My posts regarding interracial dating have proved quite contentious. While uncertain if this post is productive, I’d like to take a moment to discuss the symbolic significance of said contention.
Namely, in a post authored last week, I concluded my argument by disclosing that I wished I could find happiness in those of the black diaspora who find love outside their race/ethnicity. A reader found my in my inability to bear contentment towards interracial dating a cause for sympathy and authored a comment to reduce the totality of my argument to a single sentence. Another reader performed a similar deed, stating that we are all “god creatures” and “you love who you love.” These ideologies are the catalysts for this post.
There is a certain feeling that accompanies anyone that dares to think outside the parameters of white supremacy. All the things that you used to do, now take on a vastly different meaning. Every facial expression, joke, book, movie and television series bears a direct correspondence to racism. Suddenly things that you once found funny are insulting. Scenes that once seduced you mentally, now send searing shots of anger through your body. The beauty that ignorance allowed you bask in, appears not only ugly in enlightenment, but dangerous.
On the journey towards consciousness, the enlightened undoubtedly envy those who can vote for Hillary Clinton and feel as if they selected “the lesser of two evils,” watch Scandal and live vicariously through Olivia Pope, a white-coveting jezebel who plays mammy to the rich and powerful, or deem gentrification an “upgrade” to traditionally black areas. This envy is not because this ideology is correct. It is not. But because life would be much easier if unable to see through the veil of white supremacy. I wish I could smile as those around me gush over interracial kids and unions or not cringe when they say “all mixed kids are cute.” There are times where I wish I did not see these statements for what they are—self-depreciating comments that denigrate blackness in favor of non-African aesthetics and attributes. This wish does not mean that these comments are valid, or than an alternative perspective is anything other than evasion. This statement functions simply as an acknowledgment that these beliefs grant a degree of normalcy disassociated with an enlightened identity. These feelings are of course fleeting. As no amount of bliss could paint oblivion as attractive.
This bliss, while seemingly positive, is actually dangerous. To adopt western fiction as fact is a matter of life and death for black Americans. Consider the following:
Eurocentric historiography—the biasing and falsification of history in ways which justify White supremacy—is not merely the fiddle- faddle of absent-minded professors ensconced in academic ivory towers. It involves a deliberate and serious exercise in myth-making, in the development or Eurocentric cultural mythic thought which rationalizes a concrete social order founded on the perpetual subordination of African peoples to European peoples (Wilson 4).
To obtain this normalcy as a black person on American soil is to adopt western mythology as fact. A prominent attribute of western mythology is compartmentalizing those who implement fact over fiction as bitter, angry, crazy, delusional or my favorite, ignorant. This interpretation of enlightenment as negative functions to encourage ignorance and fester the societal confusion necessary to afford white supremacy its stagnancy.
But with more information and awareness comes a much greater social responsibility. This responsibility also prompts many to opt for bliss, as responsibility proves burdensome to the selfishness nurtured by the western world.
As an enlightened individual or an individual on a journey towards enlightenment, you become less of an individual and more of a collective identity. You begin to view your body as a vessel, your skills as tools best employed to improve the black collective. The enlightened become preoccupied with unity and a collective intelligence and less attentive to personal gain or personal intellect.
These comments represent an individualized sentiment not reflective of collective interests or understanding. If asked whether all white, Asians, latinos, Indians should marry blacks– the answer would most likely be no. These comments most likely reference that a selection of all groups should have the free will to marry who they like–a comment that does not actually refute the essence of my collective assertion. In an effort to address and preserve the collective, my assertions function differently.
Interracial relationships are aggressively encouraged and glamorized by the contemporary world. From television to politics to Youtube, interracial couples and biracial children dominate much of the imaging targeting the black demographic. This encourages erasure, but also encourages the production of a racially ambiguous group that is not only confused about their identity but pushes blacks further down the societal hierarchy. From romanticizing a rape in Belle to demonizing blacks in the United Kingdom, and demonizing segregation by depicting the strife of interracial love in Loving, contemporary society mutates significant parts of our story with superfluous and romanticized interracial relationships. The previously listed movies function to silently declare that “All Lives Matter” rather than “Black Lives Matter.” Is systemic oppression generally harmful? Yes. But this harm remains significantly more detrimental to blacks. Thus, these representations function to deflect from the black lives, suggesting an equality in suffering that is simply untrue. All lives do matter, but no life endures the extent of systemic oppression like a black life. Interestingly, racial mixing presents itself as the antidote to racial conflict, often demonizing black reception to suggest that black “hate” is the emotion that damns America.
