Thursday, August 26, 2010

Sunday, August 22, 2010

March Madness: Glenn Beck and the Death of Civil Rights

March Madness: Glenn Beck and the Death of Civil Rights.

Paul Scott



The date is August 28th 2010, and Glenn Beck stands before a crowd of 100,000 fellow Conservatives holding the severed head of a Martin Luther King Jr statue like a victorious Roman gladiator. With Sarah Palin by his side, he, triumphantly, yells, "free at last; free at last," as the civil rights leaders can only weep from afar...

There is an old saying that if you love something, set it free and if it doesn't come back it was never yours to begin with; so it is with Glenn Beck and the Right Wing's, upcoming, "Restoring Honor Rally" which is scheduled to take place this Saturday in Washington DC, commemorating the 47th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King's "March on Washington."

Of course, some members of the civil rights generation are afraid that this is an attempt to kill their movement and are holding a counter rally called "Reclaim the Dream."

What must be noted is that for many African Americans who came into political consciousness during the Hip Hop Era, the Civil Rights Movement died a long time ago, as its end game strategy of cultural assimilation has proven to be unable to cure the societal ills facing the black community.

For nearly 50 years they have pushed a commercialized version of Dr. King's struggle for racial equality to this country. This is the version of black history that is easily co-opted by white America and of which Glenn Beck and others consider themselves the rightful heirs.

However, there is a non-commercial version of the African American experience that the Right Wing will not touch with a 10 foot pole. This is the ideology embraced by many younger African Americans that includes black empowerment , black self determination and an Afro-centric world view.

Can you imagine Sean Hannity holding one of his Freedom concerts at the site of the 1972 Wattstax Music Festival which commemorated the Watts Rebellion of 1965? Or do you really believe that Glenn Beck would hold an event on October 16 to commemorate the 1995, Minister Louis Farrakhan led, Million Man March/Day of Atonement and have a million white men gather to beg forgiveness for their crimes against non-white humanity?

Of course not. These events are pretty much off limits. However, the March on Washington is ripe for the pickin'.

Although, the conservative talking heads, constantly, refer to mainstream black leaders as "poverty pimps," who should not be in leadership positions, there is one major flaw in their criticisms. In some warped version of the Hegelian Dialectal Principle, they chose them. For the most part, the civil rights leaders have been ringers. (Or as we say in the 'hood marks.)

Now, you have to give it to the Tea Party people , when they roll out to a march they come to chew tobacco and kick butt and at this point they are all out of Red Man. As for the civil rights folks, they put so much emphasis on easing ,unfounded, white fears of a bloody revolution that everything else kinda gets lost in the translation.

"blah blah blah....NONVIOLENCE...blah blah blah"

This lack of aggression does not go over too well with a generation who grew up on rap videos and Grand Theft Auto video games.

Not to mention, the focus of the Civil Rights Movement on what writer Harold Cruse called "non-economic liberalism" is seen as outdated by members of a Hip Hop generation who consider black self -made millionaire entertainers as role models, some of whom got there start by selling cd's out of their car trunks.

Also, for a community that is suffering from black on black youth violence, an over emphasis on "little black boys holding hands with little white girls" is seen as treason.

As Hip Hop artist KRS once rapped "the civil rights leaders ain't seeing...they wanna be equal with the white...I wanna to be equal with the light...."

As we move toward the mid term elections and King's, prophetic, "difficult days ahead," America will see the rise of a new movement of younger, more Afro-centric thinkers, writers, activists and historians who believe the keys to solving our problems do not lie in the minds of white Americans but are buried deep within our African souls.

If more black folks knew the historical truth about Martin Luther King, instead of getting their underwear in a bundle over Beck's rally they would get quite a chuckle from the arrogant ignorance of the Right.

For most people, their knowledge of Dr. Martin Luther King ends, immediately, after his "I Have a Dream Speech"of 1963. However, the remaining years of his life found him, increasingly, sounding more like a black militant Marxist -Leninist than the Southern preacher of the Montgomery Bus Boycott fame.

Do the Right Wing champions of the white middle class realize that ,according to Kenneth O'Reilly in his book "Black Americans: The FBI Files," at the time of his death, King was planning a Washington Spring Project/Poor People's March which would have pressured the government to spend more money on the same social programs that are hated by Conservatives ?

