What I’m presenting before you can apply to a wider set of malcontents than the “black” pundits who are pushed by corporate media on the right and the left as token voices of the “African-American” community. The status quo amplifies only demagogues who speak in dog whistles and spread grievances, they will not allow any rational person who can speak to our common humanity anywhere near the megaphone that is mainstream media. But I’ve noticed a trait that is possessed by “black” talking heads that is common within the liberal and conservative wings of the punditry class.
There is a quality of servitude and servility about these would be intellectuals that is at once laughable and sad; they are presented on TV as caricatures that fit the mold of either a liberal shuck and jive buffoon or a conservative house negro. There is not an original thought to be found in most of them; they just repeat the same mantra and drivel over and over again as if they have the hands of the masters who pay them right up their collective behinds. I’ve said many times in the past that paychecks make slaves of all of us, but hot damn if Republican or Democrat poodles don’t take this truism and run with it in ways that would impress Usain Bolt.
This is actually upsetting to me even as I try to write this in jest; there is a systematic constraint that is placed on the “African-American” community that reduces us to the mouthpieces of either one party or the other. I would be remiss if I did not point out that we are culpable in feeding this insidious narrative; we keep being loyal to ideologies, parties and personalities who do nothing but bury us deep into the gutters of insufficiency and dependency. I myself was once a loyal stooge of the Democratic party until I realized that the Democratic party only values us as voters and not as equal citizens. The whole party is dripping with paternalism; which, parenthetically, is a form of bigotry as harmful as the vitriol spewed by the most rabid racist in the GOP.
I know people will read into my condemnation of Democrats as some sort of endorsement of the bankrupt Republican party as they skip right over the previous sentence—ideological myopia is antithetical to rational thought. Let me disabuse anyone of the thought that I’m some conservative shill; for God’s sake do we have to reside in the shackles we are given? I do not belong to either party and I refuse to babble the ideology of the moneyed gentry who are doing nothing to help me while doing everything to kneecap endless communities. Both parties are equally bankrupt and so is the media class who love to use injustice as a business model as they leverage our suffering to make the next marginal dollar.
Alas, independence from ideologies makes one a walk in the wilderness alone; society has been too trained to see everything through the narrow prisms of ideology, identity and useless dogmas. The demand is just not there on a broad level for those who offer analysis and assessments with a modicum of originality unconstrained by ideologies. I could sit up here and bash Fox News and MSNBC for the yellow hounds that they are, but at the end of the day, consumers perpetuate mainstream media fatuity by tuning in and ignoring the rational voices who refuse to be the lackeys of either liberal or conservative media outlets.
Add on top of this an intentional suppression by the part of the mainstream media of anyone who does not speak through partisan orthodoxy and what is left is a public discourse that only channels the voices of the most ardent ideologues. If there were no harmful effects associated with the level of inanity that is broadcast over the public airwaves and through the internet, I would leave well enough alone and let these fools do what they do. But there is an injurious aspect of these toadies who go on TV and write in newspapers as they spew mind bending levels of ignorance throughout the public airwaves.
Both liberal and conservative pundits are being rewarded for conditioning us to believe that we are insignificant and that we can only achieve our worth if we bow to either one political party or another. Instead of speaking hope into us and our children, they whisper insecurity as they peddle grievance and stoke outrage so that we can always be “the others” who are apart from the tapestry of America. This is a playbook of divide and colonization that bled the continent that was once called Ethiopia; tribalism led to a genocide unparalleled in the history of this planet and the renaming of the continent to Africa.
See what I just did in the last two sentences was speak truth apart from the propaganda we are forced fed—truths that neither liberal or conservative will dare touch. They won’t challenge conventional wisdom no matter how much of a lie that convention proves to be. To speak up and challenge dogma is to tempt potential backlash because nothing burns quite as bad as the third rail of identity in America. It takes courage to speak against lies; lacking even an iota of fortitude, these partisan lemmings and ideological tools instead cravenly choose to perpetuate the lies of history and the distortion of the public indoctrination system.
The history of the continent of Ethiopia is profound and the narrative of those who were stolen from the continent of man’s inception is magnificent as well. The uprising in Haiti matches the valor and distinction of the Spartans who were portrayed as heroes in the movie 300. Except the story of Haiti and François-Dominique Toussaint Louverture is true whereas the way 300 portrayed the story of King Leonidas is utter fiction. The story of Adwa is even more astounding than the revolution of 1776 as Ethiopians united to repel a colonial Italian army. But these stories are rarely taught to our children; instead the beginning and end of the “African-American” experience is distilled through the prism of slavery—the better to keep us mired a perpetual state of 3/5th significance.
Malcolm X stated a long time ago that one of the biggest threats facing the “black” community was the black intelligentsia who are so worried about finding acceptance from the system that they are willing to run over their own people to be embraced by “the white man”. Man was Malcolm X right; we are being led by a bunch of gutless black leaders (notice I did not use quote marks here, this will make sense when you see the video below). Bracketed by conservative loots and liberal stooges, we are being driven over the cliff of self-nullification by a village of partisan jackasses who care not a smidgen about any of us.
I want to be sympathetic to their plight, I really do. I understand very well that speaking out against the system of injustice that is at the root of iniquity which robs hope from all is one that will lead to being marginalized. But then I realize that they are willing to sell their souls and us down the river in order to get exposure on TV and sell their books. A famous philosopher once said that it’s all about the Benjamins. Click To Tweet
I know this playbook well. If I tamed what I wrote and channeled the victim mode of Ta Nehisi Coates or the servitude of Larry Elders, I’d be at the New York Times or Fox News by now. If the two books I wrote were about anger and vilifying “white privilege” instead of speaking of our togetherness and the need overcome injustice through unity, man my books would be flying off shelves right now. The status quo embraces the hate mongers on the left or the right; these ignoble “thinkers” are doing the work of the system of oppression even as they speak out of both sides of their mouths against it. But let me walk alone speaking my truth before I sell my soul for the sake of acceptance, rather be penniless than to be wealthy at the cost of my people. I will let the black troglodyte who are presented as modern day Moses have the spotlight they so earnestly covet.
I’m talking about the Al Sharptons, Van Jones, Herman Cain and the Ben Carsons of the world. These vacuous parrots get paid handsomely and live like royalty by betraying each and every one of us for the sake of a few million shekels. They are the modern day Judas who crucify the hopes of a people in order to live in chalets in the Hamptons and mansions in Georgetown. The change will never come from these overseers; their job is to make sure that we remain mired on the plantation of dependence and despondence. Here is a modest proposal, turn the channel off on these soulless and empty suits and seek knowledge for yourself. But if you want to be famous and make millions, all you have to do is cater to either conservatives or liberals and sell your soul to be accepted by the “establishment”. #BluePrintForBlackPundits
“I have more respect for a man who lets me know where he stands, even if he’s wrong, than the one who comes up like an angel and is nothing but a devil.” ~ Malcolm X
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Originally from Ethiopia with roots to Atse Tewodros II, Lij Teodrose is a former community organizer whose writing was incorporated into Barack Obama's South Carolina primary victory speech in 2008. He pivoted away from politics and decided to stand for collective justice after experiencing the reality of the forgotten masses. His writing defies conventional wisdom and challenges readers to look outside the constraints of labels and ideologies that serve to splinter the people. Lij Teodrose uses his pen to give a voice to the voiceless and to speak truth to power.