I think the term Negro needs to be revived. Or maybe we just use Nigger. For, the nature of the problem requires specificity. And the racial problem in America, at its core, is rooted in the peculiar issue of the Africans and Black people who descended from American Slavery.
I know the acronym ADOS has been going around. And like with Black Lives Matter, I don’t agree with much of the nuance perspectives that undergird the terms and associated movements.
That’s one of the reasons you hear me speak of the “mattering of Black Life/Lives.” The issue is one of mattering, and the decisions made by society on the essential mattering of Black Lives. In this, to me, there can be no confusion about “All Lives Matter.” I don’t question that. And because I fundamentally agree with the fact that All Lives Matter, I must insist that Society looks at the issue of mattering…what Society believes about essential mattering, when it comes to Black Life.
Society makes a clear and derogatory statement of belief – establishes a disturbingly inhumane and unbrotherly perspective toward the essential mattering of Black Lives.
And that reality plays out most heinously, as pertains the Descendants of American Slavery. Not so much with the African Descendants of Slavery outside of America. Hence, Afro-Caribbean and Afro-Latino can have a slightly better experience in America than those who are not as exotic.
I make this lengthy side-note because I know most folk gon trip because I said, “Negro.” When I speak of the Negro, rather than the African American or the Black American, I am speaking specifically and deeply about that African Descendants of American Slavery. That’s the Nigger for which American White Power reserves its deepest hatred.
And that’s why I am compelled to look at Negro ingratitude in the context of Pascha…Passover and Exodus.
Ingratitude for our deliverance. And the realities of that ingratitude maybe as a subconscious understanding that we have fooled ourselves into believing we had been delivered?
That we know in our souls that we ain’t free? Consciously, we have reconciled ourselves to a modicum of freedom in the midst of bondage. Subconsciously, we know we are in a land where we are utterly despised by those in power.
So, why would we be grateful?! Right?!?
Grateful for this?!?!! Grateful to live in a land where ALL in power – be they on the Left or the Right – would feel there’s a debate to be had on whether public servants should be killing the public they are supposed to serve?
As if there could be/should be a circumstance when such course of action could be the correct answer?
Yet, when Negroes – defaced in the image of God, with a misconstrued image of God – don’t really believe in God as a people, then certainly Negroes don’t believe in Exodus.
And it’s the Negro who most closely cleaves to Exodus as a supporting narrative for Black Identity that helps makes sense of the Black Experience.
We claim Exodus because it makes us feel good. It comforts us to be associated with the Hebrew people in bondage to Pharaoh. We get to tell ourselves that we are “God’s people” too. We can endure the weight of oppression because we find ourselves in good company – even “Holy Company.”
Yet, we fail to learn the lesson that was taught to the Hebrews. We fail to learn from their experience. And so we are left at best hoping that God would get tired of our hopeless cries for mattering – that God would come a deliver us even though we aren’t looking for Him to come, nor do we expect Him to come.
At worst, we use the story of the Lord’s grace toward His people as a story that reconciles us to oppression. We use a story of liberation to help us “patiently endure” subjugation and find comfort in bondage.
It’s lamentable to me: the Lord blesses us to see the connection between our story…our experience in exile, with the experience of exile by the Children of Israel. And we “show our gratitude” by using that same story to satisfy ourselves in our Egypt. We use the Holy Things of God to reconcile ourselves to a Society that refuses to see the image of God in Black Faces.
How is that possible? Why would we do such a thing? Why do you think that is? And what do you think needs to change?
Please share your thoughts in the comments. May the Lord give us strength and courage to #WalkWorthy!
In peace and with love…