you can't fundamentally change the system within the system. What about the cities where Blacks aren't in the "majority"? What about politics on a national level as well as the state and local? Are those arenas to be forfeited because by the dictates of the current system we can only hope to "influence" and not "control" them as they relate to every Black life?
quote:
Can your view of black nationalism today be captured in the concept of "working the system" to the greatest degree possible for our advantage? Getting more people to vote, to run for office, to run businesses in our communities, to open schools, to practice medicine there, etc. Is this what you're saying?
It doesn't preclude any of that per se. Matter of fact, it would have to out-of-necessity include exactly those type of things which are things shared in common, right?

But at the same time it goes beyond that.

To be more clear, as we all know National politics/government has an impact on local politics and all levels of gov't are interrelated in some fashion. So, from a Nationalistic perspective (looking at Black people as a Nation), I am not prepared to religuish or forego what I see as the rightful "control" over our national politic because that represents a car without one of its wheels, IMO.
quote:
...How do you personally make the difficult distinction between this level of BN and a more literal version that some still propose?

First, you would have to expound on what exactly is the "literal" version as you see it. This following quote from Malcolm X should help:
    "LITERAL" BN:
  • by political philosophy [of Black Nationalism] I mean we still believe in... complete separation. [African-Americans] should be separated completely from America and should be permitted to go back home to our African homeland which is a long-range program;

    Fully Articulated or "REVISED" BN:
    the short-range program is that we must eat while we're still here, we must have a place to sleep, we have clothes to wear, we must have *better jobs, we must have *better education; so that although our long-range political philosophy is to migrate back to our African homeland, our short-range program must involve that which is necessary to enable us to live a better life while we are still here.

    We must be in complete control of the politics of [in our] community; we must gain complete control over the politicians... so that no outsider will have any voice in [our community].
To me that says that we can't settle for mere influence regardless of what our numbers are, especially not when it comes to national politics. So, no! I don't agree with just "working the system". I believe in changing it, Redefining Democracy, etc.

The sum total of things I said here before...

The distinction I guess lies at least partly in articulating more of what "that which is necessary to enable us to live a better life while we are still here" is or must be. For the record, Malcolm X wasn't against "voting", etc. Matter of fact, he was all for it when and if it met the conditions of the bottom line [bold printed words].

MBM,
I don't work under the assumption you seem to have that the system as constructed "works" for us, ultimately. That's a statement of degree and not in absolutes. Again, what about having National "control"? What about those cities where we are not in the majority, whether our population is sizable or not?

I see controlling National politics like the issue of Reparations:
[1] It's a matter of principle.
[2] It's a matter of respecting our humanity.
[3] It's what is due us in so many ways and for so many reasons.

Also, like Reparations, I see securing National "control"... as potentially a significant measure that can jump-start and stimulate more growth and positive change at every other level...

I hope that helps...
quote:
Originally posted by Nmaginate:

I don't work under the assumption you seem to have that the system as constructed "works" for us, ultimately.


Thanks for your post. I'll study it.

To be clear though, I've not articulated any positions or assumptions as you've indicated above. In fact, I've been quite clear in my posts/editorials about white privilege, preferences, etc. in America. I refer you to MBM's Melange for additional materials.

I hope you haven't misinterpreted my strong support for reparations in an inappropriate way. Of course we have to "work" the system to secure reparations. They aren't going to just plop down in our laps one day! brosmile I support reparations because it is right. But my support is not merely philosophical. It is practical. I wouldn't waste my time thinking about it if I did not think we have the ability to make it happen for us.


There is no passion to be found playing small, in settling for a life
that is less than the one you are capable of living. - Mandela
BTW - others have characterized my interest in politics as a form of "resignation" to eternally live under a system that oppresses us. Obviously, I don't see things that way. I just don't see any "fixes" for our community that do not include doing things on a day-to-day basis that can improve our condition - even while planning and working toward other things. I don't believe in focusing exclusively on stretch objectives (e.g. an independent and sovereign black nation) without also doing things today to positively impact our lives. It's like forcing the gifted young athlete to also focus on his/her studies, despite the potential of professional sports. You may make it to the NBA, but if you don't - having an education provides a set of skills to enhance life. Getting more involved in our communities, voting, running for office, volunteering for campaigns, giving money to candidates, etc., etc. are all things that can empower us in our communities and positively impact our lives. Ignoring those things makes no sense to me, particularly absent a sound strategy to improve black America by other means.


