Now, back to our regularly scheduled program . . .
The New PBS = Pile Bigger and Stinkier
I was watching the above show on PBS the other night, and I have to say, I found the whole premise extremely offensive. Here you have these privileged, White Americans romanticizing the struggle of these women of color from abroad, but I’m sure they could care less about what women of color go through in their own country. We are constantly bombarded with images that serve to humiliate and debilitate women of color right here in America, but domestic oppression isn’t sexy enough for these people. There’s more gratification in absolving their guilt in foreign soil. You can see how they almost fetishize the lifestyles of these women and young girls. I find it to be sick and endemic of the colonialist attitudes that are rife throughout the republic of the United States.
Over The Rainbow
It’s common knowledge that slaves of African descent in America were not allowed to read. The Oppressor understands that to properly control a people, you have to limit their access to information and obstruct the development of critical thinking or else they’ll be hard to condition. These days, the shackles are off, but the vestiges of chattel slavery still exist.
Jim Crow has a new name: Post Race.
Many Americans love to believe that we are far beyond discrimination, but I believe it to be more prevalent than ever in many ways. At least there was no question of what slavery looked like back in the day. But now it’s subtle and disturbingly imperceptible to most people. The oppressed are now as invisible as Ralph Ellison’s Invisible Man. Clint Eastwood illustrated this brilliantly whilst talking to an empty chair during the 2012 RNC.
When Clint said “We own this country,” is the same “We” as in “We the people…,” and that “We” does not historically include people of color. That “We” is the same “They” Michael Jackson sang… don’t really care about “Us.” You dig?
This current election has brought a lot of latent racism bubbling to the surface. I’ve experienced a lot of this first hand in the way of being blacklisted from some performing arts venues in my own country. Because I have been so outspoken about the injustices people suffer in this world, because I have reminded them they make money and owe their livelihoods to Black music, because I say “mothafucka” I have been labeled by a some as persona non grata.
As a Black man, I am supposed to be invisible. I am not allowed to be a man, lest The Man will put me in my place. We witnessed this to a great degree on the first debate between Romney and Obama. Obama was very calculated about his responses. He knows that the slightest amount of hostility detected in his tone, and he’s labeled as angry and incendiary. He would then be looked at in the light of his former mentor and pastor– Jeremiah Wright.
I knew from the moment Obama disavowed his ties with Reverend Wright, that he was not going to be the Black president most people of color thought him to be. I never could figure out what was so wrong with what Reverend Wright said anyway. He was absolutely Wright! You may not like what he said, you may not like the way he said it, you may even disagree, but it is no less true. Barack’s not a Black president; he’s a president who happens to be Black–big difference.
He’s good for the occasional Negro nod every now and then whenever it’s convenient to connect with his Black constituency, but he is very careful to never make it a part of his platform. Notice how Michelle made references during the DNC to gay rights and women’s rights, but didn’t speak at all to the racial injustices people of color–including her husband–still suffer in America.
In America, when a person of color fights for freedom in the form of violence against The Oppressor, it’s called terrorism, but when The Oppressor commits an act of violence against a person of color, it’s called Democracy.
From a political standpoint, President Obama is a White Liberal in blackface.
In the last debate, President Obama was clear of his support of the oppressive State of Israel, which shares a lot in common with the United States. The Holy Land and The Land of The Free are now both imperialist occupancies, which have used colonialist and racist tactics to obliterate the natives and erect empires that seek to exploit people of color through violent means. When one is oppressed by violent force, logic dictates that violent force may be the only way to real freedom. That’s the American way, except for when those chickens come back home to roost; then it’s anti-American.
Power To The People
The Emancipation Proclamation is a joke. The Civil War ended chattel slavery, but Black people still aren’t free. I don’t condone violence, but people aren’t typically released from an oppressive state peacefully. Makes sense, as oppression is usually carried out by forceful means. That’s essentially what the Black Power movement was about.
The United Status-Quo of America
The real travesty of racism is that no colored person is ever allowed to fight for his own freedom without being vilified. Even peaceful protests are considered hostile against The State. As a person of color, the default setting is that you are politicized and criminalized. White is the standard by which every person of color is judged. You are a slave and you ultimately own nothing. All of your possessions are The Oppressor’s and you dare not question it. This is the crux of racism and is why no person of color can be racist–prejudiced, sure–but not racist.
Politics = Pile-’O-Dicks
Obama’s presidency is not authentically symbolic of Black freedom. It’s a political chess move using Obama as a Black piece to keep people of color in check on an attempt to obliterate ethnic culture completely through faux assimilation into White culture. We have not arrived to The Promised Land. It’s a trick. Wake up, people.
Geordi La Forging Ahead . . .
With all the trickery and deception and corruption abound in the world, is there any hope for liberation? I know there is and I can guarantee you neither of these presidential candidates has the answer. It’s within and we all have access to it.
LeVar Burton’s character on Star Trek, Lt. Commander Geordi La Forge was born blind, but he wore a VISOR (acronym for Visual Instrument and Sensory Organ Replacement) that enabled him to see things that others with sight could not. Because of the way the visor was fixed to his face with screws in his temples, (Ha, temples…) he suffered a headache for nearly 7 years. In addition to that, the visor limited Burton’s vision by about 85%. It took him a couple of seasons to learn how to navigate around the set without bumping into things.
Even in outer space a Black man has to suffer. But we Blacks are resilient. We have endured a lot, and still, “I” rise–to quote a poem:
You may write me down in history
With your bitter, twisted lies,
You may trod me in the very dirt
But still, like dust, I’ll rise.
Does my sassiness upset you?
Why are you beset with gloom?
‘Cause I walk like I’ve got oil wells
Pumping in my living room.
Just like moons and like suns,
With the certainty of tides,
Just like hopes springing high,
Still I’ll rise.
Did you want to see me broken?
Bowed head and lowered eyes?
Shoulders falling down like teardrops.
Weakened by my soulful cries.
Does my haughtiness offend you?
Don’t you take it awful hard
‘Cause I laugh like I’ve got gold mines
Diggin’ in my own back yard.
You may shoot me with your words,
You may cut me with your eyes,
You may kill me with your hatefulness,
But still, like air, I’ll rise.
Does my sexiness upset you?
Does it come as a surprise
That I dance like I’ve got diamonds
At the meeting of my thighs?
Out of the huts of history’s shame
Up from a past that’s rooted in pain
I’m a black ocean, leaping and wide,
Welling and swelling I bear in the tide.
Leaving behind nights of terror and fear
Into a daybreak that’s wondrously clear
Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave,
I am the dream and the hope of the slave.
The Spaceship Has Landed . . .
Rise, Kunta, rise! La Forge may be blind, but the visor of oppression has not defeated him. Instead, it has given him greater vision. I rise. The eyes have it.
Though American politics is a sham, if you haven’t already, please make it your duty to go to the polls to vote tomorrow. People died for us to have the right to vote. When you vote, it’s your voice. We must speak. And though your vote may not count, it is a symbolic gesture and an exercise in freedom of expression.
A majority of the American people are oppressed, regardless of color. We’re all targets–but when you’re Black–you’re the bull’s-eye.
- Nicholas Payton aka The Savior of Archaic Pop