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Angry Voices Imagining Distant Shores
7/26/2016 5:14:57 PM

By Hakim Abdul-Ali 

I was thinking this past Sunday of an incessant thought that came to my mind about a reality called "Angry Voices Imagining Distant Shores."

That theme flashed through my mind's eye, and for some unexplained reason, I thought about being an African-American during these present precarious and menacing times, and I pondered what the conceptual values of freedom, justice and equality for all really meant in a land I call home.

Please follow my deliberate bent as I rap about the seemingly far off and distant political shores of promised "freedom, justice and equality" for all, including the Black Americans, and what it means to them. This thought process for me is an agonizing one to think of, and it should be for you also.

The subject of being free has become an almost obsessive, illusive, and mystical dream for many descendants of African heritage living here in the bald eagle's lair of presumed fantasized equality for all.

I've wondered, after being born here seven plus decades ago in Harlem, why is it that (still) in this century Black folk are forever asking and begging to be free?

Could it be that, in reality, being an African-American, or labeled as Black, is (still) privately viewed with hatred, scorn, disdain and fearfulness among some in the power structure, and others, to this very day, just as it was decades ago and in centuries past?

I'm writing this way because the "hue-manness" in me that makes me feel that I'm proudly connecting to the thoughts and aspirations of so many past, but not forgotten, noble ebony voices who died fighting racism's and bigotry's ugly legacies, because I know they also pondered and asked, "When will we be free." Are you free?

After five hundred years of being here in this, oftentimes, one sided invisible land of the free and the alleged home of the brave, I still wonder, as I wonder, as brother of color, when will this current populace of Black people and their children, en masse, ever be free.

For many, that question is likened to habitually standing on faraway shores of uptightness and angst where racism permeates, with no hope in sight.

Their voices, in many instances, have become angry and restless, fueled by the continual presence of bigoted realism. They feel oppressed, because they, sadly, realize that they, too, are still fighting an entrenched battle against hidden racism lurking in the minds, hearts and souls of so many of their distant non-Black countrymen. It's real.

Just looking around me lets me know that this ever-present hidden and dastardly chauvinism, still exists and is spreading like an eerie virus in the political mind-sets of many influential European-Americans.

The political realities during these turbulent times dictate that I, as a Black American brother of color, must relate the harsh reality that America is systematically being torn apart by renewed racial, social, ethnic, political and religious divisions from within. Can you see it?

Again, just look around you, and you'll view the obvious truths that are the daily beacons for all to see clearly, especially by those who are the subjects of furtive prejudices every waking moment of their fragile existences.

I know that a few "colored" folk, who may be labeled as Black Americans, and living on the shores of momentary opposition, comfort and self-denials, consider themselves bourgeois and elite, but I often ask, in silent proclivity, how did they get where they got to if it weren't for and on the backs, sufferings, shoulders and struggles of past Blacks' miseries, efforts and sacrifices?

I love my people, including the well-to-do. Don't get me wrong because I'm proud of what they've done and have accomplished for the most part, but some of them intentionally give nothing back to the community from which they came from on their ways to suburban comforts and professional entitlements.

Sometimes, I wonder how many of these "colored" folk have ever experienced "DWB," "SWB" and "TWB." For your update, if you aren't aware those items stand for "Driving While Black," "Standing While Black" and "Thinking While Black." Sounds odd?

Think about this scenario. Are the tenets of what America's original forefathers wrote (and secretly meant) only supposed to be interpreted for certain ethnic, racial and/or religious groupings and do not apply for all others? Is today's random spouting of "freedom, justice and equality" only ballyhooed afterthoughts for the rest of the world to admire and for the rest of "The American People" to ignore?

If that's not the case, then can you also please break down for me, in the simplest of terms, how a person of Ebony classification is supposed to respect his or herself "EWTBSE," which in the present day understanding stands for just "existing while trying to be someone else." You cannot pretend to be someone else at the expense of not knowing who you (truly) are. It doesn't work. Never has. Never will.

In the Akan Language from "The Motherland's" wisdom, it's said that "if one does not know his/her own legitimate past, how can he/she move forward." Makes sense to me. And while on the "EWTBSE" note, isn't it strange how in America, the reality of authentic Black culture and representation today seems to be under attack by so many covert, hostile, insensitive, closeted, misinformed and ignorantly biased groups and political arenas unless you conform to their standards of thinking, beauty and culture, etc. Think about it.

America is a salad bowl of ethnic realities. So, let's take, for example, when increasing numbers of African-Americans throughout the nation and beyond affirm that "Black Lives Matter," it doesn't mean anything except that Black folk matter and count also, if not but pridefully to themselves. Being pro Black doesn't mean being anti-European or anti-European-American as many in some so-called White orientated journalistic news sectors believe and report. Black unity in the world is real.

Again, simply put and after five centuries, Black folk here in the USA, do not need White Folk to describe how they should view their lives in terms of being in and living in an apartheid-like reality. Racism never went anywhere. Look at the statistics that describe the African-American daily struggles and you (may) see and understand why the "Distant Shores" of "freedom, justice and equality," in practice, are only distant proverbial myths and mutterings to many people of color. Racism is real.

Also, if you ask why so many young and older Black folk, now, vehemently rally behind the "Black Lives Matter" banner with a renewed interest of ethnic identity, intensity and survival, alerting to one and all that they apparently don't care what anyone who doesn't walk, nor live in their realities, thinks about them.

If "justice, freedom and equality" are only, in reality, patriotic words for "some" ethnic folk and not for all, then those ideals are only placebo things existing on "Distant Shores," continually unattainable for a large segment of America's society to reach. Do you get this?

If that's the pragmatic political norm, societal reality and practical actuality, and if we return to those "Distant Shores" of lethal class indifferences, surreptitious prejudices and stealthy political injustices, then we offer no sense of equality to "all" people, regardless of their ethnicity, religion or skin color. They will see no future in hollow idyll rhetoric and unbroken promises coming from distant shores.

America has too much to lose. We will do dishonor and shame to what we claim America is supposed to be. Let's build America to include "all" without racism, biases and prejudices.

For today and always, that's "As I See It."


Visitor Comments

Submitted By: Yusuf Ali Submitted: 7/27/2016
Assalamualaikam, I just wanted to say this was another good message. Keep doing what you do. Growing up in Elizabeth NJ we had many brothers who where able to deliver a good message and this is one of those messages, and I thank you for it. My you be blessed. And all my brothers as well. Pear resistance..

Submitted By: Nneka Submitted: 7/28/2016
How realistic is it to achieve; "justice, freedom and equality"? Was the foundation of the USA modeled to achieve those? Just asking

Submitted By: Nneka Submitted: 7/28/2016
How realistic is it to achieve; "justice, freedom and equality"? Was the foundation of the USA modeled to achieve those? Just asking

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