By Aswad Walker
TIME TO LEAVE THIS ABUSIVE RELATIONSHIP
Waiting on other folk to respect our humanity when their four-plus centuries worth of actions plainly show they don’t is exhausting at best and harmful to us at worse. Whether it’s the “missing white girl syndrome” that ignores our pain, redistricting/voter suppression efforts, GOP-led election vote challenges that dismiss us as “non-citizens” or HBCU funding dropping from $45 billion to $2 billion with barely a peep of protest from the Congressional Black Caucus, the abuse has been non-stop.
Now “they” mad because “The Wonder Years” remake centers a beautiful Black family situated in 1968. But like Dr. Carol Anderson states in her book White Rage, white people historically lose “they” d*mn minds and then get violent (legislatively and/or physically) whenever they perceive Blacks have gained an inch in the game of life. It’s past time for us to leave this relationship, whether physically (leaving unwelcoming spaces) or emotionally (not attaching our hopes and dreams to their acceptance). Our well-being, and that of our children, depends on it.
ACTIVATING OUR AGENCY
Paraphrasing the words of journalist/activist Jeff Johnson during a recent Rickey Smiley Morning Show appearance, it’s time out for waiting for other folk to look for our missing. We’ve got to do it ourselves. Johnson issued a call-to-action, seeking info on any existing efforts to find missing Black people to round up funders to support their work. His point: we’ve got to move beyond complaining about “missing white girl syndrome” and invest in finding our own missing kin. Don’t tell me we can’t do it. Our ancestors built the pyramids and made America a global power. We gave the world religion, art, science and civilization, and the first female 007. We came before Columbus. We are the seasoning that flavors everything. But in the last few centuries, we’ve served everybody’s interests but our own. It’s time out for simply talking about what others aren’t doing for us. We must once again exercise our agency, our ability to do for self, to find our missing and to better support those we see daily.
WHERE ARE WE INVESTING
Since R. Kelly’s conviction, his music sales and streaming have skyrocketed by 500%. This begs the question, “Where are we investing our treasures?” R. Kelly’s abuse of children (there’s no such thing as “underaged women”) was the worst-kept “secret” in history. Everybody knew. For decades. But because most of Kelly’s victims were Black girls (and a few boys), nobody held him accountable. Including us!
Now, we’re running out putting more money in his pocket? I’m a father of six, four of which are young ladies, so I’ve had issues with bruhman for a good minute. But you shouldn’t have to be a father of daughters to see the need for us to do everything possible to hold those who prey on our women and girls accountable. Giving R. Kelly a gigantic boost in music sales feels like the opposite of that. Instead, let’s invest in Black businesses, Black children, Black voting, and Black artists that uplift rather than degrade us.