There is no passion to be found playing small, in settling for a life
that is less than the one you are capable of living. - Mandela
Forgive me for making that "assumption" about your assumption. That was only to say that you seem to feel okay with or have never opposed the kind of majority rule democracy we have. Tell me exactly where I am wrong with that...

I don't stand in opposition to you. I stand to attack this thing from perhaps a different angle. We are working together, IMO, and there is no need to prove what it is you believe about White Privilege, etc.

I know you're down bruh! Your game is wrapped tight! I don't question that.

Do you envision changing the nature of American democracy? That's what it all boils down to, to me.
quote:
I hope you haven't misinterpreted my strong support for reparations in an inappropriate way. Of course we have to "work" the system to secure reparations.
I wasn't questioning your views on Reparations. I was trying to use that as an illustration only. I think you know that and I know where you stand... It was not my intent to talk about Reparations whether it must come by "working" the system or not. That's really not the issue here.

In terms of this working the system deal and issues like Reparations, what do you think about this statement about MLK"s views (again reposting things I've posted elsewhere):
quote:
...during the last three years of his life, King questioned his own understanding of race relations. As King told journalist David Halberstam, "For years I labored with the idea of reforming the existing institutions of the society, a little change here, a little change there. Now I feel quite differently. I think you've got to have a reconstruction of the entire society, a revolution of values." King also told Halberstam something that he argued in his last book, Trumpet of Conscience: that "most Americans are unconscious racists." For King, this recognition was not a source of bitterness but a reason to revise his strategy. If one believed that whites basically desired to do the right thing, then a little moral persuasion was sufficient. But if one believed that whites had to be made to behave in the right way, one had to employ substantially more than moral reasoning.
Am I wrong to assume that like the Reparations issue where you said plainly that you think it's a matter of making a more dispassionate appeal to garner more support or at least alleviate the "uninformed" opposition that your whole notion of "working the system" is tied to the assumption or call it a belief that is more like what MLK supposedly initially believed in terms of the essential "goodness" or "rationalness" Smile of White America as opposed to seriously having a strategy that accounts for, as he said, "most Americans [being] unconscious racists."

How do you "appeal" to that? If that remains true today (which I think on some level you believe it is so...)? How do you expect rational thought to override emotional opposition when and if "unconscious racism" is at the root of White opposition to Reparations or whatever type of "change" Blacks want to see that isn't 'naturally' viewed the same way by Whites?

Exactly what do you mean "work the system" in the context of making RADICAL CHANGES (in the structure of American society) that Dr. King once spoke about?

I maintain that the CRM was more of a Force of Will than the Articulation of an Appeal. That doesn't say no appeal was made or shouldn't be or that it wasn't a key factor.
quote:
Originally posted by Nmaginate:

Exactly what do you mean "work the system" in the context of making RADICAL CHANGES (in the structure of American society) that Dr. King once spoke about?


I think we can change the system but only by utilizing a careful strategy that doesn't cause America to have to immediately confront itself. It's like the analogy of putting a frog in a pot of water. Throw him into boiling water and he immediately jumps out. Slowly heat the water and then all of a sudden he's cooked before he knows it.

White folks are so scared of blacks and black anger that I don't think a "confrontational" approach is the best strategy to create change. All of a sudden we start planning a revolution and I have no doubts that the Patriot Act gets supercharged and we'll think COINTELPRO was child's play. I have no doubt that a 60's revolutionary approach to black empowerment would very quickly engender a level of white fear that we'd see tanks and F-16's coming to get us Israeli style. brosmile

I think we can create radical change that uplifts our community in meaningful ways, but IMO it will be by working their system, talking their language, and outplaying them at their game. You'll remember my political strategy designed to do just that is an example.


