Who Taught You To Divest Humanity of Humanity?

Would you rather be right than happy?

Then, you’d probably rather be separate than a part of humanity.

As my friend Pattrice Jones posits below, division is violence. Her wonderful example of the privatization of land wherein one can “own” what God/The Goddess/The Holy Universe/The Great Unknown granted to us all, demonstrates one of the uncivilized absurdities of so-called civilization’s ways… And, its connection to other ludicrous, heinous endeavors. Its ludicrous I should say, EXCEPT, as a means to divide and conquer.

Getting us to buy in to this idea of “yours” and “mine” when it comes to land is only one in a myriad of plots/tactics that divest humanity of humanity itself. Property has to be the most insane invention – this is OUR land. But it is not insane for those who covet their neighbors turf, who live off of others parasitically.

Private property is legalized theft, legalized criminality at its root. Most don’t want to see it at its root. They use the master’s tools and presumptions in formulating their solutions that don’t solve. Audre Lourd and Fred Hampton would say it can’t be done.
Is that division of land rooted in the ultimate division of human beings into classes: male, female, stronger, weaker, black, white, hetero, homo?

Noticing difference is one thing; it is another to HAVE to ‘celebrate diversity’ because people use difference as a guillotine, rather than a mirror, as a reflection of another aspect of YOU!  But we don’t want to see how we are caught up on a ‘liberal, radical, anarchist, black militant treadmill to no where.’ You don’t want to get off; you want to heighten the difference massa has bred into your slave ass.

And don’t let a nigga like me talk about this; I’m a color blind advocating colloborator/I’m a traitor/I’m not giving difference its due.  I’m a “pro-black white oriented black person.”

My daughter is mixed race and when I pick her up at daycare, the little kids yell ‘Hi’ and ‘Bye’ just like she’s a little kid-buddy of theirs. And she is. Soon and perhaps, right now, her parents are teaching their kids about the box that they must live in, the container that’s suited for them and the one suited for little brown girls. And these children will learn their lessons well.  Monkey see, monkey do.
I believe it kills a little piece of our humanity, the more we fail to see “from the root to the fruit.” I have brown skin; I’m a ‘black man.’ I’m a man; hetero. And…That’s it.’

When do we graduate from our cozy little compartments to human? When do we have the courage to say, “fuck what the white man or white people are doing/have-haven’t done and recognize our overarching, common humanity?  Because they’re sick I need to act like them, think like them in reverse?  I ain’t sayin’ love stupid/whiteracist/sexist muthafuckas; I’m sayin’, in spite of their disease and dis-ease, when are we who get it going to move on a truer truth?  When are we gonna take it to another level, ‘take it to the stage!’ P-Funk style?!
I’m not waiting for some blue eyed/cockeyed white person to do THEIR work, in order for me to do mine. I’m taking my AP Racism-consciousness wherever my intellect and soul leads me. To stay in some ‘black bunker’ that white racism proscribed for me, UNTIL they change, fuck that. Everybody white ain’t unconscious, though many of US are.

BTW: I plead guilty for doing the same thing. I put people in boxes, too. I’m also aware of calling people out who put themselves in the boxes, in the shackles assigned to them by someone else. I’ve learned this way of thinking is a stop along the way; it ain’t my destination.

Too many of us adapt to and riff off of oppression, racism, sexism – and can’t create/see/project beyond it. This is some of the violence we do ourselves.  This is how we use the master’s tools to slit our own throats, limit our thinking, feeling and acting.
Enough rambling, but I’ll be back with more…

27 Responses to “Who Taught You To Divest Humanity of Humanity?”

  1. This is off topic, but, did Granny delete her blog?

  2. Unfortunately, she did.

  3. I hope it’s not bad news. Re post: I wish the question of what stuff they can buy or get were not first on so many peoples’ lists of priorities.

  4. Great post. You mention Fred Hampton. His son, Fred Hampton, Jr, has a poem in a new anthology called Igniting a Revolution: Voices in Defense of the Earth published by AK Press. The book has 45 (!) contributors, including many who have done (or are doing) time for direct action in defense of earth/animals as well those who have dedicated their activism to opposing prisons, racism, poverty, etc. The editors, Steve Best and Tony Nocella, really made an effort to make the kinds of connections you are talking about. The violent divisions among people are rooted in our violation and division of the natural world into “property.”

    [Disclosure: I’m one of the contributors. I’m honored to be included.]

    Thanks for posting “The Turtle Talk” and, as always, for maintaining such a thoughtful and thought-provoking blog.

  5. Pattrice: You know you are one of my sheroes so I’m honored to have your words on my blog with your blessing. I’ll try to get that anthology. Much respect to you.

    Prof. Z: I hear ya. By the way, I’m going to have to do a post on what I OFFER to my soulmate. I don’t want it to seem like I’m looking for a mommy to reparent me or something. Hope you’re well.


