Racism and Deflection in an Anti-Black America

Like many Americans, I, she who descended from the abducted Africans, watched most of Biden’s Pittsburgh speech yesterday. His words, juxtaposed the Jacob Blake shooting with “rioting” and violence, a pairing synonymous to following the phrase “black lives matter” with “all lives matter.” The speech betrayed Biden as the coward he is, and underscored why he is unworthy of the black vote. His words conflated rumors with facts, white infiltration with black intention, and white integration with a black headline, to imply linearity between blackness, violence, and robbery that is more in line with racist caricature than reality. Police brutality and systemic violence as thrust onto those of African descent remain autonomous from what a white media projects to deflect from an anti-black attack waged against black people. Joe Biden’s speech confirmed what many already knew, that he sings in the same choir as the overt white nationalists singing the national anthem.

Years ago, when I taught composition for a living, amidst the bullet-riddled black bodies in morgues, urns, and cemeteries, a (white) student asked me what I thought about the officers that had been shot. Death is what police officers incur as a probability of their jobs; death is not something a civilian should have to consider for daring to breathe or god forbid sleep, while black. This question mirrors the cold deflection of a stubborn supremacy exposed to a narcissism which refuses to acknowledge the true detriment of their actions. I still remember his eyes, painted with the icy hate of hegemonic curation. The comment was certainly an effort to provoke me to vindicate the bullets of systemic discipline and firing that would follow the human reaction to the evil that sat behind a seemingly innocuous inquiry. Though a student, he was a George Zimmerman, Darren Wilson, or Dereck Chauvin, walking around with bottled hate for blacks and waiting for the right moment to actualize his anti-blackness into an attack. This deflection mirrored the white supremacist evasion that remains at the core of this white nationalist space. This space is to see only whiteness, not the detriment cast onto black peoples to cultivate this existence. Ironically, America consistently and ethusiastically censures Trump for his evasive rhetoric, but refuses to acknowledge that this is a common anti-black praxis.

The black community witnesses a similar deflection during Hurricane Katrina where the media focused on “looting” and not the black lives destroyed and changed forever by what could have been avoided. The shifted focus, or convenient juxtaposition, illuminates a ubiquitous evil that makes it impossible to afford black injustice any visibility without pairing or framing this truth with black caricature or western fiction. Black injustice remains an affront to an anti-black society, thus, black injustice remains the only “story” told in a supremacist space that has two sides. The soilder of white supremacy is never a murderer and husband, he is a father and cop who happened who killed in order to protect. A black man voicing his right to speak his mind is never a father, husband, and employed adult; rather, he is a looter inciting violence where he is expected to implement gratitude.

This evasion and selective framing betrays an anti-black society’s indignant approach to “acknowledging” their inherent evils. To the black person in America, this behavior reminds us that we have no allies in our strides past bullets, chokeholds, and stealth systemic measures to murder or mutilate our collective. Perhaps most significantly, this evasion reveals that the violence launched against the black collective will not cease due to ethics or a guilty conscious. As Malcolm X told us in his famous “Ballot or the Bullet” speech, and as Dr. Bobby Wright argues in The Psycopathic Racial Personality, those who oppress the black collective due so with no conscious. As illuminated by the persistent effort to deflect from anti-black violence, an anti-black society betrays the murder and mutilation of black people as a national obligation to which the wielder of white supremacy should be proud.

The same world that caged Ronald Sanford for one-hundred and seventy years at thirteen years old— a punishment for what proved inevitable based on the cards dealt to him at birth–continues to demand an espousal to the lies of national law. Biden’s implicit suggestion for the aggitated to color between the lines proves synonomous to proclaiming that things are great the way they are. It is too late to put faith in the law, as the law has only vindicated the guilty and condemned the innocent. Moreover, Rehabilitation remains an option solely for the historical recidivist while blacks remain predisposed to wear the chains that those who cast the coldest sins against them have never had to wear.

George Floyd may have died from a foot on his neck, but the “diverse” outrage is a farce, because the black collective lives with this metaphorical knee on their neck.

It has been four hundred years of terror. Four hundred years of hegemonic holocaust called Americanism. Racists tell the black collective to “go back home,” but there is no home in which to return. This statement mirrors telling someone to return to a house gutted for its resources and set on fire. They’ve raped and sterilized our mother continent and her womb of space, so when they say go back home it sounds a lot like “go to hell”– another call to death for the fictionalized descendants of Ham.

Yet, we matter most here. I mean, what would they be without us? What would they be without the joy of throwing us in a cage for trying to survive an asphyxiating supremacy? What would they be without throwing us in a cage too small to encapsulate four hundred years of their sins? What would they be without leading us down dead-end tunnel in a racial labyrinth they can’t and don’t want to get out of? While I do not have a definitive answer, and I am not sure that there is one, I can tell you one thing: if it weren’t for the evils that haunt black life, “they” would not be white, there would be no “peoples of color,” and “this” would not be America.

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