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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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The E.A.R.: The Price of Hatred

 

Something really messed up happened in Pittsburgh two weeks ago, and no, I’m not talking about the vicious beating the Cleveland Browns endured under the hands of Big Ben and Antonio Brown. What happened was far worse, and probably one of our lows. The United States is no stranger to mass shootings. We’ve had our share over the years, and more than a few of them have been motivated by a hatred towards a certain group.

In 2015, Dylan Roof shot up a black congregation during a bible study; In 2016, Omar Mateen opened fire in the Pulse Night club, killing 49 members of the LGBTQA community; In 2018, you’d think by the yelling of angry far right conservatives that racism, and anti antisemitism was dead; but nope, not a chance. Eleven were shot dead in a synagogue for none other than their religious affiliation.

Look guys, none of us are the same, and that is probably a great thing. The world wouldn’t be as colorful as it is if we all looked, thought, and acted the same. We all have our differences. We on Facebook have had our differences. I have gotten in to heated ten way debates with some of y’all on some hot button issues. I’ve seen fights breakout in the comments sections of some of my rather controversial statuses. Regardless of frustrations on both ends, I love that our ideals get to clash together, for better or worse.

Regardless of how different we are, everyone belongs in this world, and no one should ever feel as if they don’t. Well, in a perfect world that is. Sadly, we don’t live in a perfect world, and there exist those who have strong hatred for those who don’t look, talk, walk, or act like them. There are people in this world who have a strong hatred for those who don’t share the same ideals. Antisemitism was something that should’ve died the day we brought the beef to Hitler’s door. Sadly it’s just as alive as racism.

I’ve lived through many mass shootings, but this is the first one that has hurt since the Pulse Night Club shootings. With the Pulse shootings, I know many people in the LGBTQA community that I’m pretty cool with. With the Charleston Church shooting, why that one hurt is pretty obvious. With this shooting, it bothers me because Jewish people have been pretty impactful in my life ways you wouldn’t imagine.

Y’all already know I’m on the spectrum. I grew up visiting Ludwik Szymanski (Google him when you have the chance), a once prominent child psychiatrist at Children’s Hospital that helped me navigate some of the complications that came with my unique wiring. Dr. Szymanski is a Holocaust survivor, and I constantly wonder to this day where I’d be in life if he never pulled through. I also have plenty of good friends, co workers, and acquaintances who are also Jewish. I’m also a sucker for good Kosher wine (Barkan Merlot, and Malbec are some of my personal favorites).

There are couple of things I shall leave you with.

Antisemitism, racism and homophobia are alive and well. Don’t ever let anyone tell you otherwise. Never let anyone try to justify the actions of Robert D. Bowers.

This will undoubtedly bring up the debate of guns once more. Before we start bickering about guns which is inevitable, how about we come together, focus, and call this incident for what it is; a hate crime.

Regardless of our differences in opinion, religion, ideologies, etc., we’re still called to love one another. I know we’ve had our spats on here over various issues (well primarily one, and y’all already know what that is), but I just want y’all to know that I love each and everyone of y’all. We’re all different for a reason. Like it or not, we’re stuck with each other until the day we die.

With that being said, no one, regardless of how much their differences bother you deserves to go out the way those in Pittsburgh did. We can be different and coexist. We can have different religious views, and still coexist. We can have different political affiliations, and still coexist. We can have differing opinions on what happened to the footballs at Foxboro during the 2014 AFC Championship (it was the weather damn it!), and still coexist. We can have differing opinions on whether or not pineapples go on pizza and still coexist

In all seriousness, this senseless violence needs to stop! I’m not here to place the blame on anyone or anything. I’m just here to say that we all messed up pretty badly, but we can right this wrong one act of kindness at a time.

Stay classy…

 

Flemmings Beaubrun is an avid gamer and lover of music. When not working, Flemmings likes to spend his time whipping up dank beats for the masses. He also spends his weekends thrift shopping for rare video games and obscure electronics. Other times he’s in front of a TV with a giant bowl of cereal enjoying shows from the 90s.

 

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The E.A.R.: Pro Black Everything

 

It appears that every time a black celebrity starts being praised for bringing up issues of racism, there are those few people that have to call out the fact that said person is dating a white person/non black person to make a point that these people shouldn’t be allowed to speak on black issues. It happened with Jordan Peele after he made Get Out, it’s now happening to Donald Glover after making his “This Is America” music video. This shit is getting really old, and we can do better.

