When It Comes To Race, The Human Capacity For Self Delusion Is Inexhaustible

We are all discrete, color-coded organisms with barely a connection to the other two-legged vermin un-like us. We are real; they are generic: you are a brown cow and I am a white rabbit. We must honor (which really means: wallow) in each other’s differences to the exclusion of any similarities.

We need to celebrate our differences; Right On, Baby, Right ON!

Let me ask a question: Should we EVER celebrate our similarities? Is it truly progress to delineate with a fine toothed comb, “how different/special/unique we are from every garden variety slug-wo-man?!

Is it not polarized, sanctified, difference that is the root of the world’s problem? While some may assert “colorblindness…isn’t enough,” most folks who die unnatural deaths, do so from exploitable, hyper-difference.

Does the “white” man kill niggas out of ‘colorblindness’, cuz he can’t tell the difference between himself and niggas, or does he kill us in bushels precisely cuz he sees nothing BUT difference?! What about niggas who kill each other? Is it our colorblinded-ness and the devil that makes us do it?

Has there ever been a “colorblind” society? So, why the kneejerk fear of a future world where color ain’t the ghetto pass between life, liberty and a death induced by ‘pork inhalation and Mad Dog 20/20’?

Nappy said: ” How is it that you have been able to distance yourself from it, when you live in the same world that we do? A trip to Paris by a black american who is intellectually stable, doesn’t at all speak to the racism and anti-semitism that is experienced by others in France without the access you have. You know what I mean? Let’s ask Arabs, North Africans, West Africans, Jews if there’s racism in France?”

The first step is wanting to distance myself from this crazy bullshit. I want to put this crack pipe down that’s been shoved down our throats from jumpstreet. Anybody who doesn’t want to distance themselves from the contagion called “America,” who doesn’t want to get outside of it and examine their own presumptions about everything – needs to be interrogated closely.

How can one distance themselves from the domestic brainwashing that pits us one against each other? Well, travel out of this country has been helpful for me. On my first trip to Paris I stayed for three months. I’ve visited 4 more times. I’ve been to the south of France, Amsterdam and Brazil for one month. I’m going to Africa next month. I’m not going to shop and I’m not going for a tan; I’m going for work AND to really absorb the spirit of the land.

More than physically leaving the States and going on ‘vacation’, I left intentionally – mentally and spiritually; I wanted to experience how other people lived and to live like they live. I wanted to compare and contrast where I’d come from with where I was. The question that truly animated me was, “this can’t be all there is?!” If America is the best, the world really is fucked up.

I didn’t go to Paris because there was no racism there. I knew and learned even more once there, about the Algerian, the Martinican, the former colonies offered honorary French citizenship, but not first class treatment. I learned how the Paris militarized police rounded up African men in the year 2000 – Y2K and locked them up to “prevent them from running amock.” My black ass breezed right by cops in the subway while Africans were “detained.” I know how those Africans feel cuz the same has happened to me here.

But the experience of leaving the States and dealing with another flawed country and culture – was a revelation. To not have race shoved down my throat in quite the way it is in the US, was very new. And liberating. I found the energy there to do things that I’d only dreamed of doing. Other black people I know have felt similarly. James Emmanuel, a poet who moved to France in the mid 80’s, told me how in the States he could not write for two years; he went overseas and eventually put pen to paper again.

He spoke of how his soul was sick in this country, how his spirit felt unclean here, how he felt shackled by the racism/white supremacy he experienced from his nation. He told me how home is wherever he is, yet, the home of his birth is NOT and will never be again. I find that profound and it resonates with me. Doesn’t mean there is any paradise on earth; but there are places that don’t psychically murder you.

Emmanuel considers himself an “Earth Citizen.” Are not we all? Do any of you feel American? Or is it that somebody told you how to feel and you never considered you had a choice. BTW: Choosing to simply feel and do the opposite of what the man tells you is not really choice, is it?

