The Contradiction of White Fear: Airport

Before I start, it’s important to know how white people constitute power.

Power, in the white world, is built on contradiction. In order to enslave, colonize, indoctrinate, one must first contradict. We see this a lot:

Example A: Black people are lazy. Let’s make them work on plantations while we drink lemonade on the porch and watch them. (Or, the modern day example: people of color are lazy and are on welfare. Make them work at McDonald’s for minimum wage while the CEOs make millions and billions that can be shared, especially since they sit at a desk all day and mindlessly shift people while the employees are doing the actual work, customer service, and cooking.)

Example B: Women are the weaker sex; therefore, they should do everything from raising the children, cooking all my meals, doing all my laundry, cleaning all my dirty spaces, satisfying my “manly” needs, making sure my social standing is right and hosting my friends, etc. But yeah, they’re the weaker sex.

Example C: Peoples in Africa are uncivilized because they are violent and tribal. Let’s take over their land, kill many of them, separate their families, make them learn our language and culture, so that they can labor for us, Europeans, who have split into different nations with strict ethnic divisions (i.e. French, German, Flemish, Dutch, British, Portuguese, Spanish, etc.). Who’s the tribal one? Who’s the uncivilized one?

Example D: Religious people have caused the majority of the world’s war. But science created the foundation of racist theory, colonialism, gas chambers, guns, etc.

The example I will speak about today is the theory that white people fear brown people; therefore, they take precautions to equip themselves to challenge this fear.

But white people aren’t really afraid. They simply want to remain in power. Let me explain, through use of the airport and its functioning.


I’ve been to the airport a lot lately: went to Chicago in April to tour the University of Chicago, and then went to Cairo for my birthday in May, and also to Oxford to visit my sister, and then I traveled to Boston at the end of May for an internship, and now I’m on my way back to Nashville. Anyway, there’s something I noticed of particular interest.

I’ve always known  that most of the workers–janitors, personnel, etc.–are people of color, particularly because in Nashville’s airport, most of the workers are Egyptians and Ethiopians who recognize my dad and will say hi to us, maybe even help us through security. There was a particular time when someone helped me speed through security, and that’s what brought me to this conclusion, especially.

Another moment I should mention was when I was waiting for my flight to Boston, alone, and I noticed all the people of color working about me. All “freely” moving. I looked at the white people sitting around me, waiting for their flight, and how at ease they are with the people of color–their workers–standing, cleaning their crap.

The question then came to me in my own form of imagination, as many of you know I have an abundance of: if I wanted to bomb an airport, I’d be a worker. Lead the airport security peoples–predominantly white or Black, but not immigrants–to trust me, and then I’d one day come in…and…

Of course, I’d never do this, but it intrigued me that the people of color white people fear are not the janitors or the laborers, but rather ones like me–the ones who sit down beside me, share their planes and are of their social stance. Their fear is constructed on their hatred of people of color being social mobile.

White security officers will pat down a traveler of color like my Baba, stare at him as he passes through, stare at his children to see if he’s hiding something with them, but they won’t give two glances at the low-class people of color.

White fear, then, is molded from a people who don’t necessarily fear death or terror, but rather a people who fear equality. 

I’m not suggesting that white people frisk low-class people of color, or that they frisk middle-or-upper-class people of color, but I’m arguing that their imagination of who’s dangerous is not what’s dangerous to mankind–or else, they’d be afraid of bombing Syria and seeing those dead bodies of children who stayed in refugee camps instead of schools and homes, dead from a white American-engineered drone and administration.

Instead, those who are classified by white society as “dangerous” are those who approach white space, those who desire equality–those people, like Nelson Mandela and Martin Luther King, Jr., are dangerous because they dared to be equal. (Both of these men were on the US’ terrorist list.)

If white people were truly afraid, they wouldn’t be afraid for just their own interests. Instead, they’d be afraid for the nation’s interests. Donald Trump would not have been elected, since he endangered many of white people’s maids, cashiers, or airport staff; people of color wouldn’t be stopped and frisked and killed while traveling to work or driving to visit their parents. If white people were afraid, they’d be afraid for everyone. 

