Our Black News – Critical Thinking for the Advancement of Colored People
Thursday October 18th 2018

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Black folks have become inconsequential outside of their inner circles

By Don Allen, Publisher – Our Black News (Independent Business News NetworksTM)

Okay, I first have to apologize to my brothers and sisters from the East and West Coasts; especially the hard working blacks in the south. I have seen your greatness in many areas and I applaud your work ethic and ability to maintain sustainability. Let me explain, I live in Minnesota; a state with a little over 3 percent black population with some of the most severe segregation, gaps and non-equity post slavery. I know to navigate any system – you must be a problem solver and sometimes work outside of your comfort zone to bring new people in while maintaining cordial and diplomatic relationships trying not to marginalize those others on the outside looking in.

The “other” is one of the most important groups of people to collaborate both inside and out.

Would it be acceptable for a member of the NAACP or National Urban League to gloat about being a member of these organizations? My problem question begins when that individual, glorifying an organization steps out from under the masthead and delivers himself/herself to another type of public sphere. Do social cabals mean the same outside of the cabal as they do inside?

If one were to carry their stratification outside an inner circle, then it must mean they have successfully learned to navigate in multiple spheres simultaneously. Some black organizations (social cabals) have turned into a broad term to portray some aspects of the black-bourgeoisie American way of life, overall however, it is by a wide margin not that simple. The black-bourgeoisie American way consistently has been for the singular-person, or most focused on a single-type of person. This making of time stand still through drawing racial lines within black-stratification in the sand has been a part of black America’s routine since freedom began. However, history shows that over time and space the black body has been denied the basic elements of other dreams; and if to gain racial equity means to achieve an “American Dream,” then why are actions of racial politics and segregation in the black community, by black community members the norm in America?

One of the hardest conversations to have in the black community is about competence. To many of the right people are marginalized while blacks on the fringe do not bother to step in because they see a consequence that is unwarranted for the task at hand. The synthetic arrangements in the black community, some based on cabals, but most based on the white-male patriarchy and what Negro they feel comfortable with will always pick who they wish to deal with outside of a black inner circle.

Philosopher Franz Fanon contends, “I observed that I was an article amidst different articles. Fixed into that devastating object hood, I turned beseechingly to others. Their consideration was a liberation, running over my body all of a sudden rubbed into non-being, supplying me again with a nimbleness that I had thought lost, and by taking me out of the world, restoring me to it. Yet pretty much as I came to the next side, I staggered, and the developments, the demeanor, the looks of the other altered me there, in the sense in which a synthetic arrangement is settled by a color. I was rankled; I requested a clarification. Nothing happened. I blast separated. Presently the piece have been assembled again by another self” (Fanon 1).

Fanon is requesting clarity about where he fits in a society that has been racially constructed to marginalize black bodies to the point of racist assumptions. While I agree with my assessment of Fanon, I must move further into the relationships of blacks with blacks and why nothing seems to move forward outside of some inner circles.

Lets take the Minneapolis Urban League and its former president R. Scott Gray. He comes to Minneapolis by recommendation of the StairStep Foundations president Alfred Babington-Johnson (the first inner-circle). He is hired, not knowing the lay of the land; the Minneapolis Urban League is virtually ineffective – they get two Minnesota state senators to move on a bill for a 13th grade pilot program (second inner-circle) with no real foundation other than the money. Gray applies for the Bush Fellowship, receives it and resigns as president of the Minneapolis Urban League.

Of course nobody in the black community could question Gray or the MUL board chairman who did not have a conflict of interest statement signed for what OBN alleges were some questionable collaborations in profit. But the inner-circle, the all-powerful cabal of the MUL kept its secrets, to include not notifying the community on board meetings and election.

In retrospect, all these people are but dots on the end of a needle. Outside of their inner-circles, they represent what every other black body represents. It does not matter if it is suited and tied, dressed to the nines, or hanging out at the golf course. These are still black bodies inside an inner-circle that keep stratification close with nothing to show for it.

For a black person, especially in Minnesota, becoming inconsequential is something they do all by their selves. It doesn’t take much but to marginalize good black brothers and sisters and look important. But believe me when I say this; your time is done.

