There is a belief in the lore and spirit of my people.
A belief so strong it has wiped its excrement releasing orifices on the religious cliches, poetry rehashings, and regurgitated proverbs passed from generation to generation of the Afkan(Afrikan Amerikkkan). It has ejaculated in emotional expression and spewed a dense reproductive covering of uncritical generality on most of Afkan philosophy and thought.
It walks through airports and rides trains carrying various identifications. Some id cards have it labeled,”Keeping It Real”;others “Being Your Self”. For the soul searching pilgrims of life, it might be garbed in the phrase,”Mastery Of Self”. And yet, how often have we questioned the impermanence of consistency in the human psyche? Is not our ideal of maturation a vote cast in the ballot box of change? How much is the notion of “staying in your lane” a call to “keep one in their place” as a slave master would their slave? How many of us can say that we found our niche before the age of 10 with a resonance so strong that we resolved to remain within it the entirety of living? How many of us languished throughout our adult years in jobs we detested because we felt “this was our lane”? How many of our people are held prisoner in urban ghettos by a warden wearing a name tag that reads,”Just Being Me”?
These thoughts and others visited your Owl with the strength of skunk flatulence as I considered the various reactions of my people to the murder of Trayvon Martin. Initially, my own basic life premise of any means necessary caused me to be visually disoriented as the bright lights of action takers oriented us all. And yet, how ill-advised is it to be overwhelmed by actions without purpose camouflaged in purposefulness? How often have Afkan people gathered in the name of a deceased friend or relative, discussed the highlights(and at times, low points) of that individual’s time on earth, and did NOT bury the body? No matter how much ceremonial and symbolic gestures are necessary to gather enough strong bodies to dispose of a decaying body, the end result of those actions should be a well buried cadaver. Thusly, no matter how many updates on Twitter, wallposts on Facebook, rallies throughout the country, empty Skittles bags, photography opportunities with professional athletes in hoodies, or hypothetical parenting by presidents we have, if George Zimmerman is not arrested, it has all been in vain.
In my most understanding and sympathetic nucleus of being, I get it. We all want to do something. We all have gotten rather bored with social media and those of us with our degrees in digital discussion deduce the power to character ratio that is an update or posting. We want to feel we have accomplished a thing. We are still enamored by the movements of the 60s. We wish to believe that we still live in a time where many of those objective forces and realities exist, and that we are really doing a major thing, yet…much of what we are doing is just inviting people to a club, a feel good moment that allows us to express our electric vibrations in a crowd. I have the utmost respect for organizers, but at the same time, I’m honest and analytical enough to recall the character traits of the high school children that threw the biggest parties when their parents were away. Popularity, on or offline, is not exactly a political movement for justice in actuality to a guy like me. Yet, for a group of people forced to be social during enslavement, and developed to be social as a survival art in urban confinements, this is often dubbed, “Us being us”.
I’m not exactly sure where the failing of comprehension stems from. An offshoot of slavery’s psychological victimstance, whereby we feel as though it has to be our fault and any action should be regarded as “revolutionary” against the weight of the omniscient and omnipotent “White man”. Possibly some sort of residue of being groomed to respect and honor all that is Anglo, treating issues of justice as one would treat their corporate and academic superiors. Conceivably, the remnants of opportunism gathered like crumbs underneath a couch cushion causing the most ardent loudmouths amongst us to volley for attention to their organization without a critical thought from the audience of college graduates to question exactly when the work of arresting George Zimmerman would ensue. From those that arguably have a lust for jail cells screaming about kills in public spaces, to those that are so myopic in their agenda propaganda that they can’t understand that the issue is about Trayvon being murdered by George Zimmerman and not being arrested — not Afkan on Afkan violence — I lost something for my people. A certain respect for the group of people that behaved so rationally and creatively politically once, has now become an unimpressed, depressed sentiment of incredulity at the sheer futility of activeness.
And no, I can’t think of anything redemptive about all of this. I’ve seen it all before from organizers that put together great get-togethers but bring your own justice. Bring your own hitmen. Bring your own legal authorities. Bring your own group of shortsighted minions. Keep it real, but help us put on this play directed by the same local characters pretending at powerful displays. Let’s not arrest George Zimmerman, let our make believe “Black President”(I hate to interrupt your re-election, Mr. President, but Bill Clinton at least used Vaseline when cast for the role) play the part of Captain Obvious while pulling on the heart strings of Afkans instead of pulling his executive strings and handcuffing George Zimmerman.
Somehow, someway, in all of our Skittles eating, hoodie wearing, praying to White Neighborhood Watch Gods that reside over the rainbow, social media organizing and rallying like it is 2099, somebody forget to bury a body. In the process of finding our Selves, we forgot to be conscious of the changing of environments. We left the banquet hall with smiles and merriment, a glee brought about from our pride in “doing us” fills the air–as the pungent odor of hubris confuses our collective sense of smell allowing the stench of George Zimmerman’s freedom escape from our “real” arses.