When I grew sensible I used to fear the text “…be sure your sins will find you out” (Num 32:23). You see like many I too have skeletons in my closet and I know this text to be true!
So here we are at the allegations against Cosby. His skeletons are falling out the closet daily and we are tripping on them. According to legend many have known about Cosby’s extra interests and many know he is your typical narcissistic power tripper.

I write this not to add more shame, blame or defaming but to have a conversation that I seem to be cyclically stuck in for weeks now. In particular mostly my male friends are reluctant to believe “Dr. Heathcliff Huxtible” could be a rapist. Mostly because the character played on TV was in our minds flawless. Others disbelieve because they have had or their “boy” has had some encounter with a lying woman. So the convo has too quickly become about victim credibility. While the amount of accusers seem overwhelming, the piece hardest for them to reconcile is the timeline. I hear comments like “why now?” “how come they took so many years to come forward?” “they are just trying to take him down”, other comments I won’t repeat based on the harshness.
My shortest retort has been–unless you have experienced rape you cannot hope to explain how somebody should deal with it and when they will speak about it.

Man vs. Icon
It is never easygoing when an icon meets reality. The human can never hope to be as awesome as the iconization they benefited from. In Cosby’s case the icon Bill Cosby was the cat’s meow. He has had a number of firsts in Comedy, TV and Film and has opened doors for many black actors and comedians in America. Arguably without a Cosby on TV there would not have been numerous other blacks on TV.

Further, products like the Cosby Show were culture-changing. For while critics and critiques would argue that Cosby Show did not portray realistic “black life” in the America they knew, back on a medium sized island in the Caribbean sea a girl watching the Cosby show whose only plan was to finish high school had a seed planted that –more was possible. Certainly if that message reached her surely it reached many more. This in mind, it is clear why hearing that such an icon may be a horribly flawed human is hard to digest. The man Bill Cosby for whatever reasons–power tripping, psychosis or other has smashed into the icon head on. In this new age of immediate technological impact icons can be de-frocked/stripped within days or weeks. Now laying bare before us are fragments some parts man some parts icon.

Rape is no Joke
For one of America’s funny men to allegedly engage is rape/assault acts is no laughing matter.
The success of rapists has always been advanced by silence. However it is never easy to break the silence. Practically every rape victim is disbelieved or worst yet blamed. Have you heard questions like “why was she at his hotel room though?”, “why didn’t she fight back?”, “why didn’t he use his natural power to get out of it?” “Where is their rape kit?”. These very questions and judgement keep the victim silent. The rapist depends on this reaction. In instances where they are not assured of the silence they ramp up their twisted game. It is not unlike a rapist to intimidate, use shame, use vulnerabilities against the victim, threaten the victim or their loved ones, use their gender dynamic to impact the victim, threaten exposure or pay to secure the silence (once a victim takes a settlement society judges them as having lied and possessing other motives). In this instance the rapist is the expert. For these reasons and more a victim is less likely to come forward because they seem to have more to lose than the rapist. So don’t be surprised if it takes some people a lifetime to admit to the assault! Know that daily they have lived and suffered with it, they have weighed how people will react and dig and criminalize them and then some.
Here is something to consider–apparently less than 10% of rape accusations are false (multiple sources including the FBI, other sources project higher rates but they also think when a rape victim withdraws a claim they were lying). So why are so many people inclined to think the accuser is lying. A real lie about rape has to be hard because a victim of any crime tends to recall details that a lie would show up. I suggest sexism or gender norms plays a major role in the rape culture we have and the reaction a rape victim endures. We quickly pool together all we know about both parties and a believability quotient emerges based on our relationship to sexism and how much of an icon one party is.

Does Racism play a role here?
Is the ocean salty??
Let us look at what we know for sure– Bill Cosby a black male is being accused of rape or other sexual violations by mostly white females.
-The accusations are playing out in mass media, the spaces most inclined to the vilification of blacks.
-The black community does not know if they should believe in a falling icon or fight the system on splaying our dirt for all to see or call out the hypocrisy seen when the accused is non-black/brown.
-Surely we know rape is horrible but do we abandon hero-worship knowing his fall will set us all back?

Racism has a lot to do with this! It shapes how each person responds as accusers come forward and it shapes the narrative about Cosby in media.
One of my favourite lines from Lauryn Hill’s Superstar may be instructive here
“Just as Christ was a superstar, you stupid star, They’ll hail you then they’ll nail you, no matter who you are, They’ll make you now then take you down, And make you face it, if you slit the bag open and put your pinky in it, then taste it”

The Cosby take down speaks to these lyrics on levels– he ate his own jello pudding! He forgot how insidious white supremacy is, he probably does not think it exists since he “surpassed his race”. He surpassed it soo much that he was spending his spare time chastising and reprimanding the other blacks–the ebonic talking, pants down, single parent, keeping up with the Jones blacks! When he was publicly shaming us he probably never recalled that the pendulum swings both ways.
Is he the first celebrity to face these allegations? Nope! But he will be among the few who has their allegations handled in these ways. He may have been shielded all this time by celebrity status or privilege bought from gatekeeping but something shifted and he now like the other blacks is unprotected from facing the music.

Is he guilty? He may very well be! Will we know for sure? Probably not! The statute of limitations may have run out on all the accusers so there will likely be no day in court. Meanwhile in the court of twitter and other public opinion Cosby has been experiencing his trial and the consequences as per society (loss of Netflix series and NBC pullout and TVLand pulling the Cosby Show). Coincidentally all the black stars are being punished while the networks will move on to the next flavour until such time as is deemed necessary.
Some questions which linger for me:
1)Why hasn’t Cosby filed slander suits?
2) With statute of limitations run out what do we think women can gain from coming out now except the regular thoroughfare of criminalizing the victim?
3) With such an extensive career and impact why haven’t there been equal parts celebrities and Cosby kids coming forward to defend Cosby’s character?
4) With the ferocity of allegations why does Cosby still think his lawyers’ advice of no comment is still sufficient?
5) Who will come forward next??

As I post I know I don’t have answers but I am too aware of how rape culture and racism are intersecting. I am also too aware that the game play on display is beyond uncomfortable it is sad…

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Jamaica’s Parts Unknown

Posted: November 17, 2014 in Uncategorized

This is a repost from my status on Facebook.

So I’m at it again a 90 day purge/plan/program. I did it before when I was trying to rid myself of some bad elements and it kinda worked. I am here again and this time it has a title, a pseudo plan and a friend to keep accountability. We called it 90Days2Happiness!
The Plan/What we hope to accomplish

This plan lasted a couple weeks and then Fail!
I want to try again

Preamble: So at Christmas time we all got a gift even if you didn’t acknowledge it or watch it, Quentin Tarantino delivered to us an awkward gift called “Django Unchained”, the kind of gift you probably should not open in public.  This is a much talked about film which brings controversy in its wake and since I am a talker I will talk about it too.  Despite it all (controversy etc) I deem it a good conversational piece, my take is weird so bare with me as I discuss this film through the lens of others first.

For Black men

Django Unchained had a mixed reception, there are those who learned something, like how excruciating it was for the chains to dig into the slave’s skin as they walked for miles at their master’s behest. For others they got the jokes and saw a ‘black hero’ riding on a horse and saving the day.  It may have been because of their media socialization where Clint Eastwood and John Wayne formed the backdrop for their heroic dreams or because they have rejected the sorrow of slavery as past things which we should no longer speak of.

Black Women

This group also showed mixed reaction.  The black female is most likely  however to walk away from the movie conflicted about the reactions they had while watching and the reaction they should have post-viewing.  On one hand there are those who are very forgiving of the folks who found it humorous, because after all that is a human reaction to jokes, this group was also likely to compartmentalize parts of the film as some funny some real.  Then there are those who find slavery no joke and are not amused by Sam Jackson’s character or Tarantino’s attempt at making this a slavery action film.

White People

I am grouping genders here because its my blog.  Mixed reactions here.  Some were emotional and sat still while watching trying hard not to see the humour.  Some took this as a historic account and thought they learned a lot from the film.  Some took the film as most Tarantino films are taken, as some kind of cult classic. So for them the sting has been taken out of the N-word and that Tarantino guy sure is funny.

My Take

I have watched most of Tarantino’s films, I am very aware of his back story and film influences.  With that said, this film was particularly very Tarantino; in other places I have described it as “classic Tarantino, good and bad in one fell swoop”. Clearly this film speaks to his familiar scapes, in this case Spaghetti Westerns is major, some people don’t like the blood and gore but that is also Tarantino, he likes Japanese anime a whole lot! He also like many writer- directors is plagued by his past experiences or “demons” and this shows up in all his works.  Tarantino has always been awkward when depicting his version of “blackness” see Pulp Fiction, the characterizations are usually over the top and with a hint of insider perspectives (read his bio etc. for why). As a body of work I don’t know that it was award worthy but I did find it extremely useful for gauging people’s reactions and politics.

The Problem with other people telling our stories

Turns out a black director could not have made this film?? Whether because the in-cohesive black community would rake them over the coals for the characterizations or because it would be considerable hell to get Hollywood backing as it would be deemed risky or risque. And it turns out that even in a film where a black man plays the title character his work is not deemed award-worthy (things which make me go hmmmm).

But here is where I have problems with this current incantation of Django.  It is not history! Nor should it be taken as a historical text!  In fact it is a bad text about us.  The real Django http://www.denofgeek.us/movies/django-unchained/51881/bass-reeves-the-real-life-django-a-legendary-african-american-marshal

or http://www.lva.virginia.gov/public/trailblazers/2009/honoree.asp?bio=1

(whichever one you accept doesn’t matter still only one story seldom told) did not have his story play out like this unchained one. You see when other people start telling us about ourselves you better know yourself really well before consuming it. Tarantino sought to make light of a critical period in history and by so doing he may have done some serious damage.  If his aim was a historical or period piece why didn’t he use full brush strokes and tell the whole story?  Not sexy enough? or doesn’t fit with the narrative that society allows about blacks? When you consider that people overwhelming get their concept of image/self/culture from media and cultural forms imagine what this film could have done and in turn may have accomplished.

Further an opportunity to explore some really sick things about slavery and white supremacy has been lost.  Mandigo fighting? (See 1975 movie Mandingo, which was no doubt an influence for Tarantino), I am certain it (mandingo fighting) happened but not in the sense that the movie depicted in-fact in a much more twisted reality. Whipping slaves while reading bible texts? The role of religion in the project of enslavement is understated and made light of here by Tarantino, though he is not the only one who ignores it.  But perhaps the most disheartening is the line that DeCaprio’s character utters “I keep wondering why won’t the slaves rise up and strike back (paraphrase)”.  So the slaves were dumb for taking all this punishment right??  No mention of the numerous unofficial Marshalls (even doctors) set up to search for and destroy runaways or an understanding of the rabid dogs ready to set upon an upstart or the various tools to have us fight against each other (some still existent today) such as black overseers, inhumane whipping, slave hierarchy and more. 

When other people tell our stories truth is not what they seek… more like money  Recently action figures from the movie were just pulled, the fact that they could have passed design phase says a lot about the world we live in.  And herein lays my concern–  It’s just a movie and in many cases should be taken as such; but Django Unchained is also going to be a text humanity leaves behind.  You know the scenario of the aliens visiting earth and looking through our artifacts? so, when they pick up Django what will it say about us?  That we are able to laugh about ourselves and not take historical events too seriously and move on or will it say we were party to lies, mockery and trivializing history.

It hardly matter who watches this film or even how you take it because it will mean different things to different people.  For me it joins the ranks of pop-culture statements which tell me way more about people than maybe I need to know for my own sanity…and that’s the nutshell of my take!

 

 

Preamble: The title of this blog came to me on November 6th but has really been building for a few years.  The overwhelming truth of it occurred the week leading into the U.S. Presidential elections when I was getting notices and emails about various election results parties across the G.T.A, the majority of these invites were sent by black people and the events seemed to be targeting black people mostly.  The clincher was one invite which read “You can watch the second coming of Barack Obama at…” I almost fell off my chair.  This meant more to people than I had been accepting. It was very clear that this post which has been building for years now needs to be written.

