The death in police custody last year of a violent felon whose heart stopped while resisting arrest led to the worst rioting in U.S. history. It has also led to much soul-searching, as Blacks in America wonder if they can continue to live side-by-side with Whites. There is increasing evidence that Afro-Americans are simply not comfortable bending to the strictures and customs enforced by Euro-Americans. They feel pushed aside, hemmed in, and held down. So, despite fighting for centuries to have equal access to white spaces, today more and more black voices are rising to call for racial separation.
What is the evidence for this surprising phenomenon? To what could it lead?
One area in which Blacks say they’re not totally comfortable is that of following the rules and norms established by Whites.
(1) OBEYING THE LAW
The emblematic example of our day, that which has launched a thousand riots, is the police stop. Despite claiming to be terrified of the police, many Blacks simply don’t feel it is their ‘job’ to cooperate with law enforcement. As journalist Steve Sailer puts it:
Here is the direction the Conventional Wisdom is drifting at present: Due to centuries of White Privilege, blacks from now on should enjoy the privilege of resisting arrest if they really don’t feel like being arrested.
A study from San Diego confirms it:
African-Americans Arrested for Resisting Arrest at a Larger Rate in San Diego
NBC 7 Investigates looked at seven years of police data and found out San Diego police are arresting one group of people for this misdemeanor offense more often than others. The data shows blacks are 10 times more likely than whites to be arrested for resisting, delaying, or obstructing a police officer.
This belligerence in the face of police stops belies their supposed ‘terror’ of law enforcement. They are both arrested more, and resist arrest more, than their numbers in the population would predict.
Or, as Colin Flaherty puts it, ‘Crime is the new black entitlement‘:
As long as black people are permanent victims of relentless white racism, cops should not chase them, juries should not convict them, judges should not sentence them, schools should not punish them, and white victims should not complain about the black crime and violence so wildly out of proportion. This is what a growing number of lawmakers, professors and, of course, reporters are prescribing as a way to “improve the way our system serves justice.”
Just exaggeration? Not at all:
Down in Jackson, Mississippi, a black city councilman said the black leaders of that city should encourage black people to “throw rocks and bricks and bottles” at police if they chase black criminals into their town. “That will send a message we don’t want you in here.” The councilman would also like the taxpayers of Jackson to pay for any loot that a black citizen may have stolen. Thus removing any other need for police to chase the “babies” in that city after they commit a crime.
Next stop, Madison, Wisconsin: a black pastor who was a top official at the University of Wisconsin and who now sits on the bench as a judge, echoed the councilman about arresting black criminals: “I just don’t think they should be prosecuting cases of people who steal from Wal-Mart,” said Dane County Judge Everett Mitchell. “I don’t think Target — or all those other big box places that have insurance — should be using that as justification to use aggressive police practices.”
“They do that all the time to justify why they are going to over police our children,” said the judge.
‘Our children’–black children–deserve to live in a parallel society where they can shoplift freely, unmolested by law enforcement, apparently.
But there are many more such examples.
Starting in grade school, black children do not feel they should be constrained by white norms of civility.
(a) Talking out of turn
Black girls’ loquacity is not rewarded:
Sophia Lusala, a junior at Iowa City High School, said she often felt the effects of the “loud, sassy, Black girl” stereotype. In math class last year, when a teacher said he would not review a certain lesson, she asked why — and landed in the hallway “to calm down,” she said.
“We’ve been in school growing our minds so that we can challenge things,” she said. “But when we do so, we’re punished for it.”
And everyone else has noticed:
Black girls are viewed by educators as more suspicious, mature, provocative and aggressive than their white peers, said Rebecca Epstein, the executive director of the Georgetown Law Center on Poverty and Inequality and an author of the first robust study of “adultification bias” against Black girls.
In other words, black girls are more provocative and aggressive than their white peers.
Black women are marked for life by this refusal to let them express themselves freely:
Hundreds of black women promptly reply, all with the same story:
(Click for much more in this vein.)
