Category Archives: Afrocentrism

When tofu-dashikiists attack

I recently got 6 comments from a misogynistic black nationalist scumbag, who was attempting to “put me in my place” or “tell me a thing or two” in response primarily to my criticism of Umar Johnson and his plans to develop a residential academy for boys. But Kwame, the scumbag, illustrates exactly what I have said about black patriarchy and racialized misogyny, particularly among many so-called Afrocentrics. In a previous blog I wrote about the similarities between reactionary black nationalists and white supremacists. Among many of the similarities is the way that they both view black women. Because white women are the standard of femininity per white supremacy, black women are not regarded as feminine from the outset. Black women are viewed by white supremacy as masculine because they do not meet the racist standards of western beauty. Black women were also never fully viewed as feminine because of work. Black women as slaves had to work rather than maintain homes and children, leading of various stereotypes of emasculating black women- as work outside the home is viewed as a masculine role. A lot of resentment and tension around black women pursuing higher education, working outside of the home, using public assistance to provide for their families (something men are supposed to do per patriarchy), remains to this day, even when it is evident that racist policies limit the economic opportunities of black people- that impair the economic success of black men. But for these men it isn’t just success that they long to achieve but dominance. They want to dominate their homes and families like the white supremacist patriarchs whose power they covet. Sharing in a similar type of nostalgia to that of their white supremacist counterparts, black nationalists believe in an idealized “Afrikan” past where women served men and “knew their place”. This is why typical so-called Afrocentrics regard black women as race traitors for not submitting to patriarchal authority. They typically will accuse black women who question their agenda as “having the white man’s mind” simply for not being gullible enough to believe everything that they say as gospel. It is clear when I see comments like this:

Comment 2Here is the text re-written below for those that have trouble viewing the image with my comments in red.

“Don’t call yourself part with me [I am pretty sure I covered that when I said, “All skinfolk ain’t kinfolk.”], you trying to stop a brother from opening a school for Black men [I’m pretty sure I didn’t try to stop him, I’m pretty sure I just offered my opinion on why Umar Johnson opening a school was a bad idea.], because they are against, this unnatural bullshit [Except that homosexuality is not, in fact, unnatural.], and they won’t educate our kids to be like you, a cog in the white mans wheel [yawn], I’ll bet you either lesbian or married to a white-man [Actually, neither. Not that being in either category would be a bad thing.], and if you are, stat the fuck outta our business, this is why men are mysoginst, because when you women get educated, you always take on your masters mind [1. it is spelled Misogyny 2. That is not why you are a misogynist. You are a misogynist because you hate women.], and bring this garbage to us, you make me began to hate all you under 40 black feminazis [Because fighting for gender equality is the same as marching on Poland.]

brothers, we need to learn another language [Or you could try mastering English first.], and become a new people, and separate ourselves, not only from these amerikkkan loving, ex-women [See what I mean about Afrocentrics and White Supremacists and how they view black women?] , we’ll call ourselves whatever, and these things, can remain afri-can amerikkkan, or whatever they call themselves, we are not the same, It us e like the Arab or the Jew, and separate ourselves, these women are now foreigners, Philistines, they are less than human to us, the enemy in campment, a roach even.”

 

Notice the dehumanizing language. There can be no true equality found among typical so-called Afrocentrics. They don’t want freedom and equality, they just want to exchange places with white supremacist patriarchs with the power to oppress others. This is clear in the way that Afrocentrics narrowly define manhood, womanhood, and blackness. This is why ideologies such as those expressed by people like Umar Johnson, Tariq Nasheed, and other are so toxic. These men cannot free us!!!! They cannot help us. And they cannot help our community because they are not interested in uplifting all of  us. And their ideology encourages abusive and even violent behavior even if they themselves do not do so explicitly. I am sad to say these are the kind of men that some folks think should be educating black children. I think not.

