There are many older people who would pleasure in trying to claim they made me, but like Hov advanced, if you made me, make another! I have had various people involved in my life but none of these people have done a thing for me; I am bitterly, self-made, even if many find that difficult to stomach. There were no mentors, or influences; just people I bumped into, and various points of contact and exchange. Necessarily, however, feeling threatened by the raw challenge I symbolise, many people want complete control over my mind and body, as sick people must relate to essential people in a property-ownership equation, and yet, if these people really wanted to have something of “their own”, why did they not put in the work? Why did He not lay the ground work to cultivate and nourish my “giftedness?” Why did he abandon me and then later, assume I was the problem? According to Erik K Grimes, “we don’t know the problems… we don’t even know who we are… ironically, no matter which masks we wear, our children do know who we are… they know what we do and don’t do; as far as they’re concerned, we’re all the same: useless, weak, opportunistic liars… most black people work for the white supremacist agenda… we prepare our children to perpetuate white domination… you are a part of the problem… you hate black children; you betray them; that’s why they hate you.” Meanwhile, in his essay, On Niggers and Squirrels, Marcus McGee reviews his ‘responsibility as a father’ and expresses his despair and uncertainty in deciding what to tell his son to prepare him for the world. Unfortunately, irrespective of what he says, his mission as a father is already forfeit, for our generation died when our fathers were born. “We’re not producing warriors.”
As I sit here I wonder what I would tell my child – taking for granted I don’t bow to the fever! I would have to tell them that the whites cannot be trusted, and that if they ignore this demonstrated truth, they will be eternally burned. I will have to tell them that the world views them as a toy, an object, an oddity; something to be played with, exploited and manipulated; something to be duped, violated and denied; as something to please, to serve and to entertain. I will have to tell that when the whites ask to touch their hair, their curiosity is perverse, sinister and morbid; that it is nothing more than an owner “PETTINGS” their dog; I will have to tell them to see through the fraudulent smiles and realise that they will only ever see the ugly but true face of whites when the situation is desperate, such as a wartime situation, or during the rule of marshal law. I will have to tell them that the white world pretends; that the white world tolerates them; that the white world is racist man as well as racist woman. I will have to tell them that the whites only speak truthfully when they are not around; that the whites view them with paternal contempt and anything but something serious; I will tell them that no white person will defend them when they are in need; that they will not get the help, advice or resources they need in order to function, live and survive; I will tell them that the people in power – of decision making – will lie or invest to exclude them from the “union”, and to keep them out; that the whites seek to protect and preserve their imagined sense of purity.
There is so much I could tell them and yet, the question is not whether or not they will listen, but why they should listen? Are they to take seriously with someone with few savings but an abundance of goodwill? Will they listen to someone they see getting brutalised and radically victimised daily? Will they pay attention to these warnings, or will they see the pitiful position of the people who attempt to play resistance, but remain woefully impotent? Will they not just ignore the reality of their situation seeing that the alternative to facing reality is pain, loneliness and insignificance? If they decide to weave their hair and bleach their skin, “Protesting” the mediocrity of being black, how can I comment or intervene? What am I to tell them? To “keep your head up?” Maybe there is little I can say to them; maybe the only thing I can do is write these words and see to it that they reach them, but don’t drown them? Most importantly, however, maybe the best thing is to follow Wittgenstein, and comfort them in these times. In the words of Webb, faced with solitude, there is a need to make contact, and connect with those who stand most alone: “A particular way of breaking through the sense of isolation is through touch. In the same way that infants need to be held and touched, so do persons who are experiencing existential aloneness. Touch seems to be a fundamental and instinctual aspect of existence, as evidenced by mother-infant bonding or “failure to thrive” syndrome. Often, I have “prescribed” daily hugs for a youngster suffering existential depression and have advised parents of reluctant teenagers to say, “I know that you may not want a hug, but I need a hug.” A hug, a touch on the arm, playful jostling, or even a “high five” can be very important to such a youngster, because it establishes at least some physical connection. The issues and choices involved in managing one’s freedom are more intellectual, as opposed to the reassuring aspects of touch as a sensory solution to an emotional crisis.”=