Part 31: My Friend the Devil--Eldridge Cleaver
After the Black Men's Conference dropped Eldridge, I did not see him for a few months. Meanwhile I was confronted with how to deal with the black men who came to the post-conference meetings to become a part of the organization. But we were not prepared to receive the men because all our time had been spent organizing the conference. John Douimbia tried to tell me to slow down but I was moving full steam ahead, about to sink into the chasm of black male political insanity. Not having the organizational structure in order was like inviting friends to dinner but having no food. People were anxious and ready for something to happen. They were pumped up from the conference and jockeying for power in the potentially new organization. I was confronted with three forces coming at me simultaneously: the progressive black bourgeoisie, the black intellectuals and the grass roots. When I saw that John had used me to organize the project for his comrades, the black bourgeoisie, I said no way was I going to deliver this organization to the so-called progressive black bourgeoisie who were basically sycophants for the Democratic Party.
I fell back on my black intellectual comrades but they failed me. When I called upon them to take things to the next level, all they wanted to do was meet around a conference table and sip coffee. I saw they were not about to do much more than talk. After all, they informed me they had families and jobs, thus no real time for the black men's conference as an organization.
The third element was the grass roots brothers who were sincere and energetic but simply ignorant, so I could not see delivering the conference to them either. I was thus in a dilemma of major proportions. I needed a way to bring the forces into functional unity, maybe some Machiavellian approach that would allow the unity of opposites.
Instead, when I saw John was determined to make the conference a black bourgeoisie organization, I simply dropped out and the ship of black men eventually sank. Fifteen years later, Farrakhan picked up the ball with the Million Man March, but clearly there is no organization of the Million Black Men. Maybe our negrocities (Baraka term) are simply overwhelming, and except for the Obama Drama we are into reverse evolution, dancing backwards like Michael Jackson.