Image courtesy of Dave McClinton.

I AM AN ALLY IN PROGRESS

A Matter of Healing or Dying

By Nikkita

We must speak about and understand anti-Blackness, racism and white supremacy as violence.

Dr. kihana miraya ross, “Call It What It Is: Anti-Blackness”

“Anti-blackness describes the inability to recognize black humanity. It captures the reality that the kind of violence that saturates black life is not based on any specific thing a black person — better described as “a person who has been racialized black” — did. The violence we experience isn’t tied to any particular transgression. It’s gratuitous and unrelenting.”

Frances Lee Ansley, “White Supremacy: (And What We Should Do about It)”

“I do not mean to allude only to the self-conscious racism of white supremacist hate groups. I refer instead to a political, economic, and cultural system in which whites overwhelmingly control power and material resources, conscious and unconscious ideas of white superiority and entitlement are widespread, and relations of white dominance and non-white subordination are daily re-enacted across a broad array of institutions and social settings.”

bell hooks, Killing Rage: Ending Racism

“A vision of cultural homogeneity that seeks to deflect attention away from or even excuse the oppressive, dehumanizing impact of white supremacy on the lives of black people by suggesting black people are racist too indicates that the culture remains ignorant of what racism really is and how it works. It shows that people are in denial. Why is it so difficult for many white folks to understand that racism is oppressive not because white folks have prejudicial feelings about blacks (they could have such feelings and leave us alone) but because it is a system that promotes domination and subjugation?”

In order to commit to acting in solidarity with those who seek to end all oppressions, you must be honest with yourself in choosing to end continued genocides. Any other choice is making one that aides and abets in the continued persecution and murder of people who have historically been targets of marginalization and oppression.

Image courtesy of Dave McClinton.

This is a matter of life or death.

Of healing or dying. We must heal in order to live fully as we battle against these archaic and demonic systems.

Of resisting the systems all people born in this society have been socialized into.

This is not an intellectual exercise or a measure of one’s ability to read and discuss oppression. We all hold various privileges, however, one thing that is for sure is that Black people, specifically darker skinned people, are constantly under attack. The violent attacks look like:

1
Black trans, gender non-conforming, gender fluid people continuously being violently excluded from society and murdered at inhumane rates
2
Black women, femmes and people who give birth dying during childbirth
3
Black children being shuffled from schools to prisons to their mental, emotional, spiritual and physical deaths
4
Black people being kidnapped and shoved into cages in the name of protecting man made borders that were and continue to be stolen from Indigenous people
5
Black LGBTQIA+ youth continuously fighting to live while experiencing violence at the hands of the system and communities
6
Black women and femmes continuously being dismissed, invisibilized, kidnapped and trafficked
7
Black people continuously being targeted and criminalized in order to maintain slavery in the form of public and private prisons.
8
Black people...

These examples are just some of the countless ways anti-Blackness, white supremacy and racism erode the humanity of the Black community.

Upholding and defending this system is committing yourself to a life of violence against self and others.

Equality is not the goal. We cannot seek out being equal to the very people that created and use demonic practices in order to exploit and kill us daily. The eradication of all oppressive systems that have and continue to annihilate the spiritual, physical and emotional existence of all people who have been historically marginalized and oppressed is necessary. This is an international crisis that impacts every Black and Brown person in this world. While non-Black people of color are negatively impacted by white supremacy, they also perpetuate and benefit from anti-Blackness because the system of white supremacy has called for all people to aspire to whiteness with the false promise of being exempt from the violence of these oppressive systems. (Whiteness was constructed in the early 17th century as a part of economic exploitation, capitalism, in order to kidnap, brutalize, torture, exploit, rape and kill Black people on the continent of Africa, across the Atlantic, the Caribbean, the Americas and the world.) Upholding and defending this system is committing yourself to a life of violence against self and others. If you are choosing to be on the side of people who are seeking justice and liberation that requires you to let go of the false histories you were told. Requires you to dismantle the systems you have ingested. Requires you to reject the notions of whiteness as normal and the standard.

Questions to ask yourself:
Image courtesy of Dave McClinton.

These are questions for all of us living on Earth, because these oppressions are global and interlinked. All of us have ingested anti-Blackness, and if we do not want to actively and/or passively be supporters of a murderous system, we must obliterate all injustices from the root.

Keep sister Assata Shakur constantly in your hearts, minds and actions. “People get used to anything. The less you think about your oppression, the more your tolerance for it grows. After a while, people just think oppression is the normal state of things. But to become free, you have to be acutely aware of being a slave.” —Assata Shakur, Assata: An Autobiography

Will you choose to continue to be a slave and/or enslave others with anti-Blackness, racism and white supremacy or…?

ABOUT THE WRITER

I am Nikkita, a free Black woman, unapologetically! A South Bronx native of Jamaican heritage, revolution is in my blood. In my professional life I am innovative and values oriented with experience as a dynamic educator, poet, organizer, social justice facilitator, programs coordinator and academic advisor. Warrior for nothing short of justice and liberation at the core of all my work. I am dedicated to affirming the abundance of brilliance, creativity, knowledge and willingness to grow that all people bring as we pursue inclusive excellence and belonging for all.
IG: @NuclearBlackness

ABOUT THE ARTIST

Dave McClinton creates vibrant, provocative artwork featuring culturally based imagery and landscapes. Regarding his culturally based imagery of Black life he notes, “I want to illustrate the life-cycle of the inner life of a Black person. From innocent to informed. From recklessly defiant to determined. How the weight of American history can either crush you or harden you. And, how either result often has to be hidden from view just to get through the day.” Regarding his landscapes he notes, “I create free standing crumpled paper still lifes, then photograph them and manipulate the images until I’ve created something that straddles reality and fantasy. I want to show you something familiar and then alter your perspective. These shapes and ‘views’ are familiar but I want you to conjure up places you have been and seen. Not simply reproduce a vista for its own sake.” Check out more of his work at davemcclinton.com.