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Before we begin, please understand that I am not trying to kick up schit on this forum--this is a question that i sincerely want opinions on. MBM, if this seems counterproductive or belongs in another forum, then my apologies in advance. I'll delete it if you want.

What exactly defines a sell-out? I've heard it used all my life, but the circumstances were so varied: it was the insult that underachieving Black schoolchildren threw at their overachieving peers, it is a sneer that Blacks teenagers direct towards the Blacks who listened to "white music" or "talked white", it is an accusation against Black conservatives, etc... What is your definition of it, and why? Are there different kind of sellouts? And why is Condoleeza Rice a sellout--yes, that was a serious question; I just don't see it. Granted, I'm not a big fan of Bush and his cronies, but she doesn't seem any worse than the majority of them (hell, not nearly as evil as Rumsfeld and Cheney).

Confused

(here's hoping I don't get 20 pages of links and rambles from our resident chatterbot L-O-F-T-O-N)
Original Post
quote:
Originally posted by UppityNegress:

What exactly defines a sell-out?


IMO I would say someone who seeks personal gain at the expense of the group. I think its more than just 'trying to get theirs'. The key piece is doing so "at the expense of the group".


quote:
And why is Condoleeza Rice a sellout--yes, that was a serious question; I just don't see it.


Becuase she has sought out personal gain at the expense of the group. She has endeared herself with white conservatives (which in and of itself is contrary to the interests of African America), while also saying things to minimize the stature of the 'black struggle'.

quote:
Granted, I'm not a big fan of Bush and his cronies, but she doesn't seem any worse than the majority of them (hell, not nearly as evil as Rumsfeld and Cheney).


Rumsfeld and Cheney might be sell-outs, but not to African America. They have no standing in our group. They're not African American and therefore can't be considered "sell outs" to us.
I think this is a good question. I must say that I find it to be hopelessly vague term. I think the implicit meaning is that, within the context,

A sellout is a black person who exhibits some behaviour/action/belief that is perceived to be either racially inauthentic or contrary to that person's own racial best interest.

The difficulty, of course, is pinning down what it means to be racially authentic or in one's racial best interest. It seems that when people do this they almost always resort to stereotypes: "Black folk don't listen to opera. So you're a sellout if you do". Etc. I.e., Usually the person making the accusation sounds quite silly and even uneducated.
MBM clearly defined without room for any confusion what a sellout is when he states:

"someone who seeks personal gain at the expense of the group."

There is nothing more or nothing less to it.

Neo-con Blacks are sellouts to African America. Neo-con hispanics are sellouts to Hispanic America, Neo-con poor whites are sellouts to poor white America, Neo-con women are sellouts to American women in general, and with the politics and antics of this administration of neo-cons, the Bush administration are sellouts to ALL Americans, the United States Constitution, Civil Rights, and American International Relationships and Diplomacy.
quote:
Originally posted by Frenchy:
Anyone who does not conform to what you think a Black person should think and do.

I think we'll have a rough time pinpointing a complete definition that doesn't involve our own prejudices/emotions/biases.


I agree. This why I never use the term "sell-out". In order to determine that a Black person is a sell out, you first have to define what a Black person should think and do. The problem is that as soon as we do that we buy into to someone else's stereotype of what we are. IMO, using a term like sell-out just undermines a person's individuality in an attempt to feel more authentic ourselves.
HOWEVER, there is one sense of the term which I believe is meaningful:

The sellout is a racial appeaser.

I.e., the sellout is a person who for whatever reason makes it their business to appease/please whites whatever the costs to the group or even to themselves. The reason could be perceived self-interest (profit for example) or it could be due to a racial inferiority complex. Again, it's hard to make this definition stick because you can't get inside someone's head to see what motivates their actions. You can only tell indirectly through a pattern of behaviour. If there is any such thing as a sellout

Condi Rice IS a sellout.

