From left: Prof. Eric Dyson and Ta-Nehisi Coates.

Kobe Bryant vs. The Bootlickers, Eric Dyson and Ta-Nehisi Coates: Two Bad Heads Are Worse Than One.

MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE — In an interview with WNBA athlete Lisa Leslie, Gayle King brought up a 2003 “dismissed” rape allegation against the late Kobe Bryant. After receiving a barrage of commentary from the masses, two well-known heads in the mass white media rose to defend Gayle King.

Michael Eric “Dykes” (Dyson) claimed on his Instagram page the following:

“I think we can raise legitimate questions, and offer valid criticism, without being nasty, vicious and vindictive. I love @kobebryant greatly. But I don’t think we can reduce the careers of @Oprah and @GayleKing to perceived missteps or mistakes.”

Ta-Nehisi “Chokes” (Coates) also admonished a similar reprieve for Gayle on his Instagram page as follows:

“Gayle King dared speak of a man as though he were one, and a lot of us fucking lost it. We did not calmly express our dislike of the question. We were too weak for that. We threatened. We dragged. And we attacked.”

Now, Gayle “Skunk” (King) herself followed up her interview with Lisa Leslie with an apology to Black America in the following words:

“I know that if I saw what you saw, I would be extremely angry with me too. I am mortified, I am embarrassed, and I am very angry.”

If Gayle herself would be “mortified, embarrassed, and ….very angry,” for these are Gayle’s own words, what legitimacy do the two heads in Prof. Eric “Dykes” and Ta-Nehisi “Chokes” have in berating those who expressed their embarrassment and anger at the interview?

The thing is that these two heads, Dyson and Ta-Nehisi, have no legitimacy in defending Gayle. Gayle herself apologized. Gayle herself recognized the buffoonery and coonery of what she had engaged in. Nonetheless, it seems as though the drive-by white mass media was not going to allow Gayle’s Apology to stand by alone and by itself. That would be a moral victory for Black America – a victory of the masses against the establishment.

And so the two heads in Prof. Eric “Dykes” and writer Ta-Nehisi “Chokes” were activated to put Black people in their rightful place, i.e. without a voice within this framework of white supremacist operation.

According to Prof. Eric “Dykes” those of us who expressed our distaste of the interviewer and her questions about Kobe’s legacy, are “nasty, vicious and vindictive.” We did not, so-to-speak, “offer valid criticism” of Gayle and her network, which is still manned, by the way, by a bunch of white men with long lists of sexual predatory accusations, and about whom several interviews are long overdue.

And according to Ta-Nehisi “Chokes” those of us who were embarrassed and mortified by Gayle’s interview with Lisa Leslie about Kobe Bryant’s legacy have “fucking lost it.” Ta-Nehisi claims we did not “calmly express our dislike of the question.”

The two heads, Dyson and Ta-Nehisi, together claim that the vast masses of Black people—which is why they continued to use the pronouns, “we” and “us”—were “nasty, vicious and vindictive” and we did not “calmly express our dislike.”

A whole community of African Americans, their children, their wives and their husbands, are often characterized as loud when they dare to express themselves against the machinations of the white supremacist system under which their oppression is operationalized, and the popular phraseology often entertained against African American expression against immorality and lawlessness is that it is ‘nasty, vicious and vindictive’ and African American behavior is maligned as ‘uncivil’ or ‘improper.’ Note that Ta-Nehisi claims that “we threatened. We dragged. And we attacked,” revealing that only the African American outcry against the Gayle interview was somehow uncivil, or improper.

Such a judgment cannot be made in an ideological or rhetorical vacuum. Insofar as “nasty, vicious and vindictive” or ‘dragging’ and particularly, ‘threatening,’ are uncivil or improper, and are profoundly racialized, they have a long history of demanding conformity from African Americans or Africans.

I frequently choose to (re)-signify and accept fully, without reservation, the legitimacy of our common humanity by accepting that our embarrassment and mortification at ridiculousness, lawlessness and callousness (which were what Gayle’s interview was) are both proper and civil. This choice is both moral and rhetorical.

Ta-Nehisi “Chokes” can say “we did not calmly express our dislike.”’ While Prof. Eric “Dykes” can say we were ‘‘nasty, vicious and vindictive,” which to the priggish seems that to be mortified, embarrassed and very angry (even according to Gayle) is somehow improper and unacceptable. Is this a difference in language—perhaps even a difference in philosophy, thought, and way of life? Of course this stereotype is rooted in what Richard Dyer calls “whiteness.” Through this lens, everything African Americans do is irresponsible, illegitimate, improper and uncivil, even our expressions against incivility and irresponsibility are deemed improper.

Even by these tendentious standard to “calmly express our dislike” and to not be “nasty, vicious and vindictive,” the myriad criticisms of Gayle are more defensible (according to Gayle) than the accusations used to defame and (re)-frame stereotypes about whole nations and races of people.

The most deplorable acts of “nastiness, viciousness and vindictiveness” with certain “threats” and “attacks,” actually germinate in so-called high society where Prof. Eric “Dykes” (in Georgetown, USA) and writer Ta-Nehisi “Chokes” (in Paris, France) enjoy the majority of their time. Many genocides have been ‘calmly’ glorified (and calmly planned out in Georgetown and in Paris) around dinner tables adorned with shiny forks and knives made from actual silver, without a single ‘nasty, vicious or vindictive’ act or speech having occurred.

One Adinkra symbol says in Twi (an Akan language), “Eti kro nko ngyina” or “Two (good) heads are better than one.” But I believe that in fact, two bad heads, that of Prof. “Dykes” and Ta-Nehisi “Chokes” are worse than one (Gayle “Skunks”)! Beware the collusion of the silver-spooned-otherizers and the misinformed media boys of the #MeToo-Birth-of-a-Nation Movement.

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~ Success is a horrible teacher. It seduces the ignorant into thinking that he can’t lose. It seduces the intellectual into thinking that he must win. Success corrupts; Only usefulness exalts. ~ WP. Narmer Amenuti (which names translate: Dances With Lions), was born by The River, deep within the heartlands of Ghana, in Ntoaboma. He is a public intellectual from the Sankoré School of Critical Theory, where he trained and was awarded the highest degree of Warrior Philosopher at the Temple of Narmer. As a Culture Critic and a Guan Rhythmmaker, he is a dilettante, a dissident and a gadfly, and he eschews promotional intellectualism. He maintains strict anonymity and invites intellectuals and lay people alike to honest debate. He reads every comment. If you enjoyed this essay and would like to support more content like this one, please pour the Ancestors some Libation in support of my next essay, or you can go bold, very bold and invoke them. Here's my CashApp: $TheRealNarmer


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