AN OPEN LETTER TO MY DEAR BLACK BROTHERS AND SISTERS
My very dear black brothers and sisters, my family, whom I love. I have been deep in thought as I have watched many of you hedge your bets by voting for a senile stooge, propped up by new age medicine from modern day pharmaceutical witch doctors. I was so much more disheartened when politicians bearing my very own skin tone easily tainted the hard work and in Jesus-like fashion, that “real black” love or that Prince, “I would die for you” love; those well known martyrs of the black community, Martin and Malcolm. A whole day dedicated to Martin, and Malcolm still inspires the deeply hurt and disparaged black activist to this very day… rudely thrown under the bus of profiteering black sycophants willingly placing on a pedestal some “honorary white “black” man”, who is only honorary because he was second in command to the first black president. These southern black polititians have sold their soul to enter the system that is born on the backs of the many black souls from slavery to present. Consider Martin’s own words:
“This is no time to engage in the luxury of cooling off or to take the tranquilizing drug of gradualism. Now is the time to make real the promises of democracy.” “We must… realize,” he continued, “that the problems of racial injustice and economic injustice cannot be solved without a radical redistribution of political and economic power.” (King)
So, it is at this very sad time in our country that I decided to contemplate the history of our dear Martin Luther King, Jr. and Malcolm X, both martyrs and contributors to the psyche of what could be, but just isn’t, and to my ever-present dismay, may just never be. Just what would this country be, if my black brothers and sisters channeled into the gift of life that Martin and Malcolm so freely gave to their brethren? What if we continued their fight by choosing what is best for all of our people. My very dear soul sister Zora Neale Hurston so very rightly depicted the south as a co-dependent state between whites and blacks. She even conceded that she was a benefactor of that system. Were she alive today, she would be no less surprised by the overwhelming support of a neoliberal politician supported by a machine meant to confound the unsuspecting good doer… that liberal… moderate… white or black. No less, who parasitically resides here in the south. But really, what if Malcolm was a force here? As Malcolm X stated, “I don’t believe in any form of unjustified extremism. But when a man is exercising extremism — a human being is exercising extremism — in defense of liberty for human beings it’s no vice, and when one is moderate in the pursuit of justice for human beings I say he is a sinner.”
I would like the reader to contemplate their own reality. Black, white or otherwise, how do you exactly benefit from this system that supports the few over the many? There are tiers. I personally benefit from some of them. And like my very dear Ms. Hurston… I’m not very keen on giving up my benefits. Who cares if I’m buried in an unmarked grave, if I’m able to eat today? Except, now, when I am faced by the immobilized dexterity of the poor, and in the moments I realized that we are unable to even provide clean cutlery to the hungry or couldn’t care less as a nation about a person after they are born. We rely on the particular attitude of the church or should I more correctly say their benevolence… heavily beset and colored by their own preset prejudice and moral convictions. We rely on the judgement of man or woman… dare I say we almost idolize these corrupt polititians and not that of the ever divine universe.
I felt smacked hard in the face with the decline of the many “moderates”, both black and white, to accept the obvious ability to create a country that envisioned a well cared for population. It seemed so basic, the choice that is. The basic security of knowing that one might be cared for should they fall ill. The basic security of knowing that one could continue an education. Alas, the basic security of knowing that we are able to breathe clean air, drink clean water, and eat clean food. How does a population make a decision based on the word of just one “pet negro”, as my beloved Hurston so described, appoint a representative that supports the incarceration of black children, feels very strongly that black parents are not capable of educating and raising children, and furthermore would take away any sense of security after a worker has poured out their talents and strength in an occupation that is so willing to replace them in a moments notice… and in fear… give this ‘wolf in sheep’s clothing’ the full on power of representation? Consider if you will Brother James’s prodigious explanation:
The American triumph—in which the American tragedy has always been implicit—was to make black people despise themselves. When I was little I despised myself, I did not know any better. And this meant, albeit unconsciously, or against my will, or in great pain, that I also despised my father. And my mother. And my brothers. And my sisters. Black people were killing each other every Saturday night out on Lenox Avenue, when I was growing up; and no one explained to them, or to me, that it was intended that they should; that they were penned where they were, like animals, in order that they should consider themselves no better than animals. Everything supported this sense of reality, nothing denied it: and so one was ready, when it came time to go to work, to be treated as a slave. So one was ready, when human terrors came, to bow before a white God and beg Jesus for salvation—this same white God who was unable to raise a finger to do so little as to help you pay your rent, unable to be awakened in time to help you save your child! (Baldwin)
Do we deserve to be so forever ruled in utter despair? We don’t even deserve the least of all freedoms if we are not willing to even non-violently vote for it! So… what is left? What truth do you stand for? When do you admit that your life is no longer worth living if your children must suffer? When do you admit that the fear of losing what little you have is pointless, when what you have is going to be taken away anyway (if those in power feel like it)? When does one realize that they must choose a side? Do you choose temporary order and civility? Or, do you choose a permanent path towards justice and freedom? There is no lessor of two evils… when you are fighting for the soul of your future, your children, and your children’s children. I leave you with the following quote from Martin Niemoller:
First they came for the socialists, and I did not speak out – because I was not a socialist. Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out-because I was not a trade unionist. Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out – because I was not a Jew. Then they came for me – and there was no one left to speak for me.” (Niemoller).
While it seems prudent to protect the little that you have, real strength of our community, and ultimately our society rests in protecting those that are most vulnerable. Perhaps these people do not have the wherewithal to vote or to support prudent policy to protect their own interests. Perhaps our society has taken away their right to participate in government. This makes your right to vote, that much more important. This makes your decision to protect the least of society even that much more prudent. By protecting the least of us, we protect us all. Do not be lukewarm. Do not feel as though there is a more convenient season… the season is here and now! Vote as though your life depended on it (it does)… at least vote as though your children and your children’s children depended on it (it does, Xiuhtezcatl Martinez and Greta Thunberg would agree). The thirteenth, fifteenth, and nineteenth amendments may have set us free on paper, but if we are not free to vote our conscience or if we are not able to vote in our own interest, then the constitution is useless. Vote as though you and your loved ones actual freedom depended on it (and it does).
Yours In Love and Light Always,
Your Sister in Peace
Baldwin, James. “An Open Letter to My Sister, Miss Angela Davis” The New York Review of Books, 1971.
el-Shabazz, el-Hajj Malik. “Oxford Union Debate”. December 3, 1964.
Hurston, Zora Neale. The “Pet Negro” system. American Mercury, 1943.
King, Martin Luther. WMU Speech, Western Michigan University Archives and Regional History Collections and University Libraries, 1963.
Niemoller, Martin. “Of Guilt and Hope”. New York, Philosophical Library, 1947.