I was talking to my sister LA last night and we were riffing on this whole “racism-white supremacy” thing. Speaking with her is often like trading fours in jazz; its often this rapid fire creative exchange where ideas get played that lead to other “in-the-moment” creative blurts in the other person.
Its like, I will read some shit, absorb it, but be nowhere near close to assimilating it…And then, I’ll have a clarifying conversation with her – meaning that ideas from the different sources that I’ve read will get exercised, worked through in the exchange…Sometimes it only creates an awareness that I’m more confused than I thought; but just as often, the conversation creates a new spark, sheds light and resolves something.
As I’ve been pondering this racism (does it exist, what it is really, etc), reading Marimba Ani’s Yurugu has resolved one thing in my mind: that there is a unity of Isms, that they are really only tools of European male global domination.
For example, I am participating in a forum on the intersection of racism and homophobia in the black community. Well, who does black homophobia serve? Does it serve the black community? Or does it fracture us even more? First we were house and field, then octoroons, quadroons; good hair/bad, to the point of paperbag tests and comb tests. I mean, when you can degrade a people to the level that they will actually perpetrate this kind of insanity on each other…you’ve got an amazing system of control.
Willie Lynch Lives!!
Hating or feeling contempt for my gay brother seems the height of idiocy today, however, it wasn’t that long ago that when a gay man looked at me, my automatic response was to sneer at him and let him know “I’m not like that.” Now as I age, I’m pissed, wondering why gay men aren’t looking at me?!
There’s a lot of talk about action around the AfroSpear these days but few are asking about the destination. Where are we going? Are we going to continue seeking to integrate into a burning house? Beg for crumbs from the white man’s table? Vote for candidates beholden to white capital, controlled, contained? Where do we want to go as a people?
People seem not to want to ask these kinds of questions, let alone consider them, chew on them, grapple with them. More often than not, people fail to reflect, in their hurry to be seen doing. “Being Seen Doing” is an ego inflating imperative that can destroy, destroy the integrity of human beings…and they may not even know it. Our egos have to take a back seat to the task. We have to be whole. This is a major part of our inner work. WE are not whole. Our sojourn here has damaged us.
I look at the work of Michael Fisher. He implies that he is a real black man, while others are pretenders, have to go through a rite of passage to prove their blackness. To him. He has the inside track to black folks, knows what we should and shouldn’t do. AND, he has made it his life’s work to besmirch the work that some of us trying to do with the AfroSpear.
This reinforces my suspicion of those who represent themselves as “Race Warriors,” or, “the Black Intelligentsia,” who never talk about the concomitant work that THEY are doing on themselves, that qualifies them to stand in judgement and deflect anything that comes there way, who when criticized, NEVER acknowledge the possibility of fault, mistakes, human error.
I don’t trust folks who are martyrs, who know every gotdamn thing, yet ain’t engaged in a process of growth development, don’t evidence any teachability.
WE need THERAPY!!!!!!!