America’s trouble with racism goes back to the beginning.

Very few people around the world, and even fewer American’s know how far back the systemic racism goes in the United States  –  where attention spans limit any thorough reading of the US Constitution.    For most American’s. Their knowledge of the Constitution Of The United States is a piece of yellowed paper with hard to read writing that is somehow supposed to be important.

But the United States Constitution is a very important part of our history and needs to be understood – and, I would suggest, needs updated.  Because it has not been updated or understood it has allowed for any old jackass, like the president of the united states, to interpret it as he wishes and even use it as a weapon to justify his own racism.

Racism has existed in America before and ever since it became the United States of America.  It is actually a part of the US Constitution.    Don’t be shocked – slavery was part of the “national” economy when the Constitution was drafted.   And I suppose that is where the trouble starts – when humans are viewed as products because of the color of their skin to be sold and traded at the will and whim of whites.

During the US Constitution Convention of 1783 – which was created to frame the government by creating constitutional guidelines. During the convention something happened that became known as the 3/5ths compromise.  The article under debate was relating to taxation and representation.    Many states wanted representation  to be reflected by the number of people in each state and taxes determined by property (i.e. the more property the higher the taxes).    While many southern states liked the idea of increased representation because of their slave population they objected to the notion of being taxed for their property  since black and brown slaves were considered property which meant not only higher representation in congress but higher taxes also.

There arose what became known as the 3/5th compromise which allowed southern states to be taxed on only 3/5ths of their slave population.   So this effectively denied humanity to 2/5ths of the slave population. That is like saying to every single black and brown person, “You’re not allowed to do ‘this’, or ‘that’ because you’re only 3/5ths of a human being.   “You’re not even a complete human being”.     That is outrageous!!!!!!

Thus the United States Constitution Article 1, Section 2, Clause 3 states:

“Representatives and direct Taxes shall be apportioned among the several States which may be included within this Union, according to their respective Numbers, which shall be determined by adding to the whole Number of free Persons, including those bound to Service for a Term of Years, and excluding Indians not taxed, three fifths of all other Persons.”

Now there was some good news to follow but it didn’t come until after the Civil War – and frankly, by then the damage had been done. Generations covering 80+ years had viewed people of color as “not entirely human”. The good news came in the form of the 14th amendment to the US Constitution which completely reverses the 3/5th compromise and states the “whole” number of people will be counted. So people of color were declared by law to be “whole” persons again.
Not that they needed white politicians to tell them that – but it did afford them the same protections as white people. So why do I say the damage was done? Well peoples minds were not that easily persuaded and by 1877 slave states started subverting the new law and actively sought ways to disenfranchise people of color. And that has been going on even into the modern era. Today people of color have been disenfranchised from property ownership, disenfranchised from voting because of all the voting district gerrymandering by politicians, Disenfranchised from education, career opportunities and economic success. There MUST be reparations. Reparation will be difficult for everyone. But putting it off because it will be difficult is not a sufficient excuse. The longer we wait the harder it will become. It will require a political will to change tax law, economic law, police law, credit law, and major criminal justice reform.

More than ever before we need to use the popular quote by John F Kennedy (which he stated about going to the moon) and apply it to reparations:

“We choose to …, not because they are easy, but because they are hard; because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills, because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and one we intend to win, and the others, too.”

Where are our leaders with the political will to make this happen? It makes me angry to hear politicians deny the widespread systemic racism that exists.   They are afraid – and they should be – because we live in a time of tyranny.   And we must overthrow tyranny.

A great quote commonly misattributed to Thomas Jefferson (But no one knows for sure who first said it):

“When government fears the people, there is liberty. When the people fear the government, there is tyranny.”

ALL LIVES MATTER

Police In America

Welcome to America and the end of the world. Home of police terrorism.
The days of the “friendly neighborhood cop” are long gone.
I can’t believe I’m sayin’ this – but like N.W.A. says – FUK DA POLICE
They need to be held accountable for their crimes and stop hiding behind badges.

“Maybe it’s time to get uncomfortable”

I know many people with similar stories.

It’s time to acknowledge the problem!
Nina Simone – I WISH I KNEW HOW IT WOULD FEEL TO BE FREE


It’s time to build up people of color and ALL people.
Nina Simone – TO BE YOUNG, GIFTED AND BLACK

It’s a human thing. To die by disease is one thing, to die by the hands of another person is reprehensible and UNACCEPTABLE.

“I can’t breathe” (a poem)

“I CAN’T BREATHE!”

