by J. Pharoah Doss, For New Pittsburgh Courier
Black conservatives are frequently condemned for reinforcing right-wing racism, but when Black liberals reinforce progressive racism there’s no equivalent condemnation. (I guess if Blacks don’t have the power to be racist neither do progressives.)
At the beginning of the year the media reported a confrontation between White catholic high school students and a Native American playing a drum. The media said the White teenagers were children of privilege exercising their power by mocking a descendant of an indigenous tribe.
Eventually, the entire story came out, and the White high school students didn’t start the incident. They were reacting to a group of men, Black Hebrew Israelites, who directed derogatory comments toward them.
Some members of the media were appalled that anything could be blamed on Black Hebrew Israelites, who are a minority within a minority which doubles their deficiencies in privilege and power.
One Black writer wrote an article called: “Don’t Blame Black Hebrew Israelites for Covington Students Deplorable Behavior.”
He wrote: The right, in its never-ending quest to justify anything racist and unearth some sort of twisted equivalence whenever the melanated, marginalized, and disenfranchised raise their voices against structural racism, is now pardoning and falsely blaming the boy’s mocking of Native American culture—which has been nearly wiped out by White supremacy—on their encounter with Black Hebrew Israelites. The Black Hebrew Israelites, known for their fiery rhetoric, said things the students didn’t agree with and got offended. [But] The students outnumbered the Black Hebrew Israelites by about 100 to 4 … This in and of itself is enough to let the Black Hebrew Israelites off the hook unless you believe 100 to 4 sounds more like a fair fight and less like a lynch mob.
Now, this is an example of progressive racism, which infantilizes Black men.
The terms marginalized, disenfranchised, White supremacy, and lynch mob were used to establish the Black Hebrew Israelites as historical victims of racial oppression who can’t be held responsible for their actions while outnumbered by Whites. But high school students outnumber their chaperones on field trips, their teachers in classrooms, and their coaches on practice fields. In almost all settings, high school students outnumber adults, but this writer had no adult expectations of the Black Hebrew Israelites and that—in and of itself—reduces these Black men to adolescence.
And to make matters worse, the Black writer wrote, “Covington is one of those private, all-male preparatory schools that the poor can’t attend…The expectation is you go to Covington, receive a top-tier education, go to college and greatly increase the prospects that the world will indeed be your oyster.” In other words, since the White student’s potential to become powerful, influential, members of society is superior to the impotent manhood of the marginalized Black Hebrew Israelites, the White students should shoulder the blame.
Recently, Facebook permanently banned Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan, along with Alex Jones and Milo Yiannopoulos. The Company said, “We’ve always banned individuals or organizations that promote or engage in violence and hate, regardless of ideology.”
I don’t like Facebook’s ban, but I give them credit for giving Farrakhan the treatment all men deserve.
(J. Pharoah Doss is a contributor to the New Pittsburgh Courier)
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