Many years ago I wrote a small piece for a hypothetical daughter: “you’re getting old so I had to write this before you departed, to let you know its not set in stone I’m sure I’m your father, notice principles for death is lonely when born in the darkness, hold this message close a testimony when calling for answers.” Years later, educationalist John Gatto presented his “Letter To My Granddaughter” (November 2007). Evidently, the theme of these pieces was the concept of being useful to others in doing our duties as adults, serving the next generation, and likewise, this concern has persisted throughout my life: this desire for preparation. Often I ask how I can be useful to others as this, ultimately, is the function of an educator: one functioning to serve others without existing to become them. In my time, I have met a few people who purported to be mentors, and yet, after contact with them, I was no better prepared to deal with the challenges that unfold in living. After their residential, outings, youth clubs, and meet-ups, I was not prepared for being kicked out of home, for being dominated by white people, for being victimised by institutional practices; for watching friendships breakdown and families drift apart; for attempting to decide and commit to a career along with a consistent and regular source of income; I was not prepared to negotiating my future, and yet, these pathetic people perhaps imagined they were being useful for it was all they knew. They said things like “be yourself,”, “always save”, and “plan ahead,” and yet, what they did not show us was the charts, the graphs, the statistics. They did not show us the failures, the horror stories, the disasters and the violence. In the end, they did not give us perspective, and ultimately, as adults, they failed, even if they MUST refuse to take this responsibility for their weaknesses, vices and mediocrity. Either way, they were paid for their farcical endeavours, and make-shift projects whilst we, those they exploited, used and abandoned, were left in the same place, and so, whether effective or not, these people were “poverty pimps.”
There are a number of things that these people didn’t tell me or introduce me to, even though these early revelations would have been of enormous help in my efforts to negotiate life. They did not warn me that I would largely be seen as black for, in spite of variation, shade and complexion, I would always be seen as NOT being WHITE. They did not tell me that at some point I would struggle with psychological distress having to live with daily torment and the threats to my selfhood posed by people in the world. I did not know, but had they done their work, and fulfilled their mission, I might have been warned of a number of issues. That I might have to access community services with posts occupied by these vigilante gatekeepers who would collude in a collective effort to keep me from accessing resources that might enable me to immediately and significantly, substantially improve my quality of life. That I might want to pair up and bond with another but that this person, like myself, consciousness saturated by the mass production, commercial entertainment, would have desires for someone more demonstrably ambitious. That in spite of my immense enormous talent, there would be no where for me to channel these interests (apart form pub quizzes and television game shows) or that the people with less intelligence would overtake me as they settled in careers where people weren’t intimidated by their cognitive functioning, and where they had been able to cultivate friendships where others, like myself, had faced many troubles in trying to see past the errors and mediocrity of others. We didn’t know that “friends were only informants and infiltrators attempting to get close so that they could jeopardise and subvert; that the sick were masquerading as being well when really, they could not tolerate the presence of those less impure. We didn’t know of these clowns; of these apologists, of these people who having failed to pursue alternative models of existence because they liked it how it was; who having failed to conceive of, sponsor or support an alternative way, settled with things as they were.
I wasn’t shown that people with such diverse interest would become stuck trying to decide what single field to commit to as they resented being fragmented by being specialised, at the expense of their broad richness and wider horizons. That the gifted would struggle with “entry level” employment which was a form of servitude, and bondage, which they felt made them, despised and despicable. That others, although praising their writing ability, wouldn’t read or proof their work, and that their lofty ideas would not be taken seriously by academic circles they so desperately desired to penetrate and infiltrate. That the only people they could share their intelligence with and even model it on would see them as nothing more than sub-specie spectacles. That the very people that make them sick by their contempt would then move to “help” them once they had damaged them, and all the while, never embrace the fact that they were always the aggressor. That the people you wish to serve would not be serious, and that they would attempt to undermine all of what you do, including you. That their jealousy would drive them for they were sick people who operated at the basest levels, and that for all you do for them, they would not be graceful for they could not appreciate that which was better. That the people who complained had no plans greater than mere verbal “protest”, for they were really complicit with the way things were, only upset by the fact they couldn’t lead form the front, but at any rate, still a part of the matrix infrastructure, policies and practices. That the people, all in the abyss, could not see themselves properly, honestly and accurately, and therefore, were to always be without true transparency. That the people would always stand in their shadows and then wonder why it was dark. We were not prepared, none of us were, or are, and that is why our children hate us.