Free Black Thought Profile picture
A small group of citizens, parents, techies, and scholars, including @Rhetors_of_York, amplifying heterodox black voices rarely heard on mainstream platforms.
7 May
Wondering how you can *truly* help your brothers & sisters in need?

Prefer to do real good rather than chase social capital by donating to popular but non-transparent nat'l orgs?

Give to these great *local* orgs drawn from our list: freeblackthought.com/orgs

A thread...

1/8
2/8

THREAD: THE NEW SOCIAL FABRIC @ThreadBaltimore

"Thread harnesses the power of relationships to create a new social fabric of diverse individuals deeply engaged with young people facing the most significant opportunity and achievement gaps."

thread.org
3/8

TAKE CHARGE, MN @TakeChargeMN

"Our mission is to inspire & educate Black & other minority communities of their full rights & privileges as Americans granted to them by the Constitution. We desire to inspire them to take charge of their own lives."

takechargemn.com
Read 8 tweets
6 May
👉 MOMENTOUS NEWS: @Musa_alGharbi's book

WE HAVE NEVER BEEN WOKE, due in 2023, should make *all* readers uncomfortable:

It will show how wokeness is used "as a weapon, often at the expense of those who are actually marginalized & disadvantaged in the prevailing order...

1/7
2/7

The new book "will dismantle popular (and self-serving) narratives about the ‘losers’ in the system – leaving readers with a totally different understanding of social inequality, and unnerving questions about what it would take to meaningfully address it.

(con't)
3/7

The book shows that "the primary producers & consumers of content on antiracism, socialism, feminism, etc. also happen to be among the primary beneficiaries of gendered, racialized & other forms of inequality – and not passive beneficiaries [but] active participants.
(con't)
Read 7 tweets
5 May
We just discovered @cricri42 and are excited to share her heterodox views with you:

"Black. Woman. Uneducated, working-class background. These are some of the identities that are supposed to define me, that are supposed to give me a particular perspective in life."

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2/4
"If we insist that all ideas are determined by identities, if we cannot transcend these identities thru the exercise of reason, if we cannot think beyond identity-prescribed interests, then there's no room for collective action & solidarity w/ others."
uncommongroundmedia.com/political-prin…
3/4

And check out Christine Louis-Dit-Sully's new book, available later in May of this year:

*Transcending Racial Divisions*

"Identity-based anti-racism has become more of a hindrance than a solution for a better and freer world for us all."

johnhuntpublishing.com/zer0-books/our…
Read 4 tweets
25 Apr
The *2nd* poem published by someone of African descent in the future US, Jupiter Hammon:

AN Evening THOUGHT. SALVATION BY CHRIST, WITH PENETENTIAL CRIES: Composed by Jupiter Hammon, a Negro Belonging to Mr. Lloyd, of Queen's-Village, on Long-Island, the 25th of Dec., 1760.

1/15
2/15

SALVATION comes by Jesus Christ alone,
The only Son of God;
Redemption now to every one,
That love his holy Word.
Dear Jesus we would fly to Thee,
And leave off every Sin,
Thy Tender Mercy well agree;
Salvation from our King.
3/15

Salvation comes now from the Lord,
Our victorious King;
His holy Name be well ador’d,
Salvation surely bring.
Dear Jesus give they Spirit now,
Thy Grace to every Nation,
That han’t the Lord to whom we bow,
The Author of Salvation.
Read 15 tweets
20 Apr
👉 POWERFUL & timely essay by @JohnRWoodJr. Read the thread. It's may not be what you expected:

"We do need unity in America. We need peace & order. We need justice & the correcting of genuine social inequities. There is a path to this kind of unity. It is a painful path."

