(Links to follow)
Dear Congressman, I heard what you said
about lesser subgroups and Western Civilization,
how we face a return to "the Dark Ages"
if we don't defend White culture. I need
to tell you, your hood is showing. Not your hoodie,
though I can see you wearing one,
Iowa State emblazoned on the chest,
rooting on the Cyclones like a good
American. Just not like Trayvon,
or all those protesters marching
in solidarity then and now
as black bodies fall with the regularity
of a metronome. I can see
your hood. White. Pointy. Metaphorical,
but I think it fits. Trayvon was killed
in a hoodie, maybe because of it. Only
thugs wear hoodies, said Bill O'Reilly.
Zimmerman tracked the kid's hooded
black skin across a Florida night -- a provocation,
a death sentence. Zimmerman, Latino
on his mother's side, but imbued
with the magic privilege of white skin.
Yes, privilege. As in knowing he can buy
some Skittles and tea and walk home
undisturbed by the neighborhood watch.
In knowing he probably won't get shot,
won't bleed out on the sidewalk, knowing
he doesn't strike fear in passing strangers.
Mr. King, you offered sympathies
to the families, Martin's, Zimmerman's, but
put the blame on the kid in the hoodie, the one
dubbed thug. There was an altercation,
perhaps a rash teenage reaction. Imagine
being followed, wondering what
the middle-aged man on the cell phone
might do. Imagine being tailed
in the mall, on the street, on the roads,
state cops pulling you over for the sin
of driving. Even Newt gets it, or says he does.
Remember what you said when
Zimmerman went free? That "if
someone has you down on the ground
and they're threatening to kill you"
it's fine to "pull a gun out
of your holster" and "shoot to defend your life."
I have to ask, does that go
for Trayvon, too? For Philando Castile, for Walter
Scott, Sandra Bland, Eric Garner? Charles KinseyYou've made
your answer clear, over and over.
When a black kid dies, it's always
the black kid's fault. It's not that they
deserved it. They just didn't know their place.
Profiling, you said, "needs to be
a component of good police work."
So I'm not surprised when you distort history
to proclaim Western Civilization and white
Christians as supreme. “I’d ask you
to go back through history and figure out
where are these contributions
that have been made by these
other categories of people."
Categories. Classifications. Cataloging:
genetics, skin tone, language. You called
Mexicans dogs and, like Trump,
traffic in the language of race.
"Where did any other subgroup of people
contribute more to civilization?” you ask.
Than the pyramids in Egypt
or South America? Than algebra
or astronomy? Have you heard
of Adam's Calendar in Kenya, called
the African Stonehenge, as accurate
a timekeeper as has existed? And what
of jazz and blues, of hip hop, soul
and pop. Rock and roll may never die,
but it was birthed by Mahalia Jackson,
Blind Lemon Jefferson and Robert Johnson.
But it's the West, you say, only the West
that made the world what it is, as though
the pasty white Jesus of myth came from
the snowy north and not the Levant.
“The idea of multi-culturalism," you say,
"and that every culture is equal—that’s not
objectively true." It's just political correctness,
you say, but I can see your hood. It's
on your desk posing as a Confederate flag.
In your argument that we don't understand
the history of the South. In your belief
that we have nothing to be sorry about
when it comes to slavery. Tell that
to Claude McKay, who gazed darkly into a future
built on sand and saw the nation's hate
and bitter bread eroding its might.
I know you can't see it Mr. King. I know you
long for the America that used to be,
before "demographics" sweetened
our color palette. Somewhere, Pop's cornet
is crying as you speak, as Trump
bangs the drum of hate and fear, as he
chases the White House, Pop's and his
Hot Sevens marching with the saints,
with the nigger boys of N'Awlins who knew
their place. But the rabble of Jim Crow
are seeding the firmament of the American soul,
cashing in the promissory note deposited
with the Constitution, in the proclamation
that all men are created equal. Can't you
see it, Mr. King? Can't you see it?