She has stood faithfully by one president (Reagan) who LIED about "welfare queens" and "black bucks." She has stood faithfully by another president whose party openly worked to disenfranchise black voters in the last election. A president who is against Affirmative Action but who in his own person is the living personification of white privilege and is himself extraordinarily incompetent. It goes ON AND ON AND ON with this woman.
Last edited {1}
quote:
Originally posted by Black Viking:
quote:
Originally posted by Frenchy:
Anyone who does not conform to what you think a Black person should think and do.

I think we'll have a rough time pinpointing a complete definition that doesn't involve our own prejudices/emotions/biases.


I agree. This why I never use the term "sell-out". In order to determine that a Black person is a sell out, you first have to define what a Black person should think and do. The problem is that as soon as we do that we buy into to someone else's stereotype of what we are. IMO, using a term like sell-out just undermines a person's individuality in an attempt to feel more authentic ourselves.

________________________________________________


No, it has nothing to do with defining what a Black person should should think or do, but it has more to do with what a Black person should not do to hurt ALL or the majority of Black in the process of doing a particular thing.

Just like Honestbrother's mention of a 'racial appeaser' would not fit the description of a sellout, but rather a description of basically merely an ass kisser, because being an ass kisser doesn't always or necessasarily hurt EVERYONE else, but being a sellout does.

No matter what the person does or thinks that does not hurt the majority does not make that person a sellout, however, doing something that you know will hurt the majority will.

For example, if we work at the company/job, etc., and I go to work everyday and kiss our bosses ass all day long, no harm no foul, but if I know that the boss is going to steal money and blame it on you and I, in an attempt to continue my ass kissing, assist him, or know this to be a fact and say or do nothing in your defense at trial and sit and watch them put you away for something you didn't do, then I would be a sellout.

Or if I aid and abet in the demise of whole African America just to get what I want, then that would make me a sellout.

It has nothing to do with personal opinions or prejudices, it only has to do with the entire group/community/African American suffering for the pleasure (or ambitions or power struckness) of one of us or a few of us ---- no society throughout the history of mankind naturally operates like this, i.e., sacrafice the many for the few or all for one.

It is practically unnatural, let alone unfair.
quote:
In order to determine that a Black person is a sell out, you first have to define what a Black person should think and do.
Don't believe that's such a problematic thing. The problem comes in when the range of possibilities, the range of "acceptables" are so broad... no one statement can capture the essence. Now, too often that may be the problem: Trying to give a simple, hard answer to a question that is at least as fluid as it is complex (complex in the sense that it's broad and one almost has to speak in broad generalities in an attempt to arrive at definition).

quote:
It was the insult that underachieving Black schoolchildren threw at their overachieving peers.
And honest observations would reveal that underachieving and overachieving weren't the only personality/character traits that defined the groups. Funny how talk about Black Viking's "someone else's stereotype of what we are" remain so conspicuously absent here.

quote:
It is a sneer that Blacks teenagers direct towards the Blacks who listened to "white music" or "talked white"
Same as above. Conspicuously absent is the talk about buying into stereotypes. HB more or less noted that those "Black teens" listening to "White Music" and going beyond standard English to the point of modified inflection to even lisping indicate some level of an inferiority complex.

FRENCHY'S observations about EVERYONE'S personal prejudices/emotions/biases was on-point. For EVERYONE including the author, no swipe against her, and Black Viking's idea of "undermining individuality."

In those instances, Black teens characterized as "Acting White" either by their academic achievement distance (and other perceived distance) from "the group" and those Black teens who tend towards adopting or were raised in an enviroment were they "naturally" acquired certain features of "White" pop-culture can be, even purposely, "betraying" their "Black Selves" and intentionally trying to distance themselves. As I suggested, how they appear can also be the product of how they were raised, what they were exposed to which may be different from "the group" but no less natural.

It is, however, totally irresponsible and biased to act like every such Black "Acting White" teen is "innocent" -- that some, even a great many aren't manifesting varying degrees of an inferiority complex, curiously associating success, good, "the best" with White and all sorts of negatives with Black.

Yes, there are legitimate criticisms of knee-jerk dumbasses who make snap judges about people they don't know. Those who call someone a "Sell-Out", etc. at first glance just because... But there are legitimate observations to be made all the time about people with these inferiority complexes. My own daughter as an example.