If you think burning the American Flag anywhere in Minnesota is tolerated…you’re wrong

By Don Allen, Publisher – Our Black News (formally IBNN News)

Where is #blaklivesmatter? I'll tell you; far away from black life. (Photo: Star Tribune story 5/17)

Where is #blaklivesmatter? I’ll tell you; far away from black life. (Photo: Star Tribune story 5/17)

Minneapolis, Minn…As a former active duty military solider, now scholar, it shocks me to see the limited amount of intellectual aptitude from those who wish to deface the United States flag.

If black issues matter, then local Twin Cities protest groups like #blacklivesmatter and others would realize there

are more than 300 homeless black veterans in Minnesota who faithfully, without hesitation defended the rights of freedom, liberty and justice. So go ahead, you can disgrace them (and yourselves) by burning the American flag with no consequences. This is telling about movements that only produced a 10-year-old child who was maced by Minneapolis police with the talking point: “Lucky I was only maced, not shot.”

A homeless veteran in downtown Minneapolis, “Gym-Shoe,” said, “Even though I’m homeless and not doing to good handling my PTSD and drinking, I wanted to rip the throats out of those punks burning my flag. I know America has not been kind to the brothers who served, but burning the flag is not the way to talk about racism, unemployment, homelessness and drug abuse among our people. These kids have never risked their life’s to do anything, getting into a club does not count.”

Organizing for positive outcomes is everything. It seems like protest groups in the Twin Cities want a “Mini-Baltimore,” where people are arrested, beaten and maybe killed by law enforcement that seek to go home to their families after work. The challenge is not black or white, but an issue of identifying a plan and working towards a change with the goal of seeking common ground.

I never heard once about #blacklivesmatter protesting for Minnesota veterans issues, which concerned me tremendously. There are issues inside the Minnesota Department of Veterans Affairs that should be addressed with a rally or a protest. If veterans in Minnesota, especially vets of color, cannot expect to see an agenda item from those concerned about issues of fairness, then any movement that says something matters…is a lie.

Why Does Obama Keep Trying to Play Daddy to Black America?

By Yvette Carnell, Originally posted on YourBlackNews.com

Do you ever notice that when President Obama speaks to black people, the tone seems to change? Some welcome the shift in conversation as a reflection of cozy familiarity. Others, however, feel that the president tends to shift his focus from policy to preaching, or from advocacy to finger wagging. What if the president were to speak to the gay community and tell them that they are the reason for their own discrimination? What if he told women’s groups that he can’t do anything for them and that they simply have to work harder to battle against sexism?

Yvette Carnell breaks it all down in this video.  You can also download the podcast as well.

View more stories like this here.

The Black image in the white mind : media and race in America

Chicago : University of Chicago Press, 2001.

Chicago : University of Chicago Press, 2001.

By Robert M. Entman and Andrew Rojecki

This highly recommended study traces the reciprocal relationship between white racial attitudes and the presentation of blacks in the mass media. The authors have worked hard to make their carefully nuanced presentation, based on a significant body of empirical data, clear and understandable. Nevertheless, it is not an easy read. Entman and Rojecki demonstrate that the central attitude of most whites is the denial of both existing racism and white privilege. The largely unconscious racism in commercials, films, magazines, newspapers, and television (both news and entertainment) is demonstrated beyond debate. A telling illustration is the examination of a multitude of white reviews of major feature films in which there is not a single mention of their racist subtexts. Shows such as Bill Cosby’s are two-edged swords making blacks visible while supporting white denial of racism. Many readers will use the cute term “politically correct” to disregard these findings and reinforce denial, but careful reading by practitioners may help them become aware of their largely unconscious racism. There is extensive annotation, charts, graphs, and tables as well as a Web cite for more extensive documentation. P. E. Kane; emeritus, SUNY College at Brockport


Minneapolis Urban League will not seek new contract for Urban League Academy, ending 40-year partnership with Minneapolis Public Schools

OBN Editors Note: If you did not see this coming, the evidence was clear as the nose on your face.

For Immediate Release – Contact: Steven Belton,  sbelton@mul.org – 612-302-3101

Minneapolis, MN – The Minneapolis Urban League (MUL) Board of Directors and Interim CEO announce today the MUL will not seek to renew for the 2015-2016 academic year its contract with Minneapolis Public Schools (MPS) for the Urban League Academy (ULA). The alternative high school will close on June 5, 2015 ending a 40-year partnership.

