“My master tole us dat de niggers started the railroad and that a nigger looking at a boiling coffee pot on a stove one day got the idea dat he could cause it to run by putting wheels on it. Dis nigger, being a blacksmith, put his thoughts to action by making wheels and put a coffee pot on it, and by some kinder means, he made it run an’ the idea was stole from him and day built de steam engine.”
— Mrs. Fanny Berry, a former slave born in 1823 (Weevils in the Wheat/Slave Narratives from Virginia ex slaves
For those that don’t know, in the 1930s, President Franklin Roosevelt employed writers to capture the stories of former slaves before the generation died out. There were many collections, including Weeviles in the Wheat. VERY interesting, enlightening reading. Stuff those history books don’t want to tell you. Things the writers of those history books most likely don’t know and didn’t think interesting enough to research.
I don’t blame white folks for not wanting to tell these stories; it makes them uncomfortable to discuss and confront. So it makes more sense to say it was in the past, or why bring up old wounds. But I need for MY black children to know of their own Holocaust and what was in their past, so that they don’t dishonor their ancestors by making a fucking fool of themselves or acting in a way that justifies the horrible treatment Black people are going to get at the hands of evil people who are just acting out the evil their forefathers bequeathed to them.
I thought I’d share something from my Facebook page. I wrote that. I write lots of thoughtful stuff, in between posting Twerk videos, chatting with frat brothers, and rehashing jokes, streetfights, and the occasional reposted Facebook Movement B.S. Plenty of those posts are buried under more posts and tagged photos and again, more bullshit.
But today, I thought about the state of race relations in America, and… No. I woke up around 5 a.m., and had thought about my relationship status, and how my lady was raised by her White mother, how she is a Black woman trapped in White skin and straight hair, and how she had to learn to be Black by the media, the ill-educated (about themselves) Black community, other Black women, and ultimately the White dominated American environment she lives in. You may be wondering what that had to do with Black and White. Well, let me ask you a question: What do you think it means to be Black? Is it simply Black skin? Is it a nationality? Is it ethnic? Culture?
Black in America means something different than Black in any other country on this earth. You see, here in America, as a Black person, you are an ex-slave. Everything about being a Black man or Black woman in America has to trace itself back to slavery. Because without slavery, there would be no America. We wouldn’t have the White House. Slavery enabled America to be able to afford to revolt against England and declare itself a sovereign nation. Imagine: 400 years of FREE labor. You could kill a man if you wanted without going to jail (Casual Killing Act of 1669) — which, by the way, sounds a lot like the authority the Police have to kill Black men if the death occurred in the process of doing your job. You could force them to work when they were sick, there were no Labor Laws to place a limit on how many hours to make them work (seriously, did you think there was minimum wage? overtime? lunch breaks?). America prospered because of slavery, and everything the slaves suffered from hatred, to glass ceilings to low self-esteem, to anger they had to suppress turning cancerous to broken families and psychological problems…
Ooh. My next point. Take for example the following argument (also a post from my Facebook wall):
(paraphrasing) “You have to understand, after being take from their homeland, snatched from parents early, poorly fed, forced to work even when sick, beaten daily, long hours, no control over their own lives, constantly under a whip–lashing out violently and disobedience was bound to happen…”
↑↑ An animal trainer explaining elephants and tigers who suddenly attack their trainers. How is it that we can understand this <– but not that –>?? You feel me?
I hope you didn’t think that if a people were taken from their homeland, brutalized for an entire lifetime, then those brutalized people (with all the psychological damage they suffered because of it) raised a generation of children who were then brutalized as well, and then they raise a generation… and then the people are “freed” but continued to be brutalized through the Jim Crow era, then their children are brutalized through the civil rights movement, then their children are the most likely people to be drafted for the Vietnam War, then their children (continuing to be brutalized now, but by the police) are introduced to jobs, prosperity, film, gangster rap, drugs and alcohol (seriously, you didn’t think BLACK people invented crack cocaine did you?) until they took the reins from the White man and started brutalizing each other… Do you honestly believe these people are somehow 100% responsible for their behavior and thinking?
Tell you what. Let me take you hostage for one short year. I will treat you the way the slaves were treated. I will beat you daily, sell your children, rape your wife, force you to work whether you were sick or not, whether the weather was nice, 100 degrees or 20 degrees in the snow. Then I’ll let you free, and you tell ME if:
- Your behavior will be normal,
- If your thinking will be normal,
- If your relationships will be normal, and
- If you are fully responsible for any crazy shit you do
But it’s so much easier to say that this is a thing of the past, and that the bad behavior of the Vietnam Vet was fully his fault and he’s a grown man, so blah blah blah. Hell, the war was over, what–40 years ago? Can’t you just get over it? Why do you flinch everytime you hear thunder? Can’t you tell the difference between thunder and a mortar attack?
I’m sure none of your educated, politically correct Black friends will tell you this. But my white brothers and sisters, Black people DO have a problem fostering normal relationships. They have a major issue with authority and are very insecure when it comes to feeling respected and slighted. They are very defensive. When provoked, Black people will resort to extreme violence instead of talking about it. And the reason why is because YOU taught them that. YOU laid the foundation for this environment and the psychological damage they suffer–while generations ago–was inflicted by your ancestors, generations ago. You still reap the benefits from that relationship, trust me. Black people aren’t poor because of laziness. We need to get this out. To deny the pathology of why these things exist in the Black community is to deny past guilt because it makes you uncomfortable, but it still needs to be discussed. To act as if Black people should just “get over it” because slavery is over, is like telling the cancer victim to ignore his tumor and just “think positive” and make the most out of his life. Forgiveness and healing is a two way street; both the wronged and the wrong-doer must come to terms, and both parties must heal (yes, YOU too, must heal). There is something called “Post Traumatic Slave Syndrome”, similar to “Post Traumatic Stress Disorder” and I believe both Black people as well as White people suffer from it. No one has undergone therapy for it, and it will just grow more infected until it either bursts or turns into another disease. You must not ignore it.
One last post from my wall. It has as much to do with White men as it does Black men:
“Boy I’m gonna beat yo *Black* ass! I’m gna take some branches, braid it together, pull your pants down and humiliate you, beat that ass till I’m too tired to whup (whip) you, beat you till you submit to my authority–and I’m gonna make YOU go get it, you Black ass child!” Dang, do you think this might have come from someplace else? We’ve certainly learned our Black history, haven’t we? Might be time to rethink some things about our culture… And how we parent our kids.
My lady thinks she knows a lot about being Black just because her grandmother is Black, and she likes Black music, and Black men. But there is a major part of being Black that is so much deeper and cannot be trivialized by the size of your ass or your dick, the brownness of your skin, the roll of your eyes, and the diction in your voice. Black in America is nothing like Black in Nigeria, or Black in Cuba, or Black in Jamaica. There is something that is so deep it cannot be seen, and until you know what it is–understanding it and reconciling it–you are at the mercy of forces that mean you no good. Likewise for what it means to be an American (yes, even a White American), because without this Black man and without this knowledge, the White American is carrying a cancer from five generations back that will not heal on its own. Though you don’t see it, you definitely feel it–although you may not recognize what it is. And the first step to understanding it is to rid yourself of the disease called “denial”. Denial of guilt. Denial of truth. Denial of history. Denial of what must come next.
And as always, I post this in love, not hate. Thanks for visiting my blog.