The official theme of Black History month 2023 is “Black Resistance”. When people hear Black resistance, they think about the Civil Rights movement and all forms of social protest Black people have engaged in throughout history. Through resisting the oppression of life, inequality, and marginalization, Black people have not only won improvements for themselves, but they have helped to raise public conscience through exposing and condemning inhumane policies and practices in the U.S. and around the world.
In spite of all the Black resistance, it is very evident that the hate levied against Black people has penetrated Black souls and infected how they love themselves. The malice and indifference displayed in the Black police that fatally beat Tyre Nichols goes deeper than the uniforms they wore. There was an inability in those officers to sense Tyre’s humanity. The unhealthy internalization of hate experienced directly and indirectly by those officers caused them to perpetuate trauma in their own acts of maliciousness. When I initially heard the story of five Black police officers fatally beating an unarmed Black man who was already restrained, I had difficulty processing it. However, within minutes I came to realize the problem was that those Black police officers had succumbed to the same infectious hate driving Black on Black crime all over the U.S.. The systemic and prevalent culture of hate in this country against people of color has deteriorated the value of Black lives even amongst themselves. Black self-hate is not new but in the light of recent atrocities, George Floyd, Brianna Taylor and the numerous other victims of inhumane acts by officers of the law, you would think there would be some level of wokeness that would have prevented such a malicious and unnecessary assault. Unfortunately, that’s not the case. These officers reflected the same kind of heartless brutality that ravaged lynch mobs in the height of Jim Crow. Who would have thought that in the year 2023 you would have Black people in authority reflecting the same inhumanity on themselves that destroyed so many of their own ancestors.
It gives a whole new meaning to “Police Raid”, as in the police being an agent of extermination and people of color as the roaches. Roaches are a reminder of life in the ghettos and slums of government housing which many of our parents and grandparents could only afford due to inequality and injustice beyond their control. Many of the Blacks who made it out of the ghettos removed themselves entirely from those environments, physically and mentally in an effort to see themselves differently and to heal from the shame. There is shame associated with living in poverty and not meeting the standard of people perceived as having it together. Poverty and self-hate both reflect brokenness and if you are broken, then you don’t have it together. When it has been widely communicated that you are not in a condition of brokenness, you are just less by natural design, it creates a contention to prove that assertion as a lie. However, if you have studied Black history and understood the impact of the brutal trauma experienced by your ancestors, which has been passed down through mental echo, the adapted ways of thinking and being, you would know that Black people are not less but actually a large portion of the Black population are broken and in need of restoration of the inner man. Black people who have not come to that revelation will live in contention with that lie and go about trying to prove otherwise to rid themselves of the shame. I am not saying that we should not refute the lie of Black people being naturally less but to contend with it takes our focus and energy away from healing the inner man and striving for the higher mark set by the Creator, GOD Almighty.
We see contention with the lie in the acts of assimilation and conformity to standards put forth by those we seek to convince. We see this in the distancing of ourselves from those who are displaying their brokenness, to avoid being reminded of our own shame and any association with it. We see this in the support of removing things that remind us of our history of brokenness regardless of how backwards the effects are, like Black people who want to dismantle affirmative action and other social programs of assistance designed to even the playing field unleveled by ingrained systems of oppression. We see this in Black people who support crime bills that empower the judicial system to remove from sight all those who’s brokenness is on public display reminding us of our own shame. We see this contention with being considered less in the exaggerated emphasis on being more; the grand standing of self through materialistic extravagance and gaudy displays of look at me now. In all these examples, the inner brokenness still remains, and there are other manifestations of this, but I am not trying to give an exhaustive list. I just wanted to give a few common examples that most of us can relate to.
We need an increased Black resistance to the dismissing of our history and the acceptance of false narratives. We need an increased Black resistance to the mishandling of past trauma through violence, materialism, and all forms of overindulgence. We need an increased Black resistance to the dismissing of our heritage before the violent disruption of being human trafficked from Africa. Lastly, we need an increased Black resistance to hating our oppressors because we have been uniquely prepared to give them a liberating truth to break their captivity to a deep sleep empowered by a deceitful dream. There can be no greatness without first serving the least of our brothers and sisters throughout this world.
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