Most of the world, it seems, doubts the abilities of black men. Doubters, such as Portuguese people who call black men “escarumba,” which means “nigger,” believe that black men are not as smart as whites or any other non-black men. I do not doubt that there is a word in every language that translates to “nigger.” The world seems to believe that black men lack the discipline and moral character to be respected as men. Even some black men themselves doubt that they are equal to other men and are capable of accomplishing what other men have accomplished throughout the history of mankind.
This is why blacks and whites, Asians and other non-black peoples in America and around the world were so shocked, amazed and star struck when they witnessed a black man rise to the highest position on the planet.
“I never thought this would happen” became the phrase heard ‘round the world.
It seemed like I was one of the few people in the world to whom the election of Barack Hussein Obama came as no surprise. I fully expected him to win. My expectation was based on my hopes or his intellect, unshakeable swag and oratorical talents. I compared all of those qualities, plus his safe vice-presidential pick, to the unimpressive Republican candidate and his weird/ridiculous VP pick. There were other factors that made my expectation seem reasonable and grounded in facts. So, when Obama was declared the winner, it felt like a football fan feels when his team wins—there is always a chance of defeat, but he never stops believing in his team.
So, unlike Jesse Jackson, Juan Williams and others who were blown away and openly wept or wet their pants upon witnessing Obama’s ascendancy on November 8, 2008, I instead smiled and nodded my head, like I knew it was going to happen without a doubt.
When Obama said Yes, We Can, I spoke back to him, through the television screen, Yes, you damn right we can! I was ecstatic and my belief in black men was affirmed. With the right opportunity at the right time and the necessary resources, there is no limit to what we can do.
Around the world, people reveled in the surreal fact that “the impossible” had happened. They had hoped that it would happen but right up to the moment Obama’s victory was announced, they questioned whether he—and America—could pull it off.
A popular newspaper in France, Libération, published an over-the-top enthusiastic editorial the morning after the Obama “miracle:” “Hope, at Last! For One Day, Let Us Hope! … [L]et us admit that we’re caught up, almost all of us, in a sense of joy. For one hour or a day, let us speak with an enthusiasm that is now sweeping the planet. For a few hours, the Americans hope; for a few hours, the whole world feels better.”
s that muddle our focus and weaken our spirit. Those negative feelings prolong the psychological damage that enslavement inflicted upon our people. Dr. XXXX calls the lasting effect of slavery, “Post Traumatic Slave Disorder.” This PTSD is unique to us and locks us in the past, which prevents us from being what we aspire to be— totally unshackled and whole. Post-Traumatic Slave Disorder prevents us from passionately embracing our country and pridefully flying her flag.
Black people suffer from Post Traumatic Slave Syndrome …
They walk around being afraid that white folk will put them back in chains.
I say to you, speaking as a black man who has had fierce racial pride ever since I was a boy growing up with proud and smart parents who migrated from the deep South to the Capital City; who as a teenager had his consciousness swept up and shaped by the 1960’s big wave of black pride, raised fists and bold speech: Let’s get over it. Let’s transcend the traumatic, stagnating feelings that stem from battles our people lost in the past. Let’s focus on winning the battles that lie before us. Let us soldier on.
Essentially, that was the message that President Obama gave to the American people on his first day in office. “Starting today,” he emphatically stated, “we must pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off, and begin again the work of remaking America.”
The plight of our long-suffering, innocent ancestors aches our souls, true. Also true: to honor their sacrifices, we must turn our attention solely towards the sacrifices we are required to make today in order to overcome the legacy of their enslavement. In the end, we must not let evil win. The day shall come when—one way or another—the shamelessly nostalgic, blindly privileged and unrepentant descendants of America’s slaveholding rapists will pay the price that their forefathers escaped.
“I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just:
that his justice cannot sleep forever.”
- Thomas Jefferson
Call it karma, generational justice, “get back” or what goes around comes around. Call it whatever you want. I call it God’s business. (“Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord.”)
Our business is to look forward, not backwards. Our duty is to separate the founding fathers’ racist behavior from the universal truths and beliefs that they so ardently—though hypocritically—embraced.
This arduous act of transcendence we must do to pass the test.
… One nation, under God, indivisible
- American Pledge of Allegiance
Let’s take a closer look at what the founding fathers professed to believe when they and their henchmen were not lashing the powerful backs of African men or raping the luscious bodies of African women. Foremost, the founders believed in unity—albeit white-only unity. Most of the founders were elitists, but they formed an alliance with their common countrymen and pledged to fight side by side as “brothers” and patriots in their revolutionary war against the British. The official historical records on the American Revolution, though enhanced by fables and myths, accurately document that the patriots’ commitment to each other stemmed from their philosophy that white American men must stay united and must must always put country first, for in putting country first they ensure that freedom is secured not just for themselves as individuals, but for all of them as a whole.
America … the Beautiful … brotherhood
- America the Beautiful
In order for the full power of the American Spirit to be manifested through us, we too must embrace one another as brothers and patriots. We must become one. We must unite just as those who seek to oppose our rise have united. Our unity must be as strong, if not stronger than theirs.
Patriots unite. If a man does not strive for unity with his brothers, if he is not committed to ride or die with this fellow patriots, then he is not a patriot.
How good and how pleasant it is for brothers to dwell together in unity.
- The Bible
The importance of unifying and the benefits thereof cannot be overstated. Courtland Milloy, Washington Post columnist, struck the right tone when he wrote: “What if African-Americans were as politically unified as our racial attitudes make us appear to be? Suppose, for instance, we did more than believe that racial discrimination exists but actually used our political and economic muscle to remedy race-specific problems?”
On the test of our spirit, there is a section on love. Yes, love. Just as you must have healthy self-love and love for family in order to have mental stability and happiness, the American Spirit requires you to openly love your country with all of your heart, despite her shortcomings and evils.
Without love for your country you cannot be a fully free American.
Love America as if she were your very own, for she is. Your fellow American may not love you, but you must love her.
Courtland Milloy, referring to an Associated Press survey result that he had studied, wrote that “56 percent of Americans have explicit ‘anti-black attitudes’ — and the rest don’t love you all that much, either.”
One day, sooner than later, America will reward you with her utmost respect, if not her affection. We are going to make sure of that. This is the faith in which we must walk. This is the path to freedom.
All of our political activity must reflect our love for your country. Let’s let our fellow Americans know that this country belongs to you as much or more so than it belongs to anyone else and we will no longer be denied respect, fairness and justice. We will bond with millions of our white fellow patriots when we put “God and country” first, above race, religion, political affiliations, income and everything else.
THIS IS NOT TO SAY WE CANNOT PROTEST TO CORRECT THIS BITCH.
Our love for country does not preclude or prevent us from chastising her when she needs to be corrected. If protesting is necessary to improve this country, so be it.
As Wash Post opinion writer stated in a column harshly criticizing the president of the United States: “Patriotism doesn’t require us to praise what is not praiseworthy.”
Certainly if we can criticize and protest against the president’s wrongdoings, we can do the same against the country’s wrongdoings. Any argument to the contrary is patently illegitimate.
Americans loves boldness. This you already know. So, be bold, black man. Proclaim that your struggle to resist and destroy law enforcement oppression today is just as, if not more legitimate and necessary as the original Patriots’ struggle to resist and destroy British oppression about 250 years ago.
Spread this message throughout your churches, conferences and public speeches, and throughout all forms of media, including social media, newspapers and various forms of broadcasting, such as radio and television networks and online videos.
Make America realize and respect the fact that your struggle for justice is linked to the struggle that forged this nation. Let’s not forget that the original Patriots did not revolt because they were being enslaved. They revolted primarily because they faced excessive law enforcement and were being excessively taxed and under-appreciated by the British government. Their most well-known justification for waging war was: “Taxation without representation is tyranny.” Today, black men are being excessively taxed in more dangerous ways. Racist and abusive law enforcement is taxing you and your people with harassment, beatings, arrests, imprisonment and murder.
One could argue and rightfully so that the colonists fought for freedom, yes. But freedom from what? They were already free. Their leaders preached that they did not want to become slaves, but they did not claim that they were slaves. No, those hypocritical patriots were just the opposite. They owned slaves.
The goals of the first Patriots were to keep more of their wealth, worship as they so pleased, speak more freely, and own more land so they could enrich themselves. Do we not have a more valid reason to rebel than they did? Isn’t our cause for freedom much more just?
Despite our racial differences and the arguments and friction that the cause, real patriotism brings together all Americans across perceived barriers. Patriotism matters more than anything else in America. We as a nation bore witness to this on 9/11/2001, the day we were all equally terrorized and confused. There was no black terror and confusion or white terror and confusion. There was terror and confusion and massive fear all across the nation. And as “One nation under God,” we clung to our sense of patriotism (“God Bless America,” we tearfully sang) until our courage rose again and our swagger returned.
Years later we divided ourselves again.
Who Is the Master of Our Fate?
I, too, sing America … I, too, am America.
- Langston Hughes
… True Americans … aren’t afraid to try and improve their country,
and … aren’t afraid to claim its citizenship, no matter what.
Though we black men have paid the premium price to become citizens, we have not completely become our own masters, yet. Shame on us. The first patriots fought and won their struggle to break the back of tyranny. They became masters of their fate. We have not achieved this feat. We will not become our own masters until we remake ourselves. We have been made in the image of slaves—an image fostered by corrupt founding fathers and the millions of racists they represented. A man’s self-image determines everything that he does or doesn’t do, and everything he says or does not say, everything he thinks and dares not to think.
James Baldwin, in an open letter to his nephew, wrote about the critical matter of black male identity. Using his own deeply troubled father as an example, his words ring true for a multitude of black men today. He wrote that his father was “defeated long before he died because, at the bottom of his heart, he really believed what white people said about him … You can only be destroyed by believing that you really are what the white world calls a nigger.”
Could it be that black men agonize that white people maybe think “nigger” when they look at them and when they criticize them? Could it be that black men feel that white people treat them as “niggers” when they walk into their stores and onto their college campuses? Could it be that this six-letter psychological dagger has been stabbed into the black man’s psyche, so deeply that it can never be removed?
Are we niggers?
We totally rely on the resources and approval of the society that has openly barred us from entering and still places artificial barriers in our path towards full freedom. We are intimidated by the law enforcement system that is supposed to protect all. The police are essentially our masters now. They snatch our bodies at will. They whip us. They kill us. We have yet to find a way to make them stop.
Instead, we are consumed by our worries. We worry too much about what law enforcers think about us or might illegally do to us. We spend too little time thinking about what we can legally do to them. These are not the characteristics of men who are their own masters. These are the characteristics of niggers—these are characteristics of men who are descendants of men who were enslaved, dehumanized, terrorized, abused, subordinated, subjugated and trained to fear their masters.
We may attain self-mastery and earn an A-plus on the Spirit of America test, if we ourselves realize and make others realize as well that we are men in our own right. Like it or lump it, we are here to stay. We are citizens and equals. Exceptional and unique. As Dr. Anderson wrote in his book, A Black History Reader: “The enslavement process stripped Blacks of their African-ness and forced them to forge together their own unique culture. It is so unique that it is copied, mimicked and appropriated by non-Blacks all over the world … (Black people’s embracing their) exceptionality is a fundamental key to unlock the doors leading to group self-empowerment, recognition, respect and appreciation for their contributions to the socioeconomic development of this nation to which they are entitled to as special people.”
Dr. Anderson is essentially talking about full citizenship. But, Black man know this: Our claim to full citizenship is not only through our unique culture or the sacrifices and contributions of our forefathers. Our claim to full citizenship lies also in blood—the blood that is in our veins. Our blood is mixed with the blood of our white fellow Americans—those who are direct descendants of enslavers or not. The blood of enslavers runs through the bodies of millions—black and white.
You see, the fathers of this great nation are much more than political fathers to us. Many of them are our fathers, literally. We are born of their semen.
While we certainly may not celebrate this fact, it would be beneficial to use this fact as the legal and moral basis to demand our inheritance. The justice and freedom passed down to our white relatives must become ours as well. Our claim to freedom and justice is in our bodies. You can call this line of reasoning political wisdom. It is often said that politics makes unusual bedfellows. Well, it makes unusual children, too.
[I]t turns out that black people in this country are surprisingly “white,” meaning that our genomes are composed of quite a lot of European ancestry. Judging from … test results, the bottom line is that black and white Americans are inextricably interconnected at the level of their genomes, and African Americans are a profoundly “mixed” people, far more than anyone thought possible before these DNA tests were invented. And no matter what your features are — your shade of brown, your hair texture, the shape of your lips and nose — if you are an African American … you are likely “mixed” as well, even if you don’t think you look that way.
Men strengthen their minds and their character by accepting reality, especially harsh, hurtful and embarrassing reality. Strong men get stronger. By accepting the reality of our white blood and making others accept it as well, we stake a claim in America that no one can deny. Our shared bloodline with white establishes a powerful basis upon which we can demand to be treated equally by all at all times, to include the police. It also gives us the moral authority to weigh in on the nation’s most racially divisive issues, such as the controversy about the removal of Confederate monuments that were erected throughout the South in commemoration of their culture, though it was founded on the backs of our people—a reality they find impossible to accept, honor or respect.
Speaking directly to white Americans in his book, Tears We Cannot Stop: A Sermon to White America, Michael Eric Dyson tells white people that “[Y]ou are related to us in more ways than you can count or may care to know.”
Multiple Klan and Nazi terrorists groups united in a racist, menacing demonstration intended to protest the removal of the confederate statutes in XXX Virginia and strike fear into the hearts of black, Hispanic and Jewish people. They claimed that memorials to racists like Confederate General Robert Edward Lee preserved things that would best be buried. According to the LA Times, “Documents show Lee was a cruel figure with the slaves he owned, encouraging overseers to severely beat them after escape attempts.” Though Lee and others like him were evil, criminal and abusive, Lisa Richardson, a black woman, said that she was not ashamed to acknowledge that her bloodline and her European name traced back to racists like Lee. Writing in an opinion piece published in the LA Times, she stated: “Like millions of African Americans, I am the descendant of a Confederate soldier. True, we are most likely descendants through coerced sex and rape, but we are descendants all the same. According to Ancestry.com, the DNA of the average African American is 29% European. These bronzed southern soldiers are literally our forefathers too.
“In the peculiar, perverted institution of slavery, white men sired, enslaved and often sold their own children. Black nieces and white nephews played together before adulthood drove them to disparate destinies. Whites owned their black siblings. Thomas Jefferson was 45 when he fathered the first of six children on the 15-year-old Sally Hemmings, who was his wife’s half-sister and also her property. My great-great-grandmother Mary Ellen Fulton was her mistress’s niece.”
See us for who we are, America. We are more than just your fellow Americans. Anyone who immigrates here and becomes a citizen can make that claim. When you see us, you are really looking at yourself. Wake up and see human beings your people created. So, when you sit back, watch and condone the police abuse hammering down upon our bodies, you are looking at them brutalizing a part of you, for we are an offspring of the same parentage. We are not “the other.” We are family. For many of you, black people are your uncles, your aunts and your cousins. We are the kinfolk you try to forget. But we are still here. We are not going any where. We are the resilient ones. Your grandparents bore us and threw us away. They huddled us in areas where they would not see us, or smell us or even think about us. We didn’t belong with our white siblings. We had to walk through the back door. “Keep those niggers in their place.” Despite it all, we be family.
As Richardson revealed in her op-ed piece, “I have met a few of his white descendants — my cousins — and we regard each other with genuine affection.”
So, cousins, would you please help us put an end to the racist madness that keeps America’s seminal wounds open and raw? Face the facts, for millions of blacks and whites our great-great-great grandparents knew each other in intimate progenerative ways. So, please, stop disrespectfully dismissing us as and treating us like the other. Treat us like your brother. We are the same as you. We deserve the same treatment that the police extend to you. Be real. Stop mindlessly and indiscriminately supporting the police, some of whom are good and some of whom are evil. Isn’t it ridiculous to the point of insanity to pervert your heart into loving both good and evil?
Even Mr. Trump, with his dangerously twisted, racially calloused mind, has acknowledged that “… We all share the same blood … The same blood of patriotism.”
Black man, I am not suggesting that you be glad that the white man’s blood is in you. I am urging you to embrace the truth and let it set you free. Let it make you resolute to get your just share of what our black and white ancestors created together—the greatest nation in modern history. Get what is coming to you, black man. Get your inheritance. You may ask for it politely, if you wish. You also have the option to do more than just ask for it, if your request is denied. You have the option, and the right, to demand it and to seize it by any means you deem necessary. Passively. Aggressively. The choice is yours. Never forget that. Pass this wisdom down to your children, for it is a pearl—a family heirloom—worthy to be passed down through every generation to come.
Let the children, know that they have the right to fight those who fight against them.
The Spirit of America commands that we fight—in one way or another. This spirit finds a way or makes a way. It clutches the laurel of peace and the arrows of war.
Not long ago, at two presidential Inaugurations, precisely eight years apart, the 44th and 45th Presidents expressed profound messages about the American spirit and patriotism.
Their messages, ripe with hidden meanings and subtle insights, were so enlightening that when black men fully understand them, they will change forever the way they see themselves and they will finally spy the weapons they can use to change law enforcement.
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