  6. may I offer an expansion upon your ideas:

    ‘I believe it kills a little piece of our humanity’
    ‘I believe it kills a little piece of our godhood’

    ‘When do we graduate from our cozy little compartments to human?’
    ‘When do we graduate from our cozy little human compartments to the child of god that we are?’

    ‘and recognize our overarching, common humanity?’
    ‘and recognize our overarching, common heritage in god’?

    As for waiting for other people to do their thing before you do yours? I truely don’t believe it works like that. You need to do your thing, the highest and brightest and lovingest that you can imagine, BEFORE they do their thing. Then when they see you doing the best that you are they recognize that they can do better for themselves, and you will be the light that you were meant to be.

  7. Hey MJ–still OT but yeah, the what one can offer to ‘soulmate’ is going to be another one of those revealing exercises!!! I’ll work on it too: and instantly will start with the negative, namely, what I can’t offer ;-)!
    I’m coming up for air, sorta, although still slightly reeling from my blog and e-mail ‘stalking’ (or attack) episode…

  8. Right on, Divine Galaxy, right on! I’m with you on alladat!!

    Z: So is the stalker done or what? Gonna call the authorities?

  9. good idea you guys, I’ll put some thought into that too, what I have to offer a soulmate. It’s hard to think about yourself sometimes in that way – like writing a resume all about you.

    prof, a stalker? that sounds not good. sorry to hear. I hope you’re doing ok.

  10. MJ: it’s a soap opera but not physically dangerous, and only psychically dangerous to the extent that I allow it. This is what the authorities say. Before I consider content for the what I can offer post, I have to finish the ‘love in the afternoon’ series – an important element of which is, it is essential not to have to look over one’s shoulder all the g-d time!!!

  11. P.S. Thinking Girl, yeah, it’s a challenge, that ‘what I can offer’ thing. We’ll have to all do it, it will cause us to go up one level of consciousness. Stalker, yeah sort of, but it is a mind thing only. Not that you can’t be done in via the mind, but nothing physical is going to happen, for sure, and the blog has a delete button.

  12. Freeslave,

    I wrote a little something something about putting people in “categories” over on my blog. It started out as a response to this post of yours. I didn’t leave it here because it would have taken me too long to describe the connection between what you are talking about and what I was thinking–although I think it’s fairly clear–so it just sounded like I was making it “all about me,” which I was…damn me!

    Anyway, in case you’re interested.

    (totally coincidentally my second to latest post is “what I can offer” post. It’s not for real, though. I don’t really know how to make mac and cheese.)

    I really enjoy your writing.


  13. Thanks, Toasted and I will get over and check your post out!

  14. At any rate, I think it’s necessary, really, to compartmentalize and categorize.

    If we could fully realize each person we encounter–I mean, if it were possible for us to see and *know* the whole person, each time we meet someone or speak to them or even live with them every day, I think we would all be paralyzed by love for one another. I don’t see how we could bear it.

    I really do believe this and often say it out loud to classrooms full of young people who *think* they are cynical but who really haven’t seen nothin’ yet. They laugh at me, but I think they are laughing because they know it’s true and it’s kind of sad, but mostly positive. We are fucking beautiful, we people. Every rotten one of us.


    Of course, it is equally necessary to struggle against the boundaries of the compartments we are placed in by society, ourselves, our loved ones. It seems to me that this is all we are ever doing when we speak or write or communicate in any way. No matter what we are saying, wearing or dancing to, we are constantly struggling to assert our individuality in the context of a society and a world that must place great chunks of us into neat little boxes.

    I think that’s why some people get their nipples pierced.

    Yours weirdly,


  15. TS, the problem is that these are compartments that OTHER people have placed us in. To be a truly free person, you have to choose who you are, what you are. If someone else is doing it for you, you’re a slave.

    Someone, I believe it was an Egyptian, said ‘the unexamined life is not worth living.’ If we simply assume the positions (and I believe most people do) handed down to us, then we’re dead already, whether you call yourself an octoroon, quadroon, nationalist, progressive, etc.

    Our lust to be labeled something, defined as this, or thought of as that is a part of the disease this culture infects us with. I ain’t buyin’ it.

  16. It would appear that Granny is the nexus of all good souls. I’m grateful to have wandered here, Max. Be blessed.

  17. Thanks, Beth, very much and welcome!

  18. Thank you! You have already expanded my consciousness and given me much to think about.

    In other news, the painter has graciously checked in with a positive update at Finn’s Wake Up Call. 🙂

  19. Thanks Beth for the update. Its hard not to have her blog; I was on it several times a day, but I guess this will have to do for now.

  20. Hey, Max! I’ve been soooooooo busy, but I still read your blog even if I’m too tired and word wiped to post. Wishing you well!

  21. I was wondering where the hell you were but I was too busy to send an email. Imagine that! Glad yer back.

  22. Oh, I’ve been here and reading! And enjoying. And learning.

  23. Max,

    I agree with what you’re saying. I agree that if we are asked to define ourselves or if we desire to define ourselves, the terms that we find to do so are limited, and usually limited by the culture we are surrounded by.