We all know about Code Switchin'... Well, needless to say my daughter has a certain circle of Black friends and a certain circle of White friends. She has been in AP classes where she's like one of the only if not the only Black student in her high school classes. Anyway... even she termed he vocal inflections "White Girl" talk as the influences of her White friends, seeing many more positives, on the whole, associated with Whites (more money, bigger houses, more "smarts", etc.).

Who knows what certain kids might say about my daughter but she has always maintained her Black friends even as she's discovered how more and more "White people like" her. (She's been voted to the homecoming court every year with solid White support/popularity.) Maintaining or even having many or any Black friends for a number of "Black teens" who get so characterized is not something that's unimagineable in terms of how some will not and don't.

I have to tell idiotic White people who dare try to invoke "Acting White" that there are TWO SIDES TO A STORY. I don't know why we can't be honest and admit that there are at least both people who falsely accuse (out of ignorance or maliciousness) and people who fit the description who by either purposely gravitate towards "the White", changing their behavior (speech patterns, etc.) in the process, or those who may have a more natural affinity to "Whites" and the "White things" they've been exposed to but don't and even refuse to associate with their Black peers. There isn't anything insiduous about having that as an expectation. Unrealistic, maybe, for some but nothing insiduous.
One major problem with this is how the inexplicable behavior of a few gets generalized on the whole or the majority.

Case In Point:
"It was the insult that underachieving Black schoolchildren threw at their overachieving peers."

Not only are there built-in exaggerations but the whole thing speaks in extremes. What does the natural B and C student think about said "overachievers" (assuming we're talking about straight A... AP types students as opposed to a traditional D student who has worked hard to get B's).

Now, why should any phenomenon be defined by the extremes and the actions of the few?

I'm sure there are any number of said "underachievers" who express a certain amount of pride in the achievers among them and even envy is a form of pride. But none of this eliminates the legitimate observations of people who, for all intents and purposes, are "Sell-Outs" -- people who intentionally, if even only sub-consciously, want to distance themselves from "the group" and see anything they can obtain, even higher grades, as a reason to play on how they are "different."

We're talking about the realm of human behavior and to act like there is 100% fault and 100% innocence on one side or the other is contrary to common sense. And this whole "Acting White" thing is all about "someone else's" stereotypes or how the White Media plays a role in shaping, framing the way we see ourselves.
I'm not sure that I agree with this "expense of the group" idea. I think there are plenty of people who make sell-out choices in their personal lives that have very little meaningful effect on other Black people (or other women or whatever the group is that you belong to). You can certainly sell your own self out.

But if you go with the idea that a sellout is someone who looks out for self over the good of the group, then it is necessary to determine what one's obligation is to the group first. Is Tyrone on the corner who minimizes the importance of Affirmative Action and votes Republican the same kind of sellout as Condi Rice? Even though he has little effect on actual policy and swaying public opinion? Is he a "sellout" at all or just an idiot on the street corner?
quote:
Originally posted by UppityNegress:

And why is Condoleeza Rice a sellout--yes, that was a serious question; I just don't see it. Granted, I'm not a big fan of Bush and his cronies, but she doesn't seem any worse than the majority of them (hell, not nearly as evil as Rumsfeld and Cheney).


Every once in a while I hear the statement that some person or action being criticised is "not as bad as the Nazis", or its more recient variant "not as bad a Saddam", as if it is some sort of compliment.

I'm not sure that I would feel it a compliment to be compared with either one, even if I "won" the comparrison.

If the best defense that can be given somebody is that she is "not as bad as Rumsfeld and Cheney", then that in itself is telling...
quote:
IMO I would say someone who seeks personal gain at the expense of the group.


MBM would label Condi Rice a "sellout" despite the fact that he consumes every bit of oil that she insures continues to flow into this country.

