Can we be honest with each other, you and me? Let’s be honest. This whole “Say Her Name” challenge chant that accompanies the now nightly tide of stupidity is an indefensible, ignorant, and superstitious holdover from Old Testament days and Old Testament locations.
I get it. The “whites” who are marching alongside the “blacks” are trying to be empathetic and sympathetic (and many other multi-syllabic words which these self-same “blacks” still aren’t certain as to whether they mean friend or foe). And in their skin-deep efforts, the “whites” are willing to go with the flow. In the meantime, the “whites”, who also like to wrap the utterance of “RBG” in a knowing look (Do you honestly believe you knew her? I know that you haven’t read one, not one, of her opinions. Stop the nonsense.)—as I was saying—the “whites” have tragically left their thinking caps at home when they pack their camelbacks for the day trip downtown. But if they knew what the “blacks” chanting “Say Her Name!” really meant to accomplish—some kind of wishful, but literal, deification of the dead #BreeWay—I have to believe that these “whites” would pack it up and head home.
Despite the “blacks’” most passionate and honest desire to take us back to the days when crossing the Jordan meant something, since the Resurrection, the utterance of only one name actually requires decision, actually might have consequence, and that name, as you know, is Jesus. And even here most people, Christians included, don’t really believe the good Lord is going to hold their silence against them at the Pearly Gates.
Anecdotally, I’m told that in Ethiopia if a person exclaims, “Jesus!” after dropping a dish, stubbing their toe, or hearing a loud noise, then a non-believer will often playfully retort, “Are you Pente?” They, of course, mean “of the pentecostal denomination” which is renowned for placing great value on all things uttered. I mention that here because that should get you close to understanding what the “blacks” you’re marching alongside, and posting yard signs in support of, really mean.
On the whole, in this superficially diverse movement, the “blacks” are foolish for thinking this is finally “their” moment—foolish especially for believing the “whites” who literally have nothing better to do with their time really care. And the “whites” are foolish for dropping the great legacy of skepticism and regressing to the point of ancestor worship. To be clear: Civilized man doesn’t do ancestor worship anymore. There is power in the name of Jesus (or there might be), but that’s it. No amount of chanting any other audible elixir will ever change that. So let’s be honest. You know this. Or you used to. Please remember it.
Jewishworldreview.com is a news site I started perusing for headlines years ago when Thomas Sowell still wrote. It’s nothing great, but the format is simple, the site loads quickly, and the viewpoints can be provocative. Last week, there was a piece by Larry Elder on the Ahmaud Arbery murder case. The editor of the site called Elder’s article “Gutsy”. This is because Elder writes that the single greatest threat to young black men is young black men. (He wrote this in response to King Lebron’s tweet.)
That’s not a gutsy move at all. I mean I guess if Elder loses something because folks find out that he is not “progressive” or “woke” then it was gutsy. But on the whole, it was more of the same. Boring.
I can do better. And I’ve been on the road all day yesterday and today and need a break, so I will take a moment and prove it.
Firstly, LeBron surely is not to be discarded because of figurative language. He felt hurt and expressed the pain. I do this all the time. Who would I be to hint that LeBron shouldn’t tweet away? (To be clear, my ex is a whore though. The two most dangerous things I’ve ever done are solo flight in an airplane only 20 hours into learning how to fly and sleeping with my ex. Let’s put it this way: If evil was an STD, the pandemic started at her home. However, if stupid was an STD, it must pass from mother to child during pregnancy, because I clearly was infected before meeting my ex.)
More importantly, however, it’s not gutsy to write something, which is perhaps a painful truth, to someone who cannot read. The Black Community cannot read. We all know this. Mr. Elder knows this. And yet Mr. Elder went off in written language, adding a statistical defense, and we’re to congratulate him for being brave? His target audience can’t read! Drop the stats and give a speech at a Baptist church on the topic and I’ll give him props. But until then, or until I hear that he does that regularly, I’m withholding my applause.
I know this because I went to a Baptist church, was married in a Baptist church, and tried to make Baptist friends for over three years. Most of my readers are friends. Want to know how many of those recently befriended Blacks read my blog? Zero. That’s why I’m not afraid to write this. They will never read it.
But whites? We read voraciously at times. We read to the point of stupidity. For example, I just found out that my ex’s dad reads this blog. I had no idea. I knew my ex-sister-in-law did, but I never would’ve guessed my ex father-in-law was a fan. It’s been nearly eight years since the end of the marriage and he still reads it! It’s stupid. Why torture himself? Because he’s white.
