Remember and Wake Up

Remember…The United States was founded on the premise of wanting independence from European powers.  It was not a question of dominance, but rather a question of autonomy, self-determination and intentional isolation.  We didn’t enter WWI until the final year of armed conflict and it took the attack on our ships in Hawaii (not Hawaii itself or other Pacific islands) for us to enter WWII.

Remember…The founding fathers of the US chose protecting their financial futures over the basic humanity of specific people; they wrote this into our founding documents.

Remember…The narrative that seeks to portray African Americans as non-human has been alive in media, educational materials, popular song, slogans and our language since Africans and Europeans started co-existing on this land. The continued violence of the word “nigger” is based on this dehumanization.

Remember…Immigration of non-Anglo Europeans (specifically Catholics) was regarded as a mortal threat to the “integrity” of the United States for well over 100 years and still resonates in the cultural segregation of our cities.  We have still only elected one non-Protestant president…and we killed him.

Remember…Native “Americans” were here first and had thriving cultures that included systems of trade, spirituality, justice, agriculture, government, etc.  European settlers could only see them as “savage” because of the color of their skin and sought to eradicate them.

Remember…The 1924 Immigration Act was heavily influenced by the Eugenics Movement to avoid the importation of “inferior stock” to the US.  Largely promoted to limit the procreation of mental and physical disability, forced sterilization and other eugenic techniques were later adopted by the Nazis.

Remember…Women haven’t yet had the vote for 100 years and men are still in overdrive legislating their bodies as if women are chattel.

“Those who cannot remember the past, are condemned to repeat it” – George Santayana

Donald Trump is not a failure or an anomaly.  He is the full manifestation of the goals of the systems that we have woefully accepted as “American”.  If we truly want to deal with the challenges he presents to all but the most narrow-minded interpreters of the United States’ history, more of us have to be willing to completely re-write the book.  This means our work is not to “fight” or “resist” him and his supporters.  Our work is to birth a reality in which the virus he represents cannot survive.  The work is not explicitly anti-capitalist, but it seeks to de-colonize the mechanisms and markers of capitalist success.  The work is not anti-white, but it does not default to whiteness as a norm or automatically place white/Euro priorities at the center.  The work is not anti-man, but it demands that manhood and maleness accepts its place in a spectrum of sexuality, gender identity and orientation as an equal and not as a final word.

Donald Trump is the culmination of the American Dream; it is time to wake the f*ck up.

-ALD

Black Panther (opens February 16, 2018) – OFFICIAL TRAILER

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