1/19
2/19

"There is a price to be paid for what we sometimes call 'unity.' Sometimes, consciously or not, we use 'unity' to fashion societal arrangements that bury legitimate grievance and social dissent beneath consensus, where they may be comfortably ignored."
3/19

"We may feel polarized in America along the axes of left and right, Black and white. But the core division that must be identified and spoken to in American life is the divide between the privileged and the marginalized—in ways that go beyond what you might think."
Read 19 tweets
19 Apr
"A case can be made that the correct narrative to adopt today is one of unabashed black patriotism—a forthright embrace of American nationalism by black people."

@GlennLoury's latest for @CityJournal

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"Is this a venal, immoral, & rapacious bandit-society of plundering white supremacists, founded in genocide & slavery & propelled by capitalist greed, or a good country that affords boundless opportunity to all fortunate enough to enjoy the privileges and...
3/

"...bear the responsibilities of citizenship? Of course, there is some warrant in the historical record for both sentiments, but the weight of the evidence overwhelmingly favors the latter. The founding of the United States of America was a world-historic event...
Read 11 tweets
18 Apr
The very first writing by a person of African descent in the future United States was "Bars Fight" (1746) by freedwoman Lucy Terry, c.1730–1821.

August, ’twas the twenty-fifth,
Seventeen hundred forty-six,
The Indians did in ambush lay,
Some very valient men to slay,

1/13
2/13

The names of whom I’ll not leave out:
Samuel Allen like a hero fout,
And though he was so brave and bold,
His face no more shall we behold.

Eleazor Hawks was killed outright,
Before he had time to fight –
Before he did the Indians see,
Was shot and killed immediately.
3/13

Oliver Armsden he was slain,
Which caused his friends much grief and pain.
Simeon Arsden they found dead
Not many rods distant from his head.

(Note: a "rod" is a unit of measurement)
Read 13 tweets
10 Apr
"The redefinition of harm infantilizes people of color. I would never let someone else have so much power over my wellbeing that a 'mean tweet' or a mere question...would shake me to my core.

A new essay by @Rhetors_of_York

Thread...

1/10
2/10

"Robin DiAngelo has made a pretty penny insisting that white people should infantilize black people—and that black people should embrace victimhood (their own fragility)—to coax a racial reckoning."
3/10

"I believe that this ideology's biggest, most dangerous tool is its ever-evolving definition of the most salient word in [DiAngelo's] new book's title: 'harm'."

'Harm' has become an almost ubiquitous term in social justice circles."
Read 10 tweets
9 Apr
"Dear God,
Please help me to hate White people."

1st words of a prayer in a NYTimes Bestseller.

Here's where theoretical academic CRT & DiAngelo's pop ideas ultimately lead, in practice.

Is this the path to a harmonious multiethnic USA?

Whole "prayer" in this thread.

1/18
2/18

"Or at least to want to hate them. At least, I want to stop caring about them, individually and collectively. I want to stop caring about their misguided, racist souls, to stop believing that they can be better, that they can stop being racist.
3/18

"I'm not talking about the White antiracist allies who have taken up this struggle against racism w/ their whole lives—the ones who stand vigil for weeks outside jails where Black women are killed; who show up in Charlottesville & Ferguson & Baltimore & Pasadena...
Read 20 tweets
8 Apr
"The same laws that we used to combat segregated water fountains, are the same laws that we can use to fight against segregation that typically happens under a critical race theory regime."

@IanVRowe's testimony before the Rhode Island State Legislature.

A short thread.

1/6
2/6

"Less than 1/2 of RI’s white students in the 8th grade scored proficient in reading. Closing the black to white achievement gap, w/o improving outcomes for all students, would mean black student outcomes would grow from sub-mediocrity to full-mediocrity in terms of reading."
3/6

"American institutions are enforcing a cynical & intolerant orthodoxy. This orthodoxy requires us to view each other based on immutable characteristics like skin color, gender and sexual orientation. It pits us against one another, and diminishes what it means to be human."
Read 6 tweets
3 Apr
Spotlight on the UK:

@buffsoldier_96 in @unherd:

"Political blackness was born in [an] era where 'coloureds were treated as part of a de facto underclass. Institutional racism meant they occupied menial jobs, were denied decent housing and education and were excluded...

