Hateya Habiba is "just a crazy little woman with way too much dopamine in her system and a passionate imagination." She's a multilingual fiction writer currently living with her husband in his homeland of Japan. An avid Trek nerd, she is depicted left with actor and legend George Takei.
Several days ago, Ankhesen Mié introduced us to the Five Walls of Abagond's Law. It stated that white people had five walls to overcome: the wall of lies, the wall of self-interest, the wall of white self, the wall of white society, and the wall of shame and guilt.
Black people have only one wall to overcome, the Wall of Lies, a stark reminder of the extent and the insidiousness of racism in America. The resulting disease hasn't only infected the white masses, it has infected us too, and it's destroying the fabric of African-American society. To this day, we are systematically raped and robbed of our heritage and our place in the world time and again.
The Wall of Lies has perpetrated one of the most heinous crimes in American history: it has made us hate ourselves.
We're constantly at each other's throats. We stab each other in the back just to get a little bit more. We rank ourselves according to skin color and hair. Those darker and with a tighter curl pattern are taught that they are inferior as children. We praise those who are lighter and have a looser curl pattern even if an individual person hasn't accomplished a damned thing.
Here is a case in point. Recently, a young, richly brown-skinned African-American woman visited this island. She was extremely cute and overjoyed to have the opportunity to visit another culture so fundamentally different from the society in which we were raised.
At her suggestion, we secured and watched a bootleg copy of Precious. The rage the movie inspired manifested itself physically. I was literally trembling. The indignities and injustices Precious endured screamed out to me.
Even before the credits rolled, my visitor blurted out and I quote, "I'd never hang out with a baboon like that. She can't even read and write. My two-year-old cousin can. What's the point of trying to help a loser like that? No wonder white folks think we're trash."
God help me, I wanted to snatch a knot in her and throw her off the balcony. Instead, I counted to ten and asked myself what in the hell Syracuse University was teaching this girl. Another ten seconds later, I attempted to explain reality to her, but she cut me off and said, "I'm not interested in all that race stuff. That's just an excuse for poor black folks to sit on their asses and collect welfare."
I had no choice but to invite her to leave my home and to never ever contact me again.
How could she have watched that movie and not understood that the welfare system was a tool of racism and classism in America? Why did she not realize that the education system had failed Precious at least a decade before she was expelled for being pregnant a second time with her father's child? When this news came to light, the system' only solution was to cut off the welfare benefits because apparently that small pittance meant more than a dark-skinned black child's soul.
Cut-off is how my visitor lived her life. In fact, she firmly believes she has overcome. She believes she is living Martin Luther King, Jr.'s dream. She also believes she has earned her status.
Good for her, right? Wrong. The Wall of Lies is so formidable that this little nitwit failed to realize that she "overcame" on the backs of those in our society who will forever be denied the opportunities (however limited) she has simply because of the color of their skins.
Light skin and an expensive weave was all The Little Girl who Overcame needed for a decent life to be handed to her on a bronze platter. Her comfort makes it so easy to ignore the struggle for survival that is underway at the bottom of America's Pyramid of Worth.
Why should those who have "overcome" care? If we can't bring a majority of our people across, we'll remain stagnant forever. We'll fossilize and die. All we'll have left is the color of our skins. Once we've been decimated, so will the dream of America. Our society is already collapsing under the weight of this decay.
True to its nature, The Wall of Lies, allows the racists to wage war against people of color on two fronts: 1) through all-out white privilege and 2) through a cleverly disguised war of attrition.
The war of attrition allows them to chip away at our foundation by elevating a chosen few and relocating them to a fake land of milk and honey. Impressed? The racists have nearly perfected using them, blacks of faux privilege, to keep the masses in their places
It was unrealistic of me to expect The Little Girl Who Overcame to understand Precious struggle to escape the bonds of slavery. She couldn't possibly understand that for every step Precious took forward, the system kicked her five steps backwards.
Unable to make this connection, The Little Girl Who Overcame will never be able to either catch someone like Precious or reach back and pull that person along with her. Instead, The Little Girl will spend the rest of her life focused entirely on what they, white people, think of us. This, too, is another form of slavery.
I can deal with the KKK and their rhetoric, because as long as the law never again allows them to murder us without punishment, I say fuck 'em. What I can't deal with is black people like The Little Girl Who Overcame.
While I can't deny that she, too, is a victim caught in racism's evil grasp, I cannot forgive her for willfully ignoring reality.
By now, you're probably asking yourself who the hell I am. In truth, I am also a black child with benefits. I was born to an extremely dark-skinned and fabulously beautiful black woman with a genius brain and a Native American man. Although I hardly qualify as light, bright or high yellow, I am a safe brown. As such, racists and delusional blacks frequently heap rewards upon me and I utilize their bigotry to my advantage on a regular basis. Do I feel guilty? Hell no!
In this light, what is the difference between me and The Little Girl Who Overcame? I live in reality and I don't use my benefits to the detriment of my race(s).
I know how to reach back and I know how to give because I was raised to be a decent human being. In addition, my maternal grandmother's sage advice always resonates in my brain: "Don't be walking around with your damned nose stuck up in the air because all you'll be smelling is your funky top lip."
Suggested Reading: Plaçage
Suggested Watching: Feast of All Saints