Perspectives

Will Trayvon Martin case spur the rise of the 'less threatening' Black man?

By Tingba Muhammad -Guest Columnist- | Last updated: Apr 20, 2012 - 11:19:04 AM

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Frightened Negroes Speak Up for the Slaves

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Some big-time corporate journalists have seized upon the Trayvon Martin lynching to urge Black people to “stand up to injustice” in a rather strange way.

In his first report on the story ABC News’ Pierre Thomas surveyed frightened Black mothers of teenaged boys who were counseling their perfectly law-abiding sons to be less threatening around White people, especially White females.

Geraldo Rivera, who gives angry fashion advice for Fox & Friends, tells us that the warm and comfortable hooded sweatshirt—a style that can be traced back to the monks of Medieval Europe, Rocky Balboa, and the runway collections of Tommy Hilfiger, Giorgio Armani, and Ralph Lauren—must no longer be worn by Blacks. It is OK for Whites or near-Whites, apparently. Rivera and Bill O’Reilly were photographed together wearing hoodies at a Yankees game.

Associated Press (AP) reporter Jesse Washington counsels that we should tell our sons about what he calls the “Black Male Code.” He advises: “[A]s a black male, you must go above and beyond to show strangers what type of person you really are. ... Depending on how we dress, act and speak, people might make negative assumptions about us.”

But, strangely, there is no concurrent advice that White people must stop lynching Black people. Instead of exposing the dark forces that created a George Zimmerman and the massively armed and racially aggressive militia groups or the persistent disparities in arrest, incarceration, and sentencing rates, these commentators suggest that the lesson of the Trayvon tragedy is that we should become even more submissive and servile. In this thoroughly American-bred logic, we, the longtime victims of sociopathic White cruelty, must alter OUR Black behavior so that we don’t offend White sensibilities.

Why don’t these 21st-century Obama-era post-racial race-relations advisors go all the way with it and invite us back to the good ol’ days of slavery and Jim Crow, when Blacks had to comply with a bizarre behavioral regimen called “racial etiquette”? The AP’s Jesse Washington might be reminded of the 17-year-old farmhand from Waco, Texas, also named Jesse Washington, who was the same age as Trayvon when he was burned at the stake in 1916. The postcard of his charred remains and the cannibals who crowded in around him—that is correct, they made his horrifying demise into a postcard—ought to be put on the flag of the United States. None of them were wearing their White pointed hoodies—for they feared no reprisals from law enforcement; indeed, they were law enforcement.

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ABC News: "Moms Afraid for Black Teens"
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It was this kind of merciless White Wickedness that made older slaves instill in their children a knowledge of “a nigger’s place.” In due time the “racial etiquette” became customary and a damnable part of the Black psyche. The 2002 book American Directory of Certified Uncle Toms collected these unwritten rules, which were based on such written laws as those found in the Black Code of Louisiana, which legislated that “[Blacks] ought never to presume to conceive themselves equal to the white; but, on the contrary, they ought to yield to them in every occasion, and never speak or answer to them, except with respect.” So, young Black brothers, here are the post-Zimmerman racial guidelines that Pierre, Jesse, and Geraldo would have us follow. They are just like those of our torturous plantation years:

The good nigger did not initiate a conversation, or enter into one, unless first addressed by a White man. Once the conversation started, the Black male must remove his hat, or touch it, as though he might remove it, at the end of every sentence. If he has no hat, he must pull at his hair just above the forehead, keeping his eyes on the ground at all times. He must utter “suh” or “ma’am” at least once in every complete sentence. (The use of “suh” as opposed to “sir” is an important distinction, as “sir” was thought to be too “educated” a response and thus disrespectful of Whites).

The good nigger never contradicts a White person for any reason.

Silence reduces the risk of appearing intelligent or freethinking. Said one Mississippian: “[T]o be known as a smart nigger would have been unbearable.”

Eating, drinking, talking in the parlor of a White home is all forbidden.

Never sit down in the presence of master or mistress.

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If Blacks must approach a White home—as when necessary to perform manual labor—it shall only be by the back or side door.

Blacks are to yield the right of way to Whites when driving or walking.

In retail environments Blacks must wait in line until all Whites are served.

And of course the newest one:

Never, ever, ever wear a hoodie, eat rainbow-colored candies, or drink ice tea in the presence of White people.

In summary, if Blacks wish to get along with White America, they are to show absolute acquiescence by inflection and gesture, and must appear to be willingly and cheerfully humble—not just polite, but actively obliging and submissive. Got it?

And Blacks who are faithful and dedicated to those principles are monumentally rewarded, as when Whites in 1927 Natchitoches, Louisiana, erected the only statue of a Black person in American history up until that time—the “GOOD DARKY” statue, appropriately placed in the rear of Front Street. Its inscription would warm the hearts of today’s advisors of negroes: “Dedicated to the arduous and faithful services of the good darkies of Louisiana.”

This might be the route to a subpar freedom permitted for the relic negroes, but the Black man who accurately charts Black progress by its historical markers can easily see we are fast sliding backwards. We have but one option today—one that was offered to us by The Most Honorable Elijah Muhammad since 1930—complete and utter separation from the White man and his strange and bizarre ways of “justice” and his humiliating requirements for citizenship.

Minister Farrakhan, who is genetically unable to tolerate subservience—except to Almighty God Allah—has keen advice for those touched and hurt by the Trayvon Tragedy: “Think. Reflect. Then get up and do something for self or suffer the consequences…No one respects a beggar. The time has now arrived where you must beg no man. You must get up and do it for yourself. We have to own land. You cannot become a producer of what you need to extend your life without land. As long as we are consumers and employees, our future is in the hand of somebody else. Prepare your children not to be beggars of jobs.”

Do we want the world we are being counseled to accept, where we have to ask White permission to drive while Black, walk while Black, and breathe while Black? Or do we want a world where hoodies and business suits and bowties, dreadlocks and baldheads, Easter hats and hajibs can peacefully, non-threateningly co-exist?! We either become masters of our own Black destiny—just the way EVERY OTHER ETHNIC GROUP HAS DONE—or we can pose for the next postcard or newest Good Darky statue. Which way do you think Bro. Trayvon would choose today?

(Tingba Muhammad is a citizen of the Nation of Islam.)

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