The Resolution of Fear is the End of War | Decolonizing Whiteness

As we push into the meat of Project Decolonizing Whiteness project, I wanted to make something clear about this project. It is not about essentializing white people and coming up with some concrete singular truth about white people. It is about pulling at the loose ends of racism and unraveling the abomination that White Supremacy is.

Changing our future does not have to be a Sisyphean task.

I invite people to use the tools of this project – the questions, the content, the data – freely. Find what you find fascinating within that which has already been created and share what you find. Let this collective effort blossom quickly into an unstoppable force of peace.

This project is meant to foster community building, to invite constructive criticism and to seek ways to “mend the bond torn by pride”, to quote the movie Brave. And there is something about these bonds that now must be said.

We are all human, yes, but it has been centuries since everyone has been treated as such.

It is only in the last few decades that any desire to do so has even been concretely acted upon, and based on the current state of our political and economic systems, it would seem that we are on the precipice of deciding collectively whether fighting against the easiness of repeating past mistakes – genocide, war (or as I’d call it, manufactured poverty), abuse – is really worth the effort.

Changing our future does not have to be a Sisyphean task. We are not doomed to live in a dystopia dominated by the ideals of technocratic supervillains haha. We do not have to resign ourselves to the eternity of suffering that exists before the apocalypse.

Perhaps we are so afraid to look in the mirror that we have denied ourselves a sight most beautiful.

I have thought recently that we are all immortal until we are not. That is to say, there is certainly no guarantee that tomorrow comes, but there is also no guarantee that it does not.

The sun rises in the east in the morning every day, and with it we also rise. Life is ever enduring, as is its nature. Our understanding of death itself even has been experiencing an evolution. A transition, perhaps. The eye of the needle we must pass through to become that which is new. To evolve not only to preserve itself, but to grow beyond that within itself which threatened its existence.

The knowledge of the terrors we have imparted upon each other in the past has become a strong chrysalis for our collective rebirth, has it not? Perhaps our wings are already fully formed, if only a bit wet and new. Perhaps we are so afraid to look in the mirror that we have denied ourselves a sight most beautiful.

When I think of white people, I think of the Black Mamba snake. Did you know that despite the many colors that a Black Mamba can grow into in adulthood, in its infancy the babies of the Black Mamba are extremely toxic and entirely without color.

The melanin, I suppose, may come with age.

It is no revelatory thing to say that black folx exist today as the living ancestors of all other people on the planet. Our genetics have been tried and tested by the endless storms that refresh the fruitful soil of our planet. By the admission of the very institutes that white folx have built to understand the world around them, we have come to know that the genetics of white people are the most recent evolution from previous iterations of human phenotypical expression. And so, then, the closest to being genetically newborn.

But the terms assigned to these scientific discoveries has produced the idea that there is an inevitable power struggle between those who have come before and who are to follow. “Dominant” and “recessive”… these words hold heavy connotations in our racially polarized and vertically stratified society.

I would prefer to say “Elder” and “younger”. So I have asked myself endlessly since even before the inception of this project. What has caused white folx to feel such terrified awe toward black folx? Was it the normalized narrative that Homo Sapiens “replaced” Neanderthals through mass slaughter? Was it the terrifying imposed idea that such violence would be inevitable?

Enslavement is an abomination of life itself, an action that has repercussions we are now seeing globally in the entire ecosystem from which we have forcefully removed ourselves.

Were we much more enduring and brilliant during slavery than we were supposed to be? Did we recover much too quickly politically and culturally after the Civil War? It took only 100 years for us to get from slavery to the beautiful liberation of Rick James and Fred Hampton’s Rainbow Coalition, after all, even in spite of the violent terror that followed us at the “end” of slavery.

There is a natural suspicion between enemies following the end of war, moreso from that aggressor which instigated the violence. Whatever the (worthless) justifications for such abominable terror are, it is natural to be afraid of the future that comes after the end of war.

And make no mistake, this last half a millennial has been nothing less than a true World War.

In my mind, to enslave someone is to force them into a process of dehumanization. Profit that results from this process is tangentially. “Slave” is a political designation, not an economic one. A statement of lack of protection or consideration. Refused recognition by other humans. Expendability. If ‘nothing is certain but death and taxes’, to those designated as slaves, the tax itself is their life. Their flesh and the flesh of their children and their children’s children and so on.

