What Prince means to me!

It has been months since Prince passed away, MONTHS! And I am still in a state of reflection on what his artistry and time on this earth meant to a little girl like me in Barbados growing up in the 80s and 90s.

The truth is more than his actual music what I loved about Prince was that he represented all that I wanted to be then and all that I want to be now; myself without apology!  He was himself without apology and on full show. He had fun with the way he presented that self to the world and made no defense of others’ perception of who he was at any time.

Heels, jeri curls, tight pants and that “over the top” personality, Prince was himself or whoever he wanted to be at a given time, with a coolness and confidence in a world that tells you to be yourself and instructs you HOW to be yourself.

This was the influence he had on me. I loved his music and I loved his public persona as himself. This idea of Prince helped me to be at peace with myself a teenage life when I did not feel connected to anyone around me whether at school or church because, I felt weird and out of place constantly.

I knew because of the example set by him (and the parents) that being who you are, no matter how awkward, was OK as long as you were OK with yourself.

prince

This is a sentiment I hear from so many people today. We tell our children this, we tell our friends the same and we even repeat it on social media. However, if we reflect on how we treat each other, we would know it is not the truth. We celebrate people like Prince, Rihanna and Madonna and others who are celebrities and outrageously themselves, but to those around us, we hound with critiques about hair, clothes, speech and other benign aspects of themselves that though not dangerous or harmful, do not match the “HOW to be yourself manual” that accompanies our exhortations to be yourself.

I could tell you of the teenage and adulthood bullying I faced on the account of my hair, long skirts and mismatched apparels that offended those around me. I could tell you of the times I pronounced words differently than another individual and they understood but pretended not to because they wanted to make me feel stupid. You could probably tell the world of the times you felt stupid because you wore the wrong colour to a party and people eyed you strangely or when GROWN folk judged you because of the colour of your skin, your gender, nationality or something as silly as the type of music you listen to. But a consequence of Prince’s influence in my life is not ignoring these situations but being comfortable enough with me that I move forward being me even in the face of such intentional or unintentional attempts to mock the me I always will be.

For this, Prince means the world to me. I thank him for his influence and hope that he will continue to rest in peace.

Black woman: To be neither seen nor heard

Black woman: To be neither seen nor heard

The movie Hidden Figures is a must see for me. The level of excitement I feel at being able to see these three black women’s contributions to one of the greatest stories in history is indescribable. This is for one reason and one reason only. It is breaking a centuries old tradition of relegating the voices and contributions of black women to the background. This tradition has the potential to leave little black girls unsure of their place in the world. However, black women and girls across the globe continue to press on and make world-changing contributions in a variety of disciplines in the face of their voices being silenced and in the face of systematic racism and sexism. Women such as Serena Williams and Michelle Obama who are strong, articulate and successful can’t be silenced or wiped out of the history books so they are called racist names and berated while people try to belittle their accomplishments. Recently, Leslie Jones faced a barrage of racist abuse on Twitter after her appearance in the Ghostbusters reboot from some butt-hurt white men. This is all in attempt to tell the black woman her place, i.e. not seen and not heard.

It is easy to blame all of this on the system of white supremacy because that is where the root of this issue lies. White supremacy according to Wikipedia as ‘a racist ideology centered upon the belief, and promotion of the belief, that white people are superior in certain characteristics, traits, and attributes to people of other racial backgrounds and that therefore white people should politically, economically and socially rule non-white people.’ This socialisation into a system of white supremacy also affects how we interact with each other as people of colour – often reacting to each other based on the prejudices promoted within the white supremacist system. In trying to overcome the oppression we often oppress or promote the oppression for others to prove that we are not at the bottom of the race/social hierarchy, thereby complying with the system’s hierarchy and mistreatment of others who are not on the same ‘level’. Now if we think of that hierarchy, the black woman lays smack dab at the bottom, neither as beautiful or intelligent as any other race or gender within the system. This is reflected in the way she is treated generally by the system and even by other women and black men, even though she may share gender and race with those categories of individuals. Therefore, white supremacy is to blame for the attempts to silence and erase the contributions and voices of black women even in situations where other ‘disadvantaged’ populations are complicit in the actions.

