Fascism and Elitism in the Black Upper Class. REPOST for UDC President Mason.

Opinion | “America has an authoritarian voter problem”
“We need to face the fact that our democracy faces deep-seated problems.” — by Brian Klass

I posted the above piece yesterday on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

Facebook discussions sometimes help inspire me to go further–especially when family and friends join in with their own opinions and perspectives:

[family member’s name redacted–Facebook discussion]
No, it’s a white man’s fear of POC and a few POC who hate their color.

Cherie Ann Turpin—-Facebook discussion response I gave [greatly edited and expanded for this blog entry here]:

It’s not just skin color here, and your race does not cleanse you of fascist thinking.

The Washington Post’s Editor-in-Chief should have been a bit clearer here in titling this piece–it’s not just authoritarianism here; it’s fascism.

I understand how you got to what you said.

People from a variety of racial/ethnic backgrounds who are, yes, majority-white support Trump’s attempts to become a dictator and support the GOP’s attempts to convert us into a single political party government. However, the glue holding them together is not just racism but also classism and misogyny combined.

This is precisely what Black feminism addresses, going all the way back to Barbara Smith and Audre Lorde back in the 70s when they both warned folk in Black and white communities.

I’m watching that same fascism fueled by racism, misogyny, and classism run UDC and the people of DC into the ground.

It was here before Trump before the GOP did their damage these last four years.

In other words, the Democrats who run DC think and behave like Trump because this really is a one-party town, and UDC is one big playground for politicians to play political chess games with peoples’ lives for their entertainment, which is what elitists who despise poor people do to maintain the very unjust, unfair system that keeps poor people poor and oppressed.

Why is it so hard for prominent Black people to see and acknowledge classism, elitism, and colorism even while reluctantly seeing and acknowledging sexism, homophobia, transphobia, and racism?

Well, for the most part with a few exceptions, prominent Black people are classist, elitist, and colorist. Wealth and privilege tend to do that, and we who are Black are not perfect. We are capable of being selfish, self-centered, greedy, vengeful, bitter, angry, and fearful, just like every other human being on this planet.

It’s called sin.

Praying it away won’t help if you keep using it while ignoring the people you harm while you consume and benefit from the harm you have inflicted.

Those same prominent Black people used and still use what Audre Lorde once mentioned as the ‘Master’s Tools,’ where those feared fascist leather boots are used to get to the so-called top by climbing on the backs and necks of the oppressed masses of poor Black and Brown people to arrive at the top as token examples of excellence and accountability with a certain efficiency and pride expected of most narcissists and psychopaths/sociopaths who exploit and torment the oppressed without expectation or fear of legal repercussions or social isolation.

Capitalism with few to downright zero controls for the last few decades fuels this sociopolitical hate fest among our own people, and unfortunately, almost all of our places of safety, growth, and healing (churches, schools, colleges/universities, hospitals, family gatherings) are, have been, and will continue to be sites of toxicity because we keep ignoring what’s in our faces out of fear, obligation, tradition, or just blindness to the obvious.

These so-called figures of authority model themselves after white supremacists out of admiration, greed, and self-hate.

Fascism has no room for real love or empathy–only hollowness of pretense and performance.

This is also rape culture.

Some of my colleagues are seeking insight as to how to respond to January 6.

Start with what was obvious to me as a Black woman who has survived 54 years of rape, domestic abuse, sexual harassment, physical and emotional abuse, bullying, and microaggressions: these men have collective rapist tendencies [for colored girls]. And to be honest, I’ve been on edge in my own apt building and neighborhood this whole year–especially now. Right now, as a Black woman, I don’t feel safe in Washington, DC, but when did I ever feel safe as an adult woman? Especially in DC. DC has always been a safe space for sexual predators, especially those who target Black and Brown women, girls, and femmes and poor women, girls, and femmes of all colors.

UDC’s silence on gender, race, class, and sexual orientation is echoing in the new year, especially as we struggle to persuade students to return to an HBCU trying to alienate poor Black and Brown students in order to reinforce the notion that the ideal higher education student, faculty, administrator, and ultimately citizen is a white upper-class man. I can’t find a single leader at UDC willing to call that coup attempt the criminal action that it was because they will alienate white men who believe themselves entitled to female/femme bodies, especially those female/femme bodies that are Black or Brown. And since I’m getting that kind of energy from my own colleagues, I need to say something out of human decency.

To me, those men on the Hill looked like a bunch of freaks hyped up on video games, meth, and gang-rape videos. Are we really going to fold back onto ourselves in the lockstep of black respectability political ideals as a source of comfort in the face of such evil and then expect young Black and Brown people to trust us?

Take a look at the landscape below and you tell me, Ron, what you see and hear:

This is also rape culture. I have much to say about the intersections of issues and contexts….more to talk about as this case unfolds.

Da Fourteenth! We launch our podcast Professors’ Lounge: An Afrofuturism Scholar Production!


Professor Eileen James
Dr. William Dalessio
Dr. Cherie Ann Turpin

Professors’ Lounge: An Afrofuturism-Scholar Production

January 14, 2 pm EST

Eileen James teaches literature, composition, and public speaking at the Community College of RI. She received an MFA in literary writing from Brown University, and her poetry has appeared in a variety of publications including RIBOT, Innisfree, Monsters and the Monstrous, and Rag Shock. She is currently finishing up her work in the PhD program at the University of RI, and her publications reflect her diverse critical interests, focusing on the rhetoric of power and privilege, the benefits of peer learning the writing classroom, and pop culture through a Black American lens. She excited to be a part of this pursuit and lend her curiosity, insight, and shameful humor to the group.

Bill Dalessio grew up outside of Providence, RI, in a working-class Italian American household with his parents, sister, paternal grandmother, uncle, and aunt. A first-generation college-student, he earned a B.A. in English at Rhode Island College and a M.A. and Ph.D., both in English, at the University of Connecticut. Dr. Dalessio has several publications, including his book Are We What We Eat? Food and Identity in Late Twentieth-Century American Ethnic Literature and articles in publications such as a/b: auto/biography studies, Studies in the Humanities, and The Southern Quarterly. Currently he is an Associate Professor of English at the Community College of Rhode Island, where he teaches multicultural American literature and composition courses.

Cherie Ann Turpin, Ph.D. is an Associate Professor in the English Program at University of DC, an HBCU. Her  publications include the book How Three Black Women Writers Combined Spiritual and Sensual Love (2010), as well as articles and chapters in academic journals and anthologies. She is developing two books:  1) Afrofuturism and African spiritual traditions; 2)  Digital Humanities and Diversity. 

Together, we are the hosts for the newest academic podcast on the block:

Professors’ Lounge: An Afrofuturism-Scholar Production

thot leedur is a genius!

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