Why Heroes

Within the past year and 1/2 there have been some significant losses to the “black community” (these quotations need explanation, more on that later), we saw the death of Dudley Laws, then Charles Roach and most recently Lincoln Alexander.  All three had impacted the Canadian landscape in different ways and arguably all three have some sort of Hero status among their friends/family/followers.  Hero is used here in reference to a clear iconization practice among all peoples, where we attach value to some people over ordinary persons because of some accomplishments or change they have effected that we think was extraordinary and maybe insurmountable or unfathomable at the time they did their thing.  This hero-worship usually stands for reverence as well as inspiration.  For black people whose bodies have been subject to numerous holocausts and who have had to struggle in the western world to prove their worth, having individuals who have accomplished something (sometimes anything) is taken for inspiration.  In Lincoln Alexander’s case it was seeing representation of a black person in the political arena, in Dudley Laws’ case it was having a person who would advocate for and fight against the injustices being dished out to black youth in Toronto and in Charles Roach’s case it was having the image of a lawyer who was immigrant and who was relentless in advocacy.  The sad thing about these losses is that regardless of what we may individually think about these men they bare very little resonance for black youth today.  They were of the “past” you see…and they had no time to translate their impact for a current generation whose “Heroes” surface daily in pop-culture mostly.  Have I answered the why? Doubtful!

It is clear to me that people need someone or hopefully some people to look up to.  This is for motivation, for legacy, for telling our histories or for inspiration.  The problem is that my traditional purview of heroes omits the very obvious stand-ins (fleeting heroes like cultural icons such as Lil Wayne, Drake, Usain Bolt etc.) that serve as heroes today.

Enters Barack Husein Obama

In The U.S.A. there have been discussions on this man who now gets a 2nd term at President.  What they have not possibly studied or discussed is how many black Canadians and for the purpose of this conversation–Torontonians follow him, hang on his every word and secretly wished they could have voted for him and that he was their president. Why? Foremost and obvious he is black! Not simply his colour but all it represents as some have said to me “imagine his little black girls running in their white house”, “he is the first black president and they can’t stop him”, “now little black girls and black boys can look at him and know anything is possible”, “Canada probably won’t have one” and so on.  It is really the possibility of possible that mints someone as a hero/heroine!  It is this possibility that Obama represents that caused the numerous election watch parties and the cheers that went up from Toronto when he won both times.  Of-course nobody ever frames the conversation around the evils that a U.S President engages in and sanctions instead it is a good thing and that’s that, no critique allowed.

Back to Canada…Don’t we have Heroes?

I am sure there are people who would qualify under the pseudo-definition I have been positing here.  The missing piece though is that everyone or at least a majority must be aware of the Hero.  Their name must be touted and their fame must be known, much like a saint about to be canonized there needs to be proof or record of their heroics and much in line with the fast-paced trending of social media they must be relevant to the now! This last criteria messes with the Heroes of the past even our most recent past.  You see in Canada we have Viola Desmond (our version of Rosa Parks), Elijah McCoy (inventor Extraordinaire–the Real McCoy), Mary Ann Shadd (started the first integrated school in Canada), we then have a slew of people to list including decorated soldiers, sprinters, musicians, politicians etc.  The list is however not well known and outside of awe-inspiring stories like “The Hanging of Angelique”–by Dr. Afua Cooper, the narratives or storytelling about the Canadian list pails in comparison to that of the Americans.  The reason for our less enthusiastic storytelling among black Canadians is varied and may need a second blog entry.  Suffice it to say, I think the process of assimilation into a “Canadian culture” and a resistance to break down the full story of a racist (shhh…this word is not allowed) struggle-filled past for blacks in Canada has had significant impact on interpretations of heroes and heroics.

What happens in the absence of Heroes?

The short answer is to look around at the impact on the identity-seeking, self-loathing and self-killing present among today’s youth.  The other answer includes noting that the void will be filled in the absence of heroes.  Remember the stand-ins I mentioned earlier, they take the space, Obama takes the space and other less favourable options take the space.  Arguably it may not be a bad thing to fill the space up with other things, I just get really worried when the absence of heroes means mis-representation takes the place.  My blog entry is really about my concern for the “black community” which we can all agree is neither monolithic nor congruent but which is still seen as a whole.  I am concerned that while I bash hero-worship I see where it is relevant if only in combating the alternative, which is a dismal future for blacks in Toronto.  As I watch our generations drift further and further apart in terms of what we deem important and worthy of preservation I see each generation clamour for their own heroes and we all seem to be getting it a little wrong.

