The Divided State of America
Reparations: A lost cause?
I am glad that we have activists who are willing to be vocal and active for a cause. We need that.
However, on the subject of reparations and its pursuers or followers, I wish you good fortune. You are certainly going to need it.
It seems that blacks still haven't gotten over the old-age influence of what one has deemed "the white man." You only have to hear us talk and reiterate Malcolm X's pre-conversion teachings on 'white devils'. It is hard for the majority of us to talk without saying 'the white man this' or 'the white man that'.
These images, sayings and acts have been branded on our psyche. As a person of color, I know it is very hard for myself to get beyond this. Hard -- but not impossible. I can only speak for me personally. I don't know anyone else as well as I know me. Except for my children.
I do often practice mind elevation and meditation to do a brain cleansing, and often have God do a brain washing every day of the negativity and lies that I have absorbed from the world.
There is a deeper subject that I wish to discuss and it is indeed a controversial topic, which seeks to further to divide black men again. Unfortunately, men have not seen this for what it is. Just another thing to further divide us -- almost as well as segregation did divide us from the whites hundreds of years ago.
I could get fancy and quote a few Latin words for you to show my education. However, that is not important. The RIGHT education is important.
Having said that I wish to state that neither the Democrat nor Republican party has fully embraced this matter of reparations. From what I currently can see and hear, there is too much childish bickering going on in the White House concerning who knew what about September 11th. So much so that they are thinking of doing a full-blown investigation. I am more than content with knowing that someone knew about the event than with spending more of my hard-earned tax dollars to delve into just how much someone knew. As a friend of mine stated, "This just further penetrates the Divided States of America."
From what I understand about our political parties, the Democrats seem to be enforcing an attitude such as, "You are entitled to this. Elect us so that we can help you get this." They have chosen to lift out parts of the doctrine of the 'divine birthright' without fully understanding the whole thing. So they preach birthright and the entitlement message to all.
On the other hand, the Republicans seem to be enforcing the doctrine of what I will call the great 'technologians.' They believe that everyone should be an equal contributor -- which is nearly an impossible feat. They want you to grow up and contribute, so they tell you that you are not entitled to anything. You, in fact, owe the world and its inhabitants. You should seek a way to create something and help benefit society.
Both parties teach the same core message, but they believe there are different ways in which to accomplish their goals - that is - the problem comes with their interpretation of their message. Both parties seek to get from the world -- one wants to get for their own personal gain and the other wants you to give so that everyone can get. Both parties will continue to bleed our money from us as they seek to prove which one is right.
What each party stands for is not clear. Each person who has a role comes from a diverse background and they believe that certain issues are more important than another. Therefore, issues tend to be glossed over when they spend their massive campaign bank accounts to court and woo the people on various issues -- which they haven't even defined clearly.
From George Bush, Sr. who promised 'no more taxes' to Bill Clinton who stated 'he smoked marijuana, but didn't inhale' and back to Dubya, ahem, Mr. Appointed President George Bush, Jr. who is pushing war against 'evildoers', I believe the president as someone else said. I believe the president. I believe. I BELIEVE. What I believe is evident from the words I write.
The dipping of honey into each other's issues was evident in JFK's statement, "Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country." Is not that a 'Republican statement' coming from the mouth of a Democrat? I didn't live in his time, and if my memory serves me correct, I believe he was a democratic preacher.
So what does this mean to the American people? It means we are getting mixed messages. It means that the messengers are so intent on getting their message out that they have forgotten that the real message and clues come from the people. The people are looking for their politicians to tell them the truth and tell them what the biggest issue is, instead of the people telling the politicians what their issues are. The politician is so intent on getting their message out. What message? Any message. Sometimes, the people are more focused on the messenger - that is, his color and his background that they fail to make good decisions.
When the people are vocal to politicians, they find that their electee has a different agenda from theirs. Of the people, by the people and for the people? Yeah, right. A lot of things are going on in our government right now 'in the name of the people' that do not represent the people. Maybe I should say it represents the governing body of people, but not the people as a whole.
In an attempt to convince people that they know what is best for them, the Democrats and Republicans have peeped each other's index cards and agendas and have hired each other's speechwriters. They have started stealing quips and quotes from each other's message campaigns until there is no longer a clear distinction.
There are still some of us from both parties who choose to echo Janet's (excuse me, Ms. Jackson because what I say may sound nasty) words and ask: "What have you done for me lately?"
To be honest, there are too many needs of the American people to be able to address them all. However, even though there will always be poor people, there is one who can address them all.
