Scheherazade’s Secret

Dressing himself in clothes he only bought for days not spent by the murky shore (strictly holidays), the dockworker’s garments still bore fresh stitching as he left his home.

 

Sailing the shadows of the sea.

Past the bricks of salted granite.

Traveling through the arched tunnel until his eye caught the glimmer of the street.

 

In front of him was a land of chiseled sapphires and haughty rubies. Selling spaces lined with freckled faces, nearly all bearing skin used to the desert’s sand. Intricate rugs hung atop finely constructed booths. Scratching his stiff palms, the dockworker removed dried fish flakes from his fingernails.

 

Taking the first step upward, he was swarmed by the songs of the city. Vendors greeted their neighboring salesmen and women in Farsi. Sirens calling passerby’s to their cart, while bearded pan played foreign pipes. The sounds may have shocked him, but the sights left him breathless.

 

A rich yellow floor, lined with hand crafted clay homes.

The haze from the southern wind tickled his briny chin.

Visions of deep nebulas and secrets of the sphinx were within walking distance.

 

All that man had known could be found here. His life revolved around the fog over the low tide at dawn, and the blackening of fish over the evening fire.

 

Far away, near the entrance to the mosque, a sparrow-eyed wisp of the desert beckoned the foreign fisherman; the woman’s hand waved with the breeze. Her table was adorned with lilac sculptures, each bearing the scent of indigo berries. The man approached, clumsily trotting through the sand in his soaked boots.

 

The daughter of the dunes unveiled her face, revealing lips that tasted of oasis water. With a prolonged gaze, the man moved towards the table. Examining the vases with the same eyes that had witnessed countless horizons, he allowed the vibrant colors to blur his vision. Staring back at the woman with a half-completed conclusion, he pointed to the one that resembled the trees in her home country. The woman however caught his hand before he chose. Shoulder bones cracked as they locked eyes.

The grains of stardust caught within a mirage.

A silver obelisk lost to the pale skinned invaders.

Feathers of the black falcon buried in the sediments.

 

Through her, he witnessed the memories of her land. A strand of obsidian hair grazed her cheek as she watched the sun set over the drowsy sea. Her hand called his sight from her irises to the straw stand behind her.

 

Sitting alone on the flimsy corner was the jewel of the abyss. A crafted vase that had the wear of the ocean etched into its curve.

 

Had mermaids finally learned to give treasure, rather than take?

A slight rustle of the golden sand below.

The chattering of silver shards hung by a woven string.

Rays from the lonely sun refracting off of invisible prisms.

 

The man believed himself to be lost in a sandstorm as he tucked the leathery satchel upon his weathered belt. Ancient metal chimed as he undid the string, letting light shine into the bag. With the grace of a wish, she scooped the vase from its home and set it upon the table, inches away from his rattling coins. As he inspected the relic, the woman gently tossed the change in the basket underneath the skiff of her cart. Using his thick arms, the dockworker placed the treasure tightly next to his whiskered chest.

 

A quick chant of the soothsayer.

The banging of splintered wagon wheels upon cut stone.

 

Retreating back to the sanded garden, the pan peered over the sun-kissed cheeks and tapestries woven with blue ivy. His heart regained rhythm of the waves as he strolled through the crowded crosswalks.

 

Pots carried by the daughters of Cleopatra.

Steam dashing across tan brick fires.

 

With the thatching of his spinal sail, the man dipped backwards to gaze one final time upon the woman who’d sold him the vase. The beautiful scenes of the city were nothing compared to the twinkling stars he’d witnessed in her eyes; but the desert is a clever fox. A sash blew against the vacant stand, wind twirling through the silk curtains. Whatever illusion that the oracle cast on him had vanished.

 

Blinking twice to scatter the dust, the dockworker stared into the mist like an extended telescope wandering the vastness of the cosmos. Suddenly, he heard her voice.

 

Stray seashells melodically singing.

Clumped froth sporadically popping.

The whispers from the barnacles below his cottage.

 

Against his breast he bore the vase, and the lingering scent of the woman incense. He turned back to his path, and descended out of the market, back to the world he knew.


