A Jazzman’s Sour Notes on Race

1346788497149_mobilelargeOnly hours after Front Page posted my article last week about bogus racism allegations – in which, among other things, I lamented that Black Studies programs in American universities are too preoccupied with inculcating victimhood and accusing people of racism to produce works like Terry Teachout’s recent biographies of Louis Armstrong and Duke Ellington – I discovered that Teachout himself, who is the Wall Street Journal‘s theater critic and critic-at-large for Commentary, had been publicly smeared with an allegation of racism just a few days earlier. The hurler of this allegation was Nicholas Payton, a well-known jazz trumpeter who holds the title of “Distinguished Artist and Visiting Lecturer” at Tulane University – and who has also taught “master classes, clinics and workshops at over 40 institutions” from Cornell to Stanford. If I’ve chosen to shine a spotlight on Payton’s attack on Teachout, it’s not because Teachout needs my defending (indeed, this isn’t really about Teachout at all) or because Payton is worthy of any special notice as a thinker (ha!), but because the way in which Payton goes after Teachout, and the terms in which he discusses matters of race generally, perfectly exemplify the irrational, indeed hateful, racial ideology that has increasingly infected American society.

Payton’s charges came in a piece entitled “Duking It Out with Teachout and Other Racist Assailants,” in which he began by arguing that Teachout is typical of a number of biographers who “always attempt to tear down great Black legends in the spirit of ‘making the subject more human’” and who in the process actually end up “dehumanizing” their subjects. Moreover, complained Payton, these writers “always go after the guys for whom there can never be enough praise, like Duke Ellington or Louis Armstrong. Who they should go after is overrated White musicians like Nick LaRocca, Frankie Trumbauer or Bix Beiderbecke.”

As I say, Teachout doesn’t need any defending from me (and I’m certainly not speaking for him here), but I couldn’t read Payton’s opening sentences without thinking: “Well, if Terry Teachout is a racist, then there’s no white person anywhere who isn’t one.” (Which, I suspect, is precisely what Payton believes.) About Teachout: we’re speaking here of a man whose Armstrong and Ellington books are patently labors of love. Only a mad ideologue could consider them pathographies (to borrow Joyce Carol Oates’s useful term for those biographies that do indeed seem designed to decimate their subjects). Teachout’s reverence for Ellington and Armstrong is palpable on every page, as is his determination to help readers more fully appreciate their art, understand the social and aesthetic forces that shaped it, and recognize the obstacles they surmounted in order to create it. This is what every good biographer does – but one can understand why someone like Payton might be made uncomfortable by the idea; ideologues of his sort, whether they worship Stalin or Mao or Che Guevara, prefer their idols gigantic, unreal, and flawless. What’s striking is that Payton genuinely seems to imagine that all the people who have snapped up copies of Duke and Pops have ended up with diminished respect for these men. Idiot.

There’s more. Biographers like Teachout, Payton suggested, would be better off “bringing their great White Ancestors down a peg or two,” instead of taking on the likes of Ellington and Armstrong. Except that – and now (no pun intended) we’re off to the races –

there is no such thing as a White Ancestor because the White race is an imaginary construct that was designed by the elite solely for the purpose of creating a race of people to promote the false idea that the whiter your skin, the better you are. The elite don’t want to do the dirty work so they dole out free passes called “White Privilege” to their subjects and to the peasants.

I think the fact that there is no such thing as White Ancestry is the base of the problem for most of these types. Whites have no culture of their own besides colonization. It must be hard to be White and to look around at a world of people with a deep heritage and a connection to their community and feel empty inside because you have none. Ah, the perils of White Privilege. I guess you can’t have everything.

In Payton’s view, then, books like Teachout’s are nothing more or less than an expression of their white authors’ powerful suppressed envy of black people’s culture, heritage, and sense of community. “Whites have no culture….”: unlike anything you can find in Teachout’s work, this statement is itself the very essence of racism. It’s both ugly and preposterous. But in today’s academy, it’s quite simply an expression of the reigning orthodoxy. (Imagine how long a professor would last at Tulane if he wrote: “Blacks have no culture.”) Payton went on:

To be Italian, Spanish, Jewish, or Polish, now that means something, but what does it mean to be White? It means that the basis of your history starts with a lie. Black is synonymous with being African, but being White is synonymous with no nation or culture in particular. To be White is to align yourself with centuries of violence and oppression. To be White is to say that you’re a part of those who went into Africa and told them your White Jesus is more powerful than their Black Ancestors. You came into our villages and told us we would go to hell if we didn’t serve your God. You separated children from their families, you emasculated and effeminated [sic] our boys and men, you raped our girls and women….