The U.S. Election results 2012

Posted: November 7, 2012 in Uncategorized
Tags: ,

Talk-di-tings: I know it may be too soon for some because the celebrations and jubilation abound.  But I am a contrarian, skeptic and any other title I garner after this post.  1st if I knew Pres. Obama I would congratulate him, he accomplished his goal. 2nd If I could whisper in your ears I would say, stop being caught up with politics and politicians.  They are not for poor people whether through policy/friendships/partnerships or deeds and last I checked poor people are actually the majority. I would also whisper that every American President is in service of the structure and not the people. 

The Truth

Votes have never meant accountability despite what BOs acceptance speech says.  On a simple level it is doubtful how much this president can shift or accomplish with a Republican House (same situation as 2008).  On a complex level America’s problems were created by the impossibilities of capitalism and these cannot and won’t be fixed.

On a simple level the majority votes went to the nicer personality of the two servants of capital.  On a complex level the election was complicated because some people started to wake up to the fact that priorities and policies of both parties are not too distinct.  Sure Mitt is a job-killer/exporter and warmonger but Obama’s administration is drone central and wall street concession-maker.  Apples and Oranges you say??  So enjoy the merry-making but brace yourselves for solutions which will sacrifice the poor and people of colour on the alter of capitalism.

The imperfect storm coverage

Posted: October 29, 2012 in Uncategorized

In a world of tweets and re-tweets, posts and re-posts we find the coverage of Storms whether they are Sandy or other, taking some weird turns.  Today October 28th as there is a clear and present danger to NYC of Sandy there emerges fake images of the Storm.  So whether these folks are Photoshopping or copying from movies like “the Day after Tomorrow” or other films the doom and gloom is in the air.  Makes me wonder strongly about coverage and the loss of Journalism.

It has been my reluctant submission that Journalism is dead (I could date its T.O.D. but let us just say it pre-dates the 2000s).  This death of journalism has renders coverage the realm of every and anybody within certain paradigms of course.  So in a storm setting we see small stature reporters hanging on to the microphones for support while the newly minted I-Reporters send along pics from their porch or Photoshop.  Meanwhile the media which have lost their News compass seek to be the first to post, re-post, re-tweet and “breaking news” tag these images.  Who determines that this gets a go?

The way I grew up was certainly friendly to silence.  From the adage “children should be seen and not heard”, to the literal silencing that attended each un-welcomed or unsolicited utterance; in church, in school and in home.  You see as a girl child I learned well through various institutions about when to speak and when to be silent.  Soon like most, I learned to be quiet and I have been very good at it.

So… What does Silence have to do with Rape?

It has everything to do with it.  In fact for a rape to be successful the attacker counts on their victim being silent, yes in many cases they take extra precautions like gagging and bounding to ensure this silence. However, deep down they know that the victim is that much more frightened by their command of silence and the repercussions of speaking that they will uphold the silence.  It is because of the pressure of the silence why rape/incest and pedophilia victims never report, are afraid to come forward with their story.  If breaking silence is rewarded with becoming an outcast, people looking at you like you carry leprosy, not being believed as in the case of many incests it is hard to encourage anything but silence. If silence is imposed on all things even the good it becomes confusing for a person to feel secure in breaking the silence.  It is silence that keeps the offenders powerful and which allows them to do these heinous acts over and over.

Take this issue up a notch

Recently in my homeland there was a spate of rapes, 5 females in St. James one of them an eight year old, in the same week there were at least two more reported incidences (note the distinction of reported versus unreported), girls who are living in children’s home were attacked on their way home from school…talk about a double whammy of violations (more on that another time).  I don’t want this post to become about my homeland–Jamaica since where I work in Canada each September the rapists return, oh they have already done 2 attacks that were reported and September isn’t done yet and did I tell you that they stick around until late November and these rapist I am convinced are not caught since each year they return (yeah I believe they are the same people–more on that another time).  Recently I posted on my Facebook “a girl child ain’t safe in a world full of men” but if I am to be honest and fair it is not just girls and men are not the only offenders.  Comes back to my earlier detour on silence, for it is silence why we first think of women as rape victims unless we live in certain places where rape is an act of war against all especially women and children.  Fortunately the recent spate of violence did not fall into the silence trap.  Not only were the crimes against the females reported but there was symbolic action taken by all at home.  The entire country (Jamaica) on Friday engaged in civil protests, wearing full black in most instances and chanting words like “real men don’t rape”.  While it may just be a public outpouring of disdain it was significant because usually when we are able to gather in these ways it is for useless politicians or for dances.  So in many ways I felt the country grew especially given technology which forces us to do like I am doing now–hide behind a screen and type exegesis about issues we will probably not impact.  The people, women and men; stood against these heinous acts of violence and it was noticeable, it wasn’t silent and it was a start!

