Sunday, June 27, 2010

The Fallacy of the Fourth

The Fallacy of the Fourth:
Should Black Folks Celebrate?

Paul Scott





On July 5th 1852, the great orator and abolitionist, Frederick Douglas delivered an electrifying speech where he posed what was possibly the most significant question of his time; "What to the slave is the Fourth of July?" He received a thunderous round of applause.

A hundred and twenty some odd years later, July 4th 1976, as a nine year old junior militant, I stood defiantly on a picnic table, raised my sand shovel and posed a similar question. Why do black people celebrate Independence Day,anyway?"

The response I received?

"Shut up and eat your hot dog!"

The issue of whether African Americans should celebrate the 4th of July is one of those eternal questions that is often asked this time of year but never receives a valid answer. Why do black folks feel obligated to dress up in red, white and blue top hats and sing the Star Spangled Banner to commemorate a day when our ancestors were picking tobacco in the hot Carolina sun?

Historians trace the genesis of the problem back to slavery times when the enslaved Africans were not required to work on some holidays. So as one writer put it, even in 2010, for black folks, psychologically, we reenact Emancipation Day every weekend and holiday. However, we must never confuse a day off work with historical accuracy.

This may come as a shock for some but black folks weren't free in 1776. Matter of fact, it wasn't until four score and five years later that Abe Lincoln delivered the Emancipation Proclamation.

Also, it must be noted that black folks gained nothing from the America's victory over the British. Lerone Bennet writes in his book "Before the Mayflower" that a Lord Dunmore, former governor of colonial Virginia, issued a proclamation on November 5, 1775 promising freedom to all male slaves willing to fight for England. This was 86 years before Lincoln "freed" the slaves in states that were rebelling against the Union.

Not to mention that Britain abolished slavery in 1833 and it was not until 30 years later that slavery was abolished in America.

While some may argue that Independence Day is not about slavery but the higher ideals of Freedom, Justice and the Pursuit of Happiness that is another lie that has been repeated so much that people accept it as religious dogma.

In Eric Williams' book "Capitalism and Slavery" he states very clearly that the Revolutionary War was based on economics; American sovereignty versus British imperialism. According to Williams, the main source of the conflict was the control of the West Indian sugar and molasses trade. Dr. Ishakamusa Barashango in his work "Afrikan People and European Holidays: A Mental Genocide Vol II" writes that the American colonists needed the molasses to make rum that was used to exchange for slaves on the West African coast.

So, why in 2010, will even the most educated African Americans so vehemently defend their compulsions to celebrate a false holiday?

Part of the problem is the belief that in order to "make it" in American society, we have to "go along to get along." Unfortunately, many of us do not have the courage exhibited by the children in the Emperor's New Clothes fable to tell his royal highness that not only was he butt naked but a slave owner as well, figuratively speaking.

So every year, they put on writer Paul Lawrence Dunbar's "mask that grins and lies" and sit down at 4th of July picnic tables, gobbling down as many hot dogs as they can stomach.

What WEB DuBois referred to as a "double consciousness" having to be both African and American, psychologists would call schizophrenic behavior.

Historically, when we wanted to be part of the American Dream they wouldn't let us but when we rejected white America's ideology they called us "divisive" and "reverse racists." So the implied threat behind bumper stickers that read "America: Love it or Leave it" is enough to beat most black folks into psychological submission.

What is also disturbing is the hypocrisy that Independence Day revelers exhibit when addressing the Hip Hop generation.

I find it ironic that the same black folks who will berate the youth for their justification of using the dreaded "N" word by saying that they are "redefining the meaning to stand for something positive" have no problem redefining history so they can justify setting off firecrackers.

Also, although members of the older generation will criticize rappers for coming up with outlandish "hood tales" just to sell cds, they will rewrite history to give black folks Independence when they were still picking cotton.

The saddest part of the whole ordeal is the message that we are sending young black children when we encourage them to celebrate Independence Day. Instead of teaching our children to think critically, we are forcing them to accept a blatantly false version of history without examining the facts. How can we teach them to value education when the foundation of the United State's educational system is based on a 200 year old lie that had a holiday formed around it. To teach young black children to celebrate Independence Day is intellectually, criminal.

So, go ahead white America, enjoy your day in the sun. But as a descendant of enslaved Africans, I close with the immortal words that the Frederick Douglas:

"This Fourth of July is yours, not mine. You may rejoice, I must mourn."

Paul Scott writes for No Warning Shots Fired.com.
He can be reached at (919) 451-8283 info@nowarningshotsfired.com

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Juneteenth Mental Emancipation Campaign

On June 19th, African Americans across the country will observe Junteenth in recognition of the fact that the enslaved Africans in Texas did not become emancipated until June 19, 1965, even though Abraham Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation went into effect January 1st 1963.

Although, African Americans may have been emancipated physically, a NC minister and activist is calling for blacks to be emancipated, mentally.

"Because we do not know our history, many Africans Americans, especially the youth, are still psychologically, 'unemanacipated,' says Paul Scott of Durham, NC. "It is important that we not only embrace our culture during Juneteenth and Black History Month but we must live it 365 days a year."

This is especially critical at a time when many African Americans feel that they have "overcome" because of a black man in the White House and race is no longer an issue.

"It does one no good to be physically chillin' in the Promise Land but mentally still on the plantation, "says Scott

As part of his Mental Emancipation Campaign, Scott is calling for the African American community to become custodians of their culture at a time when there is a "Right Wing Conspiracy" to redefine racism, which he says as become an all purpose term that can falsely apply to any ethnic group.

"Groups like the Tea Party and other Right Wingers have so distorted the term "racism," that they have made the term obsolete when it comes to African Americans and Latinos," says Scott. "We must debunk the myth of 'multi-cultural racism' as the only form of racism is white supremacy and we must define it as such."