No acknowledgment here, needless to say, of the key role played in the slave trade by the African blacks who sold their fellow blacks to Europeans; no recognition that even now, in several African countries, black people are still held as chattel by other black people; no sign of appreciation for the fact that while slavery has been a fact of life throughout human history, regardless of race or place, America is the one country in which the members of one race fought a long and bloody war to free the members of another race from bondage.

Yes, Payton does criticize some of his fellow blacks. Who? Shakedown artists like Jesse Jackson? Practitioners of the “knockout game”? No. The black people he despises are the “so-called Brothas and Sistas” who, “vying to get a stamp on their White Supremacy card,” are all too eager to “sellout [sic] their colored constituents for a few pieces of silver.” For instance, Manning Marable, whose biography of Malcolm X is “indicative of a Western way of thinking.” Payton likewise slams James Gavin, who in his New York Times review of Teachout’s Ellington biography committed the crime of calling Ellington a “black jazz titan in a racist age.” Payton’s comment:

So, Black jazz as opposed to what? White jazz? And when did this Racist Age end? Then he continues by saying Duke’s mission was to “lift jazz to the level of concert music and to win respect for his race.”…It’s another way of him saying that Nigger music is beneath the European standard.

This is the sound, ladies and gentlemen, of a hopeless, sputtering bigot. And get this:

I have a hard time even dignifying these guys by making reference to them, but I can’t just sit here and let these White dudes disrespect our masters without saying anything. That would be unconscionable. As Martin Luther King Jr. said, “To ignore evil is to become an accomplice to it.” …..

In other words, Teachout, Marable, and Gavin are nothing less than evil, the lot of them. As for jazz:

…this music is a cultural contribution from a people who are forced to live and be in servitude to a system that is designed for them to fail….People like Teachout and Gavin have been brainwashed to see the Black American as nothing more than lazy and shiftless thieves who are incapable of contributing anything more than entertainment or being a nuisance to society….But what significant contributions are they making to the world besides treading on others’ legacies?….It is clear from their words that not only do they lack respect for Black life, but they know nothing of it, and it is only because of White Supremacy and Privilege that they even have a platform.

As it turns out, Payton’s nutty screed about Teachout wasn’t a one-off; on the contrary, it was only the latest item in a rather substantial and staggeringly barmy oeuvre that’s positively brimming with raw racial enmity. Payton commemorated the death of Nelson Mandela, for example, by criticizing American blacks who fought apartheid in South Africa instead of struggling against their own oppression in the U.S. “I don’t like to play the ‘Who’s More Oppressed?’ game,” he maintained, “but the Black American takes a back seat to no one when it comes to the holocaust and genocide perpetrated upon us.” The funny part here, of course, is Payton’s claim that he doesn’t like to play the “Who’s More Oppressed?” game. This is his game, and he plainly loves to play it (perhaps even more than he loves playing his trumpet).

Unsurprisingly, Payton embraces the standard Black Studies view that racism in America is still as bad as ever. “Because we are occasionally allowed to sip the secondhand drops that fall to the ground from the gourd of White Supremacy,” he wrote, “don’t [sic] make us any closer to liberation than our African counterparts. In fact, we have become punch-drunk from too many cups of post-Civil Rights Kool-Aid to the point that we actually believe that we’re better off now than we were pre-integration.” (Similarly, in another recent piece, he rejected “the notion that we post-MLK Blacks are liberated….The recent deaths of Trayvon Martin, Jordan Davis, Renisha McBride and many others speak to that.”)

Then there’s “A Nigga Tired: Why Non-Blacks Shouldn’t Say Nigga,” in which Payton demonstrated that his cranium, like those of some of the founders of Black Studies, is crammed with wacky historical hypotheses:

There are schools of thought that the annunciation of “Nigga” can release kundalini energy in the body. There are no vowels in many ancient languages, and by this logic, “Nigga” can also be related to “Naga” which is the Sanskrit word for a deity that takes the form of a serpent. As a result, the incantation of Nigga or Naga can arouse this sleeping, coiled serpent that sits at the base of the spine and cause one’s spirit to awaken.

No comment. As for America, if you haven’t already gathered as much, Payton has nothing positive to say about it:

I cannot love America until America does something for me to fall in love with her….This country’s wealth is built on slave labor which gives a disproportionate advantage to the majority and created its current systems of supremacy and privilege, which is only offered in abundance to those who bow to the White altar.

