I Resign

By Maxjulian

May 20, 2008

Category: Uncategorized

21 Comments »

I have been grappling with – my entire life it seems – questions of identity. I have gone back to the beginning, to a man who enlightened me 30+ years ago with his ability to cut through the rhetoric, expose the blind corners and convenient, comfortable illusions of our species.

Krishnamurti, the anti-guru, the anti-teacher, the anti-philosopher says it too well:

“….That search for security again expresses itself through class divisions, which develop into the stupidity of nationalism and imperialism, breeding hatred, racial antagonism and the ultimate cruelty of war. So through our own egotistic desires we have created a world of nationalities and conflicting sovereign governments, whose function is to prepare for war and force man against man….”

What benefits do I derive from identifying with my “race,” “my religion,” “my nation?!” Are there any benefits?

Krishnamurti identifies fear as the root cause of our need for a jiveass psychic security blanket, a binky, an externalized label that makes us feel warm, fuzzy and o-fucking-kay. And yet, there is no protection and no security behind any label, marker or identifier. You are you and I am me, regardless of what the world calls us or what we pretend to call ourselves.

What slapped me in the face again is the way in which I’ve fallen into a pattern of identifying myself as a black man, a member of the black community, an advocate for black people, a freedom fighter, a freeslave. The prime motivator was and is fear nurtured with brainwashing and coercion.

I am only free when I see and refuse to play THE game. I’m only free (and me) when I confront my deepest fear – being alone in the water with no lifeboat, living life with no chaser or cut card. I know and wear the ‘Mask’ of patriotism expressed through race rhetoric, posing, narrow colored concerns. The fear of dismissal and rejection by my so-called tribe haunts me, the jealous, excommunicating, nitpicking kente set, a people who could never embrace me because they can’t embrace their real selves in the light of day.

They too wear the nationalist blindfolds, refuse to peek out of their colored foxholes, can’t see the stockyard fence that hems them in and leads them to physical, psychological and spiritual slaughter. We’ve learned to lobotomize ourselves with German efficiency.

I see the ignorance, the studied evasion, the terrified, sophisticated grasping for validation, the ravenous need for love…in myself!! I see it in my so-called people, in THEIR ignorance, in their impotent rebellion, wolf tickets sold by spiritual eunuchs. I see this madness in other people – people who are not supposed to be my people. And they are, though they don’t know it and I tend to forget it.

Its such a funny picture: racist termites infest the minds of whites who can’t see, feel or taste it and the black folks, who see too much, the real merged with the hallucinatory, ghosts and shadows frolicking with the child within who never had and chance and who we don’t give a chance.  Far easier to wade in ‘post-traumatic-slave-disorder.’  We drink the stagnant water, the poison we intend for our enemy, who lives in a tra-la-la fantasy world of shallow, monstrous faux conceit and narcissism. Hemlock ain’t nuthin’ but a .40 and a resentment against the white man…and yet, WE die from it.

There are those who howl at any thought of seeing outside of the color-construct:

“COLORBLINDNESS!!!!!!!!!!!!”

FUCK YOU!

Your color-stuck malignancy is precisely why WE can’t shake our dehumanization, can’t see our common humanity and kinship with the white fool who is our ignorant-opposite, the tails’ side of the same coin. No, we’d rather walk with a pimp’s pride and a whore’s dignity. We recall the great civilizations and innovations of “our people,” before our capture and enslavement. 100 years from now, who will recommend us, our civilization, our great offerings? No one because we have none. They will say that our enslavement ended on paper – but not between the ears.

None of our movements have yet freed us from our desire to merge with something or someone else – bigger, stronger, wiser – someone who will solve all of our riddles, protect and save us. From ourselves. That boat will never arrive in time to save our drowning carcass.  It will never arrive at all.  My advice:  Swim, muthafucka, swim!

What happened to the “divinity within?” You?!

I hate white people and black people and religious people and nationalists and patriots and communists and anarchists and all others who live, breathe and die by hand me down tags – cranial brands that they can’t see beyond. Their petty insanity and narrow soul-lessness makes it impossible for them to see the quilt, only the individual panels.  And what results: Man in conflict with man, woman, child, animal and planet.  We are in internalized, dysfunctional conflict with ourselves.