The gust ripped through the hatch of a cinderblock window. A match flickered, and the oiled wick was ignited, sending a flash across the fisherman’s cabin. Scratching his peeling scalp, the dockworker took hold of the lantern’s rusted iron handle. The flame licked the charred glass, while he moved from the makeshift bed to the window. Grunting along with the creaking of the sturdy panels below, the dockworker threw the hatch shut, trapping the wind outside However, the movement had expended more energy than wanted, leaving him alert, as opposed to half-asleep. Unable to hear the lull of the waves, he reclined his fatigued legs, attempting to find any degree of comfort along the pier. Along the jagged cliff sat the solitary lighthouse, blessing the land and sea with its sight. The man bit his thumb, enamel rubbing against rough skin as he braced for another restless night. Light from the fire crawled along the mildew walls while he patiently waited for the rising of the sun.

 

The vase, the fortune of the goddess, the drowned crown, the empty vessel.

 

What dreams would he use to fill the shell?

What petals would kiss the edge of the marbled bank?

 

A faint wind entered through the gap between the boards below, flapping through every loose surface, including the hairs of his beard. This foreign breeze twirled across his lips, granting him a taste of the water of the oasis.

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Bodily Curses

Text: Black Skin, White Mask by Frantz  Fanon

I pose a question that may be considered dangerous if truly studied. Does the black (read oppressed) individual have a being, or is this philosophical entity solely for white (read oppressive) individuals. Think, a being is an individual that is birthed from nothing, and exists for itself. Through generational colonization, the black man was brought into “existence”-according to their values-from the white man, his original being died the minute the rusted shackles touched his skin. “Not only must the black man be black; he must also be black in relation to the white man” (Fanon, 90). What is it about the white world that makes us live the way we do? Our original beings are no longer alive, what’s left of our former selves are fragments that have been glued together by their world’s ideas of humanity. While living in the black world, we see glimpses of our beings trying to reconnect with us within this safety net. We become one with our essence, and come to appreciate the nature that thrives within our own realm; however, once we exit this illusion, we are cast back into reality. “The man of color encounters difficulties in elaborating his body sclera.” Truthfully I do not have a full understanding of this topic, but I shall nonetheless attempt to decipher the meaning. To be black means that you have a “bodily curse”, it is something that is forever evident to us. We are told truths about our skin, that they eventually pile up and interferes with our creation of a being, and in turn altering our relation to the world. “Now, they were beginning to be scared of me.” This “fear” is a penetrating force. When you are an agent of fear, it can dramatically alter your perception of the self. Along with this, another major factor is the belief that we are “responsible…for my race and ancestors. (Fanon, 92)”. A rather disheartening reality to accept but think how many times we are grouped into a category, deemed dangerous, and then treated with an appropriate manner? The white man is capable of dividing himself from other whites, thereby establishing his individuality, however, since black is already separated from the white, he must automatically exist as a collective. This “collective” has been exploited by all institutions of the system, but it also affects our chances of securing authenticity. In their eyes, we are all the same. Not only are we grouped with our brothers and sisters, but also with our ancestors. This is both problematic and beneficial for us. The white man fails to see our worth, for he still latches onto the being known as a slave: the lazy, uneducated, poor, expendable laborer that is completely dependent upon white salvation. We must seek a way to separate ourselves from the false stereotype. On the other hand, having a background to base our existence off of may provide us with a sense of purpose. Black’s may never have the opportunity to create a being from nothing, so we must find a way to create one from something, and even though it may have been given to us, it is up to the individual to determine how much of their essence they wish to extract from this “something”. We hail from some of the most resilient individuals, but resilience alone will not win a revolution, only radical action will. Knowing that we share the same blood with these “warriors” should give us an edge on those who define themselves based on material wealth. As we prepare the future generation, we must educate them on the being that they are capable of becoming, based on their skin. Creating goals, values, and desires that match up with the “something” that they were birthed from, as well as the ideal that rest within their own individual. There is a clear misrepresentation of blacks by the white man, and often this leads to severe consequences for the former, why? Because the black man does not hold the power of decision-a power granted only to being that have will. When the black man has the freedom (and free will) to choose and to decide, without interference from the white world, he will discover his being and his power.

