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I AM...

I am whatever YOU think I am until YOU get to KNOW me. This is true for everyone else too, of course.. so don't make assumptions about anyone or pass judgment; ask questions. You might just make a new friend.

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Monday, June 3, 2013

WHEN I WAS A CHILD...

when I was a child

 I was sheltered
from the violence.
I was sheltered
from this time and place.
I was kept safe
from My own curiosity
about a people and way
of real, obsessive hate,
kept home
under protective eyes
and cushioned
behind padded walls,
by a community
masking fear
and pretending rebellion.
Oblivious, I played,
played hard
in the arms
of an Afrika unrecognized,
in the spirit
and arms
of a people
and space
of natural, disciplined love
amid a clear vision
of dreams undeferred.

I expected
an honest world.

I expected
a morally clean
and ethically grounded
social reality,
a world
where individuals
used golden rules
to measure
their integrity
and godliness.
I expected
good
to overcome evil
of its own accord;
unwittingly,
I expected Ma'at.

I assumed
that life reflected art,
pure, original,
hand carved, ebony art.
I assumed
that one's eyes
must reveal
one's soul
because I was told
that humans
did not lie
to lie.

I believed
in the heart
and soul
of white people.
Even while
we joked

over their
absence of rhythm
and rhyme,
I still believed.
I believed
We were all human
in the heart,
all the same
under the skin,
all equally human.
I truly believed
in the spirit
of universoul brotherhood

I felt comforted
in the notion
of peace on earth
goodwill to all men.
I felt comforted
cradled in
the progression of
liberal/open-minded and civilizing
western ideas and machines.
I felt the comfort
of a stupor –
relaxed,
without care.
I felt eased in
being at home,
in this place made safe
by democracy's wars.
I made believe
that one day
I, too,
would fight
as one

of the few
the proud
government issue,
that one day
I, too,
would be allowed
to save them
from themselves
as Wesley and Denzel and Will
have been allowed
to pretend.
I felt comforted
by the pledges
of liberty and justice
for all.
I recited them
from My heart.

I experienced justice
in mason's and matlock's court
where we were
served and protected
even though
we had no
true representation
as judge, jury, defendant or victim.
All in all
I knew
that I was free
and they brave
even though
I understood neither
power nor courage.

I sensed sure direction
in my aspiration

to be honored
and loved by
a people
who
claimed humanity
and
allocated salvation.
I saw
insanity
as sanity.
I even sensed love
and emotional content
in their distance.
I sensed
that any change
toward them
was corrective
and life-giving.

I believed
in the sermons
and conditioned passivity
of those
calling us
from behind black & white
"dog collars"
to love our enemies
to forgive our enemies
to forget ourselves
and accept destruction,
to cling to belief
impossibly beyond ourselves,
to save ourselves
for otherworldly salvation.

I believed that

the self-denial
of righteous rage
begot power,
that abstinence
against correcting
historical wrongs
bespoke
a higher manhood.
I believed
they were trying
to save my soul
from itself.

I sought solace
in the arms
of negroes/negoettes,
lost souls
championing justice
for all [others].
Solace came from
the belief that
others' justice
would bring our justice
out of a staged fantasy
where a few bad
apples donned sheets
and ignorance of wickedness
was their only fault.
I sought solace
in the goodness
of isolated, deliberate,
nation-serving, individual
european acts of "kindness."

I bet my energy
on excellence.

I bet my sanity
on a victimizing socialization
promising an upward mobility
judged by merit.
I bet that
these managers of chaos
would not see me
for the way I was,
that they would be forced
through the brilliance of
my act
to at least
grant me
a privileged invisibility.
I bet
that I could become
colorlessly happy
or,
if all else failed,
a black and proud
favorite.

But, instead,
I was led
along a path
where I stumbled,
where i stumbled again,
and again and again and again and again
over the piles of lies
and contradictions
left in clear view.
i discovered
I was wrong,
dead wrong
about
my expectations

my assumptions
my beliefs
my comforts
my sensing
my securities
my bets
my self.

So i learned
to watch.
And i grew.
i studied our truth.
i found remembrance.
i cried.
i raged.
i mastered self.
i acted accordingly.

i discovered
that safety
and security
in a place
that fed
on my spirit's death
was illusionary.
i discovered
that an
unprepared, stunted
maturity
left me open
to attack
from within
and without.
i discovered
that spoilage
gave free passage

on new slave ships
and old brutalities.
i discovered
that death
is not life.

i realized
that the drive
of empty,
pale, smiling,
lipless, fearful,
powerless "people"
to masochistically sterilize themselves
was a conscious effort
to conceal
their manifest destiny
as carriers
of chaos
and disease.

i found
out why
lies were told;
i found out
about fairies' tails.
i learned
why i believed them.
i understood
i was not them
nor they i.
i had
no conception
of soullessness.
They embodied it.
i finally
recognized death

and learned
to live
without it.

Mwalimu K. Bomani Baruti
"when i was a child"
in Battle Plan

2 comments:

  1. YES! Oh how we shelter children from the truth of life. Should be let kids be kids, so careless and happy. Or should stir them at least a LITTLE ways towards reality so they don't miserable when they get so when they realize it was all lies and the world is cruel. I blogged about this

    I think that had not been lied to I could have been better prepared for the real world. Thats just me though

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. yeah it was a shock when I came to find out that the adults DON'T know everything

      Delete

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