Banner’s “Integration was Worse than Slavery”

Overall I’ve come to appreciate and respect the artistry and intellect of David Banner.  I think he is one of few Hip Hop icons that is courageous and angled to voice the perspective of working-poor Blacks and not flinch.  He’s always on the moral side of issues as it pertains to Blacks and he attempts to argue from a well thoughtful perspective.  It doesn’t mean he is always right.  In this case, his facts maybe largely unsupported yet, I found ideas that truly resonated with my angle. 

Here we go!!

First let make this distinction clear from the beginning. Segregation is different from separation.  Segregation is not a voluntary mode of action on behalf of a people.  It’s in an infliction upon a group or systemic intent toward a population.  Segregation is legally imposed on a people, not deliberately created.  Segregation robs people of political power with grandfather clauses, poll taxes, literacy test, and ‘understanding’ examines.  Jim Crow segregation deflates economic development by barring job opportunities, limiting business investments, marginalizing skills, and depriving education.  Segregation is an American systemic ill, sanctioned in 1892, that created a caste social structure, barring citizens from equal public access and facilities, and implicating inferior citizenship upon African Americans.  This is different than deliberate separation that is willfully forged.  J.B. Stradford, in 1903, strategically worked with numerous economically established Blacks to carve a social, economic, politically, and skilled-labor thriving city with established institutions in Greenwood, Oklahoma.  The Black experience is filled with many examples of voluntary and deliberate efforts of “separation” that supports nationalistic endeavors. 

“Integration worse than slavery.  You if you look at the stats Black people didn’t start treating each other the way the do until integration.”

I don’t know what “stats” he is referring to but this couldn’t be further form the truth.  I don’t need to purport the harsh violently reality of slavery.  The data scripted in numerous scholarly research and narratives convey this reality.  Authors such as John G. Jackson, John Henry Clark, Lerone Bennet, Earl Conrad, and even the controversial John W. Blassingame will help any person pierce into the inhumane brutality of the slave industry and the horrible atrocity inflicted upon Blacks. 

However, I do agree with Banner with his unspoken ideal.  Reflectively, integration can be scrutinized by its long-term effect upon the thriving vitality of the Black community.  There is evidence that demonstrate a stronger educational formula and economic foundation in several Black areas in the south before Brown vs Board.  However, to suggest that Black folks treated each other better before integration is unfounded and ridiculous.  Black southern resident and workers, migrating north to escape violently southern white supremacy, came north to confront a different type of racism and segregation.  Unfortunately, they also ran into a percentage of northern Blacks who, through their own internalized white-supremacy, shunned southern Blacks because of cultural difference. Even in the south, Black folks with a genetic links to wealthy whites by way of slavery or land ownership tended to draw class differences that manifested in color complexity and education criticism. Before integration, class division tended to cast a contempt toward poorer Blacks from wealthier families because of that lack of “civil etiquette of the race.” 

“To kill a black man there was no ramifications in the law until after integration.”

Mary B. TalberTrue, but still not necessarily accurate.  By 1902 to 1923, many anti-lynching laws were being written and pushed on the “books” to garner federal protection for Black lives.  Nellie Francis, Minnesota native, spearheaded the ant-lynching bill which at the least made it to Senate.  Mary B. Talber, Black NAACP member, orchestrated and promoted Leonidas C. Dyer anti-lynching bill in St. Louis Missouri, which in turned catapulted the strength of a federal mandate against lynching. Ida B. Wells criticized the Senate and America government for not passing federal law to protect the lives of southern and northern Blacks.  By 1925, New York, Indiana, Minnesota, Pennsylvania, and 4 other states had anti-lynch laws on booksThe reality to Banner’s point is whether America had the “will” to enforce the laws on the books and the protection under the constitution. The 14th Amendment, although emasculated from the Plessy vs Ferguson decision, protected Black citizens lives under constitutional law.

“Don’t you have like Little Italy, don’t you have like Little China town, Isn’t that segregation inside integration.”

Cities that have high concentration of Italians, Chinese, Mexican, do not share the history of state and federally supported segregative restrictions.  Italians came in large quantities after WWI and assimilated with the option and process of cultural infinity.  Voluntarily, any group will attract to areas where they see similar kinship, industry, and culture.  These attributes foster a tendency for immigrates to find areas that resembles home and offer opportunities of prosperity.  Cultural affinity creates economic booms in business, produces political representation and power, and most importantly, carves geographic location of language and commonality.  While African Americans have a few examples in history such as Gainesville (FL), Rosewood (FL), Tulsa (OK), Freedmen Town (TX), Davis Bend (MS), Freedmen Village (VA), and several others, most of the communities Black folks redesigned were created by legal Jim Crow segregation.  Black folks never created a “segregated” experience inside of integration.  Again, we have attempted deliberate separation of locality.  David’s notion is off because what he claims isn’t accurate.  Italians and Chinese citizens were never segregated and benefited from cultural affinity to create Little Italy and China Town. It’s not to say these others never experience restriction under white supremacy but these geographic communities have a much different history than Blacks.  Lastly, one of the major differences between Italians, Chinese, and any other groups, in comparison to Black is the origin of arrival.  Blacks were dragged here against there will for one purpose only: slave labor. With the exception of Indigenous people, every group in America arrived voluntarily, with a predetermined purpose, to exploitively prosper in the ideal of America