Encounter

What terror, what fright, what dreadful delight to feel hair stand upon the nape of my black neck as if Tesla’s lightning surged through my skin. This feeling, this expression of my subconscious is but a mere smidgen of the infinitesimal matters of the heart (dubbed emotions, for lack of a better word), coming together within my rotting body. You may curiously wonder as to why I described my countenance as rotting, as to which I’d  simply reply: because death is the sole answer to the numerous existential questions regarding life; and scientifically speaking, our cells decompose as we move through the days. But I digress, for it is my ardent desire to share this woeful tale of of disaster to whomever may be daring (or foolish depending on the hour of the night) enough to listen. It is in fact, the duty of the artist to enlighten the common man; this one does by one’s art. Art is many things but the one thing it is not is a lie. Come, let me reveal to you the terrorizing situation that led to the creation of this piece, and then you may judge the validity of my sentiments.

Fright. Fear. Apprehension. As a young boy, I was no stranger to these fundamental principles, accepting at an early age them as my rulers rather than joy or comfort. This may indeed come as somewhat of a surprise to those who had the opportunity to behold me in my boyhood; my childhood was relatively free of suffering and anguish. Both of my parents had worked their way towards the middle class, and were employed in stable positions that allowed them to purchase a beautiful two-story home; it was here within these walls that I first discovered fear. At any given moment I am able to call forth the exact instant my heart tasted the juices of  dread for the first time.

At seven years old, I was more curious than any starving alley cat, sneaking around the house while my parents performed chores; however, during the summer months I was instructed to remain outdoors, which only furthered my budding desire for knowledge. The days under the blazing southern sun were spent playing with magnifying glasses, slaying imaginary beasts with sticks, and hurdling through the sprinkler system. If I had even a sliver of the wisdom I now contain I would have left the unknown alone and, in turn, removed this thorn of fear from my life; but alas time travel is, at present, still a modern myth.  Upon waking on the morning of a fine Saturday in the North Carolina countryside, I was tasked with helping my father with his outdoor assignments. We’d cut the front and back lawn, washed both the cars, trimmed the overgrown shrubbery , and threw down pine straw. Normally, our routine lasted until lunch time but on this fated day, we happened to finish early, leaving me with free time.

Ah, I must once again break you from your concentration to add in the one major detail regarding my residence; although my family had almost two acres in their name and nearly all of it, except for my home, was covered by a dense forest. The trees stretched beyond the reaching of my naive eyes, thorn bushes were tangled in Hangman’s knots, and behind the back porch was an inaccessible zone, or so I had been told since birth. But, as all seven-year-olds do, I believed myself to ready to conquer nature (how foolish). Upon first glance, my bosom was filled with an expected timidity, and I do remember there was some anxiety but these emotions soon polymerized; and, instead desire was dripping from my tongue. I longed for whatever may have laid beyond the edge of the forest; a primal passion awakened, one that I’d only experienced once while riding my bike without gripping the handles. And soon, I looked to the forest for my freedom, but what laid within the thicket was far from liberty.

With the rest of the day ahead of me, I began what may have become my first act of planning. Hustling upstairs with the fervor of a hunter with a new bounty, I procured my blue Batman book bag (The Caped Crusader) from my closet, a blanket, flashlight, and a disposable camera (one always needs proof when dealing with the unknown). I savored the last bit of sandwich made from my mother’s hands; how delicious her meals had been when I retained my innocence, ignorant to the existence of the other world. In front of me was the forest, a realm of bark and rotting wood, a secret that nature had purposely intended to keep; yet here I was, with brevity and the scent of pine straw in my hair. I can not adequately recall a distinct entrance, for the forest sprawled from the edge of our property line to the horizon behind the wooden gates my father had erected. Unfortunately, intimate details regarding the journey are hazy, but somehow my situation changed from curious to cautious as my pathway back home was eventually lost.

