It Doesn't Take Much

Just the publication that a hangman's noose was the inciting incident in Jena, LA was enough to spawn a cycle of copycats - most recently on the door of a Columbia University professor. The allegories here are almost too rich to even begin mining - where does one start? With the "liberal" university named for the progenitor of the African Slave Trade - that profitable font called "Triangle Trade" that turned a mere outpost of European entrepreneurs into the heartbeat of the most powerful capitalistic engine the world has ever known?

One could write books on the above, but I want to bring the focus back to Jena: hanging that noose from those trees was an act of terrorism - perhaps the most basic form of terrorism this country has ever practiced. White people did not invent lynching - perhaps - but they surely perfected it as a means of controlling a people.

When any member of your family - from the smallest child to the oldest grandfather - is subject to abduction and murder at the hands of the mighty in your community (meaning they can kill with impunity and indeed notoriety) the message could not be more clear: your life is so close to being devoid of meaning as to be not worth analyzing the difference.

What should one do in response to terror? The president says the most basic rights of a nation allow it to act pre-emptively to even prevent an act of terror from occurring. Does it not follow, then that as the rights of nations are derived from the rights of man that man has this same right as well? If you know your family is under a threat of terror, do you not have the right to act to prevent that terror from happening? Or must you forever live in the shadow of the hangman's noose?

How can we - as Afrikans - ask our oppressors to act to protect us? How can we ask them to police our communities and yet not act in the manner in which they have always acted? How can we ask the former members of lynch mobs to stand in judgment of our children? Is not the protection of our families our responsibility? How can we take a "trust me" promise from politicians and then outsource that responsibility to the very group that has been the source of the threat for generations?


Racism is not some temporary condition or some momentary ill; it is a generational war against Afrikans waged by our oppressors. And until we start to act like we are in a war with those who seek nothing less than our sheer genocidal destruction (please - do not ask me how I know; ask the first Cherokee you meet) we will forever live with the threat of the hangman's noose.

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