What You Cannot See


What You Cannot See

ADVISORY: There are references in the following content that may be uncomfortable or disturbing for victims and survivors of abuse or assault. And the first link is rated PG.

“The role of the artist is exactly the same as the role of the lover. If I love you, I have to make you conscious of the things you don't see.” - James Baldwin

Put your Wanda Sykes hat on for this.

Welcome to my world.

Not that you ever asked, but I'm gonna bring you into it, and woo you into a relationship. A transactional one.

I'll bring you to my house. It's a lot nicer now than it used to be, now that I've taken it from the original owners and improved upon it.

By the way, because I can, when I have the opportunity, I'll trap you in my shed. I'll deprive you of material basics, refuse to let you read or learn anything, rape you when I feel like it, and beat the crap out of you whenever you're not working expediently enough on the physical tasks I'll demand you do to help me build my wealth.

Or, whenever you dare assert yourself.

This is how it will be.

And this is how it will be for days.




And much longer.

I will even treat my dog better than I'll treat you.

And I can assure you, no one will come to your rescue. If you want be saved, you'll have to save yourself.

But even if, eventually, you manage to extricate yourself from this "relationship," with the covert help of other folks -- not all of whom will think you're entirely welcome, but most of whom will think you deserve basic freedom and basic privileges, that you and they will say, you've been denied...and even if I am tried -- found guilty, deemed to be ill, criminally and mentally, they'll say -- whenever I see you, I will treat you as the inferior root of my problems that you deserve to be seen as.

Your inferiority will be the cause of all my inconvenience. After all, everything would be fine, if you would just mind your place, and stay in your lane without complaint. But you're not going to do that are you? You'll be like all the rest.

Your self-assertion, your so-called self-determination and righteous indignation, your insistent preoccupation on being seen as an equal and treated with respect? Well, I will look upon that as presumptuous, uppity, arrogance.

You will not even have any right to be mad; your very existence will be the justification for every other reportedly wrong thing I will ever do. The fact that you won't manage to make your life come off as respectable as mine? Even after you've seen my example? That'll all be on you.

What's that you say? What about those folks that you heard about that I roped up and those towns I burnt down? Don't pay the stories any mind. The media lies. They're all the same. They were just gettin too big for their britches. Didn't know their place. Not that you will either.

And any public attempt at your setting the record straight? Well, that will just be a selfish focus on trivialities. Nothing to gain from that. The freeways that ran through your neighborhood were to help improve access. The factories built in your backyard were to help manufacture needed products and materials. The so-called prosperity of your kind that I bulldozed, walled off, and even burned down was to maintain an order that is more beneficial. What about all the good exploits I've put my name to that the entire known world has heard of? You could love me for that and call it a day.

The fullness of time will show that I will be responsible for a lot of progress. And what's it to history and civil-I-zation, if I extract that progress from a class designed for labor?

You're better off now than you ever were.

What do you have to be so unhappy about?

What is wrong with you!?

Hold up, even I've had enough of this. I'm scratching the needle on this record.

No more metaphorical gas. What's above is enough to drive home the point that's probably obvious. It's that the real questions to ask here are the reverse: What's wrong with the person who thinks this way? Does it sound anything like the rhetoric of any abusive person you've known, or known of?

I just ask, because I've been thinking, for the longest time, that the behavior of racists, at least of overt racists, is sitting right in the DSM-V. That's right. The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. They're nuts. But not in the peanut gallery sort of way. You feel me?


...the behavior of racists, at least of overt racists, is sitting right in the DSM-V.

Whatever the diagnosis is, it fits the slave owner, the slave owner's wife, the slave owner's children, the slave catcher, the slave driver, the founders and gentry who didn't see all men as four quarters human and all endowed inalienable rights, the biblical slavery justifier, and the passive aggressive and aggressive two-faced pillars of the community who wore ties by day and pointy white hoods by night, who held pens and gavels that wrote and pounded Jim Crow into the law books, statute by statute, state by state. One realty clause, bank clause, neighborhood clause, and white supremacist lynch mob at a time. And unfortunately it might also reflects traits of many a so-called fine person, indifferent voter, wallet-centric voter, one-issue voter caught on the multi-issue political fence, and off-kilter legislator. Lord knows, it could certainly pertain to this one: GOP Senator Who Encouraged Capitol Rioters Unironically Introduces 'Love America Act' - Comic Sands

Darlin, there were a lot of people like this between the World Wars. Look how that turned out.

There are still a lot of people like this. We know them. But what do you with the ones, plagued by narcissim and denial -- non-conducive to justice, by the way -- who are running things?

We need to arm ourselves.

Of course there's a time to fight physically but, man, I mean we need to arm ourselves with words, and be prepared to use those words against them. They should be the first line of defense. Even physical responses ought to be supported by word-based consciousness.


You can fight 'em physically, but in the final analysis it's words that trap and snare them. Especially when you use their words, words of law, and words of faith and Consittution, against them. Frederick Douglass was the finger that pushed the button on the words that persuaded Lincoln. And he didn't have to go any further than what was already in front of Lincoln that Abe had read, taken to heart, and held to be true.

Use words. Read them. Eat, sleep, and breath them, so you know how to spit them out. Use them to defend. Use them to take it back. It, as in, country. Your country, your flag, and your faith in something higher than yourself. Shoot, you have my persmission -- not that you need it -- to use words to colorfully slap these crazy types upside their heads. Notice I said, "words," now, I'm not inciting violence.

Join righteous words with non-violent action, so that whoever they are, they have no right, call or cause to legally hold you accountable for anything unjust when you get offthe bus, when you boycott and hit 'em where they can feel it. Or when you get back onthe bus. When you say that, though lie finds it inconveneient, truth is just not budging.

Watch out for the people who tell you that you can't love America and tell the truth about history at the same time. There are a lot of civil rights activists, advocates and supporters who would beg to differ.

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