Refined and Fly

Thursday, December 07, 2006


PEACE! I build that everyone is positive, healthy and happy within their ciphers on this great day of God. About a week ago, I was sent an email about a disturbing article in Esquuire magazine by John Ridley called "Manifesto of the Ascendancy of the Modern American Nigger." And folks, I did check the Esquire web-site and the article is indeed there. It is in the December 2006 printed issue. This article, mind you, is written by a Black man (published in a magazine with a majority white readership), "Bill Cosby" style who is essentially tired of "niggers" fuckin' up and doesn't understand why we don't have our shit together. He then expresses his high regard for Condeleeza Rice, Colin Powell and those like them as examples of who and what the new Black America can be if "niggers" pull themselves up from their bootstraps. He further expresses his disdain for accusations of police brutality by "Blactivists" in Cincinatti, Ohio due to the nature of the youth who were killed.

A couple of thoughts I had were:

-This article exemplifies the obvious gap he sees between "niggas" and black people (see Chris Rock's HBO stand-up "Bring the Pain."). He definitely does not see himself as a part of the group he is berating.

-He totally goes against what your mama and grandma told you about airing your dirty laundry. Black folks may discuss and some may even agree with some of his points (see other "well to do" Black folks like John Ridley), however, this was not the appropriate forum. What is the fruit of this diatribe? What are the tangible (one of my favorite words)solutions he is offering to the Black community's ills?

-Did he have to vent in a magazine with a majority White readership? Did he even try Essence or Ebony? Damn...even Sister 2 Sister? Jet?

-Why would Esquire print this?

-What we are seeing amongst disenfranchised segments of the Black community is the result of over 400 years of oppression. What we see in "any hood USA" is the result of a process set in motion centuries ago that is being born out the way it is. Some folks knowingly make unwise choices and others are as Jim Jones eloquently states in the title of his latest album "P.O.M.E."s (Product Of My Environment). Some may say that in 2006, we should all be caked up, ballin' without a care in the world, due to hard work and intelligence and the aforementioned statements are excuses. We forget that a lot of folks who say things like this either have not struggled through anything nor been exposed to the conditions they are downgrading OR they did come up rough and recieved interventions that helped them through the tough times (a gym teacher, guidance counselor, after-school program, grandma, Old Man Willie on the block, etc.) Unfortunately, in 2006, everyone does not recieve these interventions.

-This article shows that some Black folks think the same way as some White folks. John Ridley and Michael Richards for that matter just vocally expressed what some folks think. And speaking of Michael Richards, he can keep his apology. He just blurted out what he really thinks. I'd rather see a wolf, than a wolf in sheeps' clothing...but I digress.

Below, is an excerpt of the article and a link to the full piece. Some people have written letters to Esquire expressing their contempt and cancelled their subscriptions. Do the knowledge and do the same if you are so inclined...

by John Ridley
Esquire Magazine
December 2006

For eleven days in 2001, two blacks ran our country. It's their example and their achievement—and not the culture of failure fomented by the leftovers of the Movement—that must set a new agenda for black Americans.

Let me tell you something about niggers, the oppressed minority within our minority. Always down. Always out. Always complaining that they can't catch a break. Notoriously poor about doing for themselves. Constantly in need of a leader but unable to follow in any direction that's navigated by hard work, self-reliance. And though they spliff and drink and procreate their way onto welfare doles and WIC lines, niggers will tell you their state of being is no fault of their own. They are not responsible for their nearly 5 percent incarceration rate and their 9.2 percent unemployment rate. Not responsible for the 11.8 percent rate at which they drop out of high school. For the 69.3 percent of births they create out of wedlock.

Now, let me tell you something about my generation of black Americans. We are the inheritors of "the Deal" forced upon the entrenched white social, political, and legal establishment when my parents' generation won the struggle for civil rights. The Deal: We (blacks) take what is rightfully ours and you (the afore-described establishment) get citizens who will invest the same energy and dedication into raising families and working hard and being all around good people as was invested in snapping the neck of Jim Crow.

In the forty years since the Deal was brokered, since the Voting Rights Act was signed, there have been successes for blacks. But there are still too many blacks in prison, too many kids aggrandizing the thug life, and way too many African-Americans doing far too little with the opportunities others earned for them.

If we as a race could win the centuries-long war against institutionalized racism, why is it that so many of us cannot secure the advantage after decades of freedom?

That which retards us is the worst of "us," those who disdain actual ascendancy gained by way of intellectual expansion and physical toil—who instead value the posture of an "urban," a "street," a "real" existence, no matter that such a culture threatens to render them extinct.

"Them" being niggers.

I have no qualm about using the word nigger. It is a word. It is in the English lexicon, and no amount of political correctness, no amputation into "the n-word"—as if by the castration of a few letters we should then be able to conceptualize its meaning without feeling its sting—will remove it from reality.

So I say this: It's time for ascended blacks to wish niggers good luck. Just as whites may be concerned with the good of all citizens but don't travel their days worrying specifically about the well-being of hill billies from Appalachia, we need to send niggers on their way. We need to start extolling the most virtuous of ourselves. It is time to celebrate the New Black Americans—those who have sealed the Deal, who aren't beholden to liberal indulgence any more than they are to the disdain of the hard Right. It is time to praise blacks who are merely undeniable in their individuality and exemplary in their levels of achievement.



  • At 11:34 PM, Blogger Sha-King Allah said…

    Peace Earth,
    I want to commend you on posting this article. I took it upon myself to take the chance of reading some 'right-winged' articles and it definitely is a uniformed mindset. He is speaking the words of those who have 'given up'. Those of us who have settled for what has appeared to be 'equality' and a reciprocity within America when it is far from that. Ridley has a giant pacifier stuck in his culo and loves every minute of it. Reading such trashes infuriates me.

    Your Amarillo bredren,
    Sapa Inca

  • At 10:47 AM, Blogger A. T. King said…

    Peace Queen,

    The article was an eye-opener. This John Ridley is such an Uncle-Tom-a$$-negroe that it hurts to even consider him one of ours. Thanks for posting the article.



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