How many hours I spent in this desolate expanse of land I may never truly know, although I remember watching the sun disappear behind the decaying leaves. Now, there are two types of forests: the normal variety with woods and insects, and then there is the forest after dark, which is more acquainted with alien planets and Grecian labyrinths. Night drew closer and the silhouette of my home was lost beyond the mass of evergreen. The chirping of crickets became the screeching of buried sirens, vines that once hugged the bark hung like nooses that begged for my pulsing neck, and it was as if the darkness itself were made physical. I dare say that if I were to have extended my hand, I would have made contact with something, a shadow, or phantom perhaps. However, my hands were occupied with tightly gripping the flickering yellow flashlight. Realizing that I’d failed to replace the batteries in my flashlight after the most recent summer storm, I was left with no choice but to make a mad dash in whatever direction seemed the easiest to traverse. My feet carried my body through the shadows, my arms were constantly being scraped by clawing branches and fallen trees halted my progress, until a decaying root caught the bulk of my boot and sent my frame crashing into a bed of thorns. Indeed, the suddenness of the accident had shocked me but even as my eyes welled, my heart had yet to fully taste the nectar of the macabre.

 

Although blessed with natural agility I was not a dextrous child, and the excision of my appendages from the thorn bush drained the last remaining voltage from my flashlight battery. Placing my thumb underneath my tongue, I tasted blood, my blood. Rich in iron, but detestable in flavor; I quickly spat the liquid upon the bark of the neighboring tree, mixing with the pus-like sap oozing out of an infected wound. There was a rustle underneath the bed of leaves, the tapping of paws against the loamy soil, and for a brief second I was entreated to the whisper of the nocturnal beasts. Low, inaudible growls that originated from every direction, even above, filled the air while light was still unable to be viewed. My poor senses, they were but mere pawns at the mercy of the vengeful forest. Dead branches were clawing at each other like rabid animals, and the wind was coursing through the lifeless leaves, twirling like bones hung on an abandoned roof. In my state of panic, I imagined the trees coming to life and forming a massive barrier, isolating me from the entire world. Loneliness constricted my neck as nature reminded me of man’s eternal curse: that death was ultimately solitary act. As I stood in this overgrown temple, surrounded by the sentinels of the earth, my budding soul cried out in despair; had I found the end in the forest?

Continue reading Encounter

Come Sit

Her serene voice invited him before he could comprehend what she had just said. In the corner, he stood, leaving ample space between him and his greatest fear, until she beckoned him to face it. She patted the soft cushion next to her exposed leg, the same way a wife would tap her husband’s shoulder. In a dull moment, the cramped bedroom became a spacious prison; he searched everywhere for an escape, even though the door was right behind him. Moments before, it had been quickly shut, by her, as she trailed him into the room. Her movements were surprisingly agile, slinking into his presence without any recognition; until she wanted him to see her. And now, she resting on the edge, lips full of the finest wine; the smell trailed into his nostrils without warning, prompting him to become slightly intoxicated.

Thick with hesitation, the next moment arrived as he contemplated all the reasons why fulfilling her simple request was dangerous, yet today was a day that her language ruled over all. Upon this realization, he decided to throw away all rationality, and accept her invitation. The distance between them was only a few short steps, but it took him an eternity to reach her side; and she immediately rested her softened cheek upon his shoulder. Midnight hair flowed down into his hand as her lunar smile illuminated the darkened room. Making herself comfortable by his side, he challenged the very thing he sought…connection.

It was here, breathing down his trembling arm, testing to see how long it could stay before infecting his heart. A feeling wrapped in four-AM conversations, cold french fries, and rhythmic confessions. It was finding a piece of yourself in an other person, and politely asking them to share it with you.  Alone, it’s power can make the doubter believe, if given enough effort. What was it doing here, in front of him? Attempting to rebuild a once beating heart, currently in jagged fragments across a salmon-tiled floor. It yearned for unity once more, to be tied together by the threads of fate that were attached to her. Why then did this feel so tragic?

