Version 2.0

Culture, healing, politics and bullshit - Not necessarily in that order

The general, socio-political and very personal rantings and ravings of a hip hop head from the hood hustling for change... Of himself.

You all know me and are aware that I am unable to remain silent. At times to be silent is to lie. For silence can be interpreted as acquiescence.
—Miguel de Unamuno


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Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Fear And Loathing Of My Footprint And Reflection

A while ago, I curtailed my frequent blogging in order to have the time (since I had more of it) to spend with family and friends and to please certain folks that said that I lived way too much in this virtual world than in the real one. I also chose to shut the hell up about political things because early on (like when I went to work on the Obama campaign in 08'... That early), I saw a pattern.

I didn't predict anything. I didn't go out and warn anyone. I made snide comments to my wife and close friends about it and for the most part, they agreed because they saw some things too. Things changed. It was more visual and industrialized. It began to manifest itself in legal circles and in the water cooler conversations of folk that had kept long quiet over other things... They always had questions and opinions, so did it really change? The questions were simple:

  • questions about my hair (?)
  • religious beliefs
  • what I did in the privacy of my home
  • what I read and listened to
  • what my influences were
  • about my patriotism
  • where my parents and their parents came from
Stuff like that. Questions based out of fear... Fear of the unknown. The moment a certain event happened in the scant first days of November of 2008, that fear lead folks to realize a permanent change in the look of the structure of history which could lead to (in their minds) catastrophic levels of failure and destruction based on who now held the reigns. All of this was based on what someone looked like. It no longer mattered, even though the majority of folks that looked, spoke and acted like this one person had a major hand in building, legislating, raising of the children and fighting for the spot where you read this. The cubicle, your sofa, your bed, laptop and wireless internet included. But because some folks didn't know...

I'm sure somewhere down the line in my last 25 years or so of adult life there was an invitation to my book club meeting. Or barbeque. Or baby shower (I've hosted 3 at my spot). Or even bidwhist and fish fry night. I invited a lot of folk only to have a chosen few actually take me up on the offer and come through the crib. I'm also sure over the last three to four hundred years when were were having sex, secretly baring each other's children and living like families, lusting after each other totally taking advantage of and disavowing all of the laws taboo in those gray areas of the red and blue states from then to now by participation, you've seen how we were livin'.

Even though I know that probably wouldn't have mattered in your eyes seeing that a lot of times when it came down to striking the record, they were firmly shut. Names, places and deeds were never recorded.

I'm still paying on (and have defaulted on 2) student loans that I used to educate myself. A lot of folks I personally know are either somewhat or very heavily educated as well. I've bought and sold a piece of real estate, the majority of folk I frequent own and have owned property as well. I'm not a churchgoer, but dammit, if I ain't invited to Sunday service (as well as holiday food fests) by every sibling, cousin, co-worker and neighbor. I am also a veteran of the United States Armed Forces, and I spend maybe a quarter of my time with the men and women like myself who have served. I know a lot of blood relatives as well as folk that are no relation to me that have folk laying in the ground because they chose to fight to uphold the freedoms of this land. Looking a lot like me.

Yet I am still marginalized.
Yet I am undervalued.
Yet I remain underestimated.
My brown cousins to the south are seen as 'mostly drug mules'

How am I supposed to take the passing of one on the longest sitting senators in our country's history when I know, but can't raise holy hell about his Civil Rights Bill filibuster when a true fucking idiot with a black board ridicules and calls himself correcting the words, intent and purpose of Martin Luther King Jr.?

When in confirmation hearings just yesterday, the recently departed senator's peers questioned, belittled and made political farce out of Justice Thurgood Marshall's intent, interpretation of law and impartial decisions?

You see, what had happened was... Racism never left. It never died. It was always taught and carried forward. It manifested itself in the dangling carrot of TV mini-series and open slots for shows in my youth and teen years of the 70s and 80s. It became the bottom, open bid space for negroes and boriqua who had the courage to step forward and offer a service over the years. It is the token spots on the board, the magical million dollar negro who scores touchdowns or could dunk a basketball that saved many corporate structures and created brand new ones, industries perhaps because that one person put asses in the seats.

We are the bronze spectacle. We have become equivalent to all three rings in the damned circus. The wonderment of what powers us and the curiosity on how and if we could do it again is still very present, as if the billions of autopsies from hung, beaten and shot descendants of the diaspora had not given enough answers.