But they use their manufactured “fear,” to justify terrorizing others, for the assassination of others.

Al Qaeda isn’t more of a terrorist organization than the United States’ CIA. Both kill for their own interests, for their own sense of false, manufactured fear. Both destroy nations, shackle women, oppress minorities. Both terrorize. The only difference is that while white fear, being justified by white fear, is always offensive–“let’s bomb Iraq because they have weapons of mass destruction when, actually, we have 4,000 war heads and we found, later, that they have zero, zip, none”–and Black and Brown groups of violence are playing on a defensive field. People of color don’t act out of need to keep an imbalance of society, but rather out of a need to defend.

White fear, molded, manufactured, and justified by only white people, actually creates terror for all humanity. It is a means to oppress because white people have a victim-complex where they must always be the victims: they’re wolves, disguised as lambs. To keep up their victim-complex, they create fear. They attack. They’re usually wrong. And they don’t apologize or rectify their sins because, like a spoiled child grown to be an adult of degrading portions, their fear is made holy.

And this is why God tells people of color to never fear; this is why my mother tells me that verse from Hebrews that the first to go to hell are those who fear; and this is why I say, “The first to taste God’s wrath are those who made fear into a business, drinking the blood of the broken, without repentance–watch out, white people.”

“But there were slaves in the Middle East”

The last time I heard this argument was in a Diversity session in which a white girl was trying to argue that slavery in the American colonies was just as bad as slavery in the Middle East. But this isn’t the first time I’ve heard a white racist argue this point.

There are a couple of flaws already in the claim, for those with trained eyes. First, it’s never a good idea to say something is “as bad as.” It doesn’t help your argument–ever. For instance, in a book I read my sophomore year of college in my War in Iraq class, the author wrote, “Abu Gharib [the “scandal” that exposed US military illegally arresting Iraqi male citizens and raping, electrocuting, and torturing them, which is against international law–but hey, white people never have the sin of human rights violations] wasn’t as bad as what the Nazis did.” In comparing US forces’ illegal and violent activities to Nazi terrorism of Jewish lives, he wasn’t helping his point–meaning that in the ladder of evil come the Nazis and then close after the US forces. Yup. Not a solid argument in defense of US terrorism in the Middle East.

Secondly, and most importantly, this white girl didn’t understand the nature of slavery, and for me, it takes a lot of guts to speak on a subject you have no prior knowledge to. For instance, I don’t speak about calculus. Because I do not understand nor know nor have taken a class in college about calculus. Neither do I speak about Indian languages. Because I do not understand nor know or have taken a class in college about Indian languages. THEREFORE, it is outside of my range of knowledge–which is okay–and I should consult someone before making a judgment. (This is a very difficult task for white men and women who seem to think that they know the world and beyond, instead of staying in their lane.)

Now, in understanding why it’s illogical and ignorant to compare Middle Eastern “slavery” to the American form of slavery (that is, the slavery the Spanish, French and British sustained and maintained in the American–Northern and Southern–colonies for centuries), we must understand what being a slave was like in the Middle East.


Our first documentation of a slave and the Middle East actually comes from the Bible, in the book of Genesis, in the story of Joseph.

Joseph has a very interesting story in that he entered Egypt a slave, doing brutal work in the palace of the captain of the guard. But what’s particularly interesting about Joseph’s story is that he was thrown into prison, but then brought out to use his talent, and eventually he made it to the top command of Egypt–not because he was Egyptian (because he wasn’t), not because he was Hebrew (because he was), but because of his mere talents. He then went on to marry the chief Egyptian priest’s daughter, and the Egyptian people, we are told, obeyed Joseph the Hebrew.

