This is the second article in a series of three. This is the first one: Bernie Sanders and the Black Vote, Part 1: A Different View. Many of my non-Black readers may not know about the function of Gatekeepers on Black people in America. They are basically a buffer class that keeps the Black community from demanding too much from government. The group masks the daily perils of Black life in return for class privilege and access/proximity to power. To be clear, this is not a “power-sharing” arrangement. Gatekeepers, though they would surely protest, have no influence of their own. The GKs are currently an instrument of the Democratic wing of the American empire.
There will always be money in media and politics for negroes willing to mislead, misinform, or publically chastise the Black community. ~ Michael Graham
They certainly cannot treat White Liberals or the donor class as they do African-Americans. GKs can poke at poor, White Right Wingers, Leftists, and Republican members of the government. Gatekeepers serve to misinform White Liberal Democrats on what Black folks are thinking; they know that they have very little influence over the lives and decisions of White America. GKs merely assure that Liberals are comfortable about policy that remains uninformed by the needs of Black people and conforms with corporate aims. However, the save the worst of their venom for Black people that are perceived to be from lower economic strata or not college educated.
Growing up I learned that my grandfather was a Mason. In college, I was introduced to Black Greek Fraternities and Sororities. But, it wasn’t until I joined the military was I made aware of how secretive Black Masonic and Greek Organizations played such an impactful role in the Black Community. An older brother from Oakland, CA sat me down and told me about organizations like the Links and Boule. It sounded like fantasy to me. I did not even know that Black folks had secret societies. But, this dude had heard and seen it all growing up in the Bay Area in the 60s and 70s.
tweet_dis2]Bernie 2020 and the Black Vote, Part 2: The Gatekeepers by @mg_returns[/tweet_dis2]
My parents have always been workaday people that were reluctant but natural leaders and never “joiners.” I knew from my grandfather that the Masons were pretty secretive. To be fair, the Black Masons are a working class, community-oriented organization. But, I just thought it was old guys using the meetings as an excuse to get out of the house. What did I know? Hell, the New York Times didn’t know either.
Then in 1999, Princeton and Harvard Law grad Lawrence Otis Graham published ”Our Kind of People: Inside America’s Black Upper Class.” This book spilled all the beans (tea?) on the color-struck, wealthy Black Gatekeeper Class. It wasn’t pretty. (The paper bag test is real!)
The first lines from Chapter 1:
Bryant Gumbel is, but Bill Cosby isn’t.
Lena Horne is, but Whitney Houston isn’t.
Andrew Young is, but Jesse Jackson isn’t.
And neither is Maya Angelou, Alice
Walker, Clarence Thomas, or Quincy Jones.
And even though both of them try extremely
hard, neither Diana Ross nor Robin Givens
will ever be.
In the book, he laid out all the things I learned in that barracks room so many years prior. The visceral hatred of poor Black people, dark skin, Black entertainment, and nappy hair. There were cotillions, exclusive networks, yachts, and the crippling, ever-present fear of losing status. Mr. Graham soft-pedals the degree to which these groups facilitate the plunder of the rest of Black America, however. (Click this link for a free copy of the book, because fk them)
Not all Gatekeepers are from these groups. But, they ALL certainly aspire to breathe this rarified air.
Now you (we) know these circles actually exist. If you are wondering where these people are in politics, GKs are on your tv and radio, keeping a TIGHT lid on the problems of Black America. They’re able to hide in plain sight by talking a good game about giving the Black community what it needs. Of course, that need very rarely requires investing resources into the Black community or raising taxes. Because the job of the Gatekeeper is to keep Black people out of the pockets of wealthy White America.
The group also serve to exacerbate racial tensions within the Democratic Party by charging Black people in media and politics that don’t toe the Dem line as being “sellouts” or white-adjacent and calling White people that want to work with Black communities “racist.”
The GKs used to be a little harder to spot. But, here is a quick checklist for you:
- Often on CNN and MSNBC
- Graduate from elite schools
- Hates Bernie Sanders
- Hates the #ADOS Movement even more
They redirect the righteous anger of Black people into spaces that do not impact policy. Gatekeepers promote the view of Black America as a monolith. Only they have their fingers on the pulse of “the community.” Only GKs can translate what the masses of their unwashed brethren require.
The Gatekeepers and #ADOS
I mentioned in a previous piece that the #ADOS Reparations Movement had drawn the ire of the Dem Gatekeepers. The movement is everything the GKs despise- it’s grassroots, working class, focused, can’t be paid off, and benefits Black people. They started with tried-and-true smears to make these folks go away. They called the movement “bots” funded by Russia with no forensic proof.
This move was a strategic blunder because Democratic presidential hopefuls were giving lip service to Reparations at the very same time. This error has prompted the GKs to shift to co-opting the popular and now-sanctioned message of Reparations. They have no intention of helping it pass. They are gathering their forces to place themselves in front of the conversation and bury the true movement and its founders.
#ADOS is a very serious threat to the Gatekeeper status quo. Because if this current crop of Gatekeepers can’t control, defame, or destroy this message; they have less than zero value to their White benefactors. The laserlike, data-driven, morally grounded movement is extremely hard to dig out. That means they can and will be replaced.
Black Lives Matter?
After reading this, you may be wondering how Black Lives Matter slipped through the GK cracks. Here is your answer: