A Fly on the Wall isn’t a Fly at All: Re-evaluating Success in Silence

They laugh and smile with one another as the melanated faces mistake anti-black attitudes as kindness. I can’t laugh though, my face frozen in seeing what others do not, or simply will not acknowledge.

They are telling me the benefits of teaching my narrative. They teach me the socially acceptable way to intertwine blackness in the canonical genre of my discipline. This is the violence they don’t talk about. How the systemic asphyxiation of the so-called elite grabs you by the hair and holds your head underwater. They let you up for air only in hopes that you suffocate a little more intensely the next time, your gargling a soft chortle beneath the laughs and confident speech of the oppressive faction.  43546_hcfbya1x9mmwimqnjlmag6v2p

The corpses flatten the bubbles of my distress. These corpses regarded as ideal by colonizers who call themselves a mirage of creative names that veil their socially accepted cruelty. These names veil their evils like cologne veils an unpleasant odor.   This stench does not stop them from patting themselves on the back for how well they taught The Other Wes Moore, Between the World and Me, and other texts that speak of what they can never understand.

There is a loneliness in being the only one not smiling—in being the only one not sandra-bland-be-my-voiceshucking and jiving for those who drink black blood like smoothies. I am constantly frozen in the conscious stupor of wanting to use my positionality to educate, but also realizing what I say and suggest can and will be used against my collective.

By this I mean that if I suggest a novel, poem or short story by an under-represented black author, I risk making it so that another black body has to feel how I feel. That they have to be taught how to feel about their narrative by  he or she who’ll win accolades and earn a comfortable salary for including colored folks. By those lauded for bringing in the bodies they stepped on and down right butchered, to stand where they stand. I can’t do that to the illusive black freshman unfortunate enough to get these people as an instructor, paid to turn their naivety and thirst for life into a functional inferiority. I won’t do it to myself either. I won’t receive tips from those who exploit my collective story. From those who use black artists like decoration on a tree where black bodies hang off branches.

a01154d0abbb910f6d86c948e66cb3fd--black-white-photos-black-and-whiteInstead I will sit in a ring of fire. I’ll sit perched with pursed lips amidst flames cast by what the world calls black girl rage. They’ll forget that I’m there but whisper later about my indignant “attitude.” Though few will have the nerve to say it, I’ll be regarded as a bitch, everyone overlooking the vast ways in which every institution on the globe treats black bodies like bitches, like female dogs tied to a post and forcibly penetrated to ensure she literally the bears the burden of bondange. The insincere queries that are sure to follow will wonder what’s “wrong” with me, refusing to even consider that there was something wrong with the environment as a whole. None of the other darkies complained, so let’s cast this one overboard before she convinces the others that this is a slave ship and not a cruise, that this is a plank not a position.

While they do this, I’ll count the seconds until we are relieved. I will see visions of a black past and seek council from those killed yesterday for my tomorrow. I will fantasize about walking out until I cross the threshold when the time comes. 

“Where to?” I ask myself as I walk as fast as I can in heels.

“Up” I say as I realize that what I idealized for years never was. That my entire climb upward was actually a slide downward into a pit of anti-blackness called success. 

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Oh So Presidential: Why Sally Hemmings’ Inclusion is the Same Ole Supremacy

I woke up to an article this morning that spoke to recent development of the late Thomas Jefferson’s estate. The article relished in the plantation acknowledging Sally Hemmings’ role in his-story. Though often portrayed as Jefferson’s “great love,” Sally Hemmings was  Jefferson’s concubine. Despite overtly confronting what historical writings of Jefferson normally deny, the article continues to romanticize the horror of enslavement in imbuing a crippling ignorance depicted in the following.

I. Use of the word “Monticello”

To be completely transparent, I had to consult the dictionary upon encountering this word. Monticello, it turns out, simply means plantation. The use of this word functions to distance Jefferson from what he was, a slave owner who inflicted his cruelty on the most celebrated plantation in the United States.

II. Referencing Hemmings as “the mother of Jefferson’s children”

Though not able to consent to Jefferson due to her enslavement and the pervasive environment of white supremacy, Hemmings is commonly referenced as “the mother of Jefferson’s children” or his lover. His story often projects their relations as that of star-crossed lovers, not occupants of two vastly different positions in the very power system that continues to haunt blacks globally.

The issue of consent is one that remains contentious. Consent is central in discussing the white female body and #metoo, but hovers over black and white relations that appear to be consensual in our current setting. Hemmings was not able to consent to sexually activity  with Jefferson, let alone love him in the cruel climate that claimed her humanity and hung it on their systemic estate as decor. Hemmings’ portrayal as a consenting concubine or legitimized mother, functions to paint Jefferson as a man in love, not a rapist in power.

Hemmings does prove a formidable canvass for understanding contemporary manifestations of their violent engagement. The same system that enslaved the minds and bodies of our ancestors is still very much in place, yet consent remains an under-discussed topic. What I mean here is that given the systemic asphyxiation of black minds under white supremacy, melanated people remain unable to consent to relationships with white people. Black people, who have elevated their melanated status in a journey to consciousness however, do posses the mental freedom to consent, but would not given their astute perception of race and its global functionality.

My argument is essentially similar to what Gayatri Spivak makes in “Can the Subaltern Speak.” Spivak argues that due to the mental mutilation of the subalterns mind, their “choices” mirror the choices made for them by their oppressors. “Choice” is chosen when your mind is mentally consumed. Blacks are persistently force-fed images that paint whites as the height of society, sexually desirable, and great nurturers. Despite these attributes being antithetical to the truth, the white supremacist environment that encases us  in alterity chooses a “white” and “non-black” body for the mentally enslaved—depicting consent as both not non-existent and socially acceptable.

III. Celebrating her inclusion in “his” story

The articles from Jefferson’s estate bask in the feature of what was believed to be Hemmings’ room in a new exhibit. The write-ups are all the same, a performance of self-congratulatory debauchery. An act that praises white supremacists for acknowledging the human resources that enable their pseudo superiority. This functions similarly to the show the white media has created around Trump and his pardons. These actions, are deliberate. They exist and are exhibited only to foment the myth that “things are so much better now” as we stand in the same spot of our ancestors, blinded in the obscurity white media, white education, and white history continues to grant our truth.

Conclusion

The truth is Jefferson as a romanticized rapist, and Hemmings as a silent sufferer, embody what it means to be “presidential.” In the contemporary climate, it has become custom for the masses to detach themselves from Trump the individual by denying him the title “President.” The issue here is that denouncing Trump from the title awards “president” an undeserving revere. The term president does not speak to prestige or responsibility. The word “president” is just another word for white supremacist, as everyone “sworn” into this role takes an oath to protect and serve a republic born from the blood of blacks.