Tagged , , , ,

“ALL MY SKINFOLK AIN’T KINFOLK.”: THE NEED TO APPROACH BLACK PATRIARCHAL MALE LEADERSHIP SKEPTICALLY PT. 2

 

If you have been donating to Reverend Deke O’Malley Dr. Umar Johnson, I’m not saying that you have been swindled, BUT something doesn’t add up here. According to Dr. Umar Johnson, he was given until August 21st to raise $5 million to purchase the defunct former HBCU, St. Paul’s College. In his video he pleads and implores his audience to donate so that he can purchase the 135 acres and 31 buildings that was once housed and educated so many. Several blogs and even Black Enterprise’s  Be Smart Blog were so enthusiastic about Johnson’s scant proposal for the purchase of the campus and the opening of his Frederick Douglass & Marcus Garvey RGB International Leadership Academy that none bothered to ask any tough questions. They couldn’t muster the least bit of skepticism. And that is unfortunate because as it turns out today 135 acres of St. Paul’s College and the Student Center were scheduled to be auctioned off today.

 

What are we raising money for again? Cause something in the milk ain't clean.

What are we raising money for again? Cause something in the milk ain’t clean.

And today (unless there were no bids) St. Paul’s College , most of it anyway, has likely been sold. So was Johnson lying when he stated that he was given until August 21st?  Was he lying about trying to purchase the entire campus? Did he only intend part of the $5 million to purchase part of St. Paul’s and intend the rest towards maintenance and the starting of his school? These are questions only Johnson can answer. Maybe another look at the video where he requests donations can give us a clue.

 

 

That’s right ladies and gentleman Dr. Umar Johnson stated:

I am here at the historic St. Paul’s College. This beautiful campus, 135 acres of which I hope to make the Frederick Douglass and Marcus Garvey RBG International Leadership Academy for African Children… I am hoping that you will help me keep this college in the hands of the African American community…. We need this 135 acres for our children. We have the dormitories. We have the gymnasium. We have the lecture halls. We have the cafeteria. We have the beautiful student center…”

Does he mean this student center?

 

St Paul's college 3

Seriously?

I can’t say for sure what his intentions were or are but I think those of you that have donated have the right to demand to know what will be done with the $100,000 that he has supposedly raised so far. Johnson has demonstrated once again how easy it is for us to be duped by charismatic male leadership especially when they manipulate us via our hopes and or fears. Many of us were swayed when he stated:
“I want this school to be a blueprint, a role model  to every other independent African school in the world. to show them that African children are not the intellectual inferiors of European Americans. ”

Looks like we need a better architect.

marcus and frederick

 

Recommended Reading

“ALL MY SKINFOLK AIN’T KINFOLK.”: THE NEED TO APPROACH BLACK PATRIARCHAL MALE LEADERSHIP SKEPTICALLY

 

References

Auction

http://motleys.com/auction/historic-st-pauls-college-lawrenceville-va-founded-1888

http://www.motleys.com/auction/offering-1-3-Lawrenceville-VA-Saint+PaulsCollege-33Buildings-130AC

http://motleys.com/auction/offering-2-3-Lawrenceville-VA-23058SF-5.55-AC-StudentCenter

 

Press

http://diverseeducation.com/article/64725/

http://naturallymoi.com/2014/06/news/black-man-works-to-raise-5m-for-an-all-boys-academy-for-black-boys/

http://www.blackenterprise.com/education/dr-umar-johnson-launches-initiative-to-fund-all-black-boys-academy/

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tagged , , ,

The Lobbying Game

Consider the following statements:

1. “Truly, this earth is a trophy cup for the industrious man. And this rightly so, in the service of natural selection. He who does not possess the force to secure his [space required for life] in this world, and, if necessary, to enlarge it, does not deserve to possess the necessities of life. He must step aside and allow stronger peoples to pass him by.”

2.”Evolution is an explanation. Human beings are a species just like millions of other known species. Although we walk upright, we are nevertheless mammals and primates. Like all social animals humans establish hierarchies. Humans have the same goals as other animals, and that is to eat and not get eaten. “But who is trying to eat you?, “you ask. There are predators all around us and we deal with them every day. This is a dog eat dog world in which we live, and if you’re not able to adapt you be eaten. There is absolutely nothing that goes on in the jungle of the Serengeti that does not happen on Wall Street. Capitalism is just a game of survival. We are products of evolution.  It’s about adapting and passing on our genes. Those that do not play by the predator’s rules will be eaten and will not get the opportunity to pass along their genes. In the concrete jungle words and phrase like “unfair”, “not right”, or immoral in defense of one’s treatment is the language of the conquered, the weak, and of the victim. You are on the bottom of the food chain. Racism in reality is a group’s desperate attempt to keep themselves elevated on the ladder of the human food chain. Again, at the end of the day it is all about survival.”

