DISCLAIMER: By “White” I mean race, not people with white skin.
“Letters breathe life.”
I don’t care what White people think. I don’t care about their flags. And when the current crop of “Black Activists” get tired of shaking their fists in the air, they still have to come home. But come home to what? Railing against White Supremacy is futile. And I don’t care how many retweets you get, how many Confederate monuments you deface, or flags you take down, you cannot change a racist heart. There’s no point in tearing down somebody else’s stuff when it builds nothing for you.
I say leave the Confederate monuments up, but erect monuments to great Black Americans in close proximity.
America represents slavery regardless of how many Confederate symbols you attempt to eradicate. The Confederacy is America, too. America is based on racism and all flags that represent America are racist — it doesn’t matter how many stars or what direction the stripes are in. You can’t change a racist heart. People have the right to hate you and you have the right not to care. When you shame your enemy into hiding their disdain for you, you only create a more stealthy and crafty opponent. That’s what caused some of y’all to forget you were Black in the first place. Most of what we see is a reaction, not action. You see, Niggas need to stay Black 24/7. A short historical memory is what got us preaching “Black Lives Matter.” Who are you telling it to — the White man or yourselves? If you already know your life matters, there’s no reason for you to proselytize about it.
I get that this may be cathartic for some of you. Well, go ahead and get it all out of your system, but when you’re done, you still have to come home. You will never be acknowledged under the banner of White Supremacy, nor should you want to be. White people are not the arbiters of humanity. They can’t bring you justice, because justice is not any man’s domain, thank God.
Instead of wasting time and energy destroying symbols of White ancestry, we should be building our own. Time spent being angry at White people for being themselves is time away from loving our community. And a movement without Black culture at the center is dead — which is what I see wrong with Black Lives Matter. Holding up signs and chanting you can’t breathe is problematic. Breath is the bridge that connects the body, mind, and soul. Words have power and the mantra you repeat to the universe is exactly what you get back.
This current Black movement is pretty much all histrionics. It is more concerned with social media hits and the coveted CNN appearance than real community groundwork. Forget what racists think about you. Stop wasting your time trying to explain what’s wrong with how they treat you to someone who doesn’t care. Build. Erect. Celebrate. Sure, it’s okay to be angry that we’re still here in this way, but channel that anger to make a contribution towards your people. Attempting to persuade those who seek to oppress you brings you no closer to the truth of who you are.
White Supremacy gave us their religion so when they harm us we are quick to forgive and pray for them. Well, their God is answering your prayers. When I was a child, my aunt taught me if someone hits you, hit them back. So go ahead and hit back, but waging a war against their construct is for the birds. Invest in your heritage. Defend your house. Letter by letter…
So with that, I leave you with a poem I wrote in 2006:
brick by brick
black builders create
structures that defy
what those without
color conceive not
fear doesn’t allow
them to believe
or us to accept
how we are
bound by shackles
but mind is free
smooth as a tsunami
quiet as thunder
slow as the blink of an eye
the pharoah needs no mirror
to shave her face in the night
remember we are lynched
by the same ropes
we used to lift the pyramids
it is our mournful bliss
as we square dance around the prism
passersby in our own land lost
as a pig blindfolded in a bull ring
sleeping with the tell-a-vision
my dreams are fed to me
rendering my subconscience
out of earshot
the hands of the clock stand still
dali watches my every move
diseased mind migrates
while my body jitterbugs
possesed by jungle ghosts
behind the other side of the door
my true self awaits me to answer
you who enslaves yourself
in order to find freedom
— Nicholas Payton aka The Creator of #BAM