Tuesday, October 12, 2010
In Search of My Soul Sister
After a lifetime of fears, doubts, ambivalence and general paranoia (myessential mental state) about the feminine gender, I recently concluded,based on six decades of interaction, that the black woman was, afterall is said and done, my friend, and that she has never wanted to beanything other than my friend, helper, lover and mate, really, foreternity, if I could have ever been shackled to her that long. Yes,after thinking about my most wonderful Mother, an even more gracious andloving Grandmother (Oh, Grandma’s hands!), and after reflecting on mysix sisters who probably more than anyone else helped form myambivalence and maybe paranoia too, since I was so traumatized by theirconstant chatter and feminine intrigues that I would find it a simplematter upon adolescence and adulthood to ignore any words from thefeminine gender, especially simple advice or wisdom, which cost megreatly on the road to success, including several failed marriages and akind of psychic distance from my three lovable daughters.
If truth be told and certainly it is time to tell the truth at this stagein my life, I must admit that all the women in my life have beenabsolutely wonderful, not one ever treated me wrongly or withouttenderness and unconditional love, yet my response was to dog them to noend, or rather until the end when they departed broken hearted anddisgusted.
This new recognition on my part was made even plainer when my actor/singer J.B. Saunders presented mewith a wonderful song “Don’t Bite The Hands That Feed You.”
J.B., also a dogger of women, perhaps even worse than myself since he had acareer of pimping, had also had a revelation that it was time toreconcile with the feminine gender, or least stop the abuse, whetherphysical, mental or emotional. Perhaps old dogs actually do learn newtricks! J.B.’s lyrics said that our woman was indeed our friend andsupporter, not someone to be dogged at every turn, for in the end webecome the victim, or as another song told us “the hunter gets capturedby the game.”
Of course, one truth about love is that love is a game of victims, for by its nature, love makesthe beloved victim of the lover, for love is that state wherein wewillingly accept to be victimized for we submit and declare to all whoneed to know and to some who don’t need to know that we are helplesslyunder the power of the beloved.
Moving from the personal to the political, we now clearly recognize that love forthe Black woman had to move from the romantic to the critical indeciding who or what she represented on this stage of life. How is sheconnected to us and we to her—a question we had to answer about men aswell, with the same if not more degree of political acumen because fewmen allow another man to do to us what we allow women to do, after all,women have the unique skill to get anything from us with a smile, aglance of the eye, a stride. During my brief academic career, my femalestudents knew they could get almost any grade from me, especially ifthey came at me right, or simply talked right, it wasn’t always aboutsexual favors. And two of my students convinced me to marry them, somuch for the wisdom of the professor.
But in the politics of love, we matured to the point of understanding ablack face, even of the feminine gender, was not sufficient to gain ourallegiance and respect. We came to recognize that politics was not aboutcolor, contrary to what we “believed” during the 60s, especially withthe call for black power. Forty years later, however belatedly anddetrimentally, we came to see blackness was about consciousness notcolor and had much to do about class as well, since class very oftendetermines consciousness, although not always, after all, we know ofseveral instances in our history when “house Negroes” plotted slaverevolts, but generally speaking, the house Negro is not to be trusted,since he/she is more determined to preserve the house than the master.
We are reminded of that scene in the film Amistad where the Africans arebeing marched into town for mutiny. One African sees a Negro carriagedriver and remarks, “He is our brother.” An African replies, “No, he is awhite man.”
And so it is the class nature of things that must be examined with respect to loving or not loving Dr.Condi Rice—to be or not to be our sister—that is the question! Havingtranscended our gender fears, having made every determination to reachout in sincerity to embrace our sister in struggle, who endured with usall the horror and terror of the centuries, we must sadly reject her andeverything for which she stands, for we find her politicalconsciousness an abomination, a betrayal of our racial heritage ofresistance in the face of suffering, in short genocide. Clearly, shecame from us, but is no longer us, she has graduated from victim tovictimizer—while some, perhaps her “classmates” on the right will callthis progress and a point of pride for the “race.” Well, I rememberElijah Muhammad describing UN Undersecretary Ralph Bunche as “A Negro wedon’t need,” and this most surely applies to Condi, who graduated fromoppressed to oppressor. She stands at the pinnacle of imperialism, themost powerful woman in the world, yes, even more powerful than the Queenof England, for Condi literally has the world in her hands. In assumingto Secretary of State, we are humbled at her meteoric rise from theslave pit of Alabama to steering the ship of state.
Her brother Colin Powell whom she replaces for the simple reason that he was found disagreeable to the imperial throne, perhaps even in his conservatism too uppitywith thoughts slightly to the left of Pharaoh, had to be replaced byCondi who shares a more amicable relationship with boss man sah, to thetragic extent that Senator Barbara Boxer voted against confirmation,saying “…Your loyalty to the mission you were given…overwhelmed yourrespect for the truth.”
In the darkest days of my gender fears, I never forgot the teachings of my mother’sChristian Science religion with it’s emphasis on the centrality of truthin all matters.Indeed what has gotten me in trouble with women evenmore than physical and mental abuse is being truthful, especially inregard to my sexual improprieties.
Condi Rice stands condemned before the world for being a liar and murderer, aperson completely and utterly devoid of truth, thus her elevation toSecretary of State must be a great embarrassment to our ancestors, andher reply to Senator Boxer that her credibility and integrity was beingimpugned is without merit. Boxer pointed out how she contradicted thepresident and herself with respect to weapons of mass destruction as thecause for war against Iraq. Contrary to Dr. Rice, Saddam was not athreat to his neighbors in Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Iran, Jordanand Syria. He was contained and therefore not a threat to the “Americanpeople,” who, as Nelson Mandela pointed out, are the greatest threat toworld peace. There was nothing to fear from Saddam but fear itself,quite similar to my gender fears I harbored for decades when I imaginedfemale friends, mates, lovers were somehow my enemies, and were, in mytortured mind, out to get me, when in reality, I was out to get them.
Condi’s advice to President Bush has, at this point, caused the death of 1,366Americans,10,372 wounded, also over 100,000 Iraqi dead. As Boxer noted,this is no light matter but a deception of the most despicable kind thathas brought America’s credibility in the world to a new low, yet, likethe President, Dr. Rice is totally unapologetic and stoic in maintainingher stance that contravenes reality.
I cannot in the name of our shared Africanity go there with her, for shelong ago crossed the line of propriety. She cannot have my respect andsympathy in her dutiful defense of Pharaoh and his meanderingsthroughout the world in the name of global capitalism. Imagine, in themidst of the Iraqi quagmire, they are now contemplating an invasion ofIran. This American arrogance has no end except The End.
As between Senator Barbara Boxer and Condi Rice, if I had to choose my soul sister, I would rise above color in favor of consciousness, thus claim Senator Boxer as my sister.
This is no time in history to be starry-eyed idealists and continue withromantic notions about blackness. Sadly, we live in a world where whatappears to be black is white and what appears white is black. Get overit and march forward into the new millennium. I shall never forget howwe banned interracial couples from attending our black nationalistparties in the 60s. Amina Baraka loves to tell the story of when she andher husband were at the Black House cultural/political center in SanFrancisco in 1967. Amina observed my lady friend Ethna Wyatt (HurriyahAsar) tell a white woman she couldn’t come in. The lady replied she waspart Indian. Hurriyah replied, “Well, the Indian can come in but thewhite got to go.”
At another party with revolutionary black nationalists, a brother tried repeatedly to convinceus his white woman was in fact black in consciousness, therefore shouldbe admitted. We rejected his pronouncement, but in consciousness hiswoman was black and should have been admitted, especially since therewere sisters at the party who harbored thoughts, if only subconsciously,similar to Condi Rice’s. As a matter of fact, I was recently told ofone sister who was at this particular party who is now such a right wingfanatic that her in-laws banned her from their house, even changedtheir telephone number to avoid her right wing ranting.
I am not promoting interracial relationships, rather, in the tradition ofmy Mother, I am promoting truth and honesty which is the least weshould expect from human beings with consciousness, no matter theircolor. But we understand that class has a way of stretching truth beyondreality, where it becomes an exercise in arrogance and sick pride, thestuff of classic tragedy. I am not into hating human beings, especiallymy distant sister Condi Rice, whom we must allow history and God tojudge—may they have mercy on her soul.
At least Colin Powell was man enough to apologize to the world for hisUnited Nations pseudo lecture justifying the war. Shall we await the daywhen Condi will admit her sins? Let us hope she is not made to do sobefore the World Court for crimes against humanity.
White ain’t white
Beware the day
Beware the night.
--From Wish I Could Tell You the Truth, Marvin X, BBP, 2005. Reprinted in Mythology of Pussy and Dick, toward Healthy Psychosocial Sexuality, Marvin X,BBP, 2010, $49.95.
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