Revolutionary Cult of A Black Capitalist
No life matters more than any other and people don't come in black or white.
I’ve lost “friends” over my criticism of Shaun King and am likely to lose some more for this piece, but it is my opinion that Mr. King’s latest venture, selling 100% “black sourced” plain cotton T shirts for $50 and plain hoodies for $165 is flagrant black capitalism exploiting the white shame of congenitally stupid, overpaid and underworked tech sector wage slaves and entrepreneurs who are his social network base following. While the effort to manufacture a product genuinely made entirely by black folks, starting at the cotton fields in Tanzania, all the way to a black owned fulfillment center, is certainly a noble and worthwhile pursuit, the marketing strategy is woefully racist, steeped in the hubris of the revolutionary cult of the Black Lives Matter movement, led by privileged racist black capitalists who are not paying much back into the community , like the original Black Panther Party did.
Shaun King Announces Release of Prototype Hoodie By A Real One At Facebook
To Mr. King’s credit, his persistent efforts on behalf of the victims of police executions have made a huge difference in getting some justice for those people, but he has also falsely accused some people, been accused of speaking for families without their consent and has been repeatedly called out about his fund raising practices.
Shaun King’s Wikipedia entry glosses over a lot of facts about his life, but what stood out to me is that he never knew his father, got beat up a lot and carries his trauma like a trophy, always playing the victim when criticized. Being so light skinned, he has almost certainly always had difficulties within the black community and with his brazen mouth, I’m reasonably certain that the attacks were not racially motivated, so much as that he’s a bit of a know-it-all who makes you want to punch him in the face just for his attitude. I got more than one beat down for that in grade school by packs of rednecks. One of the attacks was described as a one-on-one fight with another boy over a girl and the injuries were minor.
King is fond of hyperbole and rarely misses a dig at white people, perpetuating the racial divide, always trying to grab his piece of the action in the passion of the moment.
The words of Huey Newton and Fred Hampton seem to have never reached the ears of the likes of Shaun King, Alicia Garza, Patrisse Cullors, and Opal Tometi, calling themselves Marxist, but running exploitative capitalist ventures that capitalize on the racial divide, attempting to defeat capitalism with black capitalism. Fred Hampton declared in no uncertain terms that racism can’t be defeated with more racism and capitalism can’t be defeated with black capitalism. The true revolutionary is seeking the rising of the people in pan-racial solidarity, rejecting the unsustainable technology, warmongering and economic injustices of the industrial fascist systems that have come to dominate the developed world.
I’m a product of Lakeview Township in the 50’s and 60’s, Chicago’s only true melting pot neighborhood. It was the gayborhood and the only neighborhood in town where mixed race families could live safely. Lakeview was fully integrated, racially, religiously and economically. Some kids walked to school with holes in their shoes and others were delivered by limousines . At that time, it was said that if you can’t make it in Chicago, you can’t make it anywhere. Yes, white privilege is real and yes , it’s woven into the system, but enlightened white folks have been working to level the playing field for everybody for decades and the message being sent by people like King is highly offensive to us, because we got that memo a long time ago. There is a sort of positive racism that we were conditioned with; to celebrate the diversity that made our community strong. not divide ourselves along color, class, creed or gender lines, but to participate in each other’s religious practices and have big impromptu parties in the parks. In the rainbow community, all are loved and none are hated in peace, love unity and respect. Rather than recoiling from otherness in fear and loathing, it is embraced with love and acceptance.
There are no black or white people. People range from pink to indigo and have evolved hundreds of distinct cultures. Programs such as this one from Mr. King seek to homogenize people into a giant bowl of complacent butterscotch pudding stifling creative expression, obedient to the party lines.
