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White supremacist-adjacent, MAGA-loving Black figures such as Kanye West would be dismissed as buffoons if they weren’t so dangerous.

As they say in Philly, Kanye West f’d around and found out when he lost his spot on the Forbes list of billionaires. This, after Adidas, Gap, Balenciaga and others dropped their partnerships with Ye following anti-semitic comments the artist recently made on social media. Days earlier, Kanye and fellow traveler, Black white-nationalist representative Candace Owens were in Paris sporting “White Lives Matter” hate-speech designer shirts, which made Ye a national hero on Fox News.

Kanye and Candace are following in the footsteps of Isaiah Montgomery. Montgomery was the only Black delegate to the 1890 Mississippi convention. The sole purpose of that convention was to enact a new state constitution to legalize voter suppression and strip Black people of their rights. A wealthy landowner and business owner who had been born in enslavement, Montgomery supported the new constitution, which included a poll tax and literacy test to wipe out Black power in the majority Black state. He believed that “striking down the rights and liberties of 123,000 freemen” was necessary to bridge the “chasm (between the races) that has been widening and deepening for a generation… that threatens destruction to you and yours, while it promises no enduring prosperity to me and mine.”

Frederick Douglass said Montgomery’s position was an act of “treason, to the cause of the colored people, not only of his own state but of the United States.” Douglass also saw Montgomery as “a groan of bitter anguish born of oppression and despair” and a voice of a “soul from which all hope had vanished.” The 1890 Mississippi constitution was the death knell for Black power in that state, and Black people have not recovered to this day.

All of this reminds us of the famed Dave Chappelle character Clayton Bigsby. The image of Bigsby — a blind Black Klansman wearing a white hood and shouting “white power!” at a KKK meeting — made for outrageous comedy. And yet, real-life Black people such as West and Owens have outdone this fictional character.

West is just one of a number of toxic, white supremacist-adjacent, MAGA-loving Black figures to go for broke and fully embrace white power. Whether out of grift, lunacy, attention seeking or self-hatred, these Afro-Saxons have decided to cast their lot with white supremacy, a game that always results in bad outcomes. Because white supremacy always results in death and destruction, and even the collaborators of color are not protected.

Whatever the reason, West has spouted anti-Black rhetoric for years. Many in the Black community cheered Kanye on in 2005 when he, responding to the government’s failure to help the victims of Hurricane Katrina, said “George Bush doesn’t care about Black people.” Something changed over the years, and West would later say slavery was a choice, that Harriet Tubman “never actually freed the slaves,” and more recently claimed George Floyd died from fentanyl use rather than a police officer’s knee on his neck. The Floyd family plans to sue Kanye for “harassment, misappropriation, defamation and infliction of emotional distress seeking $250 million dollars in damages,” and rightly so.

Candace Owens is one of the more prominent Black MAGA commentators out there and a face of Black conservatism who attacks Black Lives Matter and calls police brutality a myth Democrats use to manipulate Black minds.” Among the Trump cheerleader’s many controversial statements, Owens praised Hitler for his nationalism. “If Hitler just wanted to make Germany great and have things run well — OK, fine,” she said. “The problem is he had dreams outside of Germany,” she added. “He wanted to globalize. He wanted everybody to be German.”

The Black community helped Owens when she was a victim of racial discrimination and harassment, but it seems she has forgotten all of that for the sake of fame and fortune. As a high school student in Stamford, Connecticut, Owens was racially harassed by white boys who left threatening voicemails. The NAACP helped her in a lawsuit against the Stamford school board for failing to protect her, and she received a $37,500 settlement. One of Owens’ high school classmates came with receipts and presented them in a TikTok video.

Meanwhile, other cheerleaders for white supremacy such as Herschel Walker are powerful because they cape for white power and will toe the line because they are empty vessels with empty heads. Walker personifies all the racist media stereotypes of Black men in one package — the inarticulate, dim-witted and violent brute but also an entertaining minstrel. 

This reminds us of Malcolm X’s famous speech where he discussed the house Negro vs. the field Negro.

“So whenever that house Negro identified himself, he always identified himself in the same sense that his master identified himself. When his master said, ‘We have good food,’ the house Negro would say, ‘Yes, we have plenty of good food.’ ‘We’ have plenty of good food,” Malcolm said.

"When the master said that ‘we have a fine home here,’ the house Negro said, ‘Yes, we have a fine home here.’ When the master would be sick, the house Negro identified himself so much with his master he’d say, ‘What’s the matter boss, we sick?’ His master’s pain was his pain,” he added. “And it hurt him more for his master to be sick than for him to be sick himself. When the house started burning down, that type of Negro would fight harder to put the master’s house out than the master himself would.”

In the 21st century, the Black people Malcolm X called out have aligned themselves with power. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas has become one of the most powerful people in America’s burning house of white supremacy. Thomas, whose wife Ginni participated in the Jan. 6 insurrection and attempted the overthrow of the U.S. government, is a member of a court bought and captured by right-wing extremist donors with dirty money to erase voting rights, reproductive freedom, worker’s rights and environmental protection.

Thomas — once presented as the poster child for Black conservatism to promote the benefits of Black people lifting themselves up by their bootstraps — demonstrates how Black faces are used to burn the bridges to multiracial democracy and promote Jim Crow fascism.

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The spirit of Isaiah Montgomery lives on. His 21st-century ideological descendants are causing just as much trouble today, and they’re going to get us hurt.