Scooby Doo in the Case of Phantom Racism

Case

With all this talk about “Accidental Racism,” I’d like to take a few moments to clear up some obvious, but not so obvious, things. First of all, racism is no accident. It is a well-crafted plan to keep people of color oppressed and White supremacy intact. Racism is not emotionally based. It’s contingent on power to survive. It’s a hierarchal structure in which those at the top maintain control and subjugate all other cultures intellectually, physically, spiritually and economically. At this time, the White race sits at the top of the totem pole. They ultimately call all the shots. Even those of color who are in positions of power must answer to The White Man. Anything else is not racism—maybe prejudiced—but not racism. Racism is not believing you are racially supreme to other races, it is actualizing the state of supremacy over all other races—big difference.

Strangers in the Night

What’s dangerous about the post-race ideology is that it doesn’t serve to destroy racism; it just suppresses it under a mask, or in some cases, a hood. We are entering an era where there’s a contingency of people who wish to obliterate racial distinction altogether— which in theory is a great and noble concept—but in practice, it’s very murky terrain. Whereas the idea of race is a false construct, there is a grave danger in removing the labels of Black, White and others before we’ve figured out what it means to be in said demographic and what that means in relation to one another. We can get rid of labels overnight. What’s not so easy is changing negative thought patterns that we’ve been entrenched in generation upon generation. It’s not that difficult to learn something new, but it’s next to impossible to change bad habits that have been deeply ingrained into our psyche. It requires the type of insight, fortitude, commitment and willpower that most folks don’t have. Not because they lack the capacity for it, but because we’re not typically called upon to use those traits. In fact, critical thinking and spiritual enlightenment are frowned upon in our society. We live in an era in which mediocrity is celebrated and being average is encouraged. We’re conditioned to be not so great as to make others uncomfortable.

We live in a world where zombies are glorified while seekers of truth are vilified.

- Nicholas Payton 4:10:13

JinkiesThere is actually no reason for race to exist outside of marginalizing those in the minority—which is a misnomer. From a world view, those labeled the minority are actually the majority. Words are very powerful and can condition our thoughts and actions. Words formulate the basis of our reality. We live in a very slogan-driven era. We’re quick to latch on to sayings, regardless if they make any sense. Sort of like Nancy Reagan championing “Just Say No” while her husband was busy flooding Black neighborhoods with crack cocaine. As if just saying “No” is the answer to hundreds of years of slavery, deceit and psychological manipulation. We can’t just forget racism and expect it will go away. It’s also dangerous to force growth before proper form and a steady foundation has been established.

Shooby Taylor

So before we cease being Black Americans, we need to figure out what it means to be Black American. White people are already putting the wheels in motion to stop being White. I recently filled out a form where “White” was no longer listed as an option. It was called “Non-Minority,” which is a subtle way of saying majority—which de facto makes everyone else listed for minority.

PhantomOppressor

Phantom racism is dangerous. Some people consider it to be more evolved than other archaic forms of racism (like chattel slavery and lynching)—which is true—but racism is not exactly something I’d like to see evolve. All growth ain’t good. Like a cancer, racism can be deadly. Some individuals, like Brad Paisley and LL Cool J, are in favor of this more passive or “accidental” racism. If I had to choose between the two, I’d say I like my racism overt and uncoded. Don’t get thee behind me Satan, I want you in front of me right where I can see you.

It’s harder to defend yourself against an invisible aggressor. The plainer the enemy, the swifter the defense.

-Nicholas Payton 4:9:13

Scooby-Dooby-Doo, Where Are You?

This new-fangled racism either loves to mingle in the dark where it can’t be detected or hides in plain sight—much like the villains on Scooby Doo. The evil monster was never really some supernatural creature, but always a familiar face under a mask. That’s how racism looks today: It lives in your next door neighbor, your friend, your teacher, your doctor, perhaps someone you trust and would never suspect would support it, but does. Most racists don’t believe themselves to be racist at all. Truth is, no one person is racist. Like religion, racism is a dogmatic system. It requires groupthink to survive as falsity cannot live on its own. Community is required to perpetuate a con. The same mistruths get repeated until folks become indoctrinated beyond recognition.

Found It

It’s a privilege to live in a world where God looks like you, the people with the most money look like you, and the most powerful and most educated look like you. All people of color have to develop the dualistic nature of surviving in whatever environment they’re from while being skillful enough to figure out how to navigate within the White world—if they’re to be successful. America is an anglo-normative society. Everyone else is either hyphenated or a caricature of exoticism. On the flip, most White people get extremely uncomfortable—even hostile—when they have to move within the ethnic sector. Well, welcome to the minority!

All of a sudden—after forcing the rest of the world to comply with its aesthetics, we’re supposed to feel sorry for The White Man as he may be losing his position in what’s rapidly becoming a majority Colored nation. I don’t believe the idea should be to try to change or eradicate racism, but rather implement colored consciousness and support. We should seek not to reverse racism, but rather, reverse the effects of racism and instill pride and proper perspectives amongst people of color. I don’t believe we’ll ever eliminate White supremacy, but we can elevate the minority mentality from oppression to opulence.

Now, Let’s See Who You Really Are . . .

LiftedBlack people should support Black independent thinkers, Black writers, Black music, Black entrepreneurs, and educate themselves, and their children, of African culture (which—contrary to the Western narrative—is the cradle and the foundation of civilization) and Black American history (which is the foundation of American culture). One month out of the year is not good enough.

A holistic approach is the only way to unmask the phantom of oppression.

#BAM

- Nicholas Payton aka The Savior of Archaic Pop

How LL Lost His Cool . . .