Now, in the American slave system, slavery was based severely on race. Hence, ain’t no Black man or woman gonna be president until 500 years after being brought to the Americas. Because slavery was based on race, dehumanization was based on race. Unlike Joseph, Black people in the American colonies were brutally psychologically suppressed so as to keep their majority down (we will discuss this later in another Biblical story). In Joseph’s story, Joseph’s Hebrew family was welcomed kindly into Egypt to mingle with the Egyptians. Joseph, as mentioned, even married an Egyptian woman.

Thus, that dehumanizing emphasis of race was in American colonies, made up by the Spanish, French and British–but it wasn’t the Egyptian model of slavery. Thus, we see that even ancient Egyptians were aware of human dignity and individuality and talent, so that even a slave could rise to the top, marry one of their own, and bring his whole family, who were 70 people.

Think about that real quick. Today, in the United States, a Black man, a Hispanic man, an Arab man could not live a life as Joseph, starting at the bottom, intermarrying without losing his identity, and become the leader of a nation not his whole while bringing his WHOLE family to the land that is not their own. Immigrants in the United States today have to wait years upon years, even to never, to bring one family member. Think about that. And Egypt was in a famine, and still brought more people.

What’s even more, when Joseph wanted to bury his father, Jacob, in Canaan, Pharaoh allowed this. Pharaoh allowed the Other to have their Own Identity from His. This is so important and one of the psychological means of respect that we have lost in the United States: white men and women, generally, do not respect the cultures that people of color bring, that immigrants still love their homeland, that they still have alliances beyond this stretch of land and ocean that keeps them apart. For ancient Egyptians, that was okay. For modern-day “progressive” Americans, it isn’t. Think about that.


Moving forward in ancient Egyptian history, still attached to the story of Joseph and his multiplying family in Egypt, we come to the story of Moses (read Exodus for the story).

Now, it may that this story is very similar to the American colonial narrative in which we see the Egyptian government section off Hebrews–based on race–and suppress them.

Now, the only difference is that we see race as more fluid here as Pharaoh’s daughter takes the babe Moses, a Hebrew as she identifies, and raises Moses as her own. It’s also different in the fact that Hebrews were allowed to practice their religion in Egypt, whereas in the American colonies, slaves were forced to convert to Christianity.

This story is more important in what it shows in how God deals with oppressors, punishing both Pharaoh, his servants, and Egyptians who didn’t own slaves but didn’t do anything to stop the slavery of the Hebrews.

But the hallmark of it for our discussion today is that Hebrews, although sectioned off because of their strength as a society in Egypt, were still allowed to keep to their own in Egypt, unlike Black slavery in the American colonies in which Black slaves were meant to emulate their masters. Thus, Egyptian slavery was based on hard labor, not a psychological killing of one’s culture, language, and peoplehood.


Now, last thing from the Bible, after the era of Joseph and Moses, Jews who owned slaves had certain rules pertaining to how they treated their slaves (which was never based on race):

  1. If the slave fled, the Jewish master cannot run after him/her. Especially if a slave takes refuge with another Jew, that Jew cannot hand over that slave. (Deuteronomy 23:15).
  2. After seven years of slavery, the slave must be set free. (Exodus 21:2)
  3. A slave cannot be beaten by the master, or else the master will be punished. (Exodus 21:20)
  4. Slaves could participate in Jewish society, as it wasn’t based on race, or hold their own culture. (Exodus 12: 43-51)

These are all four conditions that didn’t exist in the American colonies. Slaves who fled to the North, when the United States became a country, were to be brought to their masters in the South again, to be punished.

Slaves in the United States were indefinitely slaves, never to be set free. For generations, Black people were slaves in the democratic country of the United States.

Slaves in the United States could be beaten up by their masters, could be killed by their masters, without reparations by the master. Families were separated, fathers killed, mothers raped all by white men without white women watching.

Slaves in the United States were meant to forget their culture and language, but couldn’t even sit in the same church as white people. They were meant to be in a limbo without their culture, and without full acceptance into white society and culture.

