Find Muck

By Maxjulian

June 10, 2007

Category: Uncategorized

21 Comments »

I was talking to my sister LA last night and we were riffing on this whole “racism-white supremacy” thing. Speaking with her is often like trading fours in jazz; its often this rapid fire creative exchange where ideas get played that lead to other “in-the-moment” creative blurts in the other person.

Its like, I will read some shit, absorb it, but be nowhere near close to assimilating it…And then, I’ll have a clarifying conversation with her – meaning that ideas from the different sources that I’ve read will get exercised, worked through in the exchange…Sometimes it only creates an awareness that I’m more confused than I thought; but just as often, the conversation creates a new spark, sheds light and resolves something.

As I’ve been pondering this racism (does it exist, what it is really, etc), reading Marimba Ani’s Yurugu has resolved one thing in my mind: that there is a unity of Isms, that they are really only tools of European male global domination.

For example, I am participating in a forum on the intersection of racism and homophobia in the black community. Well, who does black homophobia serve? Does it serve the black community? Or does it fracture us even more? First we were house and field, then octoroons, quadroons; good hair/bad, to the point of paperbag tests and comb tests. I mean, when you can degrade a people to the level that they will actually perpetrate this kind of insanity on each other…you’ve got an amazing system of control.

Willie Lynch Lives!!

Hating or feeling contempt for my gay brother seems the height of idiocy today, however, it wasn’t that long ago that when a gay man looked at me, my automatic response was to sneer at him and let him know “I’m not like that.” Now as I age, I’m pissed, wondering why gay men aren’t looking at me?!

___________________________________________________________

There’s a lot of talk about action around the AfroSpear these days but few are asking about the destination. Where are we going? Are we going to continue seeking to integrate into a burning house? Beg for crumbs from the white man’s table? Vote for candidates beholden to white capital, controlled, contained? Where do we want to go as a people?

People seem not to want to ask these kinds of questions, let alone consider them, chew on them, grapple with them. More often than not, people fail to reflect, in their hurry to be seen doing. “Being Seen Doing” is an ego inflating imperative that can destroy, destroy the integrity of human beings…and they may not even know it. Our egos have to take a back seat to the task. We have to be whole. This is a major part of our inner work. WE are not whole. Our sojourn here has damaged us.

I look at the work of Michael Fisher. He implies that he is a real black man, while others are pretenders, have to go through a rite of passage to prove their blackness. To him. He has the inside track to black folks, knows what we should and shouldn’t do. AND, he has made it his life’s work to besmirch the work that some of us trying to do with the AfroSpear.

This reinforces my suspicion of those who represent themselves as “Race Warriors,” or, “the Black Intelligentsia,” who never talk about the concomitant work that THEY are doing on themselves, that qualifies them to stand in judgement and deflect anything that comes there way, who when criticized, NEVER acknowledge the possibility of fault, mistakes, human error.

I don’t trust folks who are martyrs, who know every gotdamn thing, yet ain’t engaged in a process of growth development, don’t evidence any teachability.

WE need THERAPY!!!!!!!

21 Responses to “Find Muck”

  1. thank you.

    “authentic blackness” on some levels is another form of orwell’s groupthink to me. i’m not saying the afrospear is like that, i’m not a member. i’m speaking from my own experiences; conversations irl & comments i’ve seen on black blogs/discussion boards. fwiw, the destination i like to envision is inclusive not exclusive, more socialist than capitalist, & is sustainable not consumptive. i can’t tell you how many times i’ve been looked @ like i had two heads by black folx (literally irl, figuatively online) or ignored for these thoughts. “we can’t work on anything else/with anyone else until we take care of ourselves.” oh, we’re not capable of multitasking? we’re not capable of learning from the mistakes of our predecessors & not allowing our movement to be coopted? solidarity definitely has it problems, but i still see us getting further with it than without it. “socialism doesn’t work, it’s been tried & it failed.” in cuba? or do you mean eastern europe & asia? in all instances there is/was a lot of interference from uncle sam. “socialism is oppressive.” and capitalism ISN’T? there are also forms of socialism other than the ones that have been maligned for the last 100 years. who said the ussr model is the only one? and sustainability, jeez the ignorance knows no boundaries, but too many times boils down to “god is gonna take care of it, therefore its perfectly ok for me to drive a car/several cars that only get 10 mpg (ie, to go the store around the corner – for one bag of groceries – by myself).” we can point fingers @ bling (but not because of sustainability) w/o removing the stake from our own eye.