At several points, Payton charges that white people just don’t understand what it’s like to be black – a familiar plaint of today’s campus race-baiters. Clearly, he and his ilk don’t have a clue what it’s really like to be white. They seem to have the idea that waking up every morning encased in pinkish flesh is the biggest rush there is – that it gives one an automatic sense of belonging, a profound feeling of cultural power. They depict the “white world” as a place in which even the most poor and downtrodden caucasian somehow enjoys even more privilege than the current President of the United States. Payton and his fellow true believers are so fixated on race that they don’t appear to realize that race is far from the only defining trait by which people are judged every time they go outside, that in fact there are countless attributes that some individuals seize upon in order to try to make other individuals feel inferior, and that it’s incumbent upon civilized, mature people, for the sake of their societies and their children’s children, to struggle to rise above such poisonous pettiness.

Enough. Bottom line: Payton is a racist. A passionate racist. And he’s proud of it. Anybody upon whom he slaps the label of “racist” should wear it as a badge of honor. Tulane should be ashamed to have given him a title containing the word “distinguished.” But worst of all is that he’s no isolated case. His numbers are legion – and, thanks to the efforts of his fellow ebony-tower ideologues, growing every day.

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  • Judahlevi

    This has always been the problem with allowing people to be defined by their skin color. The government got it wrong, the US Supreme Court got it wrong. People are not defined by their skin color, they are defined by their minds.

    How can someone be defined by something they had no choice over? Your skin color is by accidence of birth just as your gender is. It has no impact on who you are as a person since you had nothing to do with it.

    Seeing people for what they are, individuals, is the only human relational philosophy which will ever defeat multiculturalism. Diversity comes from the mind, not the body. It is far past time to quit counting people by skin color and start treating each individual as unique – because they are.

    • Dyer’s Eve

      Excellent. I could have not put it better myself.

    • Seek

      You’ve presented a decent classical liberal view, but one lacking in a fundamental insight. Blacks are far more mindlessly tribal than whites, and prone to moronic expressions of collective victimhood. Aside from the fact that race is a far more complicated concept than “skin color” (any competent evolutionary biologist will tell you as much), blacks generally don’t treat individuals as unique. This trumpeter-turned-sage has a lot of company among his racial peers.

    • tagalog

      You may not recall that many black and white Americans came together some years ago to call for judging people by their character and not by their skin color. They were rather quickly shouted down and separated by the race pimps of our sad little American world, and those pimps were almost exclusively leftists. They called the blacks “Uncle Toms” who wanted to be white, and they called the whites “institutional racists,” and still do.

      • Judahlevi

        I agree that the left is more collective and more likely to view people as groups instead of as individuals. Due to this fact, they are also more inclined to be racists or sexists.

        One is not defined by their lineage, but by their mind. Each individual is sovereign. They are to be judged by their own actions alone, not by anyone who looks like they do. There is no such thing as collective guilt, pride, or achievement. There is only individual guilt, pride, or achievement.

    • Simon W

      The term “race” is simply a term for categorizing different groups of people by their physical properties. A person’s appearance is a physical manifestation of their DNA.

      For instance, White people are those with a set of certain physical characteristics different from other groups of people. Since well before recorded history and as proven through archaeological and genetic testing, White people are those having a prehistoric origin in Europe. Apparently, Mr. Payton does not understand the difference between ethnicity and race. Italians, Poles, Germans, and so on are all ethnicities of the same race. The White race.

      Skin color is simply the most readily noticeable aspect of a person’s racial DNA and we often use the shorthand way of saying a person is “white” or “black” instead of naming a host of characteristics.

      I am not sure what it is you are trying to say but people are not physically defined by their minds. That makes zero sense.

      You may wish we were all the same physically and are all members of one big happy family but that isn’t the case.

      • laura r

        my friends all have high IQs & think outside the box. race is besides the point.

      • Judahlevi

        “I am not sure what it is you are trying to say but people are not physically defined by their minds. That makes zero sense.”

        Take away your mind and what do you have?

        To explain by current pop culture – what are zombies? Does anyone really care what skin color the zombie is? As you should be able to see, the essence of each person is their mind, not their body.

    • Guy Fromage

      People are not defined by their skin color, they are defined by their minds.