Pressing his body into her arm, he answered, utilizing his frame to finish his sentences. Words were no longer necessary, for the two uttered from her mouth were enough to both entice and quell the hurricane brewing in his gut. Again, without his knowledge, the tools of their trades came together, this time allowing finger and palm to serve as brush and canvas. It was a warmth, that only should’ve lasted a darting second, embedded in the memories of yesterday; but yet here it was, within his grasp once more.

Who was he to say no to the thing he missed the most? Together, they unshielded themselves in each other’s presence, bearing the markings of years of insecurities. Alone in this room, on the corner of a half-constructed couch, the two traveled to their own world; choosing to live in their creation, rather than conforming to the illusion. Although brief, their realm became real from two simple words.

“Come sit.”

~fin

Black Power: It’s Need and Substance

Text: Black Power by Stokley Carmichael & Charles Hamilton.

“A new group may have to fight for reorientation of many of the values of the old order.” V.O. Key, Jr.

Since society was not created for us we must ask the questions, they cannot ask, only answer.

Redefine Ourselves

  • Reclaim history + identity
    • This gives us a starting point for our place.
    • We can then create terms for our society, once we understand what it was.

The oppressor forces his world upon us, and we, the oppressed, have to accept it; in return, losing grip of our own. It begins with wordings.

Ex. English:Victory::Indian:Massacre or White:Celebration::Black:Riot

Labeling the fight is half of the battle.

WE must define our image and destroy the stereotype. If we conform to what the oppressor wants us to do, then we have failed ourselves. We must know our roots and culture, beginning in Africa.

As black Americans, we are able to sympathize with other colored races. We can serve as the bridge between others, since we all have similar backstories. Does it make immigration a black issue? Yes! Does it make unfair labor a black issue? Yes! Does it make xenophobia and religious prejudice a black issue? Yes! We have the ability to unite the other races, because we understand, to a degree, their struggles as oppressed individuals.

Political Modernization:

  1. Questioning old values and institutions.
  2. Searching for new forms of political structure.
  3. Broadening the base to include more, politically.

Why the middle class won’t work for blacks? It is only a mindset without the true values of the aristocrats. People hope to achieve a life based on the material goods they possess, and the closed communities that they inhabit. They’d rather live isolated than exposed to the truth, trading their right to “true liberation” for “safety and false comfort”.

Why we must question the middle class? Because it has become the backbone of the institutions.

Vocabulary

System: The entire American complex of basic institutions.

Structure: Specific institutions which exist to conduct the system.

“We must devise new structures, new institutions to replace these forms. ” (Carmichael, 42.)

A Cause Worth Every Life

Imagine as you awoke to the sun’s gentle light, that you were unable to access knowledge of yesterday, being irreversibly bound to the moment. History ceased to exist as the dawn broke over the horizon; all the stories of the world vanishing like the low-hanging fog, leaving you only with the “now”.

Close your eyes.

Now open them and take a good look at the world, today’s world. As you stare out the cracked window, what is the first thought that enters your head, that you are willing to fight for and defend? This is the mindset that the modern activist must adopt if they plan to act in this world. We need a cause worth every life, meaning that every life must create a cause. This stresses the importance of a universal cause that all individuals can find comfort in joining. Our movement, our revolution, our destiny begins when this is no longer an ideal; but rather a manifesto of the movement, a doctrine with details of today’s world.

The harsh reality many activists must come to accept is that we cannot call others to action, based solely on sympathy for the past. Slavery happened nearly four hundred years ago, our lives are both reminiscent and removed from this act. I am not downplaying this tragedy because it inevitably shaped our entire world and existence, but we can no longer utilize this as the driving force of our cause. The argument “reparations for slavery” did not work during the post-Civil War era and it most certainly will fail in today’s times. We must imagine the oppressor as a moral-less being, for if they possessed even an ounce of it, then something would have already been done. Their inaction is the only proof we need to end this charade. By closing this door, we increase the necessity of seeking a new cause; the one’s from yesterday will not work, why? Because they were the reasons they fought in their present, and time-as it always does-has altered the elements, including the objectives of the activist. Whatever we choose to be our cause, needs to be something we can fight for today.

