Stephen A Smith: Lapdog for White Supremacy on the American Corporate Plantation

by Danny Haiphong

The white power structure in the U.S. controls the guns, money, communication media and levers of government. In a pinch, it can also call on the Black Misleadership Class, “America's neo-colonial elite that occupies a few privileged seats in Washington and corporate offices.” Stephen A. Smith is a soldier in white racism’s army.


Stephen A Smith: Lapdog for White Supremacy on the American Corporate Plantation

by Danny Haiphong

Smith's tirade evoked the mythological image of a sub-human Black poor that has become so commonplace in the American mind.”

The Disney-owned ESPN Corporation has indeed become a circus show in its attempt to defend the National Basketball Association from public humiliation. Since the Donald Sterling fiasco, ESPN has done its part in protecting the NBA brand from another round of embarrassing racist comments, this time from a different owner.  The NBA's beloved Mavericks owner Mark Cuban reported to the corporate media that he fears young Black men "in hoods," using white liberal notions of "impurity" to confine racism to a matter of prejudice and "bias." These comments elicited condemnations and subsequent accusations of racism from Black Americans on social media.  ESPN quickly came to the rescue, parading out their number one Black demagogue Stephen A. Smith to defend white supremacy and the sports sector of America’s corporate plantation.

It should come as no surprise that elite whites so casually express anti-Black racism that most White Americans attempt (and fail) to harbor quietly.  As Theodore Allen asserts in his text, The Invention of the White Race, white supremacy is rooted in ruling class policy of continental North America in response to class conflicts in colonial Virginia. European and African bond-servants united in rebellion against the exploitation of the capitalist planter class.  Capitalist planters, fearing the loss of colonial power and profit, institutionalized white identity within the legal framework of colonial administrations. African slaves were forced into lifetime servitude and bondage.  Exploited Whites were given the opportunity to identify with their exploiter, the newly endowed "superior" race, and avoid permanent bondage. White identity thus became the buffer between the colonial capitalist class and enslaved Black Africans. The marriage between white racism and the profitable enterprise of the Trans-Atlantic slave trade essentially built the foundation of what would become the United States of America.

Exploited Whites were given the opportunity to identify with their exploiter, the newly endowed ‘superior’ race, and avoid permanent bondage.”

If white racism is the primary force of social control keeping oppressed classes from shedding their masters, what explains the likes of Stephen A. Smith? The character of racism is dependent upon the political conditions of a given historical moment. For nearly three centuries, Black America has been strangled as a class by both capitalism and racism, first in the form of chattel slavery followed by various forms of neo-slavery into the 21st century. The heroic slave rebellions that eventually forced the passage of the 13th Amendment actually legalized slavery “by another name” in the US criminal injustice system. Years of struggle against Jim Crow lynch mob terror, share-cropping, convict-leasing, and economic deprivation led to the development of a Black radical tradition that struck fear into the rulers of the capitalist system. The ruling class concluded during the transition to neo-liberal capitalism that racial politics needed to be manipulated in order to more effectively dissolve the Black radical tradition and revolutionary politics in the US as a whole. The ruling class employed the Black misleadership class to complete the task. 

 Stephen A. Smith is a corporate media pundit for ESPN and a member of the Black misleadership class. The Black misleadership class is America's neo-colonial elite that occupies a few privileged seats in Washington and corporate offices. ​This parasitic class derives its privilege directly from the exploitation of the Black working class and poor, and for that matter, the entire working class and poor of the planet. However, its success is not the result of a divine desire to "pound the pavement" as Stephen A. Smith puts it, but from the willingness to collaborate with the ruling class in return for a piece of profits and status accumulated from the wealth, blood, and labor of the exploited Black majority. So it should come as no surprise that Stephen A. Smith would shamelessly defend white supremacy and abhor Black America’s very existence. This has been the historically proven method to how one “makes it” in America’s corporate plantation.

Black America has been strangled as a class by both capitalism and racism.”

Stephen A. Smith's comments are just as heinous, if not more so, than Sterling and Cuban's. Smith applauded Cuban for being honest about "prejudice", but did not stop there. He went on to chastise the Black community in minstrel-show fashion. In this period, it has become the official policy of white imperialism's Black leaders to dehumanize the Black working class and poor with white supremacist rhetoric of responsibility and personal defect.  Smith pimped his personal success as akin to the "American Dream" and wagged his finger at the irresponsibility of Black men who wear "their pants hanging down."  According to Smith, Black America apparently has no grasp of the colonial "English language" or the "due diligence" to "succeed" in the country that submits most of Black America to neo-colonial slave conditions. Smith's tirade evoked the mythological image of a sub-human Black poor that has become so commonplace in the American mind.  As Barack Obama has readily reminded us, Black America is shamefully irresponsible, criminal even, and it takes the will to be more like White America to make it out of the misery he and his ruling class masters enforce.  

