Poem by Jacques Fleury


 

Ramblings in Trump Era America

“BRING BACK THE CONCENTRATION CAMPS!!!”

Screamed an irascible man on the streets of Boston. And yes, this is meant to
Shock you for it shocked me…this is Trump era America we’re living in…
Hence I was inspired to pen the following:

A man’s usefulness is contingent upon his ideals, in so far as he possibly can.

Am I just a memory of what a man used to be: strong, daring and courageous in the pursuit of his ideals? Or one who neglects his daring path, his contempt for inequality in a futile & clumsy Conciliatory NOT to be controversial and to make everyone happy?

Imminent sociopolitical divisiveness, hegemony and jingoism in America is NOT happenstance;

But why be afraid of my circumstance? My people have high pain tolerance…

In the drone of my dreams, Emily Bronte said to me: “No coward soul is [yours], no trembler in the world’s storm troubled sphere, I see heavens glories shine and faith shines equal arming [you] from fear…with wide embracing love, thy spirit animates eternal years…”[1]

I am maddened by hints of deliberate and devoted affronts denigrations and disparagements of immigrants! Why not allow disharmony and deception to drown in the deep ocean sphere.

If you were only aware that anger is a snare, humanity would live in harmony.

Peace and love is the only SUPREMACY!

Trump proclaims: “Make America Great Again!” But for whom? For Blacks? For Hispanics? For Asians? For Muslims? For the Jewish? For All immigrants? For the poor and disenfranchised? For whom?

America maybe GREAT for the bourgeoisie, the top one percent of society,

but not necessarily so great for the rest of the country.

Perhaps we can “all” make America great by making our own unique voices heard by making moral and ethical contributions to one another; by aiding and not abetting the American cause, the American promise of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness which belongs to all Americans.

Let’s not forget that all of us, who are NOT indigenous American Indians, are descendants of immigrants. All of our ancestors came here from somewhere else, whether it was on the Mayflower or on Ellis Island in New York harbor overlooking the Statue of Liberty; we owe our lives here in America to the intrepid liberty seeking trajectory of the immigrants of this country!

Hence in the midst of all this, I retreat to holding onto a flower and the word Kumbaya, a transliteration for the prayerful plea to God: origination from Gullah CREOLE language tradition spoken by former SLAVES living on Sea Islands of South Carolina.

In America, atavistic slave labor generated a communal interdependence of nation-states misguided by self-serving notions resulting in fraudulent feudalism;

Creating the classist hierarchy of the nobility, the clergy and the peasantry.

Hence come by here and heal the supplications against injustice;

Come by and hear the delineations of prejudice;

Come by and hear the clamorous appeals for peace and justice;

Fortunately, I came from a business and property owning middle class family in Haiti;

Unfortunately, still I frown upon oppressive ideologies and business practices of the bourgeoisie.

The history of society is the history of RACISM;

The history of society is the history of CLASSISM;

Hence let’s go back in time using history’s retrograde memory before we make our way back to our present reality. Way back when, chiefly Africans worked 400 years around the clock building the American capitalist economy.

It is documented that slave labor made an 80% contribution to the building of the grand American wealth. And when Abraham Lincoln tried to remedy slavery with the onslaught of the Civil War and won, he was assassinated and the White Lives Matter More movement was born.

Never mind the fact that when America decided to free itself from the tight grip of British oppression, the first person who died for the American cause was a black Bostonian by the name of Crispus Attucks on March 5th, 1770.

Never mind that Black people have fought in every American war, even when they were told that their “inferior” genetics made them a liability and unfit to serve, hence they essentially had to fight to fight.

Never mind that after the American World War II triumph, when returning soldiers were handed hefty G.I Bills–which is designed to help service members, eligible veterans and their families cover the costs associated with getting an education or training–that allowed them to partake in the American dream that resulted in being able to buy houses in the suburbs with two car garages during the booming 1950s and subsequently the Black soldiers were denied their G.I. Bills and instead faced further indignities by having to endure separate but “equal” Jim Crow laws and a discriminatory practice that was generated by the civil war called The Black Code which meant that Blacks seeking jobs were to be turned away.

