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Reject the Hype, Respect the Truth

I am personally and culturally offended by the media’s use of the phrase “deadliest mass murder in U.S. history” when referring to the killing of a few dozen white people — even when modified by the term “modern U.S. history.” On behalf of African Americans and Native Americans specifically, I educate you about the definition of “massacre,” I evidence the historical inaccuracy of the media’s application of that phrase, I assign a white supremacist mentality to its continued use, and I ask those of you who are committed to cultural sensitivity and respect to refrain from its use and reject its use by others.

Massacre (noun): The unnecessary, indiscriminate killing of A LARGE NUMBER of human beings or animals, as in barbarous warfare or persecution or for revenge or plunder.

Examples of Actual (Documented) Massacres:

Greenwood massacre: Racial violence in Tulsa, Okla., in 1921 left as many as 300 dead, nearly all African-Americans.

Colfax massacre: On Easter Sunday of 1873, in the bloodiest racial attacks during Reconstruction, white Democrats slaughtered as many as 153 African-Americans at the Colfax, La., courthouse and later as other victims were being held prisoner.

Fort Pillow massacre: On April 12, 1864, Confederate soldiers shot dead or bayoneted to death 277 African-American soldiers fighting for the Union in Henning, Tenn. Nearly all of the victims had surrendered and dropped their weapons when they were killed.

Bloody Island massacre: In 1850 federal troops killed as many as 200 Native Americans of the Pomo tribe on an island in Clear Lake, Calif. The attack was in revenge for the murder of two white settlers by members of another Native American tribe.

Wounded Knee massacre: In 1890, U.S. cavalry slaughter 150-300 Lakota Indians in Wounded Knee, South Dakota.

African Americans, Charlottesville and Neo-Nazism

Power is “The ability to create your own reality.”  Becoming a powerful human being requires living a principle-based life – governing our lives based on fundamental truths gleaned from facts, history and experience.  The old folks used to call this “wisdom.”  One of the most important principles through which to experience life is the “Principle of Concentric Circles,”  recognizing that all things are occurring simultaneously on three levels:  intra-personally, inter-personally and collectively.  Let’s apply this paradigm to the multi-layered phenomenon called “Neo-Nazism” and see how it informs the empowerment of African Americans.

INTRA-PERSONAL: OUR INTERNAL REALITY

Self-Preservation is the first law of nature. There are psychological ramifications to knowing there is a group of people thriving in the U.S. who are committed (at minimum) to driving you from the country where you live, (at median) putting you in a concentration camp and, (at maximum) killing you and your family.  Since, for most of Black folks, the immediate threat of white supremacy and Neo-Nazism is largely rhetorical and ideological, our intra-personal self-defense must be largely psychological and spiritual.

We must be careful how much of this “news” and “commentary” we ingest mentally and then regurgitate verbally.  A bulimic diet of hate is debilitating to our physical and mental health.

From the book “ANSWERS,” Answer #2: Life is thought manifested by choice and choice manifested by thought.  We must stop merely “feelin’ some kinda way” about the times in which we live because emotionalism makes us prone to manipulation.  Each of us must sit down…quietly and without distraction…and THINK about this reality.  Every Black person must DECIDE what is his or her personal truth about racism and white supremacy and make a CHOICE about whether any personal ACTION will be taken and, if so, WHAT that action is going to be.

Life is too short to ruminate about wrongs one is not prepared to respond to in a meaningful way.

The Three Prerequisites of Empowerment:  (1) Be open to new information, (2) Release dichotomy (“either/or” thinking), and (3) Be willing to change.  If each of us cannot embrace these three commitments, we will not surpass our current state of empowerment as individuals.  If enough of us do not commit to our individual empowerment – to overcoming ignorance and fear — African Americans as a collective will not survive these times…much less be restored to our rightful place on the American and world stages.

INTER-PERSONAL: OUR RELATIONAL REALITY

Release dichotomy: No thing and no one is wholly wrong or wholly right.  One of the primary reasons we have been unable to organize our responses to racism is because we talk AT each other instead of WITH each other.  Sadly, the average person’s ability to LISTEN…genuinely and effectively…is vanishing rapidly.  Instead of defending our need to be right, we must allow our truths to be sharpened and empowered by the very facts that challenge them.

We cannot confront an adversarial idea we do not understand.

Geese and Ganders – Here are four words I’ve never said before, I can’t believe I’m saying now, and I hope never to utter again:  Donald Trump was right.  Hours before his press conference and the HBO documentary premiere, I posted on Facebook that “…based upon my review of video footage, the violence in Charlottesville was incited by the hateful chants and physical aggression of the anti-hate anti-violent protesters.”

I own that my statement is an oversimplification, but that does not make it inaccurate.  I made it when I noted the “anti-violence” protesters were chanting PERSONAL ATTACKS (“Nazi Scum: Go Home!”) instead of IDEOLOGICAL SLOGANS (“No hate!”) and were asserting themselves physically and aggressively.  Footage of Jason Kessler’s attempted press conference depicts this hypocrisy.  The hate and threatened violence of the “anti-hate” and “anti-violence” protesters were so intense, one could suspect there were deliberate agitators among the counter-protesters.  Hmmm.

