Black entertainers have sadly and in reactionary fashion, adopted materialistic values, standards and priorities. They have become the new corporate mega-poster boys & girls of capitalism. A brief scan of news media will uncover tons of commercials, press conferences and endorsements featuring the melanated faces/bodies of celebrated Black athletes, entertainers, actors, etc. They preach the “gospel” of credit, investing, buying private property, etc. They participate in conspicuous consumption by purchasing luxury (European) vehicles, extravagant homes, couture fashion,dream vacations, private planes and private education for their children. To receive tax breaks, create positive public perception of themselves, or satisfy social activist interests, they break off relative crums of their wealth to the community using corporate foundations and other philanthropic vehicles.
These individuals believe their material wealth is proof that THEY are free-and what’s more EXAMPLES- of what “playing the game” can do for us if we worked, saved, invested and created tax shelters properly. Many of us, (including would-be revolutionaries, radicals, spiritual leaders and “progressives”) are seduced by this gospel of prosperity and spend money we don’t have, trying to “keep up with the Blackfaces of capitalism.” Because we have little or no understanding of imperialism and global capital: -we don’t realize how our consumption often helps to consolidate oppressive forces.
-we don’t appreciate how firmly entrenced the empire is in every area of activity. Thus we think that simply boycotting corporate structures unplugging or starting businesses are sufficient tactics.
-we see our issues as domestic and local rather than GLOBAL
-we fail to mount strong movements challenging global and domestic policies and practices that oppress us wherever we exist in the world.
-we forfeit opportunities to support and receive support from other oppressed people outside the United States.
-we develop strategies and tactics that reinforce indidual.private rather than communal development.
The problem with the Black Celebrity class of course is that they mistakenly believe they’ve conqured the establishment when actually they’ve been absorbed by it. They bank, invest and receive legal consultation and PR from white corporate agencies and their agents. Their lucrative endorsement deals siphon billions of Black dollars and minds to American imperial interests. Their presence is used by the empire to persuade us to forget about challenging systemic oppression, continue to feed and fuel the empire, and to “exercise our individual freedom” at the expense of maintaining our collective national and global domination. They are used to tell us that our problems are not systmic in nature; The problem-according to them- is that we aren’t using the LAW of ATTRACTION, dressing or speaking properly, or investing in the right assortment of mutual funds. They and some of us fail to realize the flexibility of capitalism. The establishment will stategically allow some minor degree of”inclusion” to increase its own wealth and power exponentially. Secondly, all reliable indicators demonstrate that while Black people in the Unied States-the wealtiest country of Diasporan people-have made relative strides in education, elected office, financial assets, and home ownership since 1968, the absolute outcome is this: WE ARE STILL AMONG THE MOST POOR, SICK, POLITICALLY IMPOTENT, INCARCERATED, BRUTALIZED AND PREMATURELY DYING PEOPLE IN THIS COUNTRY! The AMERICAN EMPIRE still works magnificently in its own interests and against ours in every major area of human activity (see for yourself).
The conclusion is clear, MATERIAL WEALTH IN THE CONTEXT OF THE AMERICAN EMPIRE IS NOT SUFFIENT TO MAKE US WHOLE HEALED OR LIBERATED PEOPLE. If we don’t develop a class analysis or understand how EMPIRES work, WE are participating in the slow genocide of our people. RACE analysis is neccessary but inadequate on its own. Take a basic course on Socialism and add it to your repetoire. Not classic European socialism either, but the REVOLUTIONARY Afrikan strand of Amilcar Cabral , Walter Rodney, George Jackson, Thomas Sankara, and Maurice Bishop. “If we fail to properly diagnose the ailment, our prescription as a matter of fact, WILL NOT WORK and might even make our problems worse.