Because of this song “Accidental Racist,” I’ve had another Taylor Swift moment in that I didn’t know who Brad Paisley was until I heard this post-racial manifesto.

Where’s my banjo and rocking chair? This is going to take a minute…

C.R.E.A.M. Rises To The Top

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It’s interesting that LL should pop-up in the media as his hit “’Round The Way Girl” has been on my mind lately as I’ve been diggin’ the original from which it was sampled, Keni Burke’s “Risin’ To The Top.”

“I know we’re doing
Everything that we want to
Meanwhile, are we losing?
Because we won’t let go
And yet we go
Let’s start thinking what we’re doing
Don’t let nothing change your mind
Let’s start heading homeward bound
Get off the ground
Stop losing, yeah losing
Keep risin’ to the top”

Great lyric! What happened to this level of consciousness from Black artists? Why does it seem lately that MCs from the Hiphop world have been so disappointing? From Lil’ Wayne’s disrespectful Emmitt Till reference, to Rick Ross’s condoning rape—now this? Granted on some level, it may not be fair to single out these individuals for the type of glorification of violence and coonery that has become more pervasive than ever in Hiphop—but at a certain point— enough is enough and these cats need to be called out.

Twelve More Prison Bars To Go . . .

Wayne Shorter - Juju - Front

When did LL become a social commentator? Judging from the 12-bars he spit in this here song, he should forever steer clear of any political issues in a public forum from now on. For those who don’t know what 12-bars is, a bar is a measure of music that is equal to 4 beats in 4/4 time. Each line below represents a bar.

“Dear Mr. White Man, I wish you understood
What the world is really like when you’re livin’ in the hood
Just because my pants are saggin’ doesn’t mean I’m up to no good
You should try to get to know me, I really wish you would
Now my chains are gold but I’m still misunderstood
I wasn’t there when Sherman’s March turned the south into firewood
I want you to get paid but be a slave I never could
Feel like a new fangled Django, dodgin’ invisible white hoods
So when I see that white cowboy hat, I’m thinkin’ it’s not all good
I guess we’re both guilty of judgin’ the cover not the book
I’d love to buy you a beer, conversate and clear the air
But I see that red flag and I think you wish I wasn’t here”

I find it interesting that his feature is 12-bars, which is exactly the number of bars in the codified version of the Blues.  Worst 12-bar blues ever! I’m going to need to go to 13 bars to drink myself into oblivion so I forget this ever happened. Why, LL, why!?

This could have made a great SNL spoof or a Chappelle’s Show skit, but these dudes are really serious. Hilariously frightening!

His plea for White understanding is problematic on so many levels. In 12-bars, he manages to undermine virtually every thing Malcolm X, Martin Luther King and Medgar Evers died for. In half of a song, he has systemically reduced the Black American community to saggy pants wearin’, gold chain totin’ , du-rag sportin’ revisionists who want nothing more than to put this slavery thing behind us over buying Dear Mr. White Man a beer.

At least let Mr. White Man pick up the tab . . .

And if the above wasn’t enough, the song continues by him engaging in a call-and-response with Paisley to the following:

“If you don’t judge my du-rag, I won’t judge your red flag. If you don’t judge my gold chains, I’ll forget the iron chains. The past is the past, you feel me? Let bygones be bygones. R.I.P., Robert E. Lee, but I’ve gotta thank Abraham Lincoln for freeing me, know what I mean?”

No, LL, I don’t know what you mean at all. So by pandering for White America’s approval of such physical trappings as du-rags and chains, you believe we can overcome racism? And while we’re giving Robert E. Lee shout-outs, why not include Barry Goldwater, J. Edgar Hoover or that freedom-fighting Margaret Thatcher. Wow, wish you were born 40 years earlier so you could have been around spouting this sage advice during the Civil Rights movement. Who knew it was always just this simple?

There should have been “red flags” popping up all over the studio when these two were recording this song, but the fact that neither of them know that the Confederate Flag is not just red, explains in full how it’s possible these guys proceeded to release this ignorance to the masses. Gives a whole new meaning to the term, “color blind.”

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From “Bigger and Deffer” to “Dumb and Dumber”

I think LL should hit the road with this brother below. They would make an excellent pair.

The Perils of Jumping The Post-Racial Gun . . .

“Soon, no one’s going to be Black, White or any other race anymore, yet racism will be more pervasive than ever. Then, y’all will get it.”

- Nicholas Payton 3:5:13

This song illustrates the danger in Black America believing the post-racial myth before we figure our exactly what it means to be Black American. Without adopting, embracing, understanding, accepting and injecting an African or Pan-African perspective over the Eurocentric brainwashing we still suffer daily, we have yet begun to shake the shackles of oppression. The gold chains are the new iron chains. The prisons are the new plantations.

The names have changed, but the game remains the same.

- Nicholas Payton 3:8:13

NOLA Dixie Finds A Home In Wisconsin

I made a quiet resolution to myself this year to not spend a whole lot of time trying to convince White America of anything, for several reasons. For one, that’s a conversation White America needs to have with itself. And two, asking for White America to understand, comes off like LL does in this song. I think Black America should invest its energies in elevating itself. Time spent trying to convince a White man who believes he has a right to celebrate the New Dixie is time lost talking to Black community. If you’re trying to add value to the neighborhood, you’ll get quicker results fixing up your home, than trying to convince the guy across the street to fix his while yours is still in a state of disrepair. People respond better to being lead by example than being preached to.

For these reasons, I won’t delve into the doldrums of Brad Paisley’s statements in an effort to dismantle them. You conscious White people, please, talk to your White brethren.

I’m too busy building my own home to be bothered.

#BAM 

- Nicholas Payton aka The Savior of Archaic Pop