Nigger, Shut Up and Play

The brilliance, honesty and reserved anger in which W.E.B. Du Bois summons in “The Souls of Black Folks” is magnanimous. There is a passage where the Judge unleashes his racism, through what is deemed as charity, when he speaks to John. Demeaningly, he says:

“You know I’m a friend to your people. I’ve helped you and your family, and would have done more if you hadn’t got the notion of going off. Now I like the colored people, and sympathize with all their reasonable aspirations; but you and I both know, John, that in this country the Negro must remain subordinate, and can never expect to be the equal of white men. In their place , your people can be honest and respectful; and God knows, I’ll do what I can to help them. But, when they want to reverse nature, and rule white men, and marry white women, and sit in my parlor, then, by God! we’ll hold them under if we have to lynch every Nigger in the land.”

These very sentiments are echoed weekly, if not daily, by the sitting person in the white house. They are often camouflaged in coded language for white supremacist, but they “present” just the same . Oddly, but not surprisingly, many have chosen to agree with him as speaks disdain against athletes choosing to protest. You read the comments: these athletes need to appreciate that we buy their merchandise and afford them the opportunity to have their lavish lifestyles.

Ultimately, what this translate to is : Nigger shut-up and play.

Du Bois was right said there was this “amused contempt” that was connected with double consciousness.

DuBois and Cee-Lo: The Fence

Me and my family moved in our apartment complex

A gate with the serial code was put up next

The claim that this community is so drug free

But it don’t look that way to me cause I can see

The young bloods hanging out at the store

24/7 Junkies looking got a hit of the blow

it’s powerful Oh you know what else they tryin to do

Make a curfew especially for me and you

the traces of the new world order

Time is getting shorter if we don’t get prepared

People it’s gone be a slaughter

My mind won’t allow me to not be curious

My folk don’t understand so they don’t take it serious

But every now and then,

I wonder If the gate was put up to keep crime out or to keep our ass in. – Cee-Lo

I think I never before quite realized the place of the Fence in civilization.”- W.E.B. DuBois

The differences between Du Bois’ ideology of fences and gates, retrospectively, is strangely just a means of time and space with Cee-Lo’s perspective in “Soul Therapy.”

Cee-Lo identifies the gate as a mechanism of enslavement or control. Nonetheless, he understands that the gate works the same from both sides: it keeps crime out or keeps our ass in. The gate symbolizes that we are the crime that needs to be held captive so that crime does not get into the greater public. Or, the gate was simply placed there to keep our ass in—locked down.

What Du Bois supposes is that the fence is only for the places that are deemed as valuable. Those space with fences are white Kelly Brown Douglas call cherish spaces. These spaces are places where Black bodies are unwelcome and it is god’s will that white people do whatever it takes to protect those spaces. DuBois notices that the fence is an indictor of privilege. When there is a fence placed in front of the “ugly, one-room, cheerless and dirty” shacks lived in by the poor Black tenants the rent is increased because of the fence.

What DuBois appears to surmise is the objective of the fence changes when you own the land. And not just land, when you own whatever, it makes a difference in driving perspective.

Black Church, Black Messiah- Represent, Represent

I often find myself disheveled by the Black church, yet not surprised. An institution with such collective power but chooses to yield itself to antiquated ideologies that serve the oppressors. Yes, the Black church has become one the biggest purveyors of capitalism, but, attempts to shield itself with spiritual jargon. In the words of the Otis Moss III, “The church has become capitalism in drag.” It has lost its will and vision to produce a liberative theology for the captive, and, opted, for a seat at the table of capital gain. In the particular structure: truth, honesty, and integrity fails in comparison to popularity and maintenance of the status quo.

Salvation is a mere focus upon redemption of the soul with no concern for the freedom of the body. Therefore, preaching resembles messages that believe its God’s will to get your head beat in, by police, as long as you fervently pray for your enemies. But, there is nothing remotely sacred or Godly about protesting bodily harm. The church that we have inherited “is so damaged that at the moment it does not provide an effective rallying point.” Those parenthetical words are the words spoken Howard Thurman in 1965 but still speaks, vividly, today.

The threat of white evangelical theology is one of eminent danger. It introduces a god, a jesus that is pimping Black and brown people in these yet to be United States. (By pimping, I mean leading in a way that is unproductive for our systemic and structural growth.) It is not the Black Messiah, the revolutionary, Palestinian Jew who stood tall for his people. The one that stood for injustice in the face of death and held strong to his culture while disrupting the empire.

The Black Messiah is not what most Black churches represent today.

Cosmic Slop- How a Mother Loves Her Children

You can’t tell from this video but this song details a serious message about a mother catching hell raising 5 children on her own. She becomes a prostitute to make ends meet for her children and constantly wrestles with the decision. She is calling on the Lord on a daily basis but the devil consistently shows up asking her to dance the “cosmic slop.” The cosmic slop refers to how the mother is re-imagining prostitution as a means rather than a sin. George Clinton and Bernie Worrell combining of the cosmic and slop avails itself to unending ethics of speed, space and morality

Peep the second verse and chorus:
She was well known through the ghetto
Tricks would come and then they’d go
The neighbors would talk and call her Jezebel
But always with a smile, she was sure to try to hide
The fact from us that she was catching hell, hey!
Hear my mother call
I can hear my mother call
Late at night I hear her call
Oh lord, lord I hear her call
She says, “Father, father it’s for the kids
Any and every thing I did
Please, please don’t judge me too strong
Lord knows I meant no wrong
Then the devil sang
“Would you like to dance with me? We’re doin’ the cosmic slop”