Gloria Richardson

I tell you two stories of the silencing of the black woman’s voices and neither from the ‘white man’ so to speak but both from groups of people who themselves have organised to bring and call for equality in the face of oppression they have faced from the icon of male white supremacy. The civil rights movement is now hailed as a defining moment in US history and indeed across the globe. We have Rosa Parks as an icon or catalyst for much of the progression of the active protests that inspired the Civil Rights acts. We also have a splattering of other women who are mentioned as by the way characters or helpers in the movement. However, the contributions of women were at times minimised in the face of the male leaders of the movement. Take for instance, the experience of Gloria Richardson, who gave her story on Democracy Now (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3UG7YCgkXTo) and the account she gave of attempts to silence the voice of the women leaders of the civil rights movement at the 1963 March on Washington. As black men who were themselves disadvantaged to attempt to silence the voice of a women who literally put her life on the line for the lives of a black man and organised for better standards of living is surprising and a sign of the effects of white supremacy on the mindset of the male leadership in accepting a hierarchical system to equality movements. Ultimately, within that movement black women were seen but heard very little from. In spite of all this, we have people like Cicely Tyson, Eartha Kitt, Maya Angelou and Gloria Richardson as women whose voices could not be silenced even in the face of blackballing and even physical or social attacks.

Shirley Chisholm

Another story is the experience of Shirley Chisholm who became the first woman to run to be president on the platform of a major political party in the US. Despite her experience, her background and her actions to improve life for women and minorities neither camp were effusive in their support for her campaign, preferring instead to support a white male candidate in McGovern who they believe would defeat Richard Nixon. He did not go onto win. Shirley Chisholm may not have won against Nixon either but the lack of support among the two camps to which she so obviously belonged, i.e. women and blacks meant that McGovern had no impetus to listen to her suggestions for improving the Democratic at the DNC convention at the time, adjustments that may have increased his own chances of winning the general election by increasing the voter base at the time. Anyway, that is all in the past, but the point of this story is that as inspirational as Shirley Chisholm is and will always be as a symbol of what each political leader should be, ‘Unbought and Unbossed’, her impact in real time was narrowed by lack of support from the “National Organisation of Women” and black leaders who preferred to back a sure thing. Thinking of this lack of support in the age when Madeleine Albright said that “there is a special place in hell for women who do not support each other” when she was stumping for Hilary Clinton one has to wonder if that same thing applies to ALL women not just the white ones.

These attempts to minimise the voice of black women is reflected in today’s media and entertainment with the black woman being criticised as being too “aggressive” or possessing a “nasty attitude” regardless of how well behaved she is at any given time. She is not to express discontent with her situation regardless of who the perpetrators are and work towards a better life for herself. Stories about black women in history often portray her passively and not necessarily in full control of herself and her place in her society. Despite this we know that there are many women who were creative, forward-thinking and trailblazing in a way that the history books and school lessons continue to ignore. Modern depictions of black women are often stereotypical and deemed as negative, whether those behaviours are themselves actually negative is another story for another day. To the casual observer this removes the black woman’s agency or ability to determine her own identity and place within the world. However, black women continue to in the face of being ignored, erased and hushed work towards being a force within this world who will be seen AND heard.

 

Why Representation in the Media Matters

On September 12, 1992, Mae Carol Jemison boldly went where no other African-American woman had gone before. She went into orbit aboard the Space Shuttle Endeavour. Her enthusiasm for space started with a groundbreaking character that Martin Luther King Jr called the first non-stereotypical black female character on TV, that of Lieutenant Nyota Uhura portrayed by Nichelle Nichols on Star Trek from 1966-1969. When Mae Carol Jemison saw such a character, she became aware that there were no limits to her ambitions and that she could go any and everywhere in search of new personal and national frontiers.

That true story is why representation of all races is so important in a media that serves all races. If white people were the only members of the mainstream, then fine show only white people in whole and complex roles. However, this world is made up of all types and the mainstream consumers of movie and media viewers reflects all these types and so should the shows, movies and events encapsulated by these communications tools.

I remember when I told a friend that I initially wanted to become a lawyer because of the show “La Law”, he reacted as if I was indeed the shallowest human ever. The truth is we are shaped very much by the environment around us and the media that we consume is a part of that environment. Therefore, much of our ambitions, thoughts and views may be influenced by what we see therein. So what a young child sees on TV or social media or movies, especially in the absence of other in real life examples, can be a significant source of inspiration for what he or she believes that she is capable of achieving. Therefore, media producers, a part of the global village that is raising children and do produce content for children, should keep in mind that not only white children consume their shows but all races.

