The Day I Got The Juan Williams Treatment: A Wake-Up Call To Bloggers Everywhere

by Obsidian on November 4, 2010

We all have particular dates on the calendar that mark watershed moments in our lives. For me, one of those dates is Wed, Nov 3, 2010. Why this date and not say, the date I founded my blog, The Obsidian Files – which had just celebrated one year old on Halloween?

Because, more than the founding of my blog, it was the day that it was taken down, that looms the largest for me. And it’s a date others reading along should do well to remember.

Because it’s a date that follows on the heels of another important date for the body politic – it was barely two weeks after veteran journalist and avowed Liberal Juan Williams, was summarily fired from his job of more than a decade – an NPR commentator – for daring to speak his mind and do so with those on the Right. There’s a great deal of similarity between Williams and myself — we both do what we love, which is to write and to give our take on the great issues of our time. To be sure, he’s been at it a lot longer than myself, and he gets paid for what he does to boot, something I don’t mind, because I never set out to do this blogging thing to make money (although that just might change, if my guess is right…). But perhaps the biggest thing we both have in common, is that we’re both Black Men.

But not only are we both Black Men, we’re supposed to fit into some kind of pre-defined box; we all know the drill by now. Black Men aren’t supposed to think for themselves. They’re supposed to be for Leftist causes and issues, come hell or high water – and if we don’t, if we question them, on any level whatsoever, then we’re “Juan Williams’d” – meaning thrown under the bus, tossed overboard, kicked to the curb. You get the idea.

Williams has said, in the days following his firing by NPR, that a lot of his assumptions came tumbling down — he was a Liberal because he thought that Liberals were tolerant, open minded folk. He found out the hard way – and I’m quoting him now – that this assumption simply wasn’t true, and that if anything, it was those on the Right, who had proven to be far and away more tolerant. he ought to know, after all, he sat among the Rightest of the Right, for years. And they weren’t the ones who cast him out like a leper. It was NPR — bastion of Leftwing points of view.

The parallel for me could not have been more striking, for it wasn’t rabid, raving, foaming at the mouth White racists in the form of “HBDers” storming the WordPress gates and clamoring for my head on a platter, it was my own “people”, in the form of Black Women, who did it. The very same Black Women, I would bet a dollar to a donut, who consider themselves progressive, open minded tolerant and “Liberal.” The same Black Women who have pulled the lever for the “D” column in virtually every election since they could vote. The same Black Women who claim to be for the rights of the minority — except “minorities” they don’t like. Like Brothas who speak their minds for example, about issues that actually matter. What are those issues, Obsidian? Sexual Politics, that’s what.

Earlier this year, during my tenure at the online Men’s magazine The Spearhead, I ran into a buzzsaw of contention for merely pointing out some things about my White brothers than they didn’t like. a veritable shitstorm was started, much gnashing of teeth, this, that… But I wasn’t banned or “fired” from The Spearhead, and no one called for my blog to be taken down. Those who have known me for any length of time know that I’ve had epic battles with many on the HBD side of the ledger – again, no one called for my voice to be shutdown. True, I’ve been more or less banned from participating at certain blogs; but that’s a far cry different from wanting to shut another person’s blog down.

That only happened when Women, in this case they happened to be Black, did so.

And, let’s be clear as to what kind of Black Women I’m talking about, lest I be accused of being a “misogynist” much in the way Williams was accused of being an “Islamophobe” – I’m not talking about the everyday Sista out there just trying to get by and live her life. I’m talking about Sistas who have chosen to enter into the public square of opinion and debate and attempt to foist their views onto the rest of us, without challenge or critique – then, when such a thing happens, which is inevitable, they want to suddenly revert from “strong, independent Women” to Damsels in Distress, pillorying you with all manner of ad hominem assaults in the process. In other words, these Sistas – and again I’m talking about bloggers and writers who have chosen to make it their life’s work to be advocates for certain points of view, and in some cases GET PAID FOR IT, want to have it both ways. They want to go into the public square, get up on the soapbox and say what they want without a challenge of any kind. And when they are challenged, when their views are shown to be proven false, when they’re exposed as the phonies and frauds that they are, they then want to shut you down after attempting to paint you as a “misogynist” or a “racist” or a “stalker” or whatever else they can think of. Personally, it’s Black Women like these that are doing grave harm to Black America, and I say that without any hint of hyperbole; this is not purple prose I’m going into here.

For WordPress’s part, they are no better than NPR in my view, hang on, actually, they are worse – at least Juan Williams got a late night phonecall. I didn’t even get an email from WP. I was informed by others that my blog was gone. Ask me what I think of WordPress’ commitment to freedom of speech.

Being born under the Sign of the Archer, every minute of every day is a “teachable moment,” and I had been reflecting on aspects of daily life long before that phrase became fashionable. Unlike so many others have been indoctrinated to do, my approach is to look at the world around me, and ask “wassup wit dat” and look for answers to explain it rather than come to the table with preconceived notions already in my head, and try to make what I see fit those “facts.” I’ve found personally that such an approach, if nothing else, simply doesn’t work. And it’s served me well.

Which is more a pressing concern for our body politic – racism, or feminism? For me, the answer couldn’t be cleearer. After all, it wasn’t hooded Klansmen, or HBDers, or Tea Partiers, or the Rotary Club armed to the teeth with The Bell Curve, who stormed the WordPress gates. It was those who consider themselves “progressive” and who all have vaginas, who did it. And they also just so happen to be Black.

I am hoping that incidents like this will finally unite the much-beleagured “Men’s Movement”; fellas, we have much bigger fish to fry here. And if we let differences in skin tone continue to divide us, then it will be as I’ve said in one of my final WordPress blog posts the other day, about why Black Men vote the way they do, with so very little to show for it, we will have brought it on ourselves, and will have no one to blame, but ourselves.

You have an ally in me, brothers. It’s up to you, if you want to take a Black hand in friendship.

Many of you claim to be at least moderately to the Right. If that’s true, then follow Fox News’ example, not just over the past few weeks, but the past decade, because that’s how long Juan Williams has been there. If you’re truly serious about moving the ball forward, join with Brothas like me who are finding their voice and telling it like it TIZ. it isn’t my skintone or my supposed “genetic inheritance” that’s the problem. The problem comes from a much more pernicious source, and we all know it. And we will never mount an effective counterstrike if we remain divided. Do not let it twist your mind, gentlemen – if it can happen to me, it can happen to you.

Lastly, as we all know, it was a happy ending for Juan Williams — his firing by NPR led not only to a serious pay raise, but a full-on platform to air his views, uncensored and uncut. I think the same will be true for me — I think I’m on the cusp of something. Because when people mobilize to have your voice shut down, that means that not only have you struck a raw nerve, but that there’s something there, and you need to cultivate that.

I want to thank all the well-wishers for coming out in support of me, online and especially off, and for all their help in assisting me in restoring key back postings of mine. I expect to have everything back up and running within a week or two. And when I do, it’s no more Mr. Nice Guy. Now, it’s ON.

Lemme tell you what I really think…

More to come – count on it

Now adjourn your asses…

The Obsidian

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