When the Twin Towers were brought down on September 11th, I didn’t feel pain for the so-called Americans who died; it was a global, human tragedy. How many other people of different nationalities were mutilated? Yet, how we were treated to the red, white and blue kool aid, how the exclusive ownership of 911 was asserted as a ‘US thing’, and none other. Poor, pitiful us. This is a common instinct, or perhaps, an extremely well manipulated one.

To know or feel the commonalities between human beings is not “enough” for who? The people who can’t see what I’m talking about? I can’t live anyone else’s life but my own. I can’t defeat the power structure and the Nazis of this country alone. And frankly, I don’t see anyone else trying too hard, don’t see anyone calling it like I see it. We’re gonna have to give up something to be free. Our ‘gender and color-segregated time shares’ are facilitating a heinous, vicious, criminal, cynical, devilish cabal of swine who are having their way with this country – on OUR dime.

To quote Dr. Phil: “how’s that working for you?”

Its not working for any of us. When Martin Luther King broke from color politics and took on the Vietnam War swindle – he had to go. When Malcolm X broke ranks with the Nation and decided to embrace political struggle, decided to work with some of the folks he’d disparaged – he had to go. When anyone proposes a solution that – calls for black/gay/lesbian/latina – unity, unifying in spite “of our petty differences,” you’ve sinned against Willie Lynch and his progeny.

I’ve never once supported colorblindness; but I’ve been accused of it. I accuse the people who accuse me, of failing to see their support of the conflict ridden/exploitative status quo embedded in their positions, of being unable and or unwilling to see that we are different and we are not just the same, but we are ONE people. We are a blind people who can’t see how alike we are – and don’t want to.

When you read this don’t pull out your red pen: open your mind and challenge YOUR belief system, challenge your attachment to your/our terminal uniqueness.

Only a united front can defeat the global tyranny fucking up the planet. But we don’t want to defeat them, not if it means giving up some sacred cows. And if you sense things that those around you don’t, its crazymaking and fruitless to beat your head against a brick wall. The addict who hits bottom and wants to change will come to it in their time. Everyone else will keep on keepin’ on.

I was really pissed after I did my “Fuck Race” post. I couldn’t believe how folks just chipped off what they “didn’t agree with” without actually getting what the piece was actually about. It was like folks going to a movie and closing their eyes at the scary parts and then reviewing the film as if they’d seen the whole thing.

The greatest weapon in the hands of the oppressor is the mind of the oppressed, indeed. What do you think he’d rather see us thinking about then? And what do you think they are trying to get us to stay focused on – our difference or our commonalities – including our common enemy?

The Matrix is in full affect.

12 Responses to “When It Comes To Race, The Human Capacity For Self Delusion Is Inexhaustible”

  1. HI MaxJ:

    thank you for this post. I feel we do get caught up in differences, and by clinging to those differences, we are clinging to the very things that oppress us. I’m all for celebrating diversity, and cross-cultural understanding, and being sensitive to differences so as to not be oppressive. I don’t think it’s helpful to say to someone, “Your race doesn’t matter to me,” because race is a part of personal identity.

    Yet, on a whole other level, race really doesn’t matter to me. Race is insidious, just as gender is insidious, and sexuality and ability and class. Even when it doesn’t matter, it has been so ingrained in our consciousness that it DOES matter. Yet, why should it matter? Race would never be a reason for me to have a relationship with someone, or not. I would never choose a friend based on race. (If I did, I’d be worried that I was patting myself on the back for being a good non-racist white girl.) I do my best, everyday, to treat everyone the “same.” No matter what differences lie between us, I try to be open and generous and kind to every person I am in contact with. Sometimes I am really good at it, sometimes not. Sometimes there are too many differences and I can’t get around them, either psychologically or logistically (like language).