As said before, white people are not the only consumers of media, therefore it would be ideal to have full and complex depictions of all characters that reflect the diversity of the viewing audience. The token minority character or gay character who appears only for the ‘sassy’  or the humorous one-liners was never a fair way to depict such ethnicities in the first place and the more society progresses the less appropriate these shallow representations become. Use art in this way to inspire society to be more inclusive especially in today’s globally divisive political climate while giving each segment of your audience the respect and representation they deserve after spending money on your film or taking time out of their life to watch your TV show either online or in a traditional format. It is time to stop catering to one consumer persona on “mainstream TV or movies”. Shows like “Scandal”, “How to Get Away with Murder”, “Fresh off the Boat” and “Quantico” are great steps to addressing these imbalances as well as a strong Black Cast for the upcoming “Black Panther” movie. However, we need to rid Hollywood executives of the reasoning that money drives how they represent people or characters of colour on the screens that we, people of colour watch.

Many times the excuse for such representations or lack thereof is that the producers are looking for that ‘box-office’ draw and need to assure success. These excuses are lame and may have held water a few decades ago but as the examples of Will Smith, Samuel L. Jackson, Morgan Freeman, Jackie Chan, Jet Li, Lupita Nyong’o, Jenifer Lopez among others in the past two or so decades have shown all audiences, Black, White, Hispanic, Asian and that hard to define, but sought after, mainstream have been ready for ‘box-office’ draws of color for some time. Therefore, for Matt Damon to still be the white saviour in Asia and the Gods of Egypt to be white when we know that is not even remotely the historical truth, is an injustice to the actors of color who would do brilliantly to bring these stories to the screen and indeed make money for the studios as well. Seeking to highlight full characters of everyone, including white characters will ensure that accurate depictions are given of LGBT, Blacks, Asians, Hispanic, Native American, Muslim, Whites and anyone who is within the community served by the media. This is important considering that many times we interact with each other based on what we see in the media.

Therefore, let us show the children of all genders, races, sexualities, religions that there are no boundaries on their dreams. Let us show them that the people who look like them are not mere caricatures or unfair stereotypes. Let us serve all the diverse members of the global population with the respect that we show those that look like Tom Cruise, Matt Damon or Julia Roberts. Because if we analyse the receipts, we will see this world is ready for diversity in its media.

Martin Shkreli is not an anomaly

Many of the commentaries on the internet are outraged by “pharma bro” Martin Shkreli’s price gouging of a lifesaving HIV drug in the last year. People rejoiced in his arrest, believing that karma would bring justice to the new face of greed. Many more were outraged by last week’s arrogant display in front of congress where he seemed to smile at the thought of people dying while he made a profit. He smirked his way through the session and then insulted the congressmen afterwards on Twitter. Most of this outrage is steeped in surprise at someone so blatantly touting their greed without consideration for the consequences.

Am I outraged? Yes, but I am not surprised. This has been the modus operandi of capitalism for generations. Somebody must lose in order for the capitalist to win financially, whether that is loss of culture, future, or life. How can we continue to be surprised by the nefarious activity of a humanity that enslaved people for centuries and is responsible for the genocide of countless others? Maybe because we have been conditioned to believe that the lack of humanity at the root of these atrocities have been eradicated from earth? No that can’t be it. Not when black men and women are being killed at the hands of police with no justice to be seen, not when the frontrunner of the US elections is calling Mexicans rapists and advocating for preventing people entry into the US on the basis of religion.

Ultimately Martin Shkreli’s actions are not an isolated case and he is not the beginning or end of capitalism. He is part of a tradition that continues to control all aspects of society due to the money power and respect that holds governments across the globe to ransom. This is a game to him and he is winning. He is able to make huge amounts of profits by providing a service and inflating the prices of the product, even to a disadvantaged population that may not be able to afford the increases. As outrageous as this reads, this behaviour is not unique to him alone. The system that supports him and the Wall Street gang is extreme much like ISIS and Al Qaeda. People who operate within this system may choose to have hearts and be fair to others and they do exist. However, some are amoral and use their privilege to push others even further into poverty and disenfranchisement. Once members of the population protest or draw attention to these injustices, they are often told to “pull themselves up by the bootstraps”. That is easier when daddy “loans” you millions to get started. Pulling yourself up by your bootstraps is harder when you are constantly faced with rising costs for everyday items so that already rich people can not only maintain luxurious lifestyles but build on them. Surviving, far less succeeding is harder when medical prices, food costs, housing costs and even transport costs increase, sometimes without warning, while pay does not rise to match the rising costs.

