By H. Lewis Smith
Over the past year or so, many events have been occurring in the Black Community at the hand of the Black Community that continues to bring continual shame and degradation to the honorable memories, sacred struggle and sacrifice of African-American ascendants. Some may argue against it, but these acts continue to adversely affect the growth, development, and progression of the Black community, on a whole, to this very day. For instance, in November 2013, former NBA greats Charles Barkley, Shaquille O’Neal and ESPN commentator Michael Wilborn bowed down to and pledged their allegiance to a word that dehumanized, stigmatized and objectified their ancestors on national TV. That word is the n-word (n**ga).
It is this sort of pervasive 18th century slave mentality, blindness to such behaviors, and misuse of influential power– much-made possible by the blood and sacrifices of their own ancestors, that prompted writing the book “Undressing of the N-word: Revealing the Naked Truth About Lies, Deceit and Mind Games.” It is high time that Black America stop the antics, halt the selfish mentality of “I got mines”, and really use all resources they have to demand respect for the entire race within and without the community. Ignorance is no longer acceptable or the calling card to bring attention to Black America; rather, Black America must take the time to educate themselves, and in so doing, reality will be made clear.
The following are excerpts from one of the chapters in my soon-to-be released book entitled; “Undressing The N-word: Revealing the Naked Truth About Lies, Deceit and Mind Games.”
Forbiddingly, you learn today that your mother was brutally and unmercifully bludgeoned to death with a hammer. Now close your eyes and think about this for a moment: think about the heinousness in the act; see your mother screaming for her life and doing everything in her power to defend against and fight off her unrelenting attackers; think about all of the pain and anguish she endured as blow upon blow of the hammer welled down on her, before the final bit of life was unrightfully snatched with that last thud. Can you see it? Can you see the multiple plugs imprinted into whatever part of her body the hammer unforgivingly fell upon? Can you empathize with that dreadful moment in time?
Now ask yourself this: in order to memorialize your mother’s life and honor her sacred and beautiful memory, would you start using a hammer as a symbol or in remembrance of your mother? Of course not! To the contrary, every time you saw a hammer, it would likely stir up strong feelings of sadness, disgust, and, perhaps, even anger. The hammer would symbolize the bashing murder of your mom and, because of this association, you would elect to never disgrace her memory or embrace the cruel acts carried out against her by adopting the hammer as a symbol of the love and respect you possess for your mother. As a matter of fact, even if her murder occurred over 50 years ago, your feelings would not change and no one could convince you that a hammer is just a tool that carries no real power; rather, because of your experience, you would always view it as a weapon that unjustly ripped away a core part of who you are and someone that was most significant in your world.
In parallel to the previous analogy, replace the hammer with the term n**ger”; replace the mother figure with Black/African-American ancestors and present time Black America. The word n**ger (or n**ga or n**gah in ghetto vernacular) symbolizes death, terrorism and dehumanization in the lives of untold millions of Black people. Men, women, AND children were butchered, slaughtered, severely beaten unmercifully, raped, disemboweled, and castrated all because they were considered valueless n**gers. They were murdered with the chant of “n**ger, n**ger, n**ger” ringing in their ears as they drew their last breath. Racial slurs such as coon, jungle bunny, sambo, Uncle Tom, jigaboo, or porch monkey didn’t trigger mayhem, terror and death into the lives of Black African-American ancestors; instead, it was ONE word and ONE word only: n**ger. The n-word is the most infamous and profane word in the English language. The origin, definition, and acts carried out under the guise of the term fueled the African-American Holocaust—a holocaust that, sadly, has been sanitized by American historians.