Now, tell me if slavery in the United States was even equal to slavery in the Middle East. What happened in the Americas by the Spanish, French and British was brutal and savage without code, without ethics, without humanity. Don’t try to convince me it was.


With Christianity on the scene in the Middle East, slavery became a sign of model virtue. Masters, like Philemon, were told to hold their slaves as their brothers.

Getting out of the mentality that being a slave was a bad thing in the Middle East (which is much unlike European colonies in the Americas), slaves were equated to God Himself who took the form of a servant (Philippians 2:7). Slaves were paid, were allowed to live with the master, were allowed to have families, were allowed to receive an education, were allowed to live.

One of the people in the Bible who were particularly fond of writing about slavery were Saint Paul, who wrote a particular letter to Philemon asking him to take his slave back, forgive him for his sins, and accept him as a brother as Christ would have wanted him to do (or else, Saint Paul writes, Philemon should take Saint Paul as his slave). Moreover, Saint Paul describes Jesus Christ as a slave, even himself as one.

One of his most famous verses for equality states: “There is neither Greek nor Jew, neither slave nor free, neither man nor woman, for all are one in Christ” (Galatians 3:28).

This is important, for the shift in Roman and Greek culture from “slaves are slaves and masters are masters” needed to be transformed into the Jewish model of thinking. But this is not to say that Roman and Greek slavery was similar to that of European slavery! Roman and Greek slavery, in particular, had no racial boundaries, and still, one could not hold another human being as a slave forever. That was seen as inhumane.

But Christianity revolutionized slavery in the Middle East, making the slave not just a person who was submissive to another human being, but a human being with other talents, other ambitions, other needs. Thus, compare Saint Paul with Aristotle. Aristotle argues that slaves are born into the world as slaves, only meant to be slaves, but Saint Paul argues with the Greeks that slaves are much like their masters: humans who will live to die and be sent before the Judgement Seat.


Now, we’ll take a shift from Judaism and Christianity and their impact on the Middle East and move towards Islam. And actually studying Islam and slavery is very interesting because not only do we have the law, but we also have stories written down, accounts made for remembrance.

Again, like Judaism and Christianity, and similarly in pagan cultures: slavery was not based on race.

Again, like Judaism and Christianity, and similarly in pagan cultures: slaves had rights, were not meant to be slaves forever unless by choice, could have families, could have education, could rise to the top.

We know that slaves under Muslim masters could start families; we even know that female slaves, who gave birth to the master’s child, would then become a wife of the master, and her child would inherit just as the other children–much like Muhammad the Prophet’s Coptic wife, Mariam, who came as a slave but earned the position of wife after she gave birth to his only son, Ibrahim, who later died young.

The whole notion that Muslims brutalized slaves is incorrect–perhaps in certain places, but not all, and not according to the law. This is important, for although the law of slavery in Islam gave many human rights to slaves, particularly female slaves, there may have been uncommon brutal, illegal practices.

Now, the difference is that whereas brutal practices were illegal in Islamic dominions, but in European dominions in the Americas, brutality was the law–it was legal. Thus, you can only imagine what Black men and women suffered in the Americas when brutality is the law, when brutality was normalized to suppress.

And that’s what’s always crushing: brutality was normalized in the Americas by Europeans. Nowhere else in the world was it made okay to brutalize a human’s culture, body, language, family or essence. Nowhere in the world–except by Europeans.


So what were the main differences between how slaves were treated in the Middle East, and how slaves were treated under European masterdom?

  1. Slavery was based on race. Those who were brought to the Americas to be brutalized and work endlessly were Black. In the Middle East, there were many slaves from many conquests because it was seen as inhumane to kill them for the sins of their government, so they were given opportunities in the new kingdom. Slavery based on race, which was only a formula by Europeans, made dehumanization possible, made the popularization of the N-word easy, made it normal to separate and kill and punish and violate.
  2. Slavery was carried for generations in the Americas by the Europeans. This was naturally the next step after dehumanization–then, you can keep them for generations to come, suppressed, underneath your boot.
  3. Slavery was not brutal by law. Read Amitav Gnosh’s In An Antique Land. We have evidence of Middle Eastern slaves even traveling without their masters from Egypt to India to do the master’s trade, alone. This was not a system based on insecure people brutalizing cultures and peoples more advanced than theirs; this was not a system based on inhumanity. That’s important because once you can dehumanize a person, and then keep her family in the cycle of oppression for years, it’s only natural then to make a law to allow yourself continually and indefinitely to do so.