This start is what is needed globally as silence about crimes is not golden!  Next we need to take these issues up a notch.  Breaking the silence is important but I fear there is way more work to be done. We need to be honest! Honest about our collective culpability in the silence and creating the environments where acts like rape find a breathing ground.

Can we be Honest?

Is it possible to be honest about the societies we have created which breed acts like rape?  The media and the mores of the land and our institutions are all culpable. The mores that call nature “mother nature” then rapes and plunders the land, the mores that see women as things to conquer/own/possess.  The media which feeds the mores, painting pictures of women as possessions, they come with your hot cars, they come with your cigarettes, your new shirt, ties, hair gel and more.  The media which through cartoons and other images relegate children to odd spaces where they silently absorb messages, video games where rape and other violent attacks are just a milieu unexplained, content void of discourses about good touch bad touch but instead filled with heroes (all white males) who are good for us, will rescue us and who doesn’t like when we are “bad/naughty”.  The music which becomes absorbed as norm has every possible reference about self-hate and misogyny even presented by female content-makers. In dancehall music it has gone to sickening proportions from daggering, to romping shop to countless other scenarios where the male antagonist is only interested in sexual acts with the seemingly willing female (note I keep using female, really I want you to think in patois –Fe–Male, what is that about?).  Mores and media tell us what is normal, how to act and then they get re-enforced by institutions like our families, our churches our schools and our offices. Do you even wonder why it is hard for children or alter-boys to speak about the fondling from priests?  Do you even wonder why some teachers or other authority figures like coaches are found in sex scandals or pedophilia rinks? Do you wonder why the boss feels it is okay to be inappropriate with secretary or other subordinate staff? Do you wonder why victims of incest go many years without talking or allowing the memory of abuse?  Do we ever wonder why the offender doesn’t seek help at the impulse of becoming an abuser? These things all work in concert! Silence–Mores–Norm–Silence!

Let us end the silence!  Today let us call it all out; from our role in it, to the impossibilities society has set up for children to fight back and speak out, women to be safe and for offenders to seek help before offending. We can’t expect to stack the odds against change and then hope for change.  Victims must feel they will be honoured, heard and respected if they speak out!  Antagonist must know that we will not ignore their deeds by heaping layers of cop-out on them! We should all be safe in this world and the good news is we can all impact this shift. 

Be honest and Break the Silence…that would be golden!

Gun talk…

Posted: July 22, 2012 in Thinking aloud
Tags: , ,

This past week has been harrowing for many as in Toronto we heard about shootings from bar-b-ques to drive-by.  In Aurora, Colorado we heard of what is being touted as “the biggest shooting incident in USA history” (these statements are of-course void of a knowledge of history).  There is therefore no time like the present to talk and further to talk –guns.

If one feels they have the right to bare arms I wont attempt to dispute them I just wanna know what kinda war are they preparing for when purchasing 6000+ rounds of ammunition? And why is nobody asking the purchaser of these bulk ammunition the same question?

It has often been said that guns don’t kill people…people kill people.  While the statement sounds technically sound because after all it takes a person to pull a trigger right?  isn’t there something inherent in the mechanism of guns that are murder-causing..like the bullets etc. Just wondering out loud!  What about missiles?  I suppose they don’t kill either??