1/10
2/10

"...from many social spaces due to the 'colour bar'.

In this context, it made sense for descendants of Britain’s colonies to band together.

But political blackness is now a fossil. [I]t flattens out the diffs btw blacks & S. Asians into an abstract non-white identity.
3/10

"At the same time, the emergence of identity politics has had the effect of breaking up what was once a unified 'black struggle' into ethnic & religious fragments.

The Tories are the political group best equipped to appeal to an increasingly diverse electorate.
Read 10 tweets
3 Apr
Urgently important new essay by @steevqj:

The Race To Focus On Race:
What happens when the narrative outpaces the truth?

"You’ve probably heard that on March 16th, Robert Long attacked two massage parlours in Atlanta killing eight people & seriously injuring another...

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"You’ve also likely heard that six of the eight victims were Asian women. In the days following the attack, news outlets published a string of reports blaming Long’s actions on racism.

Trevor Noah made the case more clearly than most:
3/

" '…The Atlanta shooter blamed a specific race of people for his problems and then murdered them because of it. If that’s not racism, then the word has no meaning.'

There’s no arguing with Noah’s logic here. The problem is, what he’s saying isn’t true.
Read 16 tweets
31 Mar
1/11

British gov't has released the report of its Commission on Race & Ethnic Disparities (CRED).

"Put simply we no longer see a Britain where the system is deliberately rigged against ethnic minorities. The impediments & disparities do exist, they are varied, and ironically... Image
2/11

"...very few of them are directly to do w/ racism. Too often ‘racism’ is the catch-all explanation, and can be simply implicitly accepted rather than explicitly examined.

The evidence shows that geography, family influence, socio-economic background, culture & religion...
3/11

"...have more significant impact on life chances than the existence of racism. That said, we take the reality of racism seriously and we do not deny that it is a real force in the UK."

Read it here:
gov.uk/government/pub…
Read 12 tweets
31 Mar
Lovely piece on the misused, abused, and sainted for all the wrong reasons Frantz Fanon, by @tomowolade:

"St. Frantz is a mirage. As his biographer David Macey puts it: 'there were other Frantz Fanons', apart from his status as a prophet of Third World revolution."

Thread

1/9
2/9

"On the very first page of 'Black Skin, White Masks' Fanon states: 'I’m not the bearer of absolute truths'. Which doesn’t sound very saintly. He was trying to emphasise his humanity instead of being seen solely for his race."
3/9

"Fanon, in his book, is trying to affirm the universal brotherhood of man. In one passage, he states: 'we must recall our aim is to enable better relations between Blacks and Whites'. It is no surprise, then, he is sensitive about anti-Semitism."
Read 9 tweets
30 Mar
On the occasion of the trial of Derek Chauvin for the murder of George Floyd, by @Hebro_Steele:

"Ideology blinds us to humanity while the act of witnessing reveals.

We see this blindness more than ever in today’s identity-politics-choked America."

1/ Image
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"To be a witness does not mean the surrendering of one’s values & principles; it only means understanding & empathy. The act of witnessing allows one to absorb the experiences of another human, allowing one to grow wiser."

"We cannot guess what went through Chauvin’s mind...
3/

"...as he kneeled on Floyd, but his hands in his pockets & his defiant stare revealed a man blinded to the man beneath his knee. When Al Sharpton declares 'America is on trial,' he blinds himself to the progress that countless Blacks have made in America.
Read 5 tweets
28 Mar
"The Good News They Won’t Tell You About Race in America," by @wil_da_beast630 in @Commentary:

"In 2021 America, it is not, objectively speaking, extraordinarily hard for a person of any skin tone to 'make it'."

A thread for non-subscribers.

