Black Panther: The Revolution will never be televised(Spoiler review)

Black Panther Film...

Black Panther, the most recent entry into the Marvel cinematic universe, has been greeted with the breathless anticipation that its arrival will Change Things. The movie features the leader of a fictional African country who has enough wealth to make Warren Buffet feel like a financial piker and enough technological capacity to rival advanced alien races. The change that the movie supposedly heralds is black empowerment to effectively challenge racist narratives. This is a tall order, especially in the time of Trump, who insists that blacks live in hell and wishes that (black) sons of bitches would get fired for protesting police violence. Which makes it a real shame that Black Panther, a movie unique for its black star power and its many thoughtful portrayals of strong black women, depends on a shocking devaluation of black American men.

To explain my complaint, I need to reveal some key plot turns: spoiler alert.

Wakanda is a fictional nation in Africa, a marvel beyond all marvels. Its stupendous wealth and technological advancement reaches beyond anything the folks in MIT’s labs could dream of. The source of all this wonder is vibranium, a substance miraculous in ways that the movie does not bother to explain. But so far as we understand, it is a potent energy source as well as an unmatched raw material. A meteor rich in vibranium, which crashed ages ago into the land that would become Wakanda, made Wakanda so powerful that the terrors of colonialism and imperialism passed it by. Using technology to hide its good fortune, the country plays the part of a poor, third-world African nation. In reality, it thrives, and its isolationist policies protect it from anti-black racism. The Wakandans understand events in the outside world and know that they are spared. This triumphant lore—the vibranium and the Wakandans’ secret history and superiority—are more than imaginative window-dressing. They go to the heart of the mistaken perception that Black Panther is a movie about black liberation.

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In Black Panther, T’Challa (Chadwick Boseman) has risen to the throne of Wakanda. We know that his father, T’Chaka, the previous king, died in a bomb attack. T’Challa worships his father for being wise and good and wants to walk in his footsteps. But a heartbreaking revelation will sorely challenge T’Challa’s idealized image of his father.
The movie’s initial action sequences focus on a criminal partnership between arms dealer Ulysses Klaue (Andy Serkis) and Eric Killmonger (Michael P. Jordan). They both seek vibranium but for different reasons: Klaue is trying to profit from Wakanda’s wonder-material; Killmonger is trying to make his way to Wakanda to make a bid for the throne. He believes he is the rightful king.
Killmonger, it turns out, is T’Challa’s cousin, orphaned by T’Chaka’s murder of Killmonger’s father and T’Chaka’s younger brother, N’Jobu (Sterling Brown). Why did T’Chaka kill his brother? N’Jobu was found with stolen vibranium. The motive for the theft is where the tale begins—and where the story of black wonderment starts to degrade.
We learn that N’Jobu was sent to the United States as one of Wakanda’s War Dogs, a division of spies that the reclusive nation dispatches to keep tabs on a world it refuses to engage. This is precisely N’Jobu’s problem. In the United States, he learns of the racism black Americans face, including mass incarceration and police brutality. He soon understands that his people have the power to help all black people, and he plots to develop weapons using vibranium to even the odds for black Americans. This is radical stuff; the Black Panthers (the political party, that is) taken to a level of potentially revolutionary efficacy. T’Chaka, however, insists N’Jobu has betrayed the people of Wakanda. He has no intention of helping any black people anywhere; for him and most Wakandans, it is Wakanda First. N’Jobu threatens an aide to T’Chaka, who then kills N’Jobu. The murder leaves Killmonger orphaned. However, Killmonger has learned of Wakanda  from his father, N’Jobu. Living in poverty in Los Angeles, he grows to become a deadly soldier to make good on his father’s radical aim to use Wakanda’s power to liberate black people everywhere, by force if necessary.
By now viewers have two radical imaginings in front of them: an immensely rich and flourishing advanced African nation that is sealed off from white colonialism and supremacy; and a few black Wakandans with a vision of global black solidarity who are determined to use Wakanda’s privilege to emancipate all black people.
These imaginings could be made to reconcile, but the movie’s director and writer (with Joe Cole), Ryan Coogler, makes viewers choose. Killmonger makes his way to Wakanda and challenges T’Challa’s claim to the throne through traditional rites of combat. Killmonger decisively defeats T’Challa and moves to ship weapons globally to start the revolution. In the course of Killmonger’s swift rise to power, however, Coogler muddies his motivation. Killmonger is the revolutionary willing to take what he wants by any means necessary, but he lacks any coherent political philosophy. Rather than the enlightened radical, he comes across as the black thug from Los Angeles hell bent on killing for killing’s sake—indeed, his body is marked with a scar for every kill he has made. The abundant evidence of his efficacy does not establish Killmonger as a hero or villain so much as a receptacle for tropes of inner-city gangsterism.
In the end, all comes down to a contest between T’Challa and Killmonger that can only be read one way: in a world marked by racism, a man of African nobility must fight his own blood relative whose goal is the global liberation of blacks. In a fight that takes a shocking turn, T’Challa lands a fatal blow to Killmonger, lodging a spear in his chest. As the movie uplifts the African noble at the expense of the black American man, every crass principle of modern black respectability politics is upheld.
In 2018, a world home to both the Movement for Black Lives and a president who identifies white supremacists as fine people, we are given a movie about black empowerment where the only redeemed blacks are African nobles. They safeguard virtue and goodness against the threat not of white Americans or Europeans, but a black American man, the most dangerous person in the world.
Even in a comic-book movie, black American men are relegated to the lowest rung of political regard. So low that the sole white leading character in the movie, the CIA operative Everett Ross (Martin Freeman), gets to be a hero who helps save Wakanda. A white man who trades in secrets and deception is given a better turn than a black man whose father was murdered by his own family and who is left by family and nation to languish in poverty. That’s racist.