“President” references George Washington, who although the first “president” was not the first white supremacist. Washington is Willie Lynch. He encompasses the males who castrated and killed Claude Neal, and the males that tortured and murdered a fourteen year old Emmitt till. It was extremely hard to write the previous sentences without using the word “animal” in place of “male.” I reasoned with the following “Males are not men, but humans are animals.” Similarly, presidents are not people, they are not capital, they are an embodiment of an ideology. An ideology that is inherently anti-black.

The black collective, despite their financial status, education level, aesthetics or any other attribute that may convince one to believe they are special, remain identical to Hemmings.  Whether at a school, bank, or private sector position, most of us remain espoused to contemporary plantations. Though unlike our ancestors, many of us believe that words like “consent” and “choice”  mark a freedom chained hands, veiled by these very words, can’t quite reach.

Black Power ❤

Rape is NOT Inclusive: The Black Female Body, the forgotten victim of Sexual Violence

Aziz_Ansari_2012_Shankbone.JPGFor a current summer course, were were assigned an article from The Atlantic entitled “The Humiliation of Aziz Ansari.” The article, authored by Caitlin Flanagan, speaks to the danger of white female supremacy. Flanagan’s piece is in response to  an article by Katie Way titled, “I went on a date with Aziz Ansari. It turned into the worst night of my life.” In the original article, a woman renamed Grace speaks to a date she had with Ansari which she describes as a degrading instance of sexual assault. The details are plentiful and depict Ansari as overzealous and sexually aggressive. Flanagan notes that “ The clinical detail in which this story is told is intended not to alienate her account as much as it is to hurt and humiliate Ansari.”  She concludes, “They’re angry and temporarily powerful, and last night they destroyed a man who didn’t deserve it.” 

I could not agree more. As illustrated in what quickly became a war on black men, the white woman is a dangerous figure. This danger is at very least, partially vested in white women simultaneously occupying victim and villain spaces. In reading the article that prompted Flanagan’s response, the details seemed unnecessary yet essential in painting the subject as a “victim,” and not a privileged white woman embittered because she did not get what she wanted out of the deal. This is similar to how I feel about the Harvey Weinstein “scandal.” The women who now claim victim status, used sexual acts to obtain high-profile roles and accolades—exposing their actions as realizing that their current feats are only a small fraction of what could be.

Rape: A violation of Woman?

The claims contingent with Weinstein and Bill Cosby are not those of rape. As the products of collective and continental rape, issues of consent are as personal as they are political to the black collective. The #metoo movement upholds traditional connotations of the word “woman.” This point substantiated in the reality that most of the victims are white woman. If this were not true, neither man would be under fire. These “victims” were also put in a position were they could consent. A situation very different from the circumstances that birthed the black collective. For these reasons, I say that there is a word for what happened to these white women. This word may be “Sexual assault” or “forced ravishing,” but this word is not rape.    sandra-bland-be-my-voice

Racism is a system to which no black person benefits. Despite the tax bracket, education level, or country of residence, every black person is still subject to the consequence of their race in the paradigm of white supremacy. Because racism is a system of oppression, not hurt feelings or name-calling, no black can be racist. 

Because white women do benefit from both their race and gender in a way that black women do not, it is unfair to align black and white bodies with the all-encompassing label of rape. So, just as a black person cannot be racist, a white woman cannot be raped by a system she has ability to rape with the power vested in her hue and gender.

The “victims” of Harvey Weinstein were not victims at all. They were merely co-conspirators in a rape of the system. They used their bodies as a conduit to a piece of a supremacy they now pursue in totality through the #metoo movement. They had a choice. They made a choice. True victims do not  have choices. The choices are made for them—the consequences to be faced with a cruel accountability.

 In making this statement, I acknowledge that black women are seldom acknowledged as rape victims at all. So “rape” like “woman” is almost always referent of the white female body or in “diverse” incidents, non-black bodies in third-world countries, by default, Even in the case of Joan Little—assaulted by a white jailer decades her senior found with his pants around his ankle and semen on his leg—is seldom aligned brawleywith the word “rape,” like so many black women before and after her.

Trisha Meili, also known as the central park jogger, like Recy Taylor, Betsy Owens, and Tawana Brawley amongst countless others, was the victim of a gruesome sexual crime. While not discounting the trauma that follows such an experience, Meili, a white woman, was and still very much is regarded as a victim. She received national attention and even wrote a book—a validated victimhood that no black woman has ever been granted.  Conversely, the black female body experiences multiple rapes and robberies at once. Namely, the physical rape of her African remains  consistently socially reproduced on the canvasses of her children,  the being of black female form consistently robbed of the space and place to assume her rightful status as survivor.

What the black female body has experienced in the centuries since her initial captivity is a variant of rape, and physical and mental robbery. This is antithetical to the white female experience. Thus, to compartmentalize antithetical experiences by a common term is an oversimplification— an assault on a sexuality distorted, exploited, and mangled by necessity. 

The Black Rapist: The Legend and the Lie

This is true also to the black male victim of sexual assault, who is held in a chokehold of Rkellytrappedinthecloset2007trying to be the man society desperately tries to ensure he never becomes, and eschewing the effeminization that often follows publicly articulating stories of assault

For this reason, I will also say that the black man can not be a rapist. As argued by scholars like Hortense Spillers, blackness is largely genderless. Thus,  masculinity is not given the chance to develop in the black community. This is not to say that there is no masculinity in the black community, but that instances of masculinity unadulterated by western influence are roses that grow from concrete. 

To deflect from their systemic mistreatment, black men are consistently regarded and treated as sexual deviants that are prone to sexually attack at any moment. In “The Myth of The Black Rapist,” Angela Davis speaks to the fictive functionality of the black male rapist. Davis asserts: “The myth of the black rapist continues to carry out the insidious work of racist ideology” (Davis 199). The black male rapist is essential in depicting white female chastity and white male redemption. In considering the dichotomy of white femininity and rape culture, Davis deems the black rapist a myth.

Davis expands her argument in articulating a congruence between sexual violence and capitalism:

The crisis dimensions of sexual violence constitute one of the facets of a deep or ongoing crisis of capitalism. As the violent face of sexism, the treat of rape will continue to exist as long as the overall oppression of women remans an essential crutch for capitalism (Davis 201). 

The black female body functions as capital, whereas the white female body functions as commerce. This is why Kim Kardashian was able to climb to the heights of popular culture, despite entering the popular gaze on her back. Her body was transactional, proving a bridge to a new way of life. This transition would have never happened if Kardashian was black, simply because the black woman is this bridge. 

The purpose of my claims are not to romanticize the actions of black men, or to idolize the relations between black men and black women. The assertions present in this post, function to distinguish between those who deposited their evil into the wombs of our foremothers as a violent mark of conquest and branding, from those whose actions are  imitative of the horror that birthed them. It is an injustice to the black collective to perceive the oppressed in the same light as oppressors. This distorted perception ultimately obscures the ability of the black collective to see themselves and the totality of their systemic asphyxiation and legal bludgeoning. 

