There is no such thing as racial equality, because race is a false construct designed for the specific purposes of ensuring inequality. And though the concept of race may be false, the consequences are very real. It is because of race that we’re always plagued with concepts of superiority and inferiority. Culture has a natural respect for other culture. The powers that be don’t want us to exist on a cultural plane because no one can dominate there. Culture is fluid, expressive, artistic, and most of all, human.
When Christopher Columbus introduced capitalism to the New World, it signified a shift in world thought. The age-old defense for racism is that people were enslaved before European colonialism, but it was a different type of slavery. It wasn’t the brand of chattel slavery that was introduced around the middle of the 15th century. The mass genocide of ancient peoples of indigenous cultures changed the tenor of society at large. We are not born a race, we are raced.
Another excuse for the perpetuation of racism is that the very discussion of race is racist, which is plausible. To talk about something is to acknowledge it, and has the power to be spoken into existence. The flip side is that there is no way to dismantle racism without discussing it. We live in a world of words, and those words are attached to thoughts and create ideas. The first rule of colonization is to change the name of that which you wish to have control over. The next thing you do is disallow those you wish to oppress from speaking their native tongue. Not only can they not communicate with one another, but they have to change how they communicate with themselves. Next you force them to speak your language, worship your God, and so forth.
“So, if you really want to hurt me, talk badly about my language. Ethnic identity is twin skin to linguistic identity — I am my language. Until I can take pride in my language, I cannot take pride in myself.”
― Gloria E. Anzaldúa, Borderlands/La Frontera: The New Mestiza
When you take away a people’s ability to communicate with one another in their language, you take away their humanity. They can no longer see themselves as they were or as they are. They are forced to see themselves through the oppressor’s lens. Our relationship with one another is what makes us human. English has become the international language, and because the most powerful English-speaking nation is America, American thought has become the most pervasive. That’s what’s so important about Congo Square — one of the only places in America where the enslaved Africans were allowed to practice drumming, dancing, singing, and other rituals. Because their oppressors underestimated the Africans’ spiritual practices as simply a way for the enslaved to amuse themselves, the Africans developed a new language, The Blues.
This is not to be taken lightly. Long before there was a Civil Rights Movement, The Blues was the first liberator of the displaced African mind. It is through The Blues that our African ancestors reconnected to their memory of who they were before they were slaves. And though they were forced to believe in a god that looked nothing like them, they were able to see the biblical allegory in how the story of the oppressed children of Israel related to their current situation. And even though Europeans created God in their own image by making Jesus a White man, Black people strongly identified with his loving, yet persecuted spirit. What many of the slaves probably didn’t recognize at the time was that this Jesus they were worshipping shared many parallels with the gods of their ancient African mythologies, which predated Christianity by centuries.
The word “ism” often implies a condition, category or doctrine, whereas “ology” denotes the science or study of a particular subject. When an “ism” is involved, it’s typically something that’s been defined which someone is trying to put on you. With an “ology,” there’s usually room for exploration.
The All-Seeing I of Whore Us, Sun of God
Horus is a mythological Egyptian god born of the Virgin Isis on December 25th in a manger. Being known as “lord of the sky,” Horus was considered a sun god. Over time, the name was abbreviated to Hor. Isn’t it ironic that “whore” in English is a disgraceful word, which is a great example of how colonization through language can blaspheme the spiritual practices of the oppressed and make what was once profound, profane. It’s akin to how the English language bastardized the Latin word for black, “niger,” which shares phonetics with the Sankrit word “naga,” which means snake. Snakes, or nagas in many ancient cultures, were gods. In English thought, a snake is typically a lowdown being which can’t be trusted. Just goes to show how language can transform a deity into something dirty. So the next time someone calls you “whore,” “Nigger,” or “snake,” don’t get upset. They’re just acknowledging the God within you.
Blame It On The Son
“As long as you think you’re white, there is no hope for you.”
— James Baldwin
Black people are a resilient people to have survived the atrocities they have over the last 5 centuries, but it’s time to stop getting by and start living. Black people can’t end racism because Black people didn’t create it. This is something White people must resolve amongst themselves. And being Black is not the same as being White. Black is just another word for African. White specifies no cultural ties in particular. It is merely a social title whose sole existence is for the perpetuation of an idea of superiority in the race totem pole which engenders the White race with dominion over all others. There was a time where you had to at least have white skin to be White, and even then that wasn’t enough. Now Supremacy is doled out to anyone who worships at the White altar.
So when you attack race, you’re not attacking people, you’re attacking an idea — and a false one at that. And it doesn’t make you racist for talking about race. It makes you human.
— Nicholas Payton aka The Creator of #BAM