A practice similar to the “No Irish Need Apply” signs during the influx of Irish immigrants in the early 1820s. Which makes one wonder, how does a race that endured 400 years of slave labor, toiling seventeen hour days under the sun, while light skinned Blacks waited on Whites inside the plantation houses, and in the post slavery years were turned away when they sought legitimate employment be characterized & stereotyped as “lazy”? Besides, scientific evidence has traced the genesis of the human race and eventual diaspora all the way back to Africa 50,000 years ago. Hence this mere fact would argue that indirectly we are all connected. According to scientists, we are all 99.9 percent the same.

But in Trump America, “Brotherhood” is by another name…

Never mind that my Haitian ancestors fought in the American Revolution and were finally memorialized in Savannah, Georgia for their heroic service.

Never mind that the ruthless emperor Napoleon Bonaparte used the monetary funds he attained from the slave labor on the Island of Haiti to fortify the American cause against the British.

Never mind that Haiti’s victory over the French inspired American slave revolts in the form of Nat Turners rebellion and more successfully the Civil War; which resulted in the passing of the 13th, 14th, and 15th amendments meant to ensure Black equality in America.

Yet, here we are, in the 21st century, over 150 years post slavery, we are back in the streets fighting to matter. I once heard an unmasked white nationalist (as most of them are these days) asserting with a deceptively docile smile on his face, that he acknowledges the inherent worth and dignity of all people BUT… particularly people of European descent. Go figure.

If All Lives Matter, then why did America have to have slavery?

If All Lives Matter, then why did America have to have the civil rights movement?

If All Lives Matter, then why does America have to have the Black Lives Matter movement?

The history of America is the history of RACISM;

And it doesn’t help that it was told by the victor who tells BIASED tales…

Even Mark Twain agreed when he said:

“The very ink with which history is written is merely fluid prejudice.”[2]

18th century philosopher Alexander Pope in Essay on Man

Warns us to accept things as they are:

“All discord, harmony not understood;
All partial evil, universal good:
And, spite of pride in erring reason’s spite,
One truth is clear, whatever is, is right.”[3]

But is he really right? We can only hope that he had good foresight.

In Trump era North America, squawking black birds get SHUNNED OR SHOT!

Ignoring posts that dictate: NO HUNTING PERMITTED!

In Trump era North America, black birds besieged as foes,

American forests become a de facto hunting ground…

Naturalists posit is this ideology or is this reality?

Capricious despotism has dawned a forest feast

In the urban jungles of the American North East!

Nevertheless, I must take responsibility for my own disposition since no one owes me tranquility; I must take issue with my own myopic course of self-destruction; patterns of deliberate insanity!

Permitting revolutionary ruminations to run amok in my mind like stone throwing anarchists!

I must FIGHT for the right of my community!

Who am I?

Raja Yoga Meditation teaches that I AM AN INFINITE LIGHT!

But are they right?

Eckhart Tolle’s epiphany preaches:

“The truth of who we are is not I am this or I am that but I am.”[4]

Is he right?

I say, “I am a human being. Human is what I do and the roles I play;

Being is who I am as the LIGHT of day and

When we pass away—to weave-in words from a Shakespeare play

Our ethereal souls will say,

“Put out the light then put out THE LIGHT!”

Our world denotes that a man with nothing is nothing;

Money creates his worth. However, Hermann Hesse said:

“The true profession of man is finding his way to himself.”[5]

Please know, as far as things go, you are NOT what you do or don’t do!

Despite what avaricious capitalists like Trump tells you!

Religion too, is a formidable catalyst for conflict from the on start.

Emily Bronte challenges belief systems when she said:

“Vain are the thousand creeds that move men’s hearts…

worthless as withered weeds to awaken doubt in one.”[6]

Religion bounds us in fear and fear signifies POWER!

Trump’s religion of xenophobia is trumping on our power by binding us in FEAR!

On profession, Oscar Wilde made this assertion:

Do something “…practical and prosaic. It is better to
Have a permanent income than to be fascinating.”[7]

What’s wrong with being FASCINATING?

Maybe I ought to venture into the woods, live on the land and write prose and poetry;

Would that make me both “practical” and “fascinating” in this society?

Even I must heed this warming, less my pure creative intentions become impure venal pursuits and why not throw in a nihilistic predilection for secular attention to boot…

I sense the stirrings of revolution in my veins…I see the dethroning of Kings and Queens…

I foresee a future for our friends and destruction for our foes; destruction that will

Spring forth the seeds of a new season, full of hope and full of reason;

Empty of Trump’s propaganda and of derision;

Am I ideology? Am I EQUALITY? Am I liberty?