And so the white Constitution of the United States was born, while Black men, women and children labored in those fields with the Sun beating on them; it was written with the pens of the same white men who would return home, remove their peacoat and pick from their slaves on whom his pleasure shall fall.

Because once you dehumanize, stereotype, separate from her essence, strip her from her people, you’ve won the game for generations–even now.


I ask that before we begin to speak on the Middle East that we consider the brutality of Europe. I am not arguing that slavery is good, even in its forms in the Middle East–a slave is a slave. But what we should consider, always, is how uniquely brutal and savage Europe is in prescribing all other people as brutal and savage when their insecurities cannot even point to themselves.

Remember that what happened in the United States was a formation of European brutal insecurities emerging from their third-world with an eagerness to take the world on with such a force as to terrorize peoples from India to Angola to Mexico for generations to come–and only to come now, in the modern age, and say that those victims of their brutality are the real brutes.

Look in the mirror, Europe. Look in the mirror.

“Why Is Everything about Race?”

I love this question.

I love this question because it is the most unassuming question uttered by white racists.

It’s the white racist notion that their world is fair, that humans have created a system in which equality is a standard. It’s the white racist ideology that a word of criticism is actually a compliant. It’s a means of silencing those who rise to speak, those who look at the statistics and suddenly end with one conclusion—the conclusion they, the white racists, cannot accept.

But this question also trails the words of white liberals who imagine a world refined, a current world born from the ashes of slavery and colonialism and genocide and made beautiful and whole and pure. They imagine a reconciliation without the Truth—without the acknowledgement of race. They may not say the question, but they mean the answer the Pharisee-like question holds: the world shouldn’t be based on racial divides.

So I love this question: why is everything about race (with you people)?

Everything is about race—because you have made it so. Race is an invention, and it’s not the invention of people of color, trust me. This is evident by the fact that many peoples of the world find it hard to describe race, unlike many Americans. For many peoples of the world, for many brown people who make up the majority of that world, race is a thing brought and defined from the outside, one that’s difficult and riddled with its own problems: is it centered on language? Or color? How do you define white then?

The ridiculous notion of race was born from Europe, the appendage of Asia, and was expounded into the lives and essences of Brown and Black people. Thus, today it has meaning because it was expounded upon us and our lives, but it wasn’t our creation—it wasn’t our child. It was merely meant to be the child we carried on our backs.

So, when white men and women ask why everything is about race, people of color should respond: “Funny—I was just about to ask you the same thing, but with some facts.”

The facts are that Black men are murdered at a higher rate than white men and women—and that, specifically, they are murdered by white police. That Black women have been and are raped by white men at an exponential rate. That Black men die sooner but slower than white men and women because of heart disease. That a Latina makes less than a white woman. That most of the people who work in the airport are Brown people, and that’s fine for them to pick up your chips, but when these Brown people rise and come to sit next to you on the plane, they must be dragged out, must be pulled out of the security for another check. That Black and Brown people must put masks of whiteness—speak “proper” English, eat with a fork and spoon, be able to order at Starbucks, laugh at white jokes about being broke and in college—in order to succeed in the United States, even though they’ve lost themselves in the making. That my father had to wait twenty years to become a citizen of the United States, and then he was called a terrorist by white children who found him scary.

Yes, everything is about race—because you have made it so.

Yes, everything is about race because we suffer—because of you.

Yes, everything is about race. And we are not to blame. 

