South African photographer Peter Magubane compiled shots he took during the Soweto protests in a book called Never, Never Again -- and in its forward, the Reverend Desmond Tutu made this statement ...
"I wrote an open letter to the then Prime Minister Mr. B.J. Vorster. In it I was warning him that unless something was done and done urgently to remove the causes of black anger then I was fearful of what was likely to erupt ..."
Now pay attention, 'cause if ya blink, you'll miss it: Rev. Tutu stated, "to remove THE CAUSES of black anger." My main problem with New Agers and hippies is they instead try to remove the anger itself -- all the while, leaving those causes intact. And why? Because their first priority is maintaining a privileged comfort level, NOT helping the poor/oppressed. Evidently, all those negative vibes stemming from hearing news of Human rights abuses make them uncomfortable ...
Be it The Secret or Peaceful Warrior (each are New Age films and books), the message is the same: "Since everyone can literally alter reality at whim via the power of positive thinking, there's no point in ever pointing out the damage capitalism and imperialism has done, so don't bring me down, man ..!" Ultimately, this hippie psychobabble primarily serves let the powerful off the hook.
It's also inconsiderate in the extreme: Recently, a New Ager hired yours truly to design some flyers for him. He liked my designs and promised me one hundred dollars for them. Well, the hundred came -- albeit very late, and when I tried explaining to this hippie how much that money was needed, his only response was to study Peaceful Warrior in order to purge myself of anxiety.
As the band Funkadelic sings, "If you don't like the effects, don't produce the cause!" In other words, if this tie-dye wearing, patchouli oil-smelling bastard wanted me to calm down so bad, he should've been considerate enough to acknowledge that the rent and power bill caN'T be paid via meditation!
Just as music is said to soothe the savage beast, it's clear the New Age segment of the white left assumes one can similarly sedate the angry black man with this hippie crap. Again, fixating on the anger rather than its causes. As Yoda said in The Empire Strikes Back, the dark side is quicker, easier and more seductive. So what's easier? Addressing a cause of black angst such as poverty or police brutality ...
... or chastising a black man for not masochistically castrating his emotions? As the great black author James Baldwin once said, "To be a Negro in this country and to be relatively conscious is to be in a rage almost all the time."
On August 26, 2001, John Leland interviewed the award-winning musician and Civil Rights legend, Harry Belafonte ...
Leland: You once described yourself as being in a constant state of rebellion, fueled by anger. How is your anger different at 74 than at 34?
Belafonte: The anger hasn't changed. I've got to be a part of whatever the rebellion is that tries to change all this. The anger is a necessary fuel. Rebellion is healthy.
There's an excellent commentary Harvard professors Michael C. Dawson and Lawrence Bobo tag-teamed with Blackcommentator.com to produce, headlined Different Moral Universe, and it explains this righteous rage: "Blacks and whites see the world from opposite ends of American Manifest Destiny, which is at the very core of the white national personality, worldview, and sense of self. Like a Black Hole, Manifest Destiny exerts a near-irresistible pull on white Americans, distorting history and even the near-past beyond recognition. Realities are made invisible, even as they unfold in plain sight."
There is hope, however. Beth Quinn is white and she definitely understands. On August 28th, 2006, Quinn wrote the following for the Times-Herald Record: "Why do they accuse us Bush critics of being 'bitter and angry,' as though our lack of complacency is some sort of character flaw? Their implication is that being bitter and angry is just so unladylike. Do they imagine we're all at some 19th-century lawn party? That perhaps we're throwing an unseemly fit because a croquet ball went off in the wrong direction? Of course we're bitter and angry ... and if you're not, I can only ask, what planet are you living on?"
I'm tired of all these excuses for why life supposedly can't change for the better: "Human nature," the Biblical rapture -- and now the counterculture?! Well, NO more! The rich WILL be taxed, the military's budget WILL be cut and ethical/eco-friendly jobs that pay a living (NOT minimum) wage WILL be created for the benefit of black (and other impoverished) people! If anyone else tells me to pull my bootstraps (yuppie advice) or to create my own reality (hippie advice), they're gonna have a fight on their hands!