Exactly 16 years before I entered this life of mine, Malcom X was tragically exiting his. It was in a packed movie theater on November 21st in 1992 that I learned that not so fun fact. My aunt took my cousins and me to see Spike Lee’s movie about Malcolm; due to crowds we went to the last showing for the night. I nodded off a few times but shortly before the infamous “get yo hands out of my pocket” scene, I was wide awake. In all honesty, I wanted to see something else before we went, but at this point I don’t remember what other movie was out at the time that seemed more interesting. I’m glad we saw it though. That movie is what sparked more interest into learning about his life, a life that eventually influenced some of the decisions I made later on in my own life.
It’s widely known and public record now that the government was surveilling Malcolm for years, even actively trying to ruin his life by way of agents in the Nation of Islam. There are people that are still shocked that our government would conspire to bring harm to a citizen simply because that person wanted equality. However, this nation was built and thrives on inequality so it shouldn’t be too much of a surprise. In 1965, across the nation Black people weren’t even legally considered equal, a full century after slavery was “abolished”. This was a huge issue to the power structure, but why? Why is it so inconceivable to treat Black people with dignity, treat them as equals or not actively sabotage their lives? It’s one thing to be indifferent, Bill Clinton was indifferent, it’s another thing to work to tear someone down, most other Presidents fall on the indifferent side…but the George Washington’s, Woodrow Wilson’s and Ronald Reagan’s actively tore Black people down.
On a localized level, I partially understand why the U.S. is so messed up in her dealings with Black people. The parents of this country (Spain, UK, France) are terrible too. The U.S., being the offspring of these original haters, seems compelled to up the ante and make a unique hater name for herself. However, it’s not just America that discriminates so wildly against Black people. The colonized countries across the globe are the hater kids of the same parent countries…and the commonality is their effort to subjugate people based on nationality and melanin content. This is the single area of unity among all of the major developed nations across the planet. There are so many things that should unite these various global powers like peace, financial stability, health, space exploration, but no, they agree on who to hate. The only thing that is universally accepted is “darker skin is bad” and to me that is stupid as hell.
Every now and then I see or hear something that makes me ponder acceptable rationales for what seems so wildly ridiculous. I’m a cause-and-effect guy and since I’m only 42 and the cause is at least hundreds of years old, I don’t have footage or any actual information of what it was. I only see the effect, and it’s very hard to make sense of it, while also understanding modern motivations. Much like the evolution of street gangs in LA and Chicago, many of the disputes began over something petty between two regular ass people that escalated into decades of payback and escalating violence. Like, if a person born in 1995 in one gang knew the reason he hates people from a few blocks over in another gang was because in 1972 a guy spilled ketchup on another guy’s shoes, would he still have the same respect for and loyalty to either gang? Something as simple as a guy losing a fight running to his friends for backup, evolved from fists to sticks and bats to knives to guns. That’s an oversimplification, but it’s not far off. would he still harbor those same feelings of hatred to the other side if it was over something he currently wouldn’t care about? People today dying because of some shoes that got messed up in the 1970’s.
I apply that to this worldwide hatred of Africans and their more recent descendants (since we all originated there at some point). Did some African guy from 1000 BC come across a powerful guy from Europe and tease him about not seasoning or cooking his food to completion? Did that minor ribbing turn into the global slave trade and subjugation of anyone that even seems Black? Probably not, but it’s possible that something as minor as that could develop into something altogether different over time. They say with the faith of a mustard seed you can move mountains, well with the same beginning amount of hate or disdain you can destroy them too. Hating someone for the color of their skin is one of the dumbest things another human can do, yet that’s the global status quo. Even our so called good Presidents have shown their racism. The silly part to me is that we have devolved into this mindset of race and ethnicity. Is it just me that thinks it would be great to know why?
A couple weeks before writing this I watched a video of a Black guy getting jumped by 4 racist White guys and a White woman. The Black people nearby saw this and ran to his aide fighting pretty much every White person in the vicinity that decided to pick a side. What seems to be lost on every reaction or response was the White guy early in the vide that tried to help the Black guy. Luckily, no one was seriously injured or killed. As I watched the video, and all of the hilarious takes that people had, I fully understood why Black people were reacting in this way. As a matter of fact, I agreed with that overwhelming display of unity when typically, people just get footage of hate crimes. Even so, I felt bad for that White guy that tried to help. He probably got more of an ass whooping than he bargained for, and he was only trying to do the right thing. What if that experience makes him choose the other side the next time he sees something like that happen?
We marvel at the little things that turn into big positive things. It’s a feel-good story for the ages usually. We try to suppress the little things that turn into universal hatred, because it is so obvious that it takes a weak mind to be that way. The weak minds of the GOP are actively trying to erase the “what and why” in the US. The same is happening in many other parts of the world as well. Killing off the access to what happened makes it less obvious to determine why it happened, so people just stick to what they’re told about the situation and over time societies crumble because they’d rather die than aide the enemy. We’re not supposed to be enemies in the first place, and we’re damn sure not supposed to be enemies because of skin tone or place of birth, but here we are doing just that.