For the Record I don't give a damn about what some White Man who called me a Nigger on here thinks about anything I post. Let that be a point of reference for eternity. That's the problem we are tired of being called Niggers and treated as such: I am not one that let you dictate my thoughts or what I should express. This is not written by me but by an extremely intelligent black woman. Let me guess you are curious what she has become and feel sorry for her. 🤣 Of course she is a Knotty head that's wisdom in itself
Crystal A. deGregory, Ph.D. is a research fellow at the MTSU Center for Historic Preservation and the founder of HBCUstory. Known for her collaborative advocacy and entrepreneurial leadership, as a historian and storyteller, she is a gifted orator and sought-after commentator. She offers a wide range of expertise on multiple topics including history, culture, education, black fraternity and sorority life, and, of course, HBCUs, for publications including TIME, the American Historical Review, and the New York Times.
The executions of Ahmaud Arbery, Tony McDade, Breonna Taylor, David McAtee, George Floyd, and countless other unarmed black men and women have ignited a series of protests that have moved from Minneapolis, Minnesota to cities all across the United States, and now the world over.
The gig, it seems, is up.
Black people in America, who have for the last four centuries not known what it was like to live without the crushing weight of racism’s constant burden, are using their bodies once again to mount a visible protest that strikes at the heart of white America’s most visceral fear: the upending of white supremacy and its weaponizing of racism.
White supremacy has, for the last four centuries, readily killed black people in the equivalent of their Sunday’s best dresses, tailored suits, hosiery, and socks, just as it dears to kill on today’s phone cameras and live-streaming social media—all without losing stride.
White supremacy does not care about the preservation of black life—period.
White supremacy, like all other oppressions, only begrudgingly values its oppressed as possessions; especially prized are the oppressed when they are beholden to their oppressors. This is true even in a self-described black city where intangible truths are hard for some to see in a town-turned-monument of black achievement. In large part, it usually remains virtually undetectable until the reward for black people who had to work twice as hard to assume prominent positions is being reduced to serve as black respectability spokespersons who must indict improper expressions of black pain—lest they lose their likely economic and socially-privileged place as protectors of proverbial black peace.
There are some parts of these respectability proclamations which are intended to be self-preserving. Like us, no one among their ranks wants more loss of black life or the persecution and deaths of our allies. Peaceable blackness has long been our cherished tactic of self-defense.
But even black nonviolence is almost always met with deadly white violence.
That is why black respectability, no matter how advantageous for some, will not save us all. That is why Atlanta, Georgia is not Wakanda. And that is precisely why a tongue-lashing by its black leadership would be laughable were it not so pitiable.
Once written in broad black strokes on white backdrops, signs that formerly read “For Whites Only,” have been replaced with the descriptors: “private,” “elite” and “highly-competitive.” Their coded references, however, are not missed on us. Likewise, we know that despite white criminality and its dereliction of community and diminishing of character, there is no discussion, popular or otherwise, of white-on-white violence—just as we should now all know that “gangster” and “thug” are the not so new N-words.
Even white kindness, white affection, and yes, white love of black people, often belies white complicity and white profit from white privilege.
And white people know it too.
White people have, for the last four centuries, been the beneficiaries of white privilege, racism, and white supremacy. Through looting, rape, and mass murder, white supremacy has overseen the building of civilizations that are anything but civilized for those seized through its pillage of people, places and things.
In exchange, white supremacy demands that black people satisfy their thirst for freedom with sips from sorrow’s bitter cup. White supremacy demands that black people speak right, look right, walk right, drive right, live right, grovel right, and even that we die right.
You see, whiteness says that black freedom is undeserved, if one’s pants sag. Whiteness says justice does not belong to the black queer or black unchristian. Whiteness says equality extends only to special super blacks who demonstrate sublime articulation and enviable exceptionality.
And sadly, toxic black respectability says so too.
We must go to the right schools, join the right fraternal and professional clubs. We must be happy to explain to self-deputizing white militias of many, or of one, who we are, why we are where we are, and who gave us permission to be there. We must always assail white fear of black bodies as if we have no souls. We must say “sir” and “ma’am” when interacting with police—anything else, including not keeping our hands on the steering wheel, or having a prepared presentation of a valid driver’s license, registration, and insurance is asking for “it.”
It is trouble. It is a “roughing up,” a “beating down,” or a “choking out.”
It could very well mean the taking of any of our lives—without more than a cursory investigation that is unlikely to yield more than very temporary desk duty with pay.
Once upon a time, it fetishized the lynching and castration of black men and boys whether or not their tucked in shirt and pants were replete with ties—and particularly if they wore their serviceman uniform. Once upon a time, its pro-life convictions felt no hypocrisy as it gleefully lynched pregnant black women donning high-neck and ankle-length dresses from trees only to savor cutting unborn fetuses from their bodies. Once upon a time, it burned entire families alive and entire black communities to the ground in order to loot their enterprises and steal their land.
White supremacy isn’t particularly discriminating in how it kills its victims.
Today, it will just as easily string you up on a noose as it will shoot you with a bullet. It will weigh you down with poverty and then suffocate you just as it will infect you with COVID-19. It will make your insides sick with ailments of all kinds as a result of consuming repeating displays of the violent physical and emotional traumas inflicted upon colored peoples.
Added to everything, it is now also the duty of blackness to consume and share endlessly, the imagery of black death in order to explain to white people what they already know: racism is real, it is systematic, and it is deadly. This, y’all, after four centuries of unimaginable, unmitigated evil, might just be the greatest ruse of them all.
So save your moral protestations. Do not tell me that black folk are making the world less safe because of how we protest. Black people are unsafe because we must protest.
White retaliation happened when black people filed law briefs. White retaliation happened when black people sat-in, rode buses, held picket signs, and withheld their money. White retaliation happened when black people sang Christian songs and quoted Bible scriptures. White retaliation happened when black people faithfully prayed and endlessly hoped—even when white supremacy made us want to holler.
And it still happens.
It killed careers because black athletes dared kneeling to the National Anthem just like the police continue to kill unarmed black people in this country without recourse. It killed for trying to make a purchase in a deli store during a pandemic, for jogging in one’s own neighborhood during a pandemic, and for laying in one’s own beds during a pandemic.
And everyone knows it still kills.
Killings without indictment. Trials without conviction. Crimes without punishment.
It kills because white supremacy still reigns. White supremacy is the world’s longest running pandemic. And just like any other sickness, black people cannot love it away.
The struggle for black freedom is not a campaign for white acceptance or love. Love is a losing game. Black freedom is political. Black freedom is racial. And because of white supremacy, black freedom will always be radical. History teaches us that even efforts to win acquiescence by framing black freedom as an unthreatening colorless, powerless, demandless, love campaign has a predictable ending: the unleashing of state-sanctioned violence upon black freedom fighters and our friends in order to protect white corporate, institutional, and political powers.
That’s the gig, and for alotta black people, it’s up