Simple thoughts on a better world

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The banks weren’t set up to serve the people, they were set up to serve the banks.  The people serve the banks in a banking system.

The country with the most might is the most powerful country, untouchable unswayable impenetrable.  The most might is ensured by the most money.  The biggest army needs the biggest economy, and then they begin to support each other, the army and the economy.

The system is not designed to be anything other then a cyclical support system for this industry, a monetary system whose biggest investor is the military industry: more money means more war means more money.  This system is not designed to improve the lives of the poor, or to eradicate poverty.  That would ultimately spell the end of the system.  It would be suicidal for the system to take away the need for anyone to accumulate capital, as the system needs that motion of money to maintain its cycle.  Eradicating monetary poverty would have to mean establishing a system that didn’t cycle around monetary wealth.

When a poor man wants to succeed he thinks about becoming rich, accumulating wealth, capital gain, each step of which involves investment in the banking system, a system that is set up and maintained by the banks.  The banks control capital on behalf of themselves and the rich minority, together forming the upper tiers of the system.  So each move by a poor man to become a rich man ultimately further enriches those in control of that investment, in control of the capital.  The move that the poor man makes is ultimately made to benefit the banks.  The gap between rich and poor is maintained by the poor investing in becoming rich.

If the poor could break out of the monetary system, in which they exist as poor, and establish a system of sustained survival that was not dependant on accumulating money, then they would fall out of the category of “poor” and break free from its associations i.e. the self-inhibiting and disempowering feeling of worthlessness. Worthlessness is related to definitions of worth and in a monetary system that worth is defined by material aquisition of items deemed valuable by the same system.  “Valuable” again is defined by value and value, outside of a monetary system, is an arbitrary concept, or at least a concept that can be personally defined.

If our ideas of worth and value, of success and failure, can be re-examined and recreated so that they don’t imply money or material gain, then we will have taken a
crucial and concrete step towards eventual emancipation from this system of capitalist consumer control.

I’m willing to work on it, utopian as it might seem, coz if there’s one thing the majority of us agree on, it’s that a better world is possible.

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‘White Privilege’ is a good idea

I too want to live in a world where my race and gender are irrelevant enough as to render them insignificant in the way I pursue my life.  But I believe that the only reason that I can conceive of such a reality is because I have been allowed to live in closest proximity to its potential.

I read a recent article by South African writer and teacher Chris Waldburger that he titled “‘White Privilege’ is a bad idea for everybody”.  I imagine it was written in response to an occurrence at a recent conference that we both attended at Waldburger’s school. On attending two of the many plenary presentations of the International Boys School Conference, both dealing largely with the idea of social and institutional transformation that South Africans continues to wrestle with, the discussion of inherent privilege found its focus on the hegemonic dominance of the White Anglo-Saxon Christian Heterosexual Able-bodied Male: in other words, me (these days people would call me an atheist…but the rest is spot on).

I felt the need to respond to his piece, not out of any anger or antagonism, but more out of a kind of collegiate camaraderie if you will.  Chris Waldburger and I both belong to the same “school”, metaphorically speaking. I have attended and enjoyed a couple of his presentations which have always proven both entertaining and elucidating.  We both teach high school boys, we both use English Home Language as our vehicle for education, we are both involved in something of a pastoral role in the lives of our pupils. It seems also that we both hold fairly liberal views of society at large, and so in the spirit of our assumed mutual desire to make this world a better place, I offer the following in response.

I’d like to start by saying that I find discussions about ‘White Privilege’ an exceptionally useful method for dismantling entrenched inequality in our society, both personally and in our broader communal and career spaces.  I’d even go as far as saying “‘White Privilege’ is a good idea…to get to grips with”. So don’t go any further with my work until you have considered his.

Seriously, read his piece if you want to get anything from mine.

Okay, we should be starting from the same page now.