Indeed, some non-Blacks have started to pick up on this, and are now arguing that forcing black kids to be on time or to wait their turn to speak is culturally insensitive:
Two University of Northern Iowa professors recently argued that practicing “civility” in college classrooms can “reproduce white racial power.” C. Kyle Rudick and Kathryn B. Golsan assert in a recent academic article that civility, particularly “whiteness-informed civility,” allegedly “functions to assert control of space” and “create a good white identity.”
To fight this, Rudick and Goslan argue that college professors must intervene, saying, “it is incumbent upon instructors to ensure that their classrooms are spaces that challenge, rather than perpetuate, WIC [whiteness-informed civility].”
(b) Standards of excellence
New York City has gone so far as to train their teachers to avoid “objectivity” or a “sense of urgency”, claiming black kids aren’t capable of grasping them:
City Department of Education brass are targeting a “white-supremacy culture” among school administrators — by disparaging ideas like “individualism,” “objectivity” and “worship of the written word,” The Post has learned.
A presentation slide obtained by The Post offers a bullet-point description of the systemic, supposedly pro-white favoritism that Schools Chancellor Richard Carranza claims must be eradicated from the DOE, and provides just one insight into his anti-bias training efforts.
The list — derived from “Dismantling Racism: A Workbook for Social Change Groups” by Kenneth Jones and Tema Okun — names more than a dozen hallmarks of “white-supremacy culture” that school administrators are expected to steer clear of.
“They include such dynamics as “paternalism,” a “sense of urgency” and “power hoarding,” according to the slide, which an insider said was part of mandatory training sponsored and funded by the department’s Office of Equity and Access and recently administered to principals, central office supervisors and superintendent teams.
This now even extends to simply lowering standards so Blacks can pass, secretly in the U.S. but openly in the U.K.:
University students will not be marked down for poor spelling, grammar and punctuation in exams because it would be ‘elitist’. Academics have been told that insisting on good written English discriminates against ethnic minorities and those who went to ‘underperforming’ schools. The Office for Students wants to reduce the gap between the proportion of white and black students gaining good degrees and cut dropout rates among poorer students.
(c) Bullying is OK
Some Blacks admit that they cannot co-exist with white schoolchildren without bullying them, a clear call for separation. From Slate’s advice column:
Dear Care and Feeding,
I am a liberal, White, upper-middle-class parent, and we live in a mixed-income, racially integrated urban neighborhood. When it came time to enroll our daughter in high school, we selected a school that was majority Black because it was close by, and we rejected the notion of getting caught up in which magnet school was most prestigious. Our daughter had a horrible time there—she was harassed so much that we had to pull her out, and other non-Black students there were victimized because of their race. I am struggling to make sense of the experience.
… Racism is just part of what this country is and what we are up against, and we basically have to plan to suffer as a result.
One of the ways we attempt to negate that suffering is by forming community with others like us, away from the gaze of those who participate in and benefit from our oppression. Whether this was a school that was a source of pride for Black families in your area, or simply the local Black high school, it was a place where these kids—living lives undoubtedly complicated by the gentrification that brought you to this area—connect with peers who are living like they do.
Your daughter might not have done anything deliberately to harm anyone or to invite mistreatment, but her presence disrupts something truly fragile: the feeling of safety Black kids get from being with other Black kids.
If this isn’t a call for school re-segregation, we’re not sure what is…
(d) Getting good grades isn’t cool
Getting good grades is generally not seen as a desirable trait among Afro-Americans, even wealthy ones, especially when they share schools with other ethnic groups.
John Ogbu, the late UC Berkeley professor of anthropology, wrote extensively on the subject. Residents of Shaker Heights, Ohio, a mixed-race town of mostly middle to upper-middle class families, hired Ogbu to help explain their persistent achievement gap, but the answer his study provided was a bitter pill to swallow.
Ogbu argued that [wealthy] black students in Shaker Heights were failing because of their own attitudes. In the East Bay Express article, “Rich, Black, Flunking,” Ogbu explains that the average black students in Shaker Heights committed little effort in school, mostly because of a peer culture that equated academic success with “acting white,” or a “renouncement of black identity.”