Concluding Thoughts

As the bridge and the water that flows beneath it, the black body remains a means to the other side. Cultivating a thorough understanding  to engender a proper  compartmentalizing of the black experience remains of the highest significance in producing our mental freedom. To understanding the violence of our displacement is to  resist a deflective alignment with our oppressors. An alignment that affords our oppressors a stagnancy at the expense of a black consciousness needed to overcome their normalized malvolence.

I will close with a reiteration of this article’s most resonant point. Rape, though in its contemporary use speaks to sexual assault, its ancient origins speak to a robbery.  No woman, be it a white woman or “person of color,” has been robbed more violently and with such cavalier disregard as a black woman.  

As a being of black female form, birthed from womb robbed both literally and figuratively, “rape” is a theme of my collective narrative.  Therefore,  I have no problems looking my oppressors in the face and saying that “rape” is not what happens to you, it’s what you do to others. 

***To Recy Talor, Betsy Owens, Joan Little, Tawana Brawley, Sherrice Iverson, and all the mothers, sisters, and daughters of the diaspora. 

Black Power ❤

Remembering Malcolm X

I have spent the bulk of today, reading Malcolm X quotes, and listening to his speeches. His smooth, precise, passionate speech personifies the poetic prose of black power personified. He is “our shining prince” as they say, in both life and death. He shines because his internal freedom bleeds outward. Yet, this year, perhaps more so that previous years, illustrates the necessity for this light to dim.

I received in my inbox a number of invites and notifications for events to take place on what would have been Malcolm X’s 93rd birthday. These events however, were not anchored in Malcolm X. No, El Hajj Malik Shabazz was a co-star on his own day. Though our “shining prince” he is juxtaposed to those who contributions pale to his own. To this I draw the comparison on the pig and chicken to a bacon, egg and cheese sandwich. The pig made a sacrifice, the chicken made a contribution—this sandwich is an American staple, because this alignment is central to American deflection. 

This is deliberate. Most evident in the “competing” showcase of today, which I refuse to mention. Malcolm X engenders “self” and  belief in a collective self. His legacy inspires the black mind to see the best in him or herself, to question as he did “who told you to hate yourself? From the bottom of your feet to the top of your head?” Questions, antithetical to the submissiveness demanded by the lethally pervasive white supremacist culture. Burying Malcom X’s legacy, or shooting it with holes, ensures that the black collective remains distracted. That we continue to believe in everything but ourselves, and continue to relish in knowledge that also buries the totality of contributions and global oppression. 

Malcolm X is a black success story, because he did not rise to conventional standards of success. He was not wealthy. He didn’t have fancy degrees from institutions built on the backs of his ancestors. What he had was an education given to him by a black man, a black organization that while flawed had an ideology functional in freeing the black mind from colonization. 

What Malcolm X had was esteem. He culminated a pilgrimage to self, a journey so many of us never take, because we are conditioned to, as Malcolm once said, “suffer peacefully.” 

I thought of this pilgrimage as I made my way to Ferncliff Cemetery, the earthly resting place of Malcom X and Betty Shabazz. The journey is one I took with full acknowledgement that it was symbolic, but necessary. 

I appreciated the ceremony. I reveled in the ability to see what the media would never cover or admit, that there is beauty and unity within blackness. However, though beautiful,  this pilgrimage is not what makes or breaks blackness. The journeys that we take are not physical. 

We see this with our kinfolk who were not physically abducted, but subject to the mental torture in their own homeland. They too were culturally raped by the white man, their culture stolen from them as they slept in the land of our ancestors.

The journeys that we take, like all that was taken from us, must be mental. That is the lesson that I have extracted from Malcolm X’s legacy. 

Malcolm X epitomizes mental freedom.  He embodied the state of “free African”,  he or she who is willing to die as they lived—in power. 

Malcolm X, not validated by the limitations of American society or global white supremacy, imbued a freedom that enabled him to live without fear. 

They took his last name, and his language. He divorced himself from that last name and used the language of his colonizers as a weapon. Then then took what they thought was his home, but his home was in his heart and and in his blood. So they strove to take what they thought they could, his life.

The ceremony today, however, attended by hundreds of people in the violent rain and unseasonable cold, fifty-three years after his assasination—proves that his oppressors could not even take his life. 

Despite everything that’s happened to us, we—the African people are still the bearers of life. We have made it so that the candle of Malcolm X still burns, a flame significant because as the late Ossie Davis said at Malcolm X’s funeral:

Malcolm was our manhood, our living, black manhood! This was his meaning to his people. And, in honoring him, we honor the best in ourselves.

Malcolm X, was and is our blackness.

Father. Teacher. King. 

“Rest” seems alien next to the pillar that is Malcolm X. But I will say King Malcolm, that I hope you rest in me. 

Black Power ❤ 

Remembering Activist Darren Seals

Introduction

George Washington. Thomas Jefferson. Christopher Columbus.

These are just a few of the white men history remembers favorably–despite their unfavorable actions.

Washington was a slave owner.

Jefferson was a rapist.

Columbus was a thief.

Yet,  the date of their earthly arrival remains a national celebration. Those of us subject to the contemporary enslavement enabled by their past endeavors, are relieved of our civic duties and subjected to remember a history that has omitted the collective contributions of black people. 

Darren Seals is a name that will not make the history books. Nope. He will not even qualify for a footnote. “His” story, is and always will be about “him,” not us.

Darren Seals,  like so many other buried narratives, fulfilled a collective purpose despite his inevitable assassination. Seals holds hands with ancestors also gone too soon in fighting for what our counterparts are granted without request.

Celebrating his life, amongst others who won’t make the news or any other mainstream publication is an imperative step in telling and celebrating our story.

Darren Seals is our story. 

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A Rose From Concrete

As articulated by white media outlets Seals was “anti” police violence and “anti” gun violence. These labels are deliberately inaccurate and an oversimplification of the leadership Seals embodied. Black leadership is resonant for what it stands for, not what it stands against. Seals stood for a pro-blackness, which is why he is physically absent today. 

His disposition reminiscent of the late Malcolm X, and the late George Jackson, reflects an unapologetic masculinity that has seen the worst our white supremacist society has to offer, but instead of curling over in defeat, places courage where he could have placed fear. A courage that afforded him a confidence to strive for the best for his people.

Racial in justice was not just what he spoke about but a catalyst for his actions.  Seals understood that being tied to the bottom of the ship (ie, selling drugs and doing jail time), though unconventional, reveals the makings of a man, or as seen in instances like Angela Davis, Assata Shakur and Joan Little, the makings of a woman as well. Like Malcolm X, and George Jackson, he is remarkable because he took what was designed to emasculate him and used it to cultivate a leadership that would transcend mortality. 

