A wise person once told me to be careful what you wish for because you might get it. Well, white people have been asking for this for a long time and in this age of enlightenment, during this Global Awakening, I think it’s time they got it.
Have you ever seen a kid get bullied? It’s not a pretty sight and what’s worse is the bully will usually continue to inflict pain until they get a reaction. That is our relationship with the dominant culture in America. They have taken our lunch money. They have thrown our food on the ground, pulled our pants down, laughed at us continuously, lynched us, fed our children to alligators, assassinated our leaders, allowed drugs into our communities, and destroyed our science project.
What a vicious and vile bully white America has been. And while the target of the offense, much like a child being bullied, only wants to be left alone to live in peace, this is an unreasonable request to the bully. If that child were to ask for their lunch money back, they wouldn’t be wrong to do so. But like that child, we don’t expect anything from this bully because we’ve encountered him every day since the beginning of school. We know him better than he knows himself. So now we find ourselves simply wanting to take pride in our accomplishments. Graduation day. We think back over the years and remember having the winning science project, even though it was destroyed quickly after we were awarded the ribbon. We remember making the entire room erupt in laughter on the first day of Sophomore year and thinking “this year is going to be different”. We remember the look on everyone’s faces as the laughter turned to shame as America gave us a wedgie in front of the whole class with Nakia sitting in the front row.
We remember the highs as well as the lows but most of all, we are happy that we are still here. And it seems America is no longer concerned with us. Which is fine. At times it even seems like he likes us but we know better than to believe that. The hatchet has been buried as far as we’re concerned and we can move on with life and work on fixing the problems this bully caused us throughout the years. It will take counseling, prayer, hard work, sacrifice, meditation, medication, surgery, good weed, good sex, strong love, strong liquor, white Jesus, Black Jesus, Allah and ALL the Ancestors to get us back to our rightful place. But that’s ok.
As we revel in this moment, thinking about all of the experiences that have brought us to this point and celebrating the achievements, a familiar voice and unfamiliar feeling comes over us. The voice is that of our new friend and oldest foe. The feeling is unmitigated rage. He says sarcastically, “I know you’ve accomplished a lot over the years…”. I utter, “yeah, thanks America?”. “I wasn’t finished!” he interrupts, “I know you accomplished a lot over the years… but ‘what about me?'”. I think to myself, “what about you??”. I ask angrily, “what about YOU??!?”. I explode, “WHAT ABOUT YOU!!!???!! Is this the fucking Dreamgirls? Are you Effie?? What about you motherfucker!?? Do you know what you’ve done to me? Do you have any idea of the pain you’ve inflicted on me? Do you even care?” He stands silent.
My first instinct is to give him the fade but since he still has 40 or so pounds on me, I choose to educate instead and make plans to hit the gym later. Since it seems America is tired of hearing me talk about how much I’ve accomplished, I decide to shine a spotlight on what he’s done throughout the years. I can’t tell if he’s ready but I damn sure am:
-Small pox blankets: To satisfy their insatiable appetite for lands occupied by Native Americans, British soldiers concocted a scheme to send blankets and handkerchiefs infected with smallpox to a Cherokee Tribe near what is now Pittsburgh PA. The plan proved effective as the tribes were infected and eventually went on to infect other tribes throughout the region resulting in thousands of deaths.
-During the Middle Passage, slave ship crews would routinely throw African people overboard to their deaths in order to collect insurance money. In fact, many insurance companies in business today trace their origin to the slave trade
-It is common knowledge that many whites, including several of this country’s forefathers participated in the raping and trafficking of human beings as a part of what know of as chattel slavery. Though the Americas owe much of their advancements and economic strength to the work performed by enslaved Africans over 246 years, not one dime has ever been repaid. My favorite Thomas Jefferson quote, “I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just; that his justice cannot sleep forever.”
-Medical advancements: From the origin of gynecology to the Tuskegee experiments to Henrietta Lacks and much more, many of the modern advances that we have in medicine and medical procedure are a result of experimenting on African people. This was routinely done while they were alive and with no anasthaesia
-Civil War: Contrary to popular white fantasy beliefs, the Civil War was not fought to end slavery. The south fought for independence and to keep slavery intact. The north fought to restore the Union. According to Lincoln, ending slavery was an unintended consequence. Most importantly however, like all wars waged by this country, poor white people fought and died and didn’t really know what for.
-Reconstruction: After the abolition of slavery, the period of Reconstruction began which is commonly known as the Second American Revolution. Intended to be a period of rebuilding and reconciliation, southern whites could not relieve themselves of their hatred of newly freed African people. Land that was acquired by newly freed Africans was quickly stolen and lynchings became rampant in the south. The organization known as The Freedman’s Bureau, established to assist and support newly freed African people was defunded after 10 years. Reconstruction is one of the least discussed points in American History.
-Black Wall Streets: Following slavery, in a segregated society, African practiced group economics and built thriving economic centers around the country. One of the most famous was Black Wall Street in Greenwood, OK. The success of these economic centers drew the ire of local European populations and that, along with corporation’s desire to access land that Black Wall Street occupied for a railroad project, led to a massacre where the town was burned the ground, bombed from the sky. No reparations have been paid for this incident.
-King Leopold: During the Scramble for Africa, King Leopold, A Belgian King, took control of the Congo in central Africa. It is estimated that he is responsible for the deaths of over 10 million Congolese and acquired a fortune worth over $1B from rubber, ivory, and precious metals.
-Patrice Lumumba: the first legally elected prime minister of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), was assassinated on 17 January, 1961. This heinous crime was a culmination of two inter-related assassination plots by American and Belgian governments, which used Congolese accomplices and a Belgian execution squad to carry out the deed. it was a stumbling block to the ideals of national unity, economic independence and pan-African solidarity that Lumumba had championed, as well as a shattering blow to the hopes of millions of Congolese for freedom and material prosperity.
-Stolen Generation: Stealing a generation of aboriginal children in Australia
-Government plot to assassinate Martin Luther King Jr.
-Redlining neighborhoods to restrict black people from buying property, effectively creating ghettos and poverty stricken areas.
-Looking the other way as crack flooded black communities to fund a war in Nicaragua
-Fueling tribal tensions in Rwanda which led to the Rwandan Genocide resulting in over 800,000 deaths.
I could go on and on, and I will, but for now I gotta hit the gym because next time he asks, he’s most definitely gonna get a history lesson on these hands.
Fb: M. Ali Nervis