On Why Nicholas Payton Is NOT A Racist

Black people cannot be racists; we can be prejudice, but not racists. Black people don’t control anything of significance, not even our Black President of The United States. We don’t ultimately have the power to discriminate economically, politically, in education, health care, etc., and therefore can’t be racists.

Someone asked, “What about Clayton Bigsby? That guy’s a racist for sure.” To that I say, Clayton Bigsby was a racist until he discovered he was Black. After that, he was just another self-loathing Negro.

Racism is not based on hate; it is based on the power to discriminate. Racism is not based on what one feels, it is based in the power to use your racial status as a means of controlling others. Black people don’t ultimately control anything in this world and therefore cannot be racists.

Someone said to me, “A black business owner absolutely has the power to not hire a white person because they believe a black person is more qualified solely based on race, if they choose to believe that, therefore giving them the power to discriminate.”

That’s where syntax comes into play. Yes, a Black person can discriminate on a small scale level like not hiring for their band or their corner grocery store, but that’s hardly power. That’s prejudice. Black people do not ultimately have the control to undermine the course of non-Black people’s lives, which is the definition of racism.

I’ve been accused of being racist, which is inaccurate. I am a Black musician in a somewhat Black dominated field, but Black people don’t control the economics of the music business. No matter what I say on the Internet, the economic climate in this country and in my profession lies in the hands of the White power structure.

I have never used my status as a Black musician to not hire or stop someone from getting a gig based on race. That is the definition of racism. I am not a racist, and until the power structure changes in this country, it is not possible for me to be a racist.

Not only am I not racist, I’m not prejudiced either

Even though Blacks create Black American Music (BAM), a Black man cannot even be racist on the bandstand. Skin color is not a factor in musical prowess. No race has the monopoly on soul.

Someone said, “Nicholas …. I kind of agree. But please keep in mind, some people, like myself, grew up as one of the few white kids in our hood …. I was jumped and beaten my entire childhood for the color of my skin ….. just saying.”

Yeah, but I was heckled on the bus, too. Because I went to a mixed school, or because I dressed like a “preppie” or spoke proper English at times. I had to fight often because some kids would question my Blackness based on my appearance. That ain’t racism, that’s prejudice. Truth is, most of those thugs who messed with cats on the bus are probably either dead or in jail. They were most likely raised in a low-economic environment, had very little guidance or discipline, were victims of poor education, and as a result, little chance of ever gaining decent employment. That, my friend, is racism.

Someone said that at times my acerbic wit and approach might be what turns some folks off from hearing my message. I can’t, nor do I have any desire to please everybody. I speak only to people who can handle the truth. To those who are easily angered because my words awaken some ugly things inside, I suggest you do some spiritual homework. There are far less offensive options than I, read them. I don’t dilute the truth. If you want to be spoon fed, don’t read my posts.

There has also been rumblings that because my latest album is entitled Bitches that I’m a misogynist, too. A misogynist is someone who hates women. I love women, if anything, too much. I’m mean, really, would a racist misogynist have a band like this?

Can A White Person Experience Racism?

Someone said to me, “living in New Orleans all one had to do to is go to City Hall to realize that black people can be as racist as white people. For all of the years I lived in the Crescent city there was almost nothing one could get done unless they had what amounted to a black Sentinel to get things done in City Hall.”

Here’s the thing, racism is a “from the top down” phenomenon. Mark Morial’s or Ray Nagin’s pro-Black, New Orleans ideology was hardly a racist regime in light of the larger picture of America. To those who may claim to have experienced racism in Africa, Africa is hardly a world economic power. The countries that comprise the African continent don’t control the global economy. If you have, as a white person, experienced prejudice in a place governed by Blacks, this is not racism; it’s called colorism.

White Angst

I have some White people very upset with me. Why? What is it that I’m saying isn’t true? Russell Malone recently said to me in a public forum, “Nicholas, I applaud you for not being afraid. A lot of musicians are just too political. You are very intelligent, you’ve been blessed with a gift, and you can back up anything you say on the bandstand. And most of all, you are controversial and fearless. That’s why, in the eyes of some folks, you’re a dangerous nigger.”

I am thankful to Russell for that. I have been under constant attack from folks of all races and genders for my outspokenness on hot button issues. Some have even made the claim that I’m doing it for publicity. That’s ridiculous. I could potentially lose everything I’ve worked towards for speaking my mind. I’ve had folks not want to give me gigs because of things I’ve said online. But you know what? I don’t give a damn. I speak the truth. I am a soldier of the light and I will be a victor in the fight for what’s right. Speaking of being blacklisted, why is it called a “blacklist” when Black people don’t have the power to put anyone on the list?

Racism is hate/fear based, but requires racial status and the power to implement discrimination in order to be effective racism, hence RACEism. Black people control nothing of significance in this world, not even their own music.

The only place a Black man has any power is in his brain, on the basketball court, in the bedroom and on the bandstand, and even that is debatable. Black people can have hate in their hearts, but cannot ultimately be racists, not the way the world is setup now anyways.