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A Man of the Cause

Seals’ leadership came to a national head upon the murder of black teen Michael Brown. Seals was one of the first activists on the scene after Micheal Brown was murdered by Darren Wilson in 2014. His brother’s keeper, Seals remained dedicated to exposing the anti blackness that turned the what should be the men of tomorrow into young men of yesterday. He knew that the same system that murdered the black man refusing to bow down to white insecurity was the same system that appointed the weak and effeminate to represent our collective. The most consistent depiction of anti-black violence of  is the demand for our collective diffidence in the face of destruction. We are to smile as the breathe leaves our body. We are to forget the bleeding wounds of our brothers, our sisters, and ourselves to make peace in a land that has never granted us such a liberty. 

Instead we are coerced to become preoccupied with false realities.  To be overly concerned with money. Described as a “material reality” by the systemized, money is seen as essential in overcoming white supremacy. You can not however, overcome by playing within the parameters of a system. The pseudo leadership of our contemporary climate, though oftentimes inconspicuous, remains controlled by money. Money composes the strings that orchestrate the actions of those that seem immersed in black liberation. 

Seals saw through all of this. He could not be bought. His fearlessness was deliberate and conspicuous—frightening those who needed his fear like air to breathe. 

They feared his fearlessness would inspire others. That his ability to unify was too much like that of his physically deceased ancestors. 

A white supremacist society needs the black man to subscribe to its supremacy, whether through money, mind power, or motive. Seals had no alignment to any of these demands, so his elimination was inevitable. His elimination, in its gruesome ambiguity, occurred as it did to scare those left behind into a paralyzing submission. 

The masses were to extract that he who strikes the match goes up in flames. Yet the consciousness that Seals cultivated, enables the black collective to see that death is seen more in the conventionally living than the ancestors who have transitioned. The well-paid black puppet is more dead than Malcom X has ever been in the fifty three years since his departure. Seals and his forefathers and foremothers, illustrate that the evolution of the revolution is thwarted in belief that an act of anti-blackness can kill what it did not, and could never create.

Darren Seals, like the countless courageous figures that come before him, illustrate that the revolutionary never dies, simply because he or she cannot.

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Thug Radical, A Myth Dispelled 

In a world where discussion of free thought is more frequent that actual free thought, Seals’ activism and assassination, teaches the world that there is nothing free about free thought. Though epitomizing what a free thinker is and should be, Seals and others like him, are almost always excluded from such labeling. Instead, they are disregarded as a sort of “thug radical” that is not to be taken seriously. 

Darren Seals and the pro-black male prototype are depicted as what is wrong with America— displaced as what a liberal agenda seeks to “fix.” They are the young boys with “too much energy,” ‘too much pride” but not enough education and white male mimicry to deem them  predictable and powerless enough for recognition.  

Darren Seals and the pro-black male prototype are what our oppressors perceive as those who need to be chopped down, their growth stunted so that they only grow to be two feet tall psychologically. This is why males like Kanye West and Donald Glover are revered symbols of free thought.  They are representative of those bought by the white man and sold to a collective who finds reparations in what appears to be an acquired visibility of their own reflection.

The pseudo consummation of black success in a white world, breeds compliance to a poisonous system. In short, their “free” though provides “free” labor to a pattern of white ideology. Darren Seals actualizes free thought, illustrating free thought is a cost solely paid with what so few are willing to give up, despite never truly experiencing—life. 

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To Die for the Dark Race

So few are willing to live for blackness, even fewer are willing to die for blackness and black people. Darren Seals, like Micah Johnson and Gavin Long, are contemporary manifestations of a rare black identity that has sustained our collective for centuries.  These young men lived how they transitioned—for black people.

Their contribution to our story is in the spirit of ancestors who are also largely nameless, but resonant beyond recognition.

Their spirits are flames that while temperate like life, burn eternally in the hearts and minds they inflame in impact.

Darren Seals, may you rest in power.

May you revel in the peace you gave your collective simply by existing.

Black Power ❤ 

 

I am an Afrodemic

Preface

I did not want to publish this piece, because I feared it centralized someone not even worthy of an honorable mention. In writing this piece, it became evident that this experience was not about either individual involved, but demonstrative of an institutionalized problem frequently experienced but seldom articulated.

I originally authored this piece in the lonliness of striving for an elevated consciousness and not having anyone willing to listen or acknowledge the detriment of what the scenario represents. I am publishing this piece in hopes of holding hands with other black body throughout the diaspora wading the tides of white supremacy in hopes of  contributing to the black collective displaced onto these stolen lands. So, I hope someone will get something from this post.

Black Power

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The Scenario

I recently met with an agent of white supremacy labeled “college professor” with regards to a final paper I was in the process of composing. The paper spoke to the inherent racism of feminism and the feminist agents of white supremacy as seeking to recruit the black female body in a violent attempt to fulfill an agenda solely vested in the interests of white women. Admittedly, my draft was a meandering prose, but one argument proved a thorn in the side of someone who must have falsely conceptualized me as a black female feminist. 

My argument was simple: black men do not oppress black women. For the record, this is a statement I stand by. Feminism, in its recruitment of black female bodies, remains central in widening the wedge between the black man and the black woman. This is perhaps best evidenced by contemporary media who has launched a nuanced war on black men. Though men from Harvey Weinstein to Matt Lauer face accusations of sexual harrassment, Bill Cosby has been the only one to stand trail. Following the Cosby guilty verdict, the black male predator image fell back onto R.Kelly. There was an even a viral hashtag #muterkelly which called for the previous accusations against the singer be taken seriously, while Harvey Weinstein amongst other white men, outed and concealed, continue to bask in white male privilege. Thus, my statement was one of fact, not opinion; yet, was vehemently attacked by an antiblack agent, who said that “statistics” easily denounce my statements in a cloud of smoke. Statistics that enable the very racism spewed at me under the veil of academic integrity.

She continued, stating: “when you say something like that, it makes it hard for people to take you seriously.”

She goes on to say that this statement is in grave contrast to the person I “appear to be in class.” A person that makes “logical arguments.” What she means here is “you have a good thing going, don’t mess it up.” It also became blatantly obvious that she wishes to provoke an apology or retraction from me, and in receiving neither she attempts to attack my image. I am to fold to her demands as a black person who challenges white supremacy in part not whole.I am to look to racist statistics for truth and bash black men to make women feel like her feel comfortable despite the discomfort my physical blackness provokes.  

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The Issue 

I want to be clear and state that  I don’t expect her to “get” my argument, let alone support it.

The issue is not the pushback to my ideas. That is anticipated and to be frank, boring. My issue is that this pushback is guided as constructive criticism and an effort to deflect the anxiety white, non black women of color, and even some black women have toward anyone who unapologetically appears “to black” in a world they desperately want to remain white. The issue is that statements like the one put forth by this antilock agent is identical to the pervasive propaganda that black people are and can be “racist,” providing equality to the true racists in such a bizarre assertion. This pro-black agenda is often misinterpreted as a war on whites, which in itself is indicative of white supremacist intention.

