Many of us know from experience that
racists hate. Blacks trying to explain this, have been called
not a matter of disliking,
say, Black people. You can dislike people. Prejudice is one thing,
but racism usually has consequences against those who are the target
of hatefulness. Oppression. Anti-blackness isn’t harmless.
People invest in the thought process and the behavior of a racist to
make sure Blacks are discredited, dehumanized, disappeared. To go out
of your way to hear and absorb lies about Black people, even if you
suspect the truth, is an experience Blacks are forced to have every
day in this country.
am I saying? I can hear the question I’ve heard so many times
before: Why don’t you go back to Africa?).
is painful, and something to be avoided at all cost.
absorption of little
lies every day act similar to pain killers, removing the annoying
pain - at least the reminder of some underlying problem we don’t
want to confront - out of fear of what we might learn about
ourselves. Our condition. Personal and human.
consequences of such hate targeted at a select population is
cataclysmic - that is, those targeted can be killed with impunity;
they can be marginalized social and economically. Disenfranchised as
citizens in a society that has, whether overtly or covertly, a
relationship to the narrative that supplies the lies and the cover up
remember every time in Wisconsin when intolerant white neighbors
decided they needed to get the insolent N----- away from them! I had
to deal with white 20-something males. Sometimes they had the thin
fashion-model attached to their arms. Another time it was a
96-year-old who claimed to know who I was. I
know you! Last year, it
was a couple of Trump supporters.
those months last year in Trump’s Kenosha County, I suspect
that the women using high-tech crap to make it impossible for me to
live in my apartment on the other side of a wall had male friends who
knew what law enforcement and military gadgets to purchase, what
websites to plug into to find out how to harass Black neighbors, how
to chase them back to whatever country or zoo they came from. It’s
no accident that right-wing groups assemble gear about them as if
professional deterrents, guards, militia.
white woman (again, a Trump supporter), deliberately walked up to me,
paused long enough to face me and coughed toward my face, mumbling
something when she finally moved on, confident there would be no
consequences to her. Hopefully, I’d die! As for the manager at
that building, there was no need to wear masks, this is 2020! I
can’t make people wear masks!
was a senior building! But the key Trump supporters were in their
fifties and she was in her late 30s or early 40s. And they were
white! And only Black
people are dying from COVID-19!
of my building managers had no problems informing me in 2017 that my
now deceased cat was on a “bridge” waiting for me. She
believed that. I believe
righteous-religious white evangelicals, very prominent in Kenosha,
are a strong force that if you are not one in this body, you are the
unholy one! And you are Black too!
idea of a Black coming from “Chicago,” living among them
in small town Wisconsin, frightens whites who believe that city is
infested with Black violent criminals with guns while their city or
town has hard-working white folks. Innocent white folks.
not so innocent - given my origins and race. The “violent”
one! The criminal from a community of criminals, in a city where
Blacks terrorize white residents!
doesn’t have a conscience or express concern. Compassion.
to explain that level of hate to those who are seeing themselves the
way Black and other people of color see them here in the US?
people have taken over their country! That’s the big lie. And
sure, a man like Trump can come along and push this lie further along
the road, however, we’ve seen it in the way whites have,
without fear of consequences that have made life hell for Black
people in the US.
people have become too damn visible. First, the President of the
United States and now one is the Vice President - and a woman!
much! The pain killers are no longer effective. Anyway, why bother
with a cover up, a damper?
whose country is it anyway?
I tell someone here in Kenosha that I write for this online magazine,
the Black Commentator,
I’m likely to receive a look that should be directed at a Proud
Boy or anyone of the guys with trucks flying Confederate Flags. I’m
on some “social media” site, disseminating a hateful rant
against white people! Maybe I’m a member of Black Lives Matter
or the Black Panthers, the Black Muslims - something
Black, she said! Because
we can’t be proud of being Black,
no! That’s equivalent to being anti-whiteness. And who in their
right mind wants to be anti-whiteness, huh?
say Kenosha downtown was damaged by Black Lives Matter protesters not
anti-Black rioters. I have yet to have a white mention Kyle
Rittenhouse’s violence to me. But they will remind me that
Blacks are violent. Blacks might as well be responsible for the
shooting of Jacob Blake by Rustin Sheskey who the Kenosha DA thought
acted in “self defense.”
Kenosha prepared for a potential protest from Black residents, some
local police as well as police from New York and transit cops from
Philadelphia, waved white rioters through to the interior of the
Capitol. These mobs were determined to destroy and even kill members
of Congress, the House Speaker, Nancy Pelosi, and Vice President Mike
Pence, however, these guys were invisible violent elements of US
culture. Like Rittenhouse that evening in Kenosha, with his long
rifle in hand, he’s offered water by the local police. As a
young white man, even armed with long rifle, he’s normal.
That is, not so visible as the “criminal,” “terrorists,”
can anyone see an instigator when he or she is white and the
narrative says she’s a “patriot.” He’s a
“good ole’ boy.” They are the innocent.
The very people this US
of A was meant for?
residents of the small southern town had already begun referring to
him as the “dark” man. Mid-way the novel, Sanctuary,
the moment he is arrested and placed in the town’s jail, he’s
the “dark” man, accused of kidnapped, holding hostage,
and repeatedly raping the judge’s daughter. Anticipating the
men calling for a noose around the “dark” man’s
neck, the narrative begs its readers to imagine the inevitable. The
“dark” man’s attorney, Horace Gowan, viewing the
scene of the crime,
realized “that there is a logical pattern to evil.”
Little lies, little lies!
the courtroom, the big lie declares a delusion a reality. The
district attorney offers to the jury evidence: “‘this
object,’” he claimed, “which was found at the scene
of the crime,’” and he points to the criminal
in the court room.
the actual criminal wasn’t held as a spectacle within the
justice system - since he stood, literally, outside the court
so, the “dark” man, a bystander, a cheerleader even for
the man who actually kidnapped and raped the young woman with a
corncob, meets the fate usually reserved for “dark” men.
That the “dark” man so described, at first, in the
narrative as a white
man, becomes “dark.”
in time, comes to recognize in their town a “dark” man as
Black man, or a white
man, in fact, or for that matter, any American who has fallen out of
mob pulled the “dark” man out of jail that night. The
night he’s convicted of the crime. Gowan saw the glare from the
fire. He saw figures running toward the jail. They had received the
signal. Some smelled the gasoline. Another signal that good old
American fun was about to start. Those running to engage were
“panting” and “shouting.” And then Gowan
heard the man screaming and saw the flames surrounding him.
Gowan realized the mob was holding him. “It’s his
lawyer.” He defended
couldn’t hear them. He couldn’t hear the man who had
gotten burned screaming. He couldn’t hear the fire, through it
still swirled upward unabated, as though it were living upon itself,
and soundless: a voice of fury like in a dream, roaring silently out
of a peaceful void…”
Americans see what they have been programmed to see. Just like
fascists. Only in the US, Americans see Blacks everywhere, even when
Faulkner. Who else? He, born in Mississippi, lived among these
Americans and knew good and well how these Americans thought.
instigators who concern me the most are those who sat in Congress on
that Wednesday, January 6, 2021, in proximity to the members we
Americans sent to Congress to represent us. On that January day, the
Capitol White Supremacists staged an insurrection that didn’t
begin with the police working hand-in-hand with QAnon, Proud Boy,
Boogolo Boys, and other right-wing groups. These are despicable
people who need to be found and held to account for their actions.
But thanks to a culture in which the adoration to whiteness didn’t
begin with Trump and certainly won’t end on January 20, 2020,
we have ringleaders in a place where the idea of democracy is
supposed to be front and center.
Josh Hawley and Ted Cruz, who sent out dog whistles to people already
suffering from delusional thinking, sit in the Capitol - doing what -
if not representing anti-democracy, anti-Black people! Hate! These
two senators echoed Trump for almost two months: I
won! I won! They stole the election!
the instigators, in turn, saw Black people as these criminals, the
ones who stole the election. Fight
and take back our country - Or else!
the white supremacists responded.
instigators put forth a vision of an America that can never be -
because it never was white!
Hawley, photographed with a clinched fist in the air, seeing visions
of a revolution. On that day, did he see the wrong doers crushed once
and for all? No second Reconstruction, for them!
for Cruz, well that one lost his mind to whiteness thinking long ago.
Neither instigators Hawley or Cruz are comfortable among colleagues
representing citizens who want to mold an America democracy, rather
than those who want to maintain whiteness and “American
let’s get traitors, Pence and Pelosi, too!
were warnings. Did we actually need the release of an “intelligence”
report, more than a week later, to signal danger ahead, in Washington
D.C.? I heard that the white nationalists, Trumpers, anti-democracy
thugs, and white supremacists were looking forward to January 6th and
preventing the certification of the Biden-Harris election. There were
warnings but these right-winged mobs were white Americans. Their
instigators were white men, senators.
who didn’t see Hawley and Cruz, believers in the ideology of
whiteness, welcoming the mob to the Capitol to do the job? It wasn’t
solely a deranged Trump? What was Hawley’s and Cruz’s
mob had assault weaponry and zip ties. They set up a gallows,
complete with a noose. They went on the hunt for victims!
old South rising again! Generals, sheriffs, mayors, and pro-South
presidents! Dixie Democrats! Bodies swinging, again! Dead bodies!
Hawley and Cruz are anti-Black haters. Anti-democratic. Instigators
of haters have to be seen as treasonous traitors.
Blacks, people of color, Americans, are here because of little
everyday lies. We can’t stay here! We can’t breathe here,
under the big lie of white supremacy.