The first of a few points of contention I have here is the idea that white men are being expected to ‘cede power’ in any way, to anyone.  This notion comes up constantly in this discussion and is used to justify the defensive action taken by many of my fellows when confronted by their inherent privilege.  I don’t think that we are being asked to give up anything other than our time in considering the way that we walk through the world carrying uncontested agency given the fact that contemporary society places such an evident premium on our lives.  I have yet to meetup with anyone racially classified as white, gendered as male, who has had to give up anything or has been denied anything because they were white and masculine. Whereas I have met many others for whom the opposite applies. Their gender identification and/or racial classification has been a determining factor in their being denied the same opportunity that I have been offered in my life.  By recognizing this I am not being asked to cede anything other than a comfortable sense-of-self that many others are not entitled to.

Moving on, to speak of such a supposed transferal of power as a “precursor to social disaster” assumes in many ways that society is not already disastrous for a vast majority of our fellow humans, largely due to an old social order that still pervades society, indisputably constructed on age old systems of racialized and gendered norms and values.  So it’s like saying that we better check ourselves now before this goes bad for everyone, which completely negates that it has been going bad for the majority ‘other’ for a while now and we’re just coming in early to the late game on this one. Waldburger develops the idea of the construction of winners and losers as being “no way to build society” but makes no mention of the reality: sure it’s no way to build a just and equitable society, but it is how society has been constructed up till now, and without dealing with that construction it will be very hard to deconstruct and dismantle it.

The first of Waldburger’s four reasons for laughing off the idea of ‘white privilege’ completely, deals with the veracity of the notion that ‘white privilege’ is predicated in any way on historical truth.  His central argument is that there were times of great historical suffering for white men and that this greatly levels the playing field. But how deep is that reading of history? And which history are you reading? It strikes me as somewhat subjective when you consider, for example, that you may have lost your job as a white man during the Great Depression, but as a black man you probably didn’t have a job to begin with (at least not one that offered any upward mobility or potential for career advancement, satisfaction or self-actualization).  One only has to examine the story of Harper Lee’s character Tom Robinson in To Kill A Mockingbird to extend this perspective.  Again, in the case of the world’s worst wars, if you were lucky to be one of the frontline soldiers that returned home alive and able-bodied you stood the chance of rebuilding a life out of the atrocities you had witnessed and survived…if you were white.  For the soldiers of the black regiments that fought for “King and Country” you returned to a life of either indentured servitude or second-class citizenry. The question then is, whose history do we read, and who wrote it?

In his second point Waldburger opens by referring to our colonial and apartheid history with a gross oversimplification and then refers to it as such. I think that he has constructed that simplification, in this case, out of a reaction against his discomfort with being made to feel in any way complicit in our ancestors’ ignominious actions.  I feel that he simplifies it in a way not many others do, at least not those with a more nuanced and deeper reading of history. In this instance it reduces centuries of historically verifiable colonial legislation and practice to the way “the current thinking goes”. That’s not really a just reading of history in this case, given the severity of the effects of that lengthy era of iniquity.  

If, as Waldburger goes on to state “Our environment, family, and culture have a huge role to play in which path we choose in life,” then we cannot discount any of those factors in examining the path that has led many to lead a life of subjugation and oppression, devoid of any choice in the matter, simply as a result of their skin pigmentation. An environment that developed out of colonialism and a culture of legalized discrimination were and are, as indicated by the author, crucial factors in the current comfort with which we maintain the status quo.  Ignoring them further cements our privilege in that, because we were not negatively affected by them we can easily “laugh them off”.

I think Waldburger gets a crucial aspect of white privilege very wrong when he addresses white guilt. Guilt is not assigned, blame is assigned and guilt is the result. White guilt is the result of feeling like we are being individually held to account for history, that we are being blamed for it, and so we feel guilty. But is anyone actually singling us out individually as culprits responsible for Apartheid and its atrocities? Not anyone that is to be taken seriously I think. Cranks and populists aside, there are few that could rationally hold our generation accountable for our ancestors’ actions, so there is no reason to feel guilty. Rather, as some have pointed out, we feel uncomfortable because we recognize our privilege and realize that we are unwittingly complicit in a system that sustains it, that seldom calls us on it. Guilt allows us to play the victim: “Why are you blaming me for something I didn’t do? Why are you making me feel bad?”.  Manufactured guilt allows us to avoid the more discomforting truth: we benefited from legalized racial discrimination and continue to do so.