And now my peers feed into the superhyperniggerisms because that rent is due. Gotta get your hair and nails done. Gotta have the latest must-haves sent down on that last memo from corporate... And then I chuckle when the clueless cats plead for peace on the newspaper and internet comment sections, wondering why we still isolate ourselves and have the mitigated gall to want to brand our own because that propels racism.

Simple: If Hollywood, corporate America and the like actually included brown folks back in the day... If history, art and science didn't shun the native peoples and immigrants from the diaspora and then teach it as if our ancestors had nothing to do with the advancement of anything... If a plaque honoring the slaves and free men (of all nationalities, because there were more than African descended slaves) who built the current capital of our great nation was placed in 1910 instead of 2010... If history, religion and legend were taught without an ounce of arrogance...

There would be no need for my Twitter timeline to still be scattered with bullshit observations of the BET Awards.

But I overstand. With the spending power ranked 11th in the world and with $2.3 billion spent on commercial advertising (just on the major networks and terrestrial radio), I get it that it is up to us to finance the exact systems that suppress us and deny us. And to think, most of em' still don't know who we are.

Wait... Does that mean that we're the scared ones?

13 comments:

Big Mark 243 said...

Damn bro, you said a mouthful! No need to pick at 'here and there', because you said so much and it is what you see.

The time is always now, so don't worry that it isn't 1910 for a brother to take office... that might mean the Pilgrims don't get here until 1520 or something WORSE happens. Got to work with what we have now.

There is an article in the Sunday Freep about how many folks from the hood live without banking services. From not trusting, not having proper ID, to not being responsible with keep track of their accounts, folks would rather pay 3% of their pay, child support, social security checks to the party store. Not to mention the ursury that goes down at the check cashing places and payday lending places.

Now, we can hue and cry about 'the white man's system, but it isn't like we can't play and if it took every bit of 400 years for one of ours to run the show, then that is what it took.

I guess I am wondering when we gonna try to right ourselves? Being back in the Metro and seeing I guess around 15 different teens run through here and only ONE has a remote shot at getting involved in the game by going to community college, how long are we going to point to the game that has to be played in America and all the while willfully making sure that we are going to lose, thinking that the BET Awards show merits more attention and conversation than the Oil Spill and the fat pockets that helped to finance many campaigns of suckers who are in charge of this nation?

Ooh, did say this was 'your thing' and intended to let it be, but hey, if we were local and at the coffee house (cause I don't drink enough to be in a lounge, but I'd go if the burgers are phaT!) this is the direction the conversation would be headed...

... maybe I will go to the Sweetwater Tavern and drink a beer to you this weekend. Have to get a ride cause the bus runs sketchy on the weekends. We will see.

Aly Cat 121 said...

"And to think, most of em' still don't know who we are." Ohhh they KNOW us alright, probably better than most know themselves.

Mr. Richardson went to an advertising conference (cuz you know he work in the mouth of the beast) in San Francisco called Ad-Tech in April. And honey if I tell you that those people have us DOWN. They had all kinds of different segments on "ethnic/multicultural" marketing and advertising. And guess who was running and moderating those segments? Wasn't none of us. It's some DEEEEEPPP sh*t. Even spooked the hubby a little and he KNOW the game cuz he play it.

And yeah you know how I feel about the other sh*t. Most mo'fo's feed into the bullsh*t on teLIEvison about what's going on and what's happening. I keep telling folks that CRITICAL THINKING is a SERIOUS thought crime. Education don't mean jack if you're a f*cking SHEEP. Please don't get me started in Knee-grows (you know I LOVE that word LOL)

Anonymous said...

Well, the undervaluation and marginalization is not going to go away. We are Israel. God called the end from the beginning. We got whipped then because we knew better and didn't repent; we're getting whipped now because we refuse to know better and are blindly doing what our forefathers did -- that is, following tradition. And most tradition is a damn LIE. Check Isaiah 1:2-4, 19-20 and all of Isaiah 3 to Isaiah 4:1. TELL ME this isn't talking about Black people right now. The Bible has our entire history recorded in it. It contains prophecy of what would happen and what we would do, and it happened (and is happening). It spells out exactly what you were blogging about, too.

I'm glad you don't go to church on Sunday. Please don't. It's the WRONG day to worship on. You could get cut off for doing that -- Exodus 20:8-11 and Leviticus 23:3.

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