BUT!!!!!!!!!!!!! He will say NOTHING about the following SAMBOS who's messages have a MORE DIRECT IMPACT ON OUR YOUNG BLACK PEOPLE EACH DAY:







THE NEWS OF THIS SAMBO'S ARREST MADE IT TO RUSSIA: http://newsfromrussia.com/world/2006/01/14/71136.html



THIS SAMBO GOT CONVICTED OF MANSLAUGHTER IN THE DEATH OF ANOTHER BLACK MAN


This Sambo killed a BLACK MAN and beat another one with a pool stick but recently got out of jail because his claim of "Self Defense" could not be refuted. (Another dead Nigga as a result. But of course "THEY" are the ones who think Black life is cheap).
Alright, let me go ahead and say this so you can STFU...

50 Cents, The Game, TI, Little John, and a whole bunch of imitators are piece of sh*t jokes, mostly destructive influences, and - if it makes you feel better - sellouts

Now STFU, CF. I don't talk about these guys because I DON'T LISTEN TO THEIR MUSIC. I DON'T PAY ATTENTION TO THEM - you know that little thing about controlling what I can control? - AND SO THEY DON'T EXIST IN MY WORLD.

But I read the news and I see that sellout Condi Rice all over it.
Peace....


quote:
What is your definition of it, and why? Are there different kind of sellouts



A sell out is a black person who advances their own personal interests without returning anything toward helping those still invloved int the struggle for liberation. a sellout is a selfish person who cannot find it within themselves to think about others while at the same time sucking up the blessing of the struggle of others..

There is a struggle....Those who turn on it are damn sell outs...



Kai
quote:
No, it has nothing to do with defining what a Black person should should think or do, but it has more to do with what a Black person should not do to hurt ALL or the majority of Black in the process of doing a particular thing.

Just like Honestbrother's mention of a 'racial appeaser' would not fit the description of a sellout, but rather a description of basically merely an ass kisser, because being an ass kisser doesn't always or necessasarily hurt EVERYONE else, but being a sellout does.

No matter what the person does or thinks that does not hurt the majority does not make that person a sellout, however, doing something that you know will hurt the majority will.


Well I guess that according to my conversations woth Michael Eric Dyson, the top people at Radio One are all sell-outs.

Even going back to MBM's definition of a sellout,
quote:
I would say someone who seeks personal gain at the expense of the group.


The statement that "Radio One refuses to play songs that don't perpetuate the steriotypes of Black men as thugs and gangstas because those songs don't sell" fits in directly with that definition.

I can even use HB's definition and still apply it to them.

quote:
I.e., the sellout is a person who for whatever reason makes it their business to appease/please whites whatever the costs to the group or even to themselves.


Who buys commercial rap? Whites. So Radio One makes it their business to play music that pleases Whites despite the BLATENT costs to the African American community.
A sellout is a grown azz man who listens to a 17 year old Black high school student tell of being repeatedly sexually harassed by 5 jerks, dispite her repeatedly telling them to stop, and then accuses her of selling out the perpetrators for turning them in.

Mad nono td6 bang 18

quote:
Originally posted by UppityNegress:

Before we begin, please understand that I am not trying to kick up schit on this forum


oops...
All adjectives are subjective...

we use them nonetheless to communicate...

we do not advocate the nonuse of adjectives because of their subjectivity.....

further, most terms are used with a general connotation.... most people understand the sentiment behind them... when used in conversation....

the goal is to communicate effectively our meaning...

if one does not understand what a person's reasoning for calling someone a sell out is.... then simply ask....

if one does not agree.... then simply dialogue until consensus or understanding is reached...


^^A sellout is a person that works to destroy their own group.... wittingly or no....



Peace,
Khalliqa
quote:
Originally posted by Black Viking:
quote:
Originally posted by Frenchy:
Anyone who does not conform to what you think a Black person should think and do.

I think we'll have a rough time pinpointing a complete definition that doesn't involve our own prejudices/emotions/biases.




I agree. This why I never use the term "sell-out". In order to determine that a Black person is a sell out, you first have to define what a Black person should think and do. The problem is that as soon as we do that we buy into to someone else's stereotype of what we are. IMO, using a term like sell-out just undermines a person's individuality in an attempt to feel more authentic ourselves.



yeah
quote:
Originally posted by Blake Manner:
The statement that "Radio One refuses to play songs that don't perpetuate the steriotypes of Black men as thugs and gangstas because those songs don't sell" fits in directly with that definition.