  • MukeNecca

    Overrated white musicians like…Bix Beiderbecke.” – declares massively overrated black musician Nicholas Payton who may be “well known” for his mediocrity, but hardly for his excellency, as musician. Obviously, the pompous ninny is not aware of the admiration Louis Armstrong expressed for the genius of Beiderbecke on many occasions. It seems he covets more than being “well known” as middling jazz trumpeter. He also fancies himself a critical thinker so he storms the podium of academia emitting his hateful, idiocy-nearing shrill gibberish, assured it will give him a status of a “well known” intellectual. The combination of his microscopic intelligence and his narcissism prevents him to realize what a pathetic fool it makes him. He will certainly be “well known” for that.

    Shame on Universities who hail that trumpet blowing replica of Jeremiah Wright as “Distinguished Artist and Visiting Lecturer”. What pathetic toadying for a primitive racist.

    • keyster

      Technically Bix was better than pops, but both were very good.

      • Samo

        I think that Bix and many other players would quibble with you on that point. It’s Apples and Oranges my friend.

    • SDN

      Nicholas Payton is a product of the Black Studies which teach people that racism is pervasive in every corner of American society and that does who deny this are…..racist. Post-MLK Blacks are indeed not liberated, they are prisoners of this victimhood ideology which has found in Payton a zealous proselytizer.

      This man is really obsessed with finding racism everywhere even when it is non-existent. He really should learn about this poll where most blacks (31% more precisely) declared they believed most blacks to be racist.

      • MukeNecca

        “…those who deny this are…..racist.”

        That is precisely what I have been saying for years in my discussions with the leftoids.

  • Sharps Rifle

    If the United States is so horrible, then why don’t these creeps just go someplace they’d like, like Rhodesia?

    • monostor

      North or South?

      • Omar

        South, since Southern Rhodesia was renamed Zimbabwe in 1980. Mugabe’s Zimbabwe is a black supremacist, Marxist state that oppresses anyone who opposes his rule.

        • UCSPanther

          And they are wallowing in desperate poverty as a result.

    • Drakken

      Because the wayist crackers keep giving them goodies and freebies.

    • laura r

      who would listen to them on rhodesia? people may be thinking more about their next meal. they stay here so they can yapyapyap, & get paidpaidpaid. thats why!

  • johnlac

    I am not much of a jazz fan, nor have I ever heard example’s of Payton’s work, but I’ve heard the same anti-white screed from numerous black academics and musicians over the decades. It all comes down to:” whitey is evil, and I hate America.” There’s no point in trying to reason with these people, because they can’t be reasoned with. One thing though, few of them ever leave the country they hate so much.

  • Omar

    Really? This guy is criticizing black Americans for fighting apartheid in South Africa? Payton is implying that America is worse than South Africa’s former apartheid regime, which is outrageous and false. Why doesn’t he criticize the Islamist apartheid regime in Sudan, where the racist Islamist dictatorship is guilty of committing genocide against that country’s black African Christian population? Payton probably supports the Islamist dictatorship in Sudan because he views it as “progressive” and a defender of so-called “social justice”. Likewise, he supports the racist Mugabe regime in Zimbabwe, because that Marxist regime is oppressing that country’s white population. Payton is probably an agent of both the Nation of Islam and the New Black Panther Party, and possibly even War on the Horizon, which is a black supremacist website headed by a DHS employee who wants to start a race war. I can’t believe that the DHS even hired that hatemonger. There should be no place for hate in this world.

    • Sheik Yerbouti

      Hate is big business. All of these hate mongers are selling their message, they don’t give it away. You have to pay them to make it go away.

      • laura r

        theres no business like the flashy hate business. oh the drama, the fame, the paycheck.

    • ben t

      Payton says there is no white race or culture and proceeds to say that there are merely Italian or Polish or Jewish, etc ethnics but to be “black” is “synonymous” with being “african”, a valid race. Is he that ignorant of history or culture or biology? He makes no distinctions among, fulanis, ashantis, hutus, masai, kikuyu or some hundreds more I can name who have been slaughtering, killing and, if truth can be told, eating each other for thousands of years, before caucasions slipped into the mire of sub-saharan Africa. Lastly, DNA studies prove North Africa is mainly caucasoid. The mohammedan slave trade into sub-saharan Africa over the last 1400 yrs has infused some proportion of non-caucasoid genes, which most arabs quickly deny.
      Payton is a hollow “suit”. There is no arguing with STUPID.