Of course, radical and leftist forces in the US have the political responsibility to expose the criminality of the Black misleadership class and the ruling class they serve. Stephen A. Smith is but one of many of his class whose very careers work against the interests of Black America and oppressed people of the world.  He is the perfect example of the neo-colonial elite in the United States that willfully ignores at best, or blames Black America at worst, for the growing poverty, imprisonment, police repression and murder, racist austerity, persistent discrimination, and imperialist war that ravages masses of Black America and oppressed around the globe. The time is now to develop a revolutionary class politics that places the collaborators among us and the corporate plantation they uphold in their rightful place: the dustbin of history.

Danny Haiphong is an activist and case manager in the Greater Boston area. You can contact Danny at: [email protected]

1 Comment

The Problem w the Steve Smiths & other Black Mis-Leaders Is-

IMO Frank-talk about issues IE: sagging pants, Gangsta Rap, crime, single mothers, {mis}Education [of the Negro], etc- is OK if it goes beyond just some FOX Noise type cheap-shots against Black folks. But before Stephen Smith, Barak Obama, Oprah, Bill Cosby, et-al start fronting off Blacks that are not as well off as they [apparently mainly to score 'brownie points' w lame-stream whites], He/They need to ask themselves, what have they done to benefit the Black community from which they come & who generally backs their success??? IE: Chicago is effectively Obama's, along w Oprah's & Michael Jordan's adopted home-town. So what have Oprah, MJ & Mr 'Hope & Change' done to up-lift Chicago's Black community??? As far as I know very little!!! As far as I know MJ hasn't even sponsored a regular basketball [sports] clinic to develop &/or search out potential talent from among Chicago's Black youth. Likewise for Oprah re: Black talent in broadcasting or helping to finance struggling Black community news-papers &/or broadcast stations [Note: Spike was able to get Oprah, Cosby & maybe MJ too- to help finance 'Malcolm X'].

For the record I'm all for the youth pulling their pants-up on their behinds - BUT- This Sagging pants fad is a relatively new phenomenon since about the 1990s. So where did it come from & how was it popularized? The Sagging pants fad apparently is derived from the mass Black incarceration! Prisoners were / are deliberately given pants a few sizes too big [as a means of both control & humiliation] & aren't allowed to wear belts, because theoretically they can be used as either a weapon &/or to hang ones-self. So when our youth return to the streets, they took this dubious 'fad' w them. Then the [corp-controlled] hip-hop fad via music videos & movies, helped popularized it further among our youth.

In tandem w the hanging pants fad, corp-controlled media popularized 'Gangsta Rap', by deliberately promoting it over all other forms of more positive rap / hip-hop. Obviously the corp-controlled music industry projected the 'Thug' & 'Ho' image glorified in Gangsta Rap for profit$$$. FYI: It’s been reported that top music labels are heavily invested in top private prison corps & vice-versa.

And I'm all for Black women marrying suitable Black men, but IMO marriage in & of itself is NO magic bullet solution to eradicate poverty in the Black community.  FYI: Up till about 1980- 2/3s to 3/4s of Black families were 2 parent families. The explosion of Black single moms closely parallels the explosion of Black mass incarceration [linked directly to the so-called 'War on Drugs & Crime' - resulting in US prisoners going from +60% white males to 70% - 75% Black & Brown & increasing 7Xs], & the dismantling & off-shoring of the US' industrial sector in cities like Chicago, Gary, Cleveland & Detroit, etc [GATT & NAFTA helped facilitate this trend]. Since the 1980s w the off-shoring of these solid middle-class / working-class jobs [that were often unionized & did NOT require college degrees] & the standardizing of service sector [aka McDonalds / Wal-Mart] type jobs, aver CEO pay went from 25Xs - 35Xs the average workers' salary to now its about 300Xs - 350Xs the aver worker's salary & nearly 700Xs the min wage!  It's a BS myth [ala so-called 'rugged individualism'] that these CEOs due mainly their own metal, have earned this kind of money [Hello Donald Sterling & his ilk]- when in fact they've systemically suppressed workers wages, attacked workers collective bargaining rights while worker productivity has increased, & then skimmed the excess profit$$$ for themselves. 

Black mis-Education- Has a long sordid history in the US. Slaves were NOT even allowed to read at the risk of severe punishment. During the old 'Jim Crow' era Blacks were segregated into the worst / most under-funded schools. From the time of 'Brown vs KS Board of ED' [1954] thru the Freedom rights struggle of the 1950s, 60 & 70s, Black access to education seemed to improve to some degree. But then came the Bakke reversed discrimination case- that marked white backlash against Blacks having access to college education. Now there's NCLB / RTTT / Corp Charter {mis}Education of the Negro Deform, which has made Public Schools which always had short-comings re Black & Latino school kids, into an even worse situation- for profiteering / racketeering by Wall St Bankster types. And beside the so-called 'reverse-discrimination' backlash hype blocking Black & Latino access to college, there's the fact that College tuition has exploded thru the roof since the 1980s, leaving many [Black, white & Brown, etc] except the well-off or those fortunate enough to get 4 yr full scholarships, saddle w crushing student loan debt - Such that in this miserable job market, students have to weigh is it really even worth going to college & incurring $10s or even $100s of thousand$ of student loans w such poor job prospects after graduation!