By Hakim Abdul-Ali
Sometimes, I ask myself, as I’m now asking you, “Does Black America, as a collective grouping, ever really expect to be free of all the negative things that hold them back in their quests for freedom, justice and equality?” No matter what day or year that it is, as I grow older, that question never seems to be addressed and answered in proper terms of unity among many of us.
I’m saddened, as a brother of color and as a committed “our-storian” of my culture, to say that. I guess that I feel that way because I’m forever “Looking Ahead While Never Forgetting,” and that’s due to the fact I, like you and most Afro-Americans, live in a challenging social environment where hidden racism is still prominent in many not-so-disquieted sectors of everyday life as it always has been for a lot of soul folk.
This country and society, in general, is replete with good and bad folk. I want to make that clear. We all seem to know this, but, on the other hand, I know that there are some high-risk folk in this land, who live under the perpetual smog of mutual disrespect of others, faking secret loyalty to patriotism of some sort.
Many of these same dispirited folk are, in reality, only muddled and woeful beings who harbor untold hatreds in their hearts, souls and minds for other ethnically and religiously different Americans, for no their reason that they are ignorantly racist to the bone. This causes me to wonder what their intentions and resolutions are for the coming days and year will be.
Hmm! I pose these realities to you in defense of all full blown born and naturalized Americans’ rights to equal justice in our land. That’s voiced by me because narrow-mindedness and intolerance in many sectors of this country has been off the chain, and it’s still in existence during this new year, just as it was in the last one that passed.
That’s why my thoughts and mind have lead me to script “Looking Ahead While Never Forgetting.” Listen, to say that racism and bigotry exists in this country is nothing new to a aware soul of integrity. It never left!
Sadly, the prejudiced, invidious and inequitable realities of racialism have always been an inherent part of this nation’s original political, religious and social fabric, and, as the late novelist Chester Chestnut, who was born in 1858 and died in 1932, once said, “Race prejudice is the devil unchained.” Again, I remind you of Mr. Chestnut’s sentiment as you begin “Looking Ahead While Never Forgetting” in the present and future.
Some biased folk may want you to deny that for intuitive reasons that they choose to for support of their own isolated and privileged agendas, but no one can hide behind the masks of prejudiced klaverns and preferential ignorances for too long. Any rational being knows that there are many instinctive souls in our nation who recognize that America being racially divided does not mean that America is sanely whole or morally correct.
I know that some of our nation’s current alleged “The American People,” many of whom claim to be so esoterically patriotic, are as divided within themselves along visible lines of race distinction. These folk of this ilk, with invisible degrees of “poly-tricks” flowing everywhere, mislead themselves, and others in their midst, that their American “his-storical” vision and perspectives only includes folk who look and think like them.
Continuing, I feel obliged to further add that some imprudent folk may think that all folk of color are stupid and don’t know the differences between ancient, miseducated lies, myths and falsehoods.
That’s a shameful catastrophe for all intelligent folk to realize about the clear dangers of bigotry and racism, because they must never, ever forget what their ancestors went through and endured on the road to equality.
These aware souls of color know that being of color is beautiful, but living among the racially misguided is another story. They know that living with racism is a psychosis that’s always going to be a bewildering challenge on the road to achieving and instilling what liberation really means in their hearts and souls.
Sounds strange? Well, l’ll offer my additional two cents in on that issue for, again, maybe, a little more clarification, “As I See It.” Truth be told, whenever the systematic political, economic and educational cards are stacked against the disadvantaged or oppressed, it’s always going to be an imbalance of perspectives and realities.
Anytime, one who is of color, he or she is usually listed as one of that nation’s minorities, and those members of the minority are forced to go along generally with the specifics of the oppressor in whatever doctrine, discipline or program that oppressor’s ideology may take, oftentimes, to the exclusion and degradation of said minorities. “Never forget that.”
Being a minority in any of today’s contemporary societies, more than likely, forces them to adapt to the status-quo of the majority. That’s an age old adage that you don’t have to be a senior citizen to understand, so please don’t forget that either.
Also, with that reality probably being accepted as an acknowledged reality in most indisputable instances, it further would be accepted that the minorities’ world view, manners of speaking, thinking, religious leanings, behaving, etc. comes from that arena and is generally shaped by the so-called majority’s view point. Never forget to.
Does the make any sense to you? I believe that it should, especially, if you see how enslaved folk from all over the world take on the mores and customs of their colonizers with a unique twist all their own. Remember that we should learn from “his-story,” even if we don’t legitimately know our own. Think!
We must do this in order to understand what has happened to our minds, bodies and souls over these last four centuries of forced indoctrinations. If you’re not of color, I quite honestly understand why you couldn’t, wouldn’t and won’t fathom what I’m alluding to except through your own rose colored glasses of privileged existed living.
In conclusion, El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz (Malcolm X) once poignantly said, “You wouldn’t be in this country if some enemy hadn’t kidnapped you and brought you here. On the other hand, some of you think you came here on the Mayflower.” I hope that’s not referring to you. Sometimes, we need to keep “Looking Back While Never Forgetting,” and that’s, “As I See It.”