To be clear, you are stupid for continuing to read my blog. Just like I am stupid for believing “mother believes that parenting time is appropriate and necessary to maintain (and develop) father/daughter relationship” when I read that. Just like Blacks are stupid for not taking advantage of the chance to change their social status by simply learning how to read English. Oh well. We’re all stupid.
But I’ll tell you something. I’m never going to stop writing and I am never going to limit the topics or content. That’d be missing the point entirely. And H- deserves a fighting chance at learning the truth of why her childhood was the way it was, learning how your daughter is trading a few short years for eternal darkness, which is where she’ll be before Hell, after my daughter figures out there’s a written record.
More than that, you need to just stop reading. You’re stupid for continuing to read. This is the first and last post with you in mind. Why do this to yourself? Block the emails. Or unsubscribe.
Actually, who are we fooling? We know it’s not even you. You’d like to get on with your day, but the matriarch calls you in when it’s a juicy post. Fine. Just like how us two stupid guys were able to de-escalate things earlier, I don’t blame you. You’re not directing this madness. Tell her to stop reading. Just like she had to be told to stop bathing a nine year old. It’s disgusting.
There is “NSFW” (that means “not safe for work”, Grandma and Grandpa–thanks for always reading btw), and then there is please never ever try to talk about what you are about to read. (PNETTTAWYAATR.) I’m serious. The following is a no win conversation. You just have to trust me. (It’s all true. But measuring by the “shame” I feel writing it, I wouldn’t say this out loud if my life depended on it. Ergo, we write.)
Disclaimer: this post is going to sound like it is written to “whites”. I’m going to act like I’m revealing a secret that I learned over the past four years while a member of a black church, attempting to socialize with the Black Community. But this post is not for the “whites”. It is for the “blacks”.
With the election cycle approaching full-swing, I finally feel like I have something to contribute. Perhaps it is because I have a namesake running. Speaking of, the big headlines about Mayor Pete right now contain the basic idea that the “blacks” (of the African-American type–not the new immigrants who playfully taught me that “No, Africa is not a country. But, yes, Africa is a jungle”) the “blacks” remain one of the last voting blocks to publicly embrace homosexuals with open arms.
To the untrained eye, Mayor Pete seems to be doing all the right things. He’s tackling the problem head-on. He’s headed to the South and he’s going to grin-and-grip. To the untrained eye, Mayor Pete is going to put himself out there for the individual blacks that he meets and whom he endears to himself to inspect and stamp “worthy of our trust”. The untrained eye is wrong.
With the “blacks”, Mayor Pete, woke or not, need not aim for some consensus of individuals, no. Consensus is what he’s doing with “whites”. But the “blacks” are not merely the “whites” with dark skin.
The “blacks” are, to their shame, a group. And Mayor Pete is causing conversation within the body. But they’re not talking about issues. They are merely conducting a sounding, no different than a weather balloon full of hot air. We’re not waiting for “blacks” to think through the issues–for instance, to think through whether they still believe the Word of God is the Word of God, no.
All that we’re waiting for is the leader of the “blacks” to declare Mayor Pete to be their guy. Naturally, the question is, “Who is the leader?” And that is a fascinating question. That is the question Mayor Pete would pay to know the answer to at this point. In fact, that is precisely what he is doing right now, whether intentional or not. All he’s waiting on–all we’re waiting on–with his little hurdle is for this “leader” to declare some sort of “Mayor Pete is da man!” or some other slightly Southern or grammatically-challenged sounding phrase of approval (like “woke” itself) to be released with which the millions of “black” sheep can echo, repeat, tweet, insta, snap, and fb all over the planet. (Interesting sidebar: Is there a black social meeja app, vis-a-vis BET? I can’t think of one.)
Lastly, here’s a little known, but known enough, reminder: The leader, the one with the gift of “utterance”, will prove to be a woman. I’m betting on Michelle.
Now you know.
(In any case, my bet is on Trump.)
The following is something I have not shared with very many people. But it has been on my mind of late and I just want to put it down on paper, so to speak.
Lately, as I spend more and more time with African-Americans, I have come to see that everyone hates them. With Denver having a booming African population, it has become clear that even, and sometimes especially, Africans hate them. Naturally, this triggers my desire to defend them. But why?
Why do I love African-Americans so much? They aren’t my culture. We have very different lifestyles. There are some similarities in worldview, but once we leave the Gospel and Word of God, there is often a terrific break. My daughter loves the church and her friends there, but as she gets older, it’s going to be more and more difficult for her to live in both the white and black worlds. Yet I persist. Why? Why? Why? Why?
I’ll tell you.
