I learned a lot about myself when writing To Pimp a Nation. The thought of exposing my views to others shaped and refined many of those very views. Cultivating my beliefs for public scrutiny wrangled in a lot of incomplete notions in my mind I felt strongly about; it put them in check. I realized how deeply committed I was to many incomplete, poorly understood opinions. Since I’ve always been introspective and analytical, I can often pinpoint exactly where I learned certain opinions and understand the personal mechanics that held those spurious views in place. For instance, my Mother taught me as a kid that the LAPD openly advertised for Ku Klux Klan members to join the police force. This belief remained an unchecked truth in my mind until I added this point to a rough, rough draft of what eventually became To Pimp a Nation. After searching microfilm after microfilm of newspapers from the 1960s and 1970s, I couldn’t find any LAPD advertisements supporting my Mother’s story. Although LAPD’s harassment towards me made my Mother’s story believable, I had to remove this idea from my book and change my long-held views. Her views may have come from LAPD’s Police Chief, Louis D. Oaks’ outing as a high profile KKK member when in 1922 Federal authorities found his membership card, along with many LA government officials, at the KKK’s Los Angeles headquarters. Still, this doesn’t amount to open recruitment so I had to dismiss this long-held belief. There were many other ideas I had to delete, modify or learn further while writing my book. Writing To Pimp a Nation to me was more than authoring a book; I was mentally aligning my understandings with reality. Absent me externalizing my views I would still think that Europeans “evil nature” caused them to “immediately use gunpowder for weapons while the Chinese used it initially for spiritual reasons.” My research revealed that the Chinese put gunpowder into bamboo chutes with projectiles to fire at enemies long before introducing it to Europeans; they likely revealed its usage for weaponry when introducing it to the Europeans.
I’m constantly picking fights with those I don’t agree with, not because I like fighting, but rather, because debating keeps my views in check. Heated opposition yields the finest objectivity and people vehemently opposed to your views will use every bit of the knowledge in their belt to prove you wrong. If you listen and respect their views as genuinely theirs, you can find the fault in your own opinions, thereby refining them; it also prepares your for further debates. I’ve lost far more debates than I have won. Each one sent me back to the chopping block to refine and sometimes discard deeply held views. Here’s one: Napoleon Bonaparte did not have his soldiers shoot the nose off of the Sphinx in Egypt. A 1755 painting by Frederic Louis Norden, a Danish Naval Captain shows the Sphinx missing its nose long before Napoleon was born. Many black people, such as myself in the past, believe Napoleon Bonaparte had his soldiers shoot the Sphinx’s nose off to hide its African characteristics. I argued this point in debates for a long time until a White
Male Supremacist was nice enough to prove me wrong. Very few white people have the knowledge to refute this point and when I see black and white people debate this subject, most walk away thinking they were the right ones. I consider refining my views through debate far more effective at capturing reality than what average American or even media spokespeople do; most exploit the fact of detail and never humble themselves to reality.
Blogging engenders a humility and candor in me I can’t achieve through the most extensive of studies. I recognize that there’s no such thing as indifferent ideas. No one can say or write words absent of character and intent. Humans are hard-wired to achieve agendas and no action taken by a human being, including producing ideas and concepts, occurs without intent. When I put words to paper, it’s not necessarily my declaration of truth, rather it’s me putting my ideas in check through the threat of criticism by those who oppose me. By externalizing my opinions and subjecting them to possible criticism I begin to see my views through others’ eyes. Sometimes pasting a near-finished blog post into a “new post” window causes me to realize certain ideas I’ve written are not ready for prime-time. I’m willing to change, refine or even do away with any opinion I write, given a superior counter-logic or catastrophic flaw in reasoning.