There is no past or future in a revolution, only now. There is no future because it is the actions of the day that will give definition to this nonexistent reality; there is no past, there are only blueprints of successes and failures and both are valuable instructions.What we are left with is the moment, a droplet of times ever-flowing river, and within this moment we are granted a choice: to stay silent and ignorant, or to be vocal and subject ourselves to the life of an activist. Every individual born under the sun has been granted the ability to choose; it is the byproduct of the mind, the gift of God. We must avoid forcing individuals to choose or else they will mindlessly join the collective, rather than the cause. They must decide upon their own accord, and the human mind-the tool for crafting our existence-will play a major role in the fight. Then what must be our cause?

Our cause should be an ideal that all choose to follow. If a man can choose his actions, then he willing to choose his future, and his world. Our cause ends and begins with freedom. The freedom to choose will ultimately yield the freedom that we all desire, for, whether we know it or not, we are mental slaves to society. By liberating the mind we can hope to discover the foundation and expound upon this cause. The man with closed eyes cannot hope to aim, it is first our duty to grant sight to those who have been blinded, including ourselves.

The revolutionaries greatest weapon is their words, and not just any form. Words that are able to remove the barriers placed on our brain, and jailbreak the cognitive prison system. Give your being to the chaos, allow the unknown to strip us bare, and then invigorate our spirit. Only chaos can best order, and what is a system but a set of reinforced orders. The chaos I’m calling for isn’t catastrophic or violent, in fact it does not exist within the physical realm. It is the chaos of the mind, the ability to let our beings be crafted by the ebony quill pen dipped in cosmic ink; it is up to us to determine what we write.

Everything we know about our world is a set of conditions that were placed on us from the day we were snatched from the soggy womb of our mothers. We are taught to be everything they want us to be; no one is born a citizen, they are created. In this society an acceptable citizen is nothing but a drone who operates based on the wills of another, an authoritative force who utilize fear and intimidation to conduct their bidding. How is it, then, that those individuals who are willing to create their own will are written off as “outcast”, “radical”, or “lost”? Simple, because the system was not built for the free thinker, which is born out of chaos. Don’t you see, this is the first step of the revolution. A single free mind is a greater threat to an empire than a thousand drawn weapons.

We are taught that our mind is a terrible thing to waste, which means that it is a fantastic thing to use. If humanity spent more time in their thoughts, rather than succumbing to materialism and greed, we would be free. Only when the mind is free can we hope to even understand the principles of the freedom we seek. When, then, is a mind liberated? This act can be done at any given time during an individual’s brief existence, however, history proves that universal enlightenment happens when society is plagued with corruption, government sanctioned violence, tyranny, lack of proper education and healthcare, and other failing elements (see: The French Revolution, American Revolution, Nat Turner’s Revolt etc.). All of these factors are examples of order being abused, and the best way to counteract this is with the chaos within our consciousness. We cannot be afraid of the cosmos inside our skull, the constellations within our eyes, and the black holes within our breasts. When we are able to come to terms with this, then we can begin to ignite the same pursuit in others, which is where art comes into play. How else, but art, can you aid in unlocking the mind of another?

By showing others what the unlocked mind is capable of can easily inspire others to attempt jailbreaking their own, and starting the process of defining their self. Once a self has been established then they are able to wholly fight for freedom. The collective, the mass of sightless gunmen, is a danger to the free mind; for they are a unit focused on one ideal. Oftentimes this noble ideal, as Ayn Rand describes, is the greatest lie disguised as the absolute truth. We must create our own ideal, our own values, and then connect with other like-minded idealists to develop the cause worth every life.

This will be my goal as an artivist; not only will I create works, but I will craft a cause, one that is rooted in freedom.

“Fist Up”

Text: Black Power by Stokley Carmichael & Charles Hamilton

Notes

“Political relations are based on self interest”

  • We cannot expect political parties to believe in something such as “good for the people,” “morally correct” or even “justice”. These qualities may hinder the party, and they are not in a position to want to lose any additional power.

“Conflict of interest, not conscious.”

  • Morals do not determine political motivation, in fact, many will use the concept of morality to enact certain policies. If morality was truly a major factor, then we would have no business protesting the system. The morality of politicans and their parties is selective, choosing to express it when it has been deemed “profitable.” We as activists cannot depend on the moral compass of these individuals to sway their decisions.

