“EXCESS” versus “SURPLUS”
A “Black-Paper” by
‘Baba’ Amefika D. Geuka
November 26, 2014
Just after the Democratic Party suffered a resounding mid-term election defeat on November 4, 2014, President Barack Obama sought to salvage what he could in the wake of that debacle by shifting the nation’s focus to the issue of immigration reform. By doing so he hoped to solidify the ‘Latino’ vote within his party’s base. He had already consolidated the support of Jews, ‘Gays,’ and white women by demonstrating unflinching advocacy for issues important to each of those respective constituencies, as I pointed out in an earlier ‘Black Paper’ titled “Prime Time People.” During the news conference where he announced his “amnesty” program for illegal immigrants already in this country, the President took pains to describe such illegals in glowing terms. Their work-ethic, risks they took just to get into America, how much they contribute to the nation’s economy, and how quietly and without complaining they go about their business of being productive, were stated examples of why Americans should welcome these illegals with open arms. Such commendable attributes were in stark contrast to the same President’s repeated chastisement of Black Americans for their numerous shortcomings, including but not limited to over-dependence on government for their basic needs, and constant complaining. IF Americans were called upon to choose which of the two “minority groups” should be welcomed to stay, and which should be invited to leave, the President’s choice would be clear and unequivocal! “Brown could stick-around, but black would have to get-back!!”
The following day, Geraldo Rivera was asked by Fox News’ Megyn Kelley whether he agreed that the President’s Executive Order approving amnesty for the illegals was itself illegal, and he defended the legality of the action taken. But more importantly from a black perspective, Geraldo heaped much of the same glowing praise on the illegal Latino immigrants that the President had the day before. To this writer that was an indication that the “die was cast,” and blacks were to become the scapegoats in a bizarre game of political ‘musical-chairs,’ pitting two minority groups against one-another competing for a single ‘chair.’
In a comedy routine from 1977, Richard Pryor quipped that “White folks gettin’ tired of our asses, and they gon’ get themselves some new niggers – the Vietnamese!” As it turns out, the only error Pryor made in his prediction was regarding who the “new niggers” would be. The Hispanics/Latinos have emerged with that dubious distinction, rather than the Vietnamese! What does all this mean for African-Americans as we approach the 2016 presidential election?
My Webster’s dictionary contains the following definitions of words pertinent to the intent of this paper:
Excess: “A state of surpassing limits; superfluity; something that exceeds what is usual, proper, or specified; undue or immoderate indulgence.”
Surplus: “The amount that remains when use or need is satisfied.
Superfluity: “Excess; over-supply; something unnecessary or more than enough.
Superfluous: “Exceeding what is sufficient or necessary; wasteful.
Expendable: “Normally used up or consumed in service; more economically replaced than rescued, salvaged, or protected.
When the people who were native to this land (America) proved to be unsuitable for or unwilling to adapt to enslavement, their European conquerors decided they were surplus and of no use or benefit to the latter’s nation-building scheme. As a result, they were expendable. European scholars’ estimates of the number of native population in ‘America’ before the coming of the white man range from ten (10) to one-hundred (100) million! According to the Wikipedia encyclopedia, there are currently 2.9 million ‘pure’ native Americans, and 2.7 million of ‘mixed-race.’ As the indigenous populations were eliminated to make room for Europeans, Africans were captured, purchased, and transported to the Americas to provide labor needed for the agricultural-based economy of the “new” world. In other words, the availability of African labor made the native American populations expendable. Similarly, the availability of Latino labor, and their willingness to perform work that is undesirable to Black and white Americans, has rendered the African-American population expendable. What then lies in store for us? The answer depends firstly on whether or not Blacks are ready and willing to take responsibility for determining our own destiny. If we are, then it will not be up to others to decide what our fate will be.
If, on the other hand, we are ‘not ready for prime time,’ there is a nuance difference between “excess” and “surplus.” In my opinion, it would be more dangerous for blacks to be declared ‘excess’ than ‘surplus.’ The latter term has more benign implications; something being left over after the need is satisfied does not automatically mean that the surplus must of necessity be disposed of. Indeed, it could be put to other uses. The former term – meaning the same as ‘superfluous,’ is by definition ‘extravagant’ and ‘wasteful,’ having no further productive use. The only question in this instance then, is how best to dispose of the waste?
At the moment, it appears that we are viewed as being surplus, but not yet excess. As surplus we can still be used in the prison/jail/industrial/military complex as a labor force even cheaper than the illegal immigrants. A disproportionately high number and percentage of blacks already comprise the inmate populations in America’s prisons and jails; the rest of us could readily be rounded up (as Jews and Gypsies were by the Nazis), and put into FEMA’s waiting network of internment camps, and put to whatever use they see fit for us. That would at least mean we might be given another generation or two before they no longer need us for such purposes, and an adequate “final solution” of the “Negro problem” is conceived and implemented. At whatever point they decide we have become excess, it will be “all-over-but-the-shouting.”
Our (Black) attitude toward all such words – ‘excess,’ ‘surplus,’ ‘superfluous,’ or ‘expendable’ should be “NONE OF THE ABOVE!!!” Our move must be toward self-reliance, self-help, self-determination, enlightened group-self-interest, and leadership that can take us to those desirable destinations.
Join the campaign to demonstrate “What One Million Conscious Black Voters Can Do!” Let’s set our own agenda.