Sunday, April 12, 2015

Unbearable Blackness

There is a suffocating wind choking us almost daily now. It whistles through poor neighborhoods and posh suburbs and city streets and country lanes, a thick, odious sirocco filled with malevolence and meanness that scours away the facade of America as world builder and paragon of democracy. It leaves a deformity behind in our society that is ignored by many and suffered by too many more.

It is the unbearable blackness.

Unbearable, in that several hundred years of sable servitude's savagery was not erased by a continent-shaking war, nor all the legislation committed to reams of paper since. Not even as august a thing as a Constitution could hydraulically fracture out the deep wells of misbegotten bigotry buried so far down in the foundation of a nation. A few hundred, a few thousand years of gauging others by their tongues, their beliefs, and their skin, that pressure could not be released by so many pinpricks of the rough hide of a foreign-born nation.

Our European ancestors, wherever they went, saw the natives as "savages," because they were unaware of or unwilling to hear the words The Bible and absorb the sacrosanct belief that White Anglo-Saxon Protestants had been commanded by a swarthy prophet of the desert kingdom of the Israelites to go out and conquer the world that was rightfully theirs. New Testament churches driven by Old Testament zeal led to the corruption and conscription and dissolution of societies that had existed before Jesus set one foot upon the ground. They took the Savior's name, cloaked it in the God of Abraham's wrath and wrought conversion upon the "unenlightened."

That lust for the conversion of everything into a Christian kingdom overspread the Earth. Fed into its maw were tribes and villages and cities and creeds, to be converted into missions and cathedrals and gold and piety. And where the natives would not be pacified, they would be harnessed, and if that were too hard, exterminated. Commanded to "be fruitful and multiply," these European invaders took that as a tacit command to take what was needed to create God's kingdom there upon the ground and woe to those who stood before his host! If a Black body could be bent to serve the Lord, upright or upon their knees, so be it.

That has been the groundwork, that has been the fire, that has been the catalyst, that consumed all before it, left lands far and wide, barren and sere, removed of their joyous multitudes, now yoked to the plow of progress. With a the human landscape burnt and blasted, the winds could sweep up into a maelstrom, to plunge down upon the scattered children and suffer them further indignities.

Now we see it every day, almost. Darker skin thought cancerous, drawing the evil naturally down upon itself. Lady Macbeth wailed against a spot; now our brothers and sisters wail over the darkness of their skin, that attracts the fingers of death. The whitest among us act as if nothing is wrong, that they brought the stain upon themselves somehow, that their skin was always meant to be beneath the notice of Men. So many voices raised in Christian song on Sunday, spit epithets on Monday at the outrage of thousands of their Black countrymen beweeping the deaths of their brothers and sisters at the hands of White taskmasters thinly cloaked as purveyors of Law & Justice.

Even in our highest halls, those sent to govern instead throw fits when it appears a Black man is more competent, forthright, and knowledgeable than they. They curse The People for their progressiveness and seek to wound them at every turn, casting the orphan out on the street, failing to fill the bellies of hungry, denying the destitute refuge, even shunning those who fought so they might have the freedom to be petulant and peevish. They stammer and stamp their feet as the man duly elected to lead the nation succeeds despite their every impediment and roadblock and remains adored by a nation that not so long ago was on the brink of destruction.

This blackness is unbearable. That it suffocates the living with fear and hatred, that it pervades the souls of so many who claim to be the best of God's flock, that it is draped upon the bodies of too many who are gunned down in the street and left to die... it is a weight that cannot be withstood for much longer. The darkness of skin should not be the arbiter of human value. "All Men are created equal" it says & if we are to interpret that in the spirit it was meant, then no thing, no belief, no skin color, no sexual orientation, no language, no nationality should bar the individual from the Rights that are so inalienably theirs. No Black person should walk down the street with the thought in their mind that there is a target on their back and it is only a matter of time before the hunters come. It is wrong. It is unjust. It is un-American. And it is unbearable.

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