3. “A drunkard in the gutter is just where he ought to be…The law of survival of the fittest was not made by man, and it cannot be abrogated by man.  We can only, by interfering with it, produce the survival of the unfittest.”

 

The statements are fairly similar, are they? Can you guess who authored them?

Find out who after the jump…

Continue reading

Tagged , , , , , ,

Contradiction(s)

Contradiction is a film by Jeremiah Camara about:

“examining the paradox of Black neighborhoods saturated with churches in the midst of poverty, deprivation and despondency. Camara seeks to find if there is a correlation between high-praise and low-productivity.”

There has been a fair amount of anticipation and praise for this film in the atheist community. Contradiction hasn’t made it to a theatre near me yet but given a number of the views he has expressed via his “Slave Sermons”, various appearances, and a few of the guests that appear in the film, I am less than enthusiastic.

I first became aware of Jeremiah Camara around the same time that I was introduced, so to speak, to Blackson Bau in the forums of the then fledgling black atheist community of Facebook. Some of you may know Blackson as the founder of the Black Atheists of Atlanta, a tofu-dashikiist group and the main subject of my blog entitled “Silly Arguments: The Law of Reproduction”. Despite the popularity of Camara’s “Slave Sermons” both then and now I always had serious reservations about his work and his connection/ friendship with Blackson. There were at one time several videos where Blackson and Camara either appeared together or that their friendship was mentioned. As of 12/31/2013, only one of those videos seems to be available to the public, it is titled “Breaking the Peace” in which the hosts of the Black Atheists of Atlanta program express frustration that some groups are willing to work with Camara and not them despite their friendship with him and the similarity of their ideas.

The genius of Jeremiah Camara,  as a propagandist, if it could be called that, is the relative ease with which he is able to beguile the white atheist “we are all Africans” crowd and tofu-dashikiists audiences at the same time. He simultaneously uses aspects of black nationalist language to absolve privileged white atheists of their responsibility to fight various forms of social oppression and convince his black non-believing audiences that merely increasing critical thinking and eschewing religious thought will upend the correlation between “high praise and low productivity”. He is also able to appeal to the to the intellectual snobbery of these two otherwise disparate groups. The Five Percenter’s (also known as the Nation of Gods and Earths), for example, like many other tofu-dashikiists or members of the so-called conscious community, claim that 85% of people are asleep , 10% control the world, and that they, the remaining 5% are the only ones that know what is going on. Similarly there are atheists apt to write off any and all religious believers even those that accept scientific evidence and aren’t prone to narrow, literal, or hateful interpretations of their faith. Two notable tofu-dashikiists appear in the film, Contradiction, Dr. Ray Hagins and Keidi Awadu right alongside popular personalities in the secular community. Dr. Hagins is a known homophobe and promotes various types of conspiracy theories. Hagins also wrote the forward to Camara’s book “Holy Lockdown: Does The Church Limit Black Progress?”. Keidi Awadu, on the other hand,  though not as widely known, is a “Holistic Nutritionist” (nutritionists are not required to be licensed dietician is the legally protected term) and HIV/AIDS denialist, who regularly promotes various types of anti-scientific misinformation. 
In his sermon speech to the audience of the Blackout Secular Rally, he actually assures the white people in the audience that “…we’re [the black atheists present, I presume] not asking for equality… we know that is is on us [black people]” (@10:00) and referred to the word racism as ” a cute word for staying on top of the food chain” (@23:32). He also says that you cannot “legislate how someone feels about you” and tells those present to “go invent something”. But those who know anything about black history can tell you that despite black ingenuity, entrepreneurship, and enterprise blacks we were the victims of ongoing violence and were continually discriminated against. And what we fought (and continuing fighting) for was legislation protecting the civil and human rights to which we were already entitled. So perhaps that is why his analysis is void of discussions of structural inequality, as Camara compares churches to black holes sucking up black wealth. Neither Camara nor his work delve into the economic policies and housing crisis as the primary cause of the ongoing decimation of black wealth. Prince George’s County Maryland is an example of the effect these policies have had on a community once known as a “center of black affluence”. But there is no room in Camara’s work for that. Instead, Camara offers the black community exhortations to essentially pull ourselves up by our bootstraps by eschewing religious dogma for a secular dogma that proposes that logic and freethinking are all that is needed to improve society. Unfortunately, much of the secular community is loathe to deal with its own blind spots with respect to race, sex, gender, class, and other socioeconomic divides. Camara has similar blind spots.

