Author: David X
“Anytime you live in a society supposedly based upon law and it doesn’t enforce its own laws because the color of a man’s skin happens to be wrong, then I say those people are justified to resort to any means necessary to bring about justice when the government can’t give them justice.” – Malcolm X
Racism is alive and well.
There I said it.
Because nobody ever does.
If you know me in person, you know that I do not like to sugarcoat things. As we live our daily lives we inextricably face even the begone Plantation Racism our presidential candidates save for one, harbors.
It says something about this country when the future leaders of our country are either overt racists, color-blind racists, or Ben Carson. It is no wonder that places like Butler University, like many colleges, refuse to acknowledge publicly or take a stand on Black Lives Matter.
Refraining from comment on the issue validates the perception that our lives do not matter, not even to our University.
My fear for Butler University is that it will take one of us to die in order for administration to realize that our lives are important and the statement must be made. What then, will Danko, Levester Johnson, faculty and staff, or even the Board of Trustee’s say then? What lie will they tell the mother, father, and friends of this student? True, they’ll put on the front at the funeral. Sure they’ll tell us that student was a “brilliant individual” or “was truly compassionate”, but shallow words are as good as the American dollar today.
The Butler Bubble does not insulate. We are not protected from the real world, regardless of BUPD or whatever magical protection our administration thinks our 50k provides.
It could be any underrepresented group at Butler, not just the one with the hashtag. Because at Butler, there are minority populations who have no representation or even the prospect of representation.
The opinions of the trust fund kid and their donor parents matter more than Black Lives. It matters more than LBGTQI Lives, Asian Lives, Latino or Hispanic Lives. Essentially any life that does not exist within white skin, a polo shirt, cargo shorts, and boat shoes is utterly ignored at Butler.
What is frightening is the contrast between Butler and the United States as a contiguous entity. College prepares you for society, that is what they tell us from the moment we begin our educational journey. Unfortunately, we fail to understand the type of society it prepares us for.
It prepares us for a white one.
That is not to say that’s a bad thing, but institutional racism is powerful because it has the power to make people wholly oblivious to it. White privilege exists and every white person benefits from it. We shy away from statements like that because society tells us that it is “good” and “correct” to conform to the standards it sets for us. Institutional racism is a tool of society, it teaches us to devalue ourselves and think within boundaries that we were never made to conform to. Minorities and those who don’t serve to gain the benefits from white supremacy sometimes feel uncomfortable or worse, force themselves to conform to society to create a happiness that was never meant for them.
How do the things that make us happy fit into the stereotypical American Dream?
Once we come to grips with the fact that America was not created for us, nor does America have our happiness in its interests it becomes easier to work in society. Trust me.
Society teaches us fear, and fear limits us. I like to listen to old people. They hold the secrets of life, because they lived it, yet we don’t care to listen to them. I like to think of myself as perceptive over any other quality I attribute myself. Perception is a gift and a curse because the truth hurts. Here’s the truth:
We secretly hate the truth and go out of our way to avoid it. We hate the truth so much sometimes that we are uncomfortable with the truth about ourselves.
White Privilege exists to the point that it becomes commonplace for white people to generate generational wealth in this country through simply doing whatever they want and just making it profitable. That is a powerful tool. One in which if we look at what POC can do in this country, it becomes much harder for us to do the same.
We have to fit the ordained paths to success given to us by Massa or else we will fail in society. How do we make the things we like profitable? That knowledge has been reserved to whites only since the first African slaves arrived on the shores of Jamestown in 1619.
Butler mimics the current racial climate in America because it shows us an inside look at the pitch perfect society we portray America as. How much we secretly hate each other. How much distrust we have for one another.
If you think about it, it is very possible that each of us advocating publicly on social media or in life could one day “disappear” and never be fortunate enough to have our deaths publicized like Trayvon Martin or Eric Garner. Just like the slew of black churches being attacked and burned in this country while the media conveniently skips over that fact. Even closer to home, the increasing amount of fear and paranoia about the shootings in the Butler-Tarkington area’s “Ghetto” has created a situation at Butler University where that fear applies to students of color attending Butler as well.
Once you look for it, you find it at Butler. You find the incessant stares above all else. Judgemental glances or brief moments of fear and confusion about why you are even allowed to walk on the same campus as them.
