by S.A. Prince
There is a lot of misunderstanding when it comes to Black culture. I just think most people don’t know what it feels like (as a Black person) to see White Nationalists, Neo-Nazi’s, and symbols of the old Confederate, like the flag or a statue of General Lee.
The reason why I am writing this is to help to clarify what goes through a Black person’s mind when they see these symbols.
I am beginning to understand that Whites, for the most part, don’t understand what goes through a Black person’s mind, and Blacks have a difficulty vocalizing it. As a writer, it is my job to bridge this gap for everyone.
Imagine you have a daughter. She’s 9 now. You adopted her. She wasn’t your own, but you love her. She’s a little rebel, but her smile lights up the room. She’s full of personality, she loves to be happy, to dance, to sing, and you get so much joy in seeing her content and in her element.
Imagine that somebody took her and beat her until she was unrecognizable. That’s not it though. They tore her clothing and raped her, stealing her beauty and her youth.
Yet somehow she survived.
She’s back home, but she’s not the same. They took everything precious from her. Her innocence is gone. Her smile, it isn’t what it used to be. She’s afraid to even let you touch her. She’s doesn’t trust anyone.
You are having a difficult time reaching her. You think she may never recover.
After a while, she slowly begins to recover. She’s smiling again, not fully, but you can see a little smirk on the corner of her face. You caught her dancing the other day when she thought she was alone. She hadn’t danced in years. And today, today was the biggest breakthrough. You and her, father and daughter, embrace for the first time since she’s been back.
The man who raped her wasn’t just a regular guy who decided to snatch her. It wasn’t random. Most crime isn’t. The man who took your daughter’s innocence was closest to your heart. It was your brother. He’s out of jail now, and wants to come over to visit the family.
You let him.
Your daughter sees him and freaks out. She runs into a corner. She’s crying profusely, kicking, screaming, and shaking.
You walk over to her and say, “I know what he did to you is wrong, but we have to forgive him. We have to get past it, and be a family again.”
She doesn’t move. She’s paralyzed with fear.
She jumps up from the corner, runs over to your brother, and punches him in the face. She hits him again, and again, and again. You run over and grab her, and you yell, “What is wrong with you? Didn’t I tell you we have to forgive him?”
Are you starting to get the picture now?
White Nationalists, Neo-Nazis, and Confederate symbols are all traumatizing to Black America. But, they aren’t the problem.
Of course, everyone has free speech. But, before we talk about any Black anger, shouldn’t we be unceremoniously condemning and shamming those people who are the progenitors of hate?
Jay-Z famously said, “Don’t tell me what they said. Tell me why they were so comfortable saying it around you.”
Why are White Nationalists and Neo-Nazis so comfortable? Should Black America’s problem be with them, or should it be with the people who make it comfortable from them to spread a message of hate.
Was the little girl wrong for hitting her uncle? Yes, she was. But, what’s worse, her hitting her uncle, or her father allowing him to come over to the house?
This is what it’s like when Black people see White Nationalists and Neo-Nazis spewing hate and adorning Confederate symbols, and America doesn’t drop a hammer of shame on them.
Yes, anger and violence toward any person is wrong, especially since everyone is entitled to free speech. Groups that spew hatred will never go away.
But, everyone should be shamming them without ceasing. It should be an endless assault on what these groups stand for.
Where is your rage White America? You have it for every Black protest, whether it is Black Lives Matter or not. Where is that unrelenting rage now? Where is your seething anger at the Neo-Nazis and White Nationalists?
America, is your heart open? No, seriously. Stop right now and ask yourself. Is your heart open to truly empathize with the pain of Blacks?
If it is, can you understanding why Blacks are angry, and why seeing these symbols cause so much strife?
It’s a deeply seeded pain.
I’m not asking anybody to stand for Black Lives Matter. I get that some of the things they do are questionable. I’m also not saying that we should make any excuse for Black anger, hate, or calls for violence against Whites.
And, you’d have to be living under a rock to not see how poisonous Antifa is. Just look for yourself. See how often they (don’t) promote peace. You always judge something by its fruit.
What I am saying is Black anger is a mirror. Look into it. See it for what it is. It is not the source of the problem, but a symptom of it.
I need you to understand this, but I get it’s hard. It is hard for both Blacks and White to get what I’m saying, because it’s on a macro level.
Individually, most Americans are loved by their families (or at least I’d like to think), so they cannot even fathom or relate to what an existence devoid of love is like, and the psychological effects that stem from that. I’m not a psychologist, but I’d say that Black America is suffering from a form of PTSD.
Step back and see the forest for the trees.
I leave you with a quote from James Baldwin: To be a Negro in this country and to be relatively conscious is to be in a rage almost all the time.
Please…think about what that means.
Labels suck. Go read my previous article. We should really get away from using them. The lines between Alt Right, White Nationalists, and Neo- Nazis gets blurred. They don’t all stand for the same thing. There are good people within the Alt Right.
The same can be said for Black Lives Matter, Antifa, and Black protests in general. They are not all the same.
The only way to get past labels is to completely separate yourself form these groups and to get to know each other personally. We have to stop forming these clicks, so we can feel safe in a mob setting. Mobs are never good.