In the third point the most popular spectre of colonial white fear is invoked, Zimbabwe, which is once again held up as an example of what could happen to South Africa.  Too much has been written already about this common misperception for me to take it any further, suffice it to say that the conditions that led to Zimbabwe’s collapse are not mirrored in any significant way in South Africa, most apparently in the fact that we are not being led by a megalomaniacal octogenarian with a penchant for rhetoric and power moves.

The real crux of Waldburger’s piece seems to revolve around this idea: “The only way any society heals itself is when it allows for excellent people to come to positions of power and authority.”  I agree, but the opposite applies as well. When excellent people are denied the opportunity to come to positions of power and authority, a society wounds itself.  We deny such people this opportunity when we deny them their history as an oppressed group, a denial that de-legitimizes their struggle to overcome their oppression and to construct identities beyond victimhood.  

Once again, our inherent privilege comes into play when we treat ‘identity politics’ as if it is only a game that we can stop playing and not a critical study of the lived experience of so many of the planet’s human population.  As a dominant hegemonic group we white men are able to quickly point to the counter-productivity of identity politics as it applies to us while completely ignoring just how important an understanding it is for those whose identity has largely been constructed by us: the ‘other’ only exists in relation to a norm that we have established.  It seems gross to now deny any ‘other’ that identification when it has become such a determining factor in how their world is shaped and experienced.

I share one of Chris Waldburger’s ideological aims.  I too want to live in a world where my race and gender are irrelevant enough as to render them insignificant in the way I pursue my life.  But I believe that the only reason that I can conceive of such a reality is because I have been allowed to live in closest proximity to its potential.  There are many for whom this ideal remains utopian at best, and discounting the truth of their existence in order to create a more comfortable one for ourselves ignores that, while we all have cards to play, some of us are still doing most of the dealing.

 

Scoring Walls #1: the album

Ewok Scoring Walls emblems banner

Artwork by @frshdsgn_dbn

SCORING WALLS is an album type collection of new Hip Hop.  It’s my freshest work.

I’ve been making this kind of noise professionally for fifteen or so years and this year marks 10 since I released my first full length album: Higher Flyer For Hire.  The fabric of that project has so many threads it’s difficult to unravel it all now.  Some of them are tangled, some of them straight stitching, all of them were weaved together in the work of an amateur artist turned freelance professional, determined to fly his flag high on a pole position.

This is Durban urban music.  By that I mean more than just rhyme.  I mean that it’s a collaborative album made possible by the creative contributions of various artists who came together when I put the call out.  That’s a Durban thing, combining across crafts to create something unique.  It’s a Hip Hop thing, mixing separate sounds and sensibilities into logical loops and patterns that find form as fresh flow.

To some, both outsiders and insiders, Durban is a waste of space.  To others, to those who know, it’s like the deep web: an infinite realm of possibility and a sustainable resource of positive creativity, exporting some of eMzansi’s finest up-and-coming talent.  That potential is there all the time, available for all of us artists to feed off.  You can miss it though if you are too distracted by comparison and not focused enough on what is in front of you.

The title of the album has multiple meanings, as any good name should.

Scoring is like winning, like earning, like “I just scored some new kicks” (shot DC) or “I scored a kiff chow” (trans: I ate an excellent meal) or “I scored a section” (I acquired a portion). Y’check? When you’ve got no walls to paint every one you do get is a win, so we used to spend a lot of time back in the day trying to score walls.

Scoring is also making a mark, a permanent mark, leaving a mark. You actually have to make an impression to score something, you have to leave a lasting impression. A permanent mark. Like writing on a wall, once you’ve gone and got people’s attention you had better give them something worth paying attention to.  Then move on to the next one.

So Scoring Walls is an album about making a permanent mark.