There are a few philosophical ideas that Banner nailed.  I want to highlight this because David Banner is a thinking individual and, out respect for him and artistry, deserves attention and to be challenged when inaccurate.

“We need to create our own schools and we have to suffer for a while..”

I think education is one prominent method to creating a nationalistic effort to build Black collectivity.  Processes have to be established that builds Black thinking, historical understanding, skill development, and politicization.  In efforts of Black nation building, numerous efforts have advocated and/or creating a plan for educational development amongst  the people.  Its indispensable.  Banner was absolutely correct with this.  Further, this will not unfold in one or even two generations.  There has to be generation that is willing to suffer or sacrifice for the strategy of nation building for our great grandchildren.  American commercial consumerism, a manifest of capital endeavor, creates immediate appetite for current gratification.  There is a struggle to delay material acquisition for long-term investment. This struggle isn’t real for all of Black folks, yet do exist for far too many.  A sacrificial generation, from capital consumerism and immediate material acquisition, becomes part of the recipe for restoring collective Black identity and devising strategic nation building within America.

“People want to get their record deals, people want to keep the comfort of white supremacy and get knowledge of self at the same time….”

David called out more than just Hip-hop entertainers with this notion.  Quite of few athletes, rappers, actors, producers, and mainstream popular icons have signed contracts for their established positions. Maintenance of their status requires moral and conductive compromise with Black issues or causes.  Colby Bryant was willing to suspend his indictment of George Zimmerman and refuse a solidarity gesture with his teammates because white-supremacy, in the form of endorsements, kept him in check.  Master P, Lil Wayne, Juvenile, or Bird man remained relatively quiet and removed when issues surfaced with respect to federal and national actions toward Katrina victims.  From Steve Harvey to Stephen A. Smith, numerous talk show and comic commentary hostsstephen-a-smith- have had moments of touting critical ideas toward Black respectability, however, in the face of challenging systemic issues, so many have coward and hid behind Black folk bashing rhetoric.  Too many of the 21st century “tenth” (I won’t say talented) are willing to drop heavy knowledge about Black folk behind close doors and maintain their comfortability in the face of white-systemic capitalism. 

“We own America by blood rite. Other people conquered, we built this country….”

No one can argue against this well established point that Banner made clear.  From the east to the west coast, this land is cultivated with African blood-history (experience as laborers under slavery) dropped from the earliest European factories.  Our skills and talents was used, “to beat back the wilderness, conquer the soil, and lay the foundation of this vast economic empire two hundred years earlier than your weak hands could have done it”, as Dubois eloquently put. Banner echoed the thoughts of earlier Black intellects, like Frederick Douglass, and current historian’s conviction which states that Black folks have more claim to this social formation than any late comer inheriting his/her citizenship after WWII.  Do we believe this is the question? It was fascinating that Banner connected the lynching of his  great uncle to the rightful claim of his personal ownership of democracy and social stake in this country.  A study of American economic development reveals that the slave industry, and its success in cash crops, is the catalyst that launched the country to become the global giant today.  Economic and international politics are one of the same coin. Like Banner concluded, it’s easy to draw the connection that America, as imperialistic in all nature, was formed off the backs of the African.

“Other people will respect us more we own our own…..”

I’m on the fence with this one only because its a statement that speaks toward gaining someone else’s respect.  However, in the core of his statement, I want to think that Banner is speaking toward economic and political power.  Large constituents in control of business sectors, blocks of citizens concerns, and can connect to the stakeholders or social capital of a people will easily press the demands against systems.  In other words, if we control our own and have the people’s interests, governing bodies will acknowledge those very interest.  If I went to deep with his notion and Banner is only speaking of gaining respect of white-folks, then I have to disagree.  The conclusive platform is whether Black folks respect themselves enough to be as great as history prescribe us too.  Current police conduct across the nation indicates that state authority will always struggle to respect Black interest.  This is reason why slogan protest such as “Black Lives Matter” becomes vital but misguided to some degree.  We have to salute local, regional, and national Black think tanks striving to discuss institutional development for Black folks.  Umar Johnson’s campaign to fund his school comes to mind.

“Our people has to hold people accountable, even if its by physical account.” 

I just entirely agree on this….enough said!!!!

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