There is no passion to be found playing small, in settling for a life
that is less than the one you are capable of living. - Mandela
quote:
Originally posted by MBM:
quote:
Originally posted by Nmaginate:

Exactly what do you mean "work the system" in the context of making RADICAL CHANGES (in the structure of American society) that Dr. King once spoke about?


I think we can change the system but only by utilizing a careful strategy that doesn't cause America to have to immediately confront itself...

White folks are so scared of blacks and black anger that I don't think a "confrontational" approach is the best strategy to create change. All of a sudden we start planning a revolution and I have no doubts that the Patriot Act gets supercharged and we'll think COINTELPRO was child's play. I have no doubt that a 60's revolutionary approach to black empowerment would very quickly engender a level of white fear that we'd see tanks and F-16's coming to get us Israeli style. brosmile

Are you including the Civil Rights Movement as lead by Dr. King as a "CONFRONTATIONAL APPROACH" or are you making some assumptions about the means by which a Nationalist 2004 agenda will seek to assert itself?

The first part is important...
(I'll have to study your overall plan.)
quote:
Originally posted by Nmaginate:

Are you including the Civil Rights Movement as lead by Dr. King as a "CONFRONTATIONAL APPROACH" or are you making some assumptions about the means by which a Nationalist 2004 agenda will seek to assert itself?



Well - I don't think King's approach would work either. It's obviously a very different time which requires it's own approach.

And I make no assumptions about a Nationalist 2004 approach. I have no preconceived notions. Frankly, it's why I asked for members' thoughts about it. I'm intrigued with what that might look like, what it's objectives might be, as well as strategy and tactics to achieve them.

Here are some assumptions though:

1) African America, en masse, is not going to repatriate back to Africa.

2) A black state (sovereign nation)/reservation is not in our foreseeable future.

3) The United States government is not, one day, going to just wake up and realize the error of its ways and "give" black folks anything.

A key question to ponder, however, is the degree to which current nationalist thinking will embrace the full meaning of past efforts - primarily around the issue of separatism. It seems that inherent in any discussion about separatism is the notion that African Americans cannot or should not participate in any way in the American society or culture. Perhaps another assumption of mine, to this point, is the following:

4) Black folks built this country and have every right to claim our equity in it.

This is in contrast to my understanding of purely separatist arguments that imply that whatever our contributions to this nation, we should just up and "roll" to our own land. I could better understand that argument, frankly, if I could envision a reasonable means by which we might achieve that objective.

There is no passion to be found playing small, in settling for a life
that is less than the one you are capable of living. - Mandela


[This message was edited by MBM on December 17, 2003 at 03:58 PM.]
Like I said, I believe the force behind N'Cobra and many in the Reparations Movement to be from a Nationalist strain. Are they "confrontational"?

I also said nothing about MLK's tactics per se. I was only talking about how "confrontational" it was. You have made some assumptions. Otherwise you would not be talking about "Black Anger" in association with words like "confrontation", etc. and tying those into Black Nationalism today.

While you Frog & Pot scenario makes for good theatre, with all do respect, unless you honestly think the CRM was the result of Black people "tricking" White people into conceding to their demands then I don't know what your real basis for thinking it will go down like that in reality.

Do you honestly think any organized effort Black people make be it your Third Party Leveraging Plan or otherwise won't be closely monitored? Seriously??

If you honestly consider the level of paranoia you mentioned don't you think White people's paranoia will go into overdrive when that party/non-party shift occurs?

Respectfully, you should critique that. If "nice" little MLK can be monitored if not undermined then what do you think will happen today? There are no easy, cut & dry, 'won't be met without stiff resistance' solution to find.

I'm not opposed to it. In fact you have my full support. That's the least we should do but do you see the extent of it? It only deals with electoral politics in attempts to get the parties to respect our vote. That's fine. But our "vote" does not give us "control" at every level. We also know that the voting game is volatile and holds no long-term guarantees.

