Drowning is Never Living
Endless Suffering versus Liberation From Colonialism
If drowning were living, we would be able to bide our time under water for as long as we desire. If we could simply wait in leisure under the torrents of the ocean or ripples of a river, forever, we would not be worried about escaping Death.
In this way, Death must be the reality of drowning… Of being under water without access or opportunity to breathe. And so breath must be our liberation.
The past is all our present can be — even with eyes set on the future. If we take a look at the World around us, we can quickly trace the history that allowed for its existence. The World was always beautiful, seductive, dangerous, and painful… In that regards, history has never changed, and may never. But what has changed has often been traumatic and unsatisfying.
Tropical storms and their kin have grown more frequent, angry, and fatal. Over time, we have found ourselves drowning under the symptoms of global warming: industrial pollution, overseas companies profiting from disaster (disaster profiteers), lack of resources (stolen by larger, richer countries) leading to murder, abuse, and self-abuse, and many other visions of hell.
Tracing the history that has brought us to this present, the history that has defined this present day, we can see that what brought us here was colonialism: the process of one country taking a less powerful country’s resources for its own benefit, while giving much less in return. It is not a trade, but a molestation — for no society can say they consented as a whole for this process to occur. It is a parasitic relationship — a death drive. These genocides, tortures, and sufferings were the storms that carried us, and continue to carry us, into every present moment we live through.
Many of us descend from bodies stolen from their Homes hundreds of years ago, traded like money by demons to work tobacco, cotton, sugar cane, and mines under the heat of sun or stifling murk for products they could never call theirs. The rest of us were forced to do the same without being stolen. Many of us are still doing these very same things today.
Still, relatively little of us can survive in comfort.
And if there are people who can survive easier than we can, who can breathe without sharing the toil and struggle we stifle under, there must be air somewhere.
Today, our “leaders” take from what we need, and sell it to others who do not give a damn: comforts, food, water, the ability to enjoy nature without having to maintain it for these same greedy profiteers. Even today, we find ourselves struggling to survive — reaching, shouting, clawing, tearing at the surface for one breath of fresh air… An air that seems increasingly impossible to reach regardless of how many compromises we make with an ongoing Death known as white supremacy.
And because we remain submerged in white supremacy, we are still at its whim.
Today we work in the back on the kitchen line, as caretakers, as manual laborers, and as jobless desperate people drowning in debt, hunger, and depressions, breaking our backs and grinding our knees into a mere survival. Once we achieve survival, we find that our labor is not ours. And any money coming into our hands in any way — handouts, welfare, donations, begging on GoFundMe, begging on the streets, has become our sources for a breath under this sea of white supremacy. Even with these here-and-there bubbles of relief, we continue to drown.
Personally, I have turned to sex work in my own desperation, and for our shared desperation to leave this World and to go back Home. Many of us do not know what Home is, and those of us who do, can see full well that places like Dominica is still a third world country because it, too, drowns. And where there is development, there is also the profiteer in authority who locks fingers with white supremacy behind closed doors.
All of this, for hundreds of years, because of white supremacy’s colonialism.
We must name every limb of colonialism; we must see the entire demonic process before we are able to destroy it:
— the struggle for and individualistic hoarding of money,
— the abuse of natural resources,
— the fight for the ownership of bodies and places, their labor, and their labels
— the resolve materialized in weaponry and military
— the culture that encourages us to reproduce these evils ourselves
— the deceit and obscurity that hides it all, burying knowledge and history under academic language and complex ideas unattainable to the very people who are purposefully undereducated or otherwise unable to afford the time or interest to learn it.
6 limbs, and one head, keep us under its wrath.
These are the things that we ought to acknowledge… The things from which we ought to completely remove power over us from. And to achieve this, we will must find our own resolve, sibling to self-determination: the will to determine one’s own future, at any means necessary.
But first, we must stop drowning.
Drowning is not only about lack of air, or being unable to breathe.
It is also about that with which drowning fills us, and weighs us down.
Something weighs us down, something heavier than gravity. If it were a “natural” phenomenon such as gravity, or simply human nature, we would be able to float to the surface of white supremacy by filling our lungs with enough air from hand-outs and proceeding to hold our breath, regardless of how heavy we are.
But this, too, fails us because drowning displaces our breaths and fills our lungs, our stomachs, our heads.
Drowning in white supremacy fills our stomach with imported foods stuffed with preservatives, steroids, and disease while displacing our domestic, organic products — our air.
Drowning in white supremacy fills our lungs with addictions sold by Big Tobacco, or toxic fumes by any number of car companies that refuse to make all automobiles exhaust clean air, or pollution from industry. Drowning in white supremacy.
Drowning in this fills our eyes, ears, nose, and fills our mouths so that when we struggle to our senses, all we can know is white supremacy: its skin, its face, its history, ideas, values, words, logics, supposed “morals”, and thoughts of a white supremacist that wants us all dead, if not in a permanent, an endless state of dying… Of drowning.
Ask yourself how much of what you believe has come from that which grinds you into riches. And then once you decide you must be free from this submersion, you ought remove it from every space within you because it is there without your permission.
Out with it.
Out of our lungs!
Out of our stomachs!
Out of our eyes, ears, noses, minds, and mouths!
We must but it back where it belongs — to its own machinations and devilry…
We must take the disease, and give it back.
We must take the poverty, and give it back.
We must take the mistreatment, the withholding of a voice, of a breath, of self-determining hearts, minds, and souls, back to this ocean that is white supremacy.
And once it is out of us, and we are able to breathe, we can discuss co-operation.
But until then, we must be able to breathe, and to speak and therefore declare our truth unto the World.
“Mistaken interpretations of the causes of underdevelopment usually stem from… the error of looking inside the underdeveloped economy… The true explanation [for underdevelopment] lies in seeking out the relationship between Africa and certain developed countries and recognising that it is a relationship of exploitation.” — Walter Rodney