It drops on the 19th of December 2017, ten years and two months after I laid down these lyrics “I know where I’m gonna be in twenty years time / still on the mic kicking old man rhymes”.  That was ten years ago…ten more to go…

– LISTEN TO THE FIRST SINGLE FROM THE NEW ALBUM: “Master In Charge (MIC)” on a DJ AZUHL beat. –

Ewok Scoring walls banner clip
Artwork by @frshdsgn_dbn

I’ve had enough

I am struck by how I live in a world where those with the least do the most with what little they have and yet somehow they still seem to have very little.  Those with the most seem to do the least and still they have the most.  Those with the least inevitably end up doing the most for those that do the least, so that those that do the least can have the most by doing very little.

In this world where children raise their siblings, where children walk long distances for basic necessities like water or education, where they wait long hours to receive basic services that ensure that their basic human rights are realized, in this world there are other children who throw half empty plastic bottles of water into the trash because they have had enough, who pay for more of everything because they don’t worry about not having enough so they spend until they’ve had enough, who eat until they’ve had enough, who pay attention until they have had enough, who grow bored because they’ve had enough.  Enough attention, enough care, enough support, they have enough.

Those that never have enough are always making do with what they do have.  Those that always have enough always want more because they expect that there will be enough.

I’ve had enough.  In my life there were times when I didn’t have all that some others had a lot of, but I always had more than enough of what some others didn’t.  I always had just enough.  I’ve never had none, never not had any.  Now I’ve had enough.  In many ways I’ve had more than enough so now I have extra and I want to do as much as I can with that extra for the sake of those that never have had any or never have enough.  That’s all that I can hope to do, all that I know how to do.  Having had just enough I know what it means to make do.  It means you can make.  It means you can do.  It means that you have had enough and now you have the means, the means to make, the means to do.

If, in this world, some have managed to make do, to make, to do, without having the means to, then this means that I owe it to them to make the most, do the most, whatever that means.

I’ve had enough.

I have the means.

Make.  Do.  Some others don’t have a choice, they must make do.  If they have no choice, then why should you?

Le Pont (The Bridge)

INTRO

Outpourings of all sorts of emotions y’know?  Till you catch yourself feeling too much and scold yourself silently, softly, and proceed to “get real”.  Whatever.  That’s why I listen to bagpipes a lot, coz I like my sentimentality and I like it with some steel in it y’know?  That’s twice I’ve asked if “y’know”.  It’s cool.  You don’t have to know, just trust me: bagpipes, every time.

You feeling me yet?

  

MORE INTRO

It feels good to ramble on.  I haven’t written here for a while and I’ve wanted to.  I wanted to be consistent, to document all of the crazy cool world I’ve been cruising since last I blogged.  I wanted to keep up with all that I’ve been up to but then I wouldn’t have had the time to get up to much (catch me a 22 will you?).

Recently people have been asking me “Dude, where have you been?”.  Like at gigs, or coffee shops.  Of course the only ones who don’t ask are those that have been where I have been, or those who are at where I’m at.  I’m so tempted to answer like “I’ve been EVerywhere! Everywhere except where you were, although possibly in the same place but we missed each other coz we were so present…but I doubt it.”.  That would be too obnoxious though, even for me, so instead I’m like “Y’know, I’ve been around.”.

GET TO THE PONT (bridge it)

 
The thing is, obnoxious or not, the first answer is the truth.  The other thing is that if I try and recollect it all (everywhere I’ve been at) I will just paralyze myself to the point of poor penmanship.  So like the Black Eyed Peas only good album I’m going to bridge the gap and in the wisdom of my wife’s words I’m going to “Work backwards.”.  I will get to where I’ve been, by starting with where I’m at:

I’m at Festival d’Avignon in (wait for it) Avignon, South Eastern France.  Parts of this pretty little city go back beyond the early Bronze Age (that’s 3500 BC, so yeah, like 5000 years in terms of original inhabitants settling in).  The “Palace of the Popes” and the “Avignon Bridge” give it UNESCO World Heritage Status.  Every year around this time a month long festival of the arts kicks off and this ancient space becomes multiple modern stages for an international array of artists.  I’m working with a fresh group of French students and young performance professionals, artists all.  We have travelled from Toulouse to the festival together.  25 in total, with a beat boxer, a photographer, two graphic designers, a Graffiti writer, a rapper slash vocalist, and a crew of dancers.  In fact everyone dances, most of them professionally, some of them from pure spirit and feeling.