"...sans education." (Photo: Urban League logo- Fair Use)

“…sans education.” (Photo: Urban League logo- Fair Use)

“This is a sad day for the Urban League Academy and community,” said Steven Belton, Interim President and CEO. “Our students found caring and encouraging teachers and an environment of mutual support and high expectations there. The Minneapolis Urban League will continue to advocate for educational equity and develop strategies for new educational services.”

“We thank the Minneapolis Urban League for their years of service and partnership. We are committed to working closely with families to provide a smooth transition for students and to meet their academic needs for this upcoming school year,” said MPS interim Superintendent Michael Goar.

The ULA serves a population of at-risk students who face serious challenges and have struggled to achieve academic success in traditional school settings. Unfortunately, contract revenue for ULA students has not kept up with costs and MUL has absorbed operating losses from the school for each of the past several years. In April, the MUL board agreed to lease its school building, located in south Minneapolis, to a startup charter school, which will provide revenue to the MUL. A search for another school venue proved unsuccessful.

Contract alternative schools like ULA do not receive lease aid from the State of Minnesota, which is a financial disadvantage as compared to charter schools, which receive lease aid. Contract alternatives also do not receive tax levy revenue, drop-out prevention assistance and other program monies that traditional public schools are eligible to receive. At-risk students require a host of academic and support services that are not covered by the per pupil allocation to alternative schools, which is far below the amount allocated to charter and traditional public schools.

“The financial issues are complicated, but the disappointing reality is we cannot afford to provide the quality education our students deserve under the present funding structure,” said Clinton Collins, Jr., MUL Chair. “We carefully studied the fiscal implications of continuing our partnership with MPS and examined various alternatives. Ultimately we decided our duty of financial stewardship necessitated closing the school.”

ULA will hold its final graduation ceremony for the Class of 2015 at 6:00 p.m. on June 1, for 12 students. The commencement exercise will be held at MUL’s Glover Sudduth Center, located at 2100 Plymouth Avenue North. The community is invited to attend.


“We keep coming back to the question of representation because identity is always about representation. People forget that when they wanted white women to get into the workforce because of the world war, what did they start doing? They started having a lot of commercials, a lot of movies, a lot of things that were redoing the female image, saying, “Hey, you can work for the war, but you can still be feminine.” So what we see is that the mass media, film, TV, all of these things, are powerful vehicles for maintaining the kinds of systems of domination we live under, imperialism, racism, sexism etc. Often there’s a denial of this and art is presented as politically neutral, as though it is not shaped by a reality of domination.” ― Bell HooksReel to Real: Race, Sex, and Class at the Movies

By Don Allen – Publisher – OurBlackNews.com 

Photo: black-culture.com - Fair Use

Photo: black-culture.com – Fair Use

Violence and questionable deaths, especially the deaths that provide a platform of tension and propaganda between blacks and white law enforcement make for good television news ratings. The trauma suffered from black males constantly being portrayed on camera in a negative representation, sometimes supported by the diaspora of black feminist has caused a society-wide stress factor for black Americans and many fearful whites. Why has American mainstream media made it highly improbable for viewers, readers and listeners to separate real news from high-impact stereotypical-sensationalism when reporting about the black body?


Critiquing bell hooks Postmodern Blackness: Does Black Literature need the critical apparatus of Black Postmodernism?

By Don Allen, Publisher

Looking through the lens of postmodernism as it pertains to color, race, class and more specifically, the African American, it becomes even more problematic to define the modern, postmodern and post-post modernism. Not because we cannot comprehend the meanings, but so few black intellectuals have been indoctrinated with postmodernism in a way that would lay bare to a very clear definitions, claims or arguments.

In bell hooks’ “Postmodern Debates: Postmodern Blackness,” she is determined to cut relevance into her view of postmodernism at the sake of not stepping out and defining an apparatus of her own that can be used by black authors and society to make meaning for a ‘modern, post or post-post’ in ‘blackness.’ hooks writes, “I was told by another black person that I was wasting my time, that ‘this stuff does not relate in any why to what’s happening with black people.” (128).