Will you be militantly yourself, or will you be what they tell you you should be, oughta be, what they teach and train you to be?! No one will liberate me and you from that prison, that woodchipper. I charge and convict myself first and foremost of these crimes. And then I charge you with the same.

I hate myself for conforming, for feeling guilt, feeling pressured to raise my right hand and be “BLACK, first, last and always,” to be manipulated by the drunken clergy that cries “SINNER” when black penis touches white pussy, or threatens to. Black and white don’t go together,” two little black girls tipsily sang to me when I was hanging with a white girl one day long ago. This disease of compartmentalized races that must stick to their own kind or else be infected with mongrelized cooties….why this is our spiritual Alzheimers and Everest.

We have become like the pods in “Invasion of the Bodysnatchers,” numb replicas of ourselves that grow and flourish in the basement of our consciousness, our dim awareness and then – when we fall completely asleep – this dead thing replaces us, human no more. Just a vacant, vapid, windup doll, trolling the surface that shackles us in place.

So, while I can’t help but be spiritually and emotionally nekkid when it comes to racism/white supremacy and its discontents, to sexism, homophobia, speciesm, shadism, etc, I’m gonna be blind when it comes to not allowing shade or looks to keep my thinking, my heart, my spirit on the down-low, in a shoebox, programmed, fitting all that I see into a narrow paradigm. And I will remember that, as Krishnamurti puts it, “most people are second hand.” Derivative. Clones. Dead. What do I look like following them, following anybody?! If I meet some free people along the way, I meet some free people along the way. But I don’t need you to hold my hand and support me, nurse me, educate me, prop me up.

NOT seeing is not an option. I say, see ALL that you can see, all of this bullshit including yourself. Don’t just look at the surface sheen, look at the underneath, feel it, take it into your mouth and suck on that lozenge of self-hate and revulsion, the personal powerlessness animated through fake religion, fake militance, fake solidarity, fake, fake fake. Don’t take my world for it, see and feel it for yourself.

Look at how retarded, how limited we are, how underdeveloped, how incapable of seeing except through the borrowed prism through which you see everything, race, gender, etc. You picked it up, read it somewhere – in church, in school, in your political re-education class; dogma that explains your life neatly and folds it like a starched shirt at the Chinese laundry.

But don’t take my word for it; don’t even listen.

I want to know a new freedom whether it includes happiness or not; one that doesn’t require a bulletproof vest, or a moat, a Bible or a Big Book, a woman, a servant, a mob or a movement. I’m dropping all of my dogmatism and crutches – just for today, just this second. No Gods, No Masters and NO ANSWERS – NOTHING unless it comes out of my unique many layered, authentic experience.

21 Responses to “I Resign”

  1. one day at a time- i feel the same way

  2. Thanks, Bet, for coming here consistently.

  3. goodness, after reading this i feel as though you’ve reached into my chest and pulled out the remains of my shredded heart. I am floored right now.

    “I want to know a new freedom whether it includes happiness or not; one that doesn’t require a bulletproof vest”

    you are not alone at all.

  4. Its good to know that I am not alone. Love you guys!!!

  5. Having read this again, I want to urge you to think about publishing it more widely. This is a powerful piece of writing. The anguished passion of your words adds rather than detracts from the potency of your provocative ideas. One can almost feel you physically wresting yourself free.

  6. […] clipped from thefreeslave.wordpress.com […]

  7. You wrote my heart, FS. Why am I not surprised? I’m linking to this post on my blog roll.

  8. Thanks, Changeseeker, and I have a question: how does this avoid being mere colorblind politics?

  9. Damn! You ain’t up to giving out wiggle-room, are ya? ;^)

    Off the top of my head: to me, what you wrote here moves the consideration from the arena of “politics” (having to do with the use and distribution of power) to the arena of “spirituality.” Don’t misread me here. I don’t mean warm-and-fuzzy-esoteric-new-age-mumbo-jumbo type stuff. I mean down-deep-in-the-gut-where-the-rubber-meets-the-road-and-the-individual-psyche/biological-being-meets-history type stuff. My spiritual being (as it were), in the end, I think, gives birth to my political perspective (how the personal and political are connected?) Being one’s whole, unmitigated, unapologetic Self (again, for me) does not, then, wash all the “color” out of the visible image, but rather actually heightens the color (continuing the metaphor). It shines the light of acceptance of all beauty on each individual image.