We live in a society where gun crimes have become normalized through various mechanisms.  As a former student of media I could argue about the numerous violent images that the average child is exposed to before they get to age 10. I could wax prolific quoting documentaries like “Why we fight” which speaks to exposure of youth to gun toys; from water guns to G.I. Joe and soldier toys.  I could talk about violent movies which glorifies the gun user as victor from Westerns (OK Coral, Good the Bad the Ugly) to ____insert the latest action flick you may have seen.  I can’t find room to list the pieces of art, rap songs, dancehall songs, country songs and more which assert and propagate gun use. All of these I have no doubt impact the outcome of some young killers and gun users we have now! However I am more curious about gun use as political and cultural norm.

Gun Norm…

One of the tools of colonialism and now neo-colonialism is the gun!  The project of spreading “democracy” has clearly only been enabled by the use of the gun.  In numerous countries the fight for a political vote encounters a gun.  In practically every country ‘security’ is kept by the gun.  The “war on drugs’ is being assisted by the gun.  The “war on crime” involves the gun.  Are you getting my point?  Our day-to-day is pervaded by the use of guns.  It has become norm. In fact if you saw a police person in uniform without a gun you would immediately notice something is missing.  It is such a norm the youngest humans can identify and make the gun synonymous with their existence.  It should therefore come as no surprise that there are gun crimes daily.

Ending the Gun talk

It is irrational and almost impractical to expect that there will not be a juxtaposition of state-authorized gun use and other gun use.  The right to bare arms while selfish and initially racist in its motive must be called into question.  It appears that we are a highly delusional species when we seek to outlaw some gun use and not others.  How do we end it?  Be really honest and seek to do the most drastic culture shift in history, remove the gun from norm!  This is where I am delusional if I think that shift will ever happen!  Where fear exists gun use will much more persist.  I wrote because I do not own a gun, have no intention to own one but know very well that it would be no safer in my hands than anyone’s.

Editorial Talk-di-tings: Mi a watch unnu and this Gun talk! Each time a caucasian commits a heinous gun act we hear about their family background, their education, where they lived and if they did good in the past, then the whopper comes “it must be psychological”. I will not contend with whether the fella who committed the murders in Colorado was mad, for sinting wrong wid him fi sure! My contention is that whenever there are gun crimes by black men/sometimes boys, nobody stops to address their possible psychosis, nobody visits their family home with the intent of proving that they were once loving little boys, nobody combs through their school records hoping to see less than drop-out, yet at the end we get a whopper they must be Gangstas/Thugs! I won’t argue that either, but I just wanted to point out the difference in the gun talk! We want gun control for “odd” shootings but none for the “others”! SMH!!

Every time I travel I lose my strength!

Needless to say traveling post-9/11 is no longer fun at the very best you just hope to get to your actual destination and safely and with your luggage.  Whenever I travel and have to contend with immigration officials at border crossings or ports I switch gears and my inner field negro emerges.  I am filled with manners–No Sirs, yes Mams, okays and varied nervousness that I hope a secret sensor won’t detect.  The funny thing is I am not-guilty of anything, in-fact as far as threats go I am a fly!  But I am uniquely aware of my powerlessness!

In my mind I call the immigration folks ‘toy cops” but in my deeds I call em Massa!  and in these instances the colour of the agent does not matter (they are all perpetrators of the system).  They have ultimate power to determine if I even get to my destination more so than even the pilots.  Recently it occurred to me that even the flight crew which I tended to give respect/awe where also potentially a part of the Massa class.  A friend of mine was removed from his flight for ‘attitude” recently, and just hearing about it I feel I broke out in hives (I did itch).  Now the flight crew is officially going to be getting some more yes sirs and mams from me.

You may be wondering like me why have I seemingly yielded to this passive persona in travel?  The quick response is, what choice do I have?  After all I neither have the priviledge nor the power to overcome being put on a no fly list.  I do not have an interest in being further separated from bonding moments with family and friends who live nowhere near me.  I have not heard anybody contesting this power dynamic, which has led me to feel I am the only one having a problem with it so I better “hold my lane”.  If anybody were willing to join me in impressing upon the powers that be that like the Patriot Act (and other similar docs) there is something inherently wrong with infringing on “freedoms”.  If we were to argue that our supposed safety has come at the expense of common sense and general freedoms, who would listen?

So as I look forward to another horrific trip where I am scanned, poked, prodded and interrogated I will try to be greatful that the few “massas” I will encounter don’t have physical whips…cause I really couldn’t handle that Noo Sirr!