I have been to the mountain top and I have watched black bodies fall. I have watched as the trees grew beyond measure and my brother’s bodies hung in place of the fruits. I have heard their cries flow through the wind night after night. I have listened as they begged to be plucked from the vine and given a chance to prosper, but to you, they were just fruits. “Strange, strange fruits.” To you, they were nothing more. They were nothing less. They were just fruits, worth less to you than the apple of another stock- the one which you crunch. Does the sound remind you too of their bones breaking? Did watching their lifeless corpses swing give you purpose? Did watching their widows and mothers suffer make you feel as a god? Without consequence. Without remorse. You… without melanin. You possess the complex of an all powerful deity.
I once heard the Last Poets say that the white man has “a god complex”, and I believe it.
I turn on my television to see brown children in cages, to see muslims banned from entry, to see the police called over a child selling water. I watch as dismembered black bodies are removed from the water, and these events (along with a plethora of others) have lead me to believe just that… the white man does indeed have a god complex. He has convinced himself that he is a white deliverer. Convinced that a person’s existence can be illegal, that a land he stole is his property, that legality determines morality-he serves a god which he has created in his own image. He serves one that destabilizes countries through imperialism and colonization. He then proceeds to take mission trips to those same places, exploit the poverty, and name himself as the savior of said lands.
Often referred to as, “The white man”, this describes a system created by white men in order to benefit them and only them. It is not, however, broken as is often stated; It is working as intended. The oppression of black and brown bodies is not accidental. The cries of brown children are his song, not accidental slips of the forefinger. They are melodies in his ear which have echoed for generations. For years he has been told of his atrocities and scorned for his choices, yet still he believes himself to be the greatest. He has created systems of planned ghettoization and black disenfranchisement, yet believes children of color to be lying when we say that our lives seem of less importance. Tearing us from our mothers, enslaving our forefathers , banning us from lunch counters, and now throwing more brown children into cages-the white man has a god complex. Committing horrendous deeds, attempting to reverse them and then expecting praise-the white man indeed possesses a god complex. This mindset has created a system which (out of delusion) has convinced itself that it is truly helpful-that it is truly the best in the world.
Why do you we feel the need need to convince you of our humanity? Why do you care not for brown children ? Why do you ignore black cries? We do our tears flow as the oceans where our ancestors lie? Why do you maintain a god complex?
While created from the greed of white men, white women directly benefit. As Angela Davis once stated, “straight black men and white women will always be the weakest links in the struggle for equality because they view equality as achieving status with with white men. The problem with that is that white men’s status is contingent on the oppression of other people.” (I’ll discuss black men at another time. I am still talking to and about white women.) Shaming us for our hair, and then turning it into a trend, eagerly confronting black women with racial slurs and then proceeding to play victim- white women possess a god complex. 52% voting in favor of our oppression, and having 911 on speed dial in case of the most inconvenient lemonade stand, white women often contribute directly to the oppression of black people. Often justifying the unfair killings of black men, and in some cases causing them- white women have a god complex. Emmett Till did not whistle at you. The black man in the elevator does not want your purse. You do not feel “threatened”, you are just racist. You worship Susan B. Anthony and ignore her anti-black sentiments. White women. You have a god complex too, and it is not the job of people of color to get rid of it. It is not our job to educate you on racism. It is not our job to rid you of it. It is yours. Turn off your god complex, acknowledge your privilege, and get to work.
“It is not the job of the oppressed to educate the oppressor.”