Burnin’ Down The House
“So whenever that House Negro identified himself, he always identified himself in the same sense that his master identified himself. When his master said, “We have good food,” the house Negro would say, “Yes, we have plenty of good food.” “We” have plenty of good food. When the master said that “we have a fine home here,” the house Negro said, “Yes, we have a fine home here.” When the master would be sick, the house Negro identified himself so much with his master he’d say, “What’s the matter boss, we sick?”
Earlier this week in a speech, Dr. Ben Carson referred to our ancestry slaves as “immigrants” that rocked the nation. Keep mind we live in a time that “alternative facts” are flagship words for the Trump Administration. But this isn’t the first time Dr. Carson has put his foot in his mouth and I’m sure it won’t be the last. However, the real issue is how does one get the mindset or the label of an Uncle Tom, or as Brother X would call them..a House Nigga?
It is common knowledge that throughout American history, that black people have suffered at the hands of White America. Movies like Amistad, 12 years a slave, The Birth of a Nation: Nat Turner, depict the suffering plight of the Africans captured in their homeland and brought to the Americas for the servitude of building European industry. In these movies, you get to witness human beings treated worse than domesticated animals. In movies like, 12 years humans were auctioned off as cattle, most were separated from there families so that there would be no sense of unity. Yes, the intent was to keep the body working, break the spirit and control the mind.
But also in the movie 12 years and Lee Daniels; The Butler, it told the story of how one particular negro came to power, even if only by perception. When “massa” looked upon the field, and he gazed upon the structure of the African woman, he took notice of her full lips, round hips, supple breasts, plump buttocks and became aroused. Since he considered the slave woman his property anyway, he had his way with her and most times impregnated her. The result produced fair skinned negro children. Since these children were not pure white, they did not and could not fit into their European society. However, because of their fair skin they were treated more like indentured servants than slaves. The negroes were “special” negroes, privied to culture and domestic conditions in the “house” vs working in the field under the worse conditions. As brother Malcolm would say, they ate better food. Sometimes they were even permitted to learn to read, granted the house negro always practiced humility when it came to his white counterparts.
The innovator Willie Lynch used this separation to carve out “rules” for controlling the slave population, thus preventing revolt and preserving the stock. The Willie Lynch letter was created to keep the focus off the master while creating division amongst the slaves. It was meant to put total trust in the master and no trust amongst each other. If you could only speak the white mans language, know his religion, an accept that slavery is the only life you will every know….the white master would reap profit upon profit from the production he could get from that mentality.
I’m sure that with better working conditions, it gave the house negro a sense of entitlement. I can imagine a house negro witnessing the field negroes being beaten within an inch of their life, working in the hot sun and traded off as if they were nothing and said to himself or herself “Surely I am better than they.” “I am permitted to read. Master doesn’t beat me like they. Master speaks to me kind. Yes I am much different that they.”
The house negro conditioned his mind to think he was treated with a level of respect by the “massa”. Maybe a smidgen shy of being equal. Nonetheless, it didn’t take a genius to know that the white man controlled America, so to the house nigga, this was the best that they thought they were ever going to achieve in life , even if came at a price of mild suffering and no freedom. So when the slaves of the plantation planned an escape, it was very hard to convince the house negro that he was a slave and to become a part of that demonstration. Most of the time, the house negro would run back and tell the white master of his discovery, thus putting a monkey wrench in the revolt. The house negro never wanted to be out of favor with his master, therefore he would do anything or say anything to make his master happy.
“HEY SUCKA N**GA WHO EVER YOU ARE” – A Tribe Called Quest
The house negro mentality has stood the test of time, considering America has traded in it’s cotton fields for prisons and it hooded sheets for police uniforms. Racisms still exists and the mistreatment of black people presses on with no end in sight. What’s even more sad is that the effects of the William Lynch letter still bleeds it’s residue amongst the African American society.
Because we live in this passive aggressive society, the penalty of ones actions and words may not cost a public figure his life, but most certainly his reputation which can bring about a psychological death. Until Brother Malcolm became enlightened, he deemed the Civil Rights movement a “house nigga” movement because he perceived Dr. Martin Luther King and the rest of the Civil Rights Leaders were asking the white man for our civil rights instead of taking them. After Brother Malcolm’s trip to Mecca, his eyes became open and saw the strength in working together from both ends of the spectrum. This however does not excuse the negro that knows the plight of the black race to “bleach” history as if we had a choice in the conditions we have suffered for over 500 years.
To this day we still have people willing to sell out there consciencness of who they are for better living conditions even if that means supporting racial administrations, racial companies, or being paid off by racial dollars. Just like in the time of slavery, the new house nigga seeks favor from racist white supremacy groups.
Voluntary or Involuntary, Chrisette Michele, Condeleezza Rice, Clarence Thomas, Stacy Dash, Herman Cain, Steve Harvey, Kanye West and the poster child Dr. Ben Carson have made 2016-2017’s “House Nigga List” Is this label justified? I can’t answer that question. What I do know is that these public figures have fallen out of favor with the black community for their alliance with white supremacist. Should there accomplishments as African Americans be discredited? After all, they still had to overcome insurmountable odds of racism to achieve where they are in life.
I guess what hurts most is that most of the accused are not behaving in such a manner to strategically throw the rope back to help the place where they made it from. Opportunities are not being created from their achievements. It appears that their goal was to make it in the house…never to look back. As it was said in Spike Lee’s D.R.O.P. Squad….”Yes it’s true…some of us have to wear the mask….And some of us can’t wait to put it on.”