The Cake Is Baked By @KolaBoof

As a Sudanese-born American-raised bestselling author who has been vaginally infibulated since birth, my rage regarding the infamous “Genital Mutilation Art Cake” is like a Hydra with many splintered heads and has scarcely been addressed by anyone in America asked to write about this issue.

The Infamous “Genital Mutilation Art Cake”

My Twitter friend @OwlsAsylum asked me to put my feelings in writing for his blog where I can be as open as I like…so I warn you now…that what I have to say is not going to be what you’re used to reading in Black American publications or even White-ran African ones.

Before I talk about what it’s like to actually live with a ‘cut vagina’ and my conflicting feelings around the whole controversy, let me quickly rehash what happened to cause this brouhaha—a Male Mixed Race Swede artist named Makode Linde (the term ‘mixed race Swede’ being shorthand for White to those of us who come from Africa) engaged in performance art in which he depicted the image of a Charcoal-skinned woman served up at a party as a living edible cake. The party, hosted by Sweden’s Minister of Culture Lena Adelsoln Liljeroth, was supposed to raise awareness about the issue of Genital Cutting in Africa. Honoring the artist’s own claims—his intention was to show how racist White people are by having the mostly White partygoers cut up and eat the genitals of the moaning, screaming Charcoal Woman. With glee, the Whites did exactly that. I’m laughing my ass off remembering it (the video)—but inside, I’m calling ‘Camel Shit’ on the artist’s supposed intent.

Let me ask those who see this as art right now. If it was Makode Linde’s intention to make the world ‘see’ how racist we are by eating the genitals of the moaning cake—then why not make the cake look like a real African girl? An older woman with big bare tits wouldn’t be having this genital cutting experience—a small child would. Certainly, I have no problem with the charcoal skin (what East Africans refer to as “Biblical Days Black”—the color of our original Cushitic mother). But it seems racially methodical to present this African image in a sexually Western stance (the large bare breasts stand at attention unnaturally; not fall to the side despite the fact she that she is lying supine—typical Western pornographic imagery that came in vogue when more than 30 million White women in 18 nations received fake silicone breast implants). Linde’s caricature is definitely not a small defenseless child receiving initiation rites in Africa. As well, notice the frighteningly garish mouth—savage teeth, swollen red lips—the stereotypical Western racist cartoon image that plagues waving Sambo figures on White doorsteps in the Southern U.S. and other grotesque Massa-Welcome images traditionally found comical by those who deny Black humanity.

Why was dreadlock-wearing Linde so insensitive to how his ‘African woman’ looked? My belief is that he never expected video of the party to reach the entire planet. He thought the ‘feel-good racist imagery’ would create a bonding experience between his lonely Biracial shell and the Superior Swedes he’s most likely sought acceptance and solidarity from all his life. Like so many new age Racists of Color, Makode Linde thought this display and all reaction to it would be confined to the upper class and their few ethnic puppets—kept in town, like most of his other art works.

Following the controversy, Linde stated, “I didn’t intend for anyone to feel embarrassed. But we’re talking about female genital mutilation—is there any comfortable or cozy way to talk about it?”

Yes there is—let me do so right now.

I was vaginally infibulated in Omdurman, Sudan soon after my birth. Infibulation in my region of Africa in 1969 meant that the muscles inside the vagina were cut loose and reconfigured ‘tighter’ (supposedly to incur ‘purity’ as the Mullahs claimed that the Koran states: “Woman is Impure”). After the tightening process, the vagina is stitched shut—you grow up having your period through a straw—which can take some women an entire month. On the outer lips of the vagina, seared in Arabic, they put the name of your father and his mosque on the left side—the right side of my vagina was left blank for the name of my future husband to be seared on with a hot poker later. My clitoris was not removed, because my birth mother was an Oromo, not a Muslim and wouldn’t allow what Arab Muslims call ‘the worm of unclean thoughts’ to be cut away. Thus I cannot speak on the horror of having no feeling, no clitoris. But protocol follows that years after this ritual—at your wedding ceremony, the groom is given a small razor. This is to slit you open so he can begin penetrating you on the ‘wedding bed’—a process that can take weeks.

