Excerpt from Gary Younge’s Farewell to America

This is a quote from Gary Younge’s article published in The Guardian

“Terror,” the anthropologist Arjun Appadurai writes in his book Fear of Small Numbers, “is first of all the terror of the next attack.” The terrorism resides not just in the fact that it happens, but that one is braced for the possibility that it could happen to you at any moment. Seven children and teenagers are shot on an average day in the US. I have just finished writing a book in which I take a random day and interview the families and friends of those who perished. Ten young people died the day I chose. Eight were black. All of the black parents said they had assumed this could happen to their son.

As one bereaved dad told me: “You wouldn’t be doing your job as a father if you didn’t.”

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Black Rage in a yet to be united state…

Rage cannot be hidden, it can only be dissembled. This dissembling deludes the thoughtless, and strengthens rage and adds, to rage, contempt.- James Baldwin

When you are niggerized you’re unsafe, unprotected and subject random violence and hated for who you are. You become so scared that you defer to the powers that be and you are willing to consent to your own domination.- Cornel West

The fleeting moments of life often bring me to rage. Some would prefer despair but that is such odd word with such drudgery attached to it. Despair is the place where all hope appears to be gone and life has placed the proverbial noose around your next. Despair is hope soaked in blood left in shark infested waters. To live with such a feeling is an inner turmoil. The great essayist James Baldwin replies,

“I have never been in despair…, but I am in rage…I can’t afford despair.”

Despair relocates itself in the naiveté of a misunderstood faith that makes demands upon God. Despair is more representative of the misunderstanding of faith rather than a hopelessness in God. God will answer the prayers of the righteous; what is called into question –“Who is the righteous?”

If I am then the righteous (or the called) and my prayers are not answered, then is rage viable. Can my rage be the invisible voice of the imago dei (the image of God)? Baldwin would say no because in his estimation,

“Rage cannot be hidden.”

Rage as a viable, tangible characteristic of God is hard to digest for some. Drawing upon a bell hooks’ thought I define rage, theologically, as a black theological discourse in response to a racist power structure.

The greatest fear for many people may very well be the moment when they say, “I don’t give a damn.” That is a moment when life becomes an instantaneous reality beckoning upon mishap –we begin to make decisions that will have lifelong implications out of temporary circumstances. Or, maybe, that is the very issue in and of itself. The things that we thought were temporary circumstances were actually systems that have been put in place to keep us subjugated and fitted for marginalization.

We have learned how to “transcend our tiredness”-(bell hooks) in the face of the constant disregard of our sacred lives as they are overlooked with blatant disrespect. My black rage becomes an ode of beauty in the face of terror.

Black Love in the Midst of Black Rage

Black rage fuels the efforts to advance in a world that deems me as the afterthought.

Has the black woman isolated her love in protest…? where do I start to unpack this Black love.

I live in a place that is sacred but widely expose.

The soft kiss of her lips melts my anguish as I hold to this black steel in the hour of my chaos.

Black boys move with their hands held high but such anger embedded in their minds that their hearts will soon follow. Where is the black preacher except in their churches screaming how good God is…Does God really love black men?

What about me Lord?

This black rage is drowning out this black love.

I walk on the riverfront with this essence of chocolate staring into my soul unearthing the last ounce of love I have…

My daughters– these jewels that have blessed my eyes, my sons–these men of value drive the legacy.

Exiled in rage, when I first experienced the touch of that fire that re-introduces me to that Black Love.