POWER: A Position of Withstanding External Resistance
When I watched a video online that showed an estimated 200,000 people marching in the streets of Paris, France; I knew something was different. People are tired of seeing Black people killed by police. The fact that it keeps happening over and over, the fact that many have been recorded on video for all to see and still the officers are never held accountable for taking the life of an unarmed civilian, is surreal and ridiculous.
In contrast we are reminded that when a White man, Dylann Roof, who murdered 9 black people during prayer service at a church in South Carolina was arrested, not only was he not shot or harmed by police when he was apprehended according to the Charlotte Observer, they stopped and bought him something to eat from a fast food restaurant. He was hungry.
Racism. I don’t care who may say otherwise. Clear racism and obviously millions of people across the globe agree. So, when the murder of Ahmaud Arbery occurred (who was killed by 2 white men who were not police) and it literally took approximately 74 days, a leaked cellphone video and an online petition signed by thousands just to get an arrest, the Black community was agitated and frustrated. Less than 20 days later in Minneapolis, MN George Floyd was murdered by a policeman who knelt on his neck for nearly 9 minutes while he was handcuffed, arms behind his back as he pleaded and cried out for his deceased mother. This was all captured on video for the country to witness- people lost it.
I started to see comments, questions and emotions run wild on social media. One question that I continued to see was “Why do they hate us?” This irks me because it is an oversimplified question that implies that these atrocities are based on emotion.
Racism is not about hate, it is about the maintaining of power: financial power, political power, educational/information based power and cultural power.
They don't hate you personally. In fact, they don’t care anything about you. They look at us as a threat to the maintenance of the power they hold so dear. If you look at the photo of that officer with his knee in George Floyd's neck, look at his face. He's not angry, he is not enraged, his face says business as usual. Another day at the office.
You can't look at this from an emotional perspective, if you are really striving for change. This is about power, and when you don't have the position or strength individually, that’s when you build bonds, bridges, and relationships with those in the same boat as you. Nothing can overcome a unified force. This is why we have seen people of all human families, nationalities and backgrounds standing up and saying enough is enough.
I also urge people to stop acting like voting is the "key." Is it important? Yes, it may have some effect and is a piece to the puzzle. But it for damn sure is not THE answer. There is no law we can implement that can regulate the mentality of white fragility. A mentality so fragile that it feels threatened by the simplest of human activities if they come from people with dark skin.
“Voting is an introduction to the political process” as my brother Supreme would say. It is an entry level activity, but it is not a full-fledged solution. I am not going to sit here and act as if social media and civil unrest was not the real reason that arrests took place in both of the aforementioned cases. Elected officials did not step up and “do the right thing.” The public forced their hands.
No one is going to save us. No political leader is coming, there will be no new Dr. King, we are past the times of a charismatic figurehead who will speak for us.
The Civil Rights legend Ms. Ella Baker was once quoted as saying” Strong people don’t need [a] strong leader.” Ms Baker was not in favor of crowning a messianic leader, she was a proponent of community-based organizers who knew how to activate people around them. This is where we are today.
Power if I were to break it down as an acronym, is to be in a Position of Withstanding External Resistance. If no one is coming to our rescue, then it is clear we must rescue ourselves. Choose your position and play your position. If you are a writer, bring awareness to social injustice and racial inequities. If you are an attorney, donate your services or sound legal advice for those who need it. If you are a painter, let your art provoke conversation and dialogue. If you are a teacher, share with your students the true history of why these unbalanced conditions exist.
Join local organizations that are committed to assisting the disenfranchised people of this nation or make your own. Educate yourself on the issues and get in position. Learn what has happened historically so that we are not fighting these same issues 52 years from now.
Lastly Ahmaud Arbery was a Black man, George Floyd was a Black man, Breonna Taylor was a Black woman, they were killed. This is not the time to yell “me too” and try to co-opt the pain of Black people in this country. We are not going to allow people to use ambiguous terms like “people of color” or “minority” to derail focus and hijack our struggle. We as a people have always been open to working with other communities and building coalitions, but this our time.
Average citizens have the greatest potential to shift the dynamics and bring into existence the changes we want to see. I hope that my words have a positive effect on those who read them.
I leave you in peace, because Positive Energy Always Corrects Error.
About Born Logic Allah
Director of Walk on the River: A Black History of the Alamo City & Walk on the River 2.0:
The African Influence in San Antonio Texas
Co-founder of Melaneyes Media