Ain't No Love in the Heart

I think some of you have wondered where I've been, at least I'd like to hope so. Indeed, I've missed the intermittent hate mail and compliments from people nowhere close to my intended audience (fellow nonwhite revolutionary socialists under 35 where are youuuuuuuuu). Initially, my hiatus was borne out of dirty rotten old-fashioned opportunism. I was figuring that if I was going to write for free, I might as well do it on my own platform. But I would also be selling myself short, because to be real wid it, I was also getting a low-key case of drapetomania.

The initial plan was to get my foot in the door with The Free Press, establish my brand, and work my way up to maybe 614 Magazine, proceed to Pulitzer, appearance on the Daily Show, and the real prize: an appearance on the list of “notable alumni” in Stanford's admissions booklet. Sure, my current style may not be what any major publication would deem appropriate, but that would get refined over time. Of course I could hold it down and also be respectable. It's what they promised Kanye, Lupe, Dave Chappelle, Lauryn Hill. And initially, I was 'bout it. I know y'all were feelin' them think pieces on the n-word and Richard Sherman. But as time bears down, and the infinite possibilities of youth start to disappear, black (and other self-identified colonized) writers are generally left with three choices: you either move up to the master's house and get your Don Lemon on, you stay in the fields perpetually explaining racism to white people, or you flee.

You flee, from the liberal spirit, from beloved community, from Western so-called civilization itself into the arms of Fanon, Cesaire, Bambara, Assata, and yes, even Stalin and Mao. At a certain point, the idea of Western supremacy no longer becomes a theoretical question, and the the only alternative to opportunism is actually being here for the revolution.

Ah, the revolution. We keep clinging to the idea that the United States of America can one day become socialist. That is some ahistorical mess (for further explanation, check out my up and coming blog, and that's the end of my opportunism). Getting rid of the United States itself. You want to talk about a tall order. You want to talk about contradictions. American culture floods us with the idea of doing the impossible, as long we don't direct it back on the people who gave it to us. Until now.

Because this shit runs deep. And for current analysis, I bring you to a National Geographic article that found its way into my holiday gatherings, an unprecedented act of settler retro-colonialism. This piece is called “First Americans,” an absurd categorization in the first place. In it, the leader of the archaeological research team states that “the earliest Americans were what he calls 'Northern Hemisphere wild-type' populations: bold and aggressive, with hypermasculine males and diminutive, subordinate females. And this, he thinks, is why the earliest Americans’ facial features look so different from those of later Native Americans. These were risk-taking pioneers, and the toughest men were taking the spoils and winning fights over women. As a result, their robust traits and features were being selected over the softer and more domestic ones evident in later, more settled populations.”

My cup overrunneth. First, this passage, as well as its early placement in the story, reinforce the idea of a savage population, as well as a “state of nature” argument, wherein people only become good through settlement. Second, it perpetuates the colonialist notion of the native being a violent misogynist. Third, it uses the same settlerist rhetoric about “risk-taking pioneers” that pervades all of America's self-conception, specifically the idea that “America” is a place one comes to in order to fulfill one's own destiny, and that we're all perpetual foreigners. Fourth, it draws the literal Oriental gaze to be drawn back to indigenous people by characterizing them as Asiatic, despite later acknowledging the contradictions in said framework. And finally, just for kicks, it engages in a rollicking bout of phrenology. And this is National Geographic. Can y'all imagine if the National Review gets word?

The only way to end this madness is to free Turtle Island, to decolonize the greatest settler state of all time, to make the leap from capitalism to communism, to make indigeneity the dominant ideology of the 21st century and the highest form of Marxism, truly the only way to deal with the mounting environmental crises, and for this movement to be led by the black masses. Do these ideas sound crazy? Of course they do. All true ideas sound crazy at first, but even crazier is the idea that our system of imperial global capitalism can persist for much longer. So that's where I'll be. I may be back, but it'll probably be to explain you absolutely cannot change the name of Columbus to “Arawak City.”

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