When I tell people I’m not an American they look at me like I have two heads.
“How tf are you not American if you were born here?” many of them have asked, usually with an almost imperceptible roll of the eyes.
“Because I’m a descendant of the Africans who were enslaved by America.”
“Aw man,” lips screwed up with incredulity, sucking their teeth, “that slavery shit was a long time ago; what that have to do with you and me?”
And this is right about the time when I usually lose my ability to socialize properly.
I’m very fond of saying that perspective is primary. How I see the world, my worldview, is what I think determines who I have been and who I will be in the world, and directs the trajectory of what I have done and will do in the world.
I’ve always viewed the world from the perspective of a reasonably intelligent Black man in America. This perspective is comparable to the American worm’s eye view. That’s the view from the absolute bottom rung of society.
The only thing considered to be more dispensable than a Black man in modern America is a broke Black man in modern America. We all know this, whether we choose to acknowledge it or not.
We’ve all been conditioned to accept this as truth. It’s subconscious by now. I understand.
I was born in 1975, in Manhattan, NY. That was the year the Black Power movement began to dismantle internally from the exigent force of the US government, meaning the FBI COINTELPRO investigations specifically.
This was 11 years after the Civil Rights Act of 1964. 356 years after those “20 and odd” Angolan Africans arrived on the shores of Jamestown VA.
On the day I was born, the government of the country I was born into had already decided that either:
- I wouldn’t be shit, or
- I would be a threat to national security.
There is no middle ground for a Black man in America.
I was either supposed to be dead or in jail by the age of 21, which means essentially not shit, or I was supposed to submit to the status quo, and spend my life here using my talents and intellect to enrich the society that had enslaved my ancestors.
Which also means not shit in my personal estimation.
Or I could diverge, and pick up the torch that my ancestors had so dutifully carried in their hearts; the smoldering flame that engulfed the minds of Frederick Douglas, Booker T. Washington, WEB DuBois, Marcus Garvey, Malcolm X, Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, and Huey P. Newton.
The same fiery fortitude that ignited the American Abolition of Slavery, the Reconstruction, the Pan-African, Civil Rights, and Black Power movements.
I‘ve always felt the resonant heat of this flame. I’ve held this torch in my own heart and mind for decades.
None of my heroes were wealthy men. They lived rich lives; they generated but never accumulated wealth. Their motivations in life didn’t lead them to pursue material possessions apparently.
Their motivations in life led them to pursue freedom, justice and equality for our people in the country where we had been enslaved, and where we have been historically oppressed.
This lack of a desire for their own personal gain, coupled with the unrelenting resolve to execute the ultimate liberation of our people here in America, also made them all threats to national security, according to the FBI.
After all, how can America have national security if it’s descendant slave population revolts? In fact, we’ll deal with that later.
My point is that my perspective, the viewpoint of a reasonably intelligent Black man in America born in the mid seventies, is the perspective of a prisoner of war; a hostile hostage born and raised behind enemy lines.
My people were either stolen from or sold by our homeland, exported to a foreign land by a predatory enemy culture, and enslaved by an entire western civilization.
My ancestors endured and survived and triumphed over the most pervasively racist and malevolently brutal existential conditions ever documented, for centuries, before I ever even arrived on this planet.
I studied how my personal childhood hero, Malcolm X (El Hajj Malik El Shabazz, to be precise) had been publicly executed in full view of his wife and children, by other Black men, with the direction and facilitation of the US government in 1965, just 10 years before I was born.
Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King (who I despised as a youth for his Christianity and his nonviolent rhetoric and tactics), had also been publicly assassinated in 1968.
The amniotic fluid of my mother’s womb still undulated from the reverberations of those two men’s demise when I was floating through it, innocent, being born Black into this world.
These men were our heroes; Black leaders ordained by Black people. America murdered these men for the high crime of demonstrating the ability to organize and mobilize so-called American Blacks into effective political blocs.
These heroes did this selflessly, without thought for material gain, so that we as a group oppressed by ethnicity, would be entrenched in the unassailable position to demand and extract from the US government freedom, justice, and equality for the descendants of the Africans enslaved in and by America.
And none of the people they died for give a fuck about that shit today. It’s sad, but it’s true.
These mfs are blissfully oblivious. I realized this as a child watching my classmates recite the pledge of allegiance through the glass pane in the door from outside of the classroom.
“How the fuck can they pledge allegiance to the country who enslaved us?” I used to think. I had a chip on my shoulder as the west indian blacks would say.
It’s not like I blamed my classmates for anything, but observing this situation as a young boy, while studying my heroes, my peers, and my environment, I always had to acknowledge that flame from the torch my heroes had carried. It was always close enough to me that I could feel it, brushing my skin like a dragon breathing behind me.
I consciously decided not to pick up that goddamn torch.
Sorry, but… really I’m not; it is what it is.
My rationale at the time was this: these mfs don’t care about freedom, they just wanna buy shit. Malcolm and Martin literally died for these mfs, but they still pray to Jesus and claim him as their savior.
They would prefer to kiss a white God’s feet in some heavenly afterlife than to take a stand on their own two feet, right here on this planet earth.
They drive around the slums in luxury cars, fashionably dressed to live in squalid conditions, but rarely actually ride for our people in a fight against the powers that be. So fuck them, I’m not dying for these zombies; if they like it I love it.
I’m going to fall in love, get married and actually live to see my children become adults, which is something my heroes never achieved, even in all their glory.
This was my perspective as a young man.
I like to think it has developed considerably since then. Not into a different perspective, but into a wider, more informed and experienced perspective.
I still don’t give a fuck about a zombie. Sorry, but still… not sorry. Frederick Douglass said “it’s easier to educate children than it is to repair broken men”. I agree with my elder. I’m not here to save anyone or teach anyone anything. I just want to say my piece.
My intention with this podcast, blog, and website is to broadcast my perspective to the people who see what I see and know what I know.
For those of us who are like-minded, who know our history, and who visualize a future that doesn’t require submission to white supremacy, or to the sovereign nation that white supremacy has established here at our expense.
We stand today on the precipice of a post-covid world order. Entire business models and established practices are being destroyed and rebuilt, right now as we speak.
The world will never be the same after this pandemic, whether you believe it’s a hoax or not.
The same way the internet changed the world by eliminating geographical boundaries at the turn of the century.
What I’m saying is as long as you hold onto the provably false idea that there is such a thing as equality under law for Black people in America, we will never be able to evolve.
We’re not Black. We’re not American. We’re not Africans. We’re something different. Something more. That’s why our culture, something we created from the dirt, a culture we crafted out of the nothing that we’ve been given; a culture that we formed while always simultaneously engaged in the revolutionary act of defending ourselves against bloody race-motivated mob massacres. This culture, having survived through centuries of white-backlash and horrifically American violence, is emulated around this entire planet.
What nationality we choose to identify as in this post-covid world order, is ENTIRELY up to us. Black America is a third world country. I promise you we can do better.