What happens if Whites unite to repel what they see as a Black voting coup, drawing more of them to one party as they moderate to nullify the Black voting bloc? ...not to mention the other ethnic groups that could possibly act as Playa Haters by being induced to act in opposition to our Bloc?

Again... I'm all for it. But exactly what does it give us? More respect and, hopefully, more "influence". Not "control"... just influence... i.e. even the most "respectful" would agree to merely support some of our issues. Not all or even the most important, necessarily. We would throw our support behind the one that offers us more than the other. Well... if one offers nothing and the other agrees to work on one issue then where does that leave us?

As far as I can tell there are no guarantees to produce are there. Only the PROMISE... and then how long do we wait to see if they have kept it?

As it stands now nationally, only the Democrats "need" our votes so how exactly will we be playing them against each other?


I'm obliged to say that my position is for America to respect our "RIGHT TO EXIST"! brosmile upfro

I don't think that's something that's ultimately up for a "vote". The decision to "grant" us our Civil Rights were won where? In the voting houses or in the street - i.e. the movement itself?

Again, I'm all for what you say... but... winkgrin
Great post - I'll respond in a moment.

Nmaginate, what is your alternative? Please help me understand your thoughts on how we could achieve your objectives for black America?


There is no passion to be found playing small, in settling for a life
that is less than the one you are capable of living. - Mandela
quote:
Originally posted by Nmaginate:

You have made some assumptions. Otherwise you would not be talking about "Black Anger" in association with words like "confrontation", etc. and tying those into Black Nationalism today.


Yes. My assumption is about white America's perception of black people. They are afraid of us. Remember, we are the face of just about everything bad and scary that there is out there. If my objective is to influence behavior, white behavior, then I have no choice but to be sensitive to that perception.

quote:
While you Frog & Pot scenario makes for good theatre, with all do respect, unless you honestly think the CRM was the result of Black people "tricking" White people into conceding to their demands then I don't know what your real basis for thinking it will go down like that in reality.


The analogy was in reference to a potential current approach. In addition, "trick" is not an adjective that I would use to characterize it. Smart perhaps. Strategic perhaps. Manipulative perhaps. Subtle perhaps. Cunning perhaps. Wily perhaps.

quote:
Do you honestly think any organized effort Black people make be it your Third Party Leveraging Plan or otherwise won't be closely monitored? Seriously??


You confuse non-confrontational with passive (again). Of course, everything will be scrutinized. It's just a matter of if we are considered to be playing the game, or breaking the rules.

quote:
If you honestly consider the level of paranoia you mentioned don't you think White people's paranoia will go into overdrive when that party/non-party shift occurs?


Sure. But we're playing chess and thinking five moves ahead. They reply and we make our next move. And so on . . .

quote:
If "nice" little MLK can be monitored if not undermined then what do you think will happen today? There are no easy, cut & dry, 'won't be met without stiff resistance' solution to find.


No one has suggested that. Again, it's just a matter of perception. Are we playing the game or not. BTW - if you believe that Jews enjoy influence and power in this nation, then there might be some lessons that we could learn from the way they build their communities, do business with each other, reinforce their culture etc.

quote:
But our "vote" does not give us "control" at every level. We also know that the voting game is volatile and holds no long-term guarantees.


Agree 100% What do you see as the alternative though? How can we get more control? Nmaginate, what other means is there?

quote:
What happens if Whites unite to repel what they see as a Black voting coup, drawing more of them to one party as they moderate to nullify the Black voting bloc? ...not to mention the other ethnic groups that could possibly act as Playa Haters by being induced to act in opposition to our Bloc?


That presumes that we've only thought one step at a time. Who's to say that we haven't created alliances with others to enhance our position. Again, what's the alternative?

quote:
As it stands now nationally, only the Democrats "need" our votes so how exactly will we be playing them against each other?


