by: Chris Carr
“To benefit from violent or horrible acts is equivalent to being a proponent or advocate.”
Author Note: The following was written as a note to myself, a manifesto of focus. I never planned on publishing it or presenting it so it is written in a personal manner from personal experience. It is not written in the format of academic analysis nor media coverage. These are my thoughts and questions and statements to myself and society.
Do you believe that Black people are human? If so, how could you allow us to be treated this way historically in America? To be complicit in a crime is not the same as being an accomplice but it is part of allowing the acts to continue. To benefit from violent or horrible acts is equivalent to being a proponent or advocate. The way America treats Black society and people is and has been violent.
How many Africans were killed in the colonial process prior to slavery as Britain, Germany, Belgium, The Netherlands, Portugal (and how ever many others) ravaged various geographical regions of Africa taking land, people and resources? How many Africans died in transport to the new world never to make it to South America, The Caribbean or North America? How many Africans, once brought to those places, were tortured, enslaved, had their culture or language stripped from them and were treated as non human? How many died while enslaved in or in the process of seeking freedom and abolishing slavery?
Post civil war, how were Black citizens treated – still brutalized and victimized by KKK and similar groups, lynch mobs, the police, and white citizens all the way to the Civil Rights Movement. Post 1965, how many people of African descent have been victims of the prison industrial complex, gun companies and international drug syndicates sponsored by our government, and political/economic policies to never allow us to gain equal footing?
How is this OK with y’all? Why aren’t you mad every day? Why are you mad that I get mad? I should be mad. I should be frustrated.
If we lived in a country that said, “we don’t care about freedom, we lock up more people than anywhere, we don’t believe in equality, we will not treat women equally, we will separate folks based on skin color – do not expect to have the same opportunities as the white men,” I would be unhappy, but I would at least know what to expect and understand of the true social environment.
But we don’t. We claim that this is the land of the free. We claim we are the last world superpower. We claim our American ideals of liberty and democracy and free market are the pinnacle of civilization and need to be spread globally. If you want to keep living a lie OK…but don’t expect me to keep living it, accept it or support it.
Recently people who have never been the victims of racism or traumatized by racism have been telling me how to cope with racism; amongst my friend group, with my poetry, my Facebook posts or my mentality. What I have to say to them is – focus on racism, not me and how I manage it. Work to stop it. Break the cycle.
I find it ironic every time a colonizer comments about how annoying it is to consistently hear about racism or race issues…imagine how annoying it is living it?
Why do you believe the history you have been told?
Who told it?
To whose benefit?
Why would they lie?
Why do we have the belief that humans are inherently violent?
Why do we believe that separation, in group out group, is natural or natural in race expression?
How do you create a new narrative that is neither the product of the colonizer or the response to the colonizer? What other options are there?
Why do we believe all the White people here were slave owners and all the Black people were slaves?
Issues to consider in terms of race/race relations and problems with gathering information:
Biology – genotype, phenotype, and the fact that we are all the same species.
Race is a construct. Is it rooted in geographic location, ethnicity, nationality, tribalism? How do you define it? At what point are you “black” or not?
What defines “white”?
How many of y’all learned about these subjects outside of the Western Greco, Roman, European ideological construct?
The other side of this is that I have hope. I have seen things change and I have seen society develop over the past forty years. I do believe the internet will allow us to communicate and share information and link with like minded folks all around the globe. I do believe some of the impoverished and exploited will be able to get access to education and information that will be beneficial. I do believe society is moving in a positive direction in terms of certain issues.
My fear is that in certain ways, we are regressing. There were people in the 60s and 70s that weren’t black but were so appalled by our government’s treatment of Black people that they marched in solidarity, they sent letters to congress, they formed organizations to assist in the Civil Rights Movement, they boycotted. This is what has to happen now. Black people can not force White society to change unless it’s by force and that is moot. White people will have to catalyze change in their neighborhoods where they have never allowed us to live, in their businesses where they have never allowed us to work and in their mind space where we don’t exist as humans.
If we did, how would y’all allow society to do this to us.
It’s not about Black or White or Asian or Mesa-American to me, or one group being inherently good or bad, it’s about history, teleology and social evolution. It’s about mentality and action. Are you a colonizer or the colonized? Are you actively engaged in mental or physical rebellion/revolution/change?
But more than black or white…I really think it comes down to a simple concept – the colonizer mentality – and the consequent of the mercantile empires; ie the use of resources and distribution taken from one area and exported to another.
There is another element of structural racism and the social psychology. At the same time the history and culture and truth of the Black or African experience were eradicated or hidden, the myth of the White experience was propagated. Europeans and Whites pushed a false narrative of superiority, global control and un-obstructed opportunity.
White people seem not to realize that the majority of them are the colonized as well. The majority of them are being exploited for labor and working to get out of debt in a fiat money system.
Historically, Most White people were not slave owners. In the early colonies, the White Americans were subjects of the British, the Irish, the Italians, the Slavs, the European Jews, all used by the colonizers to help build America and exploit labor – the Chinese railroad builders, the Indians brought to Trinidad, all these different people have been exploited by the colonizer but now the colonizers have us fighting each other. All these groups that at different times had solidarity…are fragmented.
Why? Why are we comparing our struggles and fighting with each other instead of seeing the common experience and working together to stop the colonizers?
So – this is my real question – how do we build solidarity? How do we stop exploiting each other? How do we reframe an issue that has taken over 1000 years to develop? In the history of humanity racism is a new social construct but in our era it, like God, may not be real…but because people believe in it, it is having dire consequences on all of us.