The long long night in America
violence, hatred & anger
200+ years overdue if you ask me
and not in the least surprising

“I can’t breathe,” “I can’t breathe!”
The fires of protest burn brightly
and the media focuses on the event
not the root that caused this burning bush to grow

Another black man dies
in police custody
“I can’t breathe,” “I can’t breathe!”
each word like bullets fired from a gun
verbal shots ring out
while 3 cops pin a black man down
one brutally kneeling on the neck
and a 4th stands by complicit

It isn’t enough to suppress the black and brown man
his black and blue soul suffering
under the weight of white oppression
and the poison goes to the very top Mr. President

racism given a badge
There is no honor here
It’s not courage that carries a gun and uses force
only a white coward dresses in blue
and cynically claims
“I’m only doing my job”
when they crush the life
out of a black man already subdued
“I can’t breathe,” “ I can’t breathe”

If we are surprised by the violence
we should be ashamed
If we are shocked by the brutality
we shouldn’t be

If we do nothing
We are complicit
“Please, please, please,
I can’t breathe, please man.”

And another black mans soul
ascends to heaven to early.
“Please, please, please,
I can’t breathe, please man.”

I wrote the above poem in reaction to the brutal killing of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police and the nationwide protests and violence that followed 5/31/2020. 

4 essential tracks for this time in America:
The Last Poets – HANDS OFF!


Gil Scott-Heron – HOME IS WHERE THE HATRED IS

The Last Poets – RAIN OF TERROR

War – SLIPPIN’ INTO DARKNESS

Bonus Track – From the film SLAM starring contemporary poet Saul Williams.

 

The Carnival Is Over

carnival is over

Outside the storm clouds gathering
Moved silently along the dusty boulevard
Where flowers turning crane their fragile necks
So they can in turn reach up and kiss the sky

They’re driven by a strange desire
Unseen by the human eye
Someone’s calling

I remember when you held my hand
In the park we would play
When the circus came to town
Look over here

Outside the circus gathering
Moved silently along the rain swept boulevard
The procession moved on, the shouting is over
The fabulous freaks are leaving town

They’re driven by a strange desire
Unseen by the human eye
Someone’s calling

The carnival is over

We sat and watched
As the moon rose
For the very first time

carnival of rust

Carnival of Rust

To breathe the name
Of your savior
In your hour of need
And taste the blame
If the flavor should remind you of greed
Of implication, insinuation and you will
Till you cannot lie still
In all this turmoil, before red cave and foil
Come closing in for a kill

Come feed the rain
‘Cause I’m thirsty for your love
Dancing underneath the skies of lust
Yeah feed the rain
‘Cause without your love, my life
Ain’t nothing but this carnival of rust

It’s all a game
Avoiding failure
When true colors will bleed
All in the name
Of misbehavior
And the things we don’t need

I lust for after no disaster can touch
Touch us anymore
And more than ever, w hope to never fall
Where enough is not the same it was before

Come feed the rain
‘Cause I’m thirsty for your love
Dancing underneath the skies of lust
Yeah feed the rain
‘Cause without your love, my life
Ain’t nothing but this carnival of rust

Yeah feed the rain
‘Cause I’m thirsty for your love,
Dancing underneath the skies of lust
Yeah, feed the rain
‘Cause without your love, my life
Ain’t nothing but this carnival of rust

Don’t walk away, don’t walk away
Ooh, when the world is burning
Don’t walk away, don’t walk away
Ooh, when the heart is yearning
Don’t walk away, don’t walk away
Ooh, when the world is burning
Don’t walk away, don’t walk away
Ooh, when the heart is yearning

digging in the dirt

Diggin In The Dirt

Something in me, dark and sticky
All the time it’s getting strong
No way of dealing with this feeling
I can’t go on like this too longThis time you’ve gone too far
This time you’ve gone too far
This time you’ve gone too far,
I told you, I told you, I told you, I told youDon’t talk back, just drive the car
Shut your mouth, I know what you are
Don’t say nothing, keep your hands on the wheel
Don’t turn around, this is for realDigging in the dirt
Stay with me I need support
I’m digging in the dirt
Find the places I got hurt
Open up the places I got hurtThe more I look, the more I find
As I close on in, I get so blind
I feel it in my head, I feel it in my toes
I feel it in my sex, that’s the place it goesThis time you’ve gone too far
This time you’ve gone too far
This time you’ve gone too far,
I told you, I told you, I told you, I told youDon’t talk back, just drive the car
Shut your mouth, I know what you are
Don’t say nothing, keep your hands on the wheel
Don’t turn around, this is for realDigging in the dirt
Stay with me I need support
I’m digging in the dirt
Find the places I got hurt
Open up the places I got hurtDigging in the dirt
Stay with me I need support
I’m digging in the dirt
Find the places I got hurt
Open up the places I got hurt
I got hurtDigging in the dirt, to find the places we got hurt
Digging in the dirt, to find the places we got hurt
Digging in the dirt, to find the places we got hurt
Digging in the dirt, to find the places we got hurt