Or am I just FASCINATING?!

The thirst for liberation always supersedes oppression…

Is there no God? No justice? No Peace?

We are told we are tolerated, we are told NOT to make waves,

Be conciliatory, surrender and placate the oppressor,

However, from revolutionary winds comes revolutionary waves…

Ebbing and eroding the gritty American shores full of

Folks fighting to stay afloat in tsunamis in Deep Ocean waves of injustice;

Proletariats unite! To form the working class, to organize a Utopia in which

All members are BROTHERS!

Black birds caged, their nests dismantled–try to outrun de facto hunting grounds;

Much like the young Hegelians in mid-19th century Germany,

Left wing extremists vie for a bourgeois reform in this our U.S. economy;

They amass like surrounding clouds of orbiting electrons electrifying

REVOLUTIONARY hearts and taking up justifiable space

Fighting corporate corruption and to eliminate the fallacious ideology of RACE!

Enlightenment philosophers like John Locke, Charles Montesquieu, and Jean-Jacques Rousseau

Enacted theories of government in which ALL PEOPLE HAVE POWER!!!

The American political lexicon is forever indebted to 18th century French philosopher Montesquieu for his phraseology:

“Separation of Powers”[8]: the corner stone of the American constitutional paradigm

Aimed at preventing overreaching corruption…share the power, share the wealth!

Montesquieu names two kinds of corruption:

One where the people do not observe the laws, the other when the laws corrupt the people.

That is where the grey area lies: determining when the individual or the law itself is unjust.

This philosophy of law and corruption is a Trump era America play on display…

Elation requires dissention or happiness requires rebellion!

Is this script an act of rebellion or is it just FASCINATING?

Humanity’s diaspora traced back to Africa,

So why not celebrate human UNITY right here in America! Humanity in AMERICA!

Let’s live together as “one”[9] dictates the ideology of John Lennon.

“I saw an angel in the marble and carved until I set him free,”[10] said Michelangelo

Set me free! I hail my own ideology, set me free!

From the frailties of impunity, liability and even alleged liberty!

Set me free from the inconsistencies of fraternity, the unpredictability of family, the low lands of life where bottom feeders dwell and all that encompasses heaven earth and sea; Set me free from all the debris superfluous to my tranquility!

And I will lay down in resolute surrender to befuddled woes here on earth and the hereafter…

In Trump era America, I am no longer ideology.

In Trump era America, I am no longer reality.

In Trump era America, I MATTER and I am simply FREE!

 

[1] https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems/43712/no-coward-soul-is-mine

[2] https://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/mark_twain_105745

[3] https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems/44899/an-essay-on-man-epistle-i

[4] https://www.amazon.com/New-Earth-Awakening-Purpose-Selection/dp/0452289963/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1532636248&sr=8-1&keywords=a+new+earth+by+eckhart+tolle&dpID=51dzTqj5fXL&preST=_SY344_BO1,204,203,200_QL70_&dpSrc=srch

[5] https://boldomatic.com/p/Uf1yVA/the-true-profession-of-man-is-finding-his-way-to-himself-hermann-hesse

[6] https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems/43712/no-coward-soul-is-mine

[7] https://www.goodreads.com/quotes/512994-unless-one-is-wealthy-there-is-no-use-in-being

[8] http://oll.libertyfund.org/pages/montesquieu-and-the-separation-of-powers

[9] https://genius.com/John-lennon-imagine-lyrics

[10] https://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/michelangelo_161309

 

Jacques Fleury’s books Sparks in the Dark: A Lighter Shade of Blue, A Poetic Memoir about life in Haiti & America was featured in the Boston Globe. It’s Always Sunrise Somewhere and Other Stories is a collection of short fictional stories spanning the pervasive human condition. Their topics range from politics to romantics, from sex to sexuality, from religion to oppression. 20% of proceeds for both books will go to Haiti charity Partners In Health.

Mary Lou Springstead is a visual artist originally from Florida, who currently resides in Middlesbrough, UK. She is a nasty woman who is inspired by mythology, psychology, social and environmental justice, Surrealism and Outsider Art.

 

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