Dr. Boyce: MSNBC’s Firing of Bashir Reminds Black People that We are Only “The Help”

wpwopospwby Dr. Boyce Watkins

I can’t really say that I’ve ever liked Martin Bashir all that much.  His move 10 years ago to undermine Michael Jackson in a deceptive fashion didn’t sit well with me.  I presume that Bashir had an ethical reason to do what he did and wasn’t just trying to promote himself to stardom.  Either way, throwing Michael Jackson under the bus was a huge career move for the host.

 When I saw Bashir resign from MSNBC this week for comments related to slavery, I felt compelled to support him.  Bashir took offense to remarks by Sarah Palin, in which Palin compared the national debt to slavery.  Responding in dramatic fashion, Bashir told the story of Thomas Thistlewood, an overseer who said that slaves were sometimes punished by having another slave urinate or defecate in their eyes and mouth.

Bashir then went on to say that by comparing the national debt to slavery, Palin would be a perfect candidate for Thistlewood’s discipline.   I say, not  a bad idea.  If you’re going to compare yourself to a slave, then that means you should be willing to prove that the comparison is accurate.   I assume that after understanding what it was really like to be a slave, Palin would probably find a more fitting analogy.

Here are a few reasons why Bashir’s comments were both brave and accurate, and why MSNBC, Sarah Palin and those criticizing Bashir should be ashamed:

1)      Because people like Palin think that everything is the same as slavery:  We all know that Palin is an idiot, that was confirmed long ago.  But in this case, there is nothing wrong with Bashir’s remark, because it is basically saying to Palin, “OK.  You think you’re a slave, let’s see if you really are experiencing what slaves had to go through.”

The remark is as sobering as forcing your out-of-control teenage child to pay a few bills to learn what it’s really like to be an adult.  Palin can only be offended by the raw nature of Bashir’s remark, but the truth is that the reaction to his comments by the liberal left (those who make black people think they’re our friends) is a reminder of how most of our country is not interested in hearing what our ancestors had to endure.   We are typically shocked to hear honest stories about the brutality of slavery, since we’ve been sleep walking our way into believing that if we just don’t mention it, it’ll be the same as if it never happened in the first place.

But someone needs to speak up for our ancestors from the grave, and that’s what I am seeking to do right now.

 2)      Because disrespect of African Americans is not taken seriously:  Say something about the Jews, you’re in trouble (remember Rick Sanchez?).  Say something about gay Americans, you’re surely going down (ask Alec Baldwin).  But disrespect hundreds of years of suffering by the African American community, it’s no big deal (ask Don Imus, Don Lemon and every other personality who has spoken negatively about African Americans over the last few years).  In the Sanchez and Baldwin cases, the hosts were removed for verbally αttacking a particular group of people.  In the Bashir case, he was fired for DEFENDING African Americans.  Would he have been fired for engaging in an equally passionate defense of the gay or Jewish communities?  I don’t think so.  In fact, he’d be a hero.

 3)      Because MSNBC has built an industry around the manipulation of black people:  When President Barack Obama was elected, MSNBC participated in a very interesting plot to put a couple of dark faces from the black elite on the air in order to keep black voters in line.  The two most prominent faces were Melissa Harris-Perry and Rev. Al Sharpton, who are similar to the girl who won “The Hunger Games” and was used by the elite to give oppressed people just enough hope to keep them from rebelling against the establishment.

Perry has mentioned black people on a few occasions, but only within the context of that which the liberal left finds to be acceptable.  Primarily, she is a spokesperson for the white feminist agenda, which many believe to have been a culprit in the on-going civil war between black men and black women.  Even Perry’s harsh and disrespectful language toward prominent black men is an ugly reminder of the sheer disdain with which black men are viewed by many white liberal women.

I won’t talk much about Rev. Al Sharpton (remember his book deal with Lil Wayne?).  I can only say that the best way to understand anything Sharpton says is to check the deposits on his bank account.  We also can’t forget the compliance of black media faces in the on-going effort to pain members of the black church as neanderthals for not supporting gay marriage as quickly as they would like.  Black people are often punished for thinking for themselves and not in the way that liberals would prefer.

With that being said, the decision to use media as a weapon to force feed the black community into a broad push for gay rights and immigration reform has resulted in the biggest waste of the black vote in American history.  Every other group of Americans has recovered from the great recession of 2008 except for black people and we’re the only group of people expected to blame our chronic recession on ourselves.  This is largely because the main black agenda issues of unemployment, educational inequality, youth violence and mass incarceration have rarely been put on the table.  As a result, everyone else prospers, and our community is left in the toilet.  Our so-called “friends” don’t have our backs the way some people might think.

