Thursday, April 30, 2015

Mirror Mirror On the Wall | #TellMeABlackPowerStory

I’ve got to smile when it is insinuated that I am a sell out; not Black enough; not down for the struggle because I do not advocate yet another cycle of destruction that White Supremacy will allow to fester and further infect us.  I say, 

I have the nerve to say I do not advocate violence. I have the nerve to say this because I have witnessed the spiral back to the same conditions for Black America as the year I was born, 1964.  I have personally witnessed and participated in the illusion of Post-Racial Renaissance and Feudal System Reaffirmation. I have the good fortune to have shared breath and continue to share breath with people who have witnessed over three cycles of the same old pattern.  

I understand the place of violence. Nothing ever happens until we start burning things down.  Because I understand the way in which violence has always been necessary in the short term.  I have to keep asking what are we going to do different this time?

My friend Mistinguette says it better:
Remember when black folks got tired of police violence in the face of peaceful protest, and started rioting in the late 1960s? And remember the comeback of heroin in the early 1970s, flowing openly into inner cities where there had been uprisings? Remember how the AIDS epidemic killed black men by the hundreds with "junkie pneumonia" in the 1980s before anybody bothered to name it as a disease? If you don't remember the last time this happened, ask somebody who does. Then, connect the dots today.

My friend Eddie Griffin says it better:
Nixon appointed Donald Rumsfeld over the Office of Economic Opportunity in 1969 to run his Economic Stabilization Program, and elevated the Office to Cabinet level. It operated like a CIA program to supplant the Panthers’ Free Breakfast and Free Medical programs. They started a free breakfast program in school, and started giving welfare checks on the 1st and 15th to single mothers. We could not get the people to resist. Instead, they got hooked.

We must stop being White People’s mirror.  In the fairytale of Coal Black, the Mirror started telling the truth.  She told the evil queen that she was not beautiful, Coal Black was beautiful.  The evil queen’s response to that was to go out there and try to destroy Coal Black. The mirror said, “Here is where she is, go get someone who doesn't have any real power to take her out if you want to stay beautiful.”

A twerking example.

What are saying when we twerk. 
This is good music. I will dance. My spirit is still rich enough to connect with the natural rhythms of the universe. I am stardust embodied. I am beautiful.  This my body is strong and powerful This my body holds generations and the power to be eternal.

When enraptured, they gaze into the rhythms of our twerking asses, they say to us:
You are animals. You are a lustful sinner. You are the evil voracious sexuality unchecked. You are out of control. 

What they are really saying:
My people are animals. We are a lustful sinners. We are the evil voracious sexuality unchecked. We are out of control. 

When they appropriate our twerking they say:
My spirit is not rich enough to connect with the natural rhythms of the universe, so I will steal yours. I am not stardust embodied. I am not beautiful.  My body is not strong and powerful.  My body does not hold generations and the power to be eternal. But, I will pretend it is because I must always believe I am better than you are.

And because we are powerful and eternal and connected to a vast universe, we say, Have that. You have not killed our souls. We are not so impoverished that we must steal and loot.  There is always a better idea.  But, we want that White gaze.  We want that White affirmation. We want the benefits of all the Whiteness. So, we let them continue to rampage and pillage every corner of our deepest cellular ancestral connection because we do not ourselves understand how precious it is.

Black Love. It takes discipline, sacrifice, and the head to the grindstone actions to move firmly and without apology into into a Black love space. But, we are to afraid to love ourselves. We have internalized the mirror White people have turned us into.  "You are beautiful," we say,"You are powerful. You are so powerful we will step outside of our highest, most authentic selves."

I do my best to live ethically. I do my best to live consciously. I fail. I correct myself. I do and then I do some more.  

The only purpose of rage in my life is as fuel to refine my excellence.  The only purpose anger has is to burn away the inner barriers which distract me from focusing on my own success.  The despair I experience is useful only in that it forces me to make a plan. A plan to not be in this hellish racism spiral of reaction, reaction, reaction.  

That's what I want to talk about.  Giving priority to the energy, time and commitment to loving ourselves uncompromisingly. 

We need to stop chasing after what White people have and remember that what White people want right now, they stole from our grandmothers.  Home birth? We couldn’t afford a hospital and if we could, they weren’t going to treat us.  Natural remedies? We couldn’t afford any pharmacy.  We had to know how to harvest and make those tinctures ourselves.  

When integration happened, we got so happy they let us up in their stores that we forgot they didn't love us. We acted like we had won something big to be able to hand our money over to people who despise us and use it to continue to injure us. We forgot how healthy we were when we had to pack a basket because people didn't think we deserved to eat. 

That means opting out of the corporate system to the best of our ability.  That means no more take out coffee, no more quick bag of chips snacks, that means not eating at chain restaurants. It means looking for Black vendors. Except in instances of professional development, we must become largely unconcerned with what people think of us. If my shoes tell you about the quality of my character, chances are I really don't need to know you. It means becoming self sufficient. Self-sufficiency takes a lot of time.  

We just need to stop with the begging and pleading and asking. We must start doing for ourselves.  Seed packets are $1.00. I've seen yards with so many weeds that could be growing greens.  I wish every call for a march was a community garden fair where we went yard by yard installing home gardens.  I wish every call for demonstrating against police brutality was a Hood Watch & Patrol training session.  I wish every call for a community garden fair had a childcare exchange program. I wish every call for a march was a planning meeting to create programs for youth to go volunteer to sit willingly and listen to their elders. 

Why aren’t we harvesting the knowledge of our elders to teach us to sew, to repair, to build? And when we do these programs, why are we always looking at White people for money?

I rage. I despair. I fury. I tempest. I work myself into a frenzy.

For exactly five minutes. Then, I get busy thriving. Because every success. Every positive, joyful moment in my life. Every ounce of energy poured into Black Love is worse than a gun, a burning trash can or a broken window. 

Black love is machete. Black love is a fatal blow. Black love chops off White Supremacy's head, legs, and arms, coats them in tar, sets them ablaze with gasoline and buries all the different pieces in unmarked graves across Europe. Black love saves the hair for cloth to look beautiful and the teeth as a warning to others. 

I want my energy to count. If I let them take my Black Peace, they get both my peace and more weapons to continue waging war against me. If I let them steal my Black Health, I die. If I surrender my Black joy, they have my joy and continue to paralyze me with despair.

I do not have any time for burning or talking and boo hooing. There is a garden to tend. There is bread to bake. There are clothes which need to be sewn.  I am too busy building an independent Black life. I have an exit strategy. I work on it daily. I am aware of how very dangerous this is. We have tried many time in the past. These eight Black communities are an example of how powerful Black love is.

The mirror is broken. I no longer want to reflect back anything to anyone in power.   I am not here to for anyone's beauty, I am here for my people.  All of my people. I do not disclose Coal Black's location because I am Coal Black.  The kingdom I am building is mine and always has been. 

Yes. I have the nerve and the gas to say I do not advocate violence.  I understand violence.  And I want more than what it will give us. 

NOTE: This is not the disclaimer note to my White friends and allies to reassure them. If you are really my White friend and ally, you are cheering and saying, "let me know if & when you are ready to connect with me from a position of power in which we can systematically attack all of the roots of oppression."  This is the note where I acknowledge that my revolution is intersectional.  

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