No one in good faith can argue over the fact that living under the subjugation of white supremacy is downright brutal. Having to wake up to a world where you and everyone who resembles you in appearance are intentionally and systematically targeted and attacked, in every facet of society, makes for a pretty miserable existence.
Every minute of every day and night, there’s a wicked and savage entity, known as systemic racism, working to undermine and prevent any form of progress and prosperity you hope to achieve in life. And, you’re having to dwell under such unjust and pathetic circumstances simply for being born with more melanin than another group of people.
Also, you have to navigate, daily, through a treacherous environment filled with socially engineered pitfalls, booby traps, and landmines (job place discrimination, gentrification, etc.) all set up for the purposes of ensuring the continued provision of unearned goodies, giveaways, and guarantees for a specific group of people.
And to add the layer of the noxious sludge icing to this toxic and festering cake you and those who look like you have been force-fed, you’re subjected to visual after visual of your non-melanated counterparts relishing and gorging on the very finest choice cuts life has to offer.
Their system affords them the crème de la crème of the human existence, in terms of having the ability to move about the world as they see fit, of having a, virtually, endless variety of options when deciding who they want to marry and build a family with, of having the unmitigated liberty to pursue any path of fulfillment they desire without social hindrance, and of having the depthless privilege of knowing they can fail multiple times while they take the sweetest of time handcrafting and uninhibitedly customizing their world to their liking.
Their system grants them an ironclad and ultra expansive support network to provide them aid in their pursuit of generational wealth, and the ultimate social stability to cultivate a household culture conducive to their offspring being able to properly inherit the family’s legacy.
And day after day after day, those perks white supremacy manifests and extends to the white collective are endlessly flaunted and paraded by them in front of you to the point of you feeling physically suffocated.
So, family, I wholeheartedly understand black people’s overwhelming desire to want to escape from such a grim and, at many times, hopeless reality. I totally empathize and sympathize with our predicament, and, to a degree, it’s actually healthy to use entertainment for the purposes of downshifting our brain.
Naturally, keeping the mind in a constant, high RPM state, in response to the rigors of life is not conducive to good mental health. Entertainment provides for a certain level of brief detachment, and there’s certainly nothing wrong with that.
However, notice a very important word I used in that sentence. I said a “brief” level of attachment; I did not say a “permanent” state of detachment, and there lies the problem with most of us.
Now, folks, I understand the dire situation we’re in as a people, but the fact of the matter is, a huge reason we’ve been in a subjugated position for generation after generation is because we’ve become masters of distracting ourselves. We’ve gotten so used to distracting ourselves away from the horrors and atrocities of white supremacy…that we actually forgot to fight and eradicate the very thing causing all those horrors and atrocities. Instead of us investing so much time and energy into temporary escapes from the reality of white supremacy (and really there is no escape, just the illusion of it), how about we put that energy into eliminating the need to escape something in the first place?
We’ve adopted a culture of using entertainment to become permanently disengaged with the practice of problem-solving, and the act of doing so puts our existence, as a people in grave, jeopardy. Black people play this silly and downright shameful mind game with themselves at their own peril.
When a group of people waged war against another group, never in human history has a group succeeded in defeating the opposing group nor in stopping a war by ignoring them. Systematic racism is nothing short of an all-out war against black life, psychologically, economically, and physically. And, keeping those waging that war out of sight, out of mind by watching 28 hours of Netflix and Hulu every week isn’t going to magically make them disappear.
The powers that be want you constantly gorging on entertainment because they understand the more time you’re making for entertainment the less time you have for introspection, strategizing, organization, and community building. Bottom line, the busier you are watching Love & Hip Hop, comedy skits on YouTube, and Instagram Lives, the less busy you’ll be doing the types of things that empower you against them.
The powers that be also understand that the more you pay attention to something or someone the more like that thing or person you become. Regardless of how strong-willed or disciplined you think you are, you’re still subject to the whims of human nature. So, basically, if you’re a person who doesn’t do drugs but then you start hanging around people who smoke crack all the time, guess what. You will inevitably become a crackhead (I’ve seen it happen).
I’m not saying everything you visually and audibly ingest during downtime has to be a friggin’ history documentary or The Autobiography of Malcolm X for crying out loud. Taking in entertainment for entertainment’s sake is fine, but the more you interact with programming–which is exactly what TV and social media are–that presents you with subject matter that is superficial, un-thought-provoking, immature, and uncultured the more shallow, dimwitted, infantilized, and devolved you’ll become.
And the inverse is true, folks. Whoever you are reading this, I don’t know about you, but, when it comes to dealing with this kind of enemy, I believe in being as sharp as humanly possible. Partaking in mindnumbing practices like scrolling through Facebook and TikTok for hours on end isn’t going to contribute to the sharpening of any mind. All this culture of hyper-consuming entertainment black people have adopted, out of fear and laziness, has done is turn our brains into mush, which is exactly what the bad guys want.
People, I’m not saying to give up Netflix or Hulu or to stop listening to whatever rapper you like bumping on your way to work. Everyone consumes entertainment to some degree, and that’s perfectly fine. What I’m saying is, when it comes to everything you do in life on a daily basis, ask yourself, “How is this empowering me/the group?”
Ask yourself, “Is the activity I’m engaging in uplifting my condition under this system, and is it helping to put me and other black people in a position to combat the status quo? In other words, it’s about asking yourself, “Am I living a life that is on-code?
The treatment required to cure the world of the disease known as white supremacy is for black people to live their life in a codified manner, for this simple fact that what gives the system of racism its power is the millions of white people who maintain and promote it by being on-code with one another. As the master teacher Neely Fuller taught us, the goal for every single black person on this planet, AS A GROUP, should be to operate every way they live life in a counter-racist manner. And, this rule of thumb should apply even to something most perceive as inconsequential as entertainment.
Let’s say you’re going to do something as routine as getting coffee. Even if you have to drive a little further to get to it–asking yourself if there is a black-owned coffee shop–now that, my friends, is being on-code.
We all should know about the constant barrage of propaganda white society dumps on black society through entertainment, and we should know we’re all at risk for some form of indoctrination. As a counter-racist response, only spending 30 minutes a day watching TV is being on-code.
Not supporting and consistently calling out media that push agendas that are detrimental to the black community is being on-code.
Intentionally seeking out information or lessons from any movie or TV program, even in cinema with predominately white actors, to weaponize on behalf of the black collective, is being on-code.
Briefing your children on the kinds of subtle messages that will inevitably be presented to them, even in cartoons and kid shows, by white society, is being on-code.
Spending 3 hours reading and watching literature and media produced with the intent of serving your interests for every 1 hour you spend ingesting superficial entertainment is being on-code.
I know that me telling black people that we need to drastically cut back on entertainment sounds preachy and radical to some. And, it sounds that way because, unfortunately, a lot of the older generation used entertainment as a coping mechanism to deal with racism, and they taught the next generation not how to calculatingly and practically combat racism but how to just cope with it. Collectively, it’s become a lifestyle we’ve grown accustomed to and that we never saw anything wrong with.
We think the need to sacrifice a huge chunk of the fun we get from entertainment is the end of the world, but here’s the thing. It’s really not, and, as a matter of fact, doing so would be quite the opposite. Because do you know what’s infinitely more fun than being entertained? It’s BEING EMPOWERED.
From the Soul,
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