I can even use HB's definition and still apply it to them.

quote:
I.e., the sellout is a person who for whatever reason makes it their business to appease/please whites whatever the costs to the group or even to themselves.


Who buys commercial rap? Whites. So Radio One makes it their business to play music that pleases Whites despite the BLATENT costs to the African American community.




That doesn't quite fly.

The funny thing is, of the black people I know, few listen to alternative hip hop.

The fact is that the fan base of alternative hip hop is largely white.
quote:
Originally posted by HonestBrother:
quote:
Originally posted by Blake Manner:
The statement that "Radio One refuses to play songs that don't perpetuate the steriotypes of Black men as thugs and gangstas because those songs don't sell" fits in directly with that definition.

I can even use HB's definition and still apply it to them.

quote:
I.e., the sellout is a person who for whatever reason makes it their business to appease/please whites whatever the costs to the group or even to themselves.


Who buys commercial rap? Whites. So Radio One makes it their business to play music that pleases Whites despite the BLATENT costs to the African American community.




That doesn't quite fly.

The funny thing is, of the black people I know, few listen to alternative hip hop.

The fact is that the fan base of alternative hip hop is largely white.


Thats funny, I was just responding to this comment in the other thread. But I disagree. Maybe it depends on the city, the club and the artist cause most of the shows I've been to have been full of Blacks. And most of my talks about this stuff have been with Blacks.

But even if I say that album sales are to a mostly White audience, all it means is that Radio One is trying to please the Whites the most and don't really care about the harm it does to the Black community.
quote:
Originally posted by Black Viking:
I agree. This why I never use the term "sell-out". In order to determine that a Black person is a sell out, you first have to define what a Black person should think and do. The problem is that as soon as we do that we buy into to someone else's stereotype of what we are. IMO, using a term like sell-out just undermines a person's individuality in an attempt to feel more authentic ourselves.


But, BV ...

Don't we as Black people have a right to our own perception of what Black people are? Taking into consideration, of course, that you can't lump all Black people (or all of anybody) into one nice, neat little package with a bow on it, do you belive (or not) that there some characteristics about Black people that are not sterotypes ... but are more ... well ... characteristics?

I mean, I'm not disagreeing with you, just trying to find out what you're trying to say. Smile
a classic example of a sellout to me, is a black person, who when in the company of just black people, talk about how down they are, but when they are around europeans or other nonblacks they flip the script and start buckdancing!

Another example is a black person , who goes out of their way to skin and grin around white people, they feel like the have to go above and beyond to prove they are not like to rest of the blacks

One that burns me up is when you are on a job and you may have a brother or sister who is in somewhat of a position of authority and find it necessary to go out of their way to keep ther other black folks in line , while they let the white employees get away with murder. Whenever whites come around they are so happy showing all 52 but act like sambo, in the field when they see blacks.

Another fucking thing that really burns me up about sellout mf's> black people wearing Marcus Garvey shirts, sportin the red black and green, but got a white boy on their arms, or dreaded up talking panafricanist talk with a white chick on his arm. Thats a sellout to me.
quote:
Originally posted by EbonyRose:
quote:
Originally posted by Black Viking:
I agree. This why I never use the term "sell-out". In order to determine that a Black person is a sell out, you first have to define what a Black person should think and do. The problem is that as soon as we do that we buy into to someone else's stereotype of what we are. IMO, using a term like sell-out just undermines a person's individuality in an attempt to feel more authentic ourselves.


But, BV ...

Don't we as Black people have a right to our own perception of what Black people are? Taking into consideration, of course, that you can't lump all Black people (or all of anybody) into one nice, neat little package with a bow on it,

That was essentially my point. There is no mold that all Black folks fit into. In the very concept of a "sellout", there is the implication that whatever behavior being discussed is unbecoming of a Black person. But, even that is so highly subjective that it will change from person to person... and subject to subject. Then, we wind up right back where we started... a large group of individuals with a common ancestry, and maybe nothing else at all in common. Or, maybe they have a great deal in common, and are simply unable to see it.

