I cannot begin to explain how infuriating I find the current Senate spectacle. No job is worth this. To be publicly debased for a Senator’s political cred is beyond the pale. But black citizens have it almost encoded in our DNA that this is “the price of the ticket.” That our qualifications and our behavior have to be absolutely immaculate to even be considered for anything that whites have historically dominated, and that this is somehow a good thing. I’ve said elsewhere that “I don’t hate America but some says I’m tempted.”
“‘You’re acting all the time when you’re black’.” And it’s true. Black people are acting out roles every day in this country just to keep on getting by. If white people really knew what was on most black people’s minds it would scare them to death.” – Miles Davis, from “Miles – The Autobiography”
I offer this as an exhibit for anyone concerned about impediments to free speech as I believe the Times Editorial Board characterized it. I use it to remind myself once again that the concept of “cancel culture” is another tool of white supremacy. For black citizens it could mean your life. I’m thinking of Fred Hampton, MLK, & Malcolm X. They were “canceled” for just speaking the truth. For having the nerve to suggest that that full citizenship for black Americans, for the poor and marginalized, was long overdue. For just suggesting that America needed to change.
“If white people really knew what was on most black people’s minds it would scare them to death.” And when white people get scared, black people die. That’s why “lying to white folks” comes as natural to black people as breathing.
To be able to speak your mind without the threat of criticism, or even shame, is a privilege enjoyed at the expense of others. If the only threat to your ability to speak freely is criticism and shame, you’re still privileged.
1. Black people have consistently been roughly 12% of the U.S. population for quite some time. I would like to see the scholarship around this. I’m sure some of it centers around “how *black* is defined.”
2. The amount of power granted “leaders” who gin up fear around Muslim & LGBTQ Americans, given their extraordinarily small numbers, is frightening. Fear and Loathing of the “other” has become a monstrous feature of the American operating system.
3. Y’all ain’t never gonna get rich. And rich people ain’t sharing.
4. We love guns. That’s 100 million guns folks. And note that roughly one-third of Americans own enough weapons to arm every man woman and child in this country.