Ogbu concluded that “the African-American peer culture, by and large, put pressure on students not to do well in school, as if it were an affront to blackness.” In a sad twist of irony, Ogbu himself was labeled by many as a sell-out who blamed the victim, a man with “no heart for his people.”
Sociological studies have borne it out:
Using surveys of 90,000 secondary-school students, Harvard University researchers found that white students were more popular when they had higher grade-point averages. But black students’ popularity sharply declined when their GPAs reached a B-plus. For Latinos, the price of good grades was even costlier: Popularity peaked at a C-plus, then plunged.
White teachers in black public schools report what they’ve seen:
Bad teaching is a common explanation given for the disastrously inadequate public education received by America’s most vulnerable populations. This is a myth. Aside from a few lemons who were notable for their rarity, the majority of teachers I worked with for nine years in New York City’s public school system were dedicated, talented professionals. Before joining the system I was mystified by the schools’ abysmal results. I too assumed there must be something wrong with the teaching. This could not have been farther from the truth. …
Throughout Washington Irving [High School] there was an ethos of hostile resistance. Those who wanted to learn were prevented from doing so. Anyone who “cooperated with the system” was bullied. No homework was done. Students said they couldn’t do it because if textbooks were found in their backpacks, the offending students would be beaten up. This did not appear to be an idle threat. Too many students told their teachers the same thing. There were certainly precious few books being brought home.
This horror of “acting white” extends to befriending Whites:
But a new study of 212 black college students made available to Secrets found little open-mindedness: Blacks don’t like it when other blacks associate with whites, to the point of refusing help to an African-American experiencing “a run of bad luck”–just because they have white friends.
The study in the April edition of the authoritative journal Social Psychological and Personality Science found the so-called “black code” alive and kicking, prompting blacks far more than whites to frown on one of their own if they associate with the other race. “Having cross-race friends made black [examples] seem ‘less black,’” wrote two psychology scholars in their study of students at an unnamed historically black college. “However, having cross-race friends did not necessarily make white [examples] seem ‘more black.’”
(3) PUBLIC SPACES
Afro-Americans have also made it known that they are not comfortable with the rules Euro-Americans follow in public spaces and businesses.
When the police were called on two non-paying customers in a Starbucks a few years ago, the nation went into such an apoplexy that one would have thought the men were lynched with an espresso machine cord rather than asked to make a purchase:
According to their own version, they walked into the store, grabbed a table, and then asked to use the restroom. The manager told them that they had to buy something to use it. They declined, and went back to sit at the table without having purchased anything.
Now that they had called attention to themselves, the manager was aware of their presence and aware that they were not paying customers. She approached them and offered to get them drinks or anything else they might want. They declined. They were asked to leave and they declined. The police came and asked them to leave and they declined. This is their own version.
The nation went into a state of near-hysteria over this non-incident.
From the Washington Post:
… What the Starbucks incident has in common with the lynchings of the past — as well as the police brutality and mass incarceration of the present — is the basic fact that black people in America can be physically eliminated at any time, in any place, for little reason — whether that means being kicked out of stores, suspended from school, priced out of their neighborhoods, locked up in jail or put in the grave. …
Starbucks will do what it needs to do to protect its brand. But what is America doing to protect its own citizens of color? Who will train Americans to stop calling the cops on their unarmed black neighbors? …Who will train the convenience-store managers? The mom-and-pop restaurants? And how can we up the social and legal costs for people who make life-threatening decisions by calling the police on peaceful black people?
High interpersonal trust and mutual civility are what make ethnic north-European societies such nice places to live. Rule-breakers are typically called out, and, if non-compliant, have the cops called on them. In the bad old days of Jim Crow, this was understood by all. But not today.
Tagged with nicknames like BBQ Becky and Permit Patty, white people who’ve reported black people for sitting in Starbucks, shopping at CVS, mowing lawns, playing golf, staying at an Airbnb or napping on a couch in a college dorm are being publicly named, mocked and, in some cases, fired from their jobs.