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Who could hope that this age of black heroes represents thoughtful commentary on U.S. racism rather than the continuation of it? Black Panther is not the first prominent attempt to diversify the cinematic white superheroics and thus not the first to disappoint. After Netflix’s Daredevil affirmed the strong television market for heroes, the media company moved to develop shows for other characters that populate the comic. Jessica Jones, about a white heroine, was a critical success. It handled its tough female protagonist intelligently. That show introduced the character of Luke Cage (Michael Colter), an indestructible black man. When Netflix announced that Cage would have his own show, the anticipation was intense: a bulletproof black man in the age of Trayvon Martin and Michael Brown? And he would wear a hoodie and fight police? Instead we got a tepid depiction Harlem poverty, partly the consequence of institutional racism but more closely tied to the greed expressed by two of its big bad black baddies, Black Mariah (Alfre Woodard) and Cottonmouth (Mahershala Ali). But that was not the worst of it. The ultimate evil in the show’s first and only season is Willis Stryker (Eric Laray Harvey), another black man whom Luke Cage must defeat. Stryker is not only a black villain, but Cage’s adopted brother. Cage must beat his brother to a pulp, just as Panther must kill his cousin.

The offenses don’t end, though. If one surveys the Marvel cinematic universe, one finds that the main villains—even those far more destructive than Killmonger—die infrequently. They are formidable enemies who live to challenge the hero again and again. A particularly poignant example is Loki, brother to Thor, the God of Thunder. Across the Thor and Avengers movies that feature him, Loki is single-handedly responsible for incalculable misery and damage; his power play leads to an alien invasion that nearly levels all of Manhattan. Yet Thor cannot seem to manage any more violence against Loki than slapping him around a bit and allowing other heroes to do the same—even as Loki tries to kill Thor. Loki even gets his turn to be a good guy in the recent Thor: Ragnarok. Loki gets multiple, unearned chances to redeem himself no matter what damage he has done. Killmonger, however, will not appear in another movie. He does not get a second chance. His black life did not matter even in a world of flying cars and miracle medicine. Why? Perhaps Killmonger’s main dream to free black people everywhere decisively earns him the fate of death. We know from previous Marvel movies that Killmonger’s desire for revenge is not the necessary condition to eliminate him; Loki’s seeming permanence is proof.

