goto Appendx main menu A Black Manifesto :
Darell W. Fields text | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9
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The best spies from within are so-called minorities, because in their own minds they have achieved status by being allowed to work in the basement of a structure whose totality will never be revealed to them.
The myth of diversity and the myth of the exterior are quite a tandem, and they are choreographed to produce a subtle yet ominous device of control. First, the regime manufactures a fictitious "outside" which, again, is believed to be real. Those who believe themselves to be outside produce any number of ideological and political formations that attempt to pierce what is sometimes naively labeled as the hermetic practices of the regime. Within their meetings, conferences, and publications they construct a monolithic voice that shouts "inclusion." If the regime is bothered enough to act, it presses its caricature of "progress" into service; when it comes to opening doors, diversity is the "eye of the needle."  Upon notification of this minimal inclusion the crowd, along with its angst, dissipates and finds comfort in the fact that the regime has bothered enough to respond at all. An ensuing apathy occurs and one wonders why such successes do not fuel other conquests. When our dreams are transformed into manacles of our minds rather than means of escape, pathetically we come to realize that we were more together and more victorious before the victory. 

The resulting categories of individuals who have "made it" are distributed within the regime, and their subsequent positioning creates vast dilemmas for them. After being accepted into the regime previously described by them as "the enemy," they must now accept and condone its practices. They have made promises to divulge information to those "outside" in order that the regime will be weakened; but these promises are soon forgotten and their rhetoric shifts from wanting results from the regime to admonishing those still outside for not displaying more patience—diversity takes time. Their promises are transformed into delusions and their identities are complicated by an interior/exterior duality that is not a duality at all. They are best described as spies from within

Under this delusion of progress, they believe that they will be able to achieve change—change that is transfigured by the spies' proximity to the regime from one representing the "many" to one representing "the self." The regime bestows upon them a certain limited privilege and insight, just enough so that they are able to see themselves relative to other minorities. They are cousins to the "house nigger" and bow at the feet of "Uncle Tom," capable of seeing their "brothers" and "sisters" toiling in the fields while finding comfort in the house that feeds on such tragedies. They are the perfect cover for the regime because they make the regime appear progressive and, more important, trustworthy.Appendx 1 page break 35 | 36 Their presence establishes the fact that the legitimizing basis of the regime is good and is working. 

Although these spies are capable of seeing themselves in privileged positions within the mechanism, they are also aware, at their very core, that they can never be an indistinguishable and therefore essential part of it. In their aggravation they attempt assaults on the regime, assaults that are doomed to failure from the very beginning. Of course the regime allows such manifestations to occur because, ultimately, it knows that these "disturbances" will be to its benefit.  The spies have forgotten and the regime knows that they have been taught and taught well by the tools of history, theory, and practice. The spies have come to believe religiously in what they have been taught and inevitably attempt to use these beliefs in formulating strategies against the regime. They appear to have forgotten that the regime is capable of anticipating their every move, because these same moves are the moves of the regime. The first utterances out of the mouths of these spies is usually, "We need a new history, a new theory, a new practice." The problem is that there is absolutely nothing new, at least to the regime, about what they are saying. 

At the moment of such a proclamation, the spies from within transform themselves into pseudorevolutionaries:  the posture of their "new" formulations appear to be at odds with the regime, but their actions conform to and ultimately condone the very regime they oppose. More important, these minority pseudointellectuals begin relentless campaigns against those things they describe as being degrading to "minorities." In attempts to keep promises to those on the outside they discover, to their delight, that the regime not only tolerates such iterations, but fosters attempts to "save" other minorities as well. In essence, by speaking out against the regime of which they are a part, the spies from within gain even more status. This status transforms them into figures of authority—a fictitious authority that allows  them to speak for "us," usually pronouncing that "we" must do this or that. 

Such "speeches" have been made in my presence; one in particular stands out as a clear example of the kind of persona I am attempting to describe. The person making the proclamation considered himself to be, in his own words, an African-American, and he was a major player in the institutional construct (architecture) he was about to rail against. He began by stating, "I believe we should banish the myth of Howard Roark in architecture and the 'star system' of judging and creating the architectural work that goes along with it." He continued: "We should also refrain from conveying these types of images to students, especially African-American stuAppendx 1 page break 36 | 37dents, because they are images that are not obtainable." The others present during this conversation resoundingly agreed. My only response to this gentleman's statement was that he did not speak for me. From where I stood, the myth of Roark, the protagonist of Ayn Rand's novel, The Fountainhead, should indeed be embraced by the group. I attempted to reason with them by describing Roark's  work relative to the amount of despair that it caused him. The achievement attained by Roark was wrought from this very same despair and that fact, it seemed to me, was an extremely appropriate and significant analogy relative to work—any work—produced by black hands. My comments were met with complete and total silence. 

I have been in several similar situations both before and since the one described above, and the outcome is quite predictable. These persons assail the same myths that could make them powerful because they view them, in a naive way, as "white myths," which then give them license to produce "African-American myths." Recognizing power and not seizing it is, quite simply, dumb. The myth of white versus black is produced by the regime; therefore, rather than setting one's self in opposition to the other, one should seek the conduits of power that must reside in either of these constructions. I've heard of "turning the other cheek," but tactics of the spies are more attuned to turning their backs to what they call "the enemy." As such, they unconsciously maintain the stereotypes constructed for them without any resistance, and when they do resist, they do so in ways that also have been constructed for them.

As such, they unconsciously maintian the stereotypes constructed for them without any resistance and when they do resist, they do so in ways that also have been constructed for them. I have no faith in history. It has never been an ally of any man, woman, or child who could be trusted absolutely. I have no faith in theory because it is merely history in action. Theory is not theory at all but inept attempts to categorize, mystify—even through demystification—the pervasive practices of regimes. And practice through my eyes is not practice at all, but merely a relentless marking and remarking of territories made "safe" by legitimizing histories or theories. The only thing I believe in and that I can have no finite conception of is the one thing that made history, theory, and practice possible. next page
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