I tend to agree with the other black person on the critique of hooks amazement and have been unsettled by the lack of black literary agents who have not looked to solidify a meaning exclusively to black culture. If hooks and others would look at the examples of modernism to include the post and post-post in black culture there is an extensive prospect to break the mold

set by the white-patriarchal construct as it pertains to having exclusivity in the hierarchy of literary devises.

To define a change in literary meaning, you first need an example of devise you want to amend. For the simple sake of argument, the black culture could look at the sport of boxing. To look at the modern in boxing, one could argue that Mohammad Ali and Joe Frasier could fit  perfectly in a literary definition. From a postmodern definition, boxers like Sugar Ray Leonard,

Wilfred Benítez, Thomas Hearns, Roberto Durán, and Marvin Hagler, called the boxers of the decade for the 1980s by Sports Illustrated fit fine. Nevertheless, when looking at post-post modernism in this example, stepping away from boxing’s golden age society has the Ultimate

Fighting Championship (UFC), which is the largest mixed martial art Promotion Company in the world featuring most of the top-ranked fighters in the sport. In addition, the World Wrestling Entertainment, Inc. (WWE), which is an American publicly traded, privately controlled Entertainment Company that deals primarily in professional wrestling, with major revenue

streams from television and cable. As a black author, given the examples above, we could argue for a new literary device, or critical apparatus such as Current Relevancy.

The meaning of Current Relevancy is that during our arts, society and literary history (black America), there were moments in the depths that are timely and relevant in our cannons that lay bare to likening of Marxism, capitalism, modernism, postmodernism and postmodernity that can only be defined by the current state relevant to the black literary cultures purchase.

Hence, while hooks understands what could be labeled as modern, she negates the opportunity to insert a new critical apparatus like Current Relevancy to account for the white-patriarchal construct and what it has used to create meaning and identity for black bodies, literature and culture for far too long. “During the sixties, black power movement was influenced by perspectives that could easily be labeled modernist,” (129).

If black literary agents cannot idea, create and distribute new meaning in the areas of literatures critical apparatus to define and review for debate, we have not gotten any further as intellectuals then the common household cat. Black Postmodernism and the definitions, which have never been cleared or applied, are unnecessary


A Critique of Deleuze and Guattari’s Anti Oedipus: Capitalism and Schizophrenia

By Don Allen

Anti-Oedipus: Capitalism and Schizophrenia (Penguin Classics)

Anti-Oedipus: Capitalism and Schizophrenia (Penguin Classics)

I have differed musings about this book. From one perspective I admire it’s bring down of Freud and its elucidation of how individuals are made to yearning remorseless administrations. Maybe it’s to their brains, alongside that of other postmodern savants, that their musings no more appear earth-shaking, yet I additionally feel that their hypotheses are not exceptionally valuable on a practical level, particularly when wearing such pretentious dialect.

A most critical work in the improvement of genuine hypothesis in the late twentieth century, Anti-Oedipus is an essential content for social researchers, legendary scholars, women’s activists, savants, and others inspired by the issues of breakthrough Western traditions.

In his prelude, Michel Foucault calls Anti-Oedipus a starting to non-rightist life, alluding to political oppression as well as to the autocracy inside us-the longing to be driven. Identify with that issue, Deleuze and Guattari set forward a political investigation of yearning as it is communicated or stifled in Western traditions. They find the seeds of society’s ailment in contemporary therapy – especially in the prevailing figure of Oedipus.

Deleuze and Guattari see machines all over. The body, the earth, craving, everything techniques as a machine. In the same light, they announce, “Everything is production.“ Nothing is ever done delivering. Sustenance, a PC, a spoon, everything is generation as it keeps on creating and is attached up to different machines that keep on delivering. Regardless, only in light of the fact that nothing is ever done creating does not imply that nothing is ever delivered. It is critical to note that “Something is created: the impacts of a machine, not simply allegories”. Items exist yet just as makers. Besides, “creation is quickly utilization and a recording procedure”. The qualification in the middle of creation and utilization – and the procedure that records those – is caved in by the commonness of generation in both utilization and recording.

