|Posted on July 14, 2016 at 12:30 AM|
Check out the (rough) audio of this poem here: www.youtube.com/watch?v=iEZswZpSH7A
My smiling lips and yet sad eyes are only the tip of the iceberg for this person that you see
Beneath my everything that makes me me
Is my inherited insecurity
Melanin has rendered my skin darker
And has subjected me to the darkness of humanity
The depths of how devastating misinterpreting differences can be
My people were kings, they were proud, they were strong, they were warriors
And they were classified as savages deserving of slavery
Seeds ripped from the soil that had reaped prosperity, [vibrancy and history]
And planted in stolen land among weeds
Ravaged my parasites that took the life that they breathed
Because watching my people wither was akin to a need
We became cargo, we became slaves,
Denied the right to even be identified as alive, we became property, dehumanized to our graves
I am every person on that slave ship, every person on that field, every person who has been whipped, flogged, beaten and killed
Because if I had been there, it would've been me; that would've been the destiny I would've fulfilled
This first inherited insecurity is embedded in the fact that I'm Caribbean Canadian, or is it African Canadian, or African American, or is it only just African ; and now I know why no matter what countries we find ourselves in, we call ourselves Black, because having more melanin in our skin has revealed all the light that humanity universally lacks.
Now you still have time to go away, turn and never look back because this iceberg goes much deeper than just the fact that I'm Black
I'm a black female, yes this is different, yes this is distinct, yes we are more marginalised than you would ever think
Lesser than the black man, lesser than the white woman, struggling to figure out how we fit into the mold being human
Are we the mammy, or the Jezebel, too masculine or just invisible, I believe we have been defined as e: all of the above
Denied the right to raise our own but being forced to raise our future masters by whom we would be owned ;
Raped and brutalized, but never justified because the curves of our body clearly meant that we were oversexualized ;
Forced to fight, so not demure; forced to struggle, so not patient; forced to be both parents because our men internalized the lies the white man had suggested;
Forced to take the background in the movements that the world celebrated, yet we wonder why in the media we're rarely represented?
Did you know that we are the least sought out of all demographics for anything romantic? That amongst all the people groups and gender combinations, we are the least attractive? [We do not need the statistics to reveal this fact to us, it is already known, embedded in what Freud called the unconscious.]
And so these two inherited insecurities dictate the course of my existence; how I see myself, how I am seen and my much needed resilience
And so I try to say this truth in love but I will not apologize: saying all lives matter is actually devaluing mine, saying that you didn't ask to be white doesn't change the fact that I'm Black, and saying racism doesn't exist anymore doesn't make it suddenly poof and disappear; gone in the wind with no remnants in the air
Ignoring the weeds only allows them to grow
And you only continue their spread by pulling out the tops by your caring ignorance, making a wish out of your tolerance and giving it a big blow of air with no substance There is a root that needs to be dealt with.
But pulling out weeds takes a lot more than new legislation and political correctness
It takes getting down on your knees in humility, getting your hands dirty in the mess that has been created, and pulling out the stereotypes at their very roots with all of your strength and with a commitment that says no matter how long it takes, this task will be accomplished
Who is actually willing to do that? My people of a different race, are you willing to get in the mess that your ancestors helped create and that by turning a blind eye, you have helped perpetuate?
My fellow Black people, are you willing too? This state is comfortable for you. We have become too used to being used. There are stereotypes we've adopted as traits of our race. We've adapted to the environment of the weeds and have called this success. My goodness, our society has a flawed view of progress.
Who is truly willing to do all of that? Who? And this is why I struggle with standing at the altar with a white man and saying I do, and believing that he would say it too.
It's more than just culture; it's the whole iceberg of my identity, it is the roots of my inherited insecurities.
And, yet Someone already did all of that for me. I am a part of the most epic love story in all of history.
Science tells me that we are "x" percent different and "X" percent the same, but that's because we all have origins in the one who introduces Himself with I AM as His name.
We inherited the identity of being made in the Imago Dei, but evil corrupted our inheritance to an insecurity of no longer being in relationship with the one who defines infinity
And we are unable to pull ourselves out of this weeded mess on our own because we planted ourselves in this imperfect soil that was not meant to be our home
We chose our slavery to an evil that corrupts, and by the time we realised the condition of our chosen soil, we realised we were stuck
This soiled soil perverted who we were meant to be and established the weeds of racism, sexism, and every other ism that plagues humanity
Our Creator witnessed this and would've been righteously justified, to let us bear the consequences of our choice of Him being denied
And yet the Creator became our Gardener and got down to His knees, in humility He chose to pull out our self-perpetuated weeds
And then He changed the soil by the perfection that He shed, that new life would replace the death we lived instead
When we encounter the iceberg of our identities, we crash like the titanic; it wasn't a situation that we were prepared for, not something that we can manage
And then there's death and despair and unbearable tragedy because we are unable to handle our inherited insecurity,
Look in the mirror, be honest with yourself about your inherited needs; we bleed the same colour because we share the same weeds
I shared with you the insecurities that underlie my eyes, my smile, my hair; but recognize that there is an inherited insecurity that we, humanity, all share
This insecurity is only abolished in security in the love, sacrifice and grace that has fully set us free; this is the power to change our souls and our society.
What I'm saying must offend, but I know it is the life, the way and the truth
You ask me how? It changed me, and I know it can change you.
Categories: Poetic Roars