THE WHITE CATALYSTS…
The beneficiaries of others’ centuries of repression must be implicated in the 21st century change.
It’s so easy to become distracted by the predictability and redundancy of [things] Christmas and ignore more pressing historically rooted social matters and how they continue to impact Black people in North America. But I can’t.
While I see omnipresent signs of Christmas and hear all the seasonal sounds, I can’t be oblivious to the thousands of people comprising the human colour spectrum (as lovely as Christmas decorations themselves) I’ve been seeing for several weeks now marching/protesting, and their urgent, resonating chants… along with continuing media discussions… for justice and change. All of that fuelled by the continual killings of Black men in America by white policemen. It’s like a never-ending “hunting season.”
I have always believed that the 21st century generation of white people, especially youth, will be the ones to turn the United States’ deep-rooted history of [institutionalized] racism on its head and truly begin the process of eradicating that social cancer, racism, and begin the transformation… In other words, until Americans seriously engage in addressing/eroding its racist foundation and recurring manifestations of its ‘chain necklace and strange fruit’ history (think of 17-year-old Lennon Lacy down in North Carolina who was, while still not confirmed, lynched, probably by devilish KKK disciples for having sexual relations with a 31-year-old white woman) nothing will change.
As things stand today, Black people in America can only do so much shouting, chanting and marching to draw attention to the recurring, racially-tinged acts being perpetrated by organs of the institutionalized system upon which America is built, the manifestations of which continue to impact Black people.
In the wake of the Staten Island, N.Y. Grand jury decision not to indict Officer Pantaleo (#99 in the chokehold death of Eric “I can’t breathe” Garner, coming shortly after the Darren Wilson-Michael Brown incident) what we’ve been witnessing is a convergence and coalescence of people of all races, backgrounds, denominations… demonstrating over a common cause: human rights, with particular focus on the way America’s power structure continue to treat that ‘storied’ segment of its “red-blooded” citizens—the progeny of the freed slaves—in the 21st century. And seeing all those white people joining non-African-Americans in solidarity with Black people bodes well for America going forward. They all have a vital role to play in transforming their nation into an America that values all its citizens – equally, socially, and judicially… There’s no room for those who go about their lives thinking, believing and even acting like Black people are still percentage beings that belong on the plantations in the 21st century. The children of the slaves will not accept being treated like their ancestors…
Which is why they have taken to the streets demanding change in the way police interact with, and continue to dispense justice, especially to Black males. It’s less than humane treatment. No Protecting and Serving… No Courtesy, Professionalism and Respect (CPR). More often than not Black people invariably need more of the acronym treatment—in the medical sense—than anything else in their interactions with, and treatment by, the police, the source of Black peoples’ consternation these days.
[Oh, inasmuch as Black Canadians are not being killed like our American counterparts, we must blame it on the numbers; we pose no threat.]
So yes, good white people, the children, grandchildren… of America are being forced by their social conscience and humanity to walk in solidarity with Black people in the face of blatant (seemingly state-sanctioned) injustices perpetrated by the police. It’s in keeping with the spirit of the 50s, 60s… Recall those black and white documentaries chronicling the lives of Black peoples’ marches when we were shedding that inferiority complex and asserting ourselves: marching…? Good white people were also there marching in solidarity with Black people in cities across America.
That period of heightened consciousness and the drive for human and Civil Rights was a demonstration of human connectedness, a realization that America belongs not to one race of people, but to all those who helped to build it, especially the slaves and their progeny.
But don’t be mistaken, not all white folk—those with their unbridled racial hubris—have bought into the notion of human equality of, and social fairness for, all Americans. They see the [skin] privileges, social benefits and derivatives of skin as things they alone, not Black or other non-whites, are entitled to as their specific and permanent birthright. It’s embedded in the institutions and their psyches. Those are birthright advantages to be protected, not shared, by their nonwhite fellow Americans. They are of that demographic who are inculcated with the racist serum, who believe that “they” are God’s chosen children, were created in his own image and likeness, that the world is theirs… They love things just the way they have been.
Which is why the police are there, not only to “Protect and Serve” but to protect the status quo, keeping Black men in their place: on the plantation/in prisons, or 6 feet down, whichever comes first.
And to know that along with the ongoing protests today, which are reminiscent of those of the 50s, 60s… the height of Civil Rights activism for “change” are viewed by some Black people who have achieved individual success on the backs of those who sacrificed so much have now embraced conservative agendas… even blaming the victims of police aggression for their plight.
Catch them on Fox TV, especially with each new police shooting death.
So yes, thank God for those children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren—descendants of the 50s, 60s…generation of conscience—whom we see marching with Black people for human, Civil, social rights in the black/white documentaries… and today. They’re evidence of that incremental incipient change that’s taking place in the historically contentious issue of race relations in America… land of the free and home of the children of the slaves who are fuelled by this new millennium drive for not just institutional, but for tangible change.
Many white people contend that that change came with the election of Barack Obama, that so-called “transformative moment” in a “post-racial America.” Others called it an electoral aberration.
Sam Cooke summed it up years ago when he sang “…A change is gonna come…” Yes, it has been happening, incrementally. But change in America’s institutional practices, especially with regards to Black people, has never come easy.
And while we’re at it, let us also demand that “the system” stop referring to us, people of African descent as “minorities.” Those words are too loaded with problematic interpretations… especially in the racial superiority context, resulting behaviours and practices upon which America was founded.
I for one don’t want to be compartmentalized, less than, human being.
In real, practical, global terms, simply look around the world and figure out which of the human race is the true “minority.” Global demographics provide ample evidence.
Oh, by the way, I love Christmas, believe me, I just cannot lose sight of important historical human issues impacting because it’s celebration time. I don’t think any of the parents, families and friends of that long list of Black male shooting victims, perpetrated by white policemen and other Black males, are having a Merry Christmas.
Nevertheless, let us all try and have ourselves a very
Merry Christmas. Happy holidays…