Those police calls were, in reality, for squatting in a Starbucks refusing to make a purchase, using an apparently fraudulent coupon, drawing suspicion by walking on the lawn or dragging luggage out of a house in a white neighborhood, wasting time on the green at a country club and making a scene when asked to speed up, and sleeping in an unauthorized area.
While some calls were justified and some were not, the accompanying hysteria beggars belief. Nosy Nancies call the cops on white people all the time, but they don’t feel the need to go on the national news to weep about it. Turning these annoying incidents into some kind of anti-black crusade is silly, and again shows how hard Blacks continue to find it to co-exist in white spaces.
Doing simple things like updating one’s driver’s license, insurance, or tags is often simply not something Afro-Americans feel they need to spend time on.
… In 2017 alone, Bryant was stopped seven times and cited with 13 traffic tickets by the Kansas City Police Department — five tickets for no insurance, six tickets for driving on a suspended license and two tickets for expired tags.
“Now it’s pay this ticket or pay this light bill,” she says. “It’s pay this ticket or pay this rent. It’s adding another bill on top of what I already have.”
Her ordeal highlights the hardships faced by thousands of drivers in Kansas City — particularly poor African-Americans suffering from a deluge of problems caused by traffic tickets. The tickets pile up, burying already poor residents under a mass of fines and creating a financial pit few are able to pull themselves out of. Of the traffic tickets given to Kansas City residents [in 2017], 60% went to African-Americans, who make up 30% of the population. And 37% of tickets went to whites, who make up 59% of the population.
Respecting car ownership and traffic rules, it would appear, is for white people only.
(5) PUBLIC TRANSPORT
Afro-Americans also feel more and more unfettered by the notion of paying for one’s train ticket.
BART [Bay Area Rapid Transit] in March began issuing tickets with \$75 fines for adults and \$55 fines for juveniles to crack down on fare evasion, which it says costs the agency up to \$25 million a year in lost revenue. During a 14-day period in July — a relatively small sample but the only data BART provided in response to a public records request from this news organization — African-American riders received 41% of tickets issued, even though they make up only 12% of riders, according to a 2015 survey, the most recent available.
As in San Francisco, so in Washington D.C.:
The Washington Post and D.C. City Council have finally figured out why 91% of Metro fares evaders are black: Racist transit police are targeting black people and ignoring white people who do the same thing.
That is why the city council this week voted to decriminalize citations for the free riders. And why the Metro says it will continue to lose \$25 million a year on the turnstile jumpers. Writing tickets to black people is “endemic of a systemic issue” of white racism, said city councilman Charles Allen. And that is why the City Council voted to change their citation scheme to a system where police can still write tickets, but the Metro will not be able to do anything to collect the fines if the perps refuse to pay.
The African proclivity for noise-making has been remarked upon by Euros for centuries. This difference in tolerance for noise often leads to friction:
As we approach graduation season, can we have a tough, but honest, conversation about something really important? For many people of color, White-organized graduation ceremonies, like most White-organized social functions, are boring! Attending them is like eating oatmeal for breakfast, or unseasoned pot roast for dinner.
Not only are we rushed through this stale, boring, “traditional ceremony,” we also have to either try to hide our natural responses to celebrate (like clapping) or risk being punished for not doing things the “White/quiet way.”
I am willing to take the criticism for asking that we have racially segregated graduation ceremonies, starting in elementary school and continuing through high school.
As of this writing, at least 75 colleges and universities do indeed hold segregated graduation ceremonies.
A University of Cincinnati alum explains:
If my sister’s traditional graduation ceremony left a little to be desired, my family wasn’t fazed because the night before we attended Tyehimba. Tyehimba, a Nigerian word that means “We are a Nation,” was the University of Cincinnati’s way of celebrating the school’s black graduates. I was excited but my 92 year old grandfather needed an explanation. Was this segregation or what?
