(About Flags, Anthems and Statues)
Jerome DeVonni Wilson © 2018
Fast talk is utilized to “influence or persuade by fluent, facile and usually deceptive or tricky talk.” In other words, it’s game.
Have you heard the recent psychobabble of some of the lames who hint at excusing the atrocities inflicted upon humans by their forefathers (because they surely can’t be our forefathers) with imbecilic chatter of an acceptable moral capacity of the white men of that era?
The argument posed by these people suggests that we are attacking the legacy of men who though not heroes by today’s standards, were of impeccable valor, loyalty and wherewithal during the days of their lives.
Black lives notwithstanding.
Despite the perfidious ploys and genocide of the indigenous people.
F.A.ST. Talk / Wilson 2
These defenders are either mentally inept or socially fearless with wagering their current standing and civil perception in the lens of the populace. They actually debase their own perception of how ingenious these dudes were in opening the West to the New World.
Are we really to agree to attribute their barbarism to intellect and nobility even as they were committing rape, murder, torture and body brokering because what. . . it was cool back then?
Somehow, we find ourselves pulling the curtain back and gazing out the window like Malcolm while wondering: At what point in time did it become “not cool”? At what point in his-story did we cross that threshold which gave way to “today’s standards”? And, was the approach conscience or legislative?
As a child we are indoctrinated into many things and with limited cognizance we would even hold high expectations for the tooth fairy if we were instilled to do so. Think back to the first time you recited the Pledge of Allegiance or sang the national anthem. Surely it wasn’t on your own accord because you were no more cognizant of national pride than you were that Valentine’s Day and Easter are Pagan holidays.
It’s notable that some of the same people who now pass rape laws are protecting the celebration of rapists. Thomas Jefferson had children with his slave. She could not leave his domain. She could not say NO to sex. It was not consensual copulation. It was #MeToo of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.
F.A.ST. Talk / Wilson 3
Likewise, some of the same people who are now passing human trafficking laws and the enforcement thereof, are protecting the celebration of body brokers. Participants of the commercial exchange of slaves shipped upriver to be sold on Wall Street as livestock.
If true history was really their concern, the history books in public schools would provide an accurate account of the den of iniquities that slavery entailed versus merely glossing over it, as well as a more stringent analysis of the Civil War.
Museums are educational institutions that can preserve and narrate this nation’s history — which cannot be changed. Don’t be disillusioned by the charlatans, removing a racist monument does not change or alter history – that stance is nonsense. What it does is document history in a ‘Run tell that!’ fashion that we didn’t have when we were forced to accept those larger than life reminders of the misconceived superiority of those white men and their inexpiable deeds.
Don’t be deceived by the discourse, the only people who would stand to protect the legacy of slave holders, rapists and supremacists are those who are insensitive, indifferent and otherwise of the view that these memorialized individuals are indeed their heroes.
Therefore we will remain a fizzured nation because if the same people enslaved, raped and lynched their family, would they want the monuments there? Of course not, and so they are hypocritical.
F.A.ST. Talk / Wilson 4
Due to World War II, Hitler is a part of America’s war history — where is Hitler’s monument? Sure, he’s a foreigner but his whole concept of eugenics and ethnic cleansing
was a formula borrowed from the Democratic South of beloved America. If it’s all the same to everyone, in the interest of preserving history, for every monument to remain standing that perpetuates the pain that only we own; widening the division between our side and the heartless people on the other side, there is a middle ground. . .
Remember the funk that arose when the little girl statue faced off with the big bad bull sculpture on Wall Street? In the spirit of equality, right next to monuments of confederates and slaveholders, we can make America great again by erecting statues to honor Nat Turner, Denmark Vesey and the likes of John Brown from the Harper’s Ferry uprising.
Certainly the people who are fighting to preserve history would support having statues of these upright men in front of government buildings, in parks and downtowns, as well as the naming of streets and public schools after them. Especially in the suburbs or areas of gentrification to properly document the ushering in of a new era.
