Thursday, May 10, 2007

The Red Pill or the Blue Pill?

I feel like I’m trying to re-teach myself how to think…that all the information and perspectives I thought I ‘knew’ were really tried and true. I realize now, that while I had an earnest desire to make a difference, to be a part of the solution, that I didn’t (and to an extent still don’t) fully understand the problem.

I’ve said for some years now that I’ve felt as though our community has become complacent; it’s a subject that would oft appear in several of my poems. I feel like we’re approaching a point where the next generation coming up won’t give two sh!ts about the ‘struggle’ because we keep telling them that we’ve made it – we now perceive the ‘struggle’ as a romanticized version of what should be viewed as fervent and extreme activism. We don’t believe in the ‘struggle’ anymore; it’s just a buzz phrase. Now that we can drink from the same fountains as whites, get the ‘same’ (think vaguely similar) job opportunities as whites, and we can sit wherever we please on the bus, we think we’ve made it.

We fail to recognize and really take a hard and honest look at the disparities that still plague our race. We’re still shorted in equal pay and promotions for equal work, it’s hard for us to get proper health care and insurance, we’re killing one another, unsupportive of our own Black businesses, we’re seldom heard in political arenas, and the list goes on and on…we’re a joke to the rest of society.

We don’t want to think for ourselves…we’ve convinced ourselves that we can’t and that it’d be much easier if we’d allow others to do the thinking for us.

If our ancestors were alive, they’d whoop our asses for not daring to be Uppity and challenge authority and policy…for shunning the idea that we can (and need to) work together in order to overcome some of the ills that plague our community.

I’ve oft thought that maybe something bad needs to happen – like something really bad that threatens to wipe us out or will drastically change for the worse the mediocre quality of life that we continuously con ourselves into thinking we enjoy. I don’t know what kind of event…but what I do know is that extreme tragedy and hardship…the persecution of a people/group, will inevitably result in the unification of the oppressed and the uprising of that same group.

We used to be a culture that was community-based. I’m not saying that there was no room for individuality, but when we were stolen away to this continent we realized that we had to overcome language and cultural differences among one another to work together and fight to survive. It wasn’t a ‘he’ or a ‘she’ or a ‘them’ thing…it was an 'us' thing. I think we as a people have been here for too long. We’ve forgotten ‘us’ and what it meant to be a community. We’re so intertwined with the American ideals of individuality and monetary gain that we fail to realize and accept the fact that when a people are still severely behind in the race, that trying to play by their rules and going solo will not work. When you’re a part of a system designed without your best interests at heart, and you’re still trying to recover from the @ss whooping that was the slave trade and Jim Crow, you need to get together with your fellow man and work through the system as a team – as a community.

Why can’t we see that? (a rhetorical question…think on it)

We can only see what we allow ourselves to see. That which we convince ourselves we’re ready to see.

The problem with using force to get us to move collectively is that we will resist. It’s like a mother forcing her child to eat veggies…yea it might be good for the child in the long run, but they will resist just because it’s being forced upon them and they cant see the future beneficial nature of their mother’s present actions. I agree with the thought that there is a need for taking action, but I don’t believe that force is the way to accomplish people to move.

Think about the movie The Matrix. We, in a manner of speaking, are caught up in our own pseudo-reality. Now, Neo and Morpheus couldn’t very well go around unplugging just any and every body. They sought out those who were ready to be shown the truth. Even Neo…he had to be willing to seek the truth and question things on his own before he could be brought out. So it is and must be with us.

One of the most dangerous weapons we have is our minds. An educated (not college educate, but life educated) Black person can be a fearful thing.

That is what we need. We need more folks willing to ask the questions, to seek the answers, and to act upon them.

Forcing the truth down peoples’ throats is a surefire way to have them latch onto the very lies that have been keeping them in bondage. It’s like some perverse Stockholm Syndrome – you can’t rush in and save the victim, because they refuse to even acknowledge that their abuser is abusing them. The victim has to be given the rationale and snap out of it on their own for the bond to truly be broken.

To get free you have to not only desire freedom, but be willing to admit that you are part of the reason why you aren’t.


1 comment:

Punkinpie said...

I see you too have become frustrated with our community.

The greatest trick of the captor was to convince the captured that they were free, by putting them in a different jail. You do this by creating an eviroment that is so hostile and unbearable that ANYTHING is better than that (hence, slavery to civil rights). So when they threw us a few dog bones of equality, we went skip happy and 'chilled.'

Unfortunatly, now we are just in a different jail. Instead of physcial chains, they are chains of the pysche...they think we are not...nor able, so we think we are not...nor able.

Like flies in a jar, we hit our heads so much that even when the jar lid was lifted, we didn't feel the need to jump any higher.

Keep up the writing hunny...never ever give up your key to REAL freedom (a voice)...if you can spread one ounce of may seem like an ink drop in milk...but not to fret...enough concerned drops can create change... :-D