  
Our performance is called “All Elements”.  It’s a workshopped 30 minute production mixing voice and body, movement and music.  It’s young, unpretentious and full of life.  It tries to strip away ego and create connectedness, sometimes gently and sometimes with force, and it results in a trust that has allowed individuals to step out of themselves and build their own bridges.

I’m here as a Hip Hop Theatre head to play my part in conducting “the creation” as it has come to be called.  Normally a piece like this has only one (Only one conductor. Pay attention.).  This time though I am a guest at the grace of French choreographer Heddy “Le Chef” Maalem (heddymaalem.com).  He has honoured me with an opportunity to work alongside him and I am learning much as I operate as his shadow, not the least of which is some passable French (if not passable, at least “pas mal”).

EN BREF: SENTAMENTALISM (without the bagpipes)

The word in French for feeling is “sent”, from sentir: to feel.  Feel is “sensation”.  In English we speak of “sentient beings” or being sentient, meaning “having the power of perception by the senses; conscious”.

I’m all about consciousness, and “All Elements” in Avignon has me wide awake.  I’m feeling it, I’m feeling a lot of things.  Today I felt like writing.

Outpourings y’know?

“Through restless streets I walked alone…”

Fresh Rap Lyrics: Hused Whut (Who said what?)

[Listen to the track]

Be the strange man maintain a main plan / to put the can in the hands of the kids and / let them loose on Babylon’s buildings / I fill them with fire / Learn to burn up the Evil Empire / from the spire to the steeple / Conspire with common people / how the leaders and the people are no longer equal / From Osama to Obama / same dirt different hands / The CIA playing the same game as the Taliban / to keep the people stepping in line / Don’t let them see that Guantanamo Bay’s the frontline / not Afghanistan / Reverse the flow / see a whole new attitude / when they’re ducking drones on Pennsylvania Avenue / The Lords of War / them in control of the store / wanna hold the core’s what the war’s for / HUA! / People believe we’ve got a right / to hit Haliburton with a pre-emptive strike / Who are / the ones to kick back the canister? / Slingshot the rock! Slingshot the rock! / Understand me man / I’ve got an active hand / I want to throw up “peace” / while they throw up “gang” / but I stand my ground against a Mafia crowd / that wanna scam a common man like the Turin Shroud / with belief that’s baseless like nothing but the highs / Heaven sounding better than those shitty lives / So they guard the Gods and never answer when / I ask “Your God’s so great? Why’s he need you guarding him?”

Flipping the script…

Flip the script / Hused Whut? / See the situation shift / Hused Whut? / Gonna speak till they come slice my tongue from me son / Hused Whut?

Nobel Peace Prize? Ja well No fine / We gave it to De Klerk to clean Apartheids grime / with a whitewash / We might watch history’s course / and ask F W who controlled the Third Force / in Thokoza / 92 to 94 / Destabilize with your township war / See the white man never have to give back lands when Mandela got the magic that’ll wash those hands / Don’t say that! Don’t play that! The man’s a Saint! / Yeah in Hollywood maybe / but back home he ain’t / He’s just a a man / despite what they’re trying to sell you / Voetsek! He’d be the first to tell you / Pull him out dust him off / It’s election year / Defend his legacy and put your X right he / Madiba / His party / Shaya izandla / His body in Qunu / His spirit in Nkandla? Hhayi hamba! / If he’s alive despite his grace / he’d knock the head off the shower and then he’d spit in the face / to leave it dirty like spy tapes and arms deals / See the pictures never pretty when the truth’s revealed

Flip the script / Hused Whut? / See the situation shift / Hused Whut? / Gonna speak till they come slice my tongue from me son / Hused Whut?