glory & consequence

Glory and consequence

I’m more afraid of living
Than I am scared to die
I’m more afraid of falling
Than I am of flying high
Every moral has a story
Every story has an end
Every battle has its glory
And its consequence
I’m more afraid of loving
Than I am of being scorned
But I will keep on trying
Though I have been forewarned
Every moral has a story
Every story has an end
Every battle has its glory
And its consequence
I would rather me be lonely
And you have someone to hold
I’m not as scared of dying
As I am of growing old.
Every moral has a story
Every story has an end
Every battle has its glory
And its consequence

lovers in a dangerous time

Lovers In A Dangerous Time

Don’t the hours grow shorter as the days go by
You never get to stop and open your eyes
One day you’re waiting for the sky to fall
And next you’re dazzled by the beauty of it all
When you’re lovers in a dangerous time
Lovers in a dangerous time

These fragile bodies of touch and taste
This vibrant skin this hair like lace
Spirits open to the thrust of grace
Never a breath you can afford to waste

When you’re lovers in a dangerous time
Lovers in a dangerous time
When you’re lovers in a dangerous time
Lovers in a dangerous time

When you’re lovers in a dangerous time
Sometimes you’re made to feel as if your love’s a crime
Nothing worth having comes without some kind of fight
Got to kick at the darkness till it bleeds daylight

When you’re lovers in a dangerous time
When you’re lovers in a dangerous time
When you’re lovers in a dangerous time
Lovers in a dangerous time

Dune Quotes

and be sure to check out my FAVORITE Frank Herbert quote – the litany against fear – on an older post from 2016 but perfectly suited to the age of COVID-19 (click the link below).
https://onbeingbecoming.com/2016/11/10/on-fear/

coronavirus 2020 #7

Messages #1 evn smlr

Sure we need to be careful but use common sense. Hygiene is important. If you follow basic common sense you’ll be fine.  Enjoy your life.  After all this life could be your last.

coronavirus 2020 #6

messages from the future #31 evn smlr

What are we losing? What are we giving up?
“Keep a distance of 6 feet between you and others”
“don’t touch each other”
“wear a mask”
In short, don’t kiss, shake hands or fuck.

coronavirus 2020 #5

messages from the future #37 evn smlr

With the Coronavirus there is a full-blown panic here in the US as a complete failure of leadership continues to be the real plague on our country. This panic has resulted in empty store shelves, events cancelled on a large scale, nothing is permitted where a group of 50 or more may gather. “Wartime” curfew 9pm.   Is this how we finally lose our freedom? Is this how government will control us? What happened to “freedom of assembly”? Will it ever be restored? Will we finally rise up? Or, will we remain comfortably numb?

My cell has windows and a doors but I AM NOT FREE!

coronavirus 2020 #4

messages from the future #18 evn smlr
Isn’t prevention merely a deception? Doesn’t it mean there is only a delay?
The hard truth is WE WILL ALL DIE most by disease. What’s the big deal? Get ready for it. Don’t panic. Be calm.

The music track below will not be for everyone. And there were several tracks I considered by this artist. Diamanda Galas with here 7 octave voice in her track “This Is The Law Of The Plague” from her PLAGUE MASS recording is a haunting experience worth listening to. She “shreds” the voice like a guitar player will “shred” guitar. Let it move you.

Coronavirus 2020 #3

messages from the future #50 evn smlr

Everyone is looking for a cure. But will that be enough? Aren’t we often addicted to our suffering? Isn’t suffering more exciting and newsworthy than a cure?

corona virus don’t panic

A brand new image.
CORONA VIRUS 2020

If this Corona Virus will teach us anything – it is that when it comes to human experience – the best of all possible futures is a dystopia for the majority and a utopia for the minority of survivors. That said, I prefer to think of the future as not written in stone. I like Bob Marley’s sound advice
“…don’t worry about a thing, ’cause everything’s gonna be alright”

and Michael Franti – don’t panic – Stay Human – spend less time looking suspiciously at each other and more time looking out FOR each other.

and finally

Coronavirus 2020 #2

messages from the future #65 evn smlr

Due to the Coronavirus “madness” that has gripped the world – This image is one of several images I will be reposting selected creations of my “MESSAGES FROM THE FUTURE” series from 2012/2013.  Do you really believe what you hear? Did you ever consider there may be another message?

Just some stuff to think about.

Coronavirus 2020

messages from the future #82 sm

Due to the Coronavirus “madness” that has gripped the world – This image is the first of several images I will be reposting selected creations of my “MESSAGES FROM THE FUTURE” series from 2012/2013. The madness starts with the news media.
The clip below from Monty Python’s Holy Grail seems fitting since this coronavirus pandemic is being treated like the “black death” of the middle ages. Just some stuff to think about.

I urge caution and calm when the media would have us PANIC!