Anyway, I digress. Back to Martin Shkreli. He is not an anomaly. Should we be outraged by him? Yes. But we should also note that he is a symptom of a greater disease of privilege and societal imbalance. Yes his hike of price is appalling. I support shaming and disgracing him for all time. People like him are the reasons programmes like #BLACKLIVESMATTER are essential in this modern, ‘civilised’ world. They treat human beings as though their lives do not matter. On the contrary, the lives of the people that medicine will treat does matter. Furthermore, his hike of the medicine’s price is a signal of the way the powerful see ALL of the masses not just those facing HIV or Cancer – as money trees.

His behaviour is not unique – this is why there is inflation across all sectors of the economy and costs of living is continuously increasing. Mindsets like his among big business and policy makers is why the middle class is slowly disappearing. So when they treat these disadvantaged poorly, remember this, when the powerful are done mistreating this group they will come for the rest of us. If we wait until they threaten us to speak out, there will be no one to stand with us. When we treat him like an anomaly or sit by quietly because we are not being directly targeted, we fail to realise we are all threatened by a parasitic and destructive system of oppression.

Please, Don’t Shoot!

Whenever the police in Barbados are criticised the first retort is ‘people love to criticise the police but are always quick to call them when anything goes wrong.’ I believe the police fulfill a role now to protect and serve the public regardless of what their original purpose was in the colonial past. Therefore, that entitles (bad word, I know) the public that they serve to be able to trust that the police are operating fairly and equitably towards everyone regardless of race, class or creed.

Their position does not mean that they are not to be criticised if they act unjustly. They should be held to a high standard and appropriately criticised when they fall short. I think of the Selwyn Knight tragedy and anger fills me because it is just so outrageous I am trying to get my mind around it and I still can’t so I can’t even pretend to understand what his loved ones feel like right now. I am looking on wondering if justice will ever be served in this case and what that justice will look like – a fired police officer or once put in jail. I wait and see but I won’t hold my breath because this death may also have been at the misadventure of the victim and not the rashness of the police officer.

The alleged murder of Selwyn Knight and the alleged attempted murder of his son at the hands of a supposedly off-duty police officer (someone should really have told him that he was off duty) is outrageous because the actions would not even be excusable if he was on-duty. You don’t just show up and start shooting willy nilly. You assess the situation, you contain the situation and then if your life is in danger or that of an innocent bystander then you take that step. However, off-duty officer decide look, I am judge, jury and executioner even if I don’t know what the situation is and I could be wrong. Neither side stood able to allege, prove or defend their arguments before he meted out his perverse idea of justice.

It was like he was involved in an old-time duel and did not warn his duelling foe. At least Alexander Hamilton knew that he was in a duel with Aaron Burr. Neither Selwyn Knight nor his son knew that they were in the duel for their lives with this officer who unarmed with any kind of truth and allegedly lacking any ability to make a fair and balanced decision on the spot robbed a family of their patriarch. Now this dude is allegedly back on-duty to intimidate with his narrow, bullying form of policing. With higher forces supposedly allowing this to happen, one would be excused for losing faith in the integrity of the position of police officer.

Now many would argue that I and many don’t understand the pressures of being a police officer. That is why I am not one. If you can’t act in wisdom, calm and reason, don’t be a police officer, but don’t go out there, do foolishness and not expect to get critiqued or for people not to demand justice for their loved one who you took away from them. The longer cases like Mr. Knight’s go on without justice and the more farcical judgements like the one’s given out to Mr. Maloney’s killers, the more the police are seen to be above the law the less trust will be given to them by the public. For all the good they do – remember you are as strong as your weakest link and when your weakest link murders an innocent man and you do nothing but a quick two years for the original robber, you make yourself look like used toilet paper. Reassure us that you will serve and protect us from the vile within your ranks.

The Black Hair Conundrum

My Facebook page is filled with discussions about the experience of the young ladies whose head mistress rejected their hairstyles as inappropriate for school. As outraged as this makes everyone, including myself, it is neither new nor surprising. For anyone who dares to do something not previously explored in their established societal norm, these are the steps taken to bring the perpetrators back into conformity; ban the action or remind of existing restrictions even if the action has no malice or negative consequences. This has played out in relation to all aspects of black culture and appearance for centuries and this ‘ban on inappropriate or mature natural hairstyles in school’ is another example, regardless of how minor one might see this individual situation.