Slave owners, in designating black women the biblical Eve (I recognize that scientifically this is not literal, but we cannot discount how instrumental religion has been and continues to be in reinforcing racist and anti-black ideologies), attempted to purchase the future of our bloodlines as well as to monopolize through transactional legitimacy the wealth and knowledge of our past.

But how can you put a dollar sign on something which is priceless?

Enslavement is an abomination of life itself, an action that has repercussions we are now seeing globally in the entire ecosystem from which we have forcefully removed ourselves.

I wonder sometimes that white folx – in being successfully convinced that we black folx were animals, took upon themselves the burden of “preserving us” in the idyllic picture the propaganda of old painted of Africa as we do to animals now. In zoos. As work horses upon your homesteads. As pets. As sexual or other physical relief to protect against harming those that were actually seen as humans. As target practice.

We were forced to be everything in the world that your ancestors needed.

We were forced to be nothing you felt you would ever need to compete with. An insurance for a peaceful future built upon the necessary evil of destruction of an entire other culture (biologically and socially) of human.

We were brainwashed to believe we deserved it.

I’m rambling now, I think I recognize that. But there is something beautiful about being able to write freely (another “luxury” denied my ancestors) when there is no threat of being interrupted or told to “get to the point” for the benefit of others. The simple freedom of unfettered expression.

It is so very seldom that we as black women are listened to unless there is something in our words that may be profited from. And make no mistake, the glowing feeling of having learned something, of having evolved in this moment to become a better person, is a kind of profit.

Black folx are not responsible for your evolution. There is no debt that our race naturally holds that we must carry the weight of the world’s problems simply because the weight is heavy.

If there was any responsibility that black folx once held toward white folx, it would have been as an elder civilization to a younger one, to use all that we once new of the world and of the nature of humanity to help Europe move away from the endless warfare and natural scarcity of the environment that incentivized that warfare, to evolve socially in the way that those with privilege are able to lift up those without it.

That possibility, if it ever did exist, is no longer. The ransacking and destruction of our ancient universities, libraries, cities, and indeed the memories of our people, belies this. Perhaps we did once try. Perhaps it was ineffective. Perhaps it was violent.

It is hard to say when the vast wealth of our knowledge was intentionally obliterated. When the knowledge of our civilizations was obscured, our monuments defaced, our graveyards desecrated, when we are told that we didn’t exist where we did in fact exist. …Genocide is not only physical, but intellectual and cultural as well after all. And it’s denial is the final, most devastating step.

Perhaps Black Mamba babies are so toxic out of fear of their mother… but I tend to doubt it.

What I can do, myself. The choice I can make for the safety and security of black and brown people everywhere, the little bit I can do, is offer this olive branch as a means of ending this centuries long race war.

I can help white folx create the mirror they are afraid to look into, one that shows the truth behind the past decisions that were made in panic and in terror against the vastness of a world they had not yet truly understood.

I can peel back the façade of white supremacy which nonblack folx have always seen through and show the way in which colonialism has removed Europeans from their own self-knowledge, and I can reveal the door through which one must walk into the light of that knowledge, away from the darkness of the cult-driven lie that “ignorance is bliss”.

But you as individuals must walk through it. Not all white people (lol) will see the value of this evolution. Some seeds are planted in the soil but refuse to sprout. That is the nature of building a dynamic, truly free society, to be aware of but recognize that not all will choose to evolve but that we must evolve nevertheless.

We are fluid, complex beings, and the foundation of a cohesive society of such complicated creatures is much less concrete and easy to control than we would like to believe.

But for me all of this starts with a simple question to consider: what was it that made the tribes of Europe so thoroughly fear their mother tribes?

Is the picture we create with #blackgirlmagic and #blackboyjoy – of the greatness which humans could become and could create, of all that you could choose to be – too intimidating to even attempt actualizing throughout the world? Did you know that life does not have to be soul-destroying competition?

Perhaps Black Mamba babies are so toxic out of fear of their mother… but I tend to doubt it.

~ C. Louise

Wanna know more about me, my artwork, and my previous activist work? Check me out here, here, and here!

Check out the data on Project: Decolonizing Whiteness here, follow me on TikTok for updates and more content, and be sure to leave a comment below!

Let me know what you think of the project, and if you want to get involved with making it a success, be sure to let me know here!

Photo by Nazar Hrabovyi on Unsplash

Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly. Never again can we afford to live with the narrow, provincial ‘outside agitator’ idea. Anyone who lives inside the United States can never be considered an outsider anywhere within its bounds.”

~ Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

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