    My point was mainly in response to your admission that you “put people in boxes” too. Because I think we all do. Any time we begin to describe someone or something we are putting it in a box. Any time we apply any sort of label (that is, any time we use language) I think we are confining the thing we are talking about to perameters more limited than those the thing really inhabits.

    I’m not sure I really believe what I just wrote, but it sounds kind of cool.

    Consider, if you’re a nerd like me and versed in Tolkein, the Ent, Treebeard, who must give an abbreviated version of his name to the hobbits because saying his whole name would take days or weeks or months. His TRUE name is the story of his existance and all that he’s touched and all that has touched him–it is a long long name.

    So any time we name something, we are putting it into a box. The trick is to know that. The trick is to recognize the limitations of our perspectives and of our language when it comes to knowing one another–or ourselves, for that matter. And especially, as I think you have pointed out, to understand where our language comes from–where we find the words that we use to describe ourselves–the limitations of those sources.

    This seems a paradox, but I am also reminded of a scene in Kurt Vonnegut’s “Breakfast of Champions” when an artist explains his representation of “The Temptation of St. Anthony,” which, at first, everyone hates because it is merely a band of yellow light on a green field. (“My five year old could paint that,” they say.) And then the artist explains that the painting “shows everything about life that truly matters, with nothing left out […] It is all that is alive in any of us–in a mouse, in a deer, in a coctail waitress. It is unwavering and pure no matter what preposterous adventure may befall us [. . .] Our awareness is all that is alive and maybe sacred in any of us. Everything else about us is dead machinery.”

    And then everyone loves the picture and the artist. But it took language to make them see the thing clearly.

    I’m sorry this is so long. You are making me think about these things (thanks) so I’m recording my thoughts here.


  24. Hey Bruh! Much love and respect as usual. I have been real busy lately with just being newly married, changing jobs and moving to a new city at the end of the month. I have been reading your posts though although I really don’t have the time to join into the discussion. However let me quickly share a few thoughts with you.

    Your post “Fuck Race” was brilliant. I have been meditating on similar sentiments and you brought more clarity to the issue in your own unique way (wink). I could feel you working it, developing it and furthering the idea in your post: “When It Comes To Race, The Human Capacity For Self Delusion Is Inexhaustible”. I believe in some ways that the whole “race issue” and how we as human beings relate to it…. or get caught up into it, both Blacks and whites, makes it very much a paradoxical issue… on an ideological tip it’s simple but then real life can be hard… especially for a Black man… dealing with the “race issue” is a matter of life and death for us… no matter how much we may want to look above and beyond it… hmmmm…. but I’m definitely feeling your vibe!

    On the subject of you travelling to Africa next month… where are you visiting? Is the trip for business or personal? In 1997 I made a pilgrimmage to West Africa. I visited Senegal, The Gambia and Ghana. The pilgrimmage changed my life in many many ways, specifically how I relate to other people of African descent, white people, my place in the “system”, and most importantly my spiritual growth. It both freed and strengthened me emotionally as well brought a peace to my spirit… a peace that “passeth all understanding”. I sincerely believe this was due in part to the fact that I returned the spirit of my ancestors to their homeland. When they were stolen from Africa, their ferverent desire and prayer was to return home… and as their blood runs through my veins and their spirit is entwined within me, my return fulfilled that hope. They say that Jamaicans come from the Kormance region of Ghana. I visited there and went to the slave castle that was utilized to hold the Africans in that region before they were taken through the “door of no return” to Jamaica. I stood in the dungeons where my ancestors stood. In Ghana I received the name “Asabagna” during a village naming ceremony in celebration of my return. The village chief gave me the name of his ancestor who had founded the village. It means “hunter”. When I was in Senegal I visited a Mandingo village and received the name “Alatentou” which means “God is gracious”… hence ny Spiritual/African name Asabagna Alatentou. Much better, uplifting, enlightening and positive than “NIGGA” wouldn’t you agree…. (smile)….

    Finally in regards to this post… let me share this with you: “From the perspective of the ultimate reality of the universe, there is no such thing as “mine”…” I am not sure who said it… but it is a quote that has always moved me…

    I will return on a regular basis soon… gotta take care of much bizness… take my act to the next level…. keep on keepin on…. I hope you blog about your experience in the Motherland… I will be looking forward to it…


  25. wow, i love this post!

  26. TS, you’re totally right about naming things. Totally!!!

    Asa, good to hear from you brotha and mucho congratulations on you wedding to your QUEEN!!!

    I’m going to SA. Unfortunately, I won’t be going to Ghana or West Africa but it will be the first time on the continent.

    The Fuck Race post is ongoing. Have you ever read any Krishnamurti? I totally get him when he talks about division as a mental process that is responsible for all conflict. The division into classes, races, economic groupings. I don’t know where I’ll end up but I doubt it will be ‘colorblindness.’ But there’s a way in which we’re going to have to let go of our attachment to race/difference. On some level; whatever level it is that keeps us at each other’s throats. Work in progress.


  27. When are you going to South Africa???

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