 4) The decision to fire Bashir for his in-your-face remarks about slavery is reflective of the gentleman’s agreement between the liberal and conservative establishments:  Republicans and Democrats can go to war over issues that matter to the core of their being, but they’ll gladly let their colleagues fall on the sword on issues that relate to the African American community.  The only exceptions are situations in which they benefit politically from challenging right wingers for remarks they’ve made about African Americans.  However, when liberal leaders make racist remarks (as VP Joe Biden has done on several occasions), these battles are deemed to be not worth choosing (watch how Sharpton will frame his remarks about Republican racists very differently from the way he speaks of Democratic racists).  So, the truth is that it simply wasn’t worth MSNBC’s time to defend Bashir’s decision to defend black people.

You can’t say that MSNBC is an enemy of black people.  They are, instead, the disrespectful, paternalistic ally who treats the black community the way one might treat the maid or the family dog.  You may love your maid to death, but you would never fool yourself into believing that she is truly an equal member of the family.  Similarly, the family dog is never going to be invited to sit at the dinner table.  So, the relationship can be a beautiful and loving one, as long as the dog and the maid know their place.

So, if you really want to know what this black man thinks about what Bashir said, the point is clear:  The African American community may want to do an ideological Thistlewood on both the Democratic and Republican establishments. The black community endured this kind of torture for over 400 years, and it should be intolerable that we allow people to take a real discussion of slavery off the table simply because it makes them uncomfortable.

Here’s a newsflash for MSNBC president Phil Griffin:  No matter how uncomfortable Bashir’s remarks about slavery may have made you feel, the fact is that you will NEVER know how uncomfortable it made our great great grandmothers feel.  Bashir should be honored for giving our ancestors a voice from the grave.

 Dr. Boyce Watkins is the founder of the Your Black World Coalition and author of the book, “Black American Money”. To have Dr. Boyce commentary delivered to your email, please click here.

Check Also


If The Planned Parenthood Gunman Was Black He’d Be Dead

Podcast: Play in new window | DownloadRobert Lewis Dear is now in custody for the ...


  1. Je vous felicite, c est un plaisir de vous lire

  2. Exactement le genre d’idee dont je me fesait du sujet, merci grandement pour cette excellent billet.

  3. I hope Bashir goes to Al Jazeera English. Their network is run primarily by people of color and so the coverage and language used is VERY different than what Americans are used to seeing. World news actually covers conflicts in South America and Africa, not just Europe; and domestic news is heavily concentrated on issues that affect communities of color. The power establishment has been doing everything they can to keep AJE out of this country. They’re finally on some cable networks in the US though.

    We have at least 9 federally funded Jewish holocaust museums in this country but not a single federally funded slavery holocaust museum. why? There are so many aspects of slavery that have never been brought to mainstream consciousness. Among them is the extent and depth of the sexual exploitation that destroyed women and utterly emasculated men. It would be foolish to think that the effects of that systematic sexual abuse then has nothing to do with the social ills that plague African American communities. Emotional pain is passed on from one generation to the next and is perpetuated by a dominant culture that still treats you with contempt. The maid/dog analogy is spot on.

  4. I don’t care who or what nationality the person is from if they publicly remind America what Slavery truly was in an effort to remind another that talking about it so lightly is not only disrespectful but unacceptable. I feel that Bashir did a good thing. Something more people in this country should do.
    The main reason America still has the racial climate of today is because we don’t teach the truth about what happened during slavery in our schools and in the general history of this so called great country. I have traveled to many countries and meet people from different parts of the world and only in america do we allow hate groups to publicly march down the center of our cities under permission of the government in an effort to increase recruitment to their evil cause. Only in america do we allow the confederate flag to still be waved with honor and allow the existence of confederate soldier day as a work holiday in place of MLK day…I spit on that and pray that one day when we decide to truly educate our youth the descendants of the white south will feel shame and burn all the confederate flags themselves publicly in an effort to show a level of true sorrow for what their ancestors did.

    It has been more than 100 years since Abraham Lincoln legally ended slavery but never once in those 100 plus years has the american government ever publicly apologized for what this country did to us, the ones who physically built this country and who this country owes so very much. Instead over the past 100 plus years the american government has stood by and watch us be terrorized, lynched, tortured, humiliated, disrespected, kidnapped, druged, denied an education, denied equal pay,denied work, denied promotions, denied entry, and even re-enslaved by their on prison system ( ask your grandparents about all the young men that where in prisoned for just being a Blackman. Most were never even charged with a crime but yet they where in “jail” for more than half their lives and why so the south could have free labor (slaves) once more to work their farms and land. )
    This country has much to be ashamed of but most of all it should feel extreme sorrow and shame in how it has treated us not just for the 400 years of slavery but for everything up to today. Until a public admission is made and some show of repentance, like free post secondary education and forgiveness of all student loans for all individuals that are direct decedents of slaves, is made by the government for its wrong doing and shame in its part in not helping to put and end to the mistreatment of our people both in Congress and in the Senate we will never see and end to racism and inequality in America.