    A rose garden can be lovely, but the kind of garden I like best is an explosion of all different kinds of flowers: different colors, shapes, heights, sizes, scents, etc. Each flower is beautiful because of the characteristics of the specific group it represents. No flower in such a garden is the only one of its type, though every flower is different in it particularistic manifestations of its group characteristics. Such flowers don’t jockey for position, don’t hold knock-down, drag-out battles to establish hierarchy, don’t engage in sneaky, underhanded and manipulative attacks (either publically or privately) out of ego or greed or ignorance. They just bloom and shine and pass the bees and butterflies one to the other.

    Admittedly, though there is such a thing as weeds, humans are grossly more complicated than flowers. But I think that’s part of what you get at so well here. We complicate the shit. We make it ugly. “Fighting the good fight” (if you will) often creates people and groups not wildly different from each other in important and frequently negative ways. And, of course, capitalism has left virtually all of us all but ruined as keepers of the flame of life.

    Do African-Americans need to band together to survive and bring about change? I think so. Do women and men need to educate themselves about the patriarchy and take organized action against it (again to survive and bring about change)? I think so. Do immigrants and poor people and prisoners (and others) need to see themselves as similarly situated and act accordingly? I think so. But that does not negate the Truth you write in this post.

    “Resigning” as a White person (something I did some time ago, I guess, when I started using the term European-American and then started referring to other European-Americans as “people who look like me”) does not mean I stopped honoring the beauty and experience of people in general and people of color as definitive groups, in particular. But it means that I see all Life (and not just all human life) as sacred. In order to do that, I must be fully Conscious. Conscious of others’ struggles (because of the socially-constructed political notions of “race” and “gender.” And Conscious of any ways in which I have participated on any side of those struggles. In order to be healthy mySelf. This is obviously a lifetime process of Becoming. But it’s the bottom line for me at the end of the day.

    I realize that there is MUCH more to say and think about related to this topic. I am not antagonistic toward and don’t have any argument with those who feel that they must be in a different space at this point in time. In fact, I often support them uncategorically. There’s a reason that in the only photograph we have of Martin and Malcolm together, they’re grinning like delighted children. We don’t have to be clones to be effective or to be allies.

    And I am incredibly Conscious that enemies stalk the Earth, that there are many humans who do not support Life and the other perspectives that rational, loving people naturally support. I do not make them enemies. They make themselves enemies. They may destroy Life on Earth, if they are allowed to do so. I am going to do what I can to stop that process and nurture Life instead. And my full Self represents a number of groups and experiences of which I am an amalgam. But I am also an individual and stand individually responsible for everything that emanates from my center.

    It’s not easy to make sense of all this, but it is reality, to my mind, and therefore, a crucial aspect of the dialogue that will carry us into a sustainable future, if there is to be one.

  10. Sorry to be so long. I think I’ll cross post this on my blog. You made me do some thinking, which I appreciate.

  11. Your post appears on my blog roll now as “On Freeing Yourself”.

  12. CS, I marvel at how people, and this is based on observation, pheromone, intuition: people are so spiritually vivisected. Passing by people who put me, which means they automatically are, in a box. I watch black people – carefully – feel, them, sense them and I see how we’ve internalized the European penchant to break shit up and break it down, shaving and shading, limiting, hemming ourselves in, readying ourselves for a two yard dash.

    Its hard to be human when you’re taught to be a thing, or a half thing. And it sucks to feel the eyes of people sizing me up, chopping me up, squeezing me into a rubber tube that makes it easier for them to digest me. Fucked up!

    Life goes on.

  13. I so hate what “they” do to you, Max, and to all people of color. When I talk about being an ally, I am primarily speaking to that issue above everything else. The mean-spirited, horribly destructive process you just described. Frankly, it’s what makes me willing to take a bullet. I look in people’s eyes and read pain and devastation that should never be inflicted by humans on other humans. And I feel so powerless to do anything except stand beside, encourage, give a cup of water, whatever small thing is momentarily possible to keep the wounded soul alive. God, I’m sorry you have to deal with all that. And understand, I’m not speaking out of some “guilt” complex. I just hear your pain and I’m sorry you have to bear it.

  14. This touched me – Thanks for writing it. I’ll be back 🙂

  15. OK,
    we are arriving, but we are late to the party.

    “The politics of colorblindness” was mother’s milk to me, yet stank of hypocrisy in the all-white room.