Also, how can a bunch of folks who pride themselves as being the major advocates of big business embrace the ideology of a man who, the night before he was assassinated, delivered a speech not only calling for economic sanctions against Coca Cola and Wonder Bread but also asking African Americans in Memphis Tennessee to take their savings out of the white owned banks and put them in black ones?

Lastly, although the Tea Partiers constantly bash President Obama for hangin' with radical homeboys such as the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, according to Dr. Devin Fergus in his book, "Liberalism, Black Power and the Making of American Politics 1965-1980, the day of his assassination, King met with a gang called The Invaders, "a group patterned after the Black Panther Party" in order to "help the group secure funding for community programs."

If a bunch of intellectually, challenged yahoos whose resident genius is Sarah Palin can 'jack an event held so dear to the civil rights folks, more power to 'em.

Instead of "reclaiming the dream" we need to be reclaiming our history and cultural identity because ultimately, that is only the solution to our problems.

As Dr. King said "Yes, I'm black and proud of it! I'm black and beautiful !"

And that is something that Beck and company can never take away.

Paul Scott writes for No Warning Shots Fired.com. For more information on the Intelligence Over Ignorance lecture series on Race, Rap and Revolution contact (919) 451-8283 or info@nowarningshotsfired.com

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Dr. Laura: The Right's New Martyr

Dr. Laura: Hard to Say I'm Sorry?

Paul Scott


Back in the 80's, the rock group, Chicago had a big hit with "Hard to Say I'm Sorry." I beg to differ. Just look at Dr.Laura Schlessinger.

The good Dr. was just on Larry King talking about how distraught she was after her show where she used the N Word and how she apologized before the "special interest groups" started calling for her head.

OK. Kinda like when I broke something as a child and decided that I would punish myself, instead of waitin' for mama to get the belt.

"Oh, mother dear. Truly I must be punished! Banish me to my room with no spinach tonight..."
So, Dr. Laura has decided that since her contract is up at the end of the year that she will no longer do radio but will do other things to regain her Freedom of Speech.

Is that Right wing speak for, "Sean Hannity just got a new co-host?"

How much do you wanna bet that come January 1st, she winds up on Fox.

Schlessinger should step down now! December is too long for her to get her just desserts.

If there is any justice in the universe, come tomorrow morning, when Schlessinger's audience tries to turn in to her show, they will find it replaced by the "Public Enemy Greatest Hits Hour."


However, the Right Wingers are the masters of making the best of a bad situation. Even when they lose they win.

Now that she has done the dirty deed, you can bet that the Tea Party and the rest of the Right Wingers will hook their homegirl up with a new gig.

Racists have a way of looking out for each other.

You can best believe that come tomorrow, Laura Sclessinger will be the Right's new martyr; the patron saint of racist radio hosts, everywhere.

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

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Laura Schlessinger's Crazy Cure for Racism

Laura Schlessinger's Crazy Cure for Racism:
Do We Blame Dr. Laura or Dr. Dre?

Paul Scott



A broken, elderly black man limped into his doctor's office last Tuesday afternoon. His neck bore the scars of numerous lynching attempts and his back the welts of years of severe beatings. Reflected in his eyes was the pain of seeing his mother and sister raped and being powerless to do anything about it. As he described in vivid detail his many thoughts of committing suicide, the physician just sat emotionless in her chair. Finally, she scribbled on her prescription pad, "take two doses of the "N word" and call me in the morning. LOL..."

Last week, talk show host, Dr. Laura Schlessinger, came under fire for using the "N word" multiple times to help a caller get over her racial "hypersensitivity." While the purpose of the conversation was, supposedly, to give the caller life changing advice, in reality, Schlessinger was merely trying to help her predominately white audience get over their collective guilt of harboring white supremacist attitudes as she soothed them with the old standard, "Black Comedians use the N Word, Why Can't I" Therefore, if it's cool in Compton it must play well in Peoria.

Newsflash for Dr. Laura. Not all black men walk around grabbin' their crotches, showing their dirty drawers and dropping the "N bomb" like there's no tomorrow. I, personally, have never made a habit of using the word and have spoken out against its use on many occasions. Also, activists such as Gary, Indiana radio host, Kwabena Rasuliu have led multiple protests against those in the Hip Hop world who have used such ignorance as a marketing tool.