This is not the first time the discussion of how black people wear their hair in ‘formal’ settings has caused furore between masses and management. When I was in secondary school many moons ago, the black young men were forced to wear their hair in very short cuts, as this was considered “neat” while the young men of other races were allowed to grow their hair longer than what was established as a neat length for boys. Why this is, one can consider for yourself.

The young ladies were also strictly guarded in relation to their hair. A young lady in my year at school and I had the twists at that time. I don’t know if it was a new hairstyle but it certainly caused some discomfort among the teachers and principal of the school. I was told that it was an inappropriate hairstyle for school. I did not change my hairstyle and neither did she to my recollection and I think I did pretty well intellectually. Any failings I had in math, I can guarantee you had nothing to do with my hair but my general apathy toward the subject, which predated the hairstyle by at least 7 years. But I digress.

The absurdity of all this is, the bad reputation of natural hair does not improve once one leaves school. I remember reading a story in the Nation Newspaper, a few years ago, about a set of women who could not in the ‘80s get jobs or were disciplined if they did have employment due to their choice of wearing braids. This predated my own experience and provided real difficulty to women who were qualified for their positions but disregarded on the basis of a hairstyle. The criteria of a black person’s appearance once again determined their ability to gain work and success in a society that was majority black. I am sure that I could provide you with tons more examples, personally, of friends and in history of people discriminated on either officially or unofficially due to their hairstyle or other facets of their appearance but you would be reading forever.

The excuse or reasoning often provided is the leader is bound to enforce the rules of the establishment that govern appearance in the school setting. However, these rules, as implied above, can be relaxed for everyone but the black students at school or employees at work – black people generally. My argument is if you have to enforce the rules, do so equally for everyone. Therefore, if the boy’s hair length can’t be more than an inch, let that apply across all races and hair textures, otherwise don’t enforce it at all. If young women can’t wear their hair open, let that be the case for all types of hair; natural, relaxed, weave and for all races. But to argue that you have to enforce the rules as leader while your black students see you only applying it to them is unfair, in my opinion.

Additionally, as a leader, I believe you have some influence in guiding the discussion generally in the Ministry of Education about what can be considered “neat and tidy” or even appropriate. There has to be some critical thinking at all levels of society from management even down to the individual otherwise, our community will continue to enforce rules that were meant to exclude us from participating fully in society. Therefore, we should have the courage to think for ourselves (as we often argue young people can’t do) and consider whether there is need to relax or remove practices that are demeaning to individuals of any race, hair texture or any other distinguishing factor.

The step of a truly independent nation of people who have a variety of hair textures and complexions and personalities would be to stop trying to control said hair, complexions and personalities to conform with past manipulative rules. I believe that the exploration of one’s hair and fashion tastes is a step in self-determination. It is a historical practice since the days of slavery to deny black people every right, including that of determining their own paths and goals. Like many other demeaning practices of the time, that we have carried into today, we deny ourselves and our children the right to determine who we/they are by restricting exploration of simple (to me) aspects of themselves such as  hair, fashion etc. This practice keeps us in place as servile people to whomever is calling the shots – even today I doubt it is us – because we have not taken on the role of self-determination or creating a path for ourselves based on who we have determined ourselves to be.

There is the argument of appropriate time and place for the hair do. Supporters of the restriction say it is appropriate for adults and/or casual settings. We have to teach our children the time and place to wear their hair appropriately. My question – is the hair of a black woman – any woman – only appropriate when controlled? What is “control”? And how can we teach our children to love what comes out of their scalp naturally if we continue to tell them that it is not good enough, it is adult  and that it is somehow scandalous?

Am I personally against relaxers, weaves or braids? No I am not. I believe it is everyone’s right to choose what style they want with their hair including these young women who clearly know what they want. So I won’t draw the “they let people wear weaves etc blah blah” argument. What I will ask – is the hair truly distracting from studies or is it the discussion about the hair?