So many of us still believe that the American dream does not include us that we have forgotten that Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. sought for a place in a dream of the American people -- who at that time refused to accept blacks as American's people. To those of us who wanted to reject the American dream and create our own, it seemed like a new dream. As a result we have chosen to dream by default and to rob our self of divine opportunity -- and it truly is divine -- by embracing what I have heard Robert Kiyosaki refer to as 'the welfare mentality' or 'the entitlement mentality'.
You, as a black American, just as any other American are entitled to nothing. You have been taught to fight for justice and gain power from others because that was how others who didn't know any better did it. You are still listening to Malcolm X's pre-conversion speech and are bitter. You fail to realize one crucial fact: true power and justice never lies in the hand of the oppressor. It lies in the hands of the oppressed man who realizes it. If he so dies for his cause, he is admirable. He stood up for something.
Power is within your hands.
Power is not within a court system nor lawgivers who continue to infringe upon our rights by creating laws that restrict our freedom. I am reminded of a speech given by the rapper Ice T. If I may but alter his words just a bit, "This truly is a free country. Just watch what you do." You have the right to be restricted -- to have your liberty and freedom subjected to man's interpretation and laws under a vast system.
Justice is not within the realm of a bribery system in which who you know means all and your money talks louder than you do. True justice is not just-ice as a young college student stated a couple of years ago in a speech at an MLK festival at North Carolina State. Just-ice is a perversion of justice. They are warriors at odds with each other.
Few people seem to realize that if Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. were alive today, he would probably be labeled a troublemaker. He probably would not be offered a job, but would have to create his own. He is not by American way of thinking 'entitled to a job', just as I am not 'entitled' to an education or my driver's license. Rather it is a privilege to have one. You learn about privileges real quick -- when your privileges are taken away. Ask the high school students who are expelled from school and never to return. Ask those who are in prison now. Ask those who have lost their driver's license or find it hard to obtain a job.
Having a criminal record does not make you any less of a human being than the next person. One cannot expect a system which continues to hold Mumia Abu-Jamal imprisoned and on death row, but allows OJ Simpson to be indicted (I did not say he was guilty nor innocent) because of racism and mishandling of so-called evidence to represent and protect you. The American system is both corrupt and outdated. Or as I should say, those who occupy its offices are. There is nothing wrong with the 'system', but just with its enforcement.
I will recall a very personal experience, which I find very hard to talk about to this day.
I was fingerprinted in either 1998 or 1999 for a missed court date. My lawyer, whose name I will not state, claimed that he had filed for a continuance because the dates were mixed up. Whether he lied or not, I do not care to know. I couldn't be angry with him, since he did my case for free. Whether it was actually the clerk of court's fault with their abundance of paperwork as he stated, I do not know.
However, I will never forget the embarrassment I suffered at having to place a wig on my head (since it was morning) and shoes on my feet in front of the cops before I left handcuffed and having to sit locked in a cell until I signed my bail release and set up a new court date.
Imagine being 21 and in college and a semi-educated idiot pertaining the matters of law and the court system. Imagine officers laughing at your having to remove your belt and joking that you are unlikely to hang yourself over a speeding ticket, but that they must comply with the rules. Did I mention that they were white? Even if they were racist that is not the point. Imagine thinking that you were truly locked in prison and wouldn't get out. Imagine your lawyer being tied up in court while you sat there making phone calls to his secretary and his office trying to reach him, while you sat there wondering what in the world was going to happen to you. Imagine recalling all of the horror stories of people's experiences in prison. Imagine your lawyer running in the station just in time to see you before you got ready to leave with your ride, after having signed your own bail release.
Can you just imagine?
I do not blame the government entirely. Nor do I completely blame their system since every government needs a system of organization. I am mostly to blame for I was the one SPEEDING. Had I not been speeding, I would have been ignorant to the problems of the court system and would not have had to endure what I did. I want to condemn this poverty doctrine that has given rise to the poor-man's mentality. The poor man must have a scapegoat. If it is not his wife or children, then it is his mother. If not her, then his father. If not his father, then another relative. Someone is responsible. However, the blame never falls upon him.
The black man must have a scapegoat. I speak particularly of the poor black man. If it is not his family, then it is his friends. If not them, then the government. If not the government, then it's the white man who runs the government (he knows there are blacks there, but the whites have the real power he reasons). He has been mis-educated as black historian Carter Woodson stated. Sound familiar? If it doesn't, then you cannot see.
Then, when he exhausted his supply of things to blame, he hops to other people's creations and inventions. So he chooses the American's classification of races brought into existence by some ologist or scientist or historian who in his attempt to explain the difference between cultures and habits based on skin color.
So then he blames those whom white America blames. Sometimes. So he blames the Vietnamese, the Chinese, the Italians, the Germans, the Africans, and the Jews. And then last but not least, his newest scapegoat? The Mexicans. Remember, everyone else is succeeding but him.
Can you see and understand how our brain has been washed with programming and subliminal messages over the years?
So when he is through with the races, he looks to nature. He blames the earth, from whence he came, the sun, from whence he gets his pigmentation, the trees and plants, which helps him breathe and provide nourishment, and then he blames the animals, which he also eats. Or he blames the gods or God if he chooses to believe in them, or the devil or his version of him, who has no power than which he has given him.
And so the poor man remains in his condition. So then finally, when he exhausted his scapegoats he learns to create and invent things to blame. So he creates a weight problem by not exercising, and invents a new sickness from his state of paranoia and worry. This man dies in this state. He has chosen to the let the god or goddess of blame rule over him and rob him, and thus everything that happens to him is never a result of this thoughts or his decisions. It is a result of his passivity of simply allowing things to happen to him and not for him, and never reversing the tide.
With all of the advances that African-Americans have made in this country, this poor man continues to look backward and not forward. While it is important to know the past in the sense of not making the same mistakes, this man has become immobilized by it. He never loses the poor men's mentality. He never leaves this dangerous state of mind.
The world does not need nor want those who are leeches and parasites. They need someone who can contribute. They want someone who has graduated from the childhood state of entitlement and left their parents houses to learn and enforce the contributory mentality. May I bring a matter to the forefront by stating it in plain English? Those who are dependent on the government are getting upset because the government is slowly but surely divorcing its many wives. It keeps writing bills of divorcement and sending its wife and its dependents away to fend for their selves. It has to. Why? It never learned how to balance a checkbook either. The government is not in a better shape than its citizens.
We all work for the government, as I found out from reading Robert Kiyosaki's books. Some of us, just as I didn't before, just don't know it. Business owner or employee works for their Uncle Sam. Even banks work for him. And Uncle Sam is relentless and exacting. I remember a piece of candy called the Now or Later or the Now and Later that came out when I was a kid. I ate so much candy as a kid. I didn't care; it was wonderful. However, I paid for it later by losing two of my back teeth to decay.
The same thing went for those rebate checks that people received. They ended up being a deduction from your tax bill. I know, I dibbled in taxes the past few years as well. The same thing will apply for reparations as well. We all learned that there is no such thing as a free lunch, because someone has to pay. (What they started doing at my high school is offering something that most people like, but that you would actually have to pay for to get. That's how they got some money back. So you thought your kid was eating that cafeteria crap, while they were borrowing a dollar to buy pizza every day.)
I say that to say this. You may want reparations now, but as with anything, you will pay for them later. Plus interest. While those who are in office continue to pass laws, which take your freedoms away, in your name. And with your blessing. I am not seeking to justify what white America did to black American slaves. The damage has been done. The US would probably keel over if they had to pay back both for psychological and monetary entrenchment that it did to our people.
However, if you insist on being enslaved mentally by the government, go right ahead. Go ahead and subscribe to the doctrine of slave master Willie Lynch. You can allow the government to continue beating you, or you can rebel and show the government that you are wise to the game. You have grown up to be a fine gentleman or lady worthy of class, dignity and respect. Or you can come to the realization like Dennis Kimbro: You are free in your mind.
This is what our ancestors did. This is what those who walk amongst us today are doing. This is what I am doing. Whether or not the US does finally give reparations to blacks is not the issue. The issue is, "Are you prepared to pay for it out of your pockets with your future and your children's futures? Before you say yes, are you ready to sign that answer in ink with your blood, sweat, toil and tears?" Those who are in office (most, probably, not all, laugh at you) - politicians and lawyers alike. Those are they who seek reparations and are doing so 'in the name of your best interest'. Just as President Bush recently signed a bill infringing on our privacy 'in the name of terrorism'. Do you really think, o black man and woman, that you are going to be able to physically place your hands on the money should they get it? As the young people used to say when I was growing up:
Maybe I can bring it closer to home by quoting and altering Homey the Clown from In Living Color's favorite words: "No. I don't think so! Sammy don't play that!" Do you not realize that someone is accountable for the money that is received? If you were to get it in your hands, you would have to pay taxes on it. Most of you would have it spent up before you even remembered to call your uncle. That is IF you even get a chance to put your hands on the money.
Just as the monies from the 9/11 ordeal have not been disbursed fully to those who truly needed it because of burdensome paperwork and bureaucracy, so will it be in the case of reparations. Mark my words. Just watch.
And I close reuttering the words of Apostle Paul in one of his epistles: Have I now become your enemy because I tell you the truth?