 The troublesome part is that my analysis is dismissed as a feeling or opinion. I am pegged as a black woman who makes claims to big for the small space I am allowed to occupy by my white masters. I am to occupy the space of a good Negro wrench and decry the black male who does all he has been taught to do—imitate whites. I am to ignore black men like Nat Turner, Malcolm X, Fr\ed Hampton, Dr. Bobby Wright, Dr. Amos Wilson amongst others who love black women. I am to curse my father, brothers, cousins, and black men who love me for being the very thing this individual has asked me not to be. Perhaps more violently, I am to pretend that these men never existed. 

Acquiescing to pressure demanding the black female demonize the black man is my issue with most black feminist thought.   It is also a not so silent demand that dominated the persecution resulting from the #metoo movement. This is illuminated in the recent accusations of rapper Nas–a cases of assault brought forth by a melanated women. These cases function to suggest to the black woman that the black man is the problem, not those who build in the black community but don’t put a dollar in. Not those who used and use the money our ancestors earned to buy and built what they passed onto their children and grandchildren. Not those who  stole our language, and marked our collective rape with a last name. To focus on the black man as the oppressor to the black female body is the essence of a systemized mind. This is not to say we don’t have problems as a people. This is to say that these problems were all engendered when that ship docked on the coast of the continent.

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The Counterclaims of the Confused

My assertions to the skeptical reflect a black Woman who is in denial. A black female complainer who blames whitey for anything. My claims are not about avoiding responsibility. I did not steal myself from Africa, rape my foremothers, and brand my last name into offspring I would never claim as anything other than chattel. I will not take responsibility for what I did not do. It is our collective responsibility to move forward, and a small but significant faction of blacks have attempted to do so. Configuring plans of advancement begins with acknowledging what has been done.

And we as a people have been done in.

In this instance I am persecuted not for what god I believe in, but because I believe in myself. The “I” as it is implemented in this post does not function in singularity, nor does the the reflective pronoun “myself.” They both speak to a collective identity of blackness elevated from melanin to cultivate a state of mind where the experience of those with African blood remain central.

To overcome white supremacy is to acknowledge it in all its forms. I can not address the white female desire for supremacy and ignore the bizarre accusations of black male sexual and physical abuse engendered in the crossfire of feminist cultural contamination. I do however, understand why a non-black person of color would desire such dissonant behavior—-it assures her that my theory won’t disrupt their comfort. It ensures her that my perspective will never be “too black,” but be inevitably one-sided and intersectional in denouncing my other half. It ensures that my theory won’t incite her to research the history of black male/female relationship—not sullied by statistics designed to produce results that will foment a mythic white supremacy. 

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Focus on being Liked, not Black 

Instead, I am to concern myself with being liked and being taken seriously, not liking myself or taking my own self seriously. I am to fixate on the superficial. I am to focus on being taken seriously in a world that does not consider me or my collective human. 

In analyzing this scenario I am forced to concern that while after being “liked,” the few who do like me—-like me for the wrong reasons. The silent praise I get for being an intellectual, is because of the belief that my actions and words are a performance. When my actions and words begin to seem beyond performativism, I am a balloon that needs to be deflated, a light that needs to be turned off, a bug that needs to be smashed. So my professor’s words, though articulating an inability to “take me seriously”, marks an effort taken to ensure that she or anyone in the department would have to take me seriously.

It reveals that up to this point I suppose I was just “cute” in my outspoken stance against anti-blackness. I suppose I came across like a black Woman who just seeks to make a path in a white supremacy at world, a black Woman who has forgotten four hundred years of bondage, exploitation, rape, murder, and mental trauma—or who at the very least does not bring up “that slavery stuff” in front of company. It is a socially accepted form of racism for blacks to take responsibility for what has been done to them, yet help our oppressors ensure the same fate does not fall onto them.

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Closing Thoughts 

I’m seeing now that to be an academic is to provide an image of intellect but to be utterly anti-intellectual in function. Now, this is of course not true of all academics like Dr. Bobby Wright, Dr Francis Cress Wesling, Dr. Amos Wilson, Derrick Bell, or some of the scholars that I have been fortunate to meet along my journey. These individuals though, sadly represent a very small minority.

I imagine ancestors Dr. Francis Cress Wesling,  Dr Bobby Wright, amongst others were well acquainted with the ways the white institution will try to put a halt on black thought. The institution of higher education is a hyper-site for anti-intellectualism and those seeking to place prestige where they should place esteem.

It was thus ineluctable that she mistook me for a black woman wanting to be white. A critical thinker in image but not in action. It was inexorable that despite my body representing the literal backs on which the university was built, she mistook me for an academic.

But make no mistake, I am an Afrodemic.

To be continued…. 

Black Power ❤

Remembering the King Of Love, on the 50th Anniversary of his Assasination

I typically have a strong aversion towards honoring immortal leaders on the anniversaries of their physical departure. This reservation is due largely to the belief that it is a crucial moment in consciousness to understand that “life” is relative, and to be alive is to proceed with purpose—and no one does this more profoundly than our ancestors. So to regard them as dead is as appropriate as regarding a (black) royal as an “American,” a victim as a villian— a mis-definition that is at best incorrect and at worse violent.

Yet remembering King on the day he was murdered seems eerily accurate as his murder marks the beginning of his performative appreciation.Martin_Luther_King,_Jr.

King, the canonical figure, is an American hero, as he speaks to the false premise America tells the world. King is the shining knight of American history, speaking out against the injustice that inevitably killed him. In life and death, King functioned to illuminate white evil, as his pleasantry exposed whites as crass, his strategy exposed whites as tactless, and his perseverance depicted whites as devoted to devilish actions.

History remembers King in a manner inconsistent with how he was regarded in life. Contrary to popular portrayal America did not love the King of Love. America murdered King, in the same way they murdered his ancestors. America continues to murder king, in the media dismemberment that remembers King in pieces that distort and mangle a man of purpose, class, and charisma.

In short, the King of Love teaches those of the black collective the danger of the white world “loving” you. King was strong, but white remembrance weakens his contribution. King was not a dreamer, he was doer. King was not opposed to segregation, he was opposed to racism—the underlying evil that poisons blacks everywhere. Yes, King was a lover of all humanity, but he dedicated his life to loving black people.

Yet, history uses King as a veil, employing his legacy to the lies of America. In history King illustrates the American Dream, to the conscious King illustrates that whiteness could not care less about “approach,” if African blood runs through your veins. Martin-Luther-King-Malcolm-X-the-meeting

While certainly not content in King’s assassination, I am happy that King and Malcolm X existed alongside one another– as King’s assassination on his day fifty years ago illustrates that it was not Malcolm X’s teachings that proved a catalyst for his murder three years prior, but his influence. So while appropriated as the “good negro” posthumously, even the King of Love— a public humanist– was not “good” enough to escape the grace of a silver bullet.