1. Donald Glover, and Jordan Peele are grown men who can date whomever the fuck they want. Let’s say it a little louder so those in the back can hear:

DONALD GLOVER, AND JORDAN PEELE ARE GROWN MEN WHO CAN DATE WHOMEVER THE FUCK THEY WANT!!!!!!!!!

Why are y’all mad? There aren’t a written set of rules that tell black men and women who they’re supposed to date. The last time we had a written set of rules of who we were supposed to date and have kids with was during the Jim Crow era; do not carry that mentality into 2018. If you want to date within your race because you feel that it’s easier to preserve your culture, be my guest; just let other people love who they want. I totally understand the pain of black women who have been curbed by their own out of hatred, but not every person who dates outside of their race does it out of self hatred. I see the hashtags #blacklove, and #fallingblackinlove and while the intentions are good, the create sometimes unrealistic expectations that not everyone can meet. Date who you want, just make sure you don’t do it out of spite for your own.

2. Dating a non black person does not make you any less woke than those who don’t.

You can date a non-black person and still speak on black issues. You can date ANYONE outside of your race and still be allowed to speak on issues that affect your race. Anyone who tells you otherwise can go fuck themselves. Jordan Peele and Donald Glover do the best they can to bring these issues to light, and here we are trying to take away their credibility because the are married to non-black people.

The fact that they date outside of their race and can still addresses these issues is a good thing. It means the person they’re with acknowledges these issues without putting them down or attempting to convince them they’re wrong. What you don’t want is them being a mouthpiece for the ideals shared by their spouse that are a threat our plight (i.e. Deneen Borelli). Jordan Peele and Donald Glover are proof that dating outside of your race doesn’t make you any less black.

We expect our own to do things a certain way. When they don’t , we call them sellouts. This division within our community is getting out of hand. For a group of people that praises diversity, we sure do a shit job of encouraging it within our own community. Let our brothas and sistas be who they wanna be. They wanna date someone non black, and they’re not doing it out of hate? let them do their thing. They wanna listen to a genre of music that is not hip hop/r&b? Let it be! They wanna watch hockey and baseball? Let it happen! They wanna be nerdy, and like Pokémon, and more obscure things? EMBRACE IT!!!!!

As long as people of color are venturing outside of their culture out of genuine interest, and not self hate, who the hell are we to judge?!? Stop it with the ousting! This kind of division is exactly what racists want. Let’s love each other regardless of whether or not we fit a certain set of rules of what a POC should be.

Stay classy…

 

Flemmings Beaubrun is an avid gamer and lover of music. When not working, Flemmings likes to spend his time whipping up dank beats for the masses. He also spends his weekends thrift shopping for rare video games and obscure electronics. Other times he’s in front of a TV with a giant bowl of cereal enjoying shows from the 90s.

 

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The E.A.R.: The Presidential Suite

 

Last year around this time, I made the decision to go to bed and leave a presidential race in God’s hands, though far from over that had too many counties that were too close to call.

It was like watching the worst football game ever. Team blue has some early victories, but team red out of nowhere gets a bunch of touchdowns. Team blue gets its shit together to close the gap and take an eventual lead but, team red starts taking a bunch of chip shot field goals. Eventually team red has built an enormous lead with only seconds left in the clock.

Anything can happen in football, but, team blue was just way too incompetent to make it happen. At About 4 am I looked at my phone to realize the one thing I hoped wouldn’t happen happened. Donald Trump was projected to win the presidential race.

I went back to sleep hoping it was all just a bad dream. I later woke up to a phone call from my mother and realized that the nightmare was a reality. The Democratic Party essentially blew a 25 point lead on the biggest stage ever. We got the results of turning a blind eye to racism, bigotry, xenophobia, political sabotage, heavy media influence, collusion on both sides andso much more wrong in this country.

We can bitch and moan all we want, but when the smoke clears it’s painfully obvious that we did this to ourselves. Unlike someone who gets hurt against their own will, we as Americans actually asked for this, harsh as it sounds.

I said it once and I’ll say it again; we’ve been a country divided since colonization and we will continue to be a country divided until we actually hear each other’s problems out and do something. No matter what side of this you’re on we’re all losers in the end. No matter who won that race, we’d all still be losers. We’re always going to be losers until there is actually a sense of unity.

We’ve always been divided, and all the media did was pour gasoline on an open fire. The media is like that kid that goes through the pyromaniac phase only, they never grow out of it. It’s November 21, 2017. All the people who claimed they were leaving the country are still here. We still don’t have a wall paid for by Mexico despite illusions of grandeur. The swamp hasn’t been cleaned despite rallying war cries calling for such. If anything, Trump just made the swamp so dirty it could be an episode of Hoarders.