Instead of the sterile march down the aisle to the same graduation song institutions have been playing for centuries, my sister and her fellow graduates walked down the aisles, waving red, green and black flags to the song “The Drum (Africa to America)” by Sounds of Blackness. They started the ceremony with libations, acknowledging fallen civil rights leaders and other figures in black history, including Tupac Skakur. … And when they called the names of the graduates, the students could take all the time they wanted dancing, hopping, lining, strolling or skating across a stage lined with black faculty members who celebrated with them.
This boisterousness follows them everywhere, even to the genteel wine tour…
The 11-strong party, which included 10 African-American [women], were ordered off the Napa Valley vintage trip last August after other passengers allegedly complained they were being too loud. They filed a lawsuit asking for \$1m each after claiming they were humiliated and discriminated against by staff who told them several times to lower their voices.
…or to the military retirement ceremony:
To great applause:
The one dissenter, an African:
One of the biggest differences between the ethnies is the notion of time. Blacks themselves, in Africa and without, are constantly engaging in self-critique for their tenuous relationship with punctuality.
Here are some Nigerians in a discussion forum on the subject:
Tunmbi Oluyede: “Hi Cara, you are absolutely right about African/Nigerian time syndrome and you also rightly point out some of the reasons or rationale for the lateness.
However, this also exists in the African American community here in the States. It is known affectionately by some in the community as CP time (Colored People time).
It would be interesting to do some kind of study or research on the parallels between the two. I have had several incidents with my African American friends or acquaintances that mirror the experiences you described in Nigeria.”
Luvvie: “This post is ALLLL the way true! Even in America, Nigerians can’t be on time to save our lives. I even blogged about this very thing like a year ago.
Baby shower at 5pm? Print special invitations for your Nigerian friends that says, “Shower promptly starts at 3.” THEN we’d stroll in at 5:45. O___o.
I love my people but goodness! LOL”
The black self-critique on this point is often virulent. Blogger Bolu Babalola:
First of all “BPT” [Black People Time] is exclusive. People seem to forget this. White people do not operate according to this time. Asian people do not operate to this time. Hispanic people do not have their watches set to BPT neither. So already, we are setting ourselves apart. It isn’t in a positive way either.
Do you think if an Asian boss, grants an interview for 9:00, and you arrive at 9:30, he’ll laugh, shrug, and be like, “He’s black. What can we we expect? Let’s give him another half hour.” No. Your chances are severely limited. Even if he does think that…do we really want to be thought of that way? Inherently unreliable, so people have to take that into consideration? When I say “we” mind, I am talking about an entire race.
(8) THE OFFICE
Afro-Americans have a different approach to work.
As The Economist writes, given the long history of making racial slurs about the efforts of some workers, any study casting black and Hispanic men as lazier than whites and Asians is sure to court controversy.
But, a provocative working paper by economists Daniel Hamermesh, Katie Genadek and Michael Burda sticks a tentative toe into these murky waters.
They suggest that America’s well-documented racial wage gap is overstated by 10% because minorities, especially men, spend larger portions of their workdays not actually working.
Euros and Afros have different ideas about sportsmanship.
Since the desegregation of basketball and football, observers have noted how ‘black culture’ has changed the dynamic of those sports. From an academic paper on the subject:
Abstract: There are a number of verbal and non-verbal behaviors exhibited by football and basketball players, such as trash talking, taunting, celebrating, dancing, etc. that are penalized and heavily criticized by the athletic officials, coaches, the media and fans. The amount of attention these behaviors receive seems out of proportion to their importance, since they provide little if any competitive advantage and seem to be only peripherally related to the actual competition.
It is argued that the undue attention these behaviors receive is racially motivated in that African Americans are to an overwhelming degree responsible for the sanctioned behaviors. These behaviors are a reflection of urban African American cultural norms, which conflict with white mainstream norms. The sanctions represent white male mainstream society’s response to the threat to white masculinity represented by black athletic superiority and by African American athletes’ assertion of the right to define the meaning of their own behavior. In this contested terrain African Americans are resisting white male hegemony and asserting their manhood and cultural identity.
