I spoke to a crowed at the end of our protest march in front of the Boston State House. I am feeling a desire by many to bring true change. But that will not be easy. This march/protest was aimed against policies on deportations and refugees and Muslims.
I am with Jackie here, she is my friend; I am her friend. She is my ally and I am her ally. We stand with others as friends. Let me be clear here: I love people. And because I love working-class people, I have decided I can no longer be a friend with those who support the legislation of hate. What does this mean? I will not travel with you nor visit your home. If you are against LGBTQ folks, female rights, undocumented friends, black, brown, and others, and if you support hate and American exceptionalism, I am not your friend and you are not my friend. This is not just a virtual notion; it is true for me day-to-day. If you believe you are “just” due to your faith — we are not friends. To be my friend means you are my ally, and thus are seeking to evolve by walking with me to denounce bigotry. I will work with you on the job. I am working class and have to pay the bills. I have no interest in your religion or church if your members are not allies. I will be nice and say hello – Mom and Dad raised me well. I will work beside you at work — but just know I cannot be your friend; if you are not my ally, we are not friends. If you are arguing about my realities and the realities of my friends and allies – we cannot be friends. We cannot break bread in my home or have a glass of wine.
I am struggling with this video by Beyoncé. On one hand it is powerful, yet on the other hand she is still a bit of a sellout to capitalist norms that exploits black sexual desires. Hence, an interesting paradox about cultural exploitation in the video. She will fool many; however, watch carefully and challenge the approach. Brother Du Bois often struggled with this too. I like that bell hooks reminded us of Beyoncé’s virtues and support of ideological ambitions that further the modern enslavement of black folks by empowering imperialism. This video is clearly present day and antebellum; it aims to heighten one’s awareness, while reminding us of white male sexual dominance of black women. Also, it shapes a southern black spirit I first learned in my reading of Toni Morrison’s “The Bluest Eye” and Alice Walker’s “The Color Purple”. We black folks have built a temple of idolatry comprised of black celebrities who prey on black folks financial campaign. I watched this video and I see a conflicting political message. Yes — like Beyoncé and other slaves to the industry, I am complicit in my contributions to the industry. I must admit that as an artist this is brilliant. It will challenge us for a while as we think about race, power, and the importance of feminism.
When you are sitting in your study at home feeling awfully sick, as is the case for me today and yesterday, you ponder why that might be the case; I suspect it has great deal to do with either the intensity of my training, the change in temperature, or the bad political ads being aired. I know it is not the temps because it was 90 degrees yesterday. I suspect the political ads are working me over. I have elected not to endorse any of the candidates for the position of Texas governor. Republican Rick Perry is a cowboy and a good old boy, whereas Democrat Bill White is really not much of a Democrat. Both are airing ads attacking the other for endorsing Obama’s stimulus. Moreover, the two of them have aired attacks against the health care bill which people call “Obama care.” When I hear this, the first thought that comes to mind is uneducated. Okay, maybe that is harsh, but I am only telling the truth. Americans are not big on socialism — so they say. But in truth, the average American knows little about political, historical, and economic institutions.