Everybody’s Got To Own Their Own Pain

I spent time in Paris in 2002 and interviewed a several black expatriates and they all said the same thing: the pathology of US race relations is one of the things that they did not miss about America.

Here, we’re all subject to the music of racism/white supremacy and though some may bitch and moan about it – all of us tend to dance to it.

The disease itself is like depleted uranium; it’s in the air we breathe. And it poisons us, poisons our brain, our emotions, our intellect and our spirit. Poisons our ability to think and act intelligently.

This isn’t something I just discovered; but, this dialogue just recently past, between me and several victims of racism, was nauseating, toxic, the perfect expression of the disease of racism/white supremacy on the cellular level.

I was asked to understand, to feel compassion for black women and what they’ve been through. Well, I am trying to feel more compassion for black women in general, trying to see my blindspots, trying to connect with ‘like minded black women’ who want to and are able to have a truthful, respectful dialogue.

However, I have a limit; and these particular victims of racism who have come here to spew their venom…they don’t get my compassion. Sugarcoating their disease is not helpful to them, me, or anyone interested in getting beyond this rockbottom level. Tough love means telling my truth, telling it to the Universe if nobody else.

Too often, the victims of R/WS prey on others just like them – and then justify it by running their personal oppression up the flagpole. Proclaiming their exceptionalism.

Newsflash: You are not exceptional. Pick up a fucking newspaper and read about the men, women and children of Iraq, read about China and their prison labor, read what’s going on in Nigeria or in South Africa or France.

Learn what has happened and is happening to Native American women RIGHT NOW, who have caught more hell than you’ve ever seen.

None of us are exceptional and it doesn’t help people to coo in their ears that they, among all others, get the Oscar for lifetime achievement in catching hell. That’s a lie. That retards rather than enlarges people.

In terms of NOT taking responsibility for your bullshit, you are definitely not exceptional. Its somebody else’s fault that you are supposedly ‘loveless.’ You are the perfect victim – which means that you can abuse at will. How hard you’ve had it excuses all your excesses…my ass!

We’ve ALL had it hard; what are you going to do about it now that the hardness is in your lap? Point fingers?! Blame everybody else but you? That is no healing at all.

Until you own your own pain, you are not going any-fucking-where! You hairsplitting muthafuckas who accuse me of ripping on ‘The Black Woman,’ when I’m talking to and about very specific people (who don’t represent anyone but themselves) and then use that to justify your foul nonsense are deceitful at best.

You poke out your own eyes and then accuse me of not being able to see.

I’m not talking about THE Black Woman – I’m talking about YOUI’m talking about the ‘A-Lone Theorist’, I’m talking about’Las’, I’m talking about the ‘s0-called Racial Realist,’ Odile or Odine or O-der.

Yes, I’m talking to and about you- Just You – and those who think like you.

They ‘might’ have good intentions. SO WHAT?! So what, if the execution is hateful, illogical, ensures that they will create and receive, not black love, but a lump of black coal?!

Cowards blame other people for the miserable lives that they lead, for their lack of money, for the poor relationships that they have or don’t have, for their lack of choices. Look in the mirror and resolve that problem looking back at you: see that person for who he or she really is. Fix that person. The more you tinker with that person’s issues, the more likely things will fall into place.

I know this cuz I’ve lived this. I blamed my parents, my siblings, the women I dated, the white man, booze, plaque, for my fucked up life. Only when I took the responsibility – not just for my material life, but for my mental, emotional and spiritual life – did I figure out that the common denominator in all of my mis-dealings was ME! Only then was I able to get a different result out of life.

Years and years of outside help on my insides, have been critical to me continuing to take personal responsibility.

You can’t help the crack addict huddled up with the pipe. You can’t help people who don’t want to be helped, who love the pipe, or who love to gripe. You can only heal yourself with the help of God and other supportive people. Voila.

When black folks create the physical, intellectual, emotional and spiritual distance from this American Psychosis, get their brain and their heart shackle-free enough to see this (and their) racial madness for what it is – then you’ve got a chance. You’ve got a chance to grow and live a life that isn’t proscribed by racism/white supremacy. But if you cannot get your head outside of this diseased paradigm, the same man or woman will drink and/or think like they always have. And that is nothing but pure insanity.

I may love those folks – but I will love them from a great distance.

If you and I can each own our own pain, see how we have been complicit in it, take responsibility for getting out of it, then maybe we can grow up as people – and as a people.

3 Responses to “Everybody’s Got To Own Their Own Pain”

  1. Wow FS, I guess you slept on it and decided not to let this …ahem, ahem, “lady” slide after all huh.

    My brother, I could see the flames coming off your keyboard from here:)

  2. thefreeslave, in my opinion, the healing period can only come after both black men and women accept that things won’t change overnight: after that ‘something new’ film with sanaa lathan, i started to feel a shift in the tide between relations between black women and men. More of my sisters were looking elsewhere for love. Were they wrong? Should they have reconsidered or is this the new avenue for black women?

    All these questions can’t be answered today. Maybe that is the ironic beauty of it – we need to regain the order that our black great-grandfathers had when they fought against colonialism and slavery in order to have that conversation with ourselves to figure out where we are headed in the future.

    White supremacy and Colorism all play parts in this. We have been pawns, mistakenly allowing ourselves to feel pain when we don’t see our role models in magazines or television. I think victimisation is inherent in every human being because it is a human flaw. Crying out against injustice doesnt make you a victim but if you are not strong enough, it can create a inferiority complex. Perhaps we are all victims in our own way, raising the decibel level because no one hears us?

    P/S – that is a good point about the pathology of race relations being more muted in europe – i would agree with that. it seems like in france and other continental countries, if they can’t see your pain, they’ll pretend not to hear it although it does manifest (those Paris race riots recently were awful).

  3. Field, who does it serve to not tell the truth? I held my tongue and took out the more inflammatory verbiage…et voila. I’m not going to caretake, patronize or baby grown folks. The folks who can communicate critical/supportive/neutral information, intelligently, I listen to and will engage with. These other folks will get it the way they give or the way I feel like giving it to them. If I feel like giving it to them at all.

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