The Collegian
Sunday, February 25, 2024

MARGINS: Rest in Power

<p><em>Graphic by The Collegian</em></p>

Graphic by The Collegian

“The Black Man is the one (or the thing) that one sees when one sees nothing, when one understands nothing, and, above all, when one wishes to understand nothing.”

-Achille Mbembe

Rest in peace Tyre Nichols.

There’s a certain type of evil associated with the constant genocide and social exclusion of your people. Modern-day lynchings strewed across the screen when all I was searching for was a five-minute pasta recipe… All while those who wield the power for change steal the humanity out of my lap. All because blackness is nothing. A term empty of meaning. A people devoid of autonomy. 

Uncle Sam casts his gaze down upon me, and I feel its weight every day. Laden with daggers and pity at the situation he has confined me to. What he has defined me as. The only solace in the face of exploitation is disassociation accompanied by false promises that “the next time won’t be me”… until it is. Until my neck is strung from the highest beam with the thickest cord and I use my last breath to say “I told you so” before casting my gaze downward to see my white peers. The same ones that may not be Black but see me, hear me and stand with me regardless. The ones that have no issue walking their dogs over the tar-colored streets stained with Black blood and laden with our bodies. The same ones that posted Black squares are now taking Snapchat photos of me and writing postcards home to celebrate a meaningful victory. Our friend Jaize may no longer be with us, but she is only an afterthought because alas, the world is finally saved from the existence of yet another Black beast. The benevolence of my white masters has expired. The Black skin speaks for itself, unveiling the white masks of unconscionable bigotry.

This time it was me. Disappointing but inevitable. I was unable to escape the constraints of what it means to be a negro. To be dispelled to the lowest rungs of importance. To have my existence ridiculed and exterminated so that my masters may enjoy the comfort of eating off my back. With my teeth in their mouth, and my blood in their food. But rather than having my blood, sweat, tears and screams taint their experience, it enhances it. For the white man is like a shark, constantly craving bloodshed. No event is complete without it, and not even children are spared from such violence. They eat it for breakfast. This is why white children excitedly await the day they will become the masters of their own plantations, the perpetrators of antebellum falsehoods stemming from the white imagination- the most dangerous place on Earth.

I spend sleepless nights wrestling with my animosity while my white peers have their mammies tuck them in. They ignorantly enjoy whites-only spaces abundant with enough comfort and oblivion for a lifetime. The white identity adheres to principles introduced in the classic bedtime tale- the princess and the pea. One modest bit of discomfort, one small reminder of their privilege, and all of a sudden they are unable to lie in the bed that they created over a span of more than 400 years. Once the truth is introduced and the historical fabric becomes too rough, it must be subjected to the softening process and aided by the “gentle” delusions of white ingenuity. 

Every time I awaken I am reminded that this world eats niggers like me for breakfast. Yes, even the most talented and educated of the lot- it swallows us whole with not a crumb of evidence of our existence. Just the victims of domestic colonization are left to reconstruct the pieces of our history while the government cleans up the skeletons in its closet with the finest bleach because white is right and always will be. I haven’t been able to escape the noose of American casteism, but thankfully I have been able to circumvent most white delusions. 

I eat white guilt for breakfast for it means nothing to me. I actually prefer it on rye, slightly toasted. Just as my livelihood means nothing to the white man; his empty promises go through one ear and out the other. Nothing is more pathetic than those that subscribe to the false superiority of whiteness. They are cowards hiding behind the guise of “preserving history”; the guise of fraternal brotherhood; the guise of protecting oneself against nonexistent threats stemming from white paranoia.

They blame me for their moral shortcomings because nothing is more painful than examining the truth emulated through one’s own reflection. Warning- participating in years of lynchings, redlining, environmental racism, slavery, segregation, sharecropping, mass incarceration, police brutality and exploitation may give you more than just a few wrinkles. Inheriting a legacy of brutality should remind of a harrowing past rather than serve as a blueprint for the future.

In all honesty, I know my words fall on deaf ears because whiteness is all too often synonymous with ignorance. Regardless, may I remind you that your vacations, shopping hauls and grandiose homes are funded in their entirety by the millions of enslaved people your family and politicians actively work to erase. The reason you can shake your ass on a yacht in Dubai in the first place is that your great-granddaddy spent his days packing slave ships to the brim with African “investments” hundreds of years ago. While the era of enslavement may be behind us, there is no integration into a society ridden with poison whose infrastructure crumbles by the day. 

The continued existence of the American empire is wholly dependent on Black blood and white supremacy which diligently glues the cracked foundation of this country together with fear mongering and “fake news.” Clinging to the lost cause because they can no longer find themselves or establish an identity independent of hatred. Therefore, they must project their inadequacy onto the unsuspecting negro. 

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The partition of the American identity into white and “other” is a shameful stain on our history that perpetuates social ills like the system of policing. My humanity exists at the will of the state, and my liberation lies at the intersection of love and respect, two roads forever blockaded by white supremacy. Until all the men in blue, police dogs and badges are retired for good there is no justice, no peace. Therefore, I hope that Tyre Nichols and the countless others who have lost their lives to the sadistic political interests of Uncle Sam rest in power.

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