So there I was. Balad, Iraq, ca. 2008 AD. It was my third of three deployments. My squadron–the aircrew at least–was exclusively male. The lone life support troop was often female. Can you imagine it? She’s half-way around the world, all by herself. Not all by herself, of course. She’s surrounded by men in their most primal environment. At this point in my story, you can probably guess that she was African-American. And she was Christian. I noticed this right away. The LORD was her rock.
One evening, she was with us at our dinner table. She ate quietly. The conversation was loose and the jokes were filthy. One of the more senior officers couldn’t seem to avoid vulgarities. Some might say he was in rare form with this woman present. It was like he was a fly and dick jokes were the light. He’d tell a story, and then the next would be worse. I kept looking towards her and I could tell she was not happy. I just wanted him to give it a rest. He didn’t.
When we returned from dinner, this woman went back to where she worked. There, for at least ninety nights, with no days off, she diligently cleaned and prepared all of our helmets, survival radios, vests, and most importantly the night vision goggles. She was the definition of mission-essential. She did this all by herself–save for when one of us would grace her with some attempted pleasantry.
Something inside me would not let the dinner scene go unaddressed. So I got off the couch and took a moment to walk over to where she worked and struck up a conversation. I said, fully expecting an explosion of gratitude, “If I was more of a man, I would have put a stop to the conversation you just had to listen to at dinner.”
I remember her stony eyes more vividly than her words, but I do remember that with great resolve, she said, “Would you have?” Then she repeated it, “Would you have?”
What about you, reader? Do you possess enough penetration to see my mistake?
She didn’t want some empathetic friend. She didn’t want some “we’re all in this together” moment. She wanted righteousness. And the fact that I admitted that I knew it was wrong, made me more guilty, more unrighteous, than my boss.
This young woman had something most of us don’t recognize and are unable to do anything more than talk about if we do see. It’s something only got by experience. It’s something that’s forgettable–but that would be a tragedy.
The more you hate on her, the more you kill it. And for what?
I don’t know. Maybe that might help you understand why I love African-Americans and think you should too.
Vanity Fair‘s current over-Thor-in-a-flattering-red-t-shirt’s-right-shoulder headline, “Can a man of God end a 21st-century SLAVE TRADE?”* caught my attention while checking out of the grocery store today. I haven’t bought a magazine in forever, and yet after just putzing around watching a bit of Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid last night, I confess that I do not have the fortitude to quit reading cold turkey. (Sidebar: I’d never seen that movie, but it seems to me that besides J.K. Rowling owing her success to her J.R.R. Tolkien ripoff name, she also wasn’t very creative after all with Lord Voldemort. Lord Baltimore. Lord Voldemort. Just sayin’. End Sidebar.)
When I was in the Air Force, because of both the protect-the-weak aspect of the work and the worldwide deployment, in my last few years there was recurring training on human trafficking. We were to be vigilant on duty and off duty–if you get my drift. Aren’t euphemisms great? Instead of sex-slave, we say human trafficking. Wouldn’t want to offend the P.C. gods. Anyhow, sex-slaves are one thing, but two years into my re-indoctrination into the civilian world, I found myself teaching remedial math at a local inner-city (read: black and Hispanic) high school. Out of the blue I gathered that something fishy is going on. On the bulletin board outside my classroom hung all these student projects that were calling for the end of slavery. “WTF?!” was all I could not say out loud. Thirteen year old kids who couldn’t fill out a multiplication table were being encouraged to affirm that not enough was being done to end slavery? I was speechless. Add to this that students wrote sentences that were allowed to make it to the wall like, “This took me back 150 years.”
In any case, I just finished up learning about the origins of Friars and Monks and the like, so when I opened up the magazine and saw that the “man of God” was a Friar who photographed well, I began to read. Then the it was my turn, so I let my training take over and made the command decision to add the magazine to my cart. My question, “What the hell is going on with slavery? I thought that that abomination was eradicated once and for all from the planet. Am I really that out of touch?”
I think I mentioned previously that one concept that we discussed last semester was formal curriculum versus hidden curriculum. Churches are notorious for lacking due diligence to match these two up, and if Friar Xavier Plassat can be trusted, Brazil is guilty of the same charge. Slavery (formal) is illegal, yes. But “conditions analogous to slavery” (hidden) are still present.
Mom, Dad: don’t worry. I haven’t purchased a plane ticket.
Here’s my problem with the word slavery being thrown around today. It’s sensational nature precedes and overpowers it’s descriptive nature. That’s my judgement. America is so sensitive and guilty over its unconscionable past that, me as evidence, using the word slavery sells magazines (and online ads…). And social programs. And makes young white teachers sleep easy at night because they find themselves standing nobly amidst an atrocity, much like Lincoln and the Blue. I shamefully admit that “slavery” interests me more than “human trafficking.” But it’s an abuse of a journalist’s responsibility just the same.