Scott, known as the "Hip Hop TRUTH Minista" is also calling on members of the Hip Hop community and black entertainers to stop letting white corporate America define "blackness."

"The black experience is not what you see on TV or hear on the radio, says Scott. "that is a corporate created image."

The activist is also appealing to African American leaders to stop referring to their constituents as "minorities" and "colored."

"As Bob Marley once sang we must emancipate ourselves from mental slavery. None but ourselves can free our minds."

Paul Scott is author of the controversial blog, No Warning Shots Fired.com http://www.nowarningshotsfired.com
He has appeared on many talk shows and lectured across the country about race, religion and rap music .
For more information contact No Warning Shots Fired Media at (919) 451-8283 or info@nowarningshotsfired.com

Friday, June 11, 2010

How the South Destroyed Rap

How the South Destroyed Rap:
Time to Stop Hee Haw Hip Hop

Paul Scott


"All my brothas eatin' chicken and watermelon
Talk broken English and drug sellin'"

My Philosophy- Boogie Down Productions



Hip Hop is many things to many people depending on which side of the planet you rest your head. New York is honored for being the birth place of the genre. Cali is known as being the place that capitalized off of gangsta-ism (for better or worst.) And the South is known for what can best be described as "Hee Haw Hip Hop"; that throw back to the era when people lived in the land of cotton, old times there are not forgotten.

Welcome to Dixie Land.


While many Hip Hop headz will, vehemently, argue against criticizing any one region for the demise of the genre, it must be admitted that the worst form of Hip Hop for the last decade has originated below the Mason Dixon line. While other forms of Hip Hop have at least tried to convey some sort of message, Southern Hip Hop is as devoid of style as it is substance, that is, unless you consider dudes with gold teeth rappin' like they have a mouth full of snuff some sort of swagga chic.

The rappers of the South Coast seem to go out of their way to rep the stereotype of country folks having the intelligence level of a watermelon to the fullest. Every time, I hear a Gucci Mayne or Plies song on the radio, I think that my IQ drops a couple of levels.

It must be noted that this has not always been the case.

The history of southern Hip Hop can be traced back as far as the early 80's with an artist named Shy D and his Planet Rock type rhythms. He was followed by Luke "Skywalker" Campbell and the 2 Live Crew who gained world wide fame for their mixture of Hip Hop and hedonism and their attempts to push the 1st Amendment to the limit by claiming that they could be "as nasty as they wanna be."

Like NY Hip Hop, the South also had a brief conscious era ushered in by the Dungeon Family (Outkast, Goodie MOB) in the mid 90's. However, just as gangsta rap replaced East Coast conscious Hip Hop in the early 90's, "Crunk Music" replaced the socially conscious rap of the South by the late 90's.

Much of the credit for this can be attributed to the mastermind Steve Gottlieb, at the time, owner of TVT records, a company that started off selling TV show themes but found out that they could make a whole lot more money popularizing retarded rap (Ying Yang Twins) and making, otherwise, intelligent black men (Lil Jon, reportedly has a Masters Degree) sound mentally challenged.

The question we should ask ourselves is how can an area with more than its share of black institutions of higher learning (especially the ATL) now be famous for producing music only suitable to step and fetch to?

Historically, perhaps, it has something to do with the post Civil War Era as many black folks left the South to go North where getting an industrial job required a higher level of education than it took to pick tobacco.

Also, according to Dr. Noliwe Rooks in her book, "White Money, Black Power," "southern whites feared that education for blacks would provide African Americans with the means to, eventually, upset white supremacy."

Dr. Claude Anderson in his book "Black Labor, White Wealth" argues that after slavery, "cultural customs and laws forced the newly emancipated blacks to conform to the historical image of blacks as common labors."

So the plot was clear, keep black folks deaf, dumb and blind to preserve white socio-economic hegemony. We see the same method of operation today with "Operation Dumb Down," today. This is why most commercially successful southern rappers sound like they are just two feet off the plantation.

In an effort to preserve the status quo, the powers that be are determined to destroy Hip Hop and take the minds of black children down with it.

If the rationale for "Operation Dumb Down," is, indeed economic, then the counter solution must also be economically based.

As Jay Z said, "men lie, women lie, numbers don't."

Instead of buying music to put us to sleep, we must support artists that are trying to wake us up, whether it be internationally known Hip Hop pioneers like Rakim or up and coming MC's like Pittsburgh's Jasiri X. With the educational challenges that our young people face, we must also start buying more books and less video games. This makes a whole lot more sense in tough economic times than spending what's left of our hard earned cash on bamboozled bammas who happen to have hot beats.

Now we are aware that some folks are going to miss the point of this call to action and dismiss this as a case of "hatin' on Hip Hop" as that is what they have been programmed to do. Some will even argue that we are in control of the images of us that are projected around the world.

Dr. Bobby Wright put it best in his book, "The Psychopathic Racial Personality," where he discussed "behavior modification" by quoting psychologist Dr. BF Skinner who wrote "it is possible to delude people into believing that they have the essence of life-Freedom and dignity-and still control them."

So, as in the days of Harriet Tubman the condition of our people remains the same.

Some folks just don't want to be emancipated from mental slavery.

As the great heroine once said.

"I freed a thousand slaves..I could have freed a thousand more if only they knew they were slaves."


TRUTH Minista Paul Scott writes for No Warning Shots Fired.com. He can be reached at (919) 451-8283 or info@nowarningshotsfired.com

Check Out these videos by Pittsburgh rapper Jasiri X discussing the issue of "minstrel" Hip Hop


Just a Minstrel




Jasiri X speaks onthe video controversy