Release dichotomy: I am not saying the white supremacists did not incite or inflict acts of hatred and violence.  They came there specifically to spout hate and were dressed to kill — literally.  I’m saying the counter-protesters also engaged in hateful rhetoric and initiated acts of violence — one truth does not negate the other.  I’m making this point to upgrade the integrity of our opposition in all forms.  I’m saying what’s good for the goose must be good for the gander, and if Blacks and liberals demand the right to free speech and free assembly for our causes, the same right must be afforded to those we oppose.

I am not defending Neo-Nazism (release dichotomy).  I am seeking to disempower the narcissistic, emotional, rhetoric-based perspectives that keep us reactionary and empower a reasonable, courageous, fact-based analysis that will result in genuinely effective responses.

“Never hate your enemy.  It clouds your judgment.” – Michael Corleone, the Godfather.

COLLECTIVE REALITY

Collective: America – The Civil War never ended.  The initial impetus for the Charlottesville protest was the perceived attack on white history marked by the city’s decision to remove a confederate statue.

That has nothing to do with valuing and protecting Black lives.

White people have never been as aggressive in their opposition to the Ku Klux Klan a.k.a. the Fraternal Order of Police as they were against the Charlottesville white supremacists.  That heightened and aggressive white opposition is linked to the challenge “Neo-Nazism” represents to the American victory in WWII.  A significant part of what we witnessed in Charlottesville was a 21st-century stand against Adolf Hitler and for the Americans who died in WWII.

Even colossal racist Orrin Hatch tweeted after Charlottesville “We should call evil by its name.  My brother didn’t give his life fighting Hitler for Nazi ideas to go unchallenged here at home.”  Well, that explains the difference in intensity, passion and violence of white people against Neo-Nazism versus white people against “domestic” white supremacists.

And that has nothing to do with valuing and protecting Black lives.

Collective: African Americans – Just as democracy is a 241-year-old experiment that is failing, the 52-year-old experiment called “integration” is also failing.  The Obamas and Oprah and LeBron James are not the barometers of African American progress – by all measures and accounts, Black people in America are disproportionately enslaved, politically disenfranchised, economically impotent, physically debilitated and culturally corrupted.  “Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me” (Matthew 25:40).

White supremacy/Neo-Nazism is not new.  Acts of racial violence like Charlottesville have been happening consistently since 1865. We just haven’t had cellphones or HBO.  The Constitution still designates unindentured non-whites as 3/5 human.  Recount how many Black people have you literally watch being murdered. With impunity.

The questions African Americans must now ask ourselves are these:  “Why do we remain incredulous – in a state of utter disbelief – that America does not see us as human and does not want us here?” and “Why do we define freedom as being acknowledged and accepted by people who do not see us as human and do not want us here?”  When we answer these two questions — and then courageously confront those answers – only then will we begin to approach genuine intra-personal, inter-personal and collective empowerment.

Don’t Get It Twisted

You know, I deliberately avoid focusing on the insanity that is America. A line in my morning Spiritual Mind Treatment says “Nothing disturbs the calm peace of my soul.” The only reason I looked at the videos and did some research on the recent incident in Charlottesville, Virginia at the neo-nazi rally was because someone dear to me who happens to be white was completely undone and needed my active friendship.

That said, I did ask myself why white people who were silent about widespread actual documented hate-fueled murders of Black people by American police were so violently vociferous when it came to the mere expression of philosophical hatred of white supremacist extremists. Then I read that Utah Senator Orrin Hatch tweeted “We should call evil by its name. My brother didn’t give his life fighting Hitler for Nazi ideas to go unchallenged here at home.”

Aaaahhh…so THAT’S it.

Frankie Gourrier made the following comment on Facebook: “…American propaganda touted the defeat of the evil foreign Nazis after WWII. To white Americans Nazis are foreign racists who were put down more than 70 years ago. You ever heard an 88-year-old white WWII vet talk about how they obliterated the Nazis? They relish that s–t. So while y’all are out here praising white folks for standing up to Nazis, know this s–t ain’t about them giving a d–n about your Black or brown a–. It’s about nationalism. It’s about the fact that America’s legacy is on the line because America doesn’t lose. It stamps out opponents and they don’t resurface.

That’s why the distinction keeps being made. Because Americans don’t take on homegrown racists. They don’t tackle the Klan. They ain’t butting heads with the domestic good ol’ boy white supremacists. They’re fighting traitors whose ideologies line up with German Nazism.

America ain’t about to attack or even discuss the dismantling of the racist, fascist, violent white folks it breeds. So yeah, when you see these thoughtful tweets about how these Nazis have no place in America, just know they don’t mean racist violence and ideology don’t belong here. They just mean it shouldn’t be the imported type.

After all, white supremacy is America’s finest invention. Why go for imitators when you can have the best?” (end quote.)

This truth should straighten out black people who believe this anti-nazism activity is in any way about us. It should also be a reality check for white people who believe it even makes a chip in the stone fortress of American racism.