      • Omar

        “Payton says that to be ‘black’ is ‘synonymous’ with being ‘African'”
        Leonard Jeffries, a Professor of Black Studies and former Chair of the Black Studies Department at CUNY’s City College in New York City, once made a racist theory about “sun people” and “ice people” in his classes. He argued that people are superior based on how much melanin they have in their bodies. Jeffries believes that the more melanin people have, the more superior they are to people with less melanin. And so, he argued that blacks are “sun people”, the biologically and culturally superior counterparts to whites, the “ice people”. That theory, along with Jeffries’ other racist and anti-Semitic rants led to a battle to remove him as head of City College’s Black Studies Department. Jeffries was eventually removed as Department head, but he remains a tenured professor at City College and he remains unrepentant about his racist theories. Jeffries is listed as one of the 101 Professors profiled in David Horowitz’s excellent book, The Professors, which gives a background of each radical leftist professor at the many colleges and universities across the United States.

        • laura r

          the top colleges in the world are in colder climates. warmer climates are about vacation, retirement, casinos, picking fruit etc. also hollywood is in a warm climate. that says it all.

        • ben t

          Massive DNA studies and validated I.Q. tests rule!

    • http://baldilocks-talking.blogspot.com/ Juliette Akinyi Ochieng

      Some people can never be placated.

  • logdon

    Fourteen years ago I attended a website construction course and a few weeks into it a new chap appeared one day, sitting at the back.

    He was black, pretty funky looking with short braids and little round glasses and looked like he could be interesting.

    I approached him, we chatted, found mutual points of interest, cars, design and the general uselessness of the course. (Nothing unites mankind like a universal moan) and the friendship grew.

    He’d had quite a varied background, had worked in IT, had a clothing unit, designed and made his own stuff and had an over riding passion for early seventies funk with Bootsy Collins and Funkadelic topping the list.

    My thing was and still is, jazz and blues and I attempted to explain the roots of funk and why he should delve back a bit to find out where it all came from.

    He was having none of it, especially the Son House, Robert Johnson, Skip James and Charley Patton strand of early Mississippi blues.

    It so happens that my little group, growing up in Sixties Britain listened to this stuff avidly with the passion of youth and desire for the unknown and we loved it especially it’s growth as it migrated up to Chicago and Detroit.

    So I then attempted explaining the later electric formulations of Howlin’ Wolf, Muddy Waters, John Lee Hooker, Elmore James, Buddy Guy, Otis Rush, Freddy, Albert and BB King and still not much interest.

    I have quite a significant collection of CD’s by the afore mentioned and whenever I said try this, the look of boredom told it’s tale.

    Slightly exasperated, I just could not understand the antipathy until out it came.

    ‘It reminds me of slavery’.

    Now this is a second generation chap with a British Carribean ancestry who has never set foot in Jamaica or America, has never lived outside ten miles from where he was born and he’s blaming Southern American slavery for his disdain towards the genuine bedrock music which for us white guys was mannah from heaven.

    It’s any excuse isn’t it? Blame whitey and that’s it. No more is needed. This harking back is a free standing growth watered by the likes of our man in the article whose resentment is in turn fed by his own insane prejudices.

    When the Rolling Stones opened up blues to a white market, BB King rapturously exclaimed that from then on there was no looking back.

    His gratitude brings a tear to the eye and the majestic munificence of this truly gracious man is a pleasure to behold.

    Shame that Nicholas Payton can’t learn from this great father of the blues.

    • tagalog

      Great post.

    • http://baldilocks-talking.blogspot.com/ Juliette Akinyi Ochieng

      I’ve never understood how “being reminded of slavery”–especially if one hasn’t experienced it personally–is such a bad thing. When I’m reminded that my mother’s ancestors were slaves in this country, I think of three things: 1) grateful to God that the practice was abolished, 2) grateful to God that a good thing–being exposed to Christianity–came from a bad thing, the slavery, and 3) grateful to God to have been born and raised in the first world.

      God and gratitude are the keys. Without those, even the most materially blessed persons are cursed with anger and bitterness. Some of these people will even build a logic structure for their bitterness. Oh wait, I think that’s called Marxism.

      • logdon

        ‘Being reminded of slavery’ when used as a false crutch for racial bitterness and disharmony is a slap in the face to those stalwarts, both black and white, who devoted huge energy in abolishing the awful practice in the first place.

        • Drakken

          Why apologize when race relations are now at its lowest point and is going to get even lower?

      • logdon


        It’s not over by a long chalk, yet where’s the international outcry?

        These are the people who Obama bows to.


      • John P.

        I would give anything to have a cup of coffee with you Juliette.
        Again, your comments are uplifting in their truth and common sense practicality.