Thus, my posts regarding interracial relationships are out of social responsibility—an effort taken to make those of the black collective cognizant of the grave efforts the western world takes to control the black collective. The ignorant black sees the noose around his/her neck as a necklace and willingly applies this noose daily as fashion, not a fatality. The blissful chews the poisonous apple of white supremacy veiled as an essential nutrient. This nutrient is of course essential— to the black demise.
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
to name a few, did what they did as vessels of black excellence. They took on the complexities of enlightenment and endured a journey that would only grant one of three consequences: exile, incarceration or death. Their lives were not blissful but inundated with the immensity of social responsibility. Their acts were a selfless plight to better the collective. They discarded white cowardice for black courage and bore the stain of white wrath as a result. I do not mean to paint myself in their image, but to state that the motives for my actions are not individualistic but function as a penny in the pot of black enlightenment. Furthermore, to “feel sorry” for someone who wishes to stand on shoulders on their ancestors is a laughable act of pseudo condescension reflective of a deep-seeded investment in a fictive reality.
In reading this comment I can’t help but think of the slave who feels like they made it because they live in the house with master—overlooking the grave reality that slavery is not limited to the plantation. This house slave manifests in the free man who journeys north to escape the “harsh” conditions of the south, ignoring the pertinent reality that slavery is a condition of the mind, not the body. Similarly, this house slave mentality manifests in the black who feels as if “he’s arrived” because the white man allotted him a job, where his/her black body helps to manifest a white man’s privileged destiny. Contemporary culture glorifies the house slave, who made his or her way into white institutions and perhaps even found their way to the elusive top. This glorification comes in the success labeling that accompanies the acquiescent African who assimilates into western culture. In their
Contemporary culture glorifies the house slave, who made his or her way into white institutions and perhaps even found their way to the elusive top. This glorification comes in the success labeling that accompanies the acquiescent African who assimilates into western culture. In their pseudo-victory, the house slave believes that they somehow won the “game” of racism. This house slave thinks that their “success” is proof that slavery does not exist, an ideology that functions as a form of escapism deluding the oppressed into believing that they can escape what they refuse to acknowledge or that they can escape what they do not even fractionally understand.
Such actions betray a psychological slavery that seduces the black mind to conceptualize covert racism as an improvement from overt racism. A battle is more easily won when the opponent is seen, and more commonly lost when the victim is unseen. Thus, integrative efforts veils the racial tensions segregation exposed. It is the exposition of these tensions that awards blacks a winning stance.
The bliss of ignorance prompts an individual so see the contemporary world as vastly changed from the past, rather than a contemporary manifestation of the same thing. Racism does not change. Once westerners realized that they did not need chains to restrain blacks or fields to rob blacks of their labor, the western world implemented various means re-invent slavery. Desperately seeking change, the black collective was doomed to see progress where whites saw another means to disenfranchise.
Interestingly, ignorance is commonly regarded as optimism. It was not optimism that steered blacks from the south to the north—it was ignorance that covert racism is any less pernicious that overt racism. Racism is racism. Personally, when I hear blacks refer to themselves as optimistic, I see a black person draped in the white starched outfits of the KKK, destined to perform against the interests of their people.
In closing, it is far easier to deem those who think outside the box of white supremacy worthy of sympathy than to feel sorry for the fiction the blissful adopt as reality. While admittedly confused by the animosity embedded in these comments, the deepest emotion that I feel is disappointment. It is disappointing to know that these ideologies persist in contemporary culture. It is perhaps more disappointing to know that these ideologies accompany support and eschew the shame they cast onto the black collective.
I will apologize for the title of this post, as the conscious community does not clap back–we raise the black fist.