ER, did you see Hotel Rawanda?

That's my point. Smile
black people have been sacrificing since we arrived on the shores, many of our ancestors struggles and died to put us in a better position. We all stand on the shoulders of those that came before us. Thats my point, when you violate that, you sellin out.

and you cannot begin to talk about Hotel Rwanda, without talking about the Colonizers who started that fued. On the suface it looks like blacks killing each other, but you must understand the history of the African continent .
quote:
Originally posted by Black Viking:
That was essentially my point. There is no mold that all Black folks fit into. In the very concept of a "sellout", there is the implication that whatever behavior being discussed is unbecoming of a Black person. But, even that is so highly subjective that it will change from person to person... and subject to subject. Then, we wind up right back where we started... a large group of individuals with a common ancestry, and maybe nothing else at all in common. Or, maybe they have a great deal in common, and are simply unable to see it.

ER, did you see Hotel Rawanda?

That's my point. Smile


Nope, I haven't seen it yet. Still trying to build up my courage and my resolve to deal with it! Smile The fact that I know that that and worse is still going on today in Darfur makes it really hard for me.

But, I do think I understand what you're saying. I guess when I see somebody like a Ward Connerly or a Clarence Thomas do and say things that are detrimental to our common ancestry that you speak about ... and do so for primarily personal, economic or political gain, I don't know what else to call them, for I believe they do "sell" us out to gain favor with those who work so hard to oppress us.

Our history here is probably the one and only thing that makes us all "the same." Our treatment brought about the same kinds of experiences, due to the fact that the color of our skin has been the prerequisite for being treated so badly.

It's one thing to be in it solely for yourself ... but, it's another thing to actually make sure you get yours at somebody else's expense. And I really don't know what else to call that. sck
quote:
Originally posted by EbonyRose:
Nope, I haven't seen it yet. Still trying to build up my courage and my resolve to deal with it! Smile The fact that I know that that and worse is still going on today in Darfur makes it really hard for me.

I know exactly how you feel. I waited a long time. I actually bought the DVD, and then it sat unopened on my shelf for months before I finally got up the nerve. Take my advice my friend... don't watch it alone. Smile

quote:
But, I do think I understand what you're saying. I guess when I see somebody like a Ward Connerly or a Clarence Thomas do and say things that are detrimental to our common ancestry that you speak about ... and do so for primarily personal, economic or political gain, I don't know what else to call them, for I believe they do "sell" us out to gain favor with those who work so hard to oppress us.

Our history here is probably the one and only thing that makes us all "the same." Our treatment brought about the same kinds of experiences, due to the fact that the color of our skin has been the prerequisite for being treated so badly.

It's one thing to be in it solely for yourself ... but, it's another thing to actually make sure you get yours at somebody else's expense. And I really don't know what else to call that. sck

I see what you're saying. I think you may be suffering from the same thing I often do...

I just expect better of Black folks.

But really, that's not a fair expectation. People are people after all. It's very hard to believe that a Black person could not see the detrimental effect there actions have on the Black community. It's even harder to believe that they may see it, and just not care. I think the former is more likely than the latter though. It's very easy for a person to do/say what they truly believe is best for the Black community... and just be flat out wrong.
quote:
Originally posted by Black Viking:
I know exactly how you feel. I waited a long time. I actually bought the DVD, and then it sat unopened on my shelf for months before I finally got up the nerve. Take my advice my friend... don't watch it alone. Smile


Thanks for the heads up! Smile

quote:
I see what you're saying. I think you may be suffering from the same thing I often do...

I just expect better of Black folks.

But really, that's not a fair expectation. People are people after all. It's very hard to believe that a Black person could not see the detrimental effect there actions have on the Black community. It's even harder to believe that they may see it, and just not care. I think the former is more likely than the latter though. It's very easy for a person to do/say what they truly believe is best for the Black community... and just be flat out wrong.


tfro tfro

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