The first word a Black baby learns is “mama.” The second word he learns is “racist.” That’s today. Before the Civil Rights coup d’état, Black men tipped their hats to White teenage boys. They helped White men track down and lay a beating on Emmitt Till, a visitor from Chicago who didn’t know that in the South of that day there were consequences to cornering and terrifying a married woman and then doubling-down on the churlishness when given an opportunity to apologize and go free. Since then, American Whites have been hog-tied by their federal government while Blacks have been liberated to follow their basest instincts and incited to violent anger by every one of their country’s institutions, now with the president of the United States telling them, in so many words, to go out and kill White policemen. They understand that the system stands behind them.
There are Black nationalists who want separation. But there are maybe four of them in the entire United States. Yet Black self-sufficiency was once a more serious movement, going back to the writings of Booker T. Washington. But today, what passes for nationalism among militant Blacks is nothing like what a White nationalist would recognize as a pursuit of sovereignty. Instead, militant Blacks see the country as a magic buffet that White folk are hogging for themselves. They see a nice park or a nice neighborhood, a nice school, a nice ratty flea market, or a nice restaurant without Blacks in it, and they feel robbed. So let’s say, Whites give it up to them via white flight; the place turns to shit instantly and the Blacks then look at the next nice White park, neighborhood, school, flea market, or restaurant and in a continuation of this cycle, they once again feel wrongly uninvited. They don’t want what nationalists have always fought for — land and its natural resources to hold as their own. They want the magic buffet that somehow always disappears the moment they touch it.
They want what commenter Thordaddy calls “liberation without separation.” And not even in the form of conquest or imperial dominion because they don’t want to rule over Whites, they want Whites to take care of them in perpetuity. It is a child’s worldview. Take a mentally retarded or a drunk White adult — but without the speech and motor impairment — and you have the typical Black Lives Matter “nationalist.” There are, to be sure, militant Blacks among the talented-tenth but the animating spirit of their passion is the shame of being patronized by Whites, the shame of being in a superior station over their untalented 90% fellow-Blacks without much in the way of visible merit, the shame of having abdicated their responsibility for them, as well as the shameful and repressed thought that they are mascots, rather than players, in the shaping of their own people’s destiny. That compound shame, rather than being faced and reckoned with, is sublimated into one-part-toxic and three-parts-inane truculence like that which we see in the writings of Ta-Nehisi Coates.