Independence

Today I am celebrating our independence!

I am celebrating that I and thousands of other people of African descent

living in America

are free of the illusion that we are Americans!

 

I am jubilant in the liberty that comes from having awakened from

the American dream…the fantasy that one day this country will acknowledge

the other two-fifths of my humanity!

 

I am loosed from the confusion others experience

when their dignity is not validated by the oppressing class!

I am free because I define freedom as self-determination

not successful integration!

Today I celebrate my independence from American propoganda

and revel in the wisdom and power of my own history!

 

On this Independence Day I join others who look to the past

and honor those warriors who fought for this freedom of consciousness!

Like them, I commit to freeing thousands more…

 

as soon as I can help them see

that they are still enslaved.

Too Far Gone

Called the IRS three times today, working on Ma’at stuff. The first representative was clearly a Black woman. Her tone and manner were as though I had banged on her bedroom door and woke her up to ask my questions, and she sounded as though she would go right back to bed when she got off my call.  
 
The second representative was clearly a Black man. He sounded as though this was the fifteenth time I had called him personally and asked the same question each time.  I actually had to move the phone away from my ear, his voice was so elevated, and I would not have been surprised if he started banging on the table.
 
In both of these calls I said “Good Afternoon, Mr./Ms. (Name), how are you doing?” The woman did not respond at all – dead silence for about three seconds, as though I had not spoken at all. The man responded by saying, angrily, “HOW MAY I HELP YOU TODAY, MA’AM?!?!?”
 
The third representative was clearly a White man. He told me he was doing just fine today and he hoped I was, too. He answered my question on how to cancel an old employee ID number in preparation for obtaining a new one, which is what I asked him.  Then he told me to be sure to request written confirmation, because the IRS is required to respond in writing to those requests; then he told me how to get a new one for my new corporate structure, which I didn’t ask him; then he told me I could request both simultaneously without a problem; then he told me which form numbers to get and that I could get them online; then he told me if my online application for the new one was rejected; how I could print and submit a paper application; then he gave me that fax number; then he told me…
 
You get the picture.
 
Yes, brothers and sisters, I am putting our business in the street and I have two motivations: One, I’d like for Black people to stop rolling their eyes and sucking their teeth when I say that — AS A COLLECTIVE — we are now too mentally ill to achieve our own liberation through systemic channels, and psycho-spiritual healing must become our first offensive objective (fighting police homicide and mass incarceration remain our first defensive priority).   Secondly, I’d like White people who repeatedly have the same experience and become afraid they are racist because they are absolutely bewildered by it to know it is NOT a trait endemic to our ethnicity, genetic structure or culture. It is a symptom of Black people’s mental illness from our failure to heal from chattel enslavement — you know, that historical blip so many of you claim is “the past” and we should “get over it.”
 
If you are upset by this article…well…I don’t care.  I am fighting for the life and liberty of Black people in the United States of America and that battle requires the unflinching courage to face the facts.
All of them.

I Know You Think It Isn’t, But It Is

I know you don’t think Donald Trump is real
but he is.
I know you don’t think the dangers he poses are real
but they are.
I know you don’t think millions of people love him
but they do.
I know you think the things he threatens are not possible
but they are.

I know you doubt the depth of his fear and hatred
but it’s deep.
I know you don’t think he would round up Black people
but he would.
I know you think the law will protect you
but it won’t.
I know you think you’re an American
but you’re not.

I know you think there’s nothing you can do
but there is.
I know you think your vote won’t matter
but it will.
I know you think Tweedle Dum’s no different
but she is.
I know you think white supremacy has no “degrees”
but it does.

I know you think we’re not in danger,
but we are.
I know you think disengagement will have meaning
but it won’t.
I know you think you won’t regret not voting
but you will.
I know you think things cannot possibly get worse
but they can.

I know you think abstention will free you of responsibility.
but it won’t.
— Eraka Rouzorondu

The Time to Vote Your Conscience

The time to “vote your conscience” is not during a critical election. The time to do so is in the four years between elections, when those boring campaign finance reform hearings are held and those yawnable ballot requirements are being revisited.

The time to “vote your conscience” is when the barriers to ideal candidates’ access to the voting public are being built — not when the obstacles have been completed. It’s too late by election time — capitalism’s candidates are outside the wall while those who genuinely represent the public’s interests are trapped inside, yelling all the right things.

Put another way, you can’t refuse to work on the menu for a one-time meal
and then demand another dish when the meal is served.

The die is cast for 2016 and the electoral college has prevailed. A vote for anyone other than Hillary Clinton will dilute the Democratic voting block, elect Donald Trump, and condemn this country and its children to a return to the Old West in more ways than one.

If you really want a third-party candidate to have a fighting chance in 2020, vote for Hillary Clinton in 2016. Then spend the next four years doing what needs to be done toward empowering third-party politics in America. Otherwise, the symbolism behind your third-party vote is impotent, and its power gets redirected to support the same candidates you are “voting against.”

Now is time to answer the question “What’s more important:
to “vote your conscience” or to be conscientious about voting?