LA Is More Than A City


“If people of color say something that you (insert white name) don’t understand or think is crazy…shut the fuck up and listen harder.”

The Space Shuttle doesn’t have the booster rockets to circumnavigate this particular farflung galaxy of white (N)evolution. No, generally, if it doesn’t fit within the pinched paradigm of their experiential thimble…GOALTENDING!! Git that shit OUTTA HERE!!!

“If people of color say something that you (insert white name) don’t understand or think is crazy…shut the fuck up and listen harder.”

I’ve met less than ten white people in my 45 years who could even get this statement intellectually, let alone feel it/know it in their gut. I’m not complaining, however, simply reporting what sadly is an observable truism.

It is two languages that we speak, actually three, but only one shared. People of color must, if they are to survive at all, master the white man’s language. We must know the ways and means of this man who will step on our ant colonies with impunity. Niggas can’t afford not to speak this man’s tongue.

Then there is OUR language, the notes of subjugation, tones chiming segregation. Its the covert language of the plantation, the whispered code words of slaves seeking to communicate stealthily. Methaphors magical – the Sweet Chariot coming for to carry us home, not to the heavenly afterlife, but to Canada far from this brutal master. The Underground Railroad.

Our world is a mystery to the white man. Oh, he observes us from afar, he uses his microscope, his cameras nestled on traffic lights, his ethnographers. But none of his efforts to “understand” are anything more than two layers of paint stripped from the window sill. Beneath, is an ancient, proud wood that remains an utter enigma.

How else could white folks claim that they set us “free” long ago, when they’d ripped our tongues from our throats, broken arms and legs exposing the bone, skinned us alive and then told us we were equal. We were and are ready to compete in a sprint, a marathon, dusky ankles shackled to anvils, sentenced to running through a gauntlet of bats and steel spikes laid in our path.

When we stumble with their help its proof of our ineptitude, our inferiority, not their maliciousness and pathetic, puny superiority. No superior being needs to rub his underling’s face in it – unless it is he who is inferior.

Alas, there are a few pink people who can, because of their own marginalization, otherness or freakishness, see layers of the onion that the average white person can’t peel. The third language is the one in process of creation. The new words are being birthed, the embryonic syntax is being conceived in the dialogue between the white freak who has put their race on the back burner and the nigga recruiter trying to enlist their services in the nascent revolution. Guttural sounds, groans comprise the new tongue, along with remnants from the shared one. The race traitors pick up some or most of our secret language; at the very least, they understand precisely the need for it and the necessity to build a bridge.

WHY?

What prescription allows them to read the chart marked “Racism/White Supremacy” while their siblings stumble in the dark? Mind you, this isn’t to say that some of these folks don’t have blindspots; its simply that they have an intellectual rigor and emotional honesty fewwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww demonstrate. And if there is to be a real racial reconciliation, it will be those honest characters who will need to lead or at least be heard loud and clear. Too many rank racists in granola clothing spirit themselves to the front of the line, blocking true dialogue by putting on vanity productions that are no more than tattoo deep.

Usually, it is the cream that recedes, hangs back, observes. The trapdoor must drop on the humus set and the rebels must pull the lever.

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