Saturday, April 17, 2010

Parable of the Black Brotherhood

Parable of the Black Brotherhood

The brotherhood is in shambles, from hood to hood, coast to coast, sea to shining sea. It is as Walter Rodney described in his monograph West Africa and the Atlantic Slave Trade: brother is against brother. There is no trust, only hatred, only the desire to kill at the drop of a hat, the glance of an eye. And sometimes it is on purpose, for the hatred is solid and unequivocal, based on religion or ideology or class or color. Christians hate Muslims, and the reverse. Pan Africanists hate nationalists, hate integrationists. Yelllow nigguhs hate black nigguhs and the reverse. A black bourgeoisie nigguh told me he couldn't help me because I wasn't a mulatto. If I were a mulatto, he would help me. Before he told me this a white man told me he couldn't help me because I wasn't "part of the family. If he could figure out some way to make me part of the family, he would help me."

Apparently, I am lost in the sea of my blackness, and so I shall swim on, loving every minute of it.

But let's get back to the brotherhood. I was in Brooklyn at an African festival when a brother crossed me, then said to me, "Sorry, brother." When he said this, my mind went immediately to Africa and the time Dr. Rodney describes (RIP): all institutions became corrupt, the political, judicial, military, all submitted to the slave trade. Baraka says, "The king sold the farmer to the ghost."

So things haven't been right since. Brother has been against brother ever since. A Haitian brother said to me, "Our African brothers sold us once, now they want to sell us again!"

And so it is. The division is complete, the hatred solid, the brotherhood nil and void. We see the fratricide in Nigeria. The genocide in Rwanda. The tribalism in Kenya. The madness in Zimbabwe. The rape of the Congo. And on the streets of America a brother cannot walk with two brothers he loves, for one of them will outdo the other in wretchedness. It happened to me today as I walked with two brothers. One said something to the other and the other was punched in the face, a knife was drawn. Earlier in the day a brother asked for change for a hundred dollars, one brother had it but refused to give it to the other brother because of ideological reasons. This situation could have gotten out of hand. Thankfully, it didn't.

Stress in the hood is at an all time high, nerves are on end, one must be careful what one says, the glance of an eye, for we are anxious to take each other out--each other, not the white man. There is no discussion about taking him out, only each other, in our cowardly white supremacy mentality.

Meanwhile six banks control 60% of the US GNP. The same banks who caused the global economic meltdown, the same banks who are spending one million dollars per day to lobby against reform. As Mao said, the reactionaries will never put down their butcher knives, they will never turn into Buddha heads.

There must be a healing of the black brotherhood, hood to hood, coast to coast, sea to shining sea. The choice is simple: liberty or death!

1 comment:

  1. Well written and so sorrowfully true. I wanted to disagree and say no, there are brothers out there doing the right thing. It's not that it is not true its just not enough of them.