I escaped the Arab Muslim wedding, because my parents were murdered in front of me at the age of six and my Egyptian grandmother handed me over to UNICEF (to be ‘left for adoption’ after she got permission from the Mullahs—adopting being illegal in Egypt) because she could not fathom having a chocolate colored granddaughter in her White Arabic family. Through UNICEF, I was eventually placed with a Black American family in Washington D.C. and did not learn that I was vaginally infibulated until my Black American mother gave me a bath the first time I arrived in America. She and my new Black American father rushed me to D.C. General Hospital that night, horrified at the stitching between my thighs.

My life is not typical of the African girl who has been circumcised or infibulated. I grew up Americanized. My Black American parents wanted to have my vagina “corrected” at 16—but I refused because it was the only thing that connected me to my birth mother. Losing my virginity at 17 to my Black American tutor (who to me was White because of his egg-nog colored complexion) took an entire month. Imagine having your upper lip pulled up over your entire head—that’s how it feels for a ‘cut girl’ when she first has sex, you literally pass out. On one occasion in the back of his car, we got ‘stuck’ like dogs and had to be “wet” by fire hose to get us apart. It was so humiliating. Each attempt was excruciatingly painful for me, but like any teenaged girl I was determined to prove that I loved my man. Later, in my twenties traveling the world as a model and actress, I learned the value of having “pinhole pussy”—I could manipulate men with it. No matter how many of them I bedded, it appeared to each next guy that I was a virgin. And when men think they are the first and it’s even tighter when they return—they do a lot more for you. My vagina gave me all manner of problems—hormone imbalances; winter time shrinking. But because of my power over men sexually, I grew to take pride in my vagina. I refuse for instance to allow Westerners to tell me that I’m “mutilated.” I don’t accept that. I am different, but my life is not over, I am not defeated and I see myself as inconvenienced; violated—but not mutilated. With its shield face and Arabic writing, my vagina is very pretty to me.

Activists using the term “mutilation” forget that this is a Psychological condition, not just physical. We that are cut have to live our entire lives with our vagina. We have to move on and accept this horrible inconvenience and find joy in it.

I am now 42 and have given birth to two sons by cesarean—yet I am like a 12 year old down there. It does not change. This tightness that is created for male pleasure (no other reason, despite what the religious men say) is a never-ending curse of pain and ecstasy; sexual rapture bound up in brutally inhuman suffrage for the woman. I have learned to live with this—to even exploit it for my advantage. But I would not wish it on anyone. My vagina has been for men…and not for me!

So to watch a man—a man calling himself a ‘Black man’—lay on a table and holler moans that invited laughter as his friends cut chunks of his pink genitals away and at them—was so devastatingly powerful that it reduced me to loud, butchered sobbing. I couldn’t stop crying. Add to that the psychological effect of having to cope with the strangeness of Western reaction—particularly Black American friends defending this image and claiming that the intent of the art was to help girls like me.

Help us how? Who did it change? Who among the masses even understood what they were watching? It looked like a Halloween comedy show! Far and wide—people were laughing! No one watching that video thought of little African infants lying on the ground in rows between Cassava plants being cut on by dutiful old women. No one thought of that.

And that brings me to the most painful experience of the video, the one that came in the days after I watched out—the shutting out of my voice and of women like me by arrogant bougie African American writers and publications—writers and publications that would claim to speak ‘for us’ in delineating the experiences of African women and girls in public forums—yet slander my name and claim that I am “crazy” and shouldn’t be understood or have a voice.

This happened despite the fact that I am a well published author in America; a citizen of America; a Black African woman and a person who is vaginally infibulated. These Blacks at Ebony.Com, The Root and The Grio…the same ones who insisted that Makode Linde’s “voice,” however controversial, should be analyzed and understood on an intellectual basis…dismissed me, an infibulated African woman writer as someone there should be no time for—no understanding of. Herein lies the hateful core of not only Linde’s art piece, but the overall problem with Western Blacks—the innate hatred, distrust and lies they quickly attach to a Black female image when that female image threatens to Blacken them.