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"Seven of the wealthiest eight ethnic groups in the U.S. today are populations of color, even as affirmative action broadly defined serves as a counterbalance to much of the residual bigotry within society.
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"In the real world, simply adjusting mathematically for mundane characteristics such as median age and study time closes almost all of the large racial—and gender—performance gaps glibly attributed to bigotry or genetics.
Read 25 tweets
27 Mar
1/

Philosopher Charles Mills on liberalism:

"Liberalism is attractive on both principled & strategic grounds. If liberalism has never lived up to its ostensible principles & values, that goes no way in proving that the principles & values are themselves unattractive ones.
2/

"The illuminating way to understand violations of (ideal) liberal norms [is] as a manifestation of the corrupting results of group power, whether of the privileged classes, men, or the dominant race, for liberal theory & practice.
3/

"But we can appeal to the idealized, non-group-restricted versions of liberal principles and values to critique the exclusionary versions—indeed, that is precisely what most American progressive social movements have historically done.
Read 7 tweets
26 Mar
1/

We welcome the inspiring Prof. Lucas E. Morel (@LincolnDouglass) into our Compendium of Free Black Thought (bit.ly/Compendium_of_…):

Highlights from his "Speaking the Truth":

Frederick Douglass "saw free speech as 'the great moral renovator of society and government'.”
2/

" 'Slavery cannot tolerate free speech,' [Frederick Douglass] declared in 1860. 'They will have none of it there, for they have the power.'

He pointed out that slave societies required 'violations of free speech,' but was confident that 'truth must triumph...
3/

"...under a system of free discussion.'

Unfortunately, the trend among colleges is to tell students what to think...rather than to equip them to discuss important topics from a range of perspectives.

Why prevent the 'free discussion' that Douglass argued was essential...
Read 8 tweets
26 Mar
1/

The case for FBT & a true antiracism @steevqj:

"Elevate Black voices, but only when they support the right narrative. Our lived experiences should be heard, but only when they portray Blackness as endless suffering. Our opinions matter, but only when we affirm the belief...
2/

"...that all Black people think the same. When we remind the world that we’re whole human beings—capable of reasoning, nuance, & making mistakes—suddenly our thoughts seem nonessential to these people.

Articles about race should enforce the belief that to be Black is...
3/

"...to live in a constant state of fear & oppression. They should make Black people feel angry, helpless, & victimised. Or ideally, some combination of the three. We’re getting so used to this idea that some see any other message as anti-Black.

When I write about racism...
Read 5 tweets
22 Mar
1/6

In this moment we must remind ourselves of the headline behind the headlines:

We live in a multi-ethnic society where people from every imaginable national, ethnic, & racial background co-exist, despite rare incidents, in abiding harmony.

We should value this.

Thread.
2/6

In Commentary, @wil_da_beast630 recently went thru stats for hate crimes:

While most violence is intraracial, "Asian Americans take it on the chin from everyone else in terms of criminal victimization. Asian Americans committed only 24.1% of all violent acts against Asians.
3/6

"Whites (24.1%), blacks (27.5%), & Hispanics + 'others' combined (21.4%) all attacked Asians roughly as often as other Asians did."

According to BJS, from 2011-15, 7.5% of hate crimes were against Asians, 24.7% against Hispanics, 14.5% against blacks, & 53% against whites.
Read 6 tweets
20 Mar
1/7

The World Socialist Web Site and MLK's legal counsel and righthand man, Dr. Clarence B. Jones, both address California's new Ethnic Studies Model Curriculum (ESMC).

Dr. Jones:

“I write this letter to you with great dismay, and great concern for the perversion of history...
2/7

"...that is being perpetrated by the Ethnic Studies Model Curriculum. If this model curriculum is approved, it will inflict great harm on millions of students in our state.

It is a fact that the Black Freedom Movement of the '50s & '60s under Dr. King's leadership...
3/7

"...transformed our country, overthrowing a century of Jim Crow segregation and white supremacist terror throughout the former Confederate States. This fact, which I had thought was well known to all educated persons, has been removed from the ESMC.
Read 9 tweets