thoughts

The “Proper” Farewell to The Black Panther of All Panthers: Cliff Huxtable

Disclaimer…

As a black boy living in America, I just want to come to the table with some insight. Considering that I can’t cook greens or chicken without burning the kitchen down, it’s the least that I can do for the black community at large. I want to tell you a harsh truth—something that’s been on my mind for a few years now. This article is going to give you a glimpse of how I feel about my fellow Wakadians or Wakadans or Wakas or whatever black people called themselves in the Black Panther.

The Eulogy of The Greatest Black Man to Ever Live

Bill Cosby is going to jail and I feel a bit “sentimental” about the whole thing. I remember watching the Cosby Show, and I thought that Fat Albert was a great movie when I was younger (Kyra Pratt was in it which made the movie even better.) So as the justice system takes another black man away from us, I thought it appropriate to remember the man the way he should be remembered.

Truth be told…

Sometimes, the black community really disgusts me. While the constant need for white acceptance is one thing I can tolerate. This thing where we have to support everyone black is even more aggravating. There are too many coons and ultra-liberal black people using black suffering and black activism to further their own causes for me to support everyone that has melanin in their skin. Not even my self-esteem is low enough to where I’m accepting any form of “wokeness” out of desperation. cliffhuxtable

Again, I’m a black boy. So I know how America loves giving white people the spotlight. Hollywood, especially, tends to give roles of directors, writers, and movie characters to white people. Therefore, black people have to demand and fight for positions that we’d be overlooked for. Which only adds to the anger and protests during the award season that most of these award shows don’t really care about. Too often, most of the nominations are given to White people. And even more frequently, they win these awards.

As a community, our need for the spotlight seems unhealthy. It’s like we can’t shine without someone else putting that light on us. What we should do is find power in shining on our own. Instead, we want those who’d rather keep us in the dark to illuminate us in some way. It’s to the point that we’ve become blinded to a lot of things that shouldn’t be ignored. Especially, within our own community.

In this case, it’s the rape case of Bill Cosby.

The Man that was Cliff Huxtable

It took 60 women (where only ONE was believed) and two trials to finally put Bill Cosby away. And yet, there are black people out there who are still trying to excuse or defend what he did. I see way too many times people bringing up Donald Trump, Harvey Weinstein, or some other creepy old white dude rapist with Bill Cosby’s name. The reason is to show the racial component to the severity of punishment for black rapists and sexual predators compared to their white counterparts.

And I would like to be the first one to say how stupid it is.

Yes, the way the justice system treats black people is unfair, wrong, and extremely racist. As a black boy myself, I understand it. I’ve seen racism and experienced it just like every other black person across this country and outside its borders. The blackness of my skin is like the boogeyman to most white people and institutions across the world. Which is probably why the spotlight for most is important. The light keeps the big, bad boogeyman far away and out of reach.

The First Killmonger…

Bill Cosby remembers Cab Calloway during memorial services

Still, I understand why we admire Bill Cosby. He’s had success within the Entertainment industry from stand-up comedy specials to hit television shows. And just like with any black celebrity who finds success in the white dominated world of Hollywood, we flock together to support him. Bill Cosby had become a beacon, showing us that we can stand in that spotlight too.

However, I no longer care for that spotlight. My apathy towards the spotlight is similar to Bill Cosby’s apathy towards black people in general. Which is why I’m even more confused by black people’s sudden rush to defend Cosby.

The man didn’t like us. At all.

More than a decade ago, Bill Cosby made the “Pound Cake Speech.” A speech that should’ve had his Negro Card revoked and the word “Coon” branded in the middle of his forehead. In this speech, Cosby demonized poor black people for their problems and harsh living conditions. The reason he shamed black people, I assume, is because racism didn’t exist during that time or something. According to Cliff Huxtable, black people had failed to live up to the promises of the Civil Rights Movement.

Therefore, with all due disrespect, Bill Cosby is the modern day Willie Lynch. A wannabe Martin Luther King spending his life looking to be accepted into the White Man’s kingdom. And yet, I’m expected to be outraged that he’s going to jail for being a rapist? Well, I’m not. In fact, I’m happy for his victims and hope that all 60 women find some form of justice and peace.

One last thing…

Let me also say this to those black people bringing up the racial disparity in Cosby’s rape case: Why are you standing up for a man who was looking down on you? Bill Cosby isn’t the “hill I’m willing to die on.” In fact, he’s nowhere near the hill. To be even more clear, Bill Cosby isn’t even in the valley in which the hill rests.

Just because white America is okay with their rapists  being free does not mean that I have to support rapists because they are black. Not all skin-folk is kin-folk and that is doubly true when it comes to rapists and sexual abusers. Black Lives Matter cannot extend their message to these criminals when Black people who are victims of rape and sexual assault within our community don’t receive this same level of support.

So fuck Bill Cosby.

And I cannot wait until R. Kelly suffers the same fate because he’s disgusting too.

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thoughts

Finding Our Voices: The Strength of Being the Lone Wolf

To speak is not the only way we can be heard. For me, I’ve found my voice through writing. And when I found my voice, I also came to understand the importance of listening. This world is sick and has been telling us for a long time. It has also told us the cause of its illness: us.

What we perceive as human nature is really a scar. And that of civility and compromise are bandages placed on open wounds and amputated ligaments, neither of which does anything to stop the blood leakage. Unfortunately, we lack empathy as we see suffering everywhere but only mend to the suffering we’re not affected by. Or in other words, the suffering we cause. Which is why many see the separation of families at the American border as tragic, calling for the abolishment of ICE; while the separation of families by a flawed judicial system and the many escalating wars overseas are only tragic enough to merit meaningless debates about reforming prisons, to simply lock people up in a “better” way.

A wolf is strong because they know one thing: The power of a leader’s howl is meaningless if they’re not willing to protect the pack. Therefore, we must speak up for what we believe in, in whatever way possible to make our voices heard.

When hatred and chaos is everywhere, we should understand the necessity of being quiet. Indeed, the arrogance in how we speak turns into carelessness through our actions. In my article Does “Freethinking” come at a cost, I discussed how being argumentative had become trendy. With no regard to fully understand whatever topic is being discussed, the confidence people have to argue amongst each other as if they’re a scholar on said topic has become the norm. No wonder everything feels chaotic, as we care more about being right than doing right.

The problem social media has created is that while it allows more human connection, we’ve become even more shallow and self-serving. We refuse to see the errors in our ways; instead, we justify our wrong-doings simply because we (or enough of us) have found them essential in some way. We have this “whatever doesn’t kill you makes you stronger” mindset on how we should live. However, just because something doesn’t kill us, doesn’t mean it’s good for us either.

We behave as beasts, believing ourselves good-hearted people. Easily impressed by gnashing of teeth and sharpened claws, we’ve forgotten how to be pack animals. Or maybe we never learned how. Maybe this is who we are: lone wolves devouring everything to satisfy our appetites.

So I ask is this truly human nature? How foolish of us to think a past born of slavery, genocide, and war can breed a future of love and kindness. We cannot make the world beautiful as darkness cannot make rainbows, no matter how good of an artist we think we are. And yet, I find myself searching for a deeper meaning in colors. To remind myself: red can mean more than blood; blue doesn’t have to be reminder of tears. Most importantly, to show the world; black isn’t the absence of color, but the unity of them.

Yet it seems, we value self-righteousness more than self-reflection—refusing to accept our own evil makes it hard to bring about good in the future. We must understand the past is not something that just happened to us, but in truth, what we allowed to happen. Which leads me to question: how can we bring about change if we won’t admit how we made things the way they are?

It’s not a coincidence that those who know nothing always have the most to say. Ironically, yet sadly enough, these people tend to be in leadership positions: political and educational. How dangerous it is to place faith in people who only pretend to be god to be worshipped as one.

All I seem to do nowadays is retreat into deep silence. A place where I learn to love myself despite my meekness. Where it’s okay that I don’t have any answers to all the ills plaguing the world. Don’t you feel this way also? To know we’re the infected: to be human in the way we breathe but not in how we think. Our need for human connection as illusory as the world peace our world leaders claim we’re fighting for.

This is how I discover peace within silence. To not act out of impulse: that one’s politics must be more than reactionary. When people become more corrupt, outrage alone cannot lead to a real revolution. Likewise, in order to rebuild anything we must be willing to destroy. Whatever notion we have to reform anything made to oppress is idiocy as those suffering will continue to suffer. Even now, as the world reveals itself more and more as the monster its always been, I remember: no matter how pretty you make a wolf, won’t make them any less violent.

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Un-American Non-Patriotism: How This is Still America

Truth Within the American Façade

Who needs the news when everything to learn about America is right outside the front door? Over the last year alone, the fear of a plot to destroy America has intensified into an obsession, especially in regards to black people, people of color, the LGBT community, women ‘s empowerment, and impoverished people in general.

Conspiracy theories hold more weight than the actual news, becoming a huge problem in regards to how we tackle politics and other social issues. Eventually, the next conspiracy will center Parkland and how their protests of gun control to end the rise of tragic shootings across the country were only used as distractions. The real threat is Black Lives Matter organizers working with ISIS terrorist groups and MS-13 gang members to take over the government.

This paranoia is not anything new but is in fact buried deep into American soil—pushing through the earth, reaching every continent on the other side. Bridging the whole world together, sharing centuries of oppression and hatred to everyone who aren’t rich and white and male. And what makes it worst is the ignorance of it all. As if tragedy is a pathogen we’ve come into contact with, that doesn’t turn people into zombies, but bigots and horrible people. So maybe Rosanne Barr was on to something with this Ambien thing?

As rhetorical as this question may be, how can the words “This is unamerican” shoot out of people’s mouths with utter confidence despite the immoral problems happening everywhere in America? When we have 90% of American history proving how American this all is—In a country cluttered with so much history, the blood of our ancestors exudes a toxic smell. This method of erasing one’s burdens must require a shitload of bleach and a heavy dose of amnesia relating to everything pertaining to America, including how it was born.

Blind Patriotism & the American Blindfold

These words are uttered all the time: how unamerican this America is. Molding into a mantra—that if said enough times they’ll actually come true. The American dream as a reality one must wake into, or maybe this is White America’s clever way of taking the phrase “stay woke” away from us as well. Unfortunately, it seems that no matter how much “progress” is made, we still fight against the same enemy from centuries ago, who ironically enough share our faces, politics, and beliefs.

Overtime, America has begun hating itself, turning Patriotism into an old habit like opening the door for someone or exchanging hellos with people we come into contact with—its just something we do to be polite. Even with a full-fledged, White Supremist approved president, who’s civility is as bland as the dull coloring of the Confederate flag hanging off the back of broken down pick-up trucks and rickety, old SUVs across the country, it only has reinforced the already held beliefs that America isn’t as good as it claims to be.

How does anyone believe this conflict has ended? Because for many Americans, the war has been over. But what has been won? All that was accomplished is the battlefield has a change of location—being everywhere but on American soil. 

I guess they figure by hiding the guns, they can pretend no one is dying from them. This deluded way of thinking has worsened as the unethical and brutal actions taking place at the border, both inside and outside its bloodstained and oppressive walls, continues to become more severe.

Isn’t it ironic how a country torn from daily protests, vapid yet heated arguments, and the ever expanding list of public shootings turning people’s lives into sad songs and city streets into open cemeteries is also a country that claims the promotion of peace and prosperity for all?

Stolen Property & the New Home Owner

Imagine America as a dirty old house where people refuse to do much of anything to make it look better, except paint the walls a brighter shade as this absurd notion that cleanliness is dependent on clarity, or a not-as-bigoted way of saying “less color” (which makes sense because of the bleach).

In reality, America wants what lies in between those two extremes: for there to be enough color to rid the black and brown, while also being intimidated by a rainbow. How does its colors become the most oppressive flag to stand for?

When I imagine this house, I see skeletons piling on the floor and how they were covered with a fluffy carpet to make people feel welcomed here, even when they aren’t. Somehow it’s forgotten that the stench of dead things only intensify the longer they’re left unattended? To evade responsibility, entire graveyards were stuffed into the far corner of a basement to hide that this house was built on top of human remains.

And yet, even air fresheners aren’t strong enough to drown out the smell. Although  the entire house has been doused with so much of it, people can only pretend the oxygen isn’t foul. When we’re told there’s nothing that can be done to fix things, it sounds like an excuse. Since in order to care means one must accept responsibility—to be honest about the past as well as our present.

The Guest Suffering from Insomnia

I realize to be “woke” entails knowing one’s job description—to understand that I’m not a homeowner and never was intended to be. Likewise, I’m not the servant either, as that would require the need for compensation, benefits, and even the most basic form of decency.

Isn’t it ironic that a house without doors resembles a cage? Patriotism is understanding that this resemblance isn’t coincidental, but still trying to make home of America, even when it’s difficult to breathe.

In this house, there are no doors but open windows, and I no longer question its intent as I know only eagles are invited to any tea party and afternoon brunch taking place here. As the sunrise kisses my skin, validating my belief the sky has loved me more than most humans, I see even the sun has made this place, home.

The Ignorance of Paying Rent in a Home Where I’m Not Wanted

Being a fool, I believed that one day I’d be given a room with a warm bed as a souvenir of everything once sacrificed. This is how I lose myself: thinking I was lost to begin with, not understanding that only things belonging to me can be considered lost. In truth, real liberation is knowing my voice can be taken back, and that no matter how many times its silenced, my voice still matters.

As I look at America without forced patriotism clouding my vision, I remind myself I was someone stolen, and that this understanding holds importance as I cannot recover anything taken without knowing those who took from me. I see the ignorance in asking how I’m less human than an eagle. I come to terms with the sad reality, that the American dream is more realistic than my own future. And lastly, I avoid being around people who see me as something borrowed, merely to be returned only when I’m no longer needed, as if a house will never need maintenance.