On Negrophobia: Psychoneurotic Obstacles to Black Autonomy (or Why I just love Michael Jackson) by Chinweizu Negrophobia, the fear and dislike of Black people, is a great disease. It has killed more Black people in the last five hundred years than all other diseases combined: more than malaria, more than epidemics and plagues of all sorts, In the coming years, it could kill far more than AIDS. It is a psychological disease, a disease of the mind, which harvests dead black bodies every day. The Black people who died through slavery were killed by negrophobia. The Black people who died all over the globe from white colonial aggression were killed by negrophobia. The Black people who died in our liberation struggles - Bookman, Toussaint and Dessalines with all their soldiers in Haiti; the Mau Mau warriors in Kenya; the liberation fighters in Angola, Mozambique, Guinea-Bissau, Zimbabwe, Namibia, South Africa, Sudan and elsewhere were all killed by negrophobia. The Black people dying from the structures and policies of neocolonialism are dying from negrophobia. The Black people killed by AIDS, a disease manufactured by white people in the biological warfare labs of the USA and deliberately introduced into central Africa and Haiti to kill off Black people, are dying of negrophobia. Ah, Negrophobia, I didn't know that hate could kill so many! Negrophobia is a psychoneurosis, a mental disorder. So too is blancophilia, its twin. If someone hates everything black, including the black butterfly, including the most fertile black soil, isn't he mentally disturbed? If someone loves everything white, including white trash, including white arsenic, isn't he mentally disturbed? Negrophobia and blancophilia form a syndrome, a characteristic set of psychoneurotic passions that occur together. The negrophobia syndrome is characterised by melanotropism. A magnetic movement away from or toward different intensities of melanin, the skin pigment. Blancophilia induces a reflex movement toward things white, even toward white ugliness. The stimulus object is white skin, any skin that is low in melanin. Negrophobia, for its part, induces a reflex movement away from things black, even from black beauty. The stimulus object is black skin, any skin blessed with melanin in high dosage. Negrophobia and blancophilia are, of course, conditioned responses to white power and black powerlessness. In a sad case of stimulus substitution, the responses to superior power have become transferred to white skin, and those to powerlessness have become transferred to black skin. The negrophobia syndrome is a chronic disease with the white race, a disease born of pride of power. It is a disease with which they have infected the whole world, including the Black race, giving rise to negro negrophobia, the disease of black self-hate. Negro negrophobia is a most absurd disease. Can you imagine some Black person running to escape his blackness? To escape from himself? His obsession with fleeing from himself proves he is unfit to live. His running to embrace his white enemy proves he is a suicide. The entire affair shows he is mad. Some call it alienation, a mental disorder. Yet some black sirens now sing in praise of alienation, beckoning all Black people to acquire the disease. What are the symptoms of negro negrophobia? Negro negrophobia makes Black women bleach, till some proudly sport yellow monkey faces and ebony-black thighs. (or Fanta Orange face and Coca-cola legs as some call it). It makes Black parents prefer their lighter skinned children to the darker skinned. It makes Black people who marry white or mulatto think they are marrying up and improving the race. It makes a pitch-Black Sudanese proclaim himself Arab, on account of just one white Arab ancestor ten generations back; it makes him count as nothing, indeed as a blemish, all his 1,023 black ancestors in that generation, and all the millions before and since. Negro negrophobia makes Black Americans, and now Black South Africans too, believe that integrating white neigbourhoods is social advancement. It makes Black people desperate to integrate white schools, white churches, white communities, white ideologies, white movements and white organizations. Some would even gladly die to integrate the Ku Klux Klan. Negro Negrophobia makes Black people defer to white people. It makes bright Black boys, the thinkers of the race, obey the IMF, the World Bank, GATT and the UN, even when they know that the orders from such outfits are aimed to destroy their own people. It makes black intellectuals swallow and spout any silly idea, provided it is put forth by some guru of the white world. Negro negrophobia makes Black people accept leaders of thought and of action that are chosen for them by white people. It makes Black people revere any third class mind, any tinpot potentate, that white people anoint to confuse and mislead them. But for negro negrophobia, we would automatically reject any leader chosen for us by our historic enemies. But for negro negrophobia, we would thoroughly suspect the loyalty to the Black race of any Black Rhodes Scholar, of any Black Nobel laureate, of any Black Faisal laureate, of any Black Lenin laureate, of any black knight or peer of England, of any black elect of the French Academy. He would have to work extra hard to convince us that he is not an agent sent to help hasten our ruin. Believing the blancophile dogma that white is right, that white is quick-witted, that white is beauty and virtue and salvation; believing the negrophobe dogma that black is wrong, that black is dumb, that black is ugliness and sin and damnation, the negrophobic Black person does not feel comfortable in a Black people-only group. Black people-only associations give him claustrophobia; he must throw open the doors to let in some white skin to boss or spy on him; only then can he relax; only then can he feel that all is well with his world. Negro negrophobia is, thus, a disease which drives Black people to crave racial integration and to espouse continentalist Pan-Africanism. In multi-racial societies, it drives the Black elites to flee to white suburbs. In the name of racial equality, they decapitate their own Black communities, rob the ghetto of Black leadership, and abandon it to confusion and predatory gangs. In the name of Black freedom they flee from the Black world. Similarly, in international relations, pulled by the call of the white, Black people are eager to join a British Commonwealth. They are desperate to join a French Community. They sell their sanity to join a Russian Collective. And an Arab empire? They disown their black inheritance to get into its latrine! They will pay any price, suffer any humiliation, to join any club formed by white people. But a Black