I contend that one very large impediment to Black people eliminating the system of racism/white supremacy is our inability or our refusal to “connect the dots”. By connecting the dots, I mean being able to understand how the multiple sub-institutions (the so-called government, the military, law enforcement officials (slave catchers, race soldiers), the mis/dis-education system, the prison industrial system, the media, and so on) all work in concert to enforce the system of racism/white supremacy in all areas of people activity. But It also refers to our inability or refusal to be able to connect the dots of history, observations, facts and logic, to be able to better understand how everything that has happened in the past has led up to and continues to have a great impact on the conditions of the world today, especially concerning the world’s greatest problem for Black people, which is racism, and then using that understanding to inspire a permanent change in our thoughts, speech and actions. This forgetfulness has a very deleterious effect on our ability to truly understand and correctly perceive our condition, as well as being able to correctly and accurately identify those who are the ultimate creators and cause of our condition. I’m not even necessarily just referring to being able to know and understand the impact of something as historically ubiquitous as the Trans-Atlantic enslavement trade, our subsequent extreme mistreatment during our enslavement, or later Jim Crow has had on our condition, (although these things are very vital to study if you want to gain a complete understanding of our condition). I’m simply referring to being able to remember things that have happened as recently as a year or even a few months ago, and having that be the impetus to understanding the fact that we are at war for our survival, and having that be the catalyst for the change, the permanent change, in our behavior and outlook that is necessary to solve our problem, THE problem.
Recently I watched a video from an internet platform that is very popular within what is referred to as the “conscious community”, in which the host had a conversation with two other gentlemen by the names of Jabari Osaze and Shakka Ahmose. During this exchange, Mr. Ahmose made an excellent point in the form of a metaphor, that struck me as very true, and that made me think deeply about our inability to connect the dots. In the video, Mr. Ahmose opined that a symptom of our brain trashing under the system of racism/white supremacy, is that Black people have been taught to think in terms of episodes, like on a television show sitcom. In a sitcom, the characters essentially remain the same from episode to episode, but aside from the general frame of the show (the characters, the general setting, the “set”, kwk.), there is very little continuity from episode to episode. There will be a very pressing situation that is the most important matter in the lives of the characters for that particular episode, but by the end of the episode, that particular story has ended, often with a resolution that neatly wraps up the story. On next week’s show, there will be an entirely new situation that takes precedence, while the audience has completely forgotten about what transpired in the last episode.
Mr. Ahmose contends that this is how Black people have been taught to think, where for instance there will be something very distressing or tragic that happens, such as an unarmed Black person being murdered by race soldiers, or a Black child being subjected to vicious racism or race based harm, that gets Black people in an uproar. Black people for that particular episode become somewhat conscious of how evil and unjust the system of racism/white supremacy truly is, as well as how dangerous those who perpetuate the system truly are. But once that news cycle ends, and there is a new story or issue or fad that captures the minds of the people via the media, the last episode has ended, and it’s on to the next episode; the latest blockbuster movie, celebrity scandal, sporting event, celebrity wedding, social media challenge or whatever. Suddenly that wave of consciousness has been put on hold, and it’s back to the normal everyday existence as victims of racism/white supremacy. That wave of consciousness is temporary and fleeting, and only lasts as long as that particular episode. No connections are made, no further study is conducted, and no lasting changes to our thoughts, speech and actions are made.
Considering the brain trashing that has taken place over a period of hundreds of years, as well as the constant distractions and the deluge of nonsense that is constantly put in front of Black people, and that we are constantly being sold on the importance of, this is to be somewhat expected. But this is also a condition that must be recognized and overcome if we are to achieve our goal of eliminating the system of racism/white supremacy, and producing a system of justice for Black people. This myopic and episodic way of seeing (or not seeing) things causes us to never be able to understand and analyze things from a complete perspective, which hinders our ability to think, speak and act correctly against racism/white supremacy. It causes Black people to not approach the problem with a full recollection and complete remembrance of exactly who and what we are dealing with.
This is especially crucial considering the fact that the ideas and tactics used by those who subscribe to, practice and refine racism/white supremacy are generally repackaged over and over again, with slight changes made to fit the time and place in which that particular form of racism is being practiced. And it greatly helps those who wish to keep racism/white supremacy as the dominant social and political system in existence if Black people operate with such a short memory. It is extremely important that we arm ourselves with constructive, accurate information, and let that information, as well as our past experiences, whether they were experienced by us personally, or we read or heard about them second hand or through our study, to inform our approach toward both the system of racism/white supremacy, and all of the institutions that comprise the system, as well as the white supremacists themselves. Clearly if we are to eliminate what currently stands as the dominant social and political system currently in existence, and we are to change our pitiful condition, there are many changes that need to be first made within the minds of Black people in terms of how we think, which in theory then would and should trickle down to and begin to inform our speech and action.
I have to stress again that I understand that this is simply a symptom of living under a system that we have been forced into, and that many of us, in my opinion falsely, feel powerless to change. The perception that I gather is that there is a feeling that there is only so long that many of us have to dwell on an upsetting, infuriating situation of racial injustice. Some of us still have to live in the same areas of our oppressors within the system that they have created, and many of us still have to get up the next morning, often to work for and with the same people who we suspect to be supporters and practitioners of the system that oppresses us, and we are forced to put on a face as though we are “happy” being in their presence to boot. God forbid we get branded as the “angry negro” at work, which will only bring unnecessary, unwanted attention, and cause more problems for many of us in our everyday lives. But we cannot only be serious about liberation or producing justice only when a particularly egregious example of injustice is in the news, only to stop caring when the injustice stops being shown on a constant loop on television, and the hashtags are no longer trending on social media. We must practice and work towards the goal of solving the world’s greatest problem at all times, with full remembrance of all of the incidents, both big and small, in which racism white supremacy was practiced. We must keep in mind all of the examples that illustrate who exactly we are dealing with, and who has declared war on us, in order to attempt to eliminate the system in which they have come to depend on as their very lifeblood. We have to remember all of the tactics that have been used in the past in order to inform the present, while using our brain computer, critical thinking skills, and ability to analyze information to attempt to predict what may be in store in the future, and to inspire our behavior in the present into the future.
Osei, 21st Century Race Man