Monday, December 1, 2014

The murders won't stop unless and until, one way or another -- they are made to pay


"First of all, the European reigns; he has already lost but doesn't realize it; he does not yet know that the "natives" are "false natives." He has to make them suffer, he claims, in order to destroy or repress the evil they have inside them; after three generations, their treacherous instincts will be stamped out. What instincts?  Those that drive the slaves to massacre their masters?  How come he cannot recognize his own cruelty now turned against him?  How come he can't see his own savagery as a colonist in the savagery of these oppressed peasants who have absorbed it through every pore and for which they can find no cure?  The answer is simple:  this arrogant individual, whose power of authority and fear of losing it has gone to his head, has difficulty remembering he was once a man; he thinks he is a whip or a gun; he is convinced that the domestication of the "inferior races" is obtained by governing their reflexes.  He disregards the human memory, the indelible reminders; and then above all, there is this that perhaps he never new:  we only become what we are by radically negating deep down what others have done to us.  Three generations?  As early as the second, hardly had the sons opened their eyes than they saw their fathers being beaten.  In psychiatric terms, they were "traumatized."  For life.  But these constant acts of repeated aggression, far from forcing them into submission, plunge them into an intolerable contradiction, which sooner or later the European will have to pay for."

(Excerpt from Jean-Paul Sartre's preface to
Frantz Fanon's, The Wretched of the Earth)

I'm sure the title of this post is unsettling for those of you who don't like having your "certainties disturbed" (I could almost SEE the practitioners of the endlessly annoying "respectability politics" clutching their pearls as I wrote it).  However, like Baldwin, Sartre and Fanon in his,  The Wretched of the Earth above (whenever you have the time, please DO read this very important liberation handbook at the link.  Thank you so much Warrior Publications for making it available!) -- it is exactly what I believe.

Since time immemorial we've suffered and died (and continue to do both) at the hands of these jack-booted thugs.  Sometimes pleading, sometimes demanding, sometimes helpless -- we keep asking them, hoping they'll just treat us, "Others" with the dignity and respect every human being deserves.  We've marched, we've tried to conform, some of us have sold out, we've berated one another and we've even gone to historically Black churches (on Father's Day no less) denigrating us (simply, IMHO, to assuage our own sense of loss) -- all to no avail.

All of this, Family is the definition of insanity!  We keep doing the same damned things over and over again and expecting different results.  Aren't you tired??  I sure as hell am!!

I've purposely not written about the murder of Michel Brown until now because quite frankly, I've been overwhelmed -- by so many things.  Though I've briefly mentioned standing in solidarity with all those beautiful, young people who humbled me with their resolve as they gathered in his name for over 100 days and counting in Ferguson -- I needed to wait.  Wait, until I wasn't so overwhelmed by all that's been going on personally this past, almost year and a half; wait, to see if the white supremacists would get a damned clue and prove me wrong for a change (even though I never expected they would) -- I just needed to wait.

Eerily, I was on the road to Florida to see the husband last Sunday for our 34th wedding anniversary (two years ago, I didn't think we'd be here, but that's another story), alternately listening to BBC and CBC Radio.   Switching between each, around 7 p.m. or so, they both began reporting that the Ferguson grand jury had made a decision -- but it wouldn't be announced for a couple hours (more damned game-playin',  I thought to myself).  My youngest called to check on me as he always does when I'm road-trippin' right after that.  I told him to turn on his TV and keep me posted about what was happening because I couldn't' see it, but knew, "those mofos are gonna let Darren Wilson go free."

~#~#~#~

I say eerily because, in February of this year, after having put the house in the "Belly of the Beast" up for sale, the husband and I had two trips to make: a house-hunting trip to Florida for him, and a meeting on the 15th with the builder in South Carolina for me (more on that later).  We went to Florida first, because the day of the builder meeting coincided with the dedication of the Denmark Vesey Monument in Hampton Park in Charleston and I had to be there for deeply felt personal reasons (more on that later too).  Staying in a hotel as we checked out some places, we were also following the Jordan Davis case in Jacksonville, intermittently watching TV and listening to the radio -- constantly asking each other as we checked, "Got a verdict yet?"

We headed to South Carolina on the 14th, and shortly after our meeting, we heard the verdict -- Guilty!  While not totally what he deserved, he'll be in prison long enough to really know -- that shit he did was foul as hell.

