The Other McCain

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The Destructive Cult of Racial ‘Liberation’

Posted on | February 10, 2022 | Comments Off on The Destructive Cult of Racial ‘Liberation’

For many years, one of my journalistic specialties was covering the political fringe. This is important work — and frankly, a lot more fun than covering “mainstream” politics — because most of the real action in politics happens on the fringe. All movements that have significant impact on society begin on the fringe, where seemingly impossible goals are embraced by people that are widely viewed as kooks. The classic example of this is Hitler and the Nazis, who started out as an obscure group of eccentrics and damned near conquered the world.

Long before the Black Lives Matter movement made headlines, the ideas behind the movement were embraced by fringe kooks who asserted that they were living in a fascist white supremacist police state they sometime called the “United Snakes of AmeriKKKa.” This explicit anti-patriotism — the denunciation of the United States, per se, as inherently oppressive — is a hallmark of the radical Left, a leftover from the days when the CPUSA was the main conduit for Stalinist anti-American propaganda. This rhetoric was subsequently embraced by the New Left of the 1960s, the core leadership of which was composed of so-called “Red Diaper Babies,” the children of CPUSA members who had been indoctrinated with an anti-American belief system from birth. The CPUSA always viewed black Americans as a potential revolutionary force, and so a lot of their anti-American propaganda was aimed at the black community, and it was effective enough to give rise to radical tendencies that persist to this day.

Being old enough to remember the Symbionese Liberation Army (“Death to the fascist insect that preys upon the life ot the people!”), I realize how easy it is to dismiss such cults with sarcastic ridicule. No intelligent or reasonably well-educated person could fall for that “liberation” hustle, and yet there are enough stupid or badly educated people in America that the hustlers are still able to find an audience. One such hustler is Augustus Claudius Romain, Jr., a Brooklyn native who styles himself “Gazi Kodzo,” supreme commander of the Black Hammer Organization.

Stephen Green at Instapundit linked to a recent account of the May 2021 incident in which Romain/Kodzo and a couple dozen of his followers engaged in a failed attempt to “take back the land” in a remote area of San Miguel County, Colorado. That abortive project followed months of online fundraising by Black Hammer activists, and was reported contemporaneously by Santi Ruiz at the Free Beacon.

A fairly detailed history of Romain/Kodzo and Black Hammer was put together last September by a black Marxist group, and here’s a thumbnail summary: Romain was born in Brooklyn and grew up around Atlanta. In his early 20s, he went to Los Angeles and apparently worked as some kind of personal assistant for the head of a small modeling agency, helping to stage “mansion parties,” among other things. Sometime after 2015, Romain was recruited by the African People’s Socialist Party (APSP) and moved to the party’s headquarters in St. Petersburg, Florida, where his duties were mainly about running social-media accounts. In 2018, Romain — now calling himself Kodzo — left the APSP and moved back to Atlanta, where he established the Black Hammer Organization in February 2019. Romain/Kodzo claimed he quit the APSP because it was secretly controlled by white people; the APSP says he was expelled for unspecified misconduct. You can believe whatever you want, but the point is that he learned his ideology and tactics at one black “liberation” organization and then employed this knowledge to create his own organization with himself as “Commander-in-Chief.”

At one point, Black Hammer had hundreds of members, recruited via the organization’s social media presence. Romain/Kodzo was always doing livestream videos and in April 2020 stirred up a rather significant online firestorm by trashing Anne Frank.

That someone could do this and still raise tens of thousands of dollars for their “take back the land” project in Colorado should disturb anyone who remembers that Hitler was once just an obscure kook on the fringe.

In fact, as the three-part report at Red Voice makes clear, Black Hammer was a cult, which exploited the unpaid labor of members who were practically held hostage and subjected to psychological abuse. The failure of the “take back the land” project, subsequent defections, and negative publicity have shrunk Romain/Kodzo’s group down to a tiny core of followers who, one may suppose, are simply too stupid to get wise to the hustle. There is probably little reason to fear that Romain/Kodzo and his band of dimwits could be dangerous in the future, but the brief heyday of Black Hammer — when they had their 15 minutes of fame, such as it was — illustrates a larger problem, i.e., that the ideology of racial “liberation” has a persistent appeal to alienated elements of the black community.

The practical common-sense arguments against such a belief system are powerless to dissuade those who are radicalized by a combination of personal misfortune, radical recruitment and the general craziness of American life in the 21st century. Once someone surrenders to pessimism about the prospects of improving their life within the existing social structure, they are vulnerable to even the most extreme “answers” offered by any would-be leader. “Burn it all down” is a sentiment I’ve sometimes heard from conservatives disgusted by the bipartisan fraudulence of D.C. politics, and we can see the January 6 Capitol riot as evidence of how widespread that sentiment has become. But here’s the thing: If middle-class white people are willing to ruin their lives for a futile “protest” gesture (and about 700 rioters have been charged in connection with January 6), how many more alienated black people might be tempted to do something dangerously crazy in the name of “liberation”?

For the followers of Black Hammer, their “take back the land” dream ended with what can only be called a sort of radical Fyre Festival, a bummer of a bad camping trip, with a few minor injuries. But there is no guarantee that the next radical gesture will end so harmlessly.

Remember: Crazy People Are Dangerous.



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