Sunday, October 4, 2009

So, who will be the first to stand against...?

You know, it's I write this blog, the title aptly discusses our futility to mobilize and unify in our own communities.
"What comes next after nothing comes at all?" is a good way of saying:

"Our people have nothing better to do than to kill each other before they celebrate graduating from high school."

Or perhaps I should say it means,

"Let's march around and do candlelight vigils and pray to the Lord until it's our baby's turn to die."
Could it exclaim that,

"We shall overcome, especially in the Year of Obama!", for it's sole entity upon this blog?

I did not know Derrion Albert, nor Eli Escobar, nor Sean Bell, nor Amadou Diallo, or Pedro Oregon, Brandon Mcclelland, James Byrd, Eleanor Bumpurs. In reading (and viewing in some cases) these grizzly murders, it is apparent that the Africans in America, whether brought here by boat unlawfully or by plane ticket, are still under attack. Unfortunately, due to the rampant acts of violence and the emergence of the volatile, unstable black youth, Derrion suffered death at the hands of other these very same people who shared his skin hue.

The question is not if it was he that started it, nor decided to participate in it, nor if he should have been there in the first place. Where were the adults during the melee in the open Chicago streets? While most of the Chicago population were either unaware in their houses or schools, and the others crossing fingers for some worldwide games bid, these children and some teens (and adults) went after each other as if it was a territorial war in Africa. I need the after-school and outreach programs to step up in this situation, preferably our young African males that are capable to take charge and instruct without the social constructs that limit the resources through government aid. They wouldn't give a fuck, anyway. However, Chicago isn't the scapegoat here as well. Houston, (the Historic Wards , Southwest, and South Park) has its share of laxing on the monitoring of our youth and their activities when they leave school, or, for that matter, if they leave the house to pretend to go to school? Compton, St. Louis, and New Orleans as well needs some retooling. Who's down to help, instead of rapping and doing poems about it? No offense to those who do both the oratory and physical labor of improving our situations.

These things were put into place to disrupt black progression since. The children must feel ignored to have dissent in their hearts, and the adults must separate from them in order to exert force and rule in the harshest of ways. I must say this...since he inception of chattel slavery, this system has been designed to tear down the image of the African people, regardless of if we were bound or not. So, where are the chains if we are still bound by self-degradation and hatred?

It's almost as if this Willie Lynch letter has evolved for the millennium. Not again.

I work in an artist/after-school program that has a fortunate few to help experience neighborhood artists as well as national/international artists directly, and hone their own talents. It's by far not the most perfect, and yet, it's long-standing and it does put a chink in the armor of the establishment's ways of destroying black neighborhoods and families. SHAPE, PABA, FUUSA, Blue Triangle, PBUA, and Operation Outreach have a hand in teaching our youth much more than "bangin'" and "slangin'". The children that come from the 3rd Ward and 5th Ward area love to participate in the programs, because they expose their talents to the world and feel much more confident. Yes, America, positivity exists. However, I notice the middle schools now take fads to another level. Saggin' and fight bragging. Video taping brawls and 'scheduled' after school fights to post online (this didn't start with them, people)! they are showing no fear, nor respect for the elders, as they are starting to clog the Ward by purposely walking the streets like vigilantes looking for justice or bloodshed. At this age, the police are licking their chops, for it is all too easy to convict and restrict them for just this alone. Again, where are the adults? Parents, especially? Don't be surprised to hear feedback from the young ones that say their own brother or father jumped them into a gang, like I heard from these two young students over the summer tell me and my co-worker. Non-profits need help as well. let's also look for help within. What's wrong with leaving the club or bar alone for that night to put in 5 dollars a week to preserve a small area for the children to learn something about our legacy??!?! Donate to black-owned. But not just any, to the ones who are using it for the greater good of the uplifting of our people, intellectually.