However, folks like "Sgt. Schlessiger" and her Right Wing Storm Troopers, continuously, use black entertainers as justification for their racist rants. The comedians to whom Schlessinger referred do not speak for me nor do they speak for most people of African descent. It is unfortunate that, while folks like Dr. Laura can name black comedians who use the word, they cannot name one Afro-centric historian who has put the word in a social or historical context and can explain how it became a term of black endearment.

So, herein, lies the major problem facing this country in terms of race relations: historical and cultural ignorance.

Although, the use of the "N word" pops up as a topic of discussion every few years, most people, black or white, do not know the historical origins of the word.

The word "nigger" is derived from the Portuguese adjective "negro" which was used by the early slave traders to describe their new found "property." So, when it crossed the Atlantic , "negro" was ,eventually, transformed into the word "nigger;" different spellings but for all intents and purposes, having the same meaning as they both infer that black people are less than human.

Black psychologists have suggested that the use of the word by African Americans is a subconscious response to white supremacy.

In his book, "Black on Black Violence: The Psycho-dynamics of Black Self-Annihilation in the Service of White Domination" the late psychologist Dr. Amos Wilson wrote, " through identification with the aggressor, the subject attempts to magically transform himself from the one being threatened to the one threatening; from powerlessness to powerful: from inferior to superior."

It must be noted that the degradation of black people for comedic purposes started with white black-face performer Thomas Rice's Jumpin' Jim Crow in 1830, predating early black comedians such as Moms Mabley and Redd Fox by more than a century. Not to mention that most black entertainers work for white owned companies.

While comedian Richard Pryor used the "N word" extensively in some of his early stand up routines, later in his career, following a trip to Africa, he publicly vowed to "never call a black man nigger again."

Perhaps, the group most influential in popularizing the word during the Hip Hop Era was NWA (Niggas With Attitude) of the late 80's and early '90's. However, the group was managed by Jerry Heller, a white man, who was also the co-owner of their record label, Ruthless Records. So, there have always been white business men who have supplied white Americans with an avenue to, vicariously, live out their racist fantasies through black entertainers.

While some may make the argument that it is only entertainment, the contradictions within this statement are many.

One example is that although Jewish comedians such as Jackie Mason and Adam Sandler, may make Jewish jokes, none of their stand up routines would ever be used by outsiders to make light of the Jewish Holocaust.

Also, attacks on the black community seem to be the only topics not off limit by the entertainment industry. Black entertainers from Professor Griff of Public Enemy to the late Michael Jackson had their careers negatively impacted by, allegedly, making anti-Semitic comments or songs. Ironically, Ice Cube, one of the founders of NWA was boycotted in the early 90's by the Korean community over a song he made in regards to the murder of 15 year old Latasha Harland, who was shot by a Korean grocer.

So, we see the real double standard at play.

If we are not careful, the controversy over Dr. Laura's statement will go the route of the infamous Don Imus incident as civil rights leaders and right wing media pundits will find a way to put the blame totally on rap music; blaming Dr. Dre instead of Dr. Laura.

In order to stop the Dr. Laura's of the world, this country must engage in a massive reeducation process. African Americans must learn all they can about their culture and pass the information on to future generations. Also, white Americans must be willing to hear the truth about the African American experience no matter how uncomfortable it might make them feel. This will not come from educators who fear backlash from school boards nor newspaper editors who are more concerned with offending their advertisers than serving the public good but will come from Afro-centric historians and scholars who are brave enough to speak truth to power without biting their tongues.

Unfortunately, this cure is too big a pill for most folks to swallow.

Paul Scott writes for No Warning Shots Fired .com. For more information about the Intelligence Over Ignorance lecture series on Race, Rap and Revolution contact (919) 451-8283 or info@nowarningshotsfired.com

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Haters For Hire

Haters for Hire:
Understanding Racism for Ratings

Paul Scott


It all started when, while standing in the checkout line at Community Foods Supermarket, Mike White told a joke that he heard on the local right wing radio morning show. However, Rasheed Blackmon, who was in line behind him was not amused. The simple off-color joke led to a racial slug-fest, as customers throughout the store began clubbing each other with frozen pizzas and boxes of Twinkies.The radio station finally got what they had been pushing for; a race riot on aisle five of the local grocery store...

