The Misguided Perception of “Self Hate:” How this Term Leaves Black America Dazed and Confused
By: Melvin D. Whitlock
The Civil Rights Delusion
Many social agendas reference their movement alongside the methods and metrics used during the Civil Rights Movements of the 1950s and 1960s. This tactic is often employed to generate popularity among the masses. By equating an agenda to the history of the civil rights protest, special interest groups seek to generate the same national sympathy that helped repeal the unfair laws of a Jim Crow South in the middle of the 20th century. Arguably the most influential figure during the Civil Rights Movement in the United States was the Reverend Martin Luther King Jr.
In my opinion with respect to race, Dr. King promoted human individuality within his message for civil rights and social uplift. Often the target of chastisement from the more militant Black Nationalist Movement, Dr. King endured as equal criticism from people within his race, as he did from people of a different race. The motivation behind the dissent of Dr. King by the likes of the Nation of Islam and the Black Panther Party is the belief that Dr. King did not preach a message of racial loyalty, but instead, King’s message reflected the desire for individual identification and equality.
“I have a dream that one day my four children will live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but the content of their character…”(Martin Luther King Jr., Washington D.C., Lincoln Memorial, 1963)
Personally, I do not believe that a person should be ashamed of a racial identity; however, I recognize a dangerous connection between racial loyalty and subconscious racial subjugation that overwhelms the moral judgment by today’s self-appointed racial leadership for black America. Dr. King’s approach to civil rights was based on a peaceful approach to individualism, and not a militant approach to a false sense of liberation. I believe that because of Dr. King’s message was based on character and not race alone; King became a direct target of ‘self-hate’ accusations made by militant black leadership in the 1950s and 1960s.
Self-Hate Becomes a Popular Term
The concept of ‘self-love,’ in regards to racial loyalty, became popularized under the influence of Marcus Garvey and his Back-To-Africa Movement (A. Jacques-Garvey, 2009, p. 8); however, its antonym, self-hate, did not really develop until Malcolm X, along with the Nation of Islam, directed the self-hate comparison towards black advocates of integration.
“Martin Luther King is just a 20th century or modern Uncle Tom or religious Uncle Tom, who is doing the same thing today to keep Negroes defenseless in the face of attack, that Uncle Tom did on the plantation…” (Malcolm X, Interview by Louis Lomax, 1962)
“Who taught you…Please…Who taught you to hate the texture of your hair? Who taught you to hate the color of your skin, to such extent you bleach…to get like the white man? Who taught you to hate the shape of your nose, and the shape of your lips? Who taught you to hate yourself, from the top of your head to the souls of your feet? Who taught you to hate your own kind? Who taught you to hate the race that you belong to, so much so, that you don’t want to be around each other?” (Malcolm X, Los Angeles, May 5th, 1962)
With respect to Malcolm X and his influence on the Black Nationalist Movement during his early years with the Nation of Islam, it should be understood that Malcolm X retracted from many of his own teachings regarding the perception of what he viewed as self-hate (Handler, New York Times, 1964). Unfortunately in today’s black America, with the influence of the black Democrat Party loyalist, the perception of self-hate has shifted from racial pride, into a modern form a political loyalty.
When Marcus Garvey spoke of self-love, it is unlikely that his perception of self-love encouraged silence in personal accountability. It is unlikely that Garvey would have stood with individuals, whom he knowingly knew, impacted the black community in a negative manner. When Malcolm X spoke, by his own admission, the fault-logic of branding civil rights advocates as promoters of self-hate, it is unlikely that he would have aligned himself and his race with a specific political party (Malcolm X, The Ballot or the Bullet, 1964).
Pledging a Racial Allegiance to a Party
The message of unity in which Marcus Garvey and Malcolm X presented in the 1940s through the 1960s has been distorted and converted to appease Liberal Black Loyalty, led by individuals such Al Sharpton, Julian Bond, and other men dedicated to make the black vote reserved solely for their control and direction, which has usually been to racially support Democrat candidates. The message of individuality and content of character that Dr. King preached in the 1950s and 1960s has been abandoned and rejected by the likes of Jesse Jackson, who has often manipulated his involvement in the Civil Rights Movement, as a tool to push political loyalty for the Democrat Party (Stein, Huffington Post, 2009).
Unfortunately, the self-appointed leaders of the black community, like the Jesse Jacksons and Julian Bonds appear determined to use racial intimidation as a tactic to maintain the perception that voting Democrat is the ‘Black thing to do.’ In 2009, amid the health care debates, House of Representatives member, Artur Davis-D (AL), voted against the Democrat-led legislation to Universal Health Care. Outraged that Davis voted against the measure, which Davis followed the consent of his congressional district, Jackson scolded Davis with the following release:
“We even have blacks voting against the health-care bill…you can’t vote against health care and call yourself a black man.”(Jesse Jackson, Reception for Congressional Black Caucus Foundation, 2009)
As a Conservative, who is black, I must acknowledge the sad reality that many conservatives, who happen to be black, endure at the hands of blacks who pledge a racial loyalty to the Democrat Party and its ideals. No longer is it the white Democrat in the South that calls a black man a ‘Coon,’ and an ‘Uncle Tom,’-it is the rhetoric by loyal black Democrats that have taken up the fight of their party’s history (Radio Raheem, Blog Talk Radio-Coon Busters, 2011). During the American Civil War, it should be noted that Jefferson Davis, Confederate President, issued a proclamation against black Union Soldiers that were captured by the Confederacy. In the proclamation, Davis stated:
“That all negro slaves captured in arms be at once delivered over to the executive authorities of the respective States to which they belong to be dealt with according to the laws of said States.” (Jefferson Davis, Gen. Orders 111, 1862)
The proclamation Davis made against black Union soldiers was at the time, uncharacteristic of the rules of war. The motivation behind Davis’ decision is believed to be driven by an excessive disdain towards the notion of blacks in the position of soldiers, and not in their proper place of subjugation. In 2011, the same Jefferson Davis type of outrage that was directed at the notion of a black soldier is expressed through the mouths and actions of most black Democrats and liberals, towards the black conservative and black Republican.
Part 2 picks up with: “A Flawed Perspective on Loyalty” tomorrow.