Black women are not expected to follow the same sportsmanship rules as white women. After Serena Willam’s epic tantrum at the 2018 U.S. Open:
Saturday’s blow-up at the U.S. Open, her third at the tournament in nine years, dredged up all that negativity from the past with an eerie sense of tennis déjà vu. Those who remembered the first two Serena meltdowns were surely watching on Saturday night, as Serena kept digging her hole deeper and deeper, and thinking “How is she doing this again!”
At the 2009 U.S. Open, she was called for a foot fault and then, without further provocation, threatened to shove a ball down the “[expletive] throat” of the lines woman who called it. … In 2011, when Serena was called for hindrance for clearly screaming during the backswing of Sam Stosur in their U.S. Open final, she lost it again, screaming at the chair and at one point asking if she was the one who “screwed me before,” confusing Eva Asderaki with the 2009 line coach, Louise Engzell.
But her latest outburst had the press lauding her for this magnificent display of screaming-at-a-line-coach-while-black.
We have seen the myriad ways in which Afro-Americans have a different philosophy about ‘commonweal orientation,’ or showing mutual respect with others and following white society’s rules.
This friction, which seems to be growing every year, has led some black voices to call for real separation.
Who is calling for racial separation? In what domains?
(1) RE-SEGREGATING SCHOOLS
In the 1950s, civil rights activists claimed that black kids needed access to white students and teachers at all costs. Today they are claiming the opposite.
‘KIPP’ charter schools tend to be very successful—and very black. This has led to critics calling them ‘a new segregation.’ Not so, say parents:
But charter school advocates and families reject the idea that charter schools have contributed to re-segregation, or that modern segregation reflected in charter school enrollment is anything like that of the Jim Crow era, when blacks were barred from attending certain schools.
“Modern schools of choice with high concentrations of students of color is a demonstration of parents choosing the best schools for their children, rooted in the belief that the school will meet their child’s educational needs, and often based on demonstrated student success,” said National Alliance for Public Charter Schools spokeswoman Vanessa Descalzi. “This is not segregation.”
… Green Tech High Principal and CEO Paul Miller says outcomes are the primary reason why families choose his all-boys school, where 97% of the students are black.
“We have a 95% graduation rate, a 100% college acceptance rate and hand out almost \$7 million in scholarship money,” he said. “So when families look at us, they look at us because we are successful, because we are free, and because we’re in a neighborhood that’s convenient for their child to get to. I don’t believe it has to do with race; it has to do with results.”
From the New York Times:
The Real Reason Black Kids Benefit From Black Teachers
For black students, having even one black teacher can make a huge difference. That’s the conclusion of a new study, which found that black boys who had a black teacher during their elementary school years were less likely to drop out of high school.
… The fact that my skin color matches that of my students doesn’t give me any superpowers as an educator. But it does give me the ability to see them in a way that’s untarnished by the stereotypes, biases and cultural disconnects that fuel inequality and injustice — like the outlook that made Trayvon Martin, carrying Skittles, appear dangerously suspicious to the man who took his life.
A similar sentiment in the U.K.:
Lecturers who are ’60 year old white men’ are unable to teach black and minority ethnic (BME) people, students have complained. The students, who are studying at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), said under-representation of black people among the teaching staff, relative to the student body, made students feel ‘isolated’, unable to engage with their studies and lecturers.
Some Afro-Americans have flatly called for re-segregation in schools and colleges. Kihana Miraya Ross, Northwestern University professor:
… Here’s my suggestion: Let the lofty ideal of integration go. Recognize that it’s not going to happen and move on. Let’s pool our collective mental energy toward the construction of institutions that might actually be designed to benefit black students and to undo the centuries-long assault black students have endured as a result of white supremacist and anti-black educational systems and structures. …
I’m not advocating a return to segregation, which was (and is) a system imposed on all of us: I’m talking about elective separation, which is something some of us may choose because we believe our chances at education as the “practice of freedom” are better in these spaces.
Jemele Hill in The Atlantic:
They attract money and attention to the predominantly white universities that showcase them, while HBCUs struggle. What would happen if they collectively decided to go to black schools?
