Dear Lord, make it stop.
I posted this picture on Facebook, and then asked my friends to please explain it to me.
Responses ran a predictable course. Obviously the black man shown here is a case study in the proverbial "sunken place."
There were more plausible explanations too. Maybe this brother is exhibiting the depth of "community trauma." Maybe it's a case of brainwashing and self-hate that turns a perfectly good black human being into a Manchurian Candidate.
By far the most hair-on-the-back-of-the-neck raising response was from friends who pointed out I might actually know this dude from years ago.
In another lifetime (called the 1980s) my network included friends who were - and hopefully still are - anti-racist skinheads. They were the Baldies. They ruled Uptown Minneapolis, which was one of few places in the country with a sizable enough population of Nazi hunters walking the streets. Their presence drew racist skinheads to the Twin Cities, probably not knowing what was waiting for them. Those racist infiltrators who came to stomp out the anti-racist street fighters here were sent home with boot prints on their asses.
I'm old now, so I can't remember any of the names or faces of the racist skinheads, except for one. Sonny from Chicago. A skinny, angry, and....wait for it....black Nazi who wore t-shirts, rode with white supremacists, and sported pro-Nazi symbols in permanent ink on his beautiful black skin.
If the picture above isn't him it's his doppelganger.
Black faces, White Racists
In the aftermath of Charlottesville Donald J. Trump's showed us who he is by comparing neo-Nazis to and local community members who came to protest them - as if they were the same. There are good and bad people on all sides, including the Nazi side.
Am I wrong to assume black folks won't call any president our president unless he can be trusted to speak with an open throat when the KKK, white supremacists, or neo-Nazis raise come to terrorize communities?
I know, we're not a monolith, but still, shouldn't everyone on #TeamBlack should be clear on that, right?
Apparently not. We have some strays.
Now, I'm not here to condemn any folks who want cut left or right for personal, religious, or practical reasons.
I understand black folks like Ben Carson, Secretary of HUD must support their boss. Whether we like it or not, that's what the "other-duties-as-assigned" part of the administration's job descriptions mean.
I can also go gently on the black athletes like Mike Tyson, Dennis Rodman, Latrell Sprewell, and Terrell Owens who have supported Trump. Honestly, professional athletes aren't particularly socially conscious and they are never confused with members of MENSA. We know this.
The same goes for fame-seekers like Omarosa, Azelia Banks, and Stacey Dash. Not terribly bright, but ultimately, chasing paper (and winning at it).
And, there is the man-on-the-street Trump supporters.
Like this guy....
and this guy...
And this guy....
Don't hate the player. We have an absurdly high unemployment rate for black folks. Being a conveniently placed and suspiciously well-appointed with talking points in support of a billionaire is perhaps the most interesting addition to America's occupational catalogue.
If it seems like I'm giving a lot of people free passes here, I am. Why? I'm not sure. Maybe I pitty them, which is awkward to say because holding pity for anyone is a sign of arrogance. I'll live with that.
But, we must give folks like Republican apologist Paris Dennard the business. There isn't enough patience in the world for his constant brushing over Trump's lies (i.e. not knowing anything about David Duke even though video evidence proves otherwise). He is black self-hate weaponized for mass media and his play is always the same: Trump or a Republican does something abhorrent and he deflects with "but Obama," "but Hillary," or "the left does the same thing."
That wouldn't register if he were white, but from a black man his blame-Obama-first rhetoric is considered doubly profound.
He's not alone. His best helpmate is Brunell Donald-Kyei, the Lord-Jesus-praying black Trumpster and Fox News contributor getting too much facetime these days.
On a recent visit to CNN she took us all back a decade. Chris Cuomo asked her "Do you see those who went there to oppose Nazis [in Charlottesville] as the same as the Nazis"?
She said, basically, yes.
The Nazis had actual permits to march. The counter-protestors did not. You have to expect with trouble when "people on the left" come to cause trouble with white supremacists who are following the letter of the law.
Her response to Cuomo: "There are a lot of people that are happy with what our president is doing as far as our economy, immigration [apparently pronounce Imma-gra-shun], jobs, NAFT deals."
Before you challenge her, know this: she commissions a much higher power than you. In a Periscope video from last year she prays for Trump as follows:
"Lord we're asking you right now God to protect our vice-president elect and our president-elect, Donald J. Trump... [from] every snake, every Judas spirit coming against them, every high spirit in wicked places Father God, we come against them and rebuke in the mighty name of Jesus."
Because Jesus supports a thrice divorced womanizing money lover who threatens war constantly, uses ICE to heartless break up families, and pushes lawmakers to to take way healthcare and support services from the poor, widows, single mothers, and the least of these?
Let me call Jesus too.