In “Slave Sermons”, Camara elucidates what he sees as the problems with the black church. And problems are all he sees. But this viewer sees Camara’s treatment as much more problematic than his subject. His clips look like minstrel shows focused on the most bizarre, the most embarrassing, full of one dimensional caricatures of the black religious experience. His analysis is almost always lacking in terms of of sociological, anthropological, historical, and political context. Blaming what he sees as lack of logical thought in the black community on the bible and religious influence and not on failing schools and lack of opportunity. He often connects religiosity to servile attitudes and complacency without acknowledging the influence of radical humanist religious thought and theology such as black liberation theology.

In one of his videos entitled “Obama with Easter Bunny! : Still in Chains” (don’t ask me why, many of his titles in his series are incomprehensible to me) he prefaces a video of Russell Simmons making a statement about anti-Semitism (@ 1:56) being a form of racism with:

“House negroes defend their masters over themselves.” (@ 1:52)

combined

Though, I cannot stand that when most people use the term anti-Semitism that they almost always are referring exclusively to anti-Jewish hatred and ignore anti-Semitism aimed at people of Arab descent, I don’t understand how speaking against it makes one a house negro. Unfortunately, antisemitism particularly in tofu-dashikiist circles is very common and though, there are some legitimate issues that the black community has with certain people or groups of Jewish people, antisemitism is not justified. I’m not sure how participating in a PSA for the Foundation For Ethnic Understanding makes Jay-z or Russell Simmons “house negroes” but perhaps that is something for Camara (or maybe Dusty) to clarify.

In another video Camara conflates homosexuality, transgenderism/transsexuality, cross-dressing, and sagging in a video that addresses a popular conspiracy theory in the black community that Hollywood (The Illuminati, “The Man”, etc) is trying to make black men more effeminate through portrayals of black men in dresses. The video is entitled “Black Men Actors In Dresses! “We Men… Aint We?” the description reads “Jeremiah Camara examines the effeminization of the Black man in Hollywood.”The video features clips from “Glory”, “Six Degrees of Separation”, “Big Momma’s House”, “Pulp Fiction”, “The Fifth Element”, “Holiday Heart”, “Juwanna Mann”, “To Wong Foo…”, “The Jamie Foxx Show”, etc.
we men ain't we

The choice of clips makes it clear that the author of the video is not just concerned with whether black men appear in dresses but whether they engage in a specific type of cisgendered heterosexual masculine performance. This is clear from his blogs and from his choice of the acronym, S.H.A.F.T. (secular, humanist, agnostic/atheist, freethinker) and fictional character John Shaft to represent his views on faith.

No, I didn't make that up either.

 Homophobia is very common in tofu-dashikiist circles and is not uncommon in the secular community (or society at large for that matter). But in tofu-dashikiist circles it is often rooted in conspiratorial fears of eugenics and population control and in patriarchal beliefs that equate black male (cis-het) leadership and empowerment with overall black liberation. One of the things that, Dave Chappelle (a clip of his interview with Oprah is featured in the video), and those who believe in this conspiracy theory miss is that cross dressing isn’t just written into parts played by black actors and unfortunately it is a cheap and easy gag. Numerous white actors have played roles where they have worn dresses including Will Farrell, Robin Williams, Tony Curtis, Jack Lemon, Adam Sandler, the Monty Python acting troupe, Jim Carey, etc. But there are many other actors black and non-black who have had successful careers without dressing as women. The most important thing that the proponents of this monumentally stupid conspiracy theory miss however, is that more often than not it is actually black women who are actually being made fun of. Such is the case with the popular character Madea, who in representing the undesirability of “mammy” also embodies the “angry” or “sassy” black woman stereotype. Madea is not a fully realized character but embodies some of the most harmful stereotypes surrounding black women along with Martin Lawrence’s character Shanaynay and several of the other characters depicted in the video.  