Slain and sentenced to an earthly silence where he could be molded and partially represented in the violence of white exteriority, King became the ideal candidate for America’s prince of pretend change.  But in remembering King’s role in “our” story, he remains on his rightful throne—placing the “civil” and “right” in the wrongfully appropriated term civil rights, and epitomizing the “a” in man as as African specimen of pure black masculinity and unflinching courage.

Dr. King—thank you.

Black Power ❤

March For “Their” Lives, A Black Female Perspective

Since the election of the current commander in chief, a number of factions dominated by whites have staged performances which served as a coming out party for the oppressors as oppressed–those who paint a picture of being denied the symbolism of Barack Obama and denied rightful representation in reality star turned commander in Chief. 45, illustrates a victory common to those who appear to oppose him. 45— a man who used his presidency to not only become the chief commanding officer but the king of popular culture, illustrates the pervasiveness of whiteness and the variants of racism. Namely, that those who seem vehemently opposed to 45, and what he’s about, prove just as racist, if not moreso, in their acts of opposition.

I want to state that the reason I am excluding the current commander in chief’s name, is to ensure that blackness remains central in a space designated to centralize black people. I also want to point out, that 45’s opposers designated him a number, in the same way that blacks incarcerated for the same crimes that designated them subjugates gain upon their entry into the penitentiary. However, the first president, who I will call “1,” remains referenced by his name, although this person owned slaves. How is his evil less that our current president? How do any of the American presidents differ from one another? The answer is they don’t but racism is to be practiced, not shouted from the mountaintops, as admitting racism, for white people, is to admit weakness. It is to admit that, as many black scholars have said over the years, that whites need a “n*gger” to foment their fictive greatness—their “superiority” invented not innate.

“March for Our Lives”: The Latest Distraction

Yesterday marked what the main stream white media called March for “our” lives, or a public demonstration against gun violence. In its attraction of supporters from all walks of life, the event proves an acceptable cause like LGBT and women’s rights—causes that individuals can per formatively support and not imbue a label of “complainer” or “anti-american.”

The use of black celebrities and activists like props function to imply that black lives matter to the cause. But if this were the case, this march would have happen decades ago. In Southern Horrors, Ida b. Wells documented the many blacks senselessly shot in the fervor of white supremacy, acts that mirror what the contemporary climate has witnessed in the racially motivated shooting of Trayvon Martin, Mike Brown, Reneisha Mcbride, Philando Castile, John Crawford III amongst others. Where was talks of gun violence when a deranged white youth, shot nine black church goers as they said their closing prayer?  In these instances, there was not any public outcry. No, issues of gun violence did not matter until white children were killed–and instances like Columbine could no longer be treated as isolated instances. Gun access is yet another privilege of white supremacy—as demonstrated by the rarely acknowledged fact that the majority of mass shootings are carried out by white men. The purpose of the white supremacist society in which we live, is not to restrict the access of white men to said supremacy. The current emphasis on gun violence is the veil white supremacist hide behind. The issue for whites is not gun violence, but the preservation of white lives.

A Shifted Gaze

Focus on the rights of Women, the LGBT community, Muslims, etc is a just way for the white world to once again avoid looking the true demon in the eye, and to produce a world that continues to be better for whites and non-black “minorities”, while diversifying the way in which the black body experiences the violence of disenfranchisement and invisibility. For those who understand racism understand that guns are not the demon—the demon is white supremacy.

Conversations following Trayvon Martin’s murder birthed black lives matter, as his murder and demonizing by the media painted a portrait to the contrary. However, when white children are murdered, the resulting initiative is globalized—all factions solicited for support. When an issue affects the white collective it is time for change, when something affects a member of the black collective, demonstrators and activists are deemed complainers playing the race card. This is ironic, given that the #metoo movement, LBGT rights, and not “March for our Lives” all play the race card in diversifying the ways in which America centralized whiteness.

Before it was a gun, it was a noose, before that it was two hands that threw sickly bodies off a ship to make room for “superior” stock. The issue is racism, and in ignoring the core issue removing guns will just clear the way for another way for blacks to die, and another way for whites and non blacks to skate around the law in their cavalier disregard for the black body. But to parade the grandchild of the late great Dr. King, and use her as a face against gun violence is another level of violence. This act is spit in the face of King’s legacy and the legacy of all black people. It is also a toxic act of collective amnesia, as tt wasn’t a gun that killed Dr. King—it was racism.

This is not the first time this year the white media has manipulated Dr. King’s image to support causes antithetical to his platform. During the superbowl, Dr. King’s speech “The Drum Stick Major” was used to promote a costly vehicle, despite Dr. King’s firm stance against capitalism. Now, Dr. King’s legacy is being used to promote an all lives matter cause, overlooking the demographic to which King devoted his whole life—the black collective.

But Dr. King, and now his granddaughter, are not the only King’s being appropriated, so is the late Coretta Scott King.

Coretta & Cardi

book-coretta-scott-kingThere is a a popular sweatshirt worn by many black women that reads: Coretta & Cardi. The Coretta mentioned in the sweat shirt references civil rights heroine Coretta Scott King. Speaking or thinking of the late Miss King, recalls images of her marching for black suffrage, and of course the heartbreaking image of a solemn Miss King holding one of her children at Dr. King’s funeral.

Beauty. Class. Courage.

Coretta Scott King is a portrait of black femininity, bearing the strength and sacrifice that epitomizes what it means to be a black Woman. Cardi B, however does not.

While King and Cardi B both stem from a black foremothers, they are hardly sisters of sandra-bland-be-my-voicethe same struggle. Surely Cardi benefited from what Corretta Scott’s sacrifice imbued, but she has not paid the deed forward. If fact, Cardis placement on the shirt, like her place in a space  made possible by the same demographic she called “roaches,” also functions as erasure. The spot she occupies could very  well feature a contemporary black female activist, or someone dedicated to the very causes as Coretta. This is perhaps most disturbing in recalling the murder of Sandra Bland and the resulting hashtag “sayhername.” Sandra could have easily occupied a space on this shirt, but it seems as her body grew colder in the ground, folks just stopped saying her name.

Cardi’s placement on the shirt, although possibly an attempt at diasporic blackness, seems an effort to capitalize on the “it” girl—ignoring the reality that the same factors that deem Cardi relevant also made Mrs. King a widow. Thus, the juxtaposition of Coretta and Cardi B is not only dissonant but violent, allowing someone who does not function as black to seize yet another place from those who do.

It’s interesting because despite the oppression faced by blacks, many within the community take it upon themselves to play peacemaker and ensure the world that they are not at odds with other factions—illustrating the shirt as of the same force as the “March for our lives.”

Have The Chickens Come Home to Roost?

The violent appropriation of the King Legacy exposes the mental violence evoked in seducing blacks to support something which will bring virtually no change or sense fo safety to their lives. Both the Coretta and Cardi Shirt and the March for our lives performance, illustrate that black lives do not matter in America, but perhaps more disturbingly, that in a country maintained on the very ideals that deem black subjugates, black lives simply can not matter.