Certainly, because I am a noted author, published in eight countries—what I have to say will go into the canon of Black literary commentary whether people like it or not. So I say that these editorial staffs at Ebony.Com, The Grio, The Root and so many other so called Black publications are ‘pretentious,’ ‘privileged’, ‘vain’ and ‘wrongheaded.’ They want to visit Africa like a grave. You dare not be in the room. There is nothing journalistically scientific or factual about their methods when they say that Makode Linde should exist and be heard, but not Kola Boof. This is what Linde’s cake represents no matter where a Black woman goes. Routinely, you hear these American Negroes say when discussing me, “She is crazy”….but not a single one will counter “Why is she crazy?”

They don’t even acknowledge the moaning cake.

I have slapped Amiri Baraka for repeatedly calling me a bitch at the Harlem Book Fair. While heckling me on stage, he also stated that I was a “CIA Agent” and…”really a man.” A year before that incident, my books were banned by Black American bookseller Eso Won—the top black bookstore in Los Angeles. I never had a single ‘run-in’ or altercation with anyone in or near that book shop ever. No explanation was given—my publisher was simply informed that my books and I were banned from their Afrocentric shelves.

After discovering that 12 other Black women writers are banned from Eso Won bookstore, including Pulitzer nominee Wanda Coleman—I felt something akin to Linde’s Sara Baartman cake. The perpetual cutting, mentally as well as physically, is worldwide for Black women.

One local Black radio talk show host befriended me and had a different take. He said that I am despised by Black Literati for being ‘too truthful’ in my speaking style, for focusing quite forcefully on dark skinned Black women’s issues and for refusing to accept America’s one drop rule and see Mixed Race people as “black.” This last one in particular angers them he said, because so many of the leading Black movers and shakers in publishing are mixed race blacks or Black men with White spouses and mixed offspring. Years even before that, however, I was lied on by Black American scholars that I’ve never met, as high up and influential as Henry Louis Gates, Jr. and Cornel West—granted I can’t stand them and they probably knew that from reading my books. But the thing is, why would intellectual Afro-descended people be so afraid of the rising career of a Black African woman? I hadn’t slapped their friend Amiri yet. I hadn’t done anything but be an African Womanist artist.

And then there’s smaller fish like Dr. Goddess, Deesha Philyaw, Dan Billin, Dominique DiPrima, Arab-funded ESPAC reporters and so many others who gossiped incessantly behind my back and made one nefarious claim about me after the other—all without ever having met me. These are supposed to be smart Negroes and Arabs of high importance.

In the canon of Black history, they have the delusion that I am an unimportant ‘folksy’ figure (shocking and vulgar they say) who will one day disappear while they (cloaked in white collars, college degrees and visits to Harris-Perry’s Nerdland) will go on to be remembered as intelligent, fearless, Black-loving auteurs of what they called ‘the African Diaspora.’ Something more organic to them than me, mind you—because Whites owned them and they now think with the same arrogant self-importance of the White Tower. What could I, the dirty ground possibly have to say? This is very sad indeed as this is a virtual re-enactment of Zora Neale Hurston and the Niggerati of the 1930’s. And yes, as a writing talent and a critical thinker, I am comparing myself to Zora, most definitely.

One has to sigh and fan oneself, because naturally, I’m not innocent in this mess. From the beginning, I’ve been a complete bitch to anyone that dismissed my reality or my right to have a voice. I gave it right back to them with all the pent up relish of my life long suffering. But how dare an African mother come here and do that! We’re Black and we want our place in the White people’s great society—but she, our own mother, is not one of us!

Makode Linde personified more than anything the modern Black conscious when he fashioned that cake. And I promise you—the Cake Is Baked. Linde is not alone in that tar-black butchered bitch fantasy, which is why so many Blacks are defending him. Whether it be our own black sons on the radio calling us “Bitches and Hoes” or proclaiming in their latest works of art: “I don’t date Dark butts—why did my baby come out so Black—White women are better”—the Cake Is Baked. The men’s yellow icing drips down the side of our much-despised nappy heads like a golden blond weave. If we protest, we are called ‘angry…bitter.’