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My claim that Killmonger’s black life does not matter is not hyperbole. In a macabre scene meant to be touching, Black Panther carries Killmonger to a plateau so that he might see the sun set on Wakanda before dying. With a spear stuck in his chest, he fulfills his wish to appreciate the splendor his father described, when Wakanda seemed a fairy tale. T’Challa offers Wakanda’s technology to save Killmonger’s life—it has saved the white CIA agent earlier in the film. But Killmonger recalls his slave heritage and tells Panther he’d rather die than live in bondage. He knows the score. He knows that Panther will incarcerate him (as is disproportionately common for black American men). The silence that follows seems to last an eternity. Here is the chance for the movie to undo its racist sins: T’Challa can be the good person he desires to be. He can understand that Killmonger is in part the product of American racism and T’Chaka’s cruelty. T’Challa can realize that Wakanda has been hoarding resources and come to an understanding with Killmonger that justice may require violence, if as a last resort. After all, what else do comic-book heroes do but dispense justice with their armored fists and laser rifles? Black Panther does not flinch. There is no reconciliation. Killmonger yanks the spear out of his chest and dies. The sun sets on his body as it did on Michael Brown’s.

It is fair to wonder whether the movie merely reflects the racial politics of the comic books that serve as its inspiration. Yes and no. In the movie, Killmonger’s relationship to T’Challa is as the comic-book canon portrays it. Killmonger is a deadly killer in the comics as in the movie, but he is also extremely intelligent, studying at MIT to understand the technology he goes on to deploy. In the movie, Killmonger’s only skill is killing; if Coogler intended to make Killmonger a hood-born genius, he has failed badly.
In the comics, Killmonger also dies at Black Panther’s hands. But KIllmonger dies long after he has come to live in Wakanda, albeit under a veil of deceit, before attempting a coup. The comic thus opens (but ultimately rejects) an opportunity to save Killmonger to fight for another day, just as Loki is repeatedly saved. The movie completely forecloses this possibility, which is odd since we can all be fairly certain that there will be a sequel.

What alternative story-lines might have satisfied?
I couldn’t help think of Ulysses Klaue, a mainline villain in the comics who lives a long, infamous life. He would have been a perfectly good villain to motivate the movie’s attempt at wokeness. In the comics, there is bad blood between the Klaue clan and Wakanda’s royal lineage (Klaue’s Nazi grandfather died by the hands of Chanda, an earlier Wakandan king and Panther). In Klaue, we had a white villain whose bloodline is imbued with the sins of racism. Ramonda, played by the ever-regal Angela Bassett, is temporally misplaced in the movie. In the comics canon, T’Challa takes the mantle of the Panther while Ramonda, T’Challa’s stepmother, is being held captive by a white magistrate in apartheid South Africa. If Coogler had at all been interested in making Panther a symbol of racial reparation he could have easily placed Klaue in South Africa, even post-apartheid, and the rescue of Ramonda—with Klaue in the way—could have driven the narrative. Ramonda is prominent in the movie, but she does not animate the movie’s central drama.  Instead, Black Panther is set on a course to kill off his cousin in his first outing, suggesting yet another racist trope, the fractured black family as a microcosm of the black community’s inability to get it together.

Hero for Who...

You will have noticed I have not said much about the movie’s women. They are the film’s brightest spot: the black women of Wakandan descent are uniformly independent, strong, courageous, brilliant, inventive, resourceful, and ethically determined. I take it that a good deal of this is owed to Ta-Nehisi Coates’s success at elevating the series’ women to central characters with influence and power that turns more on their minds and integrity than their bodies. T’Challa’s sister, Shuri (Letitia Wright), is sufficiently brilliant to make the Q character from James Bond films seem a clever child with some interesting ideas, while Nakia (Lupita N’yongo) is the ethical center of the film, thoughtful and lacking any stereotypical hysterics or emotional cloudiness that so many movies use to savage the intellect of leading women. Thus the movie deserves praise for its gender politics—save in relation to the only black American woman. The character, Tilda Johnson, a.k.a. the villain Nightshade, has, by my count, less than fifteen words to say in the movie, and is unceremoniously murdered by Killmonger because Klaue is using her as a shield and Killmonger just ain’t got time for that. The lone American black woman is disposed of by black-on-black violence. She is also invisible and nearly silent. In the comic books her character is both a genius and alive and well.

