In a landmark decision, the United States Supreme Court decided that it is unconstitutional for state governments to ban same sex marriage. They also decided that it is unconstitutional for any state government to dishonor any same sex couple’s marriage that had been granted license in another state.
This being the flavor of the week though, has me asking way deeper questions. Every time news happens the same damn discussion is had and I think it’s safe to say at this point that it indicates something even deeper about us as a people and as a society: that we know we’re full of shit and that we really don’t trust ourselves at all to be able to do what needs to be done at any point. I’m starting to think that people don’t actually much care about the causes that they talk about; they just wanna join in the propaganda war, constantly paranoid about what has people’s attention. But if that’s your concern, you clearly don’t get it. At the end of the day, no matter what headline is what, I’m still going to advocate for and build things for the well being of black people. Nothing will change about that, regardless to whose attention is where. I care about people’s mental manipulation but I really don’t care about the headline of the moment. I care about narrative creation. The accessories on the top may change but the underlying message will remain the same; I care about how you synthesize the information that you do encounter. Like clockwork though, a sensational headline pops up, folks gravitate to it and then the folk who swear you shouldn’t gravitate to it, gravitate to it in order to tell everyone else who gravitated to it that they should not have gravitated to it. Essentially, whether for or against whatever the topic is, everyone’s attention is on it anyway. However… There’s always gonna be the next headline.
What does all this say about how we see ourselves and one another? It says that we know that we are all dumb and easily manipulated. There’s no faith in our own selves and our own peers to actually ever consistently believe in any one thing, not even our own selves or one another. “Distraction distraction distraction”. Who cares? At the end of the day, EVERYBODY on every side has propaganda. The only thing that matters is, in the midst of all the propaganda, what are you working toward? Anyone who knows anything about grassroots organizing or anything of that sort knows that consistency is key. Holding to principle is key. GROUNDATION is key.
It’s as if we’re all saying that if the propaganda is not always about us then we’ve been robbed. And indeed, what is the propaganda for anyway? Any of it? Mainstream attention. But since when did it make the most sense to constantly appeal to the white gaze? Exactly what of our problems are going to be solved by constantly beseeching white folks to care about them? Is it the white majority that we are expecting to mobilize on our behalf? I thought that the black conscious consensus was that we need to form our own avenues and media and not worry about those of the mainstream because they’re not owned by us and are not meant to serve us and will only serve to demonize and disenfranchise us anyway. So which is it? I’m starting to believe that more of us actually are focused on simply improving our stratification in this oppressive system, rather than any type of freedom from said system or dismantling of the same.
How fragile have we become? How deep is the wound of white supremacy, indeed?
I understand that we’re all worn and sad and angry and tired. But it’s not healthy to constantly grieve with no room for anything else. This is not healthy. There are no resources made available to help us heal and cope. We need to always be willing to find ways to be whole people. That would actually fortify us to continue advocating and fighting for ourselves. A constant state of grief is also unAfrican. We must have time to think, talk, break bread, celebrate. Some might ask, “what about the probability of gay people not standing in support of our concerns over black lives?” In my experience, LGBTQ people who are not black have ever been advocates for us. I know plenty myself who are. Some of which have gone to even more demonstrations and engaged in acts of civil disobedience than I have. Naturally there will always be those who will not simply because, “gay” is not itself a group. They only organize under that label because they’re attacked and disenfranchised under that label. Those people are still white, black, etc. Black gay people are still black. it’s not like a cop stops to ask any of us if we’re gay or not before they shoot us 8xs in the back. so this really shouldn’t b “a thing”. It stands to reason that there will be white supremacist or conservative or right wing gay folks. Stockholm Syndrome doesn’t only apply to Black folks. But my black friends who happen to be gay should be able to share in the joy of marriage, should they choose, and I should be able to share in their joy in finding lasting love, as their friend and loved one. I want all black people to find love.
The backlash and conniptions produced all in a few hours over this decision are purely asinine. I understand that we say things without real analysis because of the condition under which our people live so it makes us have that paranoia about everything all the time. However… Distraction? Really? From what? How is this adding to or subtracting from any of us hetero black folks? It ain’t. This is all making us sound eerily white supremacist. And exactly what were the majority of us going to do otherwise? I’ll wait. If you’re not gay, this is just a headline. Forget it in 2 weeks like the rest of them. There’s even a meme floating around that says something to the effect of, “legalize being black in america”. SERIOUSLY? The topic is marriage. Not life! We’ve had the marriage fight. Twice, in fact. We won both. If it’s a question of life, they don’t have legal protection either! Gay and trans folk, especially the black ones, continue to get murdered and be victims of hate crimes. So what is the point that that’s making? Taking away from our struggle? How?! You can’t think of more than 1 thing at a time? You can’t just say “yay” real quick and move on? THIS warrants the energy it takes to form discontent?! And we all do realize that there are black gay folks, right? The worst thing about this for us is Clarence Thomas’s statement, which may have set us back 200 yrs. But he just calls that “work on a Friday”. That’s all he ever does. So… Who should care?. Tomorrow, we can all go back to what we were doing.
I just don’t understand how and why “gay” makes people who otherwise purport to be reasonable and on the side of justice suddenly lose all ability to reason. Who in the HELL is supposed to take us seriously when the slightest thing knocks us all off our square like this and we sound just like the people we’re fighting. They said “gay” and folks are foaming at the mouth. They’re people! Not roaches!
My real question is, what is it that we’re actually doing, here? I don’t think any of us really know.