Camara also shared his homophobic views during an appearance on the internet podcast WAR ON THE HORIZON, hosted by the Ayo Kimathi, A.K.A. “Irritated Genie“, who you may have heard was fired from his job at the Department of Homeland Security when he was found to be promoting “race war” and genocide. On the program, Camara was asked about the relationship between the mega church and church attendance and the “explosion of homosexuality” in the black community*. Before I get into Camara’s response, Irritated Genie is known particularly for his homophobic views and the way he terms “sexual deviancy” (including homosexuality), sexual violence, pedophilia, etc as “white sex” . Homosexuality in the mind of Genie and other tofu-dashikiists violates nature and therefore must have been learned from white people, beginning with the Greeks. So given his obsession, it is no surprise why Genie opens the show with the question about homosexuality. Camara responds:

“Well I do see that there is a correlation there…there is a deeper issue at hand…why so many men of god are accused of sexual crimes. In the black church, homosexuality is not a new phenomena it is just more out in the open nowadays. Gay black men are amongst the most demonstrative in their display of love for Jesus and among the most dedicated members of the church…”

Quoted from WAR on the Horizon’s  1/10/2011 podcast featuring Jeremiah Camara

Genie then asks him for more details on how the black church pushes for the effeminization of black men. Camara points to soft music played in a minor key and the safe non-threatening environment. He also calls “seeking comfort from the storm”, “anti-heterosexual”.

Camara also refers to his blog where further expresses his homophobia as he discusses the church as an anti-male space filled with flowers and long flowing choir robes among other things. Jeremiah Camara makes clear in his blog that he feels that churches are effeminizing black men and by implication what his beliefs are about via his use of the language of gender essentialism . Here is an excerpt:

“Upon a closer examination of the Black church, it is easy to see why it is appealing to women and gay men. There are usually displays of beautiful floral arrangements near the pulpit, soft music is mainly played in minor keys, the choir is draped in long, flowing gowns, the pastor is typically a well-dressed man which attracts women and homosexuals, and the overall atmosphere exudes a safe, non-threatening, secure environment.

The church’s appeal to women and homosexuals is understood best, however, when considering the trauma that Black people experienced during their American enslavement period. Faith and hope in the prospect of one day obtaining peace were necessary defense mechanisms and Blacks were conditioned to be afraid. There was the constant fear of being beaten, getting caught trying to escape or family members being sold. These experiences, over time, have caused Blacks to develop a spirit of apprehensiveness. We witness this spirit playing out in our inclinations to seek comfort, security, protection and “shelter from the storms of life.” We have been trained to be afraid. These experiences have also created the perfect storm for religiousness which requires submissiveness, subservience and calls for someone else (Jesus) to get behind the wheel of our lives and do the driving.

Black men, heavily involved in the church and possessing a great love for Jesus are subjecting themselves to an effeminizing element of society. Jesus is often presented as a tender, sweet man in a long robe who’s forgiving and all inclusive. Ultimately, the underlying message in the Black church is to “lean on the everlasting arms of Jesus.” As a heterosexual man, it is challenging to commit to the idea of placing oneself in the arms of another man; even if that man is a perceived savior. Sometimes a man must go into the eye of the storm to solve his problems. Encouraging Black men to lay their burdens in the lap of Jesus has offered Black men an escape from the reality of their situations. Seeking comfort, shelter and protection from a mythological figure should be seen as a “turnoff” for strong men with lofty aspirations…”

He continues…

“Bishop Eddie L. Long is wrong; not just because he may be found guilty of sexual abuse but because he—like so many other mega church preachers—is helping to create a feminine environment for Black men. Not all Jesus-loving men who attend church regularly and love Jesus are homosexuals, but an atmosphere where men continuously seek Jesus’ love and shelter, certainly has the potential to effeminize the strongest of brothers.”