community, or commonwealth, or league? They will not only not join, they will oppose its being formed at all! The idea of Black people getting together, all by themselves, disorganizes their being. In their blancophilia they are self-made orphans desperately seeking white foster homes. For all their outcry on behalf of the Black community, all they want is to disappear into the whiteness of the white world, whether Arab or European. They want to disappear by any means possible or available physically, mentally, emotionally. In such ways, negro negrophobia has affected Pan-Africanism, affected Negritude, affected even the great leaders of these Black Redemption Movements. Senghor's Francophilia weakened his Negritude; made him ecstatic to join the "Universal Civilization" by becoming an elect of the French Academy. Nkrumah's Arabophilia subverted the Garveyism of his Black Star symbol; it truncated his Pan-Negro Pan-Africanism into a continentalist Pan-Africanism which would exclude Garvey from membership of its organizations, and which distorted Pan-Africanism into an Arab and Black African tango. With Du Bois, when the racial integrationism of his NAACP triumphed, it wrecked the Black community in the USA; it bore the bitter fruit of black ghettos whose absentee Black leaders squat in white suburbia, squawking as hostages to white power. Cheikh Anta Diop's Marxism, with its dedication to the primacy of multi-racial class solidarity, made him most unenthusiastic about a sub-Sahara Federation of Black Africa. He would accept it only as a very last resort, only if the Arab invader-settlers doggedly excluded themselves. Mandela's liberalism, with its dedication to the primacy of multi-racialism, is all set to subvert the cardinal goal of returning to the Black aborigines of South Africa all the land stolen from them by the white invader-settlers. Senghor, Nkrumah, Du Bois, Cheikh Anta Diop and Mandela are proof that not even the best among us are immune from the negrophobia syndrome. Of the great black redeemers of the 20th century, only Garvey escaped the syndrome, principally because he was unequivocal and uncompromising on black solidarity. Significantly, he did not call his movement Pan-Africanism, with all the equivocation on race that is harboured by that term; he called it the Universal Negro Improvement Association, a name which unequivocally implies a redemption movement of Black people, by Black people, for Black people. To call yourself a leader of Black people, one leading them to liberation from the white world, and yet run off to integrate white suburbia isn't that absurd? It can only mean that your Black Consciousness is shallow, or even opportunistic; that hiding under your black mask is a blancophile heart. To call yourself a leader of Black people, one leading them out of the prison cell of white power, and yet insist on bringing white people into every organization for Black people isn't that folly of the first order? Those Black people who espouse continentalist Pan-Africanism, are they not like those Trojans who carried the Greek wooden horse into their own citadel, and hastened their people's destruction? If you are such a Black leader or intellectual, take a look at Michael Jackson and see the incarnation of your spirit, see your mind made flesh. Michael Jackson has most publicly done what black negrophobiacs secretly dream of doing: act out George Schuyler's great satire Black No More! Michael Jackson is the supreme, public example of negro negrophobia, which is why he is such a valuable negative example, which is why I just love Michael Jackson. Every racially integrating Black person, every continentalist Pan-Africanist Black person, is Michael Jackson minus opportunity. They are the social and political counterparts of Wacko Jacko, as the white press dubbed him. The only difference is that he has carried his negro negrophobia to its logical, physical conclusion turn himself into a fake white man! Because the others cannot afford the cash or courage for the skin and bone surgery, they settle for the next best thing: they disappear into white communities, or integrate into white ideologies and white movements. Presumably, from seeing so many white faces around them at all times, they will lose sight of the fact that they themselves are Black people. After being created and entrenched by five centuries of white power, Negro negrophobia has, alas, become a character neurosis. From one generation to another, Black parents pass on to their children the neurotic character structures which foster negrophobic attitudes and behaviour. The global mechanisms of white power (religion, media, school, advertising, propaganda) then reinforce the neurosis. Black people, alas, cannot take control of the Black World until they are cured of this neurotic syndrome. Until they get rid of this neurotic plague, any white boy or white girl or white child can seize control of their affairs by flashing a bit of white skin. Proof? All you need do is introduce a white face among negrophobic Black people and they become disorganised, they become disoriented. Just put one ugly blondie among them, and their eyes will stray and their minds will wander from the doughnut before them and focus on the white hole. Some will be obsessed with desire for whitey; some will be obsessed with hate for whitey; either way, they lose touch with basic reality and ignore what they must do to keep control of their lives, their situation, their environment. And at that point, any white waif can take them over. What then is the cure? That is for our medical and social scientists to investigate. But from the sidelines, let me observe that it may require psychotherapy, both individual and group therapy. It may require cultural therapy, with basic retraining to break the habits of the negrophobic syndrome and inculcate non-negrophobic habits of thought and valuation. It would be the job of homes, schools, media, and social organisations to bring up new generations untainted with Negrophobia and blancophilia. It may require, above all, environmental therapy of a political sort, through the emergence of at least one powerful Black nation that would destroy the five-century-old correlation of white skin with power and black skin with powerlessness. That is probably the strategic cure for the syndrome. My guess is that until the power therapy for this power neurosis is accomplished, all other therapies would be only partially effective. Whatever the case, until the race cures itself of negrophobia, it has no future. Which is why getting rid of Negro negrophobia is perhaps the cardinal task of internal reparation. Copyright 1994 by Chinweizu A Sundoor Publication P. 0. Box 988, Festac Town, Lagos, Nigeria All rights reserved.