What’s the story? What’s the big idea? / Got a shit load of unanswered questions here / but they don’t want hear that / don’t want to see that / All these Beliebers and twerk jerking brats need to catch fat slaps / Line them up / They all need to learn the real meaning of a wrecking ball / Shut down the Jol / Send them home to mummy / They won’t need those teeth while they’re sucking a dummy / If I’m sounding crummy it’s because I’m pissed! / They like licking their lips from all the ass they’ve kissed / They want to come act wise / They never question why it’s some plastic prize in these advertised lives / Now the pigs in control like its 1984 / George Orwell woulda been thrown from the fourth floor / Ring the alarm in the Animal Farm / is why they locked down Snowden and Assange / Telling us to “Calm down kids, who said? What does he know?” / kicking up a storm in your cuppacino…

Flip the script / Hused Whut? / See the situation shift / Hused Whut? / Gonna speak till they come slice my tongue from me son / Hused Whut?

I to I: no pats on the back from blacks.

I shouldn’t expect any kind of thanks (props) for rationalizing the obvious: I am a white-skinned man that is part of a global society that privileges me. I am a product of a history. I cannot escape my skin. Any discomfort I feel with any of this cannot be blamed on anyone else.

I cannot be blamed for being privileged, only for acting privileged, in a manner that: dehumanizes others; disadvantages others; degrades others; exploits others; disempowers others; or harms others. While this might seem obvious, it’s in the unpacking of just how embedded whiteness is in the global structures that maintain inequality, poverty and social injustice, that the pill takes on a truly bitter taste.

As Samantha Vice has written about white people, “We have an enduring need to think well of ourselves, so it is deeply uncomfortable to be told we should feel ashamed of ourselves.”

I am trapped in my skin, but my trap comes with comforts not afforded to others in a similar situation. If ever my skin disadvantages me, I have avenues of recourse, escape or redress that are not afforded to others. This nullifies any real disadvantage I consider myself to be in.

My recent work “I to I” with Kat Francois, didn’t teach me anything new about race. What it did teach me was to approach my understanding from a different angle. I learned to stay silent for just long enough to catch myself thinking. I learned to try to use that moment to examine the position I was in, in relation to the move that I was about to make. So I didn’t learn anything new about race, I just began to examine it from a position that tried to remove what I thought I already understood.

For the first time, I managed to consciously look in, to not hide away from the many truths about my skin.

I discovered how I felt deprived of any real pride in my ancestry.

I was honest about loving Hip Hop for giving me some sense of legitimacy, for letting me feel like I wasn’t the same as “other white people”.

I went from being angry at Kat for lack of a more nuanced understanding of South African society, to defending her against white people who thought that I’d “Let her off too lightly”, back to being angry again, angry with myself for trying to defend her unnecessarily. That was her point, “Don’t speak for me, you’re just doing what you always do.”.

Not a day goes by now where I don’t argue with her in my head. That was the gift of her performance. I have a constant character in my brain that I can butt heads with without either of us bruising too badly. At some level, I feel that I also provided a kind of foil for her, a white skin that she could spar with, who wasn’t going to retreat to any of the safe spaces with the jump-in jump-out nature of most critical white race engagement. She still has a lot to learn about the differences between whiteness in South Africa and in the UK, but she is sharp enough to know that they exist. I’m no expert on them either.

I got very depressed over the two-week period of producing this work, but I’m glad that we got to be truth-seekers and truth-speakers together.

I’m still pretty angry, but I’m learning to listen hard, to my own thoughts, before acting on them. It’s making it increasingly harder to pick up a pen again, but for the first time in a long time, I’m in no rush.

I to I: how the hell to tackle yourself.

In October of last year I asked Kat Francois if she would be keen to come out to Durban (South Africa), to create a theatre piece with me, to “butt poetic-heads together” live on stage.