Taken from: Bishop Eddie Long: Molestation Charges Not the Main Issue

No. You did not read that wrong. Camara believes that a conversation about the effeminizing influence of the church is more important than a discussion of sexual violence in the black community and the shaming, denial, and complicity that goes on within many of our institutions. It is interesting to me that he considers that Church to be an anti-male environment despite the fact that the black church is and always has been extremely patriarchal in it’s structure, with males occupying the majority of church leadership positions including the most visible one of church pastor. The church also reinforces patriarchy and sexism in the demands it makes of women’s dress, behavior, and the roles they are allowed to play in the church (primarily service or child care).

To this humanist, there seems to be a number of huge contradictions in Camara’s work, but maybe that is because I don’t identify with Camara’s S.H.A.F.T. brand of secular, humanist, atheist/agnostic, freethinking that promotes homophobia and wholesale attacks on the church. The church which is the only institution in many black communities that addresses any of the needs caused by or exacerbated by structural inequality and discrimination. So given the problematic nature of Jeremiah Camara’s work I hope that some of my friends in the secular community will forgive me for not sharing in their enthusiasm and anticipation of Camara’s film. To be critical of the church is one thing, to lay the problems of the black community on it’s doorstep is another. But the way in which Camara’s rhetoric negates the impact of structural inequality is reminiscent of Booker T. Washington who emphasized gradualism and economic independence over political action. Washington once said, “In all things purely social we can be as separate as the fingers, yet one hand in all things essential to human progress.” Washington and Camara have similar gifts in assuaging the fear and or apprehension that some white people feel towards social justice advocacy and in engaging in the language of racial uplift. Though, personally, I have always been more partial to Dubois myself.

*I don’t know about you but I kind of wonder what an “explosion of homosexuality” might look like. LOL

FYI:  As of 12/31/2013 all of the links I have provided in the article above are available. If you are unable to find the websites or videos that I have linked in this article, please try searching The Way Back Machine.

Here is Camara’s response

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

“Dr.” Sebi’s Pseudoscience

Welcome to Sebi’s Pseudoscience  101!  Here we will review Sebi’s teachings concerning the healing art of using herbs and related matters, that his educational background doesn’t qualify to discuss, because who needs books? According to Sebi

“I didn’t read any. I read my mama. My mama is the only person I listen to… I learned that which is natural…that which is complementary, that which didn’t come out of a book.” (Video entitled Dr. Sebi Cures A.I.D.S Diabetes, Cancer, etc pt 1)

Sounds like the wisdom of Bobby Boucher.

 Sorry Sebi, but mama is wrong. And so are you.

Continue reading

Tagged , , , , , ,

Sebi, The Snake-oil Salesman

If you have grandparents or older relatives, you are probably familiar with all the old clichés and sayings in the book, like, “there is nothing new under the sun”. It’s actually an old idiom that isn’t true for a number of things but is so accurate when it comes to others, like con-men, quacks, and charlatans. From the dawn of time there have been people who have used our vulnerabilities and biases against us to turn a profit. You can find these types everywhere but one on the most sinister places they hide is in the business of health and wellbeing. A thoroughly documented history of this can be seen in the United States prior to the passage of the Pure Food and Drug Act of 1906 that led to the eventual formation of the FDA. Many”medicines” contained a number of ingredients from cocaine, to toxic compounds, and oftentimes compounds that caused little to no effect at all. These “medicines” claimed to cure joint pain, venereal disease, or tuberculosis,while some claimed to be panaceas- cure-alls for every type of ailment there was. The salesmen of these products employed a number of propaganda techniques to attract people to their products. Many even concocted stories to give their products an exotic flavor. A little more than a century later nothing much has changed.

Continue reading

Tagged , , , , ,

Silly arguments: the law of reproduction

Homosexuality is a hot button issue particularly among religious believers. However, despite some perceptions that atheists and homosexuals are somehow in league in a global conspiracy of some sort, many atheists also take issue with homosexuality.  And when you really examine their arguments it only further proves that being an atheist doesn’t make you rational. One of the silliest arguments is the argument that homosexuality isn’t natural. Continue reading
Tagged , , ,

Afrocentrism

There are so many things that arouse both ire and skepticism in me. And that doesn’t mean that I am an angry person or an unhappy person but ever since I was an inquisitive child , I was always interested in learning as much truth as possible. And part of me is incensed when I see people who are taken advantage of by people who should know better. But I think what incenses me more are the people who should know better. People who have an obvious talent for memorizing countless things (however untrue) and quoting them accurately at will. People who obviously are inquisitive but when you get right down to it aren’t really invested in truth but in and ideology to the extent that they will reject literal mountains of evidence to the contrary. And if I ever had the chance I would dedicate a documentary to these people called Facepalm: The Movie. Unfortunately it would be much too long to ever be feasible, so I blog.