The police has a nice target on the backs of our black youth, as well as our elderly and, what seems to be the new trend, our women. I've been receiving disturbing emails and video interviews of young girls they put away as young, as 12 years old, for life. Some of them have their children in prison. Most are either abused children/women, or accused by the real perps that left paraphernalia in their possession unknowingly. It is NOT the police's job to protect us. It is our own. We should be able to police ourselves. Why not? Wasn't it your mother or auntie that whooped your ass when you did something crosstown, or when you acted a plum fool in church or at the library? Wasn't it your daddy that got that ass when you decided to steal something from the old man's house, or chunk a rock at the elderly family's window? Are we that "screwed and chopped up" in the Land of Syrup that we'd rather think it's cool to sport a faux-hawk, some Forces, and some skinny jeans on our children so we could be THEM?!?
Where does the buddy system stop and the parenting begin? Better yet, where's the mentoring of our black males?!? The police's job is to make sure that your ass stays right on the plantation. Avoid the 'boys in blue' and corral your youngins into the house and learn them the ways of the elders. I need not hear about "Maaaaan, you know, Pook an em comin' out in three, but I was up in there, and Dice got shot. Imma come through and get my heat on em for dat" bullshit on the bus anymore. It is NOT COOL TO BE INCARCERATED. That is not a badge of honor. In fact, the 'badge' and 'your honor' put you there. Get it right.

Let's zero in on this foolery. First off, the radio airwaves will allow poison to wave freely as long as you have a conduit for it to be carried through. Derisive and derogatory comments on young black women and girls will continue if we done not hold those in charge responsible. My niece knows Jeremih' horrid ass song of "Birthday Sex", and yet, when she grows up, God forbid you'd have some brother trying to exude his machismo through the lure of illicit songwriting and fuckery. If someone can rap to you about 'knockin' down girls' (promiscuous bragging), selling dope (or how they used to), and flashing gaudy, ridiculous clothing with a name on it that they can't spell on a Speak and Say (Texas Instruments - old school), but offer NO POSITIVE OUTLET to avoid the trap, do you think the children will take the high road to intelligence, or 'Superman' that ass onto hustlin' for the cheddar on the corner? Television DOES NOT RAISE OUR CHILDREN. Get them the hell out of in front of the screen, and give them a book. Teach them a language. My nephew is learning Capoeira moves as I learn, giving him another way of expression. Introduce them to African countries, or customs. Something other than programming that has our children addicted to speaking like they have rocks in their mouth (i.e. Teletubbies).

Brother Jesse Muhammad (Final Call newspaper & @brotherjesse on has made the beckoning towards we few black males to take part in a resurgence of mending the black male youth's image and ambition. I heed the call, and I'm sure other cities will do so as well. Do not let Chicago put us into shock and awe for a young man that many will soon pass his death of as a "killing in vain". If we have to put together a panel, or posse, something will and must be done continuously to stop the direct attack on our black youth. Otherwise, we cam show how our swag is supreme in the state pen. Parents, leaders, ADULTS in general. Put down your technologies and help, or put that technology to work and let's save our youth!

Enough marching. Let's mount up and make it happen.

The Surgery, The Implant, The Transformation (Part Two)

I have a fellow Ifa brother, (actually an elder in a way, although only by a few years) that adamantly believes Ifa is constantly changing. Many Ifa elders (rooted in the Yoruba culture and directly from Yorubaland) dismiss this claim, explaining that Ifa doesn't move, nor transform, because it is how the ancients saw nature and their surroundings. My brother argues that Ifa also related to the situations and environment around them at that time. He also claims that Ifa contributed to the drastic changes to the world scape and lifestyle. He continues by insinuating (in a way) that Ifa expands past these studies that confined the wisdom to its own world including: trees, rivers, and animals, and the sky. The elders argue that astrology and numerology are not an influence as well, whereas he thinks it's an infusion of all practices. I believe both. It is true that I and other 'Africans in America' (from Malcolm X) will not and 'cannot be Yoruba' (from Dr. Epega). Instead, we could learn the wisdom of Ifa and nature's secrets to enhance our understanding of this world, spiritually and physically.