Our topic would be race-relations between a Black European African Woman and a White African European Man. Neither of us knew what we were in for. Props (respect) must go to Kat and her fella Rob (photographer poet) for agreeing to work on this, and to my partner in all things life, director Karen Melissa Logan. The four of us dove head-long into the process of producing this work. We are all still surfacing. Again, none of us knew what was coming.

I have been unpacking my “whiteness” for a little over a year now. Writing and co-creating two shows, “YOBO” and “I to I“, both dealing with notions of what it might be to be white in this world, has left me properly spinning. At various points this year I have stopped trusting my work to the point of mini-breakdown. Thankfully I have not been alone. Truly. Karen and I have been fully on this quest together and much must be said for having a partner with enough energy to stash her own shit so she can shoulder some of mine.

The beauty of “I to I” has been to allow me to put it all on stage in the company of another artist who has both provoked me to a point, but also stood with me through what has undoubtably been the most real catharsis I have experienced in my 10 plus years as a professional performer.

I have only just begun to break it all down.

I expect to be doing so for the next long while.

The only thing that I can say for one hundred percent certain that this show has taught me…is to moisturize.

Here is a poetic piece that never made it onto the stage. Most of this show was about the process anyway, so in a way it had its day.

SWING

I’m not looking for that pat on the back from a black and I’m sure as hell not gonna end up another whining white guy / I’m gonna get by by getting the balance just right / gonna coast like a ghost / grey / unseen / slipping in between the cracks in the scene / the gaps in the scenery of this fractured society / Or so I thought I would / but it can’t happen / not with a mouth like mine built for rapping / not when I come equipped with a tongue and an intellect set to rip a sizable hole in anything you might respect / when I’m ready whenever you are with a pen for whoever you are to spit hard talking blood letting waiting to get beyond sweat / I will spit fuel to fire fools in my trajectory so expect of me that I will kill it with an ability from within the cranial cavity / dismantle dogs who would battle me leave ’em lacking an’ looking for missing parts of their anatomy like been decapitated by the words that I’ve stated.

Back then I thought that this gimmick gave me some legitimacy.
Like now I can walk freely through situations like “If you don’t know, act like you know.”
But I’m an actor, professional, so I can spot that dishonesty.
And I’m angry.
Angry at being told to turn that tongue on me.
You’re telling me I need to turn that tongue on me?
Why? Why me?
Why do I have to stand on the white side of history? Why can’t I move to the right side of history?
All I wanted was to tackle some serious subject matter.
I didn’t want to be the subject matter to tackle.
Set myself up as a bag at tackle practice AND I’m the player AND I’m the coach screaming at me like “attack this”!

How the hell am I supposed to tackle myself?

Lemme tell you where I’d rather be.
I’d rather be comfortable. Blissful existence to the point of ignorance.
I’d rather be where I can jump in and out as I please.
I’d rather be where if it doesn’t suit me I can choose to leave.
That’s where it’s at.
But it’s not where I’m at.
Lemme tell you where I’m at.
I’m at a point where I’m ready to fuck myself UP, knock myself the fuck out!
So sick of being conscious: Angry man being told he’s got nothing to be angry about.
Conscious, of how I’ve caught myself posing like all these punches I’ve been throwing have a point.
Instead of blunt punches. Blunt, like a glove. Soft.
So I’m angry, and it’s time that I’m taking the gloves off,
Like okay history, have it your way:

SWING “Why do white people get to be ignorant but I don’t?”
SWING “Why do black people get to feel pride but I won’t?”
SWING I never thought I had all the answers
SWING I never thought I’d learned all the lessons
SWING but I was so certain that I was asking the right questions
SWING and maybe I was
SWING but I was never asking them of myself
SWING SWING SWING
So now I’m shadow boxing acting like its good for my health but I’m swinging at air because there’s nothing. SWING Fucking. SWING There.

Except me. Try as I might I can’t beat myself. I can’t beat myself enough to discolor this skin I’m in. It’s in me. It is me.
The only black parts of me, are my shadow, and my history.
All I can do is swing.
All I can be is angry.

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Photo by SLOETRY