“Hurry up. Hurry up!” the middle-aged White man called to his four or five-year-old daughter. Oblivious, she kept waltzing slowly behind him. So he raised the stakes: “Hurry up—before you get kidnapped!” And on cue, she raced into his arms.
This happened, last Saturday—and I was the potential kidnapper.
Perhaps he’d just screened Birth of a Nation the night before, and Griffith’s masterpiece had left a stain on his consciousness; so he knew among other interests young Black men held one highest: the snatching and defiling of White flowers. Or perhaps he’d overdosed on nightly news, which never relents in keeping the nation ever alert against the criminal proclivities of Black youth. Whatever his poison, he’d saved enough for his daughter to swallow.
She would grow up taught well the dangers of people who don’t look like her, how she must stay far away from them, cross the street when they’re passing by on dark evenings; she would learn how to look the other way so as not to make eye contact with any of them, how to hold a mace tight if ever approached for, say, directions. And much wouldn’t make sense at first, but over time she’ll know that her daddy loves her, and he means best, and wouldn’t stress these concerns if they weren’t real. She would grow up part of a society that still believes Black men are criminals by default.
And so would Malia and Sasha Obama, the two daughters of the nation’s first Black president, who was hauled out last Wednesday to silence millions of his citizens, Republican and Democrat, who’ve believed all along, holding firm this convictions for three years—that he most likely lacks the qualifications to be president: that, somehow, he’d gamed the system and passed as a natural-born citizen. They must find strange a society that swiftly patted itself three years back for tolerating a “post-racial” candidate who spoke against divisions, remembrances, and regressions, and dreamt of a colorless utopia where rising tides lift all boats. They would try unsuccessfully to justify why their father, like none of his predecessors, had to come out a second time, or ever at all, and post photocopies of his papers to document his 3/5th humanity and prove he wasn’t perpetrating some elaborate fraud.
They just might come to conclude that, contrary to all they’ve been told, racism is still alive—“they just be concealing it,” as Kanye West once sang. The “they,” of course, come from all backgrounds and rise high enough to determine which ways the pendulums of law and order swing in society. They craft legislations to be rid of the criminals, and keep them at bay for long as possible. And they enjoy the salivating worship of a corporate media estate relinquished of all ethical responsibility to inform the public of pressing issues.
They also lap up the ignorance of a civically illiterate mass, trained to cynicism and skepticism—especially when the truth is laid bare. “You mean prejudice is still…” And we all answer: “No shit. It’s just by accident these dark children are placed into schools that look like prisons, and later on siphoned into juvenile halls, which lead shortly after to jail cells which remove them forever from all forms of active citizenship.” But they know even when exposed to the light of truth, darkness is the preferred state, for it helps absolve responsibility to seek societal transformation. And many White progressives have long bid Old Racism farewell, assuring their Black brothers and sisters, “You see, now it’s a New Racism, no more overt, it’s covert; it’s all financial; the COLORED ONLY signs are now Redlining and Subprime Mortgage: so, it’s really Class—not Race.”
Only, truth crushed to earth, as William Cullen Bryant knew too well, always rises. So, out struts this bumbling billionaire buffoon, and since he’s managed to hold onto enough wealth from schemes, scams, and inheritance, the tarts of the corporate media remain bent at the knee, refusing to get up, pumping up every inch of Trump’s ego, trying their best to see him climaxed into the glorious height of idiocy only few ever reach—so even in the throes of defeat, he kept shooting, trained to mastery in the art of grand delusion: he was “proud” of himself for forcing the most important man in the world to prove he was human and wouldn’t lie to get ahead or pull a fast one on the entire world, as the shiftless niggers are fond of. And as he rose in popularity, tapping into the stream of belief millions have drunk daily from, the White House drew into panic, with eyes aimed at 2012, rushing to halt the “distraction” and “silliness.”
The president strolled to the lectern and chastised the media for commissioning this three-act tragedy, and enabling a professional ninny who believed he could rebuild his rusty brand by picking a fight with the biggest kid on the block: “We’re not going to be able to solve our problems if we get distracted by sideshows and carnival barkers.”
Then candor began making a long overdue appearance. Many in the media now felt obligated to call the hissing viper by its name. “Oh, yeah, he’s totally a racist,” they lifted in one chorus. But not until the nation had suffered the brutal harassment of history—in which Black people had been once declared unfit for freedom, let alone leadership—did their tongues start moving with the right tune. Didn’t matter that the carnival barker had been steadily tossed by their peers for weeks, and no one—beyond the semi-convincing puffs of Lawrence O’Donnell—bothered pointing fingers and naming names.
From ABC to NBC, CBS to CNN, top correspondents had all come with open mouths because Trump seemed on a mission, and if anyone could do it he could, and if they stuck tight to this one, placing all their chips in one load, who knows the possibilities—what if he wasn’t born here?
Well, he was. And they walked off empty-handed, absolved of what little credibility Iraq didn’t incinerate. But not before returning to the service of their customer of the month. At the infamous New Hampshire press conference, one of his many tarts, Andy Hiller of WHDH-TV News (Boston), serenades the defeated cretin: “Mr. Trump, are you playing with us, or are we playing with you?” Before reaching for a paper towel, he pressed further:
Hiller: “Sir, your hair looks so much better in real life than on TV…”
Trump: “I love this guy…”
Hiller: “Why can’t you get someone to fix it, it looks fine.”
Trump: “It looks much better than people think.”
Reporter: “Who has better hair, you or Mitt Romney?”
Trump: “He has good hair…”
Hiller: “But you have more money.”
On the station’s website, Hiller is “widely regarded as the most provocative political reporter in New England.” No wonder Mayans think we’ve barely 20 months to go before the aliens take over. Hopefully they keep the trade decriminalized, and institute weekly screenings—should guarantee for a safer society, as the state of Nevada decided.
Tolu Olorunda is a cultural critic and a former AHH editorial columnist. He can be reached at: Tolu.Olorunda@gmail.com.
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