“Keep This Nigger-Boy Running”

"When you buck against me, you’re bucking against power, rich white folk’s power, the nation’s power – which means government power!"  – Dr. Bledsoe (including title) from Invisible Man

So I have a Dr. Bledsoe in my life right now.  For those of you that are not familiar I am referring to the character in the Ralph Ellison classic, Invisible Man, in which a dubious College President does his worst to damn the narrator while he was a student there –and beyond.  The narrator comes into conflict with several people that represent power as a recurring theme throughout the masterpiece but it is Dr. Bledsoe that sticks out as the most damaging and damaged.

The Head Nigga in Charge, or H.N.I.C. if you will, is an extremely dangerous character in real life for most Black people and Ralph Ellison’s warning has been echoed by diligent fathers throughout time.  The fact is that despite all of the oppression that has been inflicted by white people against black all over the globe it probably cannot compare to the damage that black people inflict on other black people.  Yes, the sad reality is that we are often times our own worst enemies.

The problem is compounded by internalizing the white oppressor’s ilk: an inferiority complex derived from self hate.  The moment that you realize that there are black people that exist that have white supremacist tendencies can be a very bitter experience.  Their belief in the invincibility of the white man is couched in the presupposed ineptitude of the black race but it is their inability to see individuals as they are that should be pitied.

My latest Dr. Bledsoe is infatuated with the power that he derives from his fiefdom.  He would do anything to continue his reign, including disparage any other black person that might offer clues that he is not so special.  As is often the case, Dr. Bledsoe’s don’t seem to be able to see themselves very well and mine is committed to information and credit hoarding to the point of self aggrandizement. 

For the H.N.I.C., they are steeped in Black exceptionalism: they are only one that could have possibly slipped through the cracks to get where they feel that they belong.  Dr. Bledsoe is content being the oppressor’s helper –even where overt oppression may not exist, and he consoles himself with the illusion of autonomy.  Unfortunately few of them understand that no one escapes that sort of systematic oppression, including themselves, and that they are merely unwitting puppets at best or at worst sole perpetuators.

So, what is one to do in the face of a Dr. Bledsoe?  Never trust them, heap praises upon them, try not to draw their ire, and give them a wide berth.  The best revenge against Dr. Bledsoe is to never educate him on his folly and to bide time until his replacement.  Surely there will be another Dr. Bledsoe in his place, but act surprised and keep him running.

Advertisements

Tags: , , ,

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: