The Supreme Court heralded a post racial society in its recent decision on affirmative action. After the decision, Craven Blunder (Cliven Bundy) and Donald Sterling kindly set the nation straight on such notions, and in case you didn't hear a congressman referred to a Black reporter as an ape. Before I could finish this and publish... a rural police commissioner called President Obama a nigger, really, this could all be so simple but some would rather make it hard. It’s not Black or White. We know that The Blunders, Sterlings and Trumps and are not isolated in their thinking they simply express those thoughts in isolated venues with implicit agreement among peers where such thoughts are aired. This is not only a White phenomenon it is also a prevalent Black phenomenon. I will not relate anecdotal examples of the Black version of the phenomena (I know you want me to though), just take my word for it a Black woman sitting here listening to Biggie Smalls while I work this piece of writing into a coherent meaningful artful slice of the written word.
The last few weeks of global conversations about race and ethnicity has me sincerely praying that the earth doesn't face a hostile alien take over any time soon. I am not sure that there would be any degree of cooperation found among warring factions on this earth. With much of the warring and maltreatment of others founded in erroneous beliefs based on race. Beliefs codified in language by people who are Black and people who are White although technically there are no such scientifically proven creatures as Black and White humans. Black and White humans are social constructs. The human race is much more complicated than Black and White. It’s not Black and White. By no means does acknowledging this negate the history of mistreatment of people of color or the institutional process of racism based on color as it exists within the national borders of the United States and beyond. It is time to leave behind social constructs based on race.
It is so often quoted that hate is learned; well, so is love. Underground rap music as an art form has long posed an existential question: Where is the love? Reason alone does not answer the pain of experience. As Black people, we are aware of the need to use the tools of reason and logic to fight against the danger of racism but logic and reason do not fully address painful-hateful actions and words manifested against citizenry of a country for no other reason than they are “Black”. Personally, I don’t have all the answers in a world where justification for ideology acquiesces to apartheid states of people herded onto narrows strips of land. Social constructs divide you and me further and further from each other, at the same time we are as close as we will ever be connected through another kind of codified language shared here on the internet.
Recently, I was personally introduced to an example of codified language. While I waited for my bus home one evening an older man not of color struck up a conversation with me. When he spoke to me he kept uttering the phrase “The Blacks”. Every time he spoke the phrase I wanted to know, in my heart of hearts, who the hell he was talking about. I had a Wylie Coyote moment with a light bulb above my head. Oh. Me. I am “The Blacks”. This man used language consciously or unconsciously throughout our conversation, and remained largely unaware of my perspective. I wondered if he was intentionally being demeaning. Many use third person language in reference to others quite deliberately, in either case, it is codification based on race. Paulo Freire mentions in Pedagogy of Oppressed how language is used to subjugate; it was one of things I had to be confronted with on a personal level to truly gain an understanding of the intensity of it.
The more we connect the more we understand there is also disconnection and that certain language is used to distort and foster disconnection. Mr. Blunder has spoken of “The Negro”. He wondered about “The Negroes” life in 2014 compared to the self-satisfaction of the “The Negroes” life during slavery, a contentment that did not in fact exist in the condition of slavery. “The Blacks” are not amused at this latest blatant incarnation of the same old bullshit by use of the third person in maintaining the illusion of other. I echo the question that has already been posed: Where is the love?
Words create. Words create worlds surely as the cosmos were created by explosions of energy happening faster than the speed of light. Words have the potential energy to rock civilization toward a horizon of transformation. Words have the power to obliterate barriers of social constructs and make us something better. Picture a world where words transform the spiritual nature of man, science, systems of government, food, medicine and life because we no longer use words to exclude the other.
Posted @ http://cordelliah.blogspot.com/