Writer’s Note: If we cannot move forward together then we damn sure as hell cannot do it while being against each other neither.
I have a prediction for the black community and the American population at large. There will be no unity between the people — at least for now. There will only be a set of groups who work only for and in their interest. Compromise is something these groups will not do because the ball is thrown so far across the field that they do not want any part of the game. In this post I am going to lay out a set of concepts and ideas that I came across lately and tried to understand by observation.
In my school days I was a sociology major and in that field they taught to look at structures, institutions and the groups within them. For instance, I recently wrote a response to the #BreakfastClubBoycott but I did not talk so much about the reactions to it. This is part of a divide in black communities and I assume the American population at large. The divide being due to radical ideas and acts in response to other entities in society because they’re accused of discrimination. In this case transphobia. There are many “phobias” but when in usage they all have the same function. On one end of the spectrum they’re used to show what appears as hate with the intention to eradicate it.
Frank Bruni Racism pervades our country. Students who have roiled college campuses from coast to coast have that exactly right. But we’re never going to make the progress that we need to if they hurl the word “racist” as reflexively and indiscriminately as some of them do, in a frenzy of righteousness aimed at gagging speakers and strangling debate.
But on another spectrum it’s used in an abusive and almost zealot-like fashion to shut down ANY perceived opposition to the cause. For example, saying or doing anything remotely offensive about any one of these groups might hurt your pockets, wrap you in a shitload of drama and attach an unknown amount of negative attention toward your character. It is basically the driving principle behind character assassinations. The intent is to destroy, dismantle and discredit any clout or platform that one has in society. This is the method these groups apparently use and the #BreakfastClubBoycott is an example of it.
“It Is Not Intolerant To Call The Intolerant Intolerant,” Someone Said To Me.
The Black Lives Matter movement re-ushered a regime to protect minority groups from overbearing structures but they too, including others, follow this line of thinking. For instance, misogynist, sexist, anti-black, transphobic, homophobic, xenophobic, queer phobic, bigot, anti-semitic and of course racist. All of these concepts, and more, have an action-like function that serve to protect but also enforce a compliance (and silencing) type of mechanism to those on the receiving end. So many times you will find people who may say, “I am not this” or “I am not that” with the attempt to defend themselves from being branded as one of these negative terms. They are negative in the sense no one wants those labels attached to them and ostracized in public life because of it.
It is like those old Puritan days where the adulterer was branded, like cattle, and shamed for being something the public at large felt was impure. Unlike then, there is not a religious part per se but the morally superior factor is well alive. It is now like a sin being any one of these terms, including others, and the users are like the priests and reverend who dictate to suspected perpetrators of their sinful behavior.
The Black Liberation Struggle Continues…
There cannot be a unified body of people when the very people cannot be unified in their ideas and to what is and is not acceptable behavior. Sure we can feed each other, clothe each other and do no harm to one another but there will always be a tale of many and divided communities. The reason people have broken away from religion recently is partly due to the restrictive nature of it (especially toward women) and the rebellious nature of some people. The new religion, among others, is identity. And to speak in any ill way toward this religion is the new blasphemy.
To not go with the rules of this religion, no matter how righteous or not it seems, can and will cost you something — so tread lightly. Have you ever been accused of a sin and had the entire (or a fractional) congregation surround you, vilify your behavior and demand that you repent and ask for forgiveness? And in the case you do not give in to the demands you could be outcast, protested against frequently or cancelled as the online culture would say and your name tarnished because of it. This is a very powerful tactic, tool and device used to make opposing forces summit to the will of others. Some will play ball and there will be some who will not. Those that will be those who are vocal (and rightfully so) in their opposition, like Kap, or they will in silence disagree but stay out harm’s way. You will notice celebrities doing one of these things, especially the latter. However you look at it, it is very polarizing.
The Many Different And Divided Have To Agree And Move Forward On Something, If Not Then Forget It.
The idea of a black liberation will, in my opinion, never happen. I do believe it is possible but only because of the blueprint we have seen here in the united states of America. On the political level we have our democrats, republicans, independents, socialists, greens, liberals, conservatives, libertarians and so forth. What unifies them all is they are all Americans.
In the black community we have our Pan-Africans, Moors, black Israelites, African-Americans (black Americans), black Muslims, black Christians and so forth. The common factor of them all is they’re classified as black or share a similar skin tone, DNA and culture in some regards. Dive deeper into those groups and you will find what people coin as intersectionality. These are your straight black men and women, black feminists, black lesbians, black gays, black bisexuals, black transexuals, hoteps and so on and so on. *Any other black sub-group that I did not mention is unintentional. Now, within all these identities exist so many ideologies and contradicting viewpoints that I find it almost impossible for a united front. One thing we all have in common is our skin I say, but just because we all share that skin does not necessarily mean we are all kin.
However, the dynamics and interactions in one group with another can advance. If every person can all agree to something, hash out differences without fighting and address the issues we all face with some reasonable solidarity then the impossible becomes a possibility I believe. But the Achilles heel will always be ego. The my way or idea is the better, supreme and only way ego. In the case someone or somebody does not adhere to it then you can kiss all of it goodbye. One controversial issue, no matter how small or large, can taint the meal and be the reason for a continued separation. Due to a lack of shared ideology these groups will remain diametrically opposed to one another because one may feel some way toward the other and what they subscribe to, or find them toxic altogether and cannot find a reason to coexist.
If The Solution(s) To Our Problems Exist Then Reveal Them.
Considering all I have said I think one has to eventually look toward solutions to problems. First find what the problem is then find a solution. I think where the dividing factor comes to play is each faction has its own version of the problem and solution rooted in their belief structure. This will not get us far. It will continue to produce a tale of many and divided communities. As long as each faction has their own agenda and version of what is reality, whether it is popular or not, then a united front is but a dream.
Each faction would need to take a backseat as far as what they subscribe to separately to pay attention to what each group share in common collectively. We cannot allow people within the group to pit one against another or continue to think the other is literally the enemy. In the case it does, and I think it will, then there cannot be a “black liberation.” Even the phrase itself means multiple things depending on who you ask. However, there’s room for black liberations. The Moors for example will propel the Moors and liberate themselves and their constituents according to their philosophy. The same might follow in the other groups but the one thing that cannot happen is stepping on one another’s toes in the pursuit of progress and place. I will go back to the #BreakfastClubBoycott example from earlier.
When one group feel it is necessary and hellbent in the moment to tear down another within the same group (i.e black America) who gives a voice to struggles we all endure then it furthers my disbelief in a black liberation. It is perfectly fine to call out what is wrong within our dialogue, but to tear down one power structure for the sake of making an example is the crab in the barrel mentality. Do you throw out the baby with the bath water? Of course not, but some will if they believe it goes against their interests.
In conclusion, finding a way to coexist through all the differences, by not stepping on each other’s toes towards progress and respecting each other’s space is in my view a way forward, which could lead this tale of many and divided communities to all do what it is they aim to do. The old saying goes is I do not have to like you, agree with you or even support you and I probably will not, but that does not mean I will not have some type of love for you because you are still a soul when it is all said and done.