~#~#~#~

About two hours or so after his first call,  the youngest checked in on me again as the BBC cut to Ferguson.  Listening to McCullouch's long, drawn out, bullshit spiel on the radio, I already knew -- Darren Wilson had gotten away with murder.  When the phone rang in the car, he didn't have to say anything.  I said, "Baby, I told you."  I listened, as he angrily vented about the unfairness of it all, then --  I just let loose (suffice it to say, not only was it past warm, it was vitriolic and quite profane). After letting me unload, he said, "Calm down, Mom. Pay attention to the road.  Call me when you get to Dad's and -- take it easy on Dad, he didn't kill Mike Brown" (Little did he know I was also listening to reports on the Tamir Rice killing in Ohio during the trip as well -- and it sure was gonna make that, "take it easy on Dad" thing,  a Herculean task!).

Nervous energy abounding, we both burst out laughing at the same time because he knows us as well as we know ourselves and he knew I was pissed. He knew I'd unload on his society-identified white Daddy as soon as I got there.  I said, "Okay, I love you madly, Man," -- and I kept driving the 20 or so minutes until I got there.

And he was dead-on. Not only was I feeling that familiar "quiet riot" roiling deep in my belly -- I was seething. Talking aloud to myself as I pulled in and parked, I said, "When in the hell are we going to see that none of this shit will ever change until we make them feel what we feel??!!  My head was so filled with all that had gone on before and since.

~#~#~#~

Shortly after closing on the house the end of May, I was assaulted by the death of yet another Black young man in June -- in what we used to call Bayside Manor.  Yes, it was then, and still is -- the "projects" (with a new, and white-folk-acceptable-name til they gentrify it and probably turn them into condos or something like everything else) -- but damn!!   This time though, it was one of our own -- a "Black in Blue," protected by a system, led by the same white man who'd been mayor when I left home at 18 -- 40 years ago!

When I was a more of an integrationist, I was always, more or less, a "joiner" (ΔΣϴ, NAACP, US Navy, Teaching Tolerance, BCCLT, blah, blah, blah).  But, as I continue working to decolonize my mind -- I know today, I ain't none of them (that didn't, however, stop the president of the local NAACP chapter at home, from trying to recruit me when I attended the meeting concerning the murder and the three missing minutes from the surveillance tape finally released by the Charleston PD).  The tape showed the time the off-duty, CPD cop working private security encountered Denzel Curnell, then a three-minute blank, then the time he was dead, in front of the officer's car.  I felt so f*ed up about the "insanity" of it all, I had  to say something -- and I did (beginning at the 21:52 click).


Charleston used to be a city with a "Black Majority" when I was growing up -- not any more.  As one of my favorite commenters, "king of trouble" noted, on another of my favorite commenters, "jefe's" guest post, Anacostia over at Abagond's -- the city has slowly and methodically been, and to date, is successfully -- BLEACHED (and it breaks my damned heart).

Considering this child, IMO had been murdered, the attendees at the meeting were way less than I'd expected (and not even a march was planned or executed).  I told my brother later, "It doesn't matter if the killer was Black -- by day he wore blue and was automatically protected by that! -- and no response?!"  He said, "Welcome home, Deb, welcome home."

~#~#~#~

When the pupples and I walked in, the husband was watching CNN.  I said, "Hey, how you doin' -- I'm NOT in a good damned mood."  He said, "I know, I talked to Alan. already."  As I sat down and watched Ferguson on fire, my first words were, "Dammit!  Go burn down their shit, not ours!!  Then I realized, the White Supremacist Capitalist Patriarchy's plan had always been to just LET it burn (plenty cops armed at the ready for protesters, but no fire trucks, no ambulances -- nothin' in the hood.  Wasn't their shit -- Oh well!).

And when the powers that be trotted out their Sambo/Quimbo puppet to yet again give his presidential words of wisdom, I was really through (yes Family, do re-read Harriet Beecher-Stowe's, "Uncle Tom's Cabin" -- now I understand how we've been focusing on the wrong Negro all this time.  It was Sambo and Quimbo to whom we should've been paying attention)!!  Family, this man is "skin-folk, not kinfolk."  He's no more our people than any of the white supremacists who've bought and paid for him.  As I listened to his voice, all I could think of was dear, old Maxine saying:













~#~#~#~

As I said in the beginning, they must be made to pay.  Be it hitting them in their capitalist pockets as these wonderful, young folk chose in Ferguson, OR --  read Fanon's chapter, "On Violence" at that link up there and let it sink in.  Either is preferable to nothing at all at this point.  However, the onus is not merely on us to do something.  As Mr. Baldwin so succinctly explains here, starting at the 4:41 click -- they've got some shit to figure out themselves.

Family, I'm pretty full about all this (as well as those other things I mentioned above).  I just had to let some of it out right now.  I do plan to write more later, so please bear with me.  Most importantly though, never forget this:
“Please try to remember that what they believe, as well as what they do and cause you to endure does not testify to your inferiority but to their inhumanity”
James Baldwin, The Fire Next Time
My young Bothers and Sisters holding' it down in Ferguson still -- again, I'm so damned proud of YOU!