Since the last presidential election, there has been a growing interest in right wing shock jocks with new ones springing up like weeds everyday in markets across the country. Whether it be Clear Channel's Rush Radio affiliates or Fox News, the line between journalism and entertainment has been permanently blurred. What is passing for examples of intelligent racial discourse are merely cheap one-liners and the conservative equivalent of "yo' mama" jokes.

Racism for ratings has become the order of the day and stations are scrambling to hire their own stable of hired haters.

What is ironic is that I doubt very seriously that most of the pundits who spew the racist rhetoric actually feel that way when they are off the clock nor will they be able to defend their positions in public debates. They subscribe to the old saying, "I'm not a racist; I just play one on TV." For them the profits of racial rage are strictly business, nothing personal.

Unfortunately, if you follow the right wing rhetoric to its logical conclusion, eventually some one's gonna get hurt and it's not going to be one of the media moguls in an office building in downtown Manhattan nor one of the local haters-for-hire hidden away in a DJ booth in some undisclosed location, it's going to be one of your friends or neighbors. After the racial Apocalypse, the head honchos at corporate will just put the racial rebel rousers in their Clear Channel Radio Host Protection Program, change their identities and ship them off to some unsuspecting town in Idaho where they will start the same mayhem over again, while leaving their former city of employment in shambles.

While many will be quick to blame the messenger, it must be noted that as early as the 18th century, Thomas Jefferson warned that if America did not get its collective act together in terms of race relations, according to Bradford Chambers in his book "Chronicles of Black Protests," he foresaw a race war and the "extermination of the one or the other race."

You have folks on both sides of the political gulf that take what they hear on Fox News and conservative radio as the Gospel, a reflection of how the average white American feels about people of color. However, just as the Hip Hop videos on Black Entertainment Television do not reflect the lifestyle choices of all African Americans, neither does Fox News reflect the racial attitudes of all whites.

According to WEB Dubois in his book, "Black Reconstruction in America, " in 1860 only 7% of the total population of the South owned nearly three million of the 3,953,676 slaves. These were the members of the "planter class" who controlled the politics and economics of the southern states. Dubois wrote that the propagation of the doctrine of black inferiority was based on the interests of this planter class by which the majority of the population (poor whites) were manipulated. In modern society, the planter class would be the media moguls and their prophets of rage, while the poor whites would be the majority of their listeners.

One of the reasons why this trend continues is that most Americans have a very lackadaisical attitude when it comes to historical research. It is easier to listen to some bigot on the radio and just parrot right wing talking points than it is to engage in a critical analysis of the race problem. Plus, it's more entertaining to watch Glenn Beck go off one one of his tirades than it is to sit down and read a book. Let's face it, the Right's theater of the absurd sells out every night.

Also, we live in an area where the local newspapers would rather pretend that by ignoring racial issues they will eventually disappear. Racial issues will not make the morning paper until two days after blood is flowing waist high in the streets,evidence of the old adage "if it bleeds, it leads."

This is not without precedent, as back in 2004, Kentucky's Lexington Herald Leader admitted that the paper "neglected to cover the Civil Rights Movement." Maybe this is why paper's like Durham's Herald Sun have not really explored the race issue, instead, relegating discussions on race to community message boards, the journalistic equivalent of back alley discussions, instead of the actual newspaper.

It must be noted that it was the articles that originated from No Warning Shots Fired.com and not the Herald Sun that have produced some of the most thoughtful dialogue on race relations over the last year. Nor should it be overlooked that the articles that were posted courtesy of No Warning Shots Fired have, consistently ,generated more web hits than all the Herald Sun's staff columnists combined, indicating that there is a desire in this community to have an open and honest discussion on race based on facts and not sophomoric name calling.

Nationally, this has been a long hot summer in regards to the topic of race in America and with the upcoming mid-term elections, you can bet that the heat of the summer will bleed into the fall.

While the media gatekeepers are cashing in on the racial hatred, folks like you and I are just pawns in the game.


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