    My parents were called to the school when I was in fourth grade, for a meeting with the counselor. Seemed I’d checked the box for “Alaskan Islander” on my standardized test. The wanna-be hippies wouldn’t have that – doncha know.

    That counselor would see that you were black from two blocks away, yet would, with genuine curiosity, ask me if I were Scottish or German.

    Yeah, colorblindness was a myth, but not so much any more – not since black penis has (with increasing frequency) been touching white pussy. The box checking has become exceedingly complex as their beautiful children choose their mates. Will we soon have a page of boxes with catagories, sub-catagories…maybe an index for our fanciful inventions and sublime definitions?

    How long? Too long.
    But penises and pussies are on our side.

    The little ones get it, Max/Julian, Invisible Man, whoever you are. WE are late to the party.

    Your prose is exquisite (but you know that). Good to know that rage is not your only note. And, being a beggar-man thief, I’m taking (most of) your post and assigning it as reading for my class. I can’t not do it now that I know it exists, and that they will learn so much from it.

    If you ever get around to reading this, I hope it echoes the grateful tears streaming down my face.
    So I weep at beauty, so what. Don’t try to squeeze me into YOUR easily digested tube of what and therefore who.
    Fuck you, Sisyphus. Judge me from two blocks away.

  16. quote “Krishnamurti puts it, “most people are second hand.” Derivative. Clones. Dead” unquote .

    This aforementioned statement resonates with me the most, especially since we are in the begining of a new technological age. As more people connect globally we do have the chance to overcome these barriers.

    ________________________But ________________________________

    The brain washing must stop ; However instead of freeing the mind and exploring a new uncharted dimension. We compartmentalize , for example :

    myspace : highly competitive , basic i am more popular than you in my personal life , I know the whole world !

    facebook / linkedin : highly competitve , basically i am more popular in the business world than you

    blogs : a place for like minded people to band together against the world… More often than not outsiders with different points of view , are either ridiculed , called trolls and/or requested to be banned.

    Instead of opening our minds are creating and participating in crowd thought , we are compartmentalizing so we can understand identify and single out outsiders, ones who don’t follow the designated train of thought. Truth is shown and learned by listening , to varigated opinions , however today we are being swept away by brainwashed mindless , thoughtless chatter and rubbish . Not really knowing what is true or not true , speaking without research or just simply thinking .. We as humans are always ready to be bought and sold for the right spiel. In essence it all becomes bullshit , we end up just like ants .

    The situation we are in today, race and all of it’s multilayered constructs, cannot be stopped it must continue it’s course . Will it end negatively or positively ? That only depends on all of us , are we ready to open our minds , dig deep and see what we are in reality , or do we still need those rose color sunglasses?

  17. For my perspective on CNN’s upcoming series Black America (July 23 & 24):
    http://originalblackbuddha.blogspot.com/2008/07/special-reports-black-in-america.html

    The Original Black Buddha

  18. I know a person who treats the Big Book like the Bible or like Mao Tse Tung’s Red Book: as the source of the one and only truth. I find the proselytizing and rigidity annoying. I see some truths there, but anyone who believes they have the one and only answer is a person (or a movement or religion) who becomes insufferable.

    I find that my color-arousal analysis frees me from the received wisdom of whites and Blacks regarding skin-color politics and psychology. Skin color exists and I can observe the response of myself and others to my skin color and their skin color. I don’t need “race” to do that, although the treatment of Blacks by the USDA shows that some color-aroused problems are also systemic institutions.

    Now that I live in a party of Brasil where couple walk the streets hand in hand, with various skin colors in their family group and no self-consciousness about it, I find that I really need to immerse myself in this new culture until I learn that a white person and a Black person walking hand in hand, wearing the same gold rings, is not an anomaly everywhere. I’m challenged to reflect on my US-learned Black color-arousal training and to realize that truths from the USA are not necessarily identical truths everywhere.

    The differences between color-arousal in Brasil and the United States are at least as interesting and deserve at least as much attention as the similarities. That’s my challenge and it’s why I’ve begun my Brazil with Pleasure blog, so that Post Traumatic Oppression and Depression Syndrome learned in the USA will not define and delineate the bounds of my life and mental reality in the present.

    I can’t hold on to past hurts and attitudes simply out of habit. I need to see where I (and we) are today, with new eyes, and write about what I see and experience TODAY.

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