The book is sorted out into four sections. The first is presentation that, accepting that Anti-Oedipus is a kind of machine, depicts “what it can do and how it functions”. The second is an investigation of the thought of “wanting generation” which arranges this inside an “inner” study of Oedipus. This is trailed by a third part, which portrays the “outer” scrutinize of Oedipus and its relating idea of “social-creation.” A fourth section finishes up the book by looking at conceivably productive utilizations of Schizoanalysis inside territories of hypothetical and political activism, for example, Marxism, woman’s rights and environmentalism. All through, painstakingly points of interest the relations in the middle of Deleuze and Guattari’s book and its different hypothetical antecedents, including (among others) Marcuse, Reich, Weber, Adorno, Lukács, Klein, Lévi-Strauss and Lacan. The principal section specifically is concerned to position Anti-Oedipus in a custom of “supernatural”

The second and third parts involve examinations, clarifying – in genuine Kantian style – the three “blends” of the oblivious, the “paralogisms” of analysis (the illegitimate employments of these three unions), and the social developments, which generally compare to the recorded advancement of Oedipus (brutality, oppression, and private enterprise). The focal subjects investigated here incorporate thoughts of generation and hostile to creation, the “body-without-organs” as a format for wanting creation, frameworks of (political and phonetic) representation and engraving, and the generally changing character of the “Socinus,” together with the different ventures of longing (social and psychic) that constitute it. While these sections are entirely explicatory, the fourth and last section, entitled “Past Critique: Schizoanalysis and all inclusive history,” endeavors to orchestrate Deleuze and Guattari’s bits of knowledge and apply them to the fields of contemporary political and hypothetical verbal confront.

Why Black America gets bad news coverage…

“If you’re member of society that has been brainwashed by the mainstream media, stop here and return to your seat.”

By Don Allen, Publisher – OurBlackNews

In preparation for Hamline University’s Commitment to Community keynote address on Oct. 1, 2013 by world-renowned author, educator and race expert Tim Wise, I have decided to begin the conversation about race using the mainstream media and the epidemic of white privilege and race obstructions in American news. While there is no remedy for a fair and balanced news coverage (FOX is light-years from “fair and balanced”), the mainstream media news remains a secluded sector. Mostly

What's up with news about black people in America?

What’s up with news about black people in America?

controlled by white males, who in light of recent news coverage, seem to not give a damn about the plight of black Americans or any other minority groups, have presented no real coverage of anything black or black related unless it bleeds, shoots, kills or fails in school. Of course on the local scene, when was the last time you turned on the television and saw a report on something other than murder, death and kill in the black community? Read the rest of this entry »

What if author Tim Wise was Black?

There is a difference between Wise and those who bask in unadulterated self-congratulation, fully donning the mantle of the White Savior.

by Don Allen, Publisher – OurBlackNews (Originally published in the Hamline University Oracle in Fall 2013)

On October 1, congruent with the university’s ongoing commitment to diversity, Hamline will welcome to campus anti-racist author and activist Tim Wise.  Wise will give the 2013 Commitment to Community Keynote Address, and ask how we can move beyond “post-racial rhetoric and politics,” in our “quest for racial equity.”

Preach...the USA still has no clue. (photo: bluetigerportal.lincolnu.edu - Fair Use)

Preach…the USA still has no clue. (photo: bluetigerportal.lincolnu.edu – Fair Use)

As a white man speaking forcefully about racism and white privilege in the 21st century, Wise has made quite a name for himself, gaining ardent supporters and fierce critics of all colors and political persuasions.  He has authored hundreds of articles and blog postings, and has published six books.  His best-selling text White Like Me (2d. Edition 2011) was recently made into a documentary film.  Wise has been coined as “One of the 25 visionaries who are changing the world” by the Utne Reader, and scholar Molefi Kete Asante calls him “one of the brilliant voices of our time.” According to Wise’s Wikipedia page, he has given speeches at over 600 college campuses and “trained teachers, corporate employees, nonprofit organizations and law enforcement officers in methods for addressing and dismantling racism in their institutions.” While others fighting the good fight most often focus on black or Latino disadvantage, Wise squarely takes aim a white privilege, the “flip side” of racism.  His hard hitting rhetoric, often polemical tone and unfailing willingness to “call whites out on their shit” as he would say, make him a lightning rod for controversy, and have led him to receive death threats on a daily basis.  Wise is one of the most sought-after speakers on the issues of race and racism today; having made a career out of “race-speak.”