    • Samo

      Ever see the movie “Sparticus”
      Black Americans think they own slavery.
      FYI: Francis Davis wrote a book about Blues players and left out Mose Allison. Any thoughts?

      • logdon

        Because he was white?

        I think it’s Living Blues magazine who will only have blacks on the cover.

        A bit precious if you ask me in this day and age. There are hundreds of fantastic white blues players out there. And the young seem to be picking up on it. However I see no big deal. It’s their magazine, their choice.

        Mose Allison, by the way was a huge inspiration to Georgie Fame (a Brit proto blues organ player who helped kick the whole thing off back here in the late Fifties/early Sixties) and in turn he influenced Van Morrison.

        Allison was as blues as it gets and helped the melting pot get going. Without the passion of those whites, blues could well be now relegated to a museum.

  • cjkcjk

    The real story in my opinion is that guys like this are being embraced by the Left unapologetically whether they are racists as Parked is, sodomite-fascists, Mohammedans, or whatever . I see it everywhere. The intolerance and abject evil of these people will result in bloodshed.
    The spiritual wickedness is palpable at this point; at least it is to me.

  • A Z

    “You came into our villages ”

    More like one African tribe waged war on other African tribes, defeated them, took their land and women, enslaved some and executed others.

    Which pretty much looks like Roman warfare, Greek warfare & Middle Eastern warfare.

    Enslaving conquered people to work the fields or mines was problematic. Enslaved military aged males or their growing sons might rise up.

    With the Muslim Saharan & Atlantic slave trade they no longer had this dilemma. They sold their war captives for financial gain and did not have to worry about a slave revolt.

    • tagalog

      We didn’t come into their villages, although the Muslim slavers did. That would be the Muslims, whose religion some black Americans find preferable to Christianity, which of course was the religion of the white people who took the necessary steps to end the slave trade in the West. What we did was establish trading posts on the coastline, and the black tribesmen brought their captured blacks to the posts, where they got trade goods in exchange for selling their own kind into slavery in a foreign land.

      Is there an Islamic version of Amazing Grace?

      • http://baldilocks-talking.blogspot.com/ Juliette Akinyi Ochieng

        True history, except that “own kind” implies that all black ethnic groups are the same. They are not, no more than white ethnic groups, say, Germans and Englishmen–who haven’t always been nice to each other either.

        • A Z

          How about Nigerians selling other Nigerians (who were of their ethnic group or a related one) enslaved & sold pilgrims coming to shrines in their village.

          I read reports where English women would go on pilgrimage to sites in France or to Rome and never quite make it due to lack of funds. But they did not have funds to make it back home. So they’re were quite a few in Paris and they had quite a reputation as being prostitutes.

          Both true stories show the bad sides of their respective cultures.

          • http://baldilocks-talking.blogspot.com/ Juliette Akinyi Ochieng

            You mean Ibos selling Mandinkas (or the like)?

          • A Z

            Not sure, I read the story some time ago. Enough pilgrims had to visit shrines or whatever at somewhat distant cities and comeback or else people would stop going. But apparently some were picked off.

        • tagalog

          Point taken.

        • Drakken

          Funny thing about that, Saxons are from Germany and at least half of Great Britain has Saxon blood.

          • UCSPanther

            Quite a bit of Norman blood there, thanks to William of Normandy…

        • A Z

          I wonder if there should be some caveats to the statement

          Reading a British archeological magazine. A British coastal city had a French quarter and everything was good. It had been there several generations or more without problems. Then there were the dynastic disputes (100 Years War) about who was,liege, who was not or just plain aggrandizement.

          Point is people all over the world mix or tolerate each other pretty well. It takes someone in government or religion or something to rile them up.

          Ibid the Vikings. Some of the later Viking Raids were state sponsored piracy.

        • laura r

          not only that, but so many afro americans cant stand the sight of each other. they are classist, they are racist in a way too. (lighter is better etc). the rest kill each other. they should check this out, before carrying on about white people.

      • A Z

        Actually we did come into their villages. At least the Portuguese did in Angola. Initially, the Portuguese bought slaves from a particular tribe. Supposedly when the supply dried up after the tribe had enslaved all the surrounding tribes they went after their former supplier. If there had been an African Tecumseh in Angola that would not have happened.

        Most northern Europeans had a 80% or 90% mortality rate in a year’s time just staying along the coast. It would be very hard for them to attack village in the interior.