 

Working In (With) the System: the Assimilationist Era’s Myth to People of Color

It was during the Obama presidency that I finally understood how “working through the system” was all a myth.

I had planned, after graduation, to work for the government, to be in Congress or something. The Spring of my first year in college I took an internship in Marsha Blackburn’s federal Franklin office (yes, it was a God-awful time) because, at the time, this is what I thought would help my people.

But seeing Obama drop drones, deport as just as much and more than Bush’s administration, unable to reform the prison system, really dismantled my thinking. It’s not that I thought one man would change the world–I wasn’t naive. But there was a certain hope that at least there would be an addressing; there would be an acknowledgment of suffering. But Obama simply kept the same policies, recorded the same words: We must stay united.

Now, here’s the thing about unity: it’s often a device against change. It’s the excuse of the weak empowered people when they don’t want Black people as their lawyers and doctors, when they don’t want the status quo broken. We hear it often in it when we attempt to address social justice concerns:

“But why complain about women’s rights in the Church? Don’t you care about the unity of the Church?”

“The Nation comes before minorities’ rights.”

The problem with these qualms is that what we have when people are hurting is not unity, when white cops are murdering Black men, when women of color make less money than white women, when undocumented students can’t achieve higher education. That’s not unity! That’s simply the weak empowered telling the powerful weakened ones that their world is what is good–and it is not.

Side note: this is what Jesus fought for in the land of Palestine–Truth. It’s fascinating to me how often Christians focus on Christ’s attributes of Love, when to me, what always stood out is His cut-throat Honesty, His un-compromising Word. And the point was that true love comes from Truth–when we’re just with each other, when we’re candid about our conditions. Hence, Christ is risen after the Crucifixion–which is the symbol of un-Truth–conquering lies and alternative facts, calling upon true love.

Christ Himself was the symbol of breaking and making disunity. He broke and severed Jewish society in Palestine with His words, severed their identity as a chosen people and tradition. And yet His followers in particular claim unity as their goal. Unity is not the goal of Christianity on earth (it’s only their goal in Heaven); disunity is the goal of Christianity on earth–disunity with the world, disunity with evil and disunity with oppression.

ANYWAY, that’s my religious sermonizing showing.

Back to the main idea of this post: working through the system and the disillusion that is Obama for people of color.

See, what happens when you work with the system, you’re ignoring the truer problems:

  1. That the system is not broken–it’s formed in order to disenfranchise and oppress. It’s purposeful and dictated to withstand people of color making it something else. Thus, working with the system, you become the system and you begin to oppress your own people. Hence, many politicians of color cannot realize the struggle of their own–like Obama when the #blacklivesmatter movement broke in full-pursuit of the government’s continued and prolonged harassment and murder of Black people, like Ben Carson who believes Black slaves were actually immigrants, like the Black politicians who voted with Reagan on “fighting against the drug war” (read: Black people).
  2. The greater problem than the system, which is a very white liberal thing to point out, is the society that created the system. To dismantle the system is first to fix the society. Thus, the greater work to be done is on white American society, which is through local non-profit work, volunteering in communities of color, participating in communities of color.

In actuality, working in the system is actually working with the system. The people of color who run for office when they can use their political prowess for their own, on a local level, are creating an illusion of change and an illusion of democracy. They are, in fact, sustaining white ideas that the United States is a democratic country–when, simultaneously, there are no hospitals near Black ghettoes, families are denied entry into the United States and are broken up, education is still only for the wealthy who can afford prepping for years to mold themselves into white American standards, etc. This is suffering is all festering while Black people were allowed to be elected into office, while Brown people were finally allowed to vote.

Thus, we know now, especially highlighted after the Obama era, that running parallel to the white American system–people of color becoming police officers, running for public offices, etc.–merely helps sustain the system, and what’s worse, working with the system sustains the sins of white society as accomplishments that have been redressed.