Related:
- Enough Is Enough
- No Indictment for Darren Wilson, No Justice for Black Lives
- Chronicle of a Riot Foretold
- As a white mother, I fear for my black son
- Despite Blacks Killed By Cops Here, Ferguson Reaction Unlikely
- Gaps remain in the Denzel Curnell suicide narrative
- Denzel Curnell case: Read the full SLED report

5 comments:

Carolyn Moon said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Carolyn Moon said...

Sis Deb, I still maintain that there were agent provocateurs at work when the DA gave that long rambling defense of Darren Wilson.
The time he scheduled it from the first lone police car that was on
fire as others watched. The failure to protect a certain stretch of W. Florissant Ave.
where the businesses burned. My husband and I were both suspicious of another lone police car parked without any police inside or around it when it was torched by some in the crowd after an attempt to flip it. We saw a group running away through a parking lot or alley (aerial view) before police cars showed up and the fire inside the patrol car was extinguished. It all seemed so staged and tainted.

The same type of strategic move used when they released the video of Michael stealing the box of cigarillos after the shooting. His killing was upstaged by that act.

The 'riots' have over-shadowed the injustice of the exoneration of this killer ex-cop.

It was interesting that Nancy Grace who has been a consistent defender of police intervention;stated that she wasn't buying the DA's account of the events that led to this young man losing his life. "Something doesn't add up'.

BTW: I'm going to feature this post on my blog of the week.
Peace.....

Deb said...

Hey Sis Carolyn!! Got back to SC this evening -- the anniversary was great (for two old folks! :-D I'm back in SC now, just soakin' in the being still!

"Sis Deb, I still maintain that there were agent provocateurs at work when the DA gave that long rambling defense of Darren Wilson..."

Sister-friend, I'm 100% with you!!! All of it was staged and planned. As I drove to FL listening to the radio -- I kept saying to myself, "What the hay-ell? Why all this drama?? That's why I called the youngest and asked him to keep me abreast.

"The 'riots' have over-shadowed the injustice of the exoneration of this killer ex-cop."

I just gotta disagree with you here, Sis. Were it not for the "riots," as you call them (pretty tame given the real riots that happened back in my/our day) -- neither the country, nor the WORLD would be demonstrating as they have been (and they HAVE been!)

'It was interesting that Nancy Grace who has been a consistent defender of police intervention; stated that she wasn't buying the DA's account of the events that led to this young man losing his life. "Something doesn't add up'."

I keep the TV on now, mostly for noise -- because it's just me and the dogs in here. I don't watch Nancy Grace. I used to a while ago, but the "harpy" in her eventually turned me off, despite her legal knowledge (which, let's not forget, is knowledge taught to her by a system that doesn't give two shits about us!).

Feel free to feature/repost anything I write Sis. Carolyn. If it matters to you, I'm sure it matters to some of the rest of us!

Peace back atcha, Sis!...

Carolyn Moon said...

Sis Deb...Glad you returned to SC safely and belated Happy Anniversary!

Deb says:
"I just gotta disagree with you here, Sis. Were it not for the "riots," as you call them (pretty tame given the real riots that happened back in my/our day) -- neither the country, nor the WORLD would be demonstrating as they have been (and they HAVE been!)"

If you noticed I put "riots" in quotes for that's the description most used. I see it as resistance but your point is well taken. It seems to me that the refusal of the young folks and community leaders staging the protests consistently (regardless of intimidation by the cops) that may have caught the eye and conscience of the global community as well.

As far as Nancy Grace goes, the point I was making is that her circle may give her some push back on her assessment of what happened for now it's become you are anti-police if you disagree with the grand jury's finding.
I don't watch her show for she can be hyperbolic..but this article was on my national news feed.

BTW: I'm somewhat paying more attention to the attorney, Lisa Bloom (analysis) who wrote the book on the Trayvon Martin case; 'Suspicion Nation'. She's a legal scholar however, she doesn't spare anyone/circumstances in re: to the killing of black men and youth by cops/vigilantes and how the justice system can be skewed to favor/protect them. She's had a lot to say about Ferguson. I wish you would check her out and let me know what you think. You MIGHT be impressed! ^◡^

Deb said...

Thanx Sis Carolyn! Sorry I missed your meaning. I agree with you -- it is resistance, and wa-a-a-y more than I've seen for a very long time, at lest since I was in Jena. I am so, damned proud of these young, Black folk who've awakened to the reality that is life in these alleged United States.

Yeah, well, I think Nancy'll be okay. She's not strayed far enough to the left that they'll disown her. I've not read Lisa Bloom's book, but I may. I'm really not familiar with her but I will check her out and let you know what I think full disclosure: these days, I'm not easily impressed! :-D

Peace my Sister -- we're still living in dangerous times...

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