Historical perspective is nice, and usually ends up with a very docile version of even the most ruthless and vicious among us. I’d say that goes double for the radicals among us (see: Ernesto Guevara). But is this right? Of course not. So what then, for Ruthless, and the month of his heritage, Black History Month? If you think I’m letting people off light, you haven’t been paying attention. Or you’re a new reader(HI! Welcome to the slaughter!) First let’s prime the pump a bit with a video I think you’ll find somewhat enlightening to fully enlightening.
Sharp no? The effect is almost instantaneous.
Right now you’re coming out of that video thinking about 2 things. I’m actually only going to talk about one of them. Because like him or not this video isn’t really about TJ Sotomayor. The “conscious,” “woke,” “pro-black,” community which you will often here me deride as idiots focus way too much on messengers and not messages. But we’ll get to them and the word coon soon enough. I want to talk about the statistics brought up in the video and the speech from Malcolm X because yes you should be thinking about how overlooked that is. I was as you surprised to some degree about some of the numbers. They were alarming for all the right reasons. Black dollars, like black guns, and black lives matter. I dare say black power matters, but I wouldn’t want to get shea butter twitter thinking I’m with them.
What in the end is the thing you are doing to build up this community you say you are for? Certainly the notion that re-purposing the buying power of a community to rebuild itself is not foreign to anyone. It is done after major man-made devastation, or indeed acts of God. We hear about them all the time. So why then does the black community not do this? Well, there are a lot of reasons, but let’s just talk about the obvious one. They don’t want to. We’ve talked before about internal motivation being the genesis of whether you actually give a shit about something. I’ve said more than once that until you do something about the things you don’t like, you don’t really care about them. I’ve had no reason to change that opinion. See in the piece above you have all the facts and figures. I could have just linked to it, let it play and say something snarky like “But you care about black lives right?” and ended this piece. Same effect as what I’ve said so far.
So what then comes when I speak on this issue now? What is my point? And why is this about black history month?
Come further down the rabbit hole with me.
My parents were actually married before Negro history week became black history month. Crazy right? I wasn’t adopted until way later. But I bring that change up because that was the last time that this month had anything added to it. Throughout my education in the 80s and 90s Black History Month has been a showcase if you will of rebranding. Dr. King was a pacificist, Malcolm X was just angry, and Rosa Parks was just a tired lady on a bus are the same hits you got and I got. So what then for this month? What point is there to it if all I see is folly? Well that I lay at your feet. I had my understanding grow by having a great person at my church give me deeper knowledge. Let me see more by challenging me. Her name was Sandra Beasley(Rest In Peace), and to say that my towering intellect and then unchecked ego could easily be bruised by her dropping knowledge I didn’t have yet would be an understatement of her effect on me. Let me unpack that for you though. My parents, college educated, on me about taking school seriously, and never let me just be average. My Godparents, same deal. So by high school, I think I know it all. Because for the minimalist school black history month, and the re-brand social organization and church versions I do. And yet, throughout high school, even after I went off to college, Sandra Beasley could reduce me to a confused child because she always had one more. One more that I somehow missed. When I say you don’t want to have a history discussion on this month with me, I mean it. I’m well prepared.
So why haven’t I done something? Well, who says I haven’t?
I haven’t, sort of.
One of the big things we hear about is the creation of curriculum that addresses the systemic issues that have led us to this point. In more laymen’s terms, we need to teach in a way that respects the differences in people’s cultures, but is equitable to them. And odd as it might be, that eventually means ridding ourselves of Black History Month. Not like Stacey Dash has in mind. She would see the end of Black History Month, BET, the NAACP, Affirmative Action, the voting rights act, and a number of other things just to look like an idiot when White America tosses her in with all the other black people in new “shockingly racist” policies. No, I instead mean a more holistic view of American and World History. Not sanitized either. But how do we get there? First off, good ideas. Which is why it pains me to share this video, but I recognize the necessity.
For those that didn’t watch this is about Dr. Johnson’s school. And I say it pains me to share it because both sides are right here. This school was a great idea…in theory. A boarding academy with a non-eurocentric teaching focus that is accredited would be something major. So major that it could spark a completely new enlightenment rush in Black America. I love the idea. I would support it. But not…this one. You see the woman’s points are correct as well. Due in no small part to my upbringing I have a lot of education policy related papers in my academic wake. In my spare time I like looking up things on the subject. I am as much an education junkie as I am a political one. And though both often anger me, because sometimes even old friends are stupid and let you down, I keep paying attention. The problem with this school idea is the setup. There is no plan. Not a curriculum for the school, not a business plan for the academy, really nothing beyond give me the money, this is the name, here is the idea. Oddly enough this video is from Dr. Boyce Watkins’ channel, and he recently talked about the issues with having written down ideas, but having no action. The same can be said of this school. It is a great idea, and separate from what the personal scandals of Dr. Johnson’s person life are, it should be looked at as a positive step. But to ask for 4 million dollars and not have some basics in is terrifying. The same way hearing a kid spout hotep talking points but have no idea who Mansa Musa is, is terrifying. The lack of information sends a cold shiver down my intellectual spine.
So what about Black History Month? Well I say let’s start there. Before you can advance to the point that it is no longer a necessary part of educating youth and just becomes a cultural celebrationfest, you have to address the issues inherent in the current form. What do I mean? Well that starts latter with a series we are doing, both written AND podcasted, called “More truth, less filter.” That’s right, we’ll be talking about some of the people you haven’t heard from, heard of, as well as some things you didn’t get the insight about before. No profanity, no yelling, well suited to all ages. Because like I said, you don’t care if you aren’t doing something, and as reign might say “Do more. Require better.” There are so many details though. Word’s Don’t Do…
Sorry to interrupt myself doing the catchphrase but we have an announcement. “New Year, Same Ruthless” doesn’t mean we won’t be upgrading. In fact, if you know me, you know that is my style. So I’d like to introduce you to our new logo for Words Don’t Do It Justice!
So now you’ve seen the new logo, you may also have noticed the new dark theme to the blog, as well as the two other logos. More on that as we do this lead in to the 3 year anniversary, but let’s just say some new faces, structural changes, and improvements to all phases of the game are coming. I could say more but Word’s Don’t Do…
Got to interrupt again though. Because not only do we have the new logo, we have a new way for you to show support. Come check out our 314 Publishing storefront on Tee Public, and support the show by getting, t-shirts, hoodies, baseball shirts, tank tops, kids shirts, long sleeves, and even phone cases.
The link is http://tee.pub/lic/314Publishing if you can’t click on the hyperlink. We have shirts for every logo from 314 Publishing, and from Words Don’t Do It Justice already up. Soon there will be shirts for The Wrath of Ruthless, as well as some of our other new projects. For the next 72 hours they are even on sale. Every item you purchase gives us a percentage of the sale which helps us come to you more often. You can see more about it in an upcoming post about the storefront and other ways to support Words Don’t Do It Justice and our parent 314 Publishing. I could say more here, but that would make that post pointless, and after all, Words Don’t Do it Justice!