We’re not dead though; maybe some of us dead on the inside, but we’re not dead just yet. We can do something even if it is small. The local democratic victories last Tuesday are a sign that small splashes create ripples. We have do deal with Trump for a few more years, but there are things we can do.

1. Participation in local politics is a lot bigger than people realize; it affects you more directly than anything in Washington. The current republican control is the result of a grassroots campaign at the local level, and we simply didn’t pay attention.

2. Another thing we can do is not give in to the lies the media tells us about each other. People of color aren’t needy nor are they inherently violent, Not every single white person is racist. I should also note that not every single Trump supporter is some racist white hick. Some Trump supporters I know are some of the most genuine people I’ve ever met and despite our differences would take the shirt of their back to help me out. Not every conservative is some bigoted close minded person and, not every liberal is what some conservatives would call snowflakes. I personally think there are snowflakes on ALL SIDES.

3. We all have problems that affect each group specifically, but neither of those problems can be solved until we actually hear each other out and take those problems seriously. Newsflash my white folk: racism is still alive and well. Some of y’all probably are too ashamed to acknowledge that but unlike the monster under the bed, it’s pretty real. I know it’s only a small minority of whites, but it would be nice if the majority of you actually called it out instead of twiddling your thumbs out of fear of putting yourself in the line of fire. To the white people I know who do actively take a stand against it, y’all the real MVPs, and you will always have a seat at the Dominoes table at the cookout.

4. My black folks, you aren’t off the hook. I’m fully aware of what we’re dealing with, but can we not villainize white people? While genuinely evil people do exist, most white people are inherently good,. You just have to acknowledge that some are told so many lies about us from early on. Figure out what lie drives their perception and challenge the lie without insulting their intelligence. It’s easier said than done, but we need to start somewhere.

5. Disagreeing is a dying art. We’re taught today that if you disagree on things then you can’t be friends. Some will go as far as blocking people on Facebook who have differing opinions from them, and I think that’s stupid. The world would be boring if we were all the same. We’re better at figuring out what divides us than what brings us together. I’ve butt heads with many people over all of this but at the end of the day, they’re genuinely good people I can find common ground with.

The only thing we can do is to love one another regardless of where we come from. At the end of the day it’s true unity that will make a difference in the end. I hope you enjoyed another epic post written from the toilet, the biggest source of inspiration.

Stay classy…

 

Flemmings Beaubrun is an avid gamer and lover of music. When not working, Flemmings likes to spend his time whipping up dank beats for the masses. He also spends his weekends thrift shopping for rare video games and obscure electronics. Other times he’s in front of a TV with a giant bowl of cereal enjoying shows from the 90’s.

 

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Three Cents with Jacques Fleury: America – There Can Be Unity in Diversity

 

‘It is not only what we do, but also what we do not do, for which we are accountable.“
–Molière

 

I am about to “do” something that for me has been long overdue. I am first and foremost a poet. A poet speaks through the mouth of truth with a poetic tongue through keen objective and subjective observations and scrutiny of society and that is what I will attempt to do, to the best of my ability.

These are the days you’ll remember, an old racial reality with younger angrier faces has been re-hatched with temerity, and we hope it will bring us stronger together rather than tear us apart; as we continue to learn to celebrate our diversity instead of being castigated for our differences. Today I saw a sign held by a young white female during the freedom of speech rally on the Boston Commons that said: “Racism is not over, but I’m over racism.” This is a testament to the resistance against intolerance.

The “Black Lives Matter” (BLM) movement is not in competition with the “All Lives Matter” movement simply because of course All Lives Matter but racism dictates that Black Lives Matter Less and White Lives Matter More and so that’s why the movement exists. The BLM movement is having its moment in the sun by speaking and standing up for equity for the designated bottom feeders of society who refuse to run, but instead, get angry.. They hail and wail, and with them I also question: “what is going on?” We need a shift in direction!

“Many sides! Many sides!” say Black people are lazy but moon town sun down we’re working like crazy; fighting for our inalienable rights as “equal” members of society. Our clock never seems to stop turning; we’re confused about the American promise: work hard and you’ll get some relief but does “relief” comes for those who do not look like the majority? But who am I? Just a maligned Haitian-American citizen whose voting voice barely makes a seething sound.

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 were 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 separated 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 1820’s.

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 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, (aka The Mother Land). Hence this mere fact would argue that indirectly we are all connected.

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 Turner’s 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.