        With the passing of Mandela people a;so talked a little bit about the 1994 transfer of power and Pik Botha. The wags amused themselves with how ironic that Botha and other Afrikaners had black ancestors. what is truly ironic is these same people are too stupid to realize that Botha’s ancestors bought their wives from black African slave traders.

        • tagalog

          You know, nobody fusses about the Portugese as slave traders. They fuss about the United States.

          • http://baldilocks-talking.blogspot.com/ Juliette Akinyi Ochieng

            Because Portugal has little wealth and no power.

          • tagalog

            But they DID have Brazil, where Africans were brought to work as slaves in large numbers on the cane plantations, and sometimes were deliberately worked to death.

          • A Z

            The Brasilian had a dog they used to chase down escaped slaves. It is a very large breed. The Brasilian will write “Cao Fila” on highway overpasses some reason all over the place. The dog is in their psyche.

            I did not know it, but the actual name is “Cão Fila de São Miguel”


            “Cão Fila de São Miguel from Portugal have no documented health problems, but dogs bred elsewhere are often bred to be very oversize (over 60 cm/23.6 in and 35 kg/77 lb) and may suffer”

            Like in Brasil. A dog breeder once told someone that they did not want to buy a Cao Fila, because they had a poor sense of smell, poor hearing and were dumb. So they night attack their owner & eat 1/2 of him before it realized its’ mistake.

            So were they trying to recapture slaves or run them into the ground permanently?

          • A Z

            I might have the breed wrong although this breed is related (descended from?) the Azores dog.


          • http://baldilocks-talking.blogspot.com/ Juliette Akinyi Ochieng

            Sure that’s true, but my point remains: Portugal can do nothing for anyone. And besides, this country isn’t Portuguese in ancestry and culture.

            One more thing: few K-12 American students learn anything about the history of slavery in other countries.

          • A Z

            The Portuguese were a little but better off in surviving Africa. Due to the Muslim Occupation of their country they had some black blood. Therefore they had a higher survival rate than say a Dutchman or an Englishman.

  • Habbgun

    The Higher Education system is a dead white male construct and given its origins in the the middle ages there is no surprise it needs reform. How about Payton resigning so that money and human capital can be freed up for the effort. Doesn’t he hate being a house slave?

  • tagalog

    I suspect that the thing that frosts Payton so much is that Terry Teachout can identify with the black experience well enough to write an appreciation that takes into account the adversity that stood in the way of people like Ellington and Armstrong.

    Mr. Payton, for his part, Tulane teaching professional that he is, probably has some difficulty identifying with black Americans who had to struggle on the bottom of the music pyramid before they rose to fame.

    Jazz DOESN’T have its roots in musical forms created by blacks? Really? Jelly Roll Morton, get back!

    Some of the quotations from Payton reflect what I believe is a common black resentment theme, namely, that all this equality stuff is just a white ploy to mask the white hiding of all the social goodies from the blacks. We’re lying to the blacks and hiding what they should be entitled to from them.

    I say focus on liberty and justice for all, and let the blacks sink or swim in that context.

    • http://baldilocks-talking.blogspot.com/ Juliette Akinyi Ochieng

      I agree! Great comment. Sinking or swimming via one’s own merits–or lack of same–is what freedom is all about, after all.

      • tagalog

        Yes, I should have said “let ALL of us sink or swim” on our own merits as you say.

      • John P.


  • edlancey

    I love this guy !

    I can’t wait to download (by torrent, natch) his album “Bitches” – written after the breakup of his marriage – and if his ex-wife/Bitch passes the Brown Paper bag test then I’d be very surprised.

  • philbest

    That trumpeter makes an interesting point, though, that never occurred to me.

    “White” is generally a term used to imply racism on the part of the person so described. Now, others can correct me if I am unusual, but I do not think of myself as “white” in the sense of any great brotherhood of Scandinavians, Russians, Germans, English, etc. I think of myself as “Anglo-Irish” and a Dissenting Protestant. As far as I am concerned, I am different to a Russian Orthodox Church goer and especially to any communist regardless of race or nationality. I have more values in common with a fourth-generation African-American Pentecostal.

    It is time us conservatives got clever and stopped letting the Left label us. We are routinely smeared with “racism” when in fact we are talking about “culture”. It is nonsense to accuse me of racism because I think there is value in studying Shakespeare. I am guided by perfectly objective values, end of story. This is what the Enlightenment was all about. The enlightenment worked steadily in the direction of ending racism, which was itself based on pre-enlightenment thinking.