What proponents of time and place arguments may not understand is that these “standards” that we consider universal were designed to keep us in place by feeling less about our natural selves. By “us” I mean the non-members of the elite. If we feel less than ourselves and that we can be better and achieve elite status, by conforming to these “standards”, then money is to be made in hair, fashion and other industries benefitting, largely, already established members of the elite. Feel less about yourself before you know yourself is the message I feel many are sent when they hear these rules of appropriateness such as a hair and other aesthetic aspects of themselves.

Anyway, to end my ramble I state this simply: I believe all hair is created equal, that they are endowed along with their wearers certain unalienable rights, that among these are acceptance, creativity and the pursuit of self-determination.

Read more:

The Nation Newspaper article I referenced: http://www.nationnews.com/nationnews/news/62241/wear-braids

RedforGender: https://redforgender.wordpress.com/2015/01/11/natural-hair-banned-in-barbados-school/

The Modern Day Lynching of the Black Man

“You ain’t nothing but a worthless n-“. These are the words that accompanied the death by hanging or quartering otherwise known as lynching of many black men and women in history.

Since the civil rights movement was successful in the 1960s of gaining previously unacknowledged civil rights for black people, one would be excused of thinking that this barbaric act would become a thing of the past along with segregation and those lovely “Jim Crow” laws. This has not been the case. It remains an act perpetrated against innocent black men and women.

In the past 25 years or so that I have been paying attention a number of injust acts have been used to assault the lives and dignity of black men and women. Some were not fatal e.g. Rodney King and some were e.g Trayvon Martin, Sean Bell, Michael Brown, Renisha McBride among others. But they all robbed people of their dignities, lives or loved ones.

Regardless of the severity of the injuries suffered, these incidents did nothing to raise the racist alarm because instead of maligning the perpetrator, the victim is often the one whose character gets dragged through the mud in the media and in court thus subjecting them to a lynching of the body and the reputation while the killer is painted as the most upstanding citizen.

These acts are no longer officially or unofficially called lynchings because it is not politically correct to call an actual racist, a racist. The attacker is often a police officer or a private citizen who has to “protect” his/her life against the big bad black menace even if said danger was unharmed and minding their own business. The fact that the black person may be unarmed, fleeing the attack or not provoking the incident is still grounds for his or her own death.

Michael Brown
Michael Brown was treated with less dignity than one would treat a dog.

The killers often get of scot-free or with a slap on the wrist because the black victim deserves no justice. This is the trifecta of modern-day lynching (physical, reputational and justice) of the black man or woman.

The victim’s name is destroyed to signal that they deserve the injustice that they met. They were on perdition’s pathway anyway so why blame this brilliant upstanding citizen for an inevitable demise. There is still not the understanding in some quarters that all human life is valuable. The police treated the body of Michael Brown the way they did – leaving him in the road for hours and removing him in an unmarked vehicle as well as no incident report because clearly they killed a dog and not a human being who had his whole life ahead of him and family/friends who loved him and were loved in return.

Trayvon Martin
It matters not if you are minding your own business

When a white person does something like rob a bank, kill a bunch of people at the cinema, drive drunk and kill four people, the media and some members of the US society as a whole make excuses for them even coming up with a term for their issues “affluenza” to generate sympathy for them. After all they were so young, just a kid really, and did not know what they were doing.

However, when black children get killed then pictures start popping up of them throwing up gang signs, wearing hoodies with comments such as they were drunkards or marijuana smokers (cause we all know only black people smoke marijuana), and shock and horror – they listened to rap music.

What is even more unjust is that the police released a video of Michael Brown allegedly robbing a store despite the fact they knew it had nothing to do with the policeman stopping or killing him. This video is to justify the policeman’s action to somehow prove that Michael Brown was somehow a threat to Wilson’s life.

Sean Bell
The Black Life means Nothing

Why is it that a black person is automatically the guilty one no matter how innocent a life they lead even if they are the victim? The system was never created for the success or upliftment of individual citizens far less for the black ones and will close ranks to protect and shield its own when necessary. So the police (of all races), scared homeowners, and deranged vigilantes can feel free to kill unarmed, harmless black people in plain sight because the black life is worth nothing in this modern day lynching.

Done in times past to show us our place at the bottom of civilisation’s pole and now to remind us not to get too uppity with our black selves in the light of many accomplishments in sport, entertainment, politics, finance, business and other spheres world wide of black people.

Don’t get mistaken, no matter who you are, if you are black, especially in the US, you have a target on your chest. Money or fame may stop the shot but imagine life if you were poor, black and unknown and just another n—- to the system.