My Theory On Why Racism Exists

Some folks, Whites in particular, get quite upset at my theory that racism is based on a fear of the White race’s genetic will to survive in a growing colored population. I’ve been called every thing but a child of God for saying so. I’ve read studies that state race is a false construct and that there is no biological evidence to support a White race. I believe this wholeheartedly from a scientific standpoint. All of life is illusory. That said, it is the self-made barriers we have purposefully put into place that defines our lives. This is why the race construct exists, we only can see “who we are” in the mirror of “who we are not.”

I feel my theory for Whites wanting to stay white in a colored/other type world is the least offensive one I can come up with. I certainly don’t subscribe to the idea that White people are the devil. I don’t believe that White people are evil to the core and that they possess no redeeming qualities, though if I did believe that, could you blame me?

Historically, White people have raped, pillaged, and colonized every colored nation on the planet. Hell, they’ve even tried to colonize aliens. There is no place on the globe that has remained unscathed in the White quest for dominance. Why? Why do White people feel the need to play God with peoples lives?

I believe that most White people are afraid. Unlike some of their predecessors, the White person of today typically has a soul. If you’re a conscious White person, it can’t feel good to know what horrible things those of your race have done to the colored people of this world. Why do White people feel the desire to dominate a colored conversation? Are they afraid that if all us colored people get together there will be a hostile takeover of the White power structure? Look at the wars going on right now. America is sticking its White nose in colored people’s business. Yes, we have a Black president, but Blacks have not waged this war.

I enrage many people. What you have to ask yourself is why I make you angry? If I am just some angry, Black man, why not just ignore my hotheaded rants? You can’t ignore them, can you? You know why? Because, I’m right. You hate me because I am a mirror to all the ugly things you work real hard to not see in yourself.

What I do is no rant. To call it a rant is dismissive and insulting. I am an intelligent Black man with the skills to express myself in a multitude of ways and that scares a lot of you. Hate is not based in evil; it’s based in fear. People “hate on” others because that other person is a reminder of who they aren’t and what they wish they could be. Why hate on another individual? Be inspired. Don’t hate, create.

Why BAM Is The Cure For Racism

BAM is the acronym I developed for the music formerly known as “JA**.” It stands for Black American Music. We wish to credit the creators of this art form by acknowledging that this is Black music. Because it’s Black music doesn’t mean people of all races can’t play it. To the contrary, BAM is for everyone. In fact, I believe White people need BAM more than Black people do. Why?

It is because of BAM that White people realized they had a soul at all. Before BAM took the world by storm, there was no place on this earth a Black person could ultimately enjoy freedom. At one time, the bandstand was the only place that a Negro could be free.

It was through BAM that the White man had to come to terms with how he looked at the American Negro. That, in turn, affected how all whites looked at blacks the across the board. When the White man saw the virtuosity of cats like Louis Armstrong and Duke Ellington, they had no choice but to except that these were brilliant geniuses who were not racially “inferior” to Whites. BAM is more than just music, it is the world’s pathway to freedom.

Unlike many would like to believe, we don’t live in a post-racial society. Racism is alive and well. Don’t think we’ve crossed over because we have a Black POTUS. If anything, the fact that he’s politically impotent should serve to prove that the world’s most powerful Black man has no power at all. I am no Obama supporter, but this is racism.

I don’t believe we can conquer racism through intellectual reasoning. If we could, it would’ve happened already. I don’t wish to be back there, but in many ways Blacks had it better before integration. At least you knew where you stood when you had to drink from The Colored Fountain.

Why BAM? Why in America? America is the window to the world. We solve racism here and the world will be cured. Before BAM, I thought the only end to racism would be if we all schtupped one another and became colored people of some sort. Now, I believe we can end racism if White people stopped trying to play God and accepted the fact that they cannot control everything. The acceptance of BAM in the White race could indeed be a catalyst in the struggle to racial harmony.

Here I’m trying to bring people together, and some have gone as far as to call me “Hitler.” If you think I’m a hateful, embittered person qualified of a comparison to Hitler, then you need not read my work.

This just goes to illustrate how some White people find the idea of BAM very threatening. It really kills them to give it up to Blacks for creating it. They own everything else, yet can’t acknowledge this one thing we ask. If it makes you feel better, we couldn’t have done it without you. Had you not dragged our Black asses over here from Africa and beat the shit out of us, there would be no Blues, which is the basis of BAM.

Seeing all the resistance to the idea of BAM by a select few, maybe racism won’t end until we all become a colored people once again as we were in Africa, the cradle of civilization.

The New Jim Crow

Racism wears a different face now. It’s real subtle. It’s to the point where if a Black man points it out, he’s called a racist. What about these racist parallels PETA has drawn in the last several years. The one where they said the orca whales were like “slaves,” and when they compared animal cruelty to lynching, or when the PETA members dressed up like the KKK to prove a point. Are they really comparing life as a Black American to that of an animal? Sad thing is, I’m willing to bet some of these PETA supporters value the life of an animal over the life of a African-American.

We Do NOT Live In A Post Racist America

To believe racism is over is a delusion. Racism has just changed its face, but it’s still alive and well. Things are much better than they used to be, but far from where they should be. You can call me angry, racist, a misogynist, a homophobe, a megalomaniac or whatever you feel, but know this: you pay attention to me. Why? Because deep down, you know I’m not a racist, I’m right.


– Nicholas Payton aka The Creator of BAM aka The Savior of Archaic Pop

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