Davon Dillard is a basketball player who transferred to Shaw University after Oklahoma State dismissed him for disciplinary reasons. “Going to a school where most of the people are the same color as you, it’s almost like you can let your guard down a little bit,” he told me. “You don’t have to pretend to be somebody else. You don’t have to dress this way, or do things this way. It’s like, ‘I know you. We have the same kind of struggles. We can relate.’ It’s almost like you’re back at home in your neighborhood.”
Perhaps partly for this reason, black students’ graduation rates at HBCUs are notably higher than black students’ at other colleges when controlling for factors such as income and high-school success.
(2) RE-SEGREGATING THE COUNTRY
The more radical black activists are calling for the same thing some Segregationists wanted in the 19th century—an interior “homeland” for Blacks:
In 1968, a meeting of Black nationalists in Detroit led to the formation of the Republic of New Africa. The RNA called for a traditional homeland in the Southern states of Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, and South Carolina.
Dr. Victoria Bynum, history professor at Texas State University:
“Clearly, the roots of Black nationalism and separatism are present in the violently white supremacist counter-revolution that destroyed the promise of Reconstruction. Racial segregation, second-class citizenship, a renewed KKK opened the 20th century, setting in motion Black responses that frequently viewed independence and separatism as the only recourse,” Bynum said.
Today, there are renewed calls for a Black-controlled land in those five Southern states. New Black Panthers leader Babu Omowale:
“What we are wanting to do is to have Black people start migrating back to these states. If we migrate 40 million Black people back to these sates, we can control the economy, the education and the politics of these states, and we can do this without the need to fire one bullet. And once Black people move in, white people will move out.”
“We can buy land in Mississippi for \$5 an acre. We have to stop wasting our money on cars, tennis shoes and rims. We need to be land owners, and this is our way to have a nation within a nation,” Omowale added. “The same way we migrated out of the South after slavery, we can migrate back to the South. Let us be land owners. We have men walking around with \$20,000 in their pocket. Let’s buy 20 acres of land in Georgia, let’s buy 20 acres of land in Mississippi.”
The concept of forming a black nation within a nation is feasible, according to Christian Davenport, Professor of Political Science & Faculty Associate with the Center for Political Studies at the University of Michigan.
“Actually, I think that it is fairly easily for African-Americans to form a Black nation within the United States. There are large sections of the United States that have nothing but Black people in them already. There are cults and militias as well as private corporations that do whatever they want behind their closed doors,” Davenport told Atlanta Black Star.
“Related to that, from my time in New York and Chicago, it is clear that organizations like the Nation of Islam occupy decent size areas in American cities. The idea of Black folk coming together thus does not seem that difficult to me,” Davenport added. … “Now, the difficult part becomes arming that nation in an organized fashion and getting recognition from the United States as well as other nations. This is where the difficulty will come from.”
Slightly less extreme voices, like the New York Times’ Chuck Blow, come to similar conclusions:
… Simply put, my proposition was this: that Black people reverse the Great Migration — the mass migration of millions of African-Americans largely from the rural South to cities primarily in the North and West that spanned from 1916 to 1970. That they return to the states where they had been at or near the majority after the Civil War, and to the states where Black people currently constitute large percentages of the population. In effect, Black people could colonize the states they would have controlled if they had not fled them.
States have natural resources and indigenous industries. Someone has to control who is granted the right to exploit, and profit from, those resources. Why not Black people? … I say to Black people: Return to the South, cast down your anchor and create an environment in which racial oppression has no place.
(3) RE-SEGREGATING NEIGHBORHOODS
At the neighborhood level, this black-demanded segregation is already in force, with non-Blacks explicitly or implicitly told they are not welcome:
Among the activist organizations examining how to keep neighborhoods like Bed-Stuy and Crown Heights predominately black is the Brooklyn Movement Center on Stuyvesant Avenue.
… Among the strategies Brickton utilized in keeping the community black was the recruitment of more middle- to upper-income black residents who can afford a more expensive neighborhood, make the choice to remain in the community without promoting the displacement of current low-income residents.
