We Still Here.
So, with all that’s going on in the news this week (Presidential Blunders, alternative facts, illegal immigration, or, anti-immigration acts, White House Décor), a friend of mine posted something on Facebook that struck a chord:
I’m logging off for a few days or so…
There’s something about seeing these NBPOC and white folks in airports all over the country… screaming about the value of bodies: words we taught them, language we gave them, chants we made up to keep morale high…
Two years ago I was almost killed by men with assault rifles for this work. I survived that danger, to have my name, face, and personal information (home address, personal phone number, place of employment) passed around to every white supremacist in the south east. The death threats, y’all…. I was checking my car before I drove, triple checking my doors & windows every day for weeks.
The year before that I was kidnapped by police officers and held unlawfully in the back of a paddy wagon, alone, with my hands and feet zip tied together. Sometimes we were parked in the loading dock of closed businesses. Sometimes we were parked outside of jails. Sometimes i was handled in ways I didn’t consent to by officers of the law.
All of that, and I was told I was too angry, too disruptive, too vocal. I’ve blocked friends and unfriended peers. I’ve wept, I’ve screamed, I’ve ranted on CNN. I’ve run from gunshots. I’ve stared down barrels. I’ve been “on the ground” and tried to be as transparent and informative as possible….
I can’t help but be bitter right now. I know it’s not productive. I know it’s not principled. Might even be petty. But this is viscerally, physically painful for me. Directing y’all to resources, reposting action items, answering the countless messages in my inbox from folks concerned for their Muslim brethren or indigenous family, or the women in their lives because of the danger that this administration poses. Far more messages than I got when our feet were bleeding in Ferguson. Or when we were gathering resources for Haiti. Or when no one could find me after my “arrest” in Atlanta.
Yes, we have reached a moment of beautiful, widespread, international solidarity resistance. Yes, I will be on the frontline. Yes, I have your back. Yes, my Black Muslimahs and all the children of Islam deserve safety. I’m not invalidating the work on your bodies across the nation. But damn, this hurts. I wish I could cry but I’m not sure I have the tears right now. Like, why can’t you see us? Why didn’t you come when I called you? I needed you. We needed you. We still need you. And here we are, fighting for a freedom that I’m not sure exists for Black people like me. I don’t know that we’ll get to the “other side” with y’all. I don’t think y’all want us there…
So imma take my lil Black ass some space. And if anyone else is struggling with the same burden know that I see you, I love you, I’m holding you, and our labor has never been in vain. — — Aurielle MArie
Why is it, I wondered, that Africans in America are still being overlooked?? We started this shit.
The indefatigable pioneers in the struggle of human and civil rights, we laid down our bodies and souls in an effort to change a system that was (and still is) broken AF. If it wasn’t for Martin, Malcolm, Marcus, Huey, Fred, Kathleen, Assata, Angela, Elaine and the likes, we likely wouldn’t be having these discussions. At least, not with the intensity and ferocity that we are currently having them. There would be no talks of democracy, egalitarianism or civility for anyone who wasn’t a white and heterosexual male, if not for those beautiful, black people.
“How is it that this is perpetually overlooked; the battle for humanity forgetting its All-Stars?”
This is the question that perplexes the literal fuck out of me.
How is it the country and the world rallies behind everyone but those of the highest and deepest melanin concentration? When we study apartheid in South Africa: yes, the world got involved but, only AFTER the elephantine amounts of death begotten to my Skinfolk. Decades after the initial incidents (Sharpeville and Soweto) actually took place and almost 30 years after segregation ended in America. Conditions in SA are still impoverished, there are still epic states of disenfranchisement but, somehow the world has managed to move on.
In Haiti, the Clintons, Red Cross, and numerous other organizations have been PORVEN to take from, manipulate, and exploit the natives of this land. Horrible crimes of genocidal and xenophobic natures are being committed, as I type this, by neighboring Dominican Republicans yet, the world hasn’t given a single iota of fuck. Very minimal news coverage worldwide, not many, if any, injunctions or pressure on the Dominican government to stop these events.
Haiti, the first independent Black nation in the system of colonialization, an island of beauty and history abound, arguably a world treasure, is ignored. Except, of course, when a colonial government needs to score brownie points or pull the heart-strings of fellow human beings.
Then its “Hey Haiti, come ‘ere lil’ nigga. Let me give you a cookie”.
Brutal? Much. Honest? Undeniably.
Africa is the single most nutrient, asset rich continent on the globe. If given opportunity, it’s the only continent that could create a global currency and system of trade using its own resources as collateral. Yet, somehow, it’s houses the MOST impoverished countries per capita in the world. Every single piece of electronic equipment is manufactured with metals (tantalum, tin, gold, tungsten, coltan) found only in the Congo regions.
Let me say this again: EVERY. SINGLE. PIECE. Yet, this region is among the poorest on earth?
I lack the formal businesses and economical degrees some might say are needed to argue this point but, with over 90% of this current administrations’ cabinet appointees holding the same amount of education as I, let’s take a stab at this. The law of supply and demand dictates this is erratum. There, I said it.
Drawing nearer to my point: the world at large seems to use black people for our resources, our intelligence, our ingenuity, our perseverance, completely disavowing our existence when it’s time to return the favor. To assert this notion as offensive, is like asserting that barbed wire shoved into one’s nasal cavities would be painful. We know this. We agree. But, that doesn’t make it any less relevant.
Offensive is pretty much the undertone of this article. I did that on purpose ;-) .
But, I’m offended by turning on my television to the blatant omission and attenuation of Africa and its descendants (see, FOXNews & The History Channel). I’m offended from waking up and seeing the current administration, only a week in, champion lies and falsehoods to the American populace, on a world stage. I’m offended by the Beautification and appellation of these fallacies as “alternative facts”. I’m offended by the perpetual state of alertness I harbor outside anywhere that’s not a Blue State, in case some emboldened “little kkk” member (see, Aziz Ansari) tries a senseless act of violence against myself. Or worse, against some innocent stranger that, while I don’t know, will have to defend, possibly harming myself in the process. That offense amplified for matters including the police.
African issues, domestically or abroad, are not JUST African issues.
They are HUMAN issues.
Geneva Convention size shit.
And, for some reason, those damn Genevans just aren’t noticing or giving any available fucks.
These are issues that DEMAND attention! And, for some reason, whenever its brought to light, even a smidgen of headway made, they get covered up by the next #TrendingTopic. Yes, the Muslim Ban is an immediate and present danger. Yes, It should be dealt with post-haste, the current administration held accountable for this can of double-stuffed, fuckery brought to the forefront. But, can we please NOT forget about black people?? Can we not forget that our rights are being trampled upon? Can we not forget that, hey world, we need your help too?
I mean, is that too much to ask?