This fear justifies oppression in our minds and creates the conditions that makes it easy for us to say problematic phrases such as “All Lives Matter”, “I don’t see color”, “Why can’t I start a White Student Union”, “Black on Black crime”, or the most problematic “Why can you use the n-word but I can’t?” more dangerously it masks systematic racism to the point where one has to be conscious enough to even think about racism still being problematic and well in the United States.
Because some of us are truly blind.
But true dialogue is hard to create in the United States as the entire structure of the United States is built to cater to one group of people: Super wealthy white men. These people do not like lectures, especially when they believe they own and create the very rules and laws society accepts.
Divergent thoughts and ways of thinking are stifled by our educational system and those not fortunate enough to take the right classes in college or research on their own society dictates our entire lives. In our culture, we regulate how much happiness others can have by teaching us social taboos or to stifle creative thinking.
I notice a lot now, but I choose not speak on it. I hear and see things now that I never did before. Racism is so woven in the fabric of our society that we develop ways to ignore it as a coping mechanism.
But it is in our face every single day.
Slavery never ended. Segregation never ended. State approved police brutality certainly has never even thought to slow down.
If we choose Bernie Sanders and he sticks to his word then I fear for the next four years of this nation. Not because he will be a bad president, but because I fear for how people will react to change. The way this country is created, there is no way institutional racism is going down without a very bloody fight.
It has happened before.
Racism is so deeply entrenched into the very foundation of this country it oozes from every crevice and crack in our rotting structure. The United States will and has a history of, killing its own to keep its racist structures intact. If you think in 2015 that anything has changed from 1968, 1863, 1776 or 1619 then you are very wrong.
In the past I spent a lot of time focused on other people’s perceptions of myself and my opinions. Which is why if you also know me, then you know that I care. I care deeply about other people and the world around me so much I take on the world’s burden to my own detriment.
The world can be changed if we spark the care in our hearts. The compassion we have for others. In this realization I found that the truth hurts. But life has always given us the disclaimer that it hurts. From the moment we jump into that relationship with life it tells us that it will hurt us. Because life does not lie. It does not give us false hope or only whisper good things and praise in our ear. It only tells the truth and we choose not to believe it.
This country is falling apart at the seams. Crumbling. We sit and watch the news tell us our infrastructure is falling apart every single day. It is almost universally recognized that the United States wars in Iraq and Afghanistan has failed so miserably that it has created the perfect opponent against its most credible power source: its military.
I hate being the bearer of bad news and I equally hate to say I told you so as well.
But I said it in my last article:
“The weapons of institutionalized racism are clear, and our weapons are too. The battleground is set. Question is…will you be a soldier or a bystander. Our weapons are clear too and still as true as when Malcolm X said it in 64’: “It’ll be the ballot or the bullet”. Either way, Radical Black is Back.”
I am not the first to say it either, minds smarter than mine put the writing on the wall a long time ago,
“Negroes – sweet and docile, Meek, humble, and kind: Beware the day – They change their mind”
That day is fast approaching.
Malcolm X ended his address at Oxford Union saying,
“And in my opinion, the young generation of whites, blacks, browns, whatever else there is, you’re living at a time of extremism, a time of revolution, a time when there’s gotta be a change, people in power have misused it, and now there has to be a change.
The Boondocks predicted this at the end of the Return of the King episode.
Spike Lee told us to “Wake Up”.
Kendrick told us to put our hands up for HiiiPower.
Racism limits us intellectually. We put so much effort into learning to do something that is intrinsic: caring about people. If we lived in a society that abided by the rules of common sense, far more resources could be put into things that make us genuinely happy. But we spend so much time hating each other.
Even within our own communities we tear each other apart.
But history is certainly being made at this moment. Black Lives Matter certainly does not have one central figure the powers that be can target and assassinate this time around and they cannot get rid of all of us. Butler equally has no power to stand to stop us united. If we are to take anything from the mess our brother and sister’s face at Mizzou it’s these three truths:
One: The power is in the people of this country. Regardless of what the brainwashing tells us it is us who wield the power in this country. We must take that power back, all of us regardless of race, ability, gender, sexuality or whatever imaginary differences divide us. We must take that power back by Any Means Necessary.
Two: The system of oppression will never let us express our right to exist without retaliation. It never has and it never will.
Three: If someone told me that the Ku Klux Klan was riding through the lawn of Butler’s Mall and burning crosses on Hampton I would not be surprised in the slightest.