Blacks are not pleased with white incursion and all it entails—such as ‘bike lanes’ and ‘dogparks’:
Instead, Hyra found that when mostly white millennials move into traditional African American communities, the two groups interact little and frequently chafe with each other.
For instance, the young, affluent newcomers tend to take over political and civic organizations and promote their own interests — a phenomenon on display in the recent explosion of bike lanes, dog parks and upscale coffee shops.
Many older, working-class blacks are able to remain, because of [Washington D.C.’s] progressive affordable housing policies, and they welcome some benefits, such as a decline in crime.
But they also resent giving up both their former political influence and the character of their community. In one case, lobbying by new arrivals cost black churchgoers a long-standing convenience of parking in a school playground on Sunday mornings. Small, black-owned businesses that served as public gathering places have shut their doors.
They have various schemes to keep Whites out:
A black community organization in Portland successfully kept a Trader Joe’s from being built in the predominantly African American northeast area of the city. They claimed that the grocery chain would attract “non-oppressed” [read: non-black] individuals.
Some more subtle than others — Vice founder Gavin McInnes, on Bushwick, Brooklyn:
Several of my friends have scoffed at this trend and traded their own yuppie hipster Williamsburg for Bushwick, an area of Brooklyn struggling to remain 100% black. Guess what. It doesn’t go well. When phenomenally naïve Canadian immigrant and long-time drinking buddy Dan Morrison picked up the paper and saw \$650 a month for rent, he jumped on the subway and headed over.
He got off the train, paper in hand, and almost immediately, a woman in a phone booth interrupted her conversation, poked her head out, and yelled, “Oh I KNOW you ain’t moving to THIS neighborhood.” His two-block walk was littered with dubious glares and when he eventually got to the “For Rent” sign, a loiterer on the stoop cut all the pretense and bluntly stated, “Don’t move here.” Dan did an about-face and got back on the train.
I make him tell this story regularly and every time he does, someone pipes in with another Bushwick tale of segregation. My favorite being the young white woman who stood in line at the Bodega as locals screamed, “What are you doing here? You don’t belong here” in her face. Nobody stopped this public yelling match, because they all agreed. After a brave front, she burst into tears and ran home. This happened regularly, whether she was walking down the street or waiting for a bus. Needless to say, she doesn’t live in Bushwick anymore.
Whether at the level of the school, the neighborhood, or the country, an increasing chorus of black voices is calling for a real and lasting separation from Whites.
Sixty years after the end of legal segregation, it seems that for many Blacks the experiment has ended in bitter disappointment.
Two generations have now tasted full access to white spaces—and the verdict is coming back increasingly negative.
What Dion Pierre calls ‘neo-segregation’ is rearing its head all over. He explains to The Daily Signal:
There has been a re-segregation. … Group consciousness is the way that minority college students and college administrators get unsuspecting freshman to see themselves locked in a struggle for the fate of the country with white Americans.
The idea is that you’re supposed to believe that whites hate you, they dislike you, they don’t respect your accomplishments, they’re going to micro-aggress you—whites today, they have the same disdain for people of color that they did in, say, 1756.
Cultural Connections, which is Yale’s segregated orientation program, it’s for minority students—non-white minority students—and when students go there, they are introduced to all of the aspects of neo-segregation at Yale.
They get a tour of the black cultural center, or Latino cultural center, black students go off to the African-American studies department, Latino students go off to some kind of meeting with the few Hispanic professors that might be on campus. …the segregated graduation ceremony sort of puts the final touch on the neo-segregated college experience.
… And the last thing this country needs are teachers telling 18-year-olds that they are locked in a war with another racial group. And someone needs to step in and transmit a degree of self-awareness to these students, because I’m not sure that they realize how their race-nationalist ideology is being perceived by the public.
This is going to take the country to a very dark place if this kind of thinking leaks out into the broader polity.
As calls for ‘neo-segregation’ among the Afro-American community become louder, legislators will struggle to appease them. Under the current constitutional framework, racial segregation is illegal—but will this precedent hold, if the people calling for it are from the black community themselves?
To be continued…
Originally published at Those Who Can See