Hollywood’s Tea Party

American hustle doll test updated

By Sikivu Hutchinson

Ah the splendor of black music.  What would white supremacist civilization do without it?  Homegrown, soulful, it is the forbidden spice in a thousand scenes of white folk romancing, cutting loose, getting it on and minding the empire’s business. Black dynamism has always been a wellspring for white theft.  For many people of color, going to 21st century movies is a soul-sucking exercise in being trained to see power through white eyes, often with the strategic pomp of a black soundtrack.  Death by trailer, it is the masochistic pleasure of being bludgeoned into mental submission by the narrative of white heroism (in the form of Mark Wahlberg, Matt Damon and George Clooney), white hetero-normative romance (in the form of faceless anorexic white girls and boys slobbering over and devouring each other) and white domesticity in white picket fence communities.

Generations after psychologists Kenneth and Mamie Clark’s 1947 doll test experiment on racial identification (which has been updated several times over the past decade), children’s images of whiteness remain rigidly framed through the lens of humanity, civilization, ingenuity, genius, beauty and morality. When children of color see themselves at all in American film it is as ethnic exotica, sidekicks for the enterprising white boy/girl protagonist or fly-in-the-buttermilk diversity mascots fleshing out a classroom scene. According to a 2012 study by the USC Annenberg School, 76.3% of all speaking characters in American film were white while whites comprise 56% of U.S. ticket buyers. By contrast, Latinos comprise 26% of ticket buyers and 17% of the U.S. population, yet account for only 4.3% of speaking roles in film.

In 2013, the American film industry raked in over 10 billion in profits, plowing over people of color who now comprise the majority of California’s population.  In the new film American Hustle blacks, Latinos and Arabs are the colorful backdrop to the ribald shenanigans of a cunning yet endearing white couple cruising toward redemption and nuclear family-hood in New Jersey. [Read more…]

Creepy Crackers n’ Shucking Toms

django uncle tom & little eva

By Sikivu Hutchinson

Pity poor Uncle Tom.  When angry white male atheists start trotting him out as a cover for their racist circle jerk you know you’ve got a postmodern moment with a cherry on top.  Although it’s never stopped being open season on black folk in America the Beautiful, the Supreme Court’s gutting of the Voting Rights Act, its partial smackdown of affirmative action and the happy times for George Zimmerman defense trial signal that the gloves are off again.  So now it seems the wages of whiteness atheist privilege brigade has come full circle from American Atheists’ 2012 naked shackled black slave billboard to Cult of Dusty’s viral “Black Christians=Uncle Toms” You Tube tirade.  According to creepy-cracker-white-man’s-burden-Dusty all black folk who subscribe to Christianity are not only domesticated dupes but neo-slave House Negro Stephens (in reference to Quentin Tarantino’s wet dream of buck-dancing black male cunning) shucking and jiving in our own 21st century version of Django Unchained.  But this racist ignoramus is no latter day John Brown dropping knowledge on us docile backward noble savages cowering under the yoke of dis here Good Book blessed by da Massa’s benevolence.

Conveniently omitted from this and umpteen other white atheist paeans to enlightening the dark hordes of ghetto superstition is any analysis of the white supremacist brutality of exalted secularist icons like Thomas Jefferson, George Washington and other revolutionary war patriots who built American empire on the backs of slave labor and through the propaganda of democratic citizenship.  Missing from this equation is a takedown of the proto-capitalist engine of black exploitation under slavery, its echoes in 20th century Jim Crow public policy and the New Jim Crow of mass incarceration that fuels the criminal wealth gap between whites and people of color.  As Toni Morrison so sagely put it, slavery and freedom existed side by side, for “nothing highlighted freedom if it did not in fact create it, like slavery.  Black slavery enriched the country’s creative possibilities for in that construction of blackness and enslavement could be found not only the not-free…but the not-me.”  Then, as now, freedom, individualism and universal citizenship (the ostensible ideological impetus for the Revolutionary War) were based on white supremacy and racialized notions of nationhood.  In the aftermath of Bacon’s Rebellion of 1676 white working class laborers were conferred with citizenship privileges—i.e., the right to bear arms, assemble, hold property and move around freely—entitlements that no black person, slave or free, could ever enjoy.  After the gradual institutionalization of racial slavery in the 1640s the categories slave and black became synonymous as did the categories white and free.  There was no loophole for any enlightened black non-theists that might have been running around.  There was no honorary black slave status (with the advantages of beatings, rapes, lifelong enslavement and dehumanization) granted pesky white atheists and anti-clericalists.  And the very secular American Constitution branded black slaves as 3/5s of a man in order to ensure that slave states had equal representation in Congress.