Black Panther presents itself as the most radical black experience of the year. We are meant to feel emboldened by the images of T’Challa, a black man clad in a powerful combat suit tearing up the bad guys that threaten good people. But the lessons I learned were these: the bad guy is the black American who has rightly identified white supremacy as the reigning threat to black well-being; the bad guy is the one who thinks Wakanda is being selfish in its secret liberation; the bad guy is the one who will no longer stand for patience and moderation—he thinks liberation is many, many decades overdue. And the black hero snuffs him out.

When T’Challa makes his way to Los Angeles at the movie’s end, he gestures at all the buildings he has bought and promises to bring to the distressed youths the preferred solution of mega-rich neoliberals: educational programming. Don’t get me wrong, education is a powerful and liberatory tool, as Paulo Freire taught us, but is that the best we can do? Why not take the case to the United Nations and charge the United States with crimes against humanity, as some nations tried to do in the early moments of the Movement for Black Lives?

Black Panther is not the movie we deserve. My president already despises me. Why should I accept the idea of black American disposability from a man in a suit, whose name is synonymous with radical uplift but whose actions question the very notion that black lives matter?

Article by Christopher Lebron

My Skin is My Sin- What is a Black Identity Extremist? (Part 1 of 2)

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Well family,here we go again.  The racist wicked system is at it again.  It seems they keep coming up with new terms everyday.  Now the new term is “Black Identity Extremist”.  What the hell is that?  Is that a black person that is Afrocentric? Is it a person who wears African clothing?  Or maybe just a black person that disagrees with interracial marriage?  Or reads black nationalist books?  Where does it stop?  It seems the FBI has come up with this new term because many of our people are raising their consciousness.  They know that we have being using YouTube,Twitter and blog sites to spread truth and wake people up.  Social media can be very powerful if used in the proper manner.  And I think the government has been watching us since day one.  They have even terminated many Afrocentric YouTube channels.  Forcing them to create new accounts.  I think the powers that be fear the truth.  This proves that they are scared  and getting desperate. Keep in mind that we just had a white man shoot up hundreds of people in Las Vegas last week but……they’re worried about black extremist???  And why aren’t white mass murderers ever called terrorist?  I guess terrorist is a term reserved for non-whites.

About a thousand Black Lives Matter activists rally at the

Some people say this article is not real.  They say it’s fake news.  I’ll let you read it and decide for yourselves.    Either way Cointelpro has beeen wathcing black groups for years so this is nothing new.  Whether the article is real or made up. According to Foreign Policy magazine, a FBI report circulated internally on August 3 warns that “Black identity extremists”—labeled a racially motivated movement—can pose a serious threat to law enforcement. Apparently, the FBI believes that police attacks on Black folks could cause “premeditated, retaliatory lethal violence” against the police.

The report stated:

“The August 2014 shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, was the catalyst for widespread anger and violence, the FBI report says, concluding that continued “alleged” police abuses have fueled more violence.

“The FBI assesses it is very likely incidents of alleged police abuse against African-Americans since then have continued to feed the resurgence in ideologically motivated, violent criminal activity within the BIE movement.”

(There are so many levels of wrong here, but let’s start with the fact that shouldn’t the FBI be cracking down on police brutality? Guess not–this is just our fault for being angry and oppressed.)

This report isn’t sitting too well with former government officials and legal experts who stress that this BIE movement DOES NOT exist. They have also expressed concern that the term is part of a politically motivated effort to find an equivalent threat to white supremacists.

“This is a new umbrella designation that has no basis,” the former official told FP. “There are civil rights and privacy issues all over this.”

