By Hakim Abdul-Ali
Everyone in existence is different in more ways than we can sometimes count. There’s beauty in diversity but you first have to learn to love yourself.
Most of us don’t think alike, nor do we agree on most issues be they political, social, diet, religious persuasions, etc. And even with those contrasts, I do believe that there’s one issue that we could and should agree on and that is that everyone in creation is “hue-man.”
I know to many questionable folk, who may have not had the pleasure of reading my thoughts and opinions over the years, this may be a new literary twist, or play, on the word human. In a sense, it’s really not, but from my point of view, it’s more definitive in comprehension.
First, let me tell you something and that’s that I’m a very spiritual believer in the Creator (Alone) without partners of any kind attached to His Aloneness in any shape, manner or form. That’s key if you’re to follow my vibes for today.
Some may disagree with that posture, and I’m completely cool with that because like I said previously, sometimes, we oftentimes do, or may, disagree on certain points and issues. The living process is what it is.
Breaking this thing down concisely, the world of created people today are so full of bias, color prejudices and deferential ethnic limitations until they divide themselves along lines of subliminal negative existence codes. The invisible color line of racism that exists in societies everywhere is still a dividing barrier between freedom, equal justice and mutual respect for all of the Most High’s “hue-man” creations.
This disrespect has bothered me for some time, and long ago I sought to understand that the Supreme Force of creation, who we loosely call God, never made an error or mistake because He (Alone) created each and everyone of us into our respective ethnicities. Along with that undisputed reality the Creator Alone was not in error, nor made an untimely mistake, in adorning our bodies with the flesh tones or genders He gave us.
My late mother, a woman with a smooth, honey brown complexion used to tell me all the time that all of God’s children were beautiful because He created them to be that way, but most “colored” people don’t realize that. She would further break this age-old philosophy to me by stating that we’re all “colored” people of creation and that the label of being called “colored” applies to one and all.
For your general information, my mother was a revered, much respected and admired schoolteacher, who taught for more than forty years to one and all, including me. Being an only child, I had no escape from how she felt about how things were, or should be, in life.
Because of her, I saw early on in life a different view of looking at all of the world’s “colored” people objectively because I had a master teacher under my wings explaining the nuances of life. Mom was a devout Christian, and you should know that I’m Muslim to the core, but our respective religious traditions made sense to me because my mother always taught, practiced and believed in peace and harmony between the various “colored” ethnicities of “hue-manity” with malice toward none.
As an undergraduate student at Howard University in Washington, D.C. during the racially turbulent 1960s, I made a pledge to myself that I would take every opportunity that I could in finding out about who the Creator of life was and was not. I, especially, abhorred the racism, bigotry and discrimination that pervaded American society then as it still clandestinely does now towards my and other ethnic “colored” folk’s cultures. It made me sick. In that journey back then, I became very active in writing poetry, and on one occasion I was asked to share some of my expressed poetic thoughts about about being proud of who I was. I remember striding to the podium and rattling off a poem about loving the hue of my skin just like I felt everyone else should do and feel with self-pride, which met with much unexpected applause.
My off-the-cuff poetic recital was one where I, wholeheartedly, stated that I believe that there’s but one “hue-man” race, and that it was made, or created, into different nations, or divisions, by the Creator Alone. I further stated that through prolonged colonial miseducation, psychological hijinks and mental deceptions, a large majority of people of color in the world see themselves as inferior when compared to their captors, enslavers or rulers.
After my extemporaneous poem recital, several folks said they were impressed by what I had uttered and that what I said to them made sense. I had to inform them that the seeds of my poetics were in my head and heart because my mother told me that “all” folks in “hue-manity” were and are created by and given their distinctive colorations by God, the Most High Alone.
Decades upon decades later, I still write, teach, preach, discuss and rap about the viability of everyone in “hue-manity” understanding how important that basic grasping of what the real color syndrome that my mother told me is all about. And believe me I know all-too-well about American racism because I’ve lived through it, and in many continuing arenas and episodes in my and others’ living experiences, we still do.
Unless you’re of color, you may not fully comprehend what it’s like living under an umbrella of racial injustices and bigoted fake promises galore for the majority of your life. Well, again, I do, and I most certainly believe and know that other oppressed “colored” folk know also. Even with these continuing diurnal suppressive realities, I, unashamedly, still feel and say that every created being is beautiful in his or her own skin tone, shade, color or hue. My mother used to tell me that “beauty is only skin deep, but ugliness is to the bone.” What a powerful metaphor!
In short, what I’m attempting to say today is that racism only exists where there is ignorance of the Creator and stupidity grows in lacking respect of and for others. I also believe that every created “hue-man” soul will taste of death and, since each moment is fragile, denying one’s own original creation is likened to perfecting self-hatred of one’s self in mass degrees of insanity.
The diseases of self-hatreds are rampant, so I suggest to you to love, respect and accept the skin that you’re in, but also to appreciate the beauty of others’ hues. That’s what makes the world so diversified and imposing, if you ask me. My mother in her own religious traditions believed that to be the case and so do I in mine. I’ll end my column now by sharing a little more wisdom with you from the mind of another late, great woman and poet of color and her name was Maya Angelou.
Ms. Angelou said, “I speak to the Black experience, but I am always talking about the human condition-about what we can endure, dream, fail at, and still survive.” That is an enormous statement of where are as a nation.
You may need to really remember that when you hear someone talk glibly about making our nation great (again). I think we need to be “hue-man” now in order to be great. It’s only topical food for thought, and for today and always, that’s, “As I See It.”