    What we constantly need to be warned about, is ideology that claims to be a logical extension of the enlightenment, and of progress, but is in fact ideology founded in darkness, hate and envy. It is obviously nonsense that “progress” beyond traditions is inherently “good” – this sort of reasoning is what makes people think Communism must be good because the end of serfdom was good, gay marriage must be good because the breakdown of color bars was good, a society based on “free love” and State nurseries rearing infants must be good because women getting careers was good, and a society whose cultural and educational wellsprings are post-modern novels about queer Aztec-nationalist environmentalists must be good because “To Kill a Mockingbird” was good.

    • tagalog

      Thank you for bringing up the issue of culture vs. civilization. That’s a valuable point to keep in mind. Remember that it was the totalitarian fascists of the 1920s and 1930s who exalted culture over civilization. Race over “mongrel” civilization.

  • Kelly

    I actually feel sorry for Payton, a man who sees every aspect of life, no matter how small and insignificant, through the prism of race. He is literally ate up with it. I cannot imagine living any kind of a contented and peaceful life while having my mind filled with resentment, hatred, and rage. I would go mad from the that self-inflicted torment. I can imagine this fool exploding violently on some unsuspecting white person.

    Call it what you will, I want nothing to do with people like Payton. I don’t want to even be in the same room with them.

  • keyster

    Because of the color of my skin, I’m deemed a racist by those who don’t know me.
    It’s not fair.

    • johnnywood

      I too am considered a racist because I am White but I don`t care what those fools think as I got over my case of “white guilt” years ago.

      • laura r

        is there something wrong w/me? i never had white guilt. i think its an egotrip to be guilty, like youre so important- like you owned all these people. thinking you were & still are a big fish. (glad you got over that one).

  • herb benty

    I have distant relatives who were murdered or burnt at the stake for being Protestant. This was done by Catholics. I now have Catholic friends. Why would present day blacks want to hate a white America that is their best chance for a good and prosperous life?

    • logdon

      It gets even worse with Muslims.

      Remember the chanting of Khaybar by those on the Mavi Mara?

      Khaybar was the site of a massacre of Jews by Mohammed in the Seventh century.

      • herb benty

        There is need by muslims to dominate, the Koran stating they must, so the Jews and Christians who refuse to submit are Islam’s #1 enemy. Islam is a typical demonically- inspired cult. God said the last enemy to be defeated is death, yet Islamists say they love death. SEE, who is behind leftism and Islam?

    • Drakken

      Easy Herb, the Catholics haven’t burnt anyone at the stake for over a 300 years, the only ones persecuting Christians and Jews for that matter are those bloody pesky muslims.

      • herb benty

        Yes, that was a long time ago, however, those bishops, cardinals, nuns and popes always seem to advance leftist causes. Why is that?

  • solinkaa

    Ah, I just got too angry to read on. I’d advise Payton to heed the call of his ancestors and move to Liberia. Or the Congo. For the culture and lifestyle. Effing useful idiot.

  • Samo

    Bix is hardly overrated. I’d say that he’s underrated….. by Payton.
    Nick old buddy…..go back and listen with an open heart.
    I’ve never read any opinion that rates Frankie Trumbauer very highly so what’s he talking about there? Overrated by whom?
    I remember a young Wynton Marsalis talking about how overrated Satchmo was.
    He’s not singing that song anymore.
    Did he change or did Satch?
    Grow up and get over it Nico.

  • brad lena

    I wonder if Payton knows that Monk thought Bing Crosby a great singer in fact his favorite.

  • Nina Sage

    I use to admire black people till Obama.

  • ZZ

    Payton’s racism, hatred and downright evil are his own but he learned to express it in to express it in an insane way by the organized left. The same left that ysught him to feel justified for it.

    As if he actually read any of Teachout’s books.

  • semus

    Payton is a vile little man who has lost his humanity, if he ever had any.

  • carltjohnson

    What is not understood here is that The Idea of race itself is false, unless of course we are talking about a minority race of parasitical humanoids descendent of those that fell favor to the daughters of men and their off spring. The problem, after millennia of “can’t keep in their pants” There has been a mix of us and them, so one can not tell just by looking, one must judge by actions, behaviors and content of character. So you see, the progressive left (parasitical humanoids) have coerced black Americans into entitlement and poor behavior and the rest of conscious human society has been coerced into taking the blame. We both have been the victims of fraud and separated since the days of Woodie Wilson. Sorry, we are now…just catching on. One also must remember that we all were slaves, disempowered, separated and our languages confounded in the days of Babylon. Seems we are coming full circle. We must stand together and stop doing business with our common foe!