Saturday, September 10, 2011
Brotha Wolf: The Deepest Pain
Sometimes, when a Person of Color says or writes something I could never have adequately expressed because it is communicating something extraordinary from their perspective, I try to serve as a bridge between them and others. It's part of the responsibility I feel as a person who looks like me to work toward change in a White Supremacist world. Yesterday, I read a blog post by Brotha Wolf I felt that way about. He had been inspired to write it by another blogger's post and that is how the blogosphere works. Here's to modern technology. And here's to Big Man and Brotha Wolf.
Big Man, the brotha behind the popular blog Raving Black Lunatic, wrote an excellent piece about the thoughts and feelings about today’s world relating to how some people have been on top for so long mostly due to the destruction of other people without any large-scale repercussions while those who still benefit from it avoid any responsibility to try and do the right thing. It also describes the need for vengeance as a way to ease the pain and sadness, and questions why such destruction happened or was allowed to happen in the first place.
I think I know what he was getting at. For me, personally, they were thoughts that I constantly have every day and night, thoughts about the history and reality of white supremacy. Despite the fact there are some whites who do accept responsibility and are working hard to change things, most whites are still so blinded by a world they’ve created they see nothing wrong with it. It is a reality that keeps me either angry or depressed.
All People of Color, and some religious groups, have deep wounds within their hearts and souls, but I don’t think anyone has deeper wounds than people of African descent. The reason is that parts of their homelands were colonized for a long time by European powers. Their people were snatched away from the continent for the purpose of serving Europeans at the cost of their basic human rights, their cultures, their names, and even their souls. Eventually, slavery ended only to be replaced with more sophisticated systems of discrimination and oppression. Any form of change was suppressed by the powers-that-be while the power structures of European descendants grew larger and more profitable here in the West and abroad creating a world where only whiteness is important.
Even though we overcame perhaps the most powerful forms of oppression ever known to man thus far, we are still suffering inside. Sure, we joke around, party around, and smile every now and then, but it’s a mask to hide our true pain. It is buried deep within our souls until it somehow manages to surface in emotions so extreme it will scare anyone who witnesses them. It's the kind of pain that stems from ancient trauma beaten into our ancestors mixed with the pain of living in a world where you are not considered “normal” because of your skin and the denial and avoidance of society’s concerns for such matters.
Instead of being understood, blacks are more feared than ever. Society’s members, particularly those of the white persuasion, fear blacks. They are indifferent when we try to explain why we are hurting and are terrified when it explodes in full force. When it explodes, that is proof enough to sneer at the whole black race collectively. It is the perfect incentive to oppress in more creative ways. In a way, it’s a form of psychological torture to keep blacks perpetually angry and(or) depressed. It is a form of control to keep as many blacks as possible subservient and subordinate to whites while presenting a facade of a post-racial society. Whites can argue against any and all accusations of racism, making those who made those accusations look insane. Thus, blacks who were offended are told in one way or another that their hurt feelings don’t matter, and so, their pain continues unchecked.
Meanwhile, the world around you will try to make you feel ashamed of yourself even when you are innocent of any crime. It will tell you that you are less-than-human. It will lie to make you feel ashamed of being black. It will make you think there’s something wrong with being black. It will try – without remorse – to make you hate blackness and love whiteness.
Perhaps what brings on the most misery (in my opinion) is the fact that those of European descent have yet to experience any major or powerful form of punishment for their sins against humanity. For centuries, they’ve gained power, wealth, and privileges, and it’s hard to see any signs of the collapse of the white power and privilege structure. Even though nothing lasts forever, you see no end to white supremacy. You become frustrated, miserable, and you lose hope for any kind of change.
You may ask yourself why this happened. You may ask what the ultimate purpose was to allow a race of people to commit so many atrocities against another race based on skin color. You may even ask, “Why was I born with the most hated skin color in the white man’s world?”
Some who are more religious will question God: “Why didn’t you do anything when this began centuries ago? Why aren’t you making them (white people) pay? Why did you allow this world to be created where we are valued less? What is the meaning behind this? When will things change? God, are you a white supremacist too?”
The pain buried deep within black people around the world will never be fully understood. We – along with our fellow People of Color and non-Christians – are hurting. It is a pain we endure in our daily lives living in a world where whites “rule.” Most of us learn how to handle it in stride, but beneath our game faces we are secretly crying endless tears.