I’m an American, not African-American is often times an argument advanced by many of those lost ones who have chosen to walk in identity blindness, trying hard to fit in or align with a culture not their own. Hispanics have no problem identifying with their culture, Jewish people relate to their culture, Asians to theirs, Arabs to theirs, and so on. However, some Black Americans desire no part of identifying as an African descendant because they feel some sort of shame in being associated to Africa. It matters not if your black heritage is linked to Haiti, Jamaica, West Indies, Caribbean, or India; ultimately, all roads somewhere down the line lead back to Africa, the Motherland. Everyone with a color-filled complexion has some connection to Africa; and if one chooses to learn of their past and origins, he/she will find that their truest history is indeed a remarkable marvel in which to be proud and one from which they should be more than thankful to have been born.
Black people are the only people on the face of this earth who have been detached and separated from their ancient history and culture. Their acceptance of being defined as the n-word is not the mindset of a free people. Ironically, some black people will reject the notion of being referred to as an African but will embrace the n-word without hesitation, and will fight to defend their freedom of speech to use the pejorative word.
Is it racist to refer to self as “African-American” or to celebrate Kwanzaa? Some see the celebration of Kwanzaa as a racist act. Some propose that blacks should view themselves as Americans rather than African-Americans, and, thus, should have no separate holiday. Some promote rejecting the holiday completely, using the justification that blacks would protest a white racist if they created a holiday to celebrate whiteness.
Perhaps, people should conduct their due diligence and research the origin of Christmas, Easter, Thanksgiving, Halloween and even the Christian religion itself which serves as an advocacy for White Supremacy. Ironically, the ethnocentrism celebrations of Cinco de Mayo (Hispanic and Latino), as well as Rosh Hashana, Yom Kippur, and Chanukah, just a few of the numerous Jewish holidays, are not considered racism. However, any attempt by Black African-Americans to introduce, acknowledge or celebrate any form of African culture is considered racist and taboo. Black African-Americans need to stop living within the confined boundaries of the 400-year-old anesthesia and start paying attention.
Acknowledging Kwanzaa would be one of the right steps to take in helping Black African- Americans re-establish their identities—unless of course Blacks choose to remain ashamed of being black as the indoctrination process was set in place to accomplish. Thriving black civilizations maintain dates of existence to well before the Aztecs, Mayans, Greeks and Romans even came into the picture. High time has come for Black America to take back the strong cultural identity that was stolen and contorted into some dishonorable, foul worthless sense of being. Black America must stop acting victimized and no longer remain powerless to an on-going 400-year-old mind control game.
Some may have a problem with Kwanzaa’s founder Professor Maulana “Ron” Karenga and, perhaps, these concerns do not go unfounded. However, one should not lose the spirit, meaning, and intent of the holiday based on popular opinion of its founder. As well, before one chooses to immediately cast away any credibility in the holiday and founder, lest not forget that America itself initially consisted of England’s undesirables, crooks, murderers and thieves; they were shipped to America because there was no hope of their rehabilitation. Now, America is the greatest country on earth, many thanks of course to the sweat, blood and tears of African enslaved ancestors.
Black America must not jump on the train of continual sabotage; rather, Black America must find the good in efforts such as Kwanzaa to use as a tool in re-gaining the much-needed collective self-awareness.
Many opponents of Kwanzaa reject the holiday and question its significance, but will openly accept and embrace the n-word without question—even while well-knowing the history of the n-word. How preposterous is that? A word connected to the mutilating, butchering and slaughtering of countless millions of black ancestors is used with no end by those same ancestors’ black descendants. Regardless to its newness or past life of its founder, for the liberated mind, accepting Kwanzaa as a “real” holiday should be a no-brainer, and realized as a step in the direction of black unity, liberation, and progression.
The book “Undressing The N-word: Revealing the Naked Truth About Lies, Deceit and Mind Games,” will be available in book stores nation-wide and in eBook versions shortly after the first of 2014. Also, to learn more about UVCC and its mission, visit http://www.theunitedvoices.com/. H. Lewis Smith is the founder and president of UVCC, the United Voices for a Common Cause, Inc. (www.theunitedvoices.com); and author of “Bury that Sucka: A Scandalous Love Affair with the N-Word“. Follow H. Lewis Smith on Twitter: www.twitter.com/thescoop1