Souls for Sale
By Darryl James
There are people in every corner of society who are willing to sell their very souls for personal gain, for wealth and fame, or for nothing at all.
Amongst African Americans, we often see soul-selling in exchange for acceptance by the dominant group.
And, since these are typically Negroes who hate themselves, they go so much farther than white racists that their extremity is nearly insane.
They look silly and peculiar to many of us, because they allow the real racists to seem innocuous unless they are overt and extreme themselves.
That's why we see racists today delivering covert racism and then pretending that they didn't know or understand that their comments or actions were racist.
Simultaneously, we see Negroes taking the baton and going to the next level.
Take Bob Johnson of BET infamy, for example.
Not only did he create an entertainment venue, which continues to provide demeaning images long after he sold it, but in his support of Hillary Clinton, Johnson attacked Barack Obama in a way that whites only danced around.
It's one thing to support a white candidate. Not every Black person has to stand behind every Black candidate. However, Johnson's attack on Obama was a glaring example of self-hatred and selling out.
Johnson went to the extreme with his soul-selling.
But such high-tech soul-selling can only occur in an environment where our very identity is in question.
We are at such a loss of cultural identity, that nearly anything can be celebrated as beautiful, even if it really isn't.
This includes things that harm us.
We see this with rap music and comedy that pokes fun at us in an ignorant and image-damaging manner, yet, many of us not only support it, but vehemently defend it.
For proof, say anything against Tyler Perry and watch throngs of souled out Negroes come to his defense, even though the antics of his show House of Payne are indefensible to any Black person with self-pride.
It's not about Black supremacy, but what was once good about us and got us through the trials and tribulations of the past.
We have to be careful or we may not survive what is in store for us in the future.
It's no secret that whites are still willing to toss us under the bus when it comes to achieving their own desired goals.
We see Hillary praising her Republican rival over her Democratic Party rival, not just to win, but to keep ahead of the Black candidate at all costs.
She's selling us out, even as some confused Negroes still pledge allegiance to Big Bill Clinton, thinking that he was ever a friend.
In every group in the nation, there are people who are far too willing to sell themselves or to sell their group or another group out for personal gain.
It seems that we've diminished the usage of words such as "Sellout," but since the behavior is still in vogue, why not bring back the label?
For example, conservative commentator and national bootlicker, Armstrong Williams took nearly a quarter of a million dollars in government funds to promote the sick and sorry program from a sick and sorry president, No Child Left Behind. When it came to the Black community, it was known as "Your Child Left Behind," but Williams got paid to bring it to us.
When defending himself, Williams wrote: "Sellout is just a term that people use to enslave us and keep us distracted from real problems."
No Armstrong, Sellout is a term that people use for lackeys who sell out their own people for cash, glory and/or political favors. You went for all three.
I think that in many ways, we've stopped calling people on the carpet when they are out of line, which has lead to weakness and a lack of accountability.
I don't have a problem with the Republican Party and Conservatives simply out of some blind loyalty to the Democratic Party. I have a problem with the Republican Party for the same reasons I have problems with the Democratic Party--they are both tools for rich white men to remain rich white men.
Both parties are also problematic because they present alarmist views, which are presented as being diametrically opposed.
Just as I view Williams and other extremist Conservatives as Sellouts, I also view Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton as Sellouts.
The reality is that many Blacks have become polarized when it comes to politics and political parties, frequently missing out on intrinsic issues in order to toe the party line.
As opposed to blind party loyalty, we should be more focused on inducing politicians to improve the lot of our poorest and worst off. Such a program would benefit all of us.
When the worst of us rises, the best of us shines greater.
However, what both sides of the party line end up doing is pandering to the broadest pool of the people from those who are already aware, and therefore, ahead of the game. The poor are typically manipulated with emotional rhetoric as opposed to informative reports.
Although I was raised in a family of Democrats, one of my favorite presidents was Richard Nixon. His program of converting Welfare families into working citizens through Workfare made the most sense for pulling up the people at the bottom.
And, while the truth about Bill Clinton should have turned us away from the Democrats, the truth about the retarded man currently in office should turn us away from pure politics and toward goals based on improvement of the worst of us, which will improve the best of us.
For a working program that buoyed an entire population, take a look at Hispanic Americans, specifically the Mexican Americans who protested by the millions for the worst of them, so that the best of them could shine brighter.
They knew their plan would work, because they studied our history and it once worked for us.
Yes, Black people, when we protested so that the worst of us could improve, the best of us also improved.
But once the best of us began to improve, we abandoned the worst of us and began to point the finger at them to place blame for all of the race's problems at their feet.
And we do this from both sides of the political line.
Today, we have become so self-centered and so eager to blame the powerless, that we barely pay attention to the worst of us. Many of us only pay lip service to community service, yet are quick to talk about how they only have to "go to college and get a job," which is just some tired and stupid propaganda.
So, who's selling us out?
Too many of us.
Bill Cosby, America's shameful drunken uncle is leading a Sellout movement by blaming impoverished Blacks without really trying to improve their lot. He's selling us out for glory, because his ignorant rants appear to make him relevant again.
Negro Conservatives are selling out by excelling on the backs of poor people's movements of the past while blaming poor people of the present for not getting ahead and assailing programs designed to improve their lot.
Democrats are selling out by taking Blacks for granted, while using them as pawns against the Republican Party.
The fake middle class is selling us out by pretending that more of us are doing better because they are doing better and don't want to look at the reality.
Take a close look at the actions of these groups. They are polarizing both sides of the lines in order for their own gains. It's clear that they are selling out their followers for glory, for cash and/or for political favors.
At some point, they will have to pay with their very own souls.
Darryl James is an award-winning author of the powerful new anthology "Notes From The Edge." Now, listen to Darryl live on BlogTalkRadio.com/DarrylJames every Monday from 7-9pm, PST. View previous installments of this column at www.bridgecolumn.proboards36.com. Reach James at