As we celebrate the life of the ancestor Huey, I find myself meditating on a perverse, pervasive lie of capitalist thought: that all things are zero sum — a gain for one must come at the expense of another, and those gaining are always and only those I can see.
So many people, too many Black people, buy into this ridiculously reductive ideology at the expense of not only benefiting other cultures, but, ironically, of benefiting Black people.
For none of us is free until all of us are free.
I don’t know if Rush was a good person. I don’t know his heart or his mind. I don’t know the actions he took in private, or his relationship with the Lord.
But I do know what he said in public. I know how he made his money. I know how he exploited pain for cheap laughs. How he weaponized anger and resentment. How he claimed to talk for people on one hand, yet pushed them to elect politicians and policies that hurt them on the other.
I do know the things he suffered with in life, and how he…
I wonder when you last walked down 125th street. Did you smile? Were you proud? Was this your vision for uptown or a perversion of it?
I wonder when you last went to a Broadway play? Who performed? What did you think of the “progress” around the theater?
Surely you understood the plight of the protestors; and even if you didn’t, you certainly understood receiving the enmity of policemen. I wonder if you marched with the people in spirit? Did you think we did enough? Did we do to much?
Did we do anything at all?
I wonder what you…
(This was written on 9/25/2015; this is applicable for eternity.)
I love dark skinned Black people. I love light skinned Black people. I love brown skinned Black people (raises brown skinned fist; we get no love). I love natural haired Black people. I love Black people with blond weaves. I love Black people who dye their hair purple. I love Black people with dark brown eyes. I love Black people with hazel eyes. I love Black people who still wear blue contacts.
I love Black teenagers too self absorbed to recognize how much the world fears them. …
Breonna Taylor was never going to get justice. We knew this from the first days of her murder until the Kentucky AG cynically chided anyone who would suggest otherwise. So since there is a lack of justice — since the state refuses to hold itself accountable for anything outside of property loss, how can we hold the state accountable? How can we convey our pain to those who are indifferent, as if asking for empathy and care is like speaking Mandarin in Mumbai?
In a simpler time, where indoors is open, handshakes and hugs are common, and smiles no longer need to be hidden, I am sitting at a bar with a friend. We laugh, for though we were strangers in our youth, we share so many common experiences because we are from the same small city. So many common fears. So many common friends.
Friends we start to name.
Friends who are no longer here, lost to streets few remember and even fewer memorialize.
We eulogize their names over exorbitantly. priced cocktails and wonder, without a…
First, an acknowledgment: You don’t care about my opinion. You have likely already made up your mind around what you’re doing, what you’re not doing, and how you feel about it. And nothing I’m going to say or do, or nothing *she* can say or do will likely change that in 4 months.
That said, a bit of caution: if your opinion is so set that it can’t be changed, even when new facts are introduced, then your opinion, even if you articulate it well, is ignorant. That goes for you, me, and everyone else under the sun.
The role of an emperor is to maintain an empire. Thus if you seek to rule an empire, then you seek to be an emperor
You *are* the empire. You benefit from its ill-begotten riches every time you put on cheap clothes or discard half eaten food or use your precious-metal laden phone.
The revolutionary rarely runs for office. The process of appeasement and compromise is antithetical to the singleminded focus one needs to stay true to the cause.
He was never going to lead the revolution; his aspirations, by definition, were anti-revolutionary. He was not a…
I wasn’t yet prepared. For years I sent students to greet him; for years he would happily oblige. His role on Capitol Hill was not simply a legislator, but an ambassador. Not simply an ambassador for a nation — that is too small — but the ambassador for The Dream of the Nation: a dream that hope and perseverance, remembrance and renewal, kindness and forgiveness would always, eventually (eventually…) prevail.
John Lewis, the best of us, had died.
He relished his job. I cannot image anyone doing it better. We are all worse off for his passing.
(I wrote this for a child. A week to the day, yet another child in her another city died in yet another barrage of bullets. Familiarity is supposed to breed contempt. I fear it breeds something more sinister: an apathy of expectation. My thoughts, below.)
I knew how this would begin once I heard another baby’s body pound the ground.
Sadness. Anger. Then the fingers. Fingers pointing everywhere. At the killers and their “savagery.” At the system and its many, many (God so many) failures. At the activists and protesters who “should be protesting ‘this’”, as if one cannot chew…
Go ask my pre-school, even talk to my old principal / He’d tell you how you I used to pack a number two pencil