If people of color want to help their community, the most effective means is through their own people–through their own churches/synagogues/mosques, community centers, neighborhood gatherings, etc. When people of color can mobilize together, instead of separately and individually (don’t trick yourself and say: I’m working alone in order to work for everyone), this is where the real effects of change come: when the Black Panthers started in Oakland as an alternative welfare system, when Martin Luther King mobilized Black Christians in the South, and James Baldwin’s writings provided the means for Black people in the North to fight back.

This is how we create a just and fair society–when we say the Truth, even if it separates us and breaks us as peoples, even if it means disunion, for when we say the Truth, we actually are promoting a greater and truer love for those who are suffering and for those who are producing oppression. We create a just and fair society through means of working outside the system, by creating disunion.

Steve Biko: I Write What I Like

One of the visionaries I look up to when discussing racial injustice in segregated societies like the United States is Steve Biko. I discovered him my final semester of my senior year at Vanderbilt, which was the point in my life where I was saying: if I’m arguing that white racists, liberals and in-betweens cannot save Black and Brown people, who can? And what’s the role of white people in social justice?

Biko answered this question for me in the most poetic way.

Biko is a South African Black man, born from Xhosa people and tradition. He was born during apartheid, which, similar to segregation in the United States, made sure that white people in South Africa owned the economy and the political means and the formation of the law. Black people, their ancestors originators of the land, were pushed out of cities into townships (what we would call “ghettoes” in the United States), and they were forced to accept extreme poverty and depravation of the self.

In other words, Black people lived in slums, had subpar education, and were made to suffer. They were not citizens of South Africa, for they had to carry something like a passport to enter cities in order to work; this book was called a passbook–every Black person in South Africa had to have one, while whites had full citizenship. The law hurt them; the law created an order to oppress Blacks and to uplift whites.

Now, if you ever hear white South African racist leaders explaining why they did this like Hendrick Verwoerd, they’ll say that Black people are different, that they have different destinies; therefore, Black people must live outside the city, have their own institutions. He modeled apartheid as empowerment; he modeled it as what Black people wanted: their own independence. Remember his rhetoric was common after World War II: people of color want their freedom, so white people will give it to them.

What Verwoerd and others didn’t clarify was that “freedom” for Black people meant a new form of subordination: segregation.

This happens anywhere white people claim they want to “free” a people. Whenever that word comes out of their mouths, it actually means segregation.

And segregation means that white people don’t mind people of color–they don’t mind if people of color are janitors in their city buildings, or cooks in their French restaurants, or maids in their penthouses. But they do mind when people of color want to move into their neighborhoods, buy the same cars, eat beside them in the same restaurant. This becomes a problem (and today, this is the problem white people are trying to find a new way to reshape).

In other words, the world, since white people have come onto the main stage, has seen three stages:

  1. Colonialism: in which white people conquer every means of production and extraction and wealth of a nation by saying “they’ll improve the country technologically”
  2. Segregation/Apartheid: in which white people separate themselves from people of color only through means of economic and political separation, but not through dependency (since white people are still dependent on labor of color to fuel their cities and lives) by saying “we’re providing them with their independence” (i.e. Reconstruction in the United States)
  3. Assimilationist: in which white people notice that people of color are becoming a majority or are too vocal a group to control directly through economic and political power, and, therefore, begin to say that people of color can join the ranks of government and administration and workforce in full only if they are willing to become white–all non-conformity is punished thereby. This is the era we are in now–people of color think they are free, as they always did in each of these large, broad eras, but it’s an illusion.

 

Anyway, although Biko was in the apartheid era, he spoke volumes to our present era.

It’s important to note before I recount his theory that Biko was a medical student, and his pamphlets, I Write What I Like, sparked a Black student revolt against the government. The revolt led to the government arresting him, seeing that his words had a power, and during his interrogation, the police managed to give him a concussion. His brain hemorrhaged; the white police decided that the fastest way to get Biko care was to drive 200 miles to Johannesburg (which was not the nearest hospital, but their argument was that they wanted the best care for their prisoner).

He died at the age of 31 in police custody.


Steve Biko argued