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So what is an extremist anyway?  Are black people allowed to protest?  Can we march? Are we even allowed to speak truth to power?  It doesn’t look like it.  And it’s only getting worse. I think they want black people to be complacent in our oppression.  They don’t want us complaining about racism or injustice.  We are supposed to be quiet and just accept it.

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All I know is things are getting way out of hand. America is pretty much a police state now.  Even speaking the truth is illegal.  Which is why YouTube is shutting down channels that expose government corruption. We are in a prison.  Black people need to realize we are living in a hostile environment.  And the government is scared of liberation and true freedom.  And we need to educate our people and make proper arrangements to get out of this crooked system.  We have to put our heads together and comeup with some solutions.

Haitians expose criminal Hillary Clinton

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The Democratic National Convention is being held in Philadelphia this week.  And there are Haitian immigrants outside the convention accusing Clinton of defrauding Haiti of billions in earthquake relief money and destabilizing the nations economy and state institutions.

Mainstream media has moreover tried to ignore this most significant part of the Clintons’ background. It is where Bill and Hillary Clinton spent their honeymoon. But since then, the poor island nation has become a source of undue enrichment for friends and family of the Clintons and they themselves.

When the 2010 earthquake hit Haiti, former U.S. President Bill Clinton and then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton exacerbated the devastation to their own benefit. In the end, billions of dollars donated by individuals from countries all around the world, weeks upon weeks of top story attention on any and every news agency around the world, left Haitians not just where they began, but in worse circumstances.

Bill Clinton was head of the United Nations Envoy to Haiti and managed himself to head the Interim Haiti Reconstruction Commission (IHRC). It was a commission of Haitian and international actors who would coordinate more than $13 billion [US] in earthquake relief and reconstruction money. It wouldn’t take long before members of the commission began complaining about being shut out of discussions and planning.

By all accounts, the money and what it was meant to do never really reached the Haitian people. While the Clinton Foundation only puts 10% of its donations towards charity, the IHRC was a real racket for Clinton pals, 1% went towards Haitian groups and agencies on the ground. All that is transparent is that the money didn’t go to Haiti, beyond that the trail goes cold.

The money for earthquake relief was funneled massively to friends of the Clintons, who so happen to be donors to the Bill, Hillary and Chelsea Clinton Foundation and Hillary’s 2016 presidential campaign.

It was a major kickback scheme. Even the projects that were expected of the Clinton cronies didn’t match up to their billing and barely endured a year. The State Department Inspector General would release a scathing report of waste, poor oversight, to a degree all but criminal.

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Hillary Clinton, as the U.S. Secretary of State, sent her Chief of Staff, Cheryl Mills, to Haiti in January 2011 and according to live, on-air radio, testimony by the Director General of Haiti’s Provisional Electoral Council at the time, Mills changed the election results to favor a raunchy musician who had finished in fourth place.

The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) paid a group, that a month prior on December 7, 2010, staged riots in the cities of Port-au-Prince and Les Cayes. It was exactly this disorder, by a group that would be funded by USAID to the tune of $100,000 [US], that the Clinton State Department would use as basis for its intervention in the elections and changing of the results of the will of the Haitian people.

Furthermore, for 5 years, the musician-turned-president attempted to install a totalitarian regime in Haiti by not organizing elections. One by one Haiti’s institutions fell as elections were not held. All local townships fell in December of 2011. A third of the Senate in May of 2012. And ultimately, a second third of the Senate and the entire Chamber of Deputies on the fifth anniversary of the earthquake, January 12, 2015.

In the absence of checks and balance, Hillary Clinton’s younger brother obtained one of two of the first gold mining contracts awarded by Haiti in more than 50 years. The other went to members of the totalitarian regime.

Haiti went from a democracy of 5,000 elected officials in 2010 to a totalitarian regime in 2015. By the time Americans go to the polls to vote for either Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton for president this November, Haiti still will not have not one legitimately elected official in office. From the lowliest township up to the presidency, a representative government in Haiti is absent.