    • That was a very intelligent and imformative article. It is so sad that blacks in America are so brain washed. I went overseas for the army and they loved us so much and so much love. In Belgium, I did not want to come back home.

    • I mostly agree but do not agree with giving decendents of slaves free tution or money in other forms. The best thing you can do is be a self-made person, free yourself from the past in your own way, and do not rely on those who at one time tried to keep you down. Also, you may as well ask money from the decendents of those Kings in africa who sold and traded their own countrymen to the French, Spain, English, and Americans in the caribeen and continued to do so through the revolution.

  5. Regarding SP, she’s the lowest piece of *********** and all the GOP Congress should use her as a waste depository.

  6. Later for Bashir Who gives a Damn Not Me! He tried to make MJ look like a Fool Now He gets his ******-Wake-up Call it’s a ***** Ain’t it? To all you Dumb MF’s whom try to Run from being Black when your Ass is Blacker than Darth Vader Stop it Dummy! He looks like those indian’s or Pakistani MF’s who practice Racism Against their Black Aboriginal Father’s in India the So-Called Dravidian’s,Discriminating against a Brother because the English told you to? Not you snake charming MF’s too? Beware Blackman these fools culture is Racism so stand down until further Notice stop trusting all these Indian MF’s Ghandi was a Racist & swung off crackers Nuts & Downed African Liberation & Islam I’m Glad this Big Head fool is Gone & get rid of that statue from MLK’s Museum Dummies! Big up for trying to defend us but we need to stand up & get our own Station’s Dummies to Defend us & our position at the Bottom? SMDH

  7. Rev. George Brooks

    Good bye to this oddball,weird-looking freak!!! This was one peculiar-looking dude, whom I have never cared for since he betrayed Michael Jackson. so why does it sound like Boyce Watkins is kind of siding with this nut, while pretending to be somewhat in opposition to him. Trying to play on both sides of the fence, so to speak. But with that kind of language used on Sarah Palin, whom I don’t like at all, was totally out of line. And many are saying, along with me as well, that Martin doesn’t like Palin because she is a somewhat nice-looking woman, even though she’s not worth a hoot politically, speaking. So is this gay thing simply jealous of this woman? — Rev. George Brooks

  8. Message to the Blackman


    CHAPTER 53


    bar1c.gif (1400 bytes)

    1 Almighty Allah (God) and the Nation of Islam elsewhere (Asia and Africa, the Islands) are grieved and hurt to the heart to see you walking into the trap your enemies (the devils) have and still are setting for you.

    2 I am your sincere brother with the truth from your God and mine, which means your very life and the future of your children and nations of black men and women. The truth being that you should know your enemies and their tricks being played on the world of our kind. Will you listen or read the truth?

    3 Do no take what I am teaching and writing lightly. It is the truth from your God and you shall soon bear me witness that it is the truth. Allah has said to me that we are living in the end of the world of white rule, a race whom Allah has made manifest to you and me as being real devils.

    4 They were created to rule us for 6,000 years, and then Allah (God) will destroy them from the earth and give the earth back to its original owners — the Black Nation.

    5 The time has arrived, and you must know the truth of this race and yourself and nation. You must be reunited to your own Nation. The time is ripe for your return. You will never again be slaves to any other nation. Allah will make you the head and not the tail. Accept your own! Stop destroying yourself trying to be other than your own kind and patterning after a doomed race of devils. You may say, How am I to live without going along with my enemies desires? They did not create themselves — we are their creators — our father, the Black man, feeds them. Is it not our God who created food for all?

    6 He raises the clouds from the earth and causes them to pour their water on the thirsty parts and causes the seeds to germinate and grow for your food. Can this devil whom you trust do these things? And is it not Allah (God) who has made the earth to rotate on her axis in such a way that she causes changes in seasons four times a year to satisfy life and vegetation in all parts of the earth.

    7 You are letting the devils fool and disgrace you and are taking you to hell with them! Your God, Allah, will be happy and will rejoice in feeding, clothing and sheltering you if you believe. The Bible teaches you that He fed and sheltered Israel in the desert (Exod. 16:12-15). Fear not, Allah (God) is with us. The enemies of Allah and the righteous are leading you only to evil and indecency, as the Holy Qur-an teaches you and me.

    8 They are pulling off your clothes and showing the world your shame, and you think it is right. They are used to going nude. They have nudist colonies here in America to prove it. Four thousand years ago all of Europe was a nudist colony. And your little daughters are being brought up to not be shy of indecency.

    9 You have them stripped to their trunks, all because the devils invited you to wear such styles of theirs, and you are obeying. This is to tempt the black people in becoming sharers in their doom.