  2. So Free

    You accuse me of not “talk[ing] about the concomitant work that [I do on myself]? Am I correct in understanding what you are saying?

    Plus it is my life’s work to “besmirch” your “AfroSpear work”?

    All this while, if you take some time, you can research who I am and some of what I’ve done while you, in contrast, are hiding behind an avatar?

    Don’t you think there’s something wrong with that picture?

  3. Not really fair of any of us to criticize others in the blogosphere for lack of activity outside of the blogosphere. Unless you have had the opportunity to interact on a much more intimate basis with another Blogger you have absolutely no idea what that person is or is not doing outside of blogging. I don’t ever mention the things I am doing in the real world unless I feel you are ready to hear about it. So if the criteria for earning respect is broadcasting “concomitant work” that we are doing on ourselves or in our communities, I guess I haven’t got a very good rep out there either.

    MF has some very strong opinions. But I have never seen him advocate for a position that he is not willing to fully back up with his own research. It’s proper that he should question everyone who brings forth a position or an opinion on things related to the Black empowerment struggle we are all engaged in. In fact, as much as I enjoy reading Free Slave and some of the others in the original Afrospear collective, it seems to me that you guys are just a little bit prickly about having your opinions challenged. If your ideology can’t stand up to the light of criticism, you would do well to question it yourself. If you are trying to teach Fisher to be more civil, you are wasting your time, but IMO he has always responded to intellectual challenges to his positions thoughtfully and with candor. That should be enough unless you need your ego stroked.

    Despite the fact that I’m sure Fisher has deliberately tried to rub you the wrong way, you are playing into his hands by responding emotionally, rather than logically de-constructing his criticisms of your positions. If you can demonstrate that a position Michael Fisher has taken that is unreasonable, illogical, or otherwise untenable, then do so and there will be no doubt among people of good will which position is the best for the collective to support.

    (For the record and in the interests of transparency, I have also submitted this comment at Michael Fisher’s blog repost of this one.)

  4. EM: The “concomitant work” I was referring to was work on self, related to one’s psychological, spiritual, emotional wellbeing. I don’t care what people claim to be doing in the community when they personify (self)hate, hating their alleged people.

    I don’t have a problem with criticism; I have a problem with character blassassination. There is a difference, no? One seeks to educate, enlighten, bring to light; the other seeks to discredit, demean, dichotomize into higher and lower, blacker and less black, etc.
    Michael has never leveled a charge at me and my ideology, so I have no issue with him challenging it; what I’ve found objectionable is the cartoonish lengths that he has gone to criticize the “person” who disagrees with him. The jive ass photoshop piece he did (All About Asa) was truly, magnificently spiteful. I mean, it had me cracking up, actually, that somebody would actually put in the time and effort. It must have left Lee Atwater smiling in Hades.

    Here you’ve got an EFFORT by black people to do something to improve our lot and the so-called criticism that we’ve balked at from a couple of folks has been a joke. Its personal attack, wrapped in a critique, in a bouillabaisse of bullshit. I mean, is telling me I’m not black enough/a knucklehead, a critique?

    EM, bring the real criticism and I’m all ears. I’ve had no issue at all with anything you’ve said. Why? Because you haven’t threatened to revoke my ghetto pass because you didn’t agree with me. The old, “if you disagree with me, you’re not black/black enough/militant” enough handjive. What do you have to say about the weak ass argument that depends on indicting one’s brother/opponent as a traitor or a fool, if they don’t agree?! That’s some weak shit for your ass, yet, its characterized as “strong.”

