I spoke previously about the shooting of unarmed black men as an act of genocide, but as I sit here reading about Jacob Blake’s injuries, a word that continues to appear in my mind is Eugenics. Specifically, considering the average age of present black male killed by anti-black policing in juxtaposition to Ida B. Wells’ Southern Horrors text which documented “policing” in the nineteenth century, betrays that anti-black policing has persistently targeted black men in their reproductive years. Blake, who is now paralyzed from the waist down, betrays this glaring reality.
Now, to many, my statement appears to overlook Blake as a father-of-three, or that a number of the men mentioned in Ida B. Wells’s text were also fathers. These attempted and implemented executions speak loudest to the factions that correspond to those attacked. Meaning, the young black men who are not killed, but targeted by the systemic and legal violence that sanctions black murder feels the crack of a whip destined to systemically, socially, and mentally sterilize the black mind.
This anti-black country’s attempt to sterilize the black mind is perhaps best delineated by the comments Blake made from his bedside. From his bedside, Blake did not speak to police brutality, instead his words admonished the actions of men his age and younger. These words, from a man subjected to the relentless bullets of those trying to kill him, illuminate the desired mental sterilization from assassination and assassination attempts. Particularly, Blake will not be among the many to socially reproduce the mental castration an anti-black America demands from the oppressed.
Black men in their formative years not only hone the power to reproduce, they also hone the power of influence. Cowardice is particularly contagious, especially when aligned with survival. Rather than accurately aligning his experience with the dangerous intention that is American Anti-blackness, Blake aligns his injury as a consequence of street culture. Though he wasn’t the one that pulled the trigger or the societal strings to engender this unfortunate circumstance, he accepts culpability for crimes cast against him. In an anti-black society, the black man is the antagonist, yet in the cruel contemporary moment, this anti-black culture commands that blacks cast themselves into this role as part of a public lynching or collective sterilization which obscures the reality of an American nightmare. This American nightmare, which translates to the American dream, must cast the black man as casualty or a mentally sterile coward in order to maintain the reign of racism.
In a world where interracial pairings have a growing number of black participants, the sterilized mind posits blacks as “better off” with a non-black partner, whose physical appearance creates a caveat for the violence cast onto the African in America. This “caveat” is, of course, a figment of the white imaginary as projected onto the oppressed, but a sterilized mind engenders a physical and metaphysical shift away from blackness as a color, culture, and a state of mind. This shift incites a “nightmare” status for the African and America’s future of genetic depletion implemented as a survival tactic practiced to the benefit of maintaining the white majority.
Moreover, the reality of this American nightmare is that as long as our societal oppressors have the oppressed blaming themselves for the sins of white supremacy, they will continue to shoot. The African in America personifies the reality of an abusive relationship where the “light” of American whiteness constitutes conceptual gaslighting to those of African descent. This deflection reinforces ideas of white superiority as it keeps the African in America espoused to the detriment of darkness and aligns whiteness with optimism and purity. As long as this county keeps the oppressed looking into the light, we will remain functionally blind to bullets launched to tear our flesh and compromise our psyche.