White lives, on the contrary, matter now more than ever.  But, as Malcolm X once said “The chickens have come home to roost.”  I say this to not be insensitive, but every act of violence inflicted towards those of the white collective is birthed from the same forces that breed their advantages. For the black collective, the same is true on a march darker scale. Namely, the same things that may bring individual happiness, often engenders collective doom. To wear this Coretta & Cardi sweatshirt or to march for “their” lives, is perform a script written by those who want to write blacks out of existence. For this reason, the black collective must remain committed to uncovering and acknowledging all the ways the white supremacist world works to seduce us into a festered subjugation.

To be clear, the purpose of this post is not to suggest that blacks should not care about others as black are innately empathetic creatures unlike our psychopathic counterparts. It is however, essential for black people to care about the black collective. To invest care into a demographic that thrives in our mental enslavement, is, to employ the jargon of Christina Sharpe from In The Wake: On Blackness and Being, to occupy the hold of the ship history says we exited as slaves. It is only in seizing our psyche’s from the hold, that we as a collective obtain the means to emerge “in the wake.”

So in efforts to end racism, I’m all in. But to march for “their” lives, is to walk over a collective that may not matter anywhere on the globe, but it matters to me.

Black Power ❤

 

The Politics of Aesthetical Plagiarism: Examining “Is That All Your Hair?” And What Happens When Self-Hate Becomes Colloquial

The photo, a black and white image, was hardly a masterpiece. It a mere medley of full lips, expressive eyes, and freshly styled head of hair that was blown out and possessing a wave that fell beneath her shoulders. Noticing not the youth, the silly expression, or amateur photography skills, the gaze fixated on something more trivial with a disturbing seriousness.

“Your hair is gorgeous. btw…All yours??”

Although gracefully put, and casually inserted into a conversation of the contrary, the comment seared for reasons unknown at the time. In the decade upon hearing this comment—this query: is that all your hair? would take on multiple forms—even evolving from words to action. These action would include running their hands through a mane they were so sure was store bought, or generating deliberate but seemingly random conversations about hair as if to foment a confession.

The issue here is not hair, because in reality the black community has far more pressing topics to concern themselves with. The issue here is what this query represents. See, the query “is that all your hair? asserts an accusation of aesthetical plagiarism.

Just as the literate black who thinks, writes, and behaves at a level superior to their oppressors is often questioned with regard to the authenticity of their work—the black female who conveys a regal literacy atop her head, incurs similar accusations of plagiarism.

Is that All Your Hair?

Is that all your hair? Is a query purposely extended to some black women and withheld from others. The question signals a discordance, a seemingly cognitively dissonant presence. This query means that the aesthetics of a single black woman or female are presumed “too good to be true.” The presence of hair presumed to be “good” or  or at least seemingly deviant from the tight coils associated with unadulterated blackness, is acceptable on those with presumably adulterated blood or those who have other features associated with non-blacks. So when a black women is asked “is that all your hair,” what she is really being asked is a query of access. Weaves and wigs present inauthenticity, or forged access to a “beauty” seen as unattainable naturally, or with authentic styling, to the black female. Thus, the query, “is that all your hair” inquires about the presence or privilege, or possessing an attribute that can or cannot be bought.

Hair is not simply celebration, but an effort of a buried body to resurrect from invisibility—to survive the “ugly” labeling applied to a female body nurtured to conceptualize beauty as her economy. For the black woman, who is told her blackness is ugly, the world has convinced her that she has no aesthetic economy. Thus, the query, is that all your hair? overtly inquires as to whether a black female body possesses a certain aesthetical commerce. Covertly, the query speaks to an veiled expectation of black female ugliness deeming the query a colloquial proclamation of self-hatred.
It is remiss to ignore that while a symbol of beauty, hair is also an indicator of other traits deemed desirable in our oppressive culture.

In Sapphire’s Push, the narrator, Precious Jones, in recalling her childhood, comments that “nobody do my hair.” In this context, This confession imbues a sentimental capital. Namely, it symbolizes that Precious is not “loved”–at least in the way she should. Black hair styling is commonly associated with the love and care received at home. To revert back to elementary school days, how and if a child’s hair was styled often proved an indicator as to how well a child was cared for. During college and in the working world, black hair that was “done” and “done well” often indicated a socio-economical bracket that allowed or prevented access to quality styling and products. Thus, to accuse a being of black female form of aesthetical plagiarism is not only to doubt the proximity of the black woman to conventional beauty, but also to accuse her of plagiarizing her socio-economic status and status as a loved person.
A popularized symbol, supposedly depicting self-love, “black girl magic” remains a frequently solicited hashtag and colloquialism. Yet, while black girl magic rolls off countless tongues daily, many remain subconsciously unable to acknowledge black hair as magic. As I write this, I hear the late great Malcolm X ask “Who taught you to hate yourself?” Who taught you to hate the texture of your hair? To hate your self from the top of your head to the bottom of your feet?” We, as a collective have been nurtured to internalize the negative perceptions of blackness– to hate ourselves as victims of white supremacy, and perhaps this narrative is most visible in hair. We have been taught as black people to view magic as an illusion– as a performance we must don a costume to attend, to overlook that we ourselves are the magic. Furthermore, Is that all your hair”, though not mislabeled by the colloquial term “hating” is a symbol of something worse—“self-hate.”

Moreover, this query “Is that all your hair?”  exposes that the “ugly black woman” is not
just a caricatured image seen on television and in novels, but a necessity in the white supremacist culture that engulfs us as a collective. Hair is equated to beauty, thus it is not an accident that black women are lead to believe that their hair is a burden, ugly, or specifically never long or thick enough to constitute beauty—as belief in the myth of the untamable mane is essential to ensuring that the black collective does not inquire a literacy of esteem. Thus, this query, whether from a non-black person of color, melanated black person, or white person, reflects an internalized belief that the mythical ugly black woman is indeed factual.

So in acquiring a pro-black literacy, it is essential that one acknowledges  black beauty as all encompassing and without exception. Black hair is a crown made of the gold that flows through our veins, so if it seems too beautiful, glorious, and majestic, that’s because it is, but that does not make it too “good” to be true.

Black Power ❤

 

 

 

 

Intersectionality: Poison to the People

I would say that I am omitting the name of the persons that inspired this post to spare them any embarrassment or shame, but the truth is such emotions would be an elevation of the virus that is going around.

The plague I am referencing is the virus of intersectionality.

For those unfamiliar with this poisonous team, intersectionality operates on the premise that an individual has their feet in multiple modes of identity. A word that commonly accompanies discussions of intersectionality is the word “belong,” marking an individuals belonging to a sub-group that marks gender, sexual orientation, social economic status, education etc. To this I say that any person othered by blackness, identity is inherently intersectional—as the only group to which a person marked by blackness “belongs” is blackness.