    I believe deeply in equality. I believe that equality means not treating everyone the “same,” but treating people no different based on their differences. I believe there is a commonality that can’t be overlooked in our rush to be special and unique creatures. The commonality is that we are all human, we are all complex, we are all unique. No matter my differences from any other people, I deserve to be treated with dignity and respect. And so do you, and so does she and he. what needs to happen is that the negatives associated with our differences must be removed.

  2. Max,
    I don’t believe we can even begin to talk about
    equality, differences, or similarities,
    until White America stops trying to destroy the
    self-esteem and identity of children of color.
    Children of color are systematically undermined
    in America by schools who assume black equals
    stupid, by media that assume that black equals
    crime, or by white people who assume that black
    equals low class poor.
    A recent article http://www.examiner.com/a-206107~Gangs_Quietly_Infiltrate_Pocono_Region.html
    is just one example of racist media.
    I have to ask myself as a white person, what
    does it feel like to read an article like that
    and be a Black child in America? I try to put
    on that coat and see what it feels like, and it
    makes me sick.

  3. Gertrude, should we wait until white America is up to speed or live our lives today with our hard earned understanding? Should we learn the lessons that are before us, or pause and deride whites for being so slow? Should we not build the institutions, create the blueprints for the world we want to see, instead of wasting any more time on ‘the white man?’

    Should I retard myself until white people decide that we are human, too? Or should we act as if, as if we are human, seek to treat each other in the way that we want to be treated?

    Yes, the media is racist/white supremacist as is the educational system, the prison – hell, every system/institution is termite infested with racism. But we have to do something and I think we need to CREATE…something, literature, art or all types, social movements that are for real, etc.

    Its like the website, “AP Racism.Com” White folks rightfully belong in Special Ed and I’m in the AP class; I don’t have to relate to them as if I haven’t learned more about this stuff than they have, I don’t have to dumb myself down. What I need to do is take my knowledge where it will and use it to the advantage of all people.

    I haven’t mentioned ‘equality’ in relation to where I’m at. I don’t even know what that means. The Rev. Ike says that “the best thing you can do for poor folks is not be one of them.” The best I can do for the racist and the ignorant is not be one of them. I will find allies/comrades/co-creators who are on the same wavelength; we’ll do what we can do. But I can’t anybody’s work for them. All of us have to do our own work.

    I want to associate with people of all kinds who want to change what we can in our humble way.

  4. I agree that we need to build something of our own, but what happens to all of us black people left behind here in America?

  5. VM: I just think we have to build it, build whatever it is for you and me, first, and then see who comes to it. We’re not all going to make it, unfortunately. We can’t delay/hold ourselves back because we don’t know what’s going to happen, right? We have to act on what we do know and hope for the best.

  6. MJ:”He spoke of how his soul was sick in this country, how his spirit felt unclean here, how he felt shackled by the racism/white supremacy he experienced from his nation.”

    Yeah, I feel the same way.

    MJ: “I was really pissed after I did my “Fuck Race” post. I couldn’t believe how folks just chipped off what they “didn’t agree with” without actually getting what the piece was actually about. It was like folks going to a movie and closing their eyes at the scary parts and then reviewing the film as if they’d seen the whole thing.”

    Sorry, I did that. My actions there were telling of my unconscious attitudes and ‘White’ supremacist socialization.

    I slipped up there, my bad. It shows that whites like me should be in the special ed class on racism, but most are skipping class because the principal is David duke, he’s giving out free pizza in the commons while talking about how he won’t get us in trouble for skipping.

    I’ll go further so that you might be able to examine the beast of WS.

    TG said that “Race would never be a reason for me to have a relationship with someone, or not.”

    (Whistles, shuffles feet nervously)

    I’m as racist as a KKK grand dragon when it comes to perceiving sexual attractiveness, but on an unconscious level (I hope, i’ll explain at the end) worst against Arabs and blacks, kind of against Latinos, and not at all against Asians or Slavs.

    If you are looking at two women with the same traits same body, same facial structure same everything but one is ‘black’ and the other is ‘white’, I perceive the ‘white’ woman to be about 2 points higher on a 1-10 scale.

