A Nigger name Token

My black rage is peaking as it does on a weekly bases. Every week, I hear and see the same driven monologue: black men are dangerous and black women are so promiscuous.  No investigation needed, just the mere observation of one, denotes the disposition of all. Black has become synonymous with free to dishonor, by any means necessary.

Black scholars and theologians are sidelined because they refuse to identify with scholarship that does not represent their thoughts. They are passed over for tenured positions due to their revolutionary intellect that has more impact in the community rather than the academy.  They present ideas that are vastly different than the Eurocentric platform that has been developed. They are ostracized and labeled as lacking because they challenged the age old frame of thought. They represent the people in what Greg Carr calls a “convening space.”  This space where everyone becomes someone and that frightens their colleagues in the academy.

Black athletes are “zoo-ified” as spectacles and rebuked when they speak out against injustice. Gee Joyner pinpointed this with elegance in his piece, Sherman, Smart, and Sam: America’s Caging and Censoring of the Black American Athlete:

Note to America—you are paying to be entertained not paying to verbally abuse the athletes who you vicariously and voyeuristically want to be like and salivate at their physical abilities and coordination.  Whatever sadistic thought is in the live and viewing crowd’s psyche should not be acted out upon these gladiators that perform for the viewer’s pleasure… The American media wants to tame if not destroy individualism and free speech and free think and harness the physical capabilities of the Black male athlete once he is done playing the game.  Be humble in an interview.  Be quiet about your sexuality. Don’t put your hands on a white fan no matter what he or she says, or, I assume, does to you.  The mystique of the machismo connoted with the image of the Black male athlete is being deconstructed for the 21st century.  No longer is the superior athlete someone to admire.

The voice of the black athlete has been silenced by sheer thought of losing advertisement deals and contract deals.

Black business professionals have to walk a fine line of being authentic or playing the role to climb the corporate ladder. The constant battle of moral uplift wrestles with them everyday as they trek through the halls of the business world. Yes they love their people but they wear a mask for 10 hours a day in order to make a meaningful income. They epitomize the essence of “double consciousness” in a practical context.

Black pastors looking to get ordained in mainline denominations that have a declared sense of diversity have to tone down their prophetic preaching in order to navigate through the ordination process. You must identify with a theology that under-represents or delineates the very essence of who you are. Though you have studied you have to fit into some sort of colonized Christianity box to be considered   worthy to be a part of that denomination.

What it all sums up too is that black folks realized a long time ago that we have to play the game until we can make decisions. It is a tiresome feat but the will of a people that come from the underside is tenacious. We can’t afford to quite because we have a whole lot of folks who expect us to succeed- failure is not an option.

The concept of tokenism is a real and dangerous game that is played out through the lives of many blacks. Unbeknownst to most of us, we are just pawns. Those who get outside of the frame and challenge the picture are constantly deemed agitators or race-baiters. I am tired of trying to fit into everybody’s concept of right. If I love black people it is considered strange as if black folks are not worthy of being loved but if I have angst with white supremacy then I am making too much of the issue.

  • When I make Jesus black it is questioned…

  • When I make everything about race it is questioned…

  • When I love my black wife it is an anomaly but when I fall in love with a white female it is wrong…

It is as if being black is a sin and god damn you if you are. But sense you are black and here, you need to be like us, look like us and do like us or else you are wrong. So become a Token because we can’t really call you nigger and get away with it…

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