The world is restless as wars for justice and equality go on and on the domestic front; regular folks have formed movements to unify a diversified and increasingly divided America juxtaposed with president Donald Trump’s stance to “Make America Great Again” but for whom? For Blacks? For Hispanics? For Asians? For Muslims? For All immigrants? For the poor and disenfranchised? For whom? 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. Period. Lets not forget all of us, who are not Native Americans, 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 immigrant. Hence we will NOT be silenced. And we will NOT go away. We are here to stay!

I am quite aware that a plethora of Americans, White or otherwise, have been indoctrinated–which is to teach someone to uncritically accept biased ideas, opinions, and beliefs of a particular group–rather than educated about our social-cultural and economic structures. For example some have been indoctrinated to think that Black people are lazy and some choose to believe that without question. One of the remedies I can think of is to be honest with yourself about how you have been consciously or subconsciously indoctrinated or taught about others who are different from you, and then, the most difficult part of all, have a DIALOGUE with that person, then re-evaluate your preconceived notions or fallacies and start fresh. I truly believe that it will be at that point you can move from being indoctrinated to being “educated” about other human beings who are truly not that much different from you; being that we are all members of the same race: the human race.

Yet, still I concur with the French playwright Molière’s inspirational words “It is not only what we do but also what we do not do for which we are accountable.“ Hence you are responsible for looking away when wrong is being committed just as you are responsible for getting involved when wrong is being committed. So don’t just sit there, do something! Start by having a conversation with someone perceived as different from you from a prima facie stand point and see what happens. There can be social progressivity in practicing political civility. What I mean by that is diligently adhering to our American constitutional pledge of freedom of speech inherent in our first amendment rights and our democracy. We may not always agree, but as free Americans, we have pledged to at least listen to what each other have to say.

My heart is brimming with pride to be a Bostonian after the inexorable display of unity on that hot summer day, the August 19th Freedom of Speech Rally where hate groups were expected to make a strong showing, but less 50 showed up to Boston’s 15,000 strong; which proves Bostonian treat each other as family, and like most families, there maybe some in fighting, but when it comes to hostile intruders, we stand together in defiant unity. Thank you to Mayor Martin J. Walsh and the Boston police for the preemptive protection of our beloved city.

It is because of this intrepid display of unity that l am a proud Haitian-American citizen and Bostonian. It is because of this fervent display of unity that I am hopeful and optimistic that one day the poor, marginalized and disenfranchised members of society will finally rise from the ashes of assigned adversity to eventually bask in the glory of human dignity through monetary self sufficiency and finally find liberty, equality and fraternity for all of humanity.

The father of that young White woman who died fighting racism and hatred in Charlottesville, Virginia at the hands of neo-Nazis and white supremacist implored us all to STOP THE HATE! Stop holding onto the past like a child holds onto a security blanket and forgive each other. At the end of the day, we all matter and we are all stronger together!

 

Jacques Fleury is the Author of Sparks in the Dark: A Lighter Shade of Blue, A Poetic Memoir & It’s Always Sunrise Somewhere and Other Stories.

 

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Bamboozled No More! Water Tainted by Racism and Politics

 

Sometimes, the days are too long. Sometimes the stories of others are too much to comprehend. I love words but, sometimes they get lost in frustration, anger and sorrow. I ache because I want the best for people. Today, I offer prayers to the people of Flint, Michigan.

Flint residents have complained about the quality of the city’s water for years. The water looked, smelled and tasted unhealthy. Eventually, it was “formally” disclosed that the water had dangerously high levels of lead (dating back to perhaps 2014).

One year of lead contaminated water can produce immediate and long term inter-generational damage. Who can predict how much trauma and destruction the people of the city have and will endure?

Fifty-two per cent of the population of Flint, Michigan is African American. In 2014, Flint residents didn’t vote for the current Governor.

Coincidentally after the election Governor Rick Snyder ignored the residents/voters requests for help regarding the quality of the water and the increased numbers of illnesses in the community.

The Governor had to be shamed into action. Exorcism wasn’t an option due to a lack of holy water.

We call this environmental racism. Quiet as it is kept, environmental racism happens a lot. Dump sites etc., conveniently placed near communities of color. Seriously, could you imagine waste plants in places like Beverly Hills?

This is why we shout that ‘Black lives matter”, because if we don’t who will?

 

Janet Cormier is a painter, writes prose and poetry, and performs comedy. JC prefers different and original over pretty. She loves collecting stuff, but cleaning not so much. Janet also talks to strangers… a lot. Her column now appears weekly on Oddball Magazine.