    I know consciously that’s irrational and wicked but I perceive it nevertheless.

    My efforts in overcoming that disease have been fruitless so far, even though I’ve been in a relationship with a ‘black’ woman, even though I don’t perceive the same thing when it comes to intellect or ability or anything else, Even though I work against it.

    But, I ain’t giving up.

    Idea(s)?

  7. Clampett said: “If you are looking at two women with the same traits same body, same facial structure same everything but one is ‘black’ and the other is ‘white’, I perceive the ‘white’ woman to be about 2 points higher on a 1-10 scale. I know consciously that’s irrational and wicked but I perceive it nevertheless.”

    I don’t think that is irrational at all. If you are taught/trained/24/7 in all forms of media – that white women are the standard of beauty – then it would be irrational NOT to feel that way. Hell, I FEEL that way and I’m black. I’m struggling with that, retraining my mind, relearning my appreciation for black women and women of color.

    I’m not giving up, either. I’m trying to pay attention to my thinking/feeling around the subject. There’s a way in which that voice inside, the racist script, goes underground and I don’t even hear it. I’m actively seeking out women of color. And I’m trying to stay open to women at the same level of consciousness. I’m truly beginning to believe that consciousness is the most critical factor in relationship.

  8. “I’m truly beginning to believe that consciousness is the most critical factor in relationship.”

    like, totally. 😛

    seriously though, I think you’re absolutely right. Just talking to some men sometimes makes me cringe, the level of social un-consciousness is startling, disappointing, diminishing of any attraction that might have been there.

  9. by the way, clampett, I did get over to your place and respond back to you on your post. sorry it took me a while… your comments were only showing as one on the main page so I didn’t click on it to see that there were in fact many more.

  10. Max: I agree it’s not irrational for us to think that considering the context…I’m saying it’s irrational in general in so far we wouldn’t think that way if we were wild beasts and had the choice between the two. Not only is that irrational, but the fact that we have internalized what the dick/pussy who is oppressing wants us to think is also irrational from a standpoint of self-actualization.

    Thinking girl: no offense taken, no excuses needed.

    Both you and Max say that “consciousness is the most critical factor in relationship.”

    That’s cool.

    For me… I like the soul and the body, i enjoy equilibrium between the two.

    Meaness, greed, vindictiveness, a ‘trifling’ demeanor and general immorality are bigger turn-offs for me, but nevertheless, I prefer somebody who is more or less on my level…(which may or may not lack consiousness at this point)

  11. Believe me, Clampett, I’m with you on the “soul/body continuum.” I need to be moved on both levels.

  12. I had responded via email (instead of at this page) as the first response to this post. MJ suggested I post it anyway–he said, “as if it negated the post to comment first” 🙂

    I think there’s alot of work to do to get to the “one race” place. I don’t get the impression that Max wants to skip the steps of acknowledging the hurts and differences. I just see him with a vision of what’s on the other side of that.

    We know there’s already a lot of ignorance and unawareness in the “colorblind” school of thought. Because for one it doesn’t acknowledge white privilege and how the wealth of this country, for example, was built by African humans and Native American genocide. So today I think white people need to acknowledge that and work for reparations and acknowledgment. As you know, I’m also big on a listening process whereby we take time aside to be listened to on our earliest memories of being conditioned as white people. and in the case of people of color , one’s earliest memories of being targeted by racism. And so on–this process gets deep in the psyche and heart to remove the conditioning.

    I think after working this way, the outcome ends up being unity. But not on a superficial, quick fix, wishful thinking level. And it’s a lot of work and demands, imo, a long term commitment to fiercely go after one’s racist conditioning and dismantle it systematically over a lifetime. Similarly, our relationships across so-called racial lines, I think, needs to be a commitment we fiercely and consistently tend to. This is not a project or an experiment, it’s a real, lifelong bond.

    yeah, well, sorry it took me so long to do this.

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