How Magic Words Evade Discomfort but Tear America Apart.
A very effective tool for hiding truths is the “Evasion Label,” a tool that immediately ends constructive dialogue and puts the person seeking understanding on the defensive. Words like “racist,” “Anti-Semite” and “sexist” pit societal norms against curiosity and inquisitiveness. Being that society is more conforming than inquisitive, social norms almost always win; in our society, rather than explore the subject being evaded, we conform to the notion that the person bringing it up is simply and inexplicably “bad.” There are countless Evasion Labels and all of them are debilitative. Calling someone “anti-capitalist,” for instance, has lead to Capitalism’s stagnation because it limits exploration into this system’s faults. Capitalism has proven not to be the be-all-end-all solution to value exchanges amongst humans yet those benefitting from capitalism’s status quo can preserve that status quo and avoid discussing its shortcomings by using the word, “communist” or “socialist.” From the point these words are declared, anyone attempting to levy criticism against the West’s latest and greatest economic social system is seen as justifying other acknowledged, less successful economic and social models. Since recognizing faults is the first step to improvement, capitalism and the success it could possibly add to the Western social model, is stagnant at best.
Being a black man, I can say that I personally benefitted from Evasion Labels when I was younger and less knowledgeable about matters of race. As a kid I felt I was a lesser being because I was black. School taught me that Greece was the World’s first civilization and not the African and Phoenician civilizations that predated it. Furthermore, in advancing this mistruth, school inoculated me against even imagining that Africa and Phoenicia gave Greece the tools necessary to make Europeans the last human branch to advance into humanity’s elite club called “civilization.” I was taught Pythagorean’s Theorem but not that Pythagoras and his mentor, Thales, studied in Africa . I gained that I was closer related to a monkey than a white person, instead of learning that I have every white genetic feature in my DNA and that I can make a white person but white people do not have the genetic material to make me. This may seem like “Black supremacy,” an evasion label itself, but viewing that last statement as black superiority is the result of America placing racism on a scale then calibrating it to zero. My point is that learning the fallacy that Europeans created the first civilization and that I was closely related to a monkey made me feel black racial inferiority was real and that any discussion about race and, let’s say, crime, would place emphasis on my own genetic shortcomings. To avoid discussions, I used the Evasion Label, “racist,” which brought any discussion about race to an immediate halt. This was in the 80s and 90s when even less knowledge about race was available and it was more fashionable to be outwardly racist than today. That still didn’t stop anyone on the receiving end of this evasive insult from going on the defensive; anything they had to say after seemed like justification for racism. Today I invite the discussion because there is much more information available and still much more to be learned. Books like The New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander demonstrate for instance, how despite America’s different race groups using drugs at similar rates, law enforcement chose primarily to fight its “War on Drugs” against black people, thereby disproportionately adding to black crime statistics. When you combine the fact a failing capitalism left a dearth of low-end jobs, with the Government’s blind eye to a CIA complicit drug economy filling the vacuum, it becomes perfectly clear how black crime statistics ballooned beginning in the late 1970s. The “Evasion label” helped me avoid critical conversations but delayed my enlightenment.
About a year ago DeSean Jackson, a football player, posted a quote falsely attributed to Adolf Hitler claiming that the Ancient Hebrews were black and that Jews were keeping this fact a secret to extort America’s power base. This post sparked a swift reaction from the Jewish community, calling him the evasion label, “Anti-Semite.” The conversation ended with him being schooled by a Rabi, business leaders, a Holocaust survivor and him promising a visit to a concentration camp. From the reports, I can’t tell which part Jews felt was anti-Semitic. Was calling them “black” anti-Semitic or was calling them “black-malers” the issue? No one ever clarified but DeSean Jackson’s post could have been a teachable moment for America to iron out some underlying issues between Blacks and Jews. For instance, black people (generally speaking, of course) do feel the Jews were black and we have a whole religious movement called the Hebrew Israelites we’d be turning our backs on if we declare otherwise. It is not unreasonable for black people to think Askenazi Jews who were imposed on the region (regardless of how truly entitled to live there they were) by the West in 1948 are alien to Israel; their name, Askenazi literally means the German region of Europe. The white Jesus image (Caesar Borgia) black people were forced to worship during slavery and still worship today would have definitely been alien to Israel too and we have only recently began to reject it so notions of Ashkenazi Jews being alien to Israel and the ancient Hebrews being black dovetails with today’s black Christian religious maxim. Perhaps if we had the discussion instead of leveraging Western racism against Jackson to compel silence, we could have heard the Jewish community’s case as to why they belong there; the black Hebrew Israelites could have rebutted and blacks and Jews would have a better understanding of each other. The media reports all but say Jackson heard it from Louis Farrakhan; they saw this mistake as a means to drive a wedge between an adversary of theirs and DeSean Jackson. Very few went further than this to the false quote’s origin, a book by Dennine Barnett called “Jerusalem Urusalima.” This book claims to get the passage from Robert Edwin Herzstein’s 1980 book, “The Nazis” but I ordered the book and couldn’t find that statement anywhere. Not to mention the book is a Time Life publication and they would never let an author publish those words. Snopes even stopped searching once they verified the false citation and didn’t make available the true source of these words, despite the book they were written in being widely available. America at large seemed to be content with letting the blame of this fraudulent, Anti-Semitic quote land on the person whose defaming would serve them best. Using the Evasion Label, the Jewish community managed to publically accuse and punish a misled athlete for quoting Hitler (which he didn’t), score points against a religious adversary by making it seem he created the fraudulent quote, and they once again rallied America’s sympathy to their Zionist cause. Without delving too deeply into the topic, Blacks and Jews have worked both with and against each other in America’s past. Our groups work well together and I feel the mutual histories of oppression make us a good fit for one another. For instance, it is not well known but Jews were fundamental in Black Wallstreet. However, we black people don’t work stably under superficial circumstances and it is in our culture to flesh out differences so we don’t make the mistake of building upon faulty foundations. We have questions about our Jews, the Hebrew Israelites, and the white people claiming to be descendants of Israel. DeSean Jackson’s comment was more of a request for information than hatred of Jews; he doesn’t appear to know enough about the subject to have the authority to deem the ancient Hebrews black, white or anything else. Sadly the American social norm of questioning Ashkenazi Jews legitimacy being Anti-Semitic means DeSean Jackson’s situation and many like it have little constructive value to anyone other than Ashkenazi Jews and their fight for survival; we are cementing over a faulty foundation. Bullying him into not expressing that he believes the original Hebrews were black is not the same as proving they weren’t. The way America at large dealt with DeSean Jackson’s misguided statement maintains the divide between Blacks and Jews at a time we really should be uniting.
Evasion Labels are pushing America’s unity further into superficiality. Russia isn’t spending so much time and money hiring trolls to make racially antagonistic comments on social media for nothing; they see a real vulnerability. Fear and a true majority kept America unified in the past because minorities were oppressed into political and social irrelevance. But today, minorities are gaining more and more power so what minorities are saying today matters more and must be addressed; the sheer impact of the #metoo and Black Lives Matter movements should be a sign that things are changing. White-male America needs to adjust or else their tantrums will tear this place apart, leaving room for China or Russia to fill the vacuum. Evasion labels are killing much overdue conversations for the sake of the dominant class’ comfort and self esteem. This superficial comfort will dissipate one way or another and I would like for white males’ concerns to be considered as America moves into its next phase. Otherwise, any gains in social standings will be uneasy at best; those who concede status will constantly attack the new status quo. Let’s stop using Evasion Labels and talk frankly about our differences so America can unify around our much more abundant similarities and take cohesive steps against our adversaries.