From my POV, I was asked by my dad to take heed, due to the fact that my name and culture (Igbo) stems from the belief of 'Chukwu' and other deities, and Yoruba culture would not be the fit for my own. In doing some research, however, the market days of Nigeria for the Igbo and the Yoruba, customs of sacrifice, devotion, and the naming of the children and the meanings don't stray too far from each other, if at all. I simply believe that the Igbo and the Yoruba misunderstand each other's main stems of cultural roots, for now most Yoruba are Muslims, and, the Igbo, Christians. I am also torn between my mother's old time religion in terms of respect. She was Pentecostal, (Church of God in Christ, or COGIC), and they, of course, conjured up spirits and healing through praise, albeit they all were worshipping Jesus. My Grandmother's old church was an African Methodist (AME) denomination. The psychological boundaries were pushed for me at a young age, seeing that the stories of the bible and hearing other versions of how we came to be kings and queens didn't come to me until college. I am now a few months from 30, and I don't see the resurgence of the old time religion I had back then from my mom's days on Earth coming through me, unless it's to revere her and my other ancestors at the altar. In a sense, it's right alongside with the Ifa lineage in praising those before us, but instead, it's not focusing on a figure that is portrayed to be "The Rock of My Salvation" (his Ifa splits would be Sango and Esu).

What I don't understand is that people spiritually try to run game on each other on these trying times. Apparently, "Jesus is to return" and people will get caught up in the Rapture. 2012 is right around the corner, and people are looking for great floods, power outages, fires, earthquakes, monsoons, tornadoes, stock markets crashing, Whitney and Bobby making a tour...everything to blame on their lack of spiritual focus. That's why it's easy to mystify a devil of sorts, (Esu is mistaken for this character often, although in Ifa the 'Devil' doesn't exist), and start praying like it was ammunition and God was firing blessings at their families. Jihad is a view one takes when it is apparent that one thing (I am not entirely sure where this comes from to be as truth, but still...) 72 virgins or so will greet the sacrificial being in waiting at their version of Heaven. So let me get this straight...the Christians believe in letting the Lord fight their battles, and they will become martyrs or die in the name of the Almighty God if they just believe and not strike against their enemy, and the ones that they call radical Muslims, or Islamic extremists, would kill themselves for the greater good of "Brotherhood" amongst the Islamic world? Beautiful, right? I don't believe that all Muslims and Christians are like this at all. In fact, I know that there are some people that utilize Ifa in the incorrect way. Lack of 'Iwapele', or good character. The Laws of Attraction suggest that you call into existence the energy you speak of, or will around you. If you want to be sick, you'd be worrying yourself to death, almost in the literal sense, if you will. Ifa teaches you to hone your spirit with the world around you, rather concrete or course grass. the government constantly tries to talk about slowing down terrorism, improving job increase, and better global connectivity. However, this system was rooted in massive hatred, and karma has to run its course, Black Messiah or not (*smh*).

I have had mad suspect Iwapele ever since my dad was doing his dirt back then when I was little. The Iyaami, considered to most as the witches who bring aje (wealth) or may cause wahala (trouble) if you disrespect them have brought an aspect of how I treat women to the light. I don't think I've been the same person ever since seeing how men treat women as commodities and not as equals. I was raised to make sure I don't disrespect females, but in seeing my father and his exploits, I wonder if that jaded my whole view on how women were soon to turn the tide. I haven't had the best of luck with them, and according to Ifa, this may be a continuous thing unless I set my father's and past males in my family's deeds straight. Spiritual ase resides with the females in a magnitude unexplainable. This is not pushing up on them. This is simply seeing where ruination caught up to my father in his actions. In this case, I think my father is the direct. I am not fully aware if my mother did anything herself, however I know she kept the family glued even when he did his dirt behind the scenes, and in the accident he suffered. He wasn't always like this, and for the fact that there was a reason I came through these two people, I think it shows itself even now. I am learning more about my father's side and my mother's side, only because now my mother has passed. My dad laments the things he's done, and he was there to defend and give us the things that may or may not have indirectly affected us. Still, the Iyaami are killer with the memory and gathering respect. If ever was a time for the men in our family to reap what our formers have sewn, they know how to enact on it. My father hasn't had a decent encounter with women since. A few that have led to his paternity suits, and a couple that lead him into heartache and most of them cheating on him. Another few have had the other man threaten him physically. One thing is for don't have to believe in Ifa for it to be enacted. This is just a sample, and maybe I'm wrong on it, but Ifa can catch up to deeds quickly.

But isn't that the way with most spiritual systems from the outside looking in? Not religion, spiritual constructs that show a cause and effect. Some repercussion. Some consequence. Some road take or not taken. I embrace Ifa and its infinite possibilities. Some may put it off on their own selfish views on who or what helped them, but nature takes it course, REGARDLESS of it you let it or not.