Shaun presents himself as a crusader for oppressed black people, but he really appears as nothing more than an opportunistic Christian nationalist grabbing for his piece of the male supremacist prosperity gospel action . Huey Newton had this to say about people like him and black capitalist ventures. ( full text on black capitalism PDF)
”One of the primary characteristics of a revolutionary cultist is that he despises everyone who has not reached his level of consciousness, or the level of consciousness that he thinks he has reached, instead of acting to bring the people to that level. In that way the revolutionary cultist becomes divided from the people, he defects from the community. Instead of serving the people as a vanguard, he becomes a hero. Heroes engage in very courageous actions sometimes, and they often make great sacrifices, including the supreme sacrifice, but they are still isolated from the people. Their courageous actions and sacrifices do not lead the people to a higher level of consciousness, nor do they produce fundamental changes in the exploitation and oppression of the people.”
”As I've said previously, revolution is a process, not a conclusion. A true revolutionist will not only take courageous actions, he will also try to advance the people in such a manner that they will transform their situation. That I, by delivering power to the people the true revolutionist will help them define the social phenomena in their community and lead them to the point where they will seize the time and make these phenomena act in a desired manner.
”Therefore, as revolutionaries we must recognize the difference between what the people can do and what they will do. They can do anything they desire to do, but they will only take those actions which are consistent with their level of consciousness and their understanding of the situation. When we raise their consciousness, they will understand even more fully what they in fact can do, and they will move on the situation in a courageous manner. This is merging your theory with your practices.
”Point 3 of the original Ten-Point Program of the Black Panther Party is “We want an end to the robbery by the CAPITALISTS of our Black Community.” That was our poston in October 1966 and it is still our position. We recognize that capitalism is no solution to the problems we face in our communities. Capitalist exploitation is one of the basic causes of our problem. It is the goal of the Black Panther Party to negate capitalism in our communities and in the oppressed communities throughout the world. However, many people have offered the community Black capitalism as a solution to our problems.
”We recognize that people in the Black community have no general dislike for the concept of Black capitalism, but this is not because they are in love with capitalism. Not at all. The idea of Black capitalism has come to mean to many people Black control of another one of the institutions in the community. We see within this characteristic the seeds of the negation of Black capitalism and all capitalism in general. What we must do then is increase the positive qualities until they dominate the negative and therefore transform the situation.
“In the past the Black Panther Party took a counter revolutionary position with our blanket condemnation of Black capitalism. Our strategy should have been to analyze the positive and negative qualities of this phenomenon before making any condemnation. Even though we recognized, and correctly so, that capitalism is no solution or answer, we did not make a truly dialectical analysis of the situation.
”We recognized that in order to bring the people to the level of consciousness where they would seize the time, it would be necessary to serve their interests in survival by developing programs which would help them to meet their daily needs. For a long time we have had such programs not only for survival but for organizational purposes. Now we not only have a breakfast program for schoolchildren, we have clothing programs, we have health clinics which provide free medical and dental services, we have programs for prisoners and their families, and we are opening clothing and shoe factories to provide for more of the tion has the simplicity and completeness of a mathematical formula”
I haven’t looked in depth at the NFPs Mr. King has started, but BLM is not putting out anything to community development projects or even a bail fund. All the money is going to administrative costs, legal fees and publicity.
The actual cost of the material in these garments is less than five dollars and there isn’t more than another five dollars in the actual labor manufacturing them, add in another five bucks to get them sold. What is there really to say more than the guy needs to be audited by at least the charity ratings groups? He’s living pretty comfortably, supporting a lot of kids and he puts a lot of money into political fund raising, backing human rights aware prosecutors running for office and buying air time to preach against police abuse. What else? Could it be that I’m actually way out of line here and half the product is being donated in the inner city? That would certainly justify the $165 cost of a hoodie with an average market value of $25-50.
Overall, I have to agree with Morgan Freeman on this. Racism is not going to go away if we’re constantly talking about it. $165 hoodies in a 100% black owned for profit venture supporting revolutionary cultism feels like salt being rubbed in the wounds. In real fair trade terms, the product is worth more on the merits of it being manufactured and distributed by completely black enterprise, but not three times the average market value. $25 is the average market for hand made tie dyed tees and $60 for a tie dyed hoodie. I can see $35 and $75 as fair prices for this product and only if a large portion of the profits are being paid forward into the community would I endorse a higher price than that to my readers.