H. Rap Brown / Capitalist Cultural Nationalists Will Turn Blackness Into Nothing But a Cult



[BUMPED = 'Cause ElectricLadyLike said: "And I feel Imam Amin because it can't be without politics, because then the danger becomes: 'Well, I'm a Queen so I can have whatever I want 'by any means' and um... if I make it then that's a testament... when I make it, and I HOPE my people do too.' But when we talk about Nation-Building, knowing myself ain't enough. Its cute though. Finding that balance is painstaking but crucial... I'm literally on a personal quest to get to that point. Its hard though."

This, for me, expands on the conversation of Afrocentricity as fallacy.

The Polytrix Rap
[transcript begins here, listen to audio for complete speech] The whole movement is in danger of being co-opted by politicians of the white power structure [notice he doesn't say White Politicians]. They recognize that if they can get black people thinking culturally, they don't have to worry about them moving politically. If it can become sufficient to be "black and proud" then you don't have to worry about the oppression that whips black people. To be black will become ego-gratifying. In other words black people will form a cult, and they will be nothing else but black and proud and they will boogaloo to the concentration camps when the man chooses to send them there. So we have to begin to interpret about politics in this country, and which politics are relevant to black people and what type of politics are relevant to black people. Now we find that the cultural movement tries to operate in a framework outside of the political movement. In other words, they seem themselves as an entity in themselves. They say the teatre is important and writing is important, poetry is important to black people cause we must know ourselves. I say black people have known all along that they were black. And in terms of what will make black people fight for survival, it will not be their identity. It will be oppression. When the repressive laws are put on the book and black people can no longer move freely -- as free as they do now -- in this society, then this will make black people fight. This will make the oppressed people in this country fight. Repression. Not the type of identity that people chose to believe will lead black people to freedom. The logical extension of cultural nationalism as it is practiced today is black capitalism. In other words, black people are becoming capitalists. Black people find it profitable to talk about cultural nationalism. They find it profitable to set up dashiki shops and to become capitalists. They find it profitable to run the white man up out of their communities because then they can come in and begin the same type of exploitation, which is dangerous. I want to talk about cultural nationalism as opposed to political nationalism. The black movement has to begin to address itself to political nationalism. First of all what we find with cultural nationalism, structure sees in cultural nationalism a type of ready-made convenience. In other words he can afford to support and endorse cultural nationalism. For example, in New Jersey, white people got together -- this is in Atlantic City, New Jersey -- white people got together and donated $8,000 to some black people to open a bookstore and a dashiki shop. Cause if they get black people to think in the lines of cultural nationalism, they don't have to worry about black people moving politically. In other words, if you can create a black capitalist then you don't have to worry about your system being jeopardized. And on the other hand, when people begin to move politically, they understand it is a system that we are fighting against and that system is capitalism itself. And that political things must be done. It's true and it was necessary that black people evolved to a position where they recognized that they in themselves were worthy of freedom, which is granted to every man. In other words, you were born free and you have to exercise that right to be free. Black people were deprived of the very -- should we say the very -- thought, and think they should be granted free. So therefore, in terms of the limited type of liberation that came along with cultural nationalism in the sense of black awareness has served it's purpose. The logical extension of cultural nationalism as it is practiced and advocated today is a cult, which does not address itself to the survival of black people because we live off the timetable of the oppressor. In other words, when the man decides to move down on black people, whether we know it or not -- when his timetable says this is the day to move against black people, then he will move against black people, whether we are black or not. If all of our energies were directed into the cultural phase of struggle, it could happen on the very day that every black person in this country grew a natural and decided that he was black. What's gonna prevent the man from coming into your house and taking you? What you gonna do whip him offa you with a dashiki? You have to prepare yourself physically. And that is political. Culture without politics breeds economic and political liberalism, not revolution. In other words, your quest is to become liberal in this country if you talk about culture without politics. As a matter of fact, culture has to be defined by politics... [transcript ends here, listen to audio for complete speech] We're a human development centered cooperative, producing in part through the generous and faithful contributions of our North Star members. Choose your membership: Annual ($36), Monthly ($3), ($5), ($10), ($15), ($30), ($70), ($200), ($500), ($1000).