Friday, July 6, 2007
Kneeling At The Cross
Kufu LXXXII says:
People often say when people “put on” they are usually overcompensating for something. The question then becomes; what is that something? Any way you slice it white supremacy, which has ushered in white privilege, has had a damaging effect on “Black” people globally. I doubt if any human being of sound mind and body would argue otherwise. Unfortunately sound mind and body is not something of common place in this day and time. More important, is the effects of white supremacy upon our people. For the purpose of our discussion there is one effect in particular to focus our attention on for the time being. And that effect is the reverence of all things white. I can hear the “here we go” projected from the mouths of the very people, and more importantly the very mind state that has brought forth this discussion. And I will with humility state that I am not completely removed from this conditioning, however furious my persistence is to rid my mind state of all those things oppressive and unhealthy to my “Black” mind and community. How is it that oppression has brought forth reverence for the very thing that has oppressed?
With the deception of white supremacy comes along the demolition, and oppression of “Blackness”. Once the love for yourself and knowledge of yourself is destroyed you are looking for that which is superior. If your god is a white god, if our children’s dolls are white dolls, if your president is white, if your employer is white, if those you see succeeding in everyday society are white, the message has been embedded in your head that those who have prestige and have the power are white. Your conditioning at this point will be in full throttle.
How can a Black woman respect a Black man when her God, president, and even the man who cuts her check is white? How does a Black boy respect his Black father when his toys are white, his education centers around Columbus, and the images on his TV uplift white men while dismantling Black manhood all in the same news segment? So when you see a white man in the street, you see your God, president, and your Columbus who you have learned to respect and revere respectively through Sunday worship, saying the national anthem, and national holiday conditioning.
We simply have our eyes shut. We exalt whiteness at unprecedented lengths. The paper you write on is white, the walls in your home are white, your toothpaste is white, your bread is white, your tissue is white, your socks are white, envelopes, and the list could go on. Why…is the question of profound importance. Sugar and wheat have been dyed (died) white for your consumption, which has been proven to be harmful to your body. So while we praise white, the white criminal justice system locks brothers and sisters away physically. And if they can get past that, the white crack destroys brothers and sisters mentally. And if we get past that, white corporate America destroys brothers and sisters psychologically. “Conspiracy theory” some will say and laugh. My only response is that a theory did not incarcerate more Black men today than any time before it, a theory did not destroy the Black family, and most importantly a theory did not impose slavery on millions of Africans – something real and tangible did.
As the Black community continues to obliterate the chains of our oppression we must never forget the sheer miracle of our existence in the face of white supremacy, which it is nothing short of a miracle. Our strategic demise has been plotted out as a result of the recognition of our godliness. In Ancient Kemet they saw monuments second to none (even those existing today) and were in awe. When astronauts go into outer space the beauty of the boundless Black sky cannot go unnoticed nor the endless power and mystery of the Black hole. As scientists continue to place Black skin under the microscope they will continue to marvel at the life force which is Melanin that transforms sunlight into energy and bears a stark resemblance to the magnificence of the universe. In the Bible it is stated that God said “let there be light” and so the dawn of creation began. However the question is never asked what state of existence did creation come out of. The answer, my family, is all too simple. After you read this just turn off every light and device in your room, close the shades and door and bask in the original state of existence that God him/herself dwelled in before the light of creation. Blackness is the beginning and the life force which all things flow from.
Isis LXXVIII says:
I love Black people. We are such a beautiful people…compassionate, forgiving, spiritual…simply beautiful. And partly because of that the most gruesome evils have been inflicted upon us as a people, spanning centuries and continents. Malcolm X puts it quite succinctly, “Any intelligent, honest, objective person cannot fail to realize that this white man’s slave trade, and his subsequent devilish actions are directly responsible for not only the presence of this Black man in America, but also for the condition in which we find this Black man here.”
Even in the face of the most arduous and intolerable conditions, we find a way not just to survive, but to live. Which is why I’m completely baffled at the behavior of some of my beautiful Black brothers and sisters. As I stood there in the department store trying to figure out why this white woman was getting better service than I from a Black sister, I quickly realized that this happens all the time. Time and time again I’ve seen it – my Black sisters and brothers interacting with white strangers like long lost friends and eyeing their fellow Black people with guarded suspicion…Why? Why is there this open friendliness, this need to make white people comfortable while a fellow Black brother or sister is thought to have some ulterior motive???
I have a theory – the psychological terror inflicted upon us a people still persists to this day.
In 1772 a slave master wrote a letter to his colleagues instructing them on how to destroy the Black man’s mind, his dignity, love for family, love for one another… Dubbed the Willie Lynch letter, it explicitly demonstrates how seeds of innate distrust can be sown…and over hundreds of years, the trees that sprouted from those seeds are still bearing fruit. And understandably so, since this physical and psychological horror lasted hundreds of years, extending beyond the era of slavery, and really – let’s be real – not that long ago racism was law. It is still law, by the way, just unwritten law. Racism has become such a part of American culture and has been so deeply entrenched that we continue to perpetuate it, which was the aim….Willie Lynch states, “The Black slave, after receiving this indoctrination, shall carry on and will become self-refueling and self-generating for hundreds of years, maybe thousands.”
And to people who say “get over it” – who do we say “get over it” to? As my brother Kufu LXXXII said once; do you tell a person who has been raped to get over it because it was too many years ago?
An earth shaking experience such as we have had as a people is bound to have long lasting aftershocks. The question should be – How do we handle it? What do we do?
I have no answers.
Tenkamenin LXXIX says:
It is not about accusation. It is equally not about hate. Black people have shown historically that they are not generally prone to hatred anyway. We are driven by passion, perhaps, with many faces – but we have not demonstrated through time that we are prone to hatred.
An elderly man said to me once that we should criticize our people with compassion and understanding, if we criticize them at all, for we wear the scars of our history. Because of our history, there are many things that occur that we do not readily discuss; things that are prevalent but not necessarily spoken about in a real way.
One disturbing thing that I continue to witness is the instinctively ingratiating way in which many Black people interact with their white peers. I say instinctive due to the fact that, in white company, many of us automatically adopt a certain kind of disposition that we seem not to be conscious of. We are more outgoing. We smile more. We go out of our way to be more accommodating. We become more engaging and make efforts at small talk. We present ourselves in as non-threatening a manner as possible.
I do not advocate that we attack white persons on sight (although some would argue such actions to be justified). However, being aware of such behavior and, worse yet, seeing it is baffling, at the very least. So many Black people appear to supplicate themselves so willingly to white people.
The practice is worth exploring. I have personally observed the most belligerent and unpleasant Black persons transform into gregarious and generous extroverts in front of whites; smiling widely, making small talk, and going that extra mile to lend a helping hand. Similarly, Black persons may not necessarily roam freely through particular neighborhoods for the real fear that their safety may be in jeopardy. However, newly moved-in or visiting white persons walk freely certain that they will roam untouched in the roughest parts of town. These whites are generally correct in their certainty.
One would imagine, given our shared history, injury and identity, that we would extend such courtesies and pleasantries to one another. It seems we do not. Still, white persons can expect to be handled with special deference by Black persons. In fact, many whites demand that deference be shown to them (likely a symptom of their own conditioning) and we do not put up a challenge. Our concepts of basic self-respect and dignity seem to operate under different standards when it comes to dealing with white people…a subtle but disturbing fact. What does this phenomenon indicate about our own conditioning?