Cointelpro and How the Talented Tenth has Worked to Arrest
Black Self- Determination in the United States
After the regime change of 1968, which for all intents and purposes effectively re-installed the restrictive hegemony of the severely limited Civil Rights ideology, in the wake of Dr. Martin Luther King’s assassination, the proud mantle of Black Self-Determination was once again under massive attack; no longer simply from without, however now the battle for the hearts and minds of the Black community was also largely engaged from within. In many ways, this was simply a replay, or to say it another way, it was merely a continuation if you will, of the Black on Black cultural / class / ideological warfare which had marked the concentrated Talented Tenth-US Government aided assault that had been launched decades earlier, first upon the strident voices of the New Militancy which survived the regime change of 1909, and then in a more direct manner on The Garvey Movement one decade later. The New York Boulee was formed Dr. Dubois had said in 1916, “in order to steal the Black professional away from the Garvey Movement”.
Fifty years later, the devastating effects of this protracted class warfare upon the Black community had become patently clear. Suddenly, now that the phenomenally popular Dr. King had been successfully moved out of the way, with the aid of the vast repressive forces of the US Government (COINTELPRO), a new cabal of the Talented Tenth worked to permanently marginalize and subdue any visible remnant of the naturally nationalistic ideological tendencies of the greater masses of Black people. Henceforth the effort would be once again to criminalize within the minds of the American people any inkling of Black Nationalism. While the Black Panther ideology was fundamentally one of Black pride and self-defense, this would easily be curried into a threat towards all White people. Nobody, let alone another Italian would ever dare to condemn Italians for celebrating their link to Italy, and for acting to maintain the cultural integrity and security of their own Italian community. But, to proclaim your love for your African heritage was somehow once again deemed as being instantly at war with the entire United States. J. Edgar Hoover publically named the BPP Party as ‘Enemy Number One’. Even Vietnamese nationals, who had come here to establish communities of their own while their homeland was still at war with the United States, were respected for their nationalistic communal expressions far and above that of Black Nationalists within America. Nonetheless, all of a sudden, a new cabal of the Black Talented Tenth had come to power, and a part of their legacy would ultimately be that they would come to wield power over the perceptual direction of Black liberation for the next 40 years.
This was a period of intellectual hegemony that would eventually last longer than the reign of Booker T. Washington, and The NAACP under Roy Wilkins combined. In the process, the language along with the history of the Black Freedom Struggle was cleverly re-written in order to fit the limited prerogatives of the Civil Rights Intergrationalist agenda. The greatest example of this has been their approach towards racist violence within the United States over the last forty years. Although today it is most likely contrary to lingering wide-spread perceptions the fact remains that a rope and a tree has never been required to commit the act of lynching. What many people will be surprised to know is that as recently as the beginning of this year, the epidemic of Black people being lynched within the United States has continued at an alarming rate. This scourge of racist violence has not truly abated from the epidemic that it was 50 years ago.
Nonetheless, an entire new cabal of leading Blacks would now insure that the word ‘lynching’ would be completely removed from the lexicon of Black resistance within the United States. What’s more, incidents that were once deemed ‘racistly-motivated’ – a term which naturally focuses upon the psycho-pathology of the perpetrator of the immoral and or violent act, were now called ‘racially motivated’ – a term which cleverly places the onus for the immoral and or violent deed upon the victim. The point is, that in rather quiet and subtle ways, the New Talented Tenth has set about to completely recast the entire narrative of Black struggle in America. The overall success of the New Tenth in this altogether nefarious scheme can be easily measured by just how successfully the 1960’s Black Freedom Struggle has been cleverly re-cast as exclusively a ‘Civil Rights Movement’. Even leaders such as Malcolm X are now being narrowly defined simply as ‘Civil Rights Leaders’ when nothing could be further from the truth.
Malcolm X was adamant to carefully delineate what was the actual difference between the struggle for Civil Rights and the struggle for Human Rights. “Civil Rights are inferior to Human Rights” he said, and since the fact was that Eleanor Roosevelt was the actual chair of the 1948 Convention On Human Rights, the Talented Tenth (who swooned all over her) must have been well aware of just what all of this actually meant. However, today we live in a nation where the push is already on to basically grant Civil Rights to domesticated animals, and yet the Human Rights of Black people are still not fully respected, as White cops continue to assault and murder Black people at will. During the 1960’s, there were a number of ‘active streams’ of Historical Black Consciousness, such as Black Nationalism and the desire for repatriation. The Talented Tenth Civil Rights Intergrationalist point of view was but one of them. What’s more, by 1966 the Civil Rights perspective had already begun to once again assume its naturally minor roll in view of the necessarily broader Human Rights agenda of a community facing the incessant repression of what for all intents and purposes remained for them a brutally terrorist state. Even Dr. King had famously said five years earlier in 1961 that he never had any intention of building a Civil Rights Movement. His desire was to build a rainbow Human Rights coalition.
The difference can perhaps be best expressed in this way: Imagine that you lived next to a Jeffery Dahlmer, and you solicited someone to be an advocate for you. What would be your greatest concern, that he just may not be courteous to you when he passes you in the hallway (Civil Rights), or the very real possibility that he just may eat your children (Human Rights)? Nonetheless, after the regime change Civil Rights was once again neatly crafted as the exclusive mouthpiece of the Black Freedom Struggle in America. The Tenth were simply living up to creed, believing as always that full citizenship should be limited to only a small marginal class of Black people. Although he himself had been a political prisoner for nearly 30 years, upon the February 11, 1990 release of Nelson Mandela, there was still to be absolutely no talk of solidarity with the now over 100 Black Political Prisons who had given their lives in a similar fashion to the struggle against apartheid in the United States.
Going forward, those who would even dare to speak or act in terms of Black Self-Determination were to be marginalized and their ideology would be brought under constant scrutiny In a sense, by securing Affirmative Action and leading the campaign to condemn the great majority of Black neighborhoods as dangerous community-adverse slums during the 1970’s – of which one could only hope but to escape from, the New Talented Tenth had finally achieved their ultimate goal; which had been duly articulated by Dr. WEB Dubois more than a century ago. In The Souls of Blackfolk (1903) he wrote:“….The Negro only wishes to gain a seat at the table of brotherhood (affirmative action) and not be spit upon by his fellows”. And then, later he stated that: “The purpose of the education of the Talented Tenth is to keep the best amongst us, away from the worst”. By the 1980’s, now that enough‘leading Blacks’ had been able to successfully abandon the Black community and follow George Jefferson (‘Moving On Up!’) into White dominated suburbs where they often found themselves literally ‘dogging the spit of their fellows’, theTenth’ could once again work to re-write history and simply present a new generation with a Disneyland version of the past.
Today, it is shameful that even at the 100 year anniversary of the founding of the NAACP; the lie is still widely being told that this largely White-Jewish-controlled organization was actually a direct outgrowth of the Niagara Movement. What makes this even more insulting is the fact that during the deliberations of what was at that time called the National Negro Committee, the 52 White board members told the only Black board member WEB Dubois… Read more at the above link