” He was having a dialogue with Sonny. He wanted Sonny to leave the shoreline and strike out for the deep water. He was Sonny’s witness that deep water and drowning were not the same thing — he had been there, and he knew. And he wanted Sonny to know. He was waiting for Sonny to do the things on the keys which would let Creole know that Sonny was in the water.”
James Baldwin, ‘Sonny’s Blues’
America is a cesspool. The status quo inhabits the shallow end. The White, robotic, Red & Blue voting-windup toys, Stepford consumerists, floating on their fat, hairy-sunburned backs. The shallow end requires no eyesight, or reflection, particularly when the subject is race.
A deeper, darker reality exists for those of us who didn’t land on Plymouth Rock, but rather, had Plymouth Rock land on US! The darker hue don’t float, but tread water in the racist rapids and whirlpools, sucked under and spat out by the sophisticated waterworks of Amerika. We subsist, by necessity, in the DEEP WATER.
There is a fascinating conversation happening on the blog of a friend, “TheLittlestblog.Blogspot.Com.” Its there for all to read; people of color who have felt the weight of Plymouth Rock, in dialogue with people, like Sonny, who are afraid of the deep water, people who believe that clarity lies on the surface of things, while we believe it is only through sinking lower into the Amerikan miasma that we can help whites see the problem that IS.
Where we lie in this stagnant tub of racism/white supremacy dictates the terms of any interracial conversation. And conversations about race between the white and the non-white are, if nothing else, operatic. Non-whites attempt to draw white folks into the deep water, the better to demonstrate – viscerally – our misery, the stench hammered into our nostrils, we lay open for observation, our fetid sores. Niggas yell and scream, lay metaphorical landmines, produce ironclad arguments with historical footnotes, that only a kangaroo court could dismiss.
To their discredit, whites avert their eyes; their unhearing ears they dunk in the water, the better to mute the screams of the brown bodies sinking to the murky bottom. This system, this society is by, for and under the complete control of white people; why then do these whites who call themselves liberals and progressives, disown their power when it comes to draining this cesspool and filling it with the clear, clean water of truth?
The white progressive knows the truth, but plays the fool, the better to maintain his white privileged status. Perhaps it is his awareness of our fate that prevents the well meaning white from interceding on our behalf. Who wants to risk forfeiting their color coated ill-gotten gain, and pay the ultimate price: white ex-communication and niggerization.
I’ve been on the same bent now for months; convincing brainwashed Uncle Tom white and colored folk that “activism” of the reformist variety will not work; that this system is designed to absorb, then neuter the reformist agenda and output the same old injustice and inequality. Part of the difficulty is that many on the left are ‘educated fools;’ they are so sure of their intelligence, so certain are these ‘social justice shamans’, that they literally can’t afford to be wrong. Their continued employment is predicated on providing solutions to problems we don’t have, and avoiding the problems that we do. The hippie lawyer riding his degree like a peacock while advocating nothing but status quo plantation politics; the grinning Beulah who spews the same ole political grits that never stick to the pan. Their puny egos depend on their playing the expert in spite of their being WRONG.
It is a patently racist agenda that these water carriers strap to their servile backs. They’ve mastered the details of the racists system’s “PR Image;” how unfortunate that they can’t tell the difference between shadow and fact. They too inhabit the shallow end.
To the well meaning white and non-white: Deep water and drowning are not the same thing. Wade in the water; it may get choppy, your head may go under momentarily, but you aren’t DROWNING. There are folks here who can help you learn how to swim. Some of us have been there. There are people who drown folks on purpose, drown cultures. We are not THOSE people. We survived all that and are trying to help you strike out for the deep water.
You ARE NOT DROWNING!