“They simply do not want their peace disrupted and their businesses hurt.”

  • A true political does not care for the well being of the people, he only cares for the power amassed from them. We cannot expect the oppressor to feel guilty for the transgressions or suffering of others; they do not operate on the same moral code as us.

“There is little time to reflect on creeds.”

  • We allow the materialism of society to blind ourselves from the truth. The constant production of luxury goods and labor prevent the everyday American from understanding and examining, in detail, the doctrines that gave birth to our society. Without an understanding of the creed, how can an individual know what is written in it, and when they have broken that law?

“Building of an independent force is necessary.”

  • With our own power, we may one day seek the change we do, but change is impossible without obtaining power.  Our “concepts of advancement” have been mostly political strategies used by the oppressed to blindinly win our favor; we think we’ve made major transformations, but we have only done what they allowed us to do. I think back to the march on Bank of America Stadium, and how we did not go anywhere we “weren’t supposed to go.” Why not? Because master (read:  police chief) said not to.

“Limited coalitions may be harmful”

  • Why? By focusing solely on smaller issues, one group may believe they can tackle larger ones without realizing that they will be in direct conflict with their self interests, eventually causing allies to turn on one another.

Essays

A few thoughts on allies, what must be done to make a truly lasting alliance? The bond must go deeper than merely benefitting one another, an ally not only operates on a similar system of values, but a system of power and objectives as well. There is no such thing as “good will” because nine out of ten times, the person who utters this phrase will turn their back if a “conflict of interest” arises. For us, it is the issue of the individual’s values versus the community’s value; we are quick to aid our brothers and sisters so long as our family and loved ones are unaffected by our decisions. If potential harm to these parties presents itself, then most individuals will choose them over the alliance. I cannot fault a person who would choose this option, but it will be difficult to classify them as an ally. I seek those who will put the alliance over their own goals, because if the alliance wins then we all do.

The American Creed , does not apply to the oppressed. We must acknowledge this with haste, for the Constitution and Declaration of Independence were not drafted by black hands. We had no input in it’s creation, so how can we expect any positive output from these doctrines?

Now to form a coalition one must first have clearly defined objectives, not only for the party, but the ally as well. We cannot assume that “what is good for one, is automatically-without question-good for the other.” I think back to the phrase “the enemy of my enemy is my friend,” this is an incorrect assumption. Although both may have a common goal, the enemy, one party may simply want them destroyed whereas the other seeks to conquer the land. Upon completion of their common goal (slaying the enemy),  what is stopping the temporary allies from turning on each other, especially if their self-interests come into conflict?

The acquisition of true power is the second factor to consider, without power their is no progress. The role of victimization is an outdated tool to recruit. They demand power without truly holding any so what happens then? As stated before we cannot expect others to hear us out, in relation to morality, they simply do not care. Instead, we must use what little power contained within us and begin disrupting their peace and pockets. Once enough power has been amassed, and tested, we can then join with other organizations that have similar power levels. I’m curious about this phrase “the concept of the civil rights movement as a liaison between the powerful white community and the dependent black community.” I’ve always revered the CRM as a major force of dramatic change, but as I’ve studied more, I’ve discovered the shortcomings. What if, in fact, they paved the way for the oppressed and oppressive to meet? I think back to Fanon’s idea of the interpreter, the individual who was a focal point in listening to the native people and sharing conversations with the colonizers. A liaison is a necessary unit, but if we are powerless then what is the point? Any discussions will be laughable.

Our problem lies in not creating our own. Most of what we do is created for us, but then taken by those at the top. We have no organized institutions or systems, because we were never granted the opportunity to create them when slaves were first released. Now, we could very well craft our own economy, agriculture, and education, yet the white system controls a great deal of commerce, which makes this task seem virtually impossible…but it is not! We just believe that because we are, collectively, afraid to face the impossible. After examining today’s reading (pgs 75-80), I am beginning to understand that we must seek independence, definite organization, tangible power, and then alliances.