On the last part of the interview series, we talked race and one of the questions posed was as follows:
How can blacks be dignified in their blackness and still navigate through white spaces?
Basically, would you, and should you, sacrifice your dignity for money? The simple answer to this is no. However, let's consider a real life example of this: Colin Kaepernick. He's currently on the job search because he chose to take a stand (or better yet a knee). Many applaud Kaepernick for his bravery while others deem him unpatriotic.
That latter criticism is funny to me because the same people who call Black people unpatriotic when we don't uphold "American" values are the ones who will then turn a blind eye to the gross injustices we face. In the words of Langston Hughes, we, too, sing America. We have every right to live in this country without the fear of normalized bigotry that can range from cultural appropriation to police brutality, if we were to put this on a scale from micro- to macro- aggressions.
That is the primary reason we act so militant - because when we play by their rules, we still lose.
This picture pretty much sums up my thoughts on the matter that is Black lives; Black decency; Black excellency; Black empowerment. Quite honestly, it's not fair what's happening to Kaepernick. Opposers (or opps in Chicago terminology) like to charge Black leaders with militance, but Kaepernick did it their way; he didn't yell, scream or holler. He didn't threaten anyone (at least physically). He didn't fall into their limited scope of what it means to be an activist. Yet, he somehow still did it wrong. That is the primary reason we act so militant - because when we play by their rules, we still lose.
So, it's up to us to make our own rules and govern ourselves; police ourselves; love ourselves. We are done asking anti-Black society to treat us with the decency we are entitled to as human beings. The same ones who wrote the constitution supported an institution that would exploit human labor all in the name of good profit. Some will argue that slavery was based on economics and not race and I'll give them that, but slavers and people who were pro-slavery intertwined race with economics. In other words, they exploited the bigot-created concept of race to turn over profit. Like the so-called POTUS, they used race and false ideas of superiority to divide the lower classes in order for the proles to stay proles and Big Brother to remain intact.
Today, Big Brother takes shape in the form of big business, like the NFL. In the movie Concussion, someone told Dr. Bennet Omalu (Will Smith) he couldn't fight a corporation that owned a day of the week. In many ways, that same sentiment is exhibited with the Kaepernick literal black balling. Some will tell him that the fight is too big, but the same people said that of explicit slavery (since today it's implicitly instilled). So, I want him to keep fighting - no matter what they tell him is at stake.
In the movie Concussion, someone told Dr. Bennet Omalu he couldn't fight a corporation that owned a day of the week.
People like Martin Luther King, Jr. and Fred Hampton lost their lives fighting for this cause. Assata Shakur lost her citizenship status, but these are risks they accepted when they went into battle. They were warriors- Black American heroes and sheroes carrying the spirit of former leaders like Sojourner Truth and Frederick Douglass and passing it to contemporaries like Audre Lorde, Tupac Shakur, Sean Carter, Beyoncé Knowles, Lonnie Lynn, Jesse Williams, Ava Duvernay, Colin Kaepernick and many more utilizing their platforms purposefully.
The "Rebellious Woman" blog is a periodic scoop on hair, love, race, politics, and everything in between. Stay tuned for reflections the life of a rebel with a cause!