    10 Your common sense teaches you that God does not approve of such filth. This should also bring you into the knowledge that the religion (Christianity) so talked and preached of by the white race is only a bit for you to swallow to become the followers of them (the enemies of God). Your loving and sweethearting them only means that you are in love the devils in person, and you are courting death and hell fire. Believe this or leave it. Read Holy Qur-an 7:27, O children of Adam, let not the devil seduce you, as he expelled your parents from the garden (this was done by the father of this race, Yakub, 6,000 years ago) pulling off from their clothing that he might show them their shame, he surely sees you as his host.

    11 They make fools of you and then laugh at you for being dumb enough for them to trick. (The devil scientists and rulers prepare the trap for you and the others spring it on you.) The above verse you are now fulfilling by going partly nude. You have confidence in the devils because you do not know them to be devils. You are now being taught, and there will be no excuse for your taking them for friends instead of Allah.

    12 The clothing that guards against evil is the knowledge of good and evil, the reward of good and the consequences of doing evil and the good of both. Again, the above verses (26,27) answer the lie (that you are not able to feed and clothe your children and that you should not have many children) that the devils are tricking you into birth control in order to sterilize the so-called *****es of America.

    13 Beware, my dear sister, the tricks of your enemies and mine, the devils.

  9. A Black American is a person who has a colonial american ancestry that goes back to the plantations and is a person of direct African descent.

    A black american’s ancestry can be black, white or American Indian, but the direct descent or ancestral origin must be African, not caribbean or any other place.

    Secondly,anyone, caribbean, jamaican, etc, who is of African descent is a black american if one parent has a colonial american ancestry, whether black, white or indian.

    Lastly, a person of african descent who does not have an american ancestry can connect to black people by merging with us and fighting for our rights without attacking or harming us, joining our struggle, fighting for America and identifying himself or herself as black by way of tax returns, driver’s license and other documents.

    I don’t think Martin Barshir falls into either one of those groups.

    We must stop calling anybody who has color, Black. That is racist. It is racism in affirmation. Racism exists in two dimensions: affirmation or a bestowal of a favor or an allowance of something without just cause and denial or a deprivation of something without just cause due to race/color.

    Martin Bashir is not black because he has dark skin. Now if he has an american ancestry, then that is different.
    Now this is important because some people in the caribbean, south america and africa don’t like american black people, but some do like black people. An inquiry must be conducted to determine who is what. Automatic acceptance is foolish.

    They, the immigrants even think that we are crazy. And it should be noted that the immigrants have murdered a lot on black people. So do the math, Boyce….

  10. Great article Boyce Watkins. You covered all the bases. This is the reason why black people need to own control and support their own news media. We need to stop depending on racist whites who hate and disrespect us at every turn. I’m glade some black people like Watkins are starting to speak out about the double standards in white liberal media. Alec Baldwin is a good example. He called a black photographer all the racial slurs you could think about to call someone black except the n word yet he was given a job at white liberal MSNBC. But as soon as he said something about homosexuals he was fired. If he had said something about Jewish people he would have been banish to the same twilight zone former CNN journalist Rick Sanchez was sent to.

  11. When anyone says such an obnoxious thing on national television, it is not usually a good career move. Just ask Keith Olbermann or Jimmy “The Greek” Snyder – bot of whom are actually very White guys, believe it or not.

  12. I haven’t cared for Bashir either because I remember the hatchet job he did on Michael Jackson as well for his own gain. But to say somebody should sh*t in Sarah Palin’s mouth for her remarks? That was a little over the top and I really doubt his motives were “defending black people”. He just thinks he can say and do whatever he wants. It’s what goes around, comes around. I hope Mike is somewhere moonwalking is ass off.

  13. The only time Demon…crats and RepubliK.K.Klans, LIEberals and K.K.Kon…servatives agree is when it comes to the extinction of the African American race. We are a thorn in the ass of most of AmeriK.K.Ka 4 over 400 yrs and even as we speak there plans being put in place EVERY hour on how our race can be destroyed. The sad part is we as a race are assisting in our own destruction by pure ignorance and material BS yearning to be equal to the oppressor.

    We are looked upon as not even the family pet as was stated in the article , K.K.Krackuz loooove their pets and they do eat at the table and treat them like family so in the eyes of most of AmeriK.K.K.Ka we are not even equal 2 the family pet with only 2 months to live.

    • Wow your attitude of self pity, blame and hatred will keep
      you down. stick your head out of your little paranoid
      little world and take a deep breath of reality.

  14. Good insight. Just wrote a satirical article saying the same. Don’t get out of line *****!


  15. I recall bashir and michael jackson interview, how disparaging Bashir’s question were when he worked for ABC.