Look, let’s make no mistake about it, there has not been a schism here in public opinion because the conscious progeny of the downtrodden has never agreed with the sins of the transgressors.
F.A.ST. Talk / Wilson 5
We, as a wronged people, have never adored their beloved forefathers. The fact that we’ve recited the Pledge of Allegiance and participated in song and dance is best explained as a ritual we’ve been coaxed into — a social custom by way of inculcation. Perhaps some are holding their hands over their hearts during the theatrics to show love to the souls lost in the trans-Atlantic slave trade, those lynched, tarred and feathered and otherwise deprived of humanity in the name of America.
Maybe some are holding their hands there because they are apologetic — their hearts going out to those affected by the labor and allegiance they’ve contributed to empowering the super-monster that this country has become, therefore for some, the posturing an elegiac gesture.
There has never been one America so there has never been one journal of the American experience to read from. One point of view, the one of the slave progeny, is a reflection of social realities; whereas another P.O.V., the one from the spawn of the unforgiven, is a matter of self-service en masse, an account derived from ethnic vainglory that they find necessary to propagate and navigate their cultural trajectory.
Those people could have only been as primitive as their socio-political and religious tapestries. The fact that enslaving another ethnicity was then the colorful mores, does not deem the crimes of past and the arrogance of present incommensurable. That’s only F.A.ST. Talk from a two-faced nation, one that though haughty and imperfect, we were bequeathed to work with and enrich, to mold into the great land of liberty that it professes to be for all, in statues, statutes, stature and statehood.
F.A.ST. Talk / Wilson 6
Those of us who understand the complexities of why the football players kneel or raise the clenched fist can only do so because we are not simple. We know that critics have placed the cart before the horse with their salvo of attacks on the players in saying the football field is no place for political theater. This is selective persecution. The framing of that argument should have been raised to the NFL decades ago due to the fact that the display of the flag, playing of the anthem, and in some cases the staging of members of the armed forces on the field — none of which have anything to do with football — are causes and actions which happen first and then bring about effects and reactions. Put another way, if these causations did not take place, there would be neither opportunity nor need for a reaction of protest.
In fact, the Department of Defense has paid millions of dollars to the NFL for those elaborate exhibitions. This means that the motives of these brothers in the NFL have only been able to become “politicized” because they are responding to an action that from its commencement has always been political in nature.
So if the defenders would only quit talking long enough to hear us — because we can sing together but we can’t talk together, right? — they would come to discern that these issues are self-inflicted wounds.
For how can we be “one nation” under a groove if part of us is telling the rest of us . . . some of us keeps telling most of us, that these things are hurtful only to receive reckless disregard? Where is the love? From that perspective, we, as a country lack self love.
F.A.ST. Talk / Wilson 7
Even big faced Benjamin Franklin knew that “A little neglect may breed great mischief. . . for the want of a nail the shoe was lost; for the want of a shoe the horse was lost; and for the want of a horse the rider was lost”.
As I stated in my book, Glass Wallpaper: The Poetical Eulogy of a Political Prisoner:
“We have fought battle after battle to become equal
stakeholders in this nation. This nation has come a long way:
Slavery, Civil War, Reconstruction, Jim Crow, Civil Rights.
There were changes. The institutions of racism changed. The
flag and National Anthem have remained the same. . . after all
the changes we’ve been through, maybe they should change
the flag and anthem to ones that reflect our growth through
change. One that hasn’t waged war on the Native Americans,
Blacks, Hispanics, and no, we haven’t forgotten those
Japanese internment camps either. I’m just sayin’ I can stand
for a flag that stands for me. . . but why is that flag flying over
Setting my diatribe aside, though we as Black people are expected to assimilate in “America”, the flags, anthems and statues act as reminders that we are only African American. A sort of American. Different. Hyphenated i.e., indicated as individuals of mixed background or composition and set apart for a specific purpose.
But the fact that they hyphenate us is spot-on, it can mean to connect or divide. Unfortunately what is on display will cause us to remain the latter, disconnected by America’s rusty customs and singing of the same ol’ song with a forked tongue. Ride on America. . . ride on.