The Slow Political Surrender of Black America
On the collapse of Black Nationalism and self-determination in favour of economic redistribution and quota-based systems
It should be no surprise to those familiar with my writing that I am a proponent of nationalism as I view the nation-state as the best and most coherent form of organization for a polity. A common language, history, culture, territory expressed through common governing institutions allow for strong pillars upon which to build a stable state.
The world is an unfair place, and not all nations have states of their own (the Kurds being the best example), nor are all peoples in a stage of development where they can erect stable nation-states (think peoples who are more tribal than national in orientation). The modern Greeks and Serbs, for example, used their new-found 19th century independence to pursue aggressive policies of assimilation based around centralized states. Turkey followed suit shortly thereafter, and found great success themselves, turning Laz, Circassians, various Balkan groups, and others into Turks. They are the Borg, the gold standard in assimiliation of minority populations in the Old World.
The trend throughout the 20th century (and into our present one) has been the proliferation of new states, many of them based around the ethnic principle. These have resulted almost entirely thanks to vacuums created either through warfare or peaceful collapse of larger states that result in secession or partition. The desire for self-rule is almost universal.
There are exceptions, however. In the past decade, Puerto Rico, Scotland, and New Caledonia have all held referendums in which voters rejected independence for their polities. Both Puerto Rico and New Caledonia have twice now rejected independence, much like the Canadian Province of Quebec. The desire for self-rule in these places did not reach the level of wanting outright independence, with Scotland and Quebec happy with their present high levels of autonomy.
There are exceptions to these exceptions as well; peoples who do not seek self-rule and are therefore tacitly content with their present political status in a larger polity. This condition describes today’s Black America, and it is to Black America that we will now turn.
I have gotten a lot of criticism over the years for my support for Black self-determination in the USA. It is support in the principled sense whereby any ethnos seeking self-rule deserves to achieve it, provided that the conditions are right (yes, open-ended qualification which I will elaborate on at some point in the future). These criticisms range from “You don’t live in the USA” to “if you lived near them you would scoff at the notion of Blacks ruling themselves” and so on. Some of these criticisms are valid. Like those of my ethnic group who have settled in the USA over the past century and a bit, I would no doubt be living in a majority white community. It’s perfectly natural to seek out communities that most resemble you and provide opportunity for social mobility.
I also have gotten criticized for viewing Black Americans as being as American as apple pie. I sometimes trot out a hierarch of Americans, from most American to least, and leaving out Native Americans*:
Colonial Stock and post-independence, pre-Civil War WASPs
Blacks aka African-Americans**
Pre-Civil War settlers not of WASP stock
Ellis Island Fraternity
Post Hart-Cellar Cohort
*Native Americans pre-date European settlement, but at the same time today’s Natives are very, very diluted by way of intermarriage with Europeans over the centuries
**Blacks as defined by those descending from slaves brought to Colonial or Early-Independence USA (what Tariq Nasheed terms “Foundational Black Americans”)
Blacks as Americans
388,000 slaves from the West African coast were brought to today’s USA up until 1804. 46.8 million Americans now identify as Black, as per Pew Research, making up 14.2% of the entire population of the USA in 2019. This is quite the demographic success!
Upon arriving in the New World, these slaves were often torn from their own families, shorn of their identities, stripped of their cultures and languages, and shipped to points north, south, and west. They were given new names, taught to speak English, and were territorialized. In short, they were Americanized. Other than their racial attributes, they quickly lost all commonality with Africans in Africa.