Ideological Conflicts Within the “Conscious Community”



I am convinced that some of our greatest internal barriers to progress come from misguided ideologies promoted by some members of what we’ve come to know as the “Conscious community.” People that are politically or socially conscious are presumed to be in touch with the problems, resources, history and needs of the Black community. Such people and groups also develop ideologies which they believe effectively address and solve the problems we face. But ideologies are not perfect, and some  are actually overly simplified, impractical, disconnected from the political or economic realities we face, or largely ineffective.

This article will address ultra-conservative and fundamentalist folk whose ideologies need to seriously be re-examined in light of what I just expressed. People, like organizations and ideologies are work in progress. Therefore we should expect our opinions, solutions and analysis to be imperfect, and we should constantly work to rework and refine them based on the sociopolitical context in which we live.

Ultra-conservative Black Nationalists for example, naively believe that simply amassing material wealth, businesses and land (Black capitalism) will end our oppression or go unchallenged by the white corporate powers that be. It’s as if such people don’t know that Black people have established all-Black, economically vigorous communities in America before ( Greenwood Oklahoma, also known as “The Black Wall Street,”  for example) that were ultimately destroyed by jealous and racist whites.

The conservatives also fail to hold systemic forces of oppression accountable because they’re too busy blaming Black people for every ounce of their suffering and dysfunction. Advocates of these ideas subtly hate and resent the very people they claim to represent and often take positions and support policies very similar to those of our enemies, rendering them useless to us. This group will turn us into a nation of middle class apologists for oppression who accommodate to oppressive forces rather than challenging them.

The second group I will call “fundamentalist nationalists.” Such advocates have almost no gender or class analysis. The only issue they identify is race. This group has a tendency to become violent with those people who disagree, they fail to understand forms of struggle that don’t involve armed revolt, and they often adopt an oversimplified “with us or against us” type of reasoning. This group’s ideas isolates radical non-Black potential allies, fails to address the complexity of our problems, and will lead to our slaughter.


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