For any cranky readers, please calm down and realize that I haven’t opined one way or another on the reported situation in Brazil. I will now. It’s horrific. The horror is not the conditions (though they are horrible) but that money has such an effect on people that impoverished, uneducated men and women hop on buses that are taking them who knows where, for who knows how long, and that other calculating men and women send out those buses to be able to “improve” their standard of living.
My take? I work in the heart of downtown Denver. The homeless are unmissable. One day I got a call that video security noticed a person laying outside the back door and he/she looked unresponsive. I made my way to the back door and opened it, hoping for the best. I saw matted grey hair and a lot of layers of black clothing. I said, “Excuse me, sir. But I think you are going to have to move from this spot.” His head turned, and she said, barked rather, “Of course, I have to fucking move.” (For a more accurate account of her demeanor, think back to the Princess Bride “Booooooo” scene.)
I do not possess the mental capacity to discern all the nuances of that exchange. What does it matter what I think about slavery in Brazil? I think Brazilians need to stop slavery. I’m not the one turning a blind eye to it. Are you? How about you? Are you turning a blind eye to slavery?
That homeless woman though? Some dad, some mom, some brother, some sister, some child, someone was the first to turn a blind eye on her. It surely wasn’t me. And least that’s what I tell myself so I can sleep at night.
*Langewiesche, William. “Slaves Without Chains.” Vanity Fair Holiday 2015/2016: 94+.
“Does anyone know who this man is?” asked the teacher with a playful smile. The question proved her worth on many levels. One of the two women in charge of the small class of four and five year old pre-kindergartners, she was about the only diversity these white youngsters ever experienced. And on this occasion her husband, also black, came to the classroom on some errand still wearing his business attire. He towered a healthy six foot two over the seated suburbanites-in-training.
The children shook their heads, revealing that they did not have a clue who the man was.
“M-? Is this your dad?” she joked again at poor M-‘s expense.
M- opened her eyes wide, shook her head in the horizontal plane and verbalized, “No.”
“So no one knows who this man is?” the teacher egged on one last time.
Finally, a beacon of light. Of all children, it was the daughter of Pete Deakon himself–writer of should-be-world-renowned blog post Black People Does Not Exist and self-proclaimed leader of the twenty-first century Renewed Effort to Stop Self-Segregation Movement in America (Denver its origins)–it was his little girl, the beloved H-, that fearlessly raised her hand and said, “I know who he is.”
Naturally, other children began to follow their new leader and place their hands in the air, indicating that they too had come to recognize the man.
Quieting down the kids, the teacher asked, “H-, you know who this man is?”
“He’s Martin Luther King!”
There are instances, as rare as double rainbows and three wolf moons, where the lines between our concept of pure joy and the reality of it blur. This is one of them. Take a moment, then, and join me in both picturing and experiencing the delight of the adults present in that classroom last week.
The man did not disappoint, by the way. He looked down at H- and declared, “I do have a dream.”
Black People does not exist. Black People is not an organization. Black People has no leader. Black People has no agenda. Black People has no logo. Black People is not looking to increase its membership. Black People has no bank account. Black People has no buildings.
Black People does not hate White People. Black People does not believe in looting. Black People does not encourage lawlessness. Black People does not teach its young members to ignore policemen. Black People does not fear for its life.
Black People does not align itself with views held by Al Sharpton, Eric Holder, Barack Obama, or Bill Cosby. Black People does not have a dress code. Black People does not believe the dream is deferred.
Black People is not responsible for Ferguson. Black People does not support Michael Brown’s family. Black People is not angry at Darren Wilson. Black People is not angry, period. That’s because there is no Black People.
You may wonder where Black People came from if it does not exist. You may be curious and ask, “Did Black People ever exist?” The answer is irrelevant to the universal goal. The goal is to get there. And no, there will never be defined more clearly than as an abstract place that I want to arrive at safely–with you.
The only way to get there is together. It’s the slogan of this blog. It is by no means an original concept. Air Force pilots and flight crews say it in the negative or inverse, well, they say it this way: “You don’t crash in compartments.” It is a stark reminder that aircrews use to eloquently express the concept if you know something is wrong with the flight and choose to let an outside pressure–real or perceived–prevent you from sharing the information and consequently the aircraft crashes, you die too. In this case, the mechanical problem is the widespread belief of a falsehood–that Black People is a real thing.
Crew, Black People does not exist. This has been true for some time, but it is now clear that the safe landing of this flight depends on you believing it. Black People does not exist. There is no Black People. Believe it.