Sambo & The Commodification of Racial Justice
I got this email this week re. Damali Ayo…
“Email list members:
I hope to see some of you at my upcoming talks. Unless noted, all are free and open to the public.
I am looking for specific contacts in schools and organizations that can benefit from my work. I offer a dynamic presentation with stories and visuals that opens a dialogue about our current way of handling race relations. Then I take the audience through easy-to-do solutions to these problems. I also work very closely with the community of the school or organization so that my presentation is tailored to their needs. Following my talk, I offer ongoing coaching for selected members of the school or organization, so that they might continue this conversation and produce tangible results within their community. The process is exciting and creates real change– my approach works! We all know that a personal touch is needed to create change on a real level, I’m here to be that person.”
You cannot be serious?!
I mean, are we talking about racism/white supremacy, or a schoolyard spat? ‘Easy to do solutions?’ ‘Exciting?’
Who are these ‘solutions’ geared towards and designed to help? The people who suffer racism/white supremacy, the people who inflict it on those people, or, the people who use R/WS to sell product and services?
I’ve always been leery of these chumps who “sell” methods of dealing with “diversity” and “racism.” Sure, on the surface, the package and presentation seems to be about it. It can seem deep and be nattily original. But its a “package” a commodity, to be offered in the ‘marketplace.’ The sellers desperately offer their services to interested ‘buyers.’ And what are these buyers looking for? Something painless, perhaps marginally uncomfortable. In the end, these ‘no pain-fake gain’ stock traders are looking for a ‘happy ending,’ one that’s revelatory, preferably pseudo-orgasmic; a bonified teaching moment that leaves everyone feeling good about themselves (“and what they had to go through”) and the presenter (the better to snag repeat customers).
How can someone focused on ‘growing their niche race-business’ and publicizing themselves and their ‘approach that works’, truly be about telling the truth at all costs? What happens when business conflicts with angering friend and foe by bursting their necessary illusions, or alienating the paymasters who book ‘popular’ speakers?
It gets really slick when you have “free talks open to the public” that serve as advertisements for what? Product. The public is invited to attend a ‘talk’ on race by some calculator-carrying, dread wearing (to promote just the right ethno-militant aesthetic) race warrior!
The presentation is ‘tailored to the needs of the audience’ – chameleon-like. This is the new millennium minstrel code for telling people what they want to hear with a little salsa to give them the thrill of being woodshedded by a Kneegro. Its ‘jungle fever without the sex.’
How can you tell the truth about racism/white supremacy – when you are looking for ‘specific contacts in schools and organizations who can benefit from my work?’
Ending racism can’t be sold by Jack LaLanne at 3:00am in the bottom of a fucking juicer. Justice ain’t easy and it ain’t for sale (except for the grey boys with the large greeen). For us in the real world, the steps are like those of a plow horse. How dare this jive muthafucka sell an anti-racism pill they goes down like cotton candy.