Wrong - this is for places where the Dem/Repub split is less than the number of blacks. In those areas we are being foolish by not exerting our poltical potential/power!


quote:
I'm obliged to say that my position is for America to respect our "RIGHT TO EXIST"!


What does this mean?


There is no passion to be found playing small, in settling for a life
that is less than the one you are capable of living. - Mandela
quote:
Again, it's just a matter of perception. Are we playing the game or not. BTW - if you believe that Jews enjoy influence and power in this nation, then there might be some lessons that we could learn from the way they build their communities, do business with each other, reinforce their culture etc.
When has it ever matter whether we were "playing the game or not", MBM?

And what do the Jews have to do with us forming a voting Bloc? Did they have success doing the same thing by throwing their aggregate weight in? Perhaps you could educate me on how this is relevant or how I am unaware of Jews specifically voting in a Bloc nationally to "influence" parties...
quote:
You confuse non-confrontational with passive (again).
How so? Demostrate that... When did I say anything like that? If you're talking about White perceptions then what you are calling non-confrontational, since you admit it will be monitored, you have to know that some element will see it as an affront to them. Like you said they are "scared" of us. So it doesn't matter what we do...

I doubt very seriously their thought process is going to be, "Oh, they're playing by the rules so it we can't call it bad."

Yeah that's exactly why Affirmative Action is so esteemed in this country... Roll Eyes

Besides, MBM, I've said you got my support sp now what? What are the "five moves ahead" and are you sure they are fool proof?
(Damn... that's funny a$$ pun! brosmile Not directed at you of course... The fools that the moves are for. Big Grin)
quote:
Yes. My assumption is about white America's perception of black people. They are afraid of us. Remember, we are the face of just about everything bad and scary that there is out there. If my objective is to influence behavior, white behavior, then I have no choice but to be sensitive to that perception
Sorry... MBM

I'm not beholden to nor will I compromise due to White perceptions. I ultimately am mature enough to admit that I cannot control them. And, ultimately, I'm not trying to "influence" them. By Force of Will they will change or be changed.

Their FEAR is their problem...
Though I've said I don't devalue making an appeal or articulating things clearly.

Sorry but my "choice" will not be limited to their (uncontrollable) perceptions. Your statement is conditional and admittedly based on assumptions... assumptions perhaps you have yet to list.
    If my objective is to influence... white behavior
Sorry but that's not my "objective"...

You act like you have a guaranteed, no-fail system, not to mention the inherent limits of the scope. So I guess you are the White Behavior Prognosticator! Razz
(sorry... couldn't resist...)

ALSO....
What were the critiques of your idea on the original thread?

And... What does Israel's "Right To Exist" mean?
(The essence of it...)
MBM,

"By any means necessary..."
That seemly means, IMO, whatever we have to do - i.e. without placing any arbitrary limits on it.

If that means your Third Party idea or the Black National Assembly or whatever but at some point and time the issue of "control" by self-determination has to be the intended if not expressed aim. Like I said, I am not against your idea. In fact, I'd be the first one on board.

Referencing the topic, you asked me if your strategy was consistent with BN, hence I told you why it was not.

Further, I do not presume to know exactly "how"? There are too many variables to even begin to act like I've developed or come across a air-tight plan. All the more reason why I only reject yours in the context of BN. To reiterate, YOU HAVE MY SUPPORT.

Nevertheless, first and foremost, I think it is Black people who need to be "influenced" and convinced. So, I feel like the first issue to be dealt with is Black Unity... finding something we can rally around, something that connects all in a permanent fashion.

So beginning at the grassroots level, city-by-city, state-by-state convening caucuses for a Black Central Committee. (We've talked about that...) That Committee once assembled functions like you Third Party idea as well as 24/7/365 Policy Think Tank/Lobby group (lobbying monetarily for the type of "influence" America responds to - The Money! Big Grin)

All the while promoting our own leaders (who sign on to our agenda) without respect to ideology. Supporting those Whites or whoever who support us.

I'll get back...

[This message was edited by Nmaginate on December 17, 2003 at 08:50 PM.]

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