In lieu of flashpoint moments that have directly affected black Americans in the recent months, particularly the rape allegations of Bill Cosby, the tragic saga of Andrew “I am Delivert” Caldwell and the Church of God in Christ, and the prolonged moment of Ferguson that has has managed to arch over a few months, I have taken some time this past holiday break to reflect.
My reflections have led me to opine that social media, while having its clear advantages, has also created a place that is the natural-born enemy to fostering reflection and deeper thought. It has resulted in individuals developing bifurcated personalities that are dissonant with an online persona versus in person. While social media has provided a panoply connecting points to engage in communities of similarity which most would agree is an overwhelming positive, it also can result in disembodied opinions with unhealthy political motives. The concept of “talking heads” enters a new dimension of disconnection on social media.
I’ve observed that social media communities are plumbing the depths of entrenched ignorance. The plethora of false news stories that are posted and retweeted to the anthropological gossip that gets passed off as conventional wisdom or even fact is astonishing to say the least.
I am wholly disappointed at the ways in which colleagues and pundits alike fail to have open and honest conversations surrounding the rape allegations of Bill Cosby.
It’s safe to say that there is
still a crisis amongst public intellectuals in this country. The complexities of which require more reflection on how to operate within the current structure and in what creative ways can resistance thought be fashioned. The quagmire which is the politics of black public intellectuals occupies a space begging to be reified; the swamp needs to be drained and subsequently filled in never to be visited again.
The Church of God in Christ, as body politic missed an opportunity to provide leadership to a group of people yearning for it surrounding the events in Ferguson. Encapsulated in this was also an opportunity for the black church to maintain its relevancy in an increasingly apathetic society. The personhood of Andrew Caldwell, and the public display of COGIC clergy handling it as such reduced the historically black denomination (and first Pentecostal denomination in the world) to the butt of jokes on late-night television.
the retrenching of Elder Earl Carter’s words uttered from the pulpit speaks of the recalcitrant doctrine of hate that has no room for growth of mind and spirit, nor forgiveness. Carter’s words cast so many far away from the reach of humanity it’s as if he’s placed them in an existential hell with the power of his words. He is not indicative of the brand of christianity that I seek to embrace, and with his words I shutter at the thought of how he does ministry, and how is lack of pastoral care attempts to embrace others. i am disappointed, hurt and disgusted that he chose this topic to go against his duly elected presiding Bishop Blake about–those words, to me, render him not worthy to carry the cross of Jesus christ, but only worthy of the american exceptionalism that allowed two grand juries to not indict the police officers who killed two unarmed citizens.
When I see the images of violence and looting in Ferguson, the destruction of “property,” I see the direct, yet indirect forms of resistance rooted in nihilism. While nihilism conceptually may seem to be a played out cliché to some, it’s real whether someone can articulate it or not. The “don’t care” attitude of those who participated in the violence immediately following the Ferguson decision did so because they see the impunity of whiteness; whatever efforts of participating in the system never benefit them. These are people who have nothing to lose. It matters not to torch a car or destroy goods in a store–commit amoral and unethical acts–because whiteness and racism protect others (i.e. white people) who commit morally and ethically reprehensible acts and suffer no consequences. (Not to mention that insurance will cover the majority of people who suffered damage to their stores, shops, and other material items.) We can’t afford to give preference to conversations about the loss of property over the loss of people.
black men are dually oppressed by whiteness, racism and white patriarchy and still have the privilege of oppressing black women–we need to talk about that.
They refused to indict the police officer who killed Eric Garner in a chokehold; whereas chokeholds are not considered an appropriate practice in the New York Police Department.
this feels like Rodney King redoux–something caught on sousvelliance cameras and it still can’t cause a police officer to suffer any repercussions. obama can keep the money for body cameras if this is still a possibility–go pay off some of the national debt or something.
bluntly said, oppressions fucks with the mind.
keep it uppity and keep it truthfully radical, JLL