The violent-voiced male rapper is not a threat to the community. Barking like a dog is his right by virtue of testicles. Pathetic Nicki Minaj draped in Barbie Doll drag while referring to little black girls as ‘nappyhead hoes’ in more than two of her songs is not a threat to the community. But we, the moaning burnt cakes with savage teeth and thick red lips—our sliced up fudge-inducing pussies threaten the Black community’s Mulatto follies—their niggerstock delusions of a bright future. As I wrote in a book once: ‘The Black Woman is the most unprotected, unloved woman on earth…she is the only woman on earth…that grows unwatered.’ In America, where they believe (or want to believe)…that that Bitch in New York Harbor is their real mother…it sticks to their fingers like frosted truth. Since none of us in the Black community plan on staying black—we don’t have time to care about Black women. So of course the bougie Negro journalists must consider Makode Linde’s brand of art—he’s their sanctioned portrait maker!

Are We Prepared If George Zimmerman Never Gets Arrested?

I remember the apathy after many of us realized that Oscar Grant’s murderer Johannes Mehserle was not going to be tried for murder. I remember the sense of loss many shared when his slap on the wrist came down from the judge. I can still feel the streaming tears as the video tape of Aiyana Jones was never released. Often Afkan(Afrikan Amerikkkans) are forced to swallow bitter realities. Realities such as Trayvon Martin’s killer possibly never being arrested.

 

We are now picking up on the message from The New Black Liberation Militia to seek a citizen’s arrest of George Zimmerman. This could possibly be a costly measure given Zimmerman’s penchant for hurling fragments of burning metal into Afkan bodies and calling the police on him Self in defense from grand juries. Yet, I realize that there isn’t much else in the matter of Ma’at(human enforced justice for human enforced injustice) that anyone is volunteering. My Asylum salutes their efforts.

 

Afkan peoples of an above and beyond the blindness of naivete sort of upbringing and/or adulthood may ask why such measures would be applauded and supported here. Well, frankly, something has to be done. Many of us have called into the Sanford Sheriff’s office to be redirected to the State’s Attorney’s office, only to be told of limited resources in the matter of arresting George Zimmerman. In fact, it could be weeks before a charge is given. Trayvon was killed February 26 of this year. The date of this writing is March 19. You figure out how upset you should or shouldn’t be.

 

I am pleased to see so many media outlets investing energy into reporting of young Trayvon’s murder. I recall the lack of support from most in information dissemination after a Detroit Police Officer sent a slug screaming through the cranium of Aiyana Jone’s sleeping head and out through the base of her chin. Unfortunately, the Afkan community can join together and help Obama corner a bloc of voters unified enough to push him past the Democratic primaries, but his vocal thoughts on the murders of Aiyana, Oscar, and now Trayvon remain disloyally silent. Tonight, a message from Obama’s administration that they wouldn’t “wade” into a human rights travesty that demands international attention on the grounds that it was a local law-enforcement matter. The violation of the Afkan community’s trust in Obama can’t be fully gathered in vibrations bouncing around pupils to form symbols of expression. The surface of my disappointment’s now breathing body is tempered only by the foreknowledge of the regret his family will face knowing Barry was the father that dropped the ball, time and time again. To enter the office as the Black president, and to leave as the half-Caucasian one that could be compared to an overseer of some grand plantation should hurt. And yet, that sweltering prophecy in my emotive heart will not replace the deep seated notion that every Afkan child around me must be reminded that we can’t trust anyone in this war for our removal from this place, this Earth.

 

As I read through countless digitally captured thoughts in the social web, I notice the emergence of self-hate revealing it Self like a tumor of Afkan psychic pulses. Afkan men are blamed for Trayvon being killed while walking down a pathway. Children ask their teachers how could Trayvon have prevented a failed lawman from slaughtering him. Those that seek to rally to bring attention to the event are labeled as misguided; those that seek blood writ are labeled as foolish. Instead of everyone involved and concern doing their part and allowing others to play their position, the whole movement for Justice for Trayvon is imploding.

 

So, as I sit and ponder how a two time felon who has just been saved from homelessness can assist the best he can in raising awareness and training of young Afkan males, my lovely Lifeline asked me,”are we prepared if George Zimmerman never gets arrested?” And all I could do for an answer was ask you…

 

Are you ready to accept what you’ve known within your most original and Eastern mind? That a half-blood prince can’t save your children from Herod’s wrath on your boys. Are you prepared? Are you prepared to accept that George Zimmerman- not Crips or Bloods, or drug dealers, or aliens that look like lizards underneath their manufactured skin- killed Trayvon Martin. Are we ready to understand that Afkan on Afkan violence is only a subset of the power structure created as White on Afkan violence crystallized into a system of society. Can we accept that a killer will be walking the streets of Florida with the confidence of a lion after feeding that he has privilege enough to murder when he chooses?

 

On the bus ride from the urban war zones to the rural concentration camps, there is an understanding shared from the veterans to the rookies,”if you ain’t ready, get ready. And once ready, stay on the ready…”

The Propaganda Of Privilege

“The fundamental concept in social science is Power, in the same sense that Energy is the fundamental concept in physics…The laws of social dynamics are laws which can only be stated in terms of power”(Russell, 1938, p. 10)

There is a belief that everyone under the oppression of privileged people are also privileged. And yet, all nations are tornados with leadership living comfortably as the eye of hypermasculinity playing with weapons of Life destruction. It can appease empathy deficient beings to believe having a cell phone while homeless is a treat of some sort, but children in Sudan are carrying Ak-47’s like PlaySkool brought out a line called, “My First Automatic Weapon”, and passed it out to little tikes. Interesting trade-off or just a fair observation? Or maybe I should have replaced PlaySkool with CIA?

Anywho…

Power is divided in such a way that it can automatically create classes. We sort one another like dry science into nomenclature labeled jars based on how we obtain resources, where we are most influential, and how much influence and resources we have. Our children react to the impact of what we call a star by imitating them and often comparing the status of their parents to that of those they see or hear via media. As it has been documented, litte Afkan boys and girls tend to see them Selves in the light of media imagery that favors lighter human beings over darker human beings.

In much of this discussion, we couple class with notions of money, yet privilege is a seduction of fear. The privilege of US soldiers to barge into any country under the auspice of whatever moral dilemma being sold through media injections while much of domestic voting populace can’t afford their homes is a direct result of their capability to induce fear world wide. That is the privilege. The capturing and psychological wiring of millions of inhabitants of the Western shores of Afrika is the privilege of Anglo America. Part of defending the ideology of privilege is to make the underprivileged think that some how they are secure from harm or of a greater importance than other members of the underprivileged society. Any sort of “privilege” here is solely illusory and bound by systemic, or institutional, customs to be directed any way Anglo-American power brokers or their flunkies need it to go. When the underprivileged babies need to be used for governmental schemes, separate the child from the family; when the men need to be used for labor, separate them from the family. All privilege stems from the system because the system is what provides what we define as privilege.

Since globally there is a system of privilege created and controlled by Anglo Westerners, any privilege is to support functioning of their state of affairs. Obama can be president because Afkans will support a culturally Anglo-American person with a Kenyan bloodline, especially with privileged Anglo-American credentials. He is not an Afkan, and his US roots are of a Euro-American. His election benefits the privileged system because it justifies it and legitimizes it in the minds of the underprivileged. Since no election is purely of people’s choice, it begs to be asked which privileged parties made selections. It is not the idea of conspiracy–although it would be foolish to think that a country formed from a conspiracy wouldn’t continually have capable conspirers at its helm– it is simply that people with power will act according to that which will allow for maintainance. Yet, status, even in the position of POTUS, is only a definition of percieved attributes and the respect given from such attributions. It can be said that Barrack holds the office of President of the United States, and that would be accurate, yet his status as a half-Kenyan man in a society that deflects privilege from people of darker hues has a bearing on his status rendered from his position as the president. His position is only respected in regards to a power structure that is against him. A sort of math takes place here where the Bush family can use the position to wage personal wars, and yet Obama can’t rally for a colleaugue of his alma mater without being embarrassed by having to apologize to a person light years beneath his stature.

That last sentence is not a nod to elitism. Barrack Obama is in the position of head of the Executive Branch, the branch that commands the military, not just in foreign terroritory, but in domestic US as well. Where police officers can murder a sleeping child and the complaints regarding the case are deflected because of fear from having to organize against the police. Anglo vigilantes can murder Afkan consumers walking in the streets and not face swift punishment for the crime. Underprivileged academics and activist are swayed to fold under the pressure of a propaganda that informs that they must act within a morality that doesn’t exist for the privileged. Police officers barge into a man’s home because he is Afkan living in a residential area of Cambridge, Massachusetts, and that man is arrested because he justifiaby is outraged with the police officer and has to respect that Anglo police officers can make rash errors and demand an apology. Not only demand an apology from the aggrieved home owner, but also demand one from the aggreived home owner’s friend in high places when that friend is the POTUS and asked about his friend. That is privilege. There is no morality being exercised here, in fact, it could be easily settled that there is also no crumble of civility here either.

As I have written in Asylum elsewhere, you simply cannot have privilege in this society if you are other than Euro-American. Even a rich Afkan is either a tool or an enemy of the state. The dominant religions of this society have all factored in an Anglo authority as God, whether Christianity or Islam. This means that not only are we killed or reduced to minions no matter if we are the head of the state, we also perceive the privileged as deserving of the privilege as well as being morally correct. Aiyana Jones gets shot on camera and the response is to overlook her killer who is an Anglo or Euro-American authority figure and attack Afkan gang bangers whom we can use the police to capture, just hope not too many of our other children have to be slaughtered like livestock in the process. That is privilege. There is no privilege in being an Afkan male when you can’t walk down the street sipping your cold tea and not expect to get shot simply for being Afkan. As there can be no electricity in a building not connected to a source that provides that electricity, there can be no privilege in a social situation where that privilege is withheld. Any beliefs to the contrary are simply propaganda directed to confuse and misguide the underprivileged.

5 Do’s and Do Not’s of Getting RT’s From Black Twitter

Today, I took some time to look at a few of the many RT’s that I issue out into Asylum’s Twitter stream. By doing this I sought to understand a bit exactly

 

what makes me RT Black Bloggers, and possibly give others an understanding of how they could generate more popular content. So, this is a list that I’ve composed based on my years presenting Owl’s Asylum on Black Twitter.

 

1. Be Passionate – Emotion is the essence of life. Without it, we would forlorn the working hours and possibly increase the rate of suicide. The more dynamic the element, the sentiment, the more people are willing to embrace it on Twitter. To be able to energize people via two-dimensional media is a gift, let alone when that is limited to 140 symbols. Black Twitter has an automatic advantage over most cultures: Black mothers that could stare at you and send a vibration through your soul that spoke in encyclopediac volumes and not say much. From my experience, passionate on Twitter ultimately means authentic and candid. As an analytical thinker, I would tell you to consider those conditions you see in front of you and not so much that which is going to take you more imagination than passion can confine it Self to.

 

2. Be Witty – Black Twitter is a fun place. We tend to have an interesting set of pains that ironically forms a robust sense of humor. Although Black Twitter frowns highly upon that which is forced or contrived, I suggest a fun spirit and heart felt humility in all that you update. What gets quoted in Asylum is usually that which is visceral or thoughtfully wry, but I’ve also seen very stand up comedy type lines being updated.

 

3. Don’t Be Pushy – Black Twitter is not the hood. You know? It is difficult to force a person into a corner in a box that everyone knows doesn’t exist physically. I’ve seen the pressuring of followers to RT updates being met with ridicule and embarrassment. Black Twitter is much more organic and closed to the structured. Those that are capable of running their timelines from behind scheduled updates typically don’t last that long. Black Twitter, once again, is the home of online authenticity and ultimately that means allowing people to choose when they want to quote you…or not.

 

4. Be Concise/Not Wordy – I don’t want to spend too much time transcribing “to” into “2” and “in” into “n” while playing Terminator on a mission to kill all punctuation that might prevent the update I wish to quote from being sent into the future. The idea is supposed to be the art of 140, not the art of a link to Twitlonger. Be concise. Fit it into the box with the thought in mind that someone might find this worthy of being spread to those of their following that isn’t also yours.

 

5. Be Informative – On that note, Black Twitter is a reflection of the Black community’s insatiable thirst for information. I will whip out my space and period killer if I find the update pregnant with information that I just have to spread to my followers. Now, this tends to be highly subjective, but it is your following, you should know what they will deem informative or not. Black Twitter typically is a diverse audience, I follow every sort from call girls to prophets on a mission to secure land. There should be room for authentic choice making even in this regard.