I hate hyperbole. Really. I might even say I loathe it. The irony — or contradiction — of my unmitigated honesty today is that I cashed checks on upping the ante on fear. In mainstream media… local, national, whatever the reach, it’s deemed a necessary evil in the world of ratings and clicks. That’s not to say I never exercised restraint — or some of my colleagues for that matter — but you can find yourself in a battle you don’t want if you protest. The powers that be know what sells, and analytics tend to confirm what they think we want to see, so there were times I gave the people what my managers said they wanted, even if it wasn’t necessarily good (or useful) to them. But there are lines I never cross.
So, make no mistake, my following assessment based on the world’s performance is not intended to over-inflate what I think is a quiet, looming threat to Black people, nor is to excavate any feelings of despair if these challenges somehow manifest.
There is a moral apathy that has, time and time again, created miserable conditions for Black people in America, and in our homeland. It persists. And this corrosive, bottomless pit of immorality doesn’t just desire to strip our rights away, our dignity, or true cultures and the truth about who we are — it doesn’t want us to live… to breathe… to exist.
This week’s Africa news brief about the religious leader who conspired to overthrow South Africa’s government and kill “thousands” of indigenous Africans — Black people — stirred unsettling feelings about what is ahead, and what is possible. I wasn’t shocked. You shouldn’t be either. I use quotation marks around the number of people this man plotted to kill (after successfully recruiting people to help him carry out the plan) because despite what the mainstream media has reported, I will not be diluted into believing the intended devastation was limited. It wouldn’t stop. This White man wanted, in effect, to genocide us in our Motherland to “reclaim” it for White people because they believe it belongs to them. And he was misusing Christianity as a means to pollute the minds of his followers, much like his plans for the water. What he, and others like him, perhaps didn’t realize is that his mission would have been a mass murder-suicide.
My ancestors and our surrogate forefathers — civil rights activists — have warned about a holocaust. How far it is on the horizon is unknown, but we can’t shut our eyes. Is it inevitable? I certainly hope not. I know people shed blood to ensure we can survive and live to see the best days. If you are not disturbed by the ceaseless efforts to undo the hard work to achieve a peaceful coexistence among all people, get disturbed. If you are not shaken by the ability of the corrupt to empower people to have dominion over your life, be shaken. But most importantly, if you have not taken the time get educated on why Black genocide is a real possiblity, get educated.
Black people risked much more than I can ever fathom enduring because they knew their hard work would live forever: James Baldwin, Maya Angelou, W.E.B. Dubois, Malcolm X, Marcus Garvey, Frederick Douglass, Booker T. Washington. (The list can go on and on.) Their opinions and methodology vary, which should be no surprise; Black people are not a monolith. Yet, they still shared a fundamental understanding: Black people deserve equality, and that requires the human race to progress. It’s a common theme I hope we, Black America, can share.
Violence is not the answer. Violence is not acceptable, no matter what side you are on. People are not nonviolent by nature. (Maya has said this as well.) But we should always avoid leaning into violence. I share the opinion of many others that we cannot always expect to appeal to the moral absenteeism of some Americans and the people produced by destructive Western ideals — the blasphemous contradictions of a supposed Christian world that exists by the predication and perpetuity of violence. Diplomacy and education are always the best avenues for advancing change, but we will have to draw a hard line if we want to live.
The case in South Africa is just one example of the dangers that lurk in the darkness only to be cast into the light before innumerable Black lives could be lost. It was as realistic of a threat as the next one that could be in motion and we are none the wiser to it. I can’t help but pray for people to come to their senses and learn we are all human… a point I tried to articulate last week.
But the senselessness is abound. I live in a country that has returned to its revolving-door debate on gun possession … these machines with the ability to wreak unimaginable havoc. Common sense has alluded us too long; we know how much deadly power just one individual can possess. Unfortunately, guns aren’t the only threat. Arguably, not even the worst. Weapons of mass destruction may come in many forms — and the most dangerous of all is moral bankruptcy.
It’s time for change. Real change… before it’s too late. Let us stand up to evil and tyranny. Let us also not be complicit in the demise of civilization. Let us strive for ways to help people see that harming their fellow man harms their self, and to understand that we are more alike than we are different. As true as it is that we are Black and White (and everything in between) we are all human, and God didn’t bequeath power over man to any “race” of human beings. Our lives are not frivolous and meaningless, no matter how much we are distorted. There is never any justification to take lives because someone fears what they see and do not understand. We all need to confront our fears instead of acting on them in the worst ways. We are all one, and I look forward to a day when we stop fighting the truth.
I feel compelled to leave with this quote from Baldwin when asked in an interview about prejudice:
It is easy to blame “the nigger,” “the Arab” or “the Jew,” or “the dyke” or “the faggot…” anyone who isn’t you. You don’t want to see you can be that person, and that in some way you are that person. What we call racial prejudice is one of the most abject cowardice.
Corey Washington is Founder and Editor of BNN. He has worked in TV, Print, and Digital media as a Freelance Writer, Content Producer and Digital Producer. Some of those media outlets include CBM, SCNG, CBS5, NBC4, and ABC7. He is passionate about the Black Press and advocates for the advancement of Black America by highlighting racial disparities in the U.S. and abroad, as well as great achievements in the Black community. When he’s not writing here, he’s writing somewhere else, somewhere in between, and probably in his sleep.