By Hakim Abdul-Ali
It’s been a tragic but ever-so-revolting last couple of weeks in the USA in so many unfathomable norms of ordinary understandings. And after the horrific killing of George Floyd on May 25, in Minneapolis, Minnesota, the world-at-large has voiced its mighty and resounding distaste about this murder in almost unimaginable expressions of dissent and protests just about everywhere you globally can think of.
It seems that for the very first time a large majority of Caucasian and other ethnic folk have shown that they will no longer deny that Black folk everywhere have been and are still systematically under siege while living in the lingering shadow of American 21st century racist apartheid. All of this yields to the brutal assessment that living in today’s “real” USA is still a serious “his-storical” and capricious testing ground for this nation’s different “colored” folk of all ethnicities and religious beliefs.
Viewing this second-class existence and knowing that reality, especially, for the country’s Black male folk, makes them marked men from birth in this, the land of the land of the free (???) and the home of the brave. Existing in and under America’s not-so-clandestine institutional operating system called justice without real freedom or real equality is and always has been hazardous to all African descendants for over almost five centuries with no let ups.
The afflictions, pains, miseries, sufferings, agonies and horrors of American racist apartheid that have plagued Black and other oppressed folks here in the Western Hemisphere (and elsewhere) can and will no longer (apparently) be tolerated by the progressively aware youth of today. The spontaneously global protests of recent weeks have shown to one and all, “poly-trickstians” included, that this truly is a new liberation movement taking place among all reformed-minded and desirous justice seeking for all folk of color everywhere.
I’m reminding you, as I’m reminding myself now, that oppression in any format stinks, no matter where or how it exists. A famed Euro-American hero named Patrick Henry was touted as having famously said as an infamous declaration before the Second Virginia Convention in 1775, “Give me liberty, or give me death.” Never forget that!
Now that’s some heavy stuff—but is it, or was it, only for Europeans, Euro-Americans, Caucasians or “White folk” to advocate? Hmm, at my present advance age, it seems that that I’ve heard that phrase uttered for more than enough decades of my own systematic colonial indoctrination than I care to recount, and I still ask, “Who was he talking to?”
Even as a young teenager, I, oftentimes, wondered if Mr. Henry, a celebrated founding father of America, ever intended for that bold and emphatic declaration to be understood, fought for and implemented by all, including the enslaved Africans, who should have been the main ones seeking liberty, freedom and justice by any means necessary. Maybe, the racist political leaders of Mr. Henry’s time never envisioned, or thought of, a Black name George Floyd being a standard bearer for making his declaration a rallying equity cry for all globally oppressed beings to take action in declaring that racism is an enemy worth destroying.
I asked that very question last Saturday of a card carrying locally based political-minded soul, who believe it or not, looked at me with scorn like I was out of my mind for asking him the aforementioned question. This patriotic individual wondered why I dear say that to him because, after all, shouldn’t Black people be thankful for just being and living in America (because) “Africa was and is a savage land (sic).”
You may be shocked by his response to me, but I wasn’t, especially, knowing the hidden nature of how “some” of the so-called The American People, whoever they are, really “his-storically” feel about folk of color. Understanding this, I, unapologetically, I told him directly, “Why shouldn’t I ask you that, especially, since you’ve apparently forgotten that, realistically speaking, your skin tone still gives you an ‘invisible’ advantage of ethic prerogative benefits which melanin folk like me don’t generally have.”
He asked me what did I mean because he didn’t know what I meant by using all those fancy words. I poignantly then broke it down for my fellow American by telling him, rather succinctly, that all I meant by using those “fancy words,” as he proclaimed, was that all I was simply telling him was that his skin color allowed him to enjoy something loosely called “White privilege,” something he couldn’t neither deny or maybe, even, accept.
I don’t know which sentiment applied to this gentleman, and I really don’t care, but sometimes it takes a little courage to step outside of one’s bigoted “privileged”conditioning to see firsthand what another oppressed created soul of the universe sees, feels, believes or has had to endure. The physical tortures and psychological torments done to the Motherland’s descendants lives within them from the Middle Passage on until this very day. Ask the departed soul of George Floyd how that knee to his neck felt, if you dare?
That’s why my column is entitled “Thru the Lens of Someone Other than Yourself,” and I’m not about excusing what Afrikaans, Arabs and other invaders, colonizers and raiders did to so many of the Motherland’s innocent captives. No way am I doing that because oppression and enslavement are savageries no matter where they occurred, even though some folk of modernity may pretend otherwise to deny same.
Some very aware and unbiased folk, like so many of the different ethnicities, who protested against the police brutalities and racial insensitivities inflicted upon Mr. Floyd and others of color like him, are now in tuned to a new wave of “hue-maness” for all. They are blessed to know and realize that as ameliorated American universal students of learning each day now represents another enterprising situation for them to show that the good old boys’ twisted backroom political racist skullduggeries and shenanigans are on its way out.
I sincerely applaud those young folk who are peacefully and defiantly saying openly for all to hear and visualize that “Enough is Enough.” This is a new moral dawning for America and the rest of the world, and it will take courage to want to not give into ignorance and stupidity and to decide that police racism and political bigotry must end now as it relates to how the oppressed live and have to survive.
Think about that before you read on, because no matter how much you’ve been systematically indoctrinated about this and that about various ethnic folk of color, we all should know that the Creator Alone of us all is greater than everyone and everything in existence. It would be easier to grasp if we could see life “Thru the Lens of Someone Other Than Ourselves.”
Remember that and, in the wake of George Floyd’s tragic killing, please do not continually be misguided by divisive diatribes of today’s sculptured “poly-tricks.” Unfortunately, in many ways, I believe that probably describes so many of the prejudiced mindsets of so many in our nation and beyond as greed, racism and disinformation have slowly and “calculating” crept into the racial ethos of many quasi-political leaders and others.
So, we must be courageous and stop the sinister mischievous actions of escalating racial profiling, mounting police atrocities and simmering religious hatreds now before they destroy our nation from within. America is a potentially great country, but it’s not there yet, even after Patrick Henry’s declaration.
With knowledge comes wisdom, and also remembering again that by looking “Thru the Lens of Someone Other than Yourself,” you may become a more spiritual and tolerant soul. Respect your fellow Americans and others. For today and always, that’s, “As I See It.”