It was a crisp night in New York City, the northeast temperature embarking on its yearly shift from warm to cool. I, engulfed with the directness to which racism influenced my life in the recent weeks, relayed my experiences to what I thought would be an empathetic ear. This is the response I received:

“I don’t experience racism, where I’m at. I do experience some classism, because most people are of a higher class. I experience the most push back because I’m gay. And its usually from black women.”

This comment, although shocking in its detachment from a shared experience, was not unique. I hear similar comments weekly in class from a person, marked by caricatured symbols of blackness, state that racism is secondary if not non-existent—her adversity stemming from the black community for her sexual orentation.

In explicating these comments I will provide commentary on two things:
1. Exceptionalism
2. Escapism

In separating the two, I do not strive to ignore the fact that exceptionalism is in fact escapism.

In asserting that one escapes racism once consummating entry into a certain “level” of society, one operates under the premise of exceptionalism. Namely, that racism is something inferior people, or those in inferior positions face. “Racism is a poor man’s game” to those bamboozled by a false belonging to a group dominated by whites seeking to unlock a new fold to their privilege. This bamboozlement consummates the systemically mutilated and mentally wounded’s entry into institutionalization. Moreover, this person exhibits the height of racism, or the racialized, in assuming the mental seizure in which the oppressed feels he or she has emulated or “matched” their oppressor. During slavery, this person would be the slave who is hired to police others—the slave that could be freed because “massa’” knows that the chains have permeated from wrists to mind—illustrating what Hortense Spillers called “pornotroping” in her essay “Mama’s Baby Papa’s Maybe.”

The element of escapism is something seen a lot with regards to racism. Pretending that another attribute of identity is more visceral that racism, often symbolizes an individual unwilling or unable to process the depths of racism. Rather than acknowledging the depth of black oppression or the extent of the black experience, it is far easy and much more socially acceptable to talk about the adversity of gender or sexual orientation. To discuss the conflict of intersectionality is to seem wordly and to gain support from those who wish to downplay the detriment of blackness, as they continue to gain from the systemic subjugation of black people. To talk of the struggles faced by blacks is to complain, to speak of other sub groups and their “struggle” for more power is to be cultured, in the bizarre logic of a society enabled by enslavement.

Jose Esteban Munoz distinguishes between multiculturalism and intersectionality in his work Disidentifications: Queers Of Color And The Performance Of Politics. Specifically, Munoz cites multiculturalism as erasing through plurarity, and intersectionality as speaking to the way an individual relates to multiple identities. To this I vehemently disagree, mainly because of my relation to blackness. Intersectionality, for the black person, often serves as a bridge out of blackness—a way the black body climbs out of blackness into some other category dominated by whites who complain of an oppression to which they benefit. For the black collective, intersectionality is yet another means of oppression—another means for the dominant culture to say that “you don’t have it that bad, x,y,z have it worse.”

Lets examine the #metoo movement from multiple angles. The poison of  intersectionality presents a shaky bridge to which the oppressive magician places the black female between the toes of white women, yet convinces her that she stands beside the white woman in her attack on “man.” The issue then becomes, what we see with Women’s March Affiliate Tamika Mallory— an expectation to oppose the black man as well. Mallory, an affiliate to white female supremacist initiative “The Women’s March” faced a very public backpack for her association to what the white media deems black militants. On the surface, outrage speaks to the “anti-semitic” remarks of Louis Farrakhan, but covertly the outrage speaks to the expectation that black female bodies who wish to identify as women ignore the pervasive anti blackness that continues to dominate the globe.

The black male/female dynamic is antithetical to the white man/female dynamic, as the black man/female hold hands in a shared experience of oppression. Conversely, the white man both births, enables, and suppresses the white female in his dominance—his influence most pertinent in the white female thirst for white female supremacy—the veiled ambitions of the #metoo movement. Similarly the movement proves a bridge for the black man as well, with an fictive portrait of a “d*ckhunt.” The black man has always been portrayed and connotated as hyper- sexual and inclined to rape and sexual abuse, veiling the true sexual deviant—the white man. Thus, this attack on the white man, needs to be a lesson in the woes with white female interaction, not an invitation to incite brotherhood with he who oppresses.

Another example of the dangers imbued by intersectionality is Terry Crews. Now, for the conscious community, Crews has been problematic for performances that similarly mark his emasculation as a black male. As a supporter of the #metoo movement, although functioning as a “man” speaking out against the “unprejudiced” wrath of sexual assault—Crews function illustrates that he actually does not belong to a gender, as his male presence is a medley of genders—effeminate in content but masculine in form. In Mama’s Baby Papa’s Maybe, Hortense Spillers speaks to the conflict of gender with regards to blackness. Namely, that because of our enslavement, gender never truly developed within blackness, so, as those of us who share the experience of “blackness” know—the black woman has never been able to act as “woman,” and the black man has never been able to emerge as “man”—instead we lie buried beneath all that has caricatured our identity, and when beneficial to our oppressors, steered us into other groups to ensure they obtain rights black will never enjoy.

As blacks our experience is inherently multi-faceted— we face the plurality of struggle which operates on the unmoving platform of race. So if your are female, your experience with gender is race. If you are LGBT, your experience with sexual orientation is raced, and so on. To ignore these facts is to illustrate to the world that you do not understand racism, and are a canvass for covert attacks that pit the individual against their collective and ultimately themselves—and perhaps more detrimental— a means for those outside the black collective to assume agency in denouncing the black struggle, strengthened by the support of a melantaed sleep-walker (ie, the blacks 45, and other whites of so-called position to call upon to insist they are not racist and a pro at leadership, intellect, or what have you).

In contemplating these sentiments, my mind recalls a moment from the James Baldwin documentary “I Am Not Your Negro”(2016), when a white male academic says that Baldwin would have more in common with a writer of any color, than a black person who did not write at all, just as he– a white man would have more in common with a black academic than a white person who did not believe in academia. This sentence articulates the poison that intersectionality inflicts onto the black community. Had Baldwin possessed the enslaved mentality suggested by this white man, he would not have authored prose like The Fire Next Time and Notes of a Native Son–as it was the connection with blackness that birthed his influence. He would have become a missionary for white supremacy and not a trailblazer in documenting the black experience. Both texts, like the contributions of countless blacks from Anna Julia Cooper to Brittany Cooper, convey a literacy of blackness essential to each and every person of African descent.

A literacy of blackness is just as important as air and water for those born black—the detriment of dehydration as fatal as a conscience consumed with inconspicuous anti-blackness.

So while this literacy allows me to empathize with those plagued by the nurture of our oppressive society, to see their words as a cough, sneeze or sign of a illness–this post functions to ensure that this poison does not become a plague. To provide the intellectual antibody to ensure that the sneeze or cough of an  “intersectional” black feminist, or LBGT activist does not imbue the collective erasure of black people.

Black Power ❤