We’ve been tamed and perverted
when a Black Person gets murdered
uttering liberal platitudes and marching
instead of fighting for them – when they are alive. We’re all in collusion. Black men, in particular, like Christ or the Artist, are preferred dead. They’re easier to love and remember then. We prefer to mourn the dead rather than praise the living. While it is true most people on the planet — living or dead — don’t deserve an after-thought in the cosmos, there are still uniquely luminous individuals among us,
quite often they are loners or at the end of the line
or perhaps they startle when entering the café
or mesmerize when crossing the street,
sometimes it’s their words or voice we remember
or the scent of their clothes.
But it is safe to say that these people are never in positions of power. When they are — their murders sting, but they don’t surprise. Instead, we pretend we’re shocked when a harmless child or a struggling beaten down member of the Proletariat get killed. But all along we were just riding beside that Police Car, dispatching ourselves to the Fascists and believing in the sacrifice of our own
rather than the annihilation of a system
that seeks to destroy the Colored Man
with text, on screen, over radio, and in flesh.
Imagine a world where there will be no more funerals because there will be no more soil left to cover the bodies of the exterminated.
[The splendid painting “The Proud Father” above is by the South African painter, Gerard Sekoto, 1947. ]