“He who controls the past controls the future….”-GEORGE ORWELL
Malcolm X once said that history is a people’s memory, and without it, man is demoted to the lower animals. This is never more the case than with Black America. In his recent seminal classic podcast, Black Male You Tuber, LARMovement chided the importance of black people knowing their own history. He pointed out that such information is not hidden and easily googleable (I know it ain’t a word but work with me niggas…lol)
In a recent CNN debate, the right’s favorite black bubble headed Barbie Wannabe, Candace Owens, faced off against the left’s favorite signifying nigga: Michael Eric Dyson. Owens was clearly intimidated by Dyson’s rhetorical arsenal. She backpeddled right out the gate. She exploded at the thought of being placed in a debate against another black person, even though she knew ahead of time about the subject matter and her opposition.
Dyson launched his usual attack. Right out of the gate, he waded in with his over the top command of verbal wizardry. Owens went into fight or flight mode. She executed what appeared to be a pre-planned melt down in the event that she got into trouble. And got into trouble she did. Owens’ meltdown is not the main point here. It is her woeful ignorance of basic googleable (see I said it again) facts. Even though it was not the topic, she launched into a tirade about the democratic party being the party of slavery. This has been a republican talking point for the last 4 decades. And even though it was historically accurate, it was without crucial examination of the dynamics of time and circumstance.
In other words, while the democratic party was the party of slavery and Jim Crow, when it was apparent that the Civil Rights Bill of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965 would put a dent in the white’s only club of political power, the party simply changed affiliations. After witnessing the nakedly right wing sentiments of Barry Goldwater at the 1964 Republican Convention, the old democratic party became the new republican party, as the “dixiecrats” fled the party like rats on sinking ship. One of the most famous, or infamous people to change party affiliations was the ardent segregationists and down low swirler, The Late Strom Thurmond. Thurmond was a dixiecrat who ran for president under the State’s Rights Platform in 1948. He later became a Republican.
Another conversion was New Deal Liberal, Ronald Wilson Reagan. Calling Roosevelt a True Hero, he fervently supported the New Deal Program as he was a direct beneficiary of it; having grown up in a poor family in a sleepy midwestern town in Illinois. After witnessing what he termed the communist control of Hollywood, he became the President of the Screen Actors Guild and aided the Senate Committee Judiciary Body in “rooting out communism in Hollywood.” He made his change of political parties official in 1962 and was subsequently elected Governor of California in 1967.
However, a young college graduate from Boston University, who had Republican leanings, was horrified at Goldwater’s 1964 Republican Convention speech. He concluded that the once liberal and progressive party for the emancipated negro was becoming an intolerant vehicle of the wealthy elite, who were only interested in elitist ideals of plutocracy. Although he had entertained overtures toward the Republican Party for the Civil Rights Movement, Martin Luther King Jr., knew that like the democrats, the republicans were not going to be the salvation of poor black, red, brown and white Americans.
While Goldwater’s statements horrified King, it inspired a massive Democratic exodus into the Republican Party. Thus, by the 1970s, the Democrats became Republicans with a new strategy, but with the same old philosophy. Who else could have so quickly adopted a “Southern Strategy,” but a southern party steeped in a southern culture of bigotry? White indifference of black aspirations was an involuntary reflex in America in general, particularly in the South. Thus, to ignore black self determination was as natural as breathing.
The fact that this is public information did not stop Candice Owens’ off topic rant denying this none alternate fact. So why is it that people like her and her You Tube counterpart: Anthony Bryan Logan seem so clueless about information that can be easily googled? The quick and easy answer is that this blatant and willful ignorance is profitable. Many white people love to hear these fairy tales because it relieves them of the heavy burden of wrestling with America’s bloody legacy of its own western apartheid. It also appeals to a sense of white victim hood; the same victim hood that conservatives castigate Black Americans for when they casually mention slavery or Jim Crow.
But there is something else. Something deeper, darker, and uglier. Black ignorance of history is part and parcel of a greater pandemic paranoia afflicting the American Memory. For at least 50 years, there has been a war for history between the aristocratic academicians and public historians. The former is dedicated to a history that preserves the myth of American exceptionalism. The latter is sworn to a true retelling of history for the purpose of empowering everyday Americans. As such, the aristocrats have constantly shifted the playing field by changing the goal posts. Through its control of vast media networks, it is able to pump up the volume of those corroborating the myth, while muting those who challenge it.
Drs. Peter Kuznick, Howard Zinn, & Michael Parenti have gathered the most extensive research on the true history hiding underneath the facade of real american history. Their efforts have been met with nothing short of slander, bad-jacketing, and misrepresentation by historians subsidized by powerful conservative think tanks. Professors like Jordan Peterson, David Horrowitz, & Dinesh D’souza have resorted to Cold War hysteria by maligning the above professors as either marxists, or communists. The funny thing is that when the former present evidence from historical record to support their positions, their findings and conclusions are quickly derided as conspiracy theory by the latter.
However, without blinking an eye, the latter will spin more incredulous tales of a vast Marxist conspiracy on college campuses to indoctrinate the minds of young white Americans in the ideals of socialism. They propose these theories even while admitting that the professors that identify as Marxists on college campuses constitute less than 3% of collegiate faculty across the country. But for these professors, any history that does not reflect the idea of Manifest Destiny must be never see the light of day. As a result, they call for elimination of all history that does not re-enforce their perfect narrative of divine white anglo saxon rule. Thus, in the name of academic freedom, they propose academic censorship. Under the guise of anti-political correctness, they champion anti-intellectual fascism. The result is a stupid, controllable populace that responds like attack dogs to silent whistles of patriotism, socialism, communism, or liberalism.
So what does all this mean? This means that black ignorance of history, its’ own or others, must be maintained because it is the bedrock upon which American economic and political life is structured. The ability to control what people remember is the ability to control how they think. And if you control what is in their minds, you control them lock, stock and barrel. What would Americans think if they found out that their precious founding father James Madison, articulated the idea of the exploitation of labor by capital before Karl Marx wrote Das Kapital or the Communist Manifesto? Or that the Boston Tea Party was not so much a revolt against taxation, but a revolt against Monopoly?
Dr Huey P. Newton once said that “power is the ability to define phenomena and make it act in a desire manner.” Thus, the power to control what people remember is ultimately, the power to rule the world. So, he who controls the past, controls the future. Orwell was right after all. Who knew?
TONY MACEO is a senior blogger for the Negromanosphere and the Chief Blogger @ Power and Strategy.com. READ! Like or share these articles. Become a Patron @powerofstrategies on Patreon. Or for Chess Players, Check out our online store or read the articles on the website. TILL NEXT TIME, I’LL HOLLA!