Sometimes, I think House is the only one who feels my pain. *Sigh*

So why does afrocentrism get my goat? Well I will say that lumping all afrocentrists together is not appropriate all though I’m not a fan of centrism in general, unless the center is truth. The afrocentrism I am referring to is a reactionary black or african centered thought, that uses race to determine what knowledge is valid, that regards other races as inherently untrustworthy, etc. In other words it is white supremacy or white nationalism in black face. I will refer to it from here on out as tofu dashikiism. They also typically share other features in common with white supremacist conservatives like their perspectives on gender roles, using euphemisms such as “complementarity” to describe a woman’s place as brood mare and domestic help. They also usually also share a hatred of birth control (including abortion) and homosexuality. Naturally their hatred of birth control and homosexuality has to do with their desire to out-populate the other groups and the threat they pose to each groups conception of manhood.

If you encounter a tofu dashikiist that seems well read don’t be surprised. Many have impressive libraries until you see what is in them. Half-cocked theories none backed with studies or scientific evidence. And what little is backed with evidence is purposefully distorted to make some erroneous point.

But what creates a tofu dashikiist? Historical racism certainly plays a role. The discrimination against black people in higher education and various institutions has fostered a lot of mistrust among many black people. Past instances of racist or simply immoral/unethical treatment of black people such as the Tuskegee Experiment play a role. But ongoing racism and discrimination, both real and perceived contribute as well. Unfortunately the American education system has failed many people but these failures are more evident in the black community when you look at literacy rates, high school graduation rates, etc. Lack of economic opportunity in many communities contributes to higher incarceration rates and also leads to an endless cycle. This breeds distrust and contempt for many contemporary disciplines and also issues of esteem, as many non-white children learn that their cultures were “primitive”, “uncivilized”, etc. This unfortunate reality leads many to buy into unrealistic idealized images committing the same errors made by the history teachers, historians, and publishers that failed them. The ones that brought us all the myth of Columbus’s discovery of the Americas, which had been “discovered” several times and settled by the time he arrived.

And just like many history teachers, historians, and publishers you will find many tofu dashikiists that lump all the cultures and nations of Africa together. They will take the myriad cultures of Africa and treat them as if they are one identity with a common thread. Many tofu dashikiists go even further as to suggest that prior to colonization there were no wars in Africa, a notion easily refuted by both oral and written history.

Many of them think of themselves as being extremely articulate…but they really sound like… 

And so far what I have written is not even the beginning of my problem with tofu dashikiists. My real issue with tofu dashikiism is how vulnerable it makes many black people to unscientific ideas. In the black community you don’t have to be an tofu dashikiists to find yourself affected or familiar with many of their ideas. And I don’t mean somewhat benign ones like “pork is an unclean animal” (which was borrowed from Islamic beliefs) but downright dangerous ones like unverified “cures” to ailments and illnesses.

There are too many charlatans to name that peddle in an array of foolishness targeted at black people from myths concerning melanin, to overhyping the pineal gland, to raw foodism, etc. And often these charlatans are perceived as heroes, saviors, or so called master teachers because they exploit the mistrust that many black people already have for fields like pharmacology. Some go even further, teaching that black people have hidden supernatural abilities that can supposedly be awakened like  telepathy, levitation, and astral projection. Many of these folks can boast large followings on and off-line. And thanks to the internet, their message spreads as fast as broadband can carry it. However, its time to take these people on and counteract their misinformation. Some groups are already making it their job to promote critical thinking and science like the  National Black Anti-Quackery Task Force, Black Atheist of America’s Science Cubed, and Black Skeptic’s Blog. Please support these organizations and check back here for future blogs addressing these issues and more!

Tagged ,
%d bloggers like this: