First and foremost, I’d like to send condolences to the family/care unit of Eli “Trueboy” Clayton, the young Black male pictured at the top of this article, who was murdered at a Madden Football video game tournament in Jacksonville, FL, on August 26th, 2018. Eli was murdered doing what he loved to do, and it is a very sad, yet unsurprising commentary on the world under the system of racism/white supremacy that Black people cannot even enjoy a fun activity in peace without the threat of savage violence from racists/white supremacists, or those acting through the conditioning and with the approval of the white supremacists, constantly looming. This article is in no way meant to disrespect the memory of Trueboy. But the symbolism of this photo in reference to Black people’s condition under the system of racism/white supremacy struck me immediately. In the photo, Clayton is pictured in the process of playing his game. In the photo he is beaming, as if he is having a great time and would rather be nowhere else than where he was, enjoying the friendly competition in what I believe was originally intended to be a fun activity to be enjoyed by all, the playing of a video game. In the midst of his game, he is completely oblivious and unaware of the laser red dot pointed at his chest by his murderer, suspected racist David Katz, another Madden “gamer”, who by all accounts was beaten badly in a game earlier in the day by Clayton. Within the span of seconds from when this image was captured, Clayton, along with several other people, was murdered, and yet another mass shooting by a suspected white identity extremist, murdering for absolutely nothing other than to fulfill his blood lust, was underway.
This photo captures perfectly the obliviousness, whether intentional obliviousness or simple ignorance, of the extreme danger that Black people are in under the current climate at this stage of racism/white supremacy. Here we have a young man who is in the midst of engaging in his hobby passionately, seemingly without a care in the world. But even with him in an environment which should be laid back and “chill”, among those who are as passionate about this hobby as he is, there is still a red dot laser pointed right at his chest by a suspected white supremacist, ready to kill him. This mirrors the state of Black people, as many of us simply want to live our lives without the unnecessary stresses that living under the system of white supremacy brings. We want to enjoy our cookouts in the park, we want to be able to go for a leisurely swim on a hot day, we want to be able to go into stores to buy whatever it is that we need without being followed, hassled or hurried (obviously I believe it is correct and very important to patronize Black businesses whenever possible), we want to be able to catch public transportation, we want to simply drive our cars from point a to point b without being stopped, and live in the neighborhoods that house the properties in which we have paid money to reside, and mind our business, living life like normal everyday human beings. We simply want to exist peacefully without being racially harassed and terrorized, not because we were “driving or living while Black” as if being classified as Black is some sort of crime, but because they are white supremacists who want to practice racism/white supremacy on a Black person who happens to be driving or simply living. And we want to be able to engage in the friendly competition of a video game tournament (if that’s what you’re into), like Eli “Trueboy” Clayton, without being murdered for winning against a suspected white supremacist.
But even doing these seemingly mundane activities, the danger of living among suspected white supremacists in a system of racism/white supremacy always haunts us, and can strike us fatally at any moment. Now of course, it has been noted that what is referred to as the “gamer community” has turned into a racist cesspool. In fact, there have been multiple reports and articles written about the fact that the so-called Alt-Right have admitted that they recruit new members into their ranks using video games. It is also a fact that servers which are popular with video gamers, such as Discord and Twitch just to name two, are hotbeds of racial abuse, racial terrorism and white supremacy. So, with all of that considered, it could be argued that Clayton should have been more diligent, and perhaps should have avoided the tournament altogether, since any such gathering of this type will more than likely contain a few violent white supremacists. This goes back to many Black people not having the correct consciousness to understand the threat against us under this system, which stunts our ability to think, speak and act accordingly. I absolutely agree that all Black people, when in the presence of suspected white supremacists, and even non-white yet white identified people, and/or those acting with the approval of suspected white supremacists, must be suspicious and diligent at all times, keeping our “head on a swivel”, as the saying goes. This, of course is about self-preservation which is paramount as a Black person trying to navigate the minefield of racism/white supremacy. As the picture that I contend is a perfect encapsulation of Black people under the system of racism/white supremacy shows, we are always in the targets of those who wish to do us harm. Even when we are “having fun”, there is usually always someone around who wants to put an end to any enjoyment that we get out of life, or wants to put an end to our life altogether, whether they act on it or not. I cannot stress the importance of coming to this understanding, and letting this understanding inform our thoughts, speech and actions at all times strongly enough, regardless of the extremely unpleasant nature of this thought that I contend to be a fact.
But I also contend that even in living in a system of racism/white supremacy, it is unhealthy, unrealistic, and next to impossible to avoid living life totally, even with racism/white supremacy completely infecting and contaminating all of the nine areas of people activity that Neely Fuller constantly references to a large degree. And although I personally try to use a chunk of my “free” time and energy studying and trying to find solutions to THE problem, It is not in my view realistic to expect that all people classified as Black, victims of racism/white supremacy, should just stop our lives completely and not engage in hobbies, regardless of what constructive utility that I can or cannot personally glean from the activity. People need outlets and time to relax, even those who do in fact dedicate their time and energy to liberation. In fact, this relaxation time can be constructive in and of itself, since this time can be used as a recharging of the batteries so to speak, so that they can return to the serious work at hand with renewed focus, energy and vigor. So, although understandable, these criticisms are not entirely correct in my view.
The point of this article is that we should never stop living, learning, existing and engaging with life in a constructive and wholesome manner. We have been given the precious gift of life by the creator, and we should have just as much of a right to enjoy all 197 million square miles on planet earth as the creator intended, and all of the activities contained within (hopefully with some constructive value). But it is very important to always be “on point”, suspicious and very aware of the danger that is always seconds away when living under the system of racism/white supremacy, especially when surrounded by those who can be suspected of practicing the system, or those who have been thoroughly conditioned and brain trashed by those who practice and promote the system. This is simply correct sensible action, self-preservation, and awareness of the present conditions that we have been forced to exist under within the system of racism/white supremacy. It’s a delicate, sometimes unpleasant balance that we must strike, but this is unfortunately our existence as victims. That is, until we are able to accomplish our ultimate goal, which is the complete and total elimination of this system, a goal that we are working towards every day.
Osei, 21st Century Race Man