None of this is new except the bullshit of equality and this not-so-bullshit called technology and globalism. So now the hypocrisy -- something that's always been a fact of life for black folk -- is in everyone's face. Before, we had to do the dance of mourning while black: of misery, anger, shame, rage, insanity and ball it all up into a cheery smile (but not too cheery) and press our nails and hair [but not too nicely because -- to paraphrase Ani Difranco, who wears her own hypocrisy -- white people harbor a little hatred for the happiest black person in the room (why else would they elect him president?)].
So what can we do now? And not for the sake of what we call progress, nah. Been there, done that, got the t-shirts, statues, street signs, centers, schools and holidays to show for that work.
Nope, this right here is a manifesto of selfishness, folk. This here is what we do not have to do anymore:
1. Explain a goddamn thing:
W.E.B. Du Bois asked, "how does it feel to be a problem?" We will no longer answer white people's questions on why this is happening, we will no longer be thoughtful and considerate when someone asks us to stop racism. We will not answer such questions. We will tell you why it's happening and you can choose to listen or not to listen. But we are not your walking black AskJeeves on racism for a guilty, confused white person, nope. There are numerous writers, critics and experts (like me!) who happily engage in these discourses in the proper settings because we choose to do so. We will not be robbed of that agency.
2. Pretend that we are fine:
Has anyone glanced at the health stats of black Americans lately? Or even of the past fifty years? I'm not a doctor of medicine but I am a doctor of philosophy and I firmly believe that when we have to hide our joy and our pain, our love and our hate, our highs and lows, our play and our morose, when we have to schizophrenically play-act in every single space we are in that our hearts fall apart, our blood vessels swell up, we are unable to process food properly and our limbs are cut off. Is that a crazy thought? So I say fuck it, be black and do die. We're going to die anyway, why must we keep trying to live as if we won't? Doing so is killing us.
3. Stop smiling unless you're actually happy. Seriously, what would happen if every black American just didn't smile at every white person they saw for 24 hours? I mean, what're they gonna do? Shoot us?
4. When looked at do not look away.
5. Stop being quiet.
just some things usually on my mind....