Most Americans have poorly Constructed Viewpoints
Via online debate, I’ve learned that the vast majority of Americans hold poorly-constructed and incomplete viewpoints instilled by postured authorities. As explained in To Pimp a Nation, our educational system prepares us to learn in unchecked packaged format, for instance, we learn Pythagoreans Theorem but learn nothing about Pythagoras, that he studied in Africa or why he perfected this idea. Learning to accept devised and packaged knowledge instead of fully grasping subject matter is why vague notions resonate so well with Americans; nebulous understanding is also the main cause of political tension amongst Americans. Our social norm of never discussing politics is not the result of knowledgeable people who disagree, rather this pernicious social norm, where Americans avoid hashing out differences in favor of superficial cordiality, is because Americans subconsciously realize they don’t truly understand their own opinions. As discussed in To Pimp a Nation, influential people prepackage
and hand Americans cleverly titled viewpoints that encompass an emotion attached to a real issue. Since the prepackaged viewpoint is just a title with a few talking points that exploit a current issue, small, devised phrases appear to average Americans as real solutions. With the larger-than-life personas the politicians, media personalities and so-called “experts” giving these sugar pills out create around themselves, Americans encountering these powerful phrases don’t explore them beyond the few talking points offered by the giver. The receivers even use them in their own political discussions and debates. They enter debates with strong titles such as, “Operation Warp Speed,” “Trump did more for Black Americans than any other president” and “voter integrity.” Then they back them up with points like “ “Trump got emergency authorization for the vaccines” and “black unemployment hit record lows” and “immigrants are committing voter fraud,” respectively. If you ask why, “Operation Warp Speed” promised 20 million vaccinated Americans by the end of 2020 yet couldn’t even deliver 3 million, or why Black unemployment’s downward trajectory began long before Trump took office, or why the modicum of voter fraud ever discovered is overwhelmingly Republican, a combination of emotional factors cause them to become argumentative: 1. They subconsciously realize they don’t know much beyond their talking points, 2. They’re convinced they’re right yet sense that they’re view doesn’t align with the actual facts and know the more they let their opponent speak, the more they’ll realize their own ignorance, and, 3. They know allowing their opponent to make their point may reveal flaws in their overall outlook, understanding of politics and sense of righteousness. So, having an empty argument arsenal, they get defensive, sabotaging the conversation by turning it into an argument. Both sides leave the debate having learned nothing yet thinking their view was “right.” Very seldom do Americans take political arguments head-on. Newscasters even shape conversational narratives by speaking over their subjects and steering conversations to their liking. This attitude towards subject matter has created what I call a “contemplatory deficit;” a shortfall of necessary American collective thought going into how our leaders run our country; there is not enough empowered thought taking place in America because we’re leaving the thinking to the so-called “experts.” Those experts are simply exploiting their expertise by feeding Americans the views most advantageous to those experts. Sean Hannity, for instance guides his listeners’ thoughts by adding tons of adjectives to those he wishes to disparage. “Creepy, sleepy Joe Biden,” the “Dirty Dossier,” “Circle Back Psaki,” “Quid Pro Joe,” etc. Donald Trump did it as well, “Little Marco,” “Lying Ted.” They treat their followers like children, stacking people’s identities with instructions on how they are to regard them, usually based on a previous controversy. Controlling thought like this is classic pimping.
I write these blogs to check my unapologetic blackness. My aim is to bring unapologetic black thought to the mainstream. We should not be controlled in what we think or say and since we have the least vested in the status quo, we are the most likely to accurately describe where America is in this Democratic experiment. Saying what I’m saying can be consequential, for America coddles white men’s sensitivities. This nation was designed and functions to prioritize them over everyone else so disrupting this scheme will cause backlash not only from white males, but those non-white, non-male Americans who have achieved comfort and relative safety within White Male Supremacy; these tend to be the people whose opinions media prioritize over those speaking unapologetically.
While America is supposed to be a place of free speech, it enforces social norms where non-white, non-male Americans are restricted and therefore cannot express themselves or even act with confidence. For instance no one recognizes the irony that black people are shunned from bringing up racism even when racism is a factor yet at the slightest sense of unfairness towards whites, white people take no issue with calling out racism and no one shuns them. It seems that protection from racism is for whites only.
For America to retain what’s left of and reestablish its world prominence (not just military and economic) all of its citizens musts be able to act with confidence. This means no more shying away from discussions about race. White people should be able to say “black” without fear of offending anyone. Black people should be safe from bias and be confident enough to introduce new ideas that will advance America. Instead we are preoccupied with race and prioritizing certain views over others to create the appearance of a racially indifferent country. Race shouldn’t be so internally damaging yet other countries constantly work to stir up racial discontent in America for that exact reason; they know its America’s Achilles Heel. Media don’t seek the thoughts I express in this blog, rather they discount them as “ridiculous” and “racist.” My ideas are no more malicious than the deeds they express, meaning if someone voices a truth about you and you consider the act of them voicing it, “malicious,” the real issue is you and not someone’s truthful description. For America to work properly we have to do away with the superficial coddling so we can finally hash out the issue of race, nullify its power, unite as one American unit and throw off our competitors. My blogging can help America’s ruling class understand where its Achilles heel, black people, truly stand on a lot of issues.