Racial slavery was driven by economic conditions and the proto-capitalist rise of American empire.  It provided an insurance policy against white working class resistance against the white aristocracy (from Jefferson the rapist slaver to the Koch brothers) by giving poor white folk access to the wages of whiteness. [Read more…]

A “Scientific” Racist Breaks it Down

By Sikivu Hutchinson

Word has it that the murderer George Zimmerman will finally be charged in the killing of Trayvon Martin.  But the fight for Trayvon has rightfully exposed the polecat underbelly of lynch mob justice in the U.S.

Exhibit A is John Derbyshire, swinging his balls to the breeze for whites fed up with “nonstop” coverage of the lynching of Trayvon.  Derbyshire, a former National Review columnist and mathematician recently broke down a white peoples’ guide to navigating the violent criminal subhuman tendencies of inner city Negroes.  Entitled “The Talk: The Non-Black Version,” Derbyshire’s neo-Birth of A Nation piece offers rich insight into the depth of the white nationalist backlash and the politics of the New Jim Crow.  Martin’s murder elicited a national conversation amongst black parents about how to counsel black youth on public conduct given the realities of racial profiling.  But Derbyshire wanted to set seditious black folk straight about who the real victims were.  Evoking the image of the scary bestial black spook, the post is a mini-primer on black depravity, advising whites and other non-blacks to steer clear of black neighborhoods, avoid events with large numbers of black people, and anticipate situations where they could potentially become victims of black violence.  So if we just arm ourselves to the teeth, make sure those spooks stay in their ghettoes and neutralize race card-playing black politicians we can divide Negro-hood into a neat taxonomy of hostile blacks and domesticated intelligent blacks:

(10a) Avoid concentrations of blacks not all known to you personally.

(10b) Stay out of heavily black neighborhoods.

(10c) If planning a trip to a beach or amusement park at some date, find out whether it is likely to be swamped with blacks on that date (neglect of that one got me the closest I have ever gotten to death by gunshot).

(10d) Do not attend events likely to draw a lot of blacks.

(10e) If you are at some public event at which the number of blacks suddenly swells, leave as quickly as possible.

(10f) Do not settle in a district or municipality run by black politicians.

(10g) Before voting for a black politician, scrutinize his/her character much more carefully than you would a white.

(10h) Do not act the Good Samaritan to blacks in apparent distress, e.g., on the highway.

(10i) If accosted by a strange black in the street, smile and say something polite but keep moving.

As with any good quasi-academic white supremacist, Derbyshire cherry picks pseudo science and sociology to reinforce his belief in the innate intellectual inferiority and moral depravity of blacks:

(11) The mean intelligence of blacks is much  lower than for whites. The least  intelligent ten percent of whites have IQs below 81; forty percent  of blacks have IQs that low. Only one black in six is more intelligent than the  average white; five whites out of six are more intelligent than the  average black. These differences show in  every test of general cognitive ability that anyone, of any race or  nationality, has yet been able to devise. They are reflected in countless everyday  situations. “Life is an IQ test.”

