You Think You “Smaat?”
FOUL LANGUAGE WARNING: Back in the early 90s, I was a full-time soldier during the time of Bush, Sr., and Clinton, the Negro’s first *cough* black *cough* president. If you can imagine the mind fuck that is the majority of U.S. military doctrine and trainings, coupled with the mind fuck that comes from being part of a group of people who personality worship, you’ll see and understand my line of thinking back then DESPITE knowing full well who my enemy had always been.
Those of us coming up during that era probably remember the Clinton administration announcing that it would be cutting the period of eligibility for welfare recipients to two years. Like most young people who thought their knowledge and wisdom exceeded that of those who hadn’t “seen the world” or attended college, I agreed that it was time for EVERYBODY else to stop taking care of lazy people. If they wouldn’t do for themselves, it wasn’t right that they’d get our hard-earned dollars. Ignore the fact that prior to joining the military, I not only received foodstamps, but also sporadically received welfare. O.o But I was “smaat,” as my grandma would say. Fuck an “r,” who needs it? Point is, you couldn’t tell me nothing. Welfare recipients needed to get off their ass, pay the piper just like I was doing or go find a suitable bridge to camp out.
Flash forward to me leaving the military and enrolling as a non-traditional student at a local HBCU (Fayetteville State in the hizzo!). I sat in one Annie Chavis’ social work class and it was there that it was revealed to me the late, brilliant brother Dr. Amos Wilson. She had required us to read Awakening the Natural Genius of the Black Child. It was at this point, my own natural genius began to unfurl, and my foolishly educated take on life began to disintegrate.
Always an avid reader, I started seeking out the RIGHT materials to read. However, there were still a lot of flaws in my thinking. For everything I got right, there were other things I stood for that didn’t quite add up, like my choices and concepts regarding religion, unconsciously embracing a poverty mentality, the notion that disenfranchisement didn’t exist to the degree folks thought (flawed thinking held that if you got a degree, worked hard, nobody and nothing could stop you from rising–ALL it took was a degree and hard work), mate selection, procreation. In other words, I was a mass of mass confusion AND I drank too damned much alcohol AND took up smoking for a short while just ’cause them Slims was so slim. *chuckling*
Today, as I listened for what some might say the zillionth time to a speech by Dr. Wilson, it came to me how the trickery of the media and those in control of the media, the schooling I’d received, the military indoctrination that had been pumped into me, and the fear born of a mother afraid to stray too far into the world had convoluted my mind and influenced me toward backward, traitor thinking, while leaving me to believe I was more progressive than my elders and peers, more forward thinking, that I was above all, escaping. While that might have been true to a certain degree, it didn’t necessarily make me more intelligent or wiser or lend to the escape I’d designed and lived in my mind. What it made me was someone much easier to shape and mold, because I believed I was setting my own course, doing my own shaping and molding.
That’s what a lot of us think, isn’t it? That we’re actually doing all the thinking? That these ideas popping into our heads have not been influenced by anything or anyone else? That we are smarter than the elders, smarter than our ancestors? Why? Because we have technology, because we’ve visited a few countries, lived a few places, experienced a few things, read a few books, listened to a few lectures, undressed the white boy, the Jew, the savage, bought a house and a car, partied with the white boy and girl, got white friends, let a dog sleep in our bed, taken a vacation outside the state or country we live in, owned $1,000 suits and shoes, palmed a check for a few thousand, wasted a check for a few thousand.
Eventually, the will in me to revolt against the indoctrination of these savages holding this earth hostage became greater than the BS they spread like a plague throughout the world, and I began to come out from under. I left behind, first and foremost, the reasoning that I was inherently smarter, wiser, more knowledgeable. When I left that behind, I was able to focus my attentions on seemingly innocuous mind fucks that seeped through me, silently binding my mind, like the religions handed to the black man and woman during and following their enslavement which has since been passed down to their children and their children’s children as gospel and accepted, but worse of all, validated by those who don’t really know they don’t really know, yet are in charge of molding and shaping young minds; the idea that despite living in a racially charged system, I only needed to work harder than the next man to come up, because the big G would be looking out for me and cast Satan aside; the taking at face value that certain diseases and ailments were part and parcel of the black experience; that I needed that white man’s vaccines to keep my children healthy and disease free and that my sister bordered on criminal for not vaccinating hers; that Aveeno contained safe ingredients; that AIDS was real (Much respect to the memory of Cpl. Frank McAfee—damn, I wish I’d known the truth when I knew you, man; to little Sherwood—the AIDS drugs took your mama and probably have taken you by now. If I had known.).
I’m still, in many ways, coming out from under. I fully expect to be coming out from under for the rest of my life, because the deceptive, penetrating psychology of this whole mind fuck runs so deep as to almost be imprinted in our DNA. We learning and bumping up against this shit as we go. Fucking up, getting it right, only to fuck up again. Repeat, ’cause, yeah, this is a cycle. One made for making fools of you and me, EVEN when we think we “smaat.” The point of this? You don’t have to stay tomorrow, where you are today. You can grow past and out of your beliefs and dysfunctions. The only way you can do this is to be willing to examine what you think you know, what others thought they knew and what, in actuality, makes the most sense. Trial and error. Leave a bitch be a bitch. That.is.all.