As a black man, I can say that Tim Wise is clearly the kind of guy you want on your side in a fight.  But I also want to take the opportunity to ask some hard questions about race, racism, and white privilege.  These issues may be summarized in the interrogative at the top of this page, “What if Author Tim Wise Was Black?”

Wise himself has written an essay in a similar vein, asking in a 2010 article, “What If The Tea Party Was Black?”  He argued there that if black protestors were to adopt some of the more rowdy and boisterous tactics taken up by White “Tea Partiers” protesting Obama’s “socialist” ways, that they’d much more likely be rounded up and arrested than regarded as patriotic Americans.

Wise writes:

Let’s play a game, shall we? …The object of the game is to imagine the public reaction to the events or incidents, if the main actors were of color, rather than white. Whoever gains the most insight into the workings of race in America, at the end of the game, wins.”

It is my argument that by looking at the career of Tim Wise, compared to the careers of innumerable race activists and scholars of color, we can also gain “insight into the workings of race in America.” It is the case, ironically, that the success and fame that Mr. Wise has achieved via speaking out against racism and about white privilege has come to him as a function of white supremacy itself.  In short, if Tim Wise were black, he would not be Tim Wise.

In an exclusive statement for the Oracle, Dr. Boyce Watkins of Syracuse University said, “I assume that since Tim Wise is known for his expertise in white privilege, he himself would probably not deny that he is the beneficiary of it. I appreciate the fact that Tim is willing to say things that black people have been saying all along . . . [but] the unfortunate truth is that they [whites] are more likely to listen to him than to the rest of us.”

Wise seems to get this, at least in part.  The title of his recently reissued White Like Me for example, is a play on John Howard Griffin’s civil-rights era text, Black Like Me. In 1959, Sepia Magazine had Griffin, who was white, travel throughout the south posing as a black man. Griffin had a doctor to darken his skin so he could surreptitiously travel freely and journal the difficulties facing black people.  Whereas Griffin set out to tell the story of the Negro problem, Wise tells a story of white privilege and advantage, writing about how he and others like him have benefited from whiteness at every stage of their lives.  Unlike Griffin, Wise sees racism not as a problem of people of color, but as a problem of whites.

But there is the thorny issue of opportunism to consider.  Too often, whites have benefitted economically and professionally, from the “business of anti-racism.” This is also known as the White Savior Complex.  In recent times, the White Savior Complex can be blatantly seen in Hollywood blockbusters such as Dances with Wolves (1990) and 2009’s Oscar-Award winning white savior fantasy film Avatar.

Consider also the “internet movement” spawned by the “Kony2012” video, highlighting atrocities committed by Ugandan dictator Joseph Kony.  As author Teju Cole wrote in The Atlantic of the white outraged generated by this video, “The White Savior Industrial Complex is not about justice. It is about having a big emotional experience that validates privilege.”  He continued, “[There is] feverish worry over that awful African warlord. But close to 1.5 million Iraqis died from an American war of choice. Worry about that.”

All too much white anti-racism today smacks the same self-congratulation of Avatar and of Kony2012.  It is the same self-congratulation that the nation has basked in as a whole since the election of our first “black” president in 2008—despite the fact that this president has done nothing to address the issues of racism or of civil rights, or to benefit actual black people in any way.

There is a difference between Wise and those who bask in unadulterated self-congratulation, fully donning the mantle of the White Savior.  Yet we must still ask, when do the sons and daughters of Africa get to their story themselves?  When will our own telling of our history, and our own anti-racist speech be seen as equally “visionary,” “bold,” and “brilliant?”  People of color must have allies like Tim Wise in the fight for racial inequality.  But must not get so caught up in the thrill of the validation of the white man that we think of people of color only as the helpless, hopeless and the conquered.

If Tim Wise were black, he would not be received with fanfare at so many universities across the U.S.  A black activist, speaking truth to power in terms as forcefully as Tim Wise does, would be regarded as crazy, as bitter, or as a crackpot.  A black scholar writing about white privilege in the terms that does Tim Wise would have a hard time receiving tenure at his/her university.  A black journalist, who routinely took whites to task for their racism, and wrote widely about white supremacy in the 21st century, would not so readily be asked to speak on CNN, appear in documentaries, or give book tours across the country.  That the hard truth about race is only palatable to whites when it comes from other whites must make one wonder how revolutionary that truth really is.

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