…and with those words, I launched myself into more of an understanding of American history! This is what happened: I am being forced, by Hunter, to take a history class (can’t say I blame them really); so, this semester I decided to “bite the bullet” and get it over with. But, this decision was based on (1) prudency and (2) the fact that, given the state of American/black affairs lately, I have challenged myself to become better educated about what so many of my same-colored-people are so pissed off about. So, I signed up for ‘U.S Civil War – Present’. As our professor went through the goings-on that led up to and inspired the Civil War, then went into the so-called ‘Early Reconstruction’, he hadn’t gotten too far into it before I got a handle on not only what was happening at that time, but more importantly, the give-with-one-hand-take-back-with-two trick they passed off as ‘abolition of slavery’! So, up went my hand, I opened my mouth and out tumbled what became the title of this post… to my professor’s and the class’s shock and delight. Then he (my professor) sealed his fate with these words, “How so? Please elaborate”. Hahahaha.
So yes, I did get mad and I am guessing that I have only just poked at my historical hymen; the real deflowering is yet to come! And, I am realizing that I am only now gleaning the knowledge that has been pissing some of you off for quite a bit. Okay. So, like I promised myself, I will keep on going, because my big mouth needs to constantly be knowledgeable and responsible for what comes out of it. Done. But, this is now where we may part ways for a bit again. I suspect, because I know myself so very well, that adding some context to the emotions will help to broaden my understanding and possibly increase my empathy. But, I am guessing that not much will change with respect to the stance I have adopted with regard to the present. Let me address this.
I do not need a history book to point out to me that the practice of one human being doing his level best to distract and then deceive another started way back then and that in this behavior, history is certainly repeating itself. All I need to do is look around. One man’s (used in both the gender specific and gender neutral senses) desire to get his way by manipulating another into thinking that he is absolutely enjoying being fucked is a practice that is both “as old as time”, as it is still very much “alive and kicking”. What the white landowners did back then by enslaving those of my skin color, lauding their domination, disdain and desires over them, is still borne out today by all ethnicities in our bedrooms, boardrooms, back-alleys, barbershops, beauty salons, ballparks, and backyards. Imposing one’s will and pursuing one’s self-serving agenda is an old story, but now with a contemporary twist.
And, this is where I always seem to part company with most. For me, it is important that the epidemic that allows for all behaviors that lack morality, conscience and justice is eradicated; not just that that points to the subjugation of blacks by whites. I will continue to believe that what ails the world may manifest itself as primarily a racial divide, with one color holding supremacy over another; but that is in very large part, a grave deficit of morality. In the place in my soul from where my moral compass emanates, I believe that as a whole (certainly not blatantly obvious in and to most), a lot of us have lost the true measure of the value of life. As a collective, I believe that we need to chant every day, every single day that All. Lives. Matter. See, because black blood is not the only one that is seeping away.
Listen, I will continue to read about the American history; but yall need to keep in mind that for me, it will always be American history. As a human being, as a woman and as I would like to think, a smart woman, I understand that being born into a different reality will not (always) insulate me from what some others may experience; but, like it or not, some of my experiences, thus my outlook will be different. And, maybe that accounts for the fact that I do not get as outraged. Maybe. Or, it may simply be that my perspectives in life originate mostly from the moments that I can affect…those that I can change – my now. My intention is that all that I learn, both academically and experiencally (yup, just made up that word) will afford me the insight, knowledge and determination to add my bits in making the portion of the world that I occupy, a much better one. But hear me when I say that for me, ‘unity’ means and demands more than a similar skin color. To stand by, to support, to have earned my loyalty, one must (as I too must) have demonstrated unwavering respect, honor and a common determination to empower, not belittle, tear down or destroy. At times I recognize that some will think it acceptable to curse at and denigrate you one day and expect you to stand in solidarity with them against the other bad man the next. To that I say this, “if your memories with regard to the injustices imposed against your forefathers are so very long, do not expect my memories of injustices imposed upon me, to be so very short”.
There is a fabulous quote, it goes: “Though no one can go back and make a brand new start, anyone can start from now and make a brand new ending…”. So, I will allow myself to be better educated about the injustices that were perpetrated. Like yesterday, I anticipate getting mad many times over as more is revealed. Angry, yes. Retributive, no. ‘Cause see, there is also another fantastic quote; this one goes: “History is supposed to make us better; not bitter…” Indeed.