Derbyshire’s link to “everyday situations” tracks back to an article on mortgage lending discrimination.  Nationwide, black and Latino homeowners have been disproportionately targeted by predatory and subprime lending practices (Disgraced mortgage lender Countrywide having been the subject of a major lawsuit and settlement thereof); practices which implicitly benefit white homeowners and hence constitute the very preferences (i.e., affirmative action) that Derbyshire decries as corrosive to the racist fantasy of “pure meritocracy”:

(12) There is a magnifying effect here, too, caused by  affirmative action. In a pure meritocracy there would be very low proportions of  blacks in cognitively demanding jobs. Because of affirmative action, the  proportions are higher. In government work, they are very  high. Thus, in those encounters with strangers that involve cognitive  engagement, ceteris paribus the black stranger will be less intelligent  than the white. In such encounters, therefore—for example, at a government  office—you will, on average, be dealt with more competently by a white than by a  black. If that hostility-based magnifying effect (paragraph 8) is also in play,  you will be dealt with more politely, too. “The  DMV lady“ is a statistical truth, not a myth.

(13) In that pool of forty million, there are nonetheless  many intelligent and well-socialized blacks. (I’ll use IWSB as an ad  hoc abbreviation.) You should consciously seek opportunities to make  friends with IWSBs. In addition to the ordinary pleasures of friendship, you  will gain an amulet against potentially career-destroying accusations of  prejudice…

Although the National Review fired Derby last week the post merely expresses what segregated American television, film, neighborhoods, workplaces, schools, and polls bear out — that separate, apartheid inequality is still as Americana as apple pie.

Oratory of Division: A Humanist Response

From The New Humanism Magazine

By Sikivu Hutchinson

Newt Gingrich’s new book, To Save America: Stopping Obama’s Secular-Socialist Machine, has harsh words for nonbelievers—or at least those who in his view are complicit with the president in a “secular-socialist” conspiracy that imperils the nation’s survival. Since the election of Barack Obama in 2008, conservatives have been relentless in their vilification of Obama as a mortal enemy of American democratic traditions, free enterprise and the moral authority of the United States. Gingrich’s canard is noteworthy because of its hackneyed Cold War-style conflation of Obama’s liberal domestic policies and the lurking evil of secularism. The scorched earth culture wars that characterized the Reagan-Bush and George W. Bush eras made “secular” a dirty word. Secularism was blamed for everything from abortion, teen pregnancy, divorce, pedophilia and political radicalism. In this latest iteration, secularism was once again code speech for being anti-American, un-patriotic and amoral. Gingrich’s charge against Obama was part of a growing wave of anti-government hysteria incited by the far right Tea Party movement. This hysteria is informed by the belief that secularism is the ideological linchpin of an administration caricatured as the architect of big government wealth redistribution.

Historians such as Gary Wills, Robert Middlekauf and Robert Boston have ably challenged the grossly misguided notion promulgated by conservatives that the U.S. was a founded as a fundamentally “Christian nation.” Yet the persistence of this myth continues to cast long shadows on American politics, culture and education. In March 2010, the Texas Board of Education proposed substituting the term “Atlantic triangular trade” for the term “slave trade” and revising historical representations of the separation of church and state in its textbooks. Dominated by conservatives, the most prominent members of the Board were a dentist and a real estate agent. No historians, sociologists or political scientists were consulted. The Texas debacle was significant because the state is one of the largest buyers of textbooks in the U.S. and has a broad national influence over school curricula. One of the most extreme examples of the backlash against “secularism” was the Texas Board’s decision to omit Thomas Jefferson from “a list of figures whose writings inspired revolutions in the late 18th century and 19th century, replacing him with St. Thomas Aquinas, John Calvin and William Blackstone.” In lieu of Jefferson, the National Rifle Association, The Moral Majority and Gingrich’s “Contract with America” brainchild were added to state content standards to restore “balance” to an egregiously left-leaning curriculum. Based on the Board’s view that capitalism had gotten a bad rap, the word capitalism was replaced with free enterprise…MORE@http://www.thenewhumanism.org/