    When people have to stoop to that level, it perpetuates the (internalized) racism that the slave master fucked into us from the gitgo.

    Honestly, I don’t need my ego stroked by you or Michael. And its really not about backing up with evidence this position or that. I’ve dealt with a lot of know-it-all muthafuckas, who’s talk is all one way. External. But they can’t talk about THEIR process, THEIR growth, their weaknesses. Because they don’t have any. They are all intellect, all cranium; they aren’t feeling. The King’s of Rationality. But that’s the white man. We are a feeling people, or we were. Now, we raise on our shoulders, black folks who will be just as ruthless and callous as white folks. And call that strength.

    I hear no compassion or humanity in Michael Fisher. No feeling. Its like listening to Wynton Marsalis; I need Miles! I need to know a muthafucka can be real about his shortcomings – not just tell me how Tomish and disappointing I am to him. I understand he’s a bigshot and done a few things in his life. But what hurts him? What eats at him – about him? What is he trying to improve in himself? I don’t expect these answers and I don’t trust ANYONE who can robotically, clinically pick their own people apart and never once admit a human frailty.

    This is just me speaking randomly, not on behalf of any other muthafucka. It and me are subject to change, based on more information and feeling my way into a new understanding.
    Peace

  5. Russell Means also said (I paraphrase)

    If everyone went through therapy, the world would be at peace.

    Also, he stopped giving a fuck about what anybody thought about him.

    A free man in the 21st century…

    LA

  6. There is no way I can be “civil” about this… So, here it goes:

    Free Slave, or, as you also call yourself, Max Julien…

    I once asked your fellow Afrospearist, Asa, a simple question and I asked you the same:

    “Avatar Asabanga:

    Let me repeat:

    For Evia’s point of view and strong opinion can be summarized quickly and easily:
    Black men, with a few exceptions of “wonderful and good” ones, in their majority are incapable to think for themselves and have failed to progress to the status of “three dimensional human beings” (less than “three dimensional human beings” meaning “sub-human” or “not quite human”).

    That the black women who stay with this “sub-human”, or “not quite human” majority of black men are “mammies”. (mammie being a VERY specific term denoting a black female slave who nurtures the children of her master over her own).

    That therefore the solution for black women is to escape this majority of “not quite human” black men is as follows: To seek to date and marry any other race of men than black ones, but especially white men, who in their majority clearly have achieved the status of “three dimensional human beings”, that is full human beings. A stage of development, once again, which the sub-human or not-quite human majority of black men have yet to achieve.

    The imagery evia uses to bolster this argument is that of the unintelligent, unthinking, brutal, black brute and beast.

    So, Avatar Asabanga, which part of this thesis do you “not totally” (and thus partially) agree with? And why?”

    I said that Asa is not only highly contemptuous of black people and black men in particular, but also that he is a religio-fascist on top of being an anti-black racist.

    Neither of you ever rebutted my argument, instead you engaged in much wailing back and forth about my supposed character flaws.

    Fine. I went ahead, made my point on my blog and let it rest.

    Recently, true to Asa’s contemptuous outlook on Black folk, he smeared in the most cowardly and despicable fashion Bronze Trinity, a young idealistic sister who had done nothing but work hard day in and day out to set up, provide for, and expand the AfroSpear as a forum of action and discussion. Who was a bit consternated that she received no support and participation from four of you.

    She too was tagged with a character deficiency by Asa.

    You, Free Slave did not come to her defense. Instead, you congratulated your fellow Afrospear avatar for his despicable attack on the sister and, in fact, wrote “amen”. As a reward, Asa called you a (his?) Big Teddy Bear.

    Now I’ve been around a long, long time. Having my integrity questioned by opportunists is an experience I had to deal with more than thirty years ago. It comes with the territory.

    However, Bronze is an idealistic young warrior. She did tremendous work and did not deserve this dirt.

    Asa’s arrogant dismissal of her, as sugar sweet and “civil” as it was coated, and your sycophancy deeply wounded this young sister-warrior and almost drove her away from the cause of the advancement of our people.

    There are no two ways about this, Slave. There is no way, forgive me Exodus, to be civil about this:

    You. You Asa, and you MaxJulien, the “Free” Slave.

    You are arrogant, cowardly, and despicable racists in “black liberator” costumes.

    You MaxJulien, in particular, you are no Free man.

    You are the Tonto to Asa’s Lone Ranger, the Sancho to Asa’s Don Quixote. Asa’s Big Teddy Bear.

    You may get angry, you may get mad, but it is just a fact.

    You are a hypocrite.

    Lastly, I do not hide behind an avatar, nor does Bro. Exodus, nor does Bro. Malik, nor does Bro. Makheru.

    You guys do.

    That makes both of you, in my book, cowardly hypocrites.

    Now I hope you can find your way back to decency.

  7. And if I’m all of that, Michael, what are you?

  8. Slave.

    Put your money where your mouth is:

    Apologize to the warrior-sister.

    On the same blog where you mocked her her.

    Then, only then, and only maybe, you will be free.

  9. Michael,

    You don’t impress me and I’m actually very bored with your routine. Take your shit elsewhere.

    Peace

  10. –I just don’t understand the constant and relentless attack that a certain commenter wants to employ. It is exhausting…

    thefreeslave said “For example, I am participating in a forum on the intersection of racism and homophobia in the black community. Well, who does black homophobia serve? Does it serve the black community? Or does it fracture us even more? First we were house and field, then octoroons, quadroons; good hair/bad, to the point of paperbag tests and comb tests. I mean, when you can degrade a people to the level that they will actually perpetrate this kind of insanity on each other…you’ve got an amazing system of control.”

    1) I believe that homophobia within the black community is not only used to enforce the fallacy that is hyper-masculinity but to divide and conquer. It gives the idea that there is only one group of “cool” that black men can belong to — why does sexual orientation make or break a black man?

    2) You define it as a system of control — I agree with that, it is a “2007 slaveocracy” where we are not only controlled but acting out exactly what has been shoved down our throats. It is deeply saddening but many black people do NOT want this to change. Freeslave, today I was having a laugh with a friend, walking through Les Halles station on my way home when a drunken man came up to me. He was black and said “Vous avez les cheveux bizarres”(You have strange hair — excuse my spelling). My hair was in an afro puff. I was DEEPLY offended but then I remembered that I got a compliment about my hair today — a guy told me it looked like flowers. I then saw that there will always be the black people who want to cut each other down and the others who don’t.Thankfully, I won’t let the robots use their programming on me.

  11. Aulelia said: “I then saw that there will always be the black people who want to cut each other down and the others who don’t.”

    I’m so naive, I guess. I have seen people overcome addictions that made them predatory beasts. But racism, in its various colors, is an addiction that most will never transcend. Some of the shit I’ve seen lately reminds me of addicts in the grip of the disease, who can’t see their behaviour for the life of them. And they’re smart!

    But, that’s how it works: the worst addicts, are usually the most cerebral, disconnected from their emotions, their souls. They are the ones who live in their heads, by their wits – and destroy every piece of furniture in the room.

    More and more I’m seeing the utility of working with a smaller crew as a great blessing, people who are mature, emotionally balanced. I appreciate the hell out of you and Sylvia and Asa and Field and Kizzie.

    Let’s keep it going!

  12. After reading Micheal’s comments/attack I feel mind fucked! To much drama & not worth it in my opinion. There are more pressing things to debate about.

    Moving along; speaking of homophobia, what do you think about this No-Homo shit?

    Bygbaby

  13. B-Y-G!

    It ridiculous, the little I’ve seen. You know, Huey Newton did this speech on homosexuality and feminism as they related to the Panthers. He said something to the affect that gays might be the most revolutionary among us. You never know. Its just the divide and conquer that we’ve swallowed and too dumb to see it.

    Op cit.

  14. I have been doing a lot of lurking but always there!

  15. Free: Brotha, y’all are getting off track. Put the choo choo back on the rails. Pretty please…

    While the comments between you and MF are almost as interesting as they are disgusting, the time you guys take to flame each other is wasted. Why not take that time to disassemble something that’s worth being attacked. I bid you, my brotha, to please back down. It just ain’t worth it.

    There are a few blogs that I spin through every evening to see what’s happening in the Afrosphere. Skeptical Brotha, Field Negro, Afrospear Think Tank, Faithin Action On Line, Free Slave, and The Thinking Black Man

    I hit these sites, mainly because I love the public discourse. I love the thoughtful exchange that flows from those blogs.

    But as of late, I’ve been turned completely off when I hit up a blog, only to see bickering and slap downs. I hit up the Afrospear and what did I see there? Hmmm…. I don’t quite know what was going on there. Well, that’s not true. I do know what was going on there. I’ll save it for an off line (personal e-mail) conversation if you choose to have one with me.

    I hit up BronzeTrinity’s site… And what did I see there? Her hurt feelings all over my computer screen. Although I think she needs to not take all of this so seriously, my heart went out to her. I know what it’s like to be young, motivated, and on fire for a mission. (I’m still young. But I’m somewhat of a skeptic. Maybe that’s why I pretty much live at Skep’s site.)

    Do I think you owe Bronze and apology. At this point, I don’t think so. But if it will help you guys mend fences, I think we have got to do something to move along. The sister deserves to feel like she is wanted and love by her own. Whether you work with her or not, let’s love each other. (Trust me, I’m not trying to get you to work with Bronze. If I was, I would be a hipocrit. Because I ain’t trying to join nothing right now. Too busy.)

    I hit up Field’s site tonight. And he was going off about crabs in a barrel. Who was he talking about? The word fight that’s going on over here, and other blog squabbles that’s popping up on the net.

    And then I get here, only to find a verbal bitch slap fest going down. Thanks for the ringside seats. But no thanks… I hate to see two grown a** men fighting.

    For the record, I think I agree with you on most things. However, I can’t get with you taking time to box this brotha on your blog. Of course, this is your spot, and I probably don’t have a right to tell you how to decorate it. But I still feel like I got to speak up. Excuse me for pointing out the stain on your carpet. I dare not suggest you cover the spot up. Just clean it up…

    I’m sorry for the long post.

    Brotha, I wish you the best. Max/Free, you are one of the most intelligent brothas I’ve had any type of contact with, in person or vertually via the internet. Don’t allow your intelligence to be misused by engaging in oral wars about basic bullsh*t. It’s not worth it. It all seems just ridiculous.

    Written with love and peace on my mind…

    Angie

  16. Angie,

    I appreciate your words. Actually, they made my evening.

    You’re quite correct that this whole engagement with Michael Fisher has been a waste of time, ridiculous, absurd. I got caught up and couldn’t help myself. Okay, it started to feel good to me, honestly.

    Thanks for taking the time and being honest.

  17. I got you brotha… I know how it feels to get drawn into something that feels so good that it’s hard to hold back. I’ve wanted to blog slap a couple of folks right off their damn computers a couple of times. But I held back, just because it wasn’t worth it. So, I cleverly put together responses that get em’, and still hold true to my values. And their are certain trolls that I have to do everything it takes not to respond back to them. Flaming is fun… But at the end of the day it doesn’t produce fruit. And since I know you are about producing fruit, then these conversations with so and so are a waste of time.

    Brotha, you have a nice night. Catch you later.

    Angie

  18. Angie, I luv you, gurl. Thanks for helping me break away from the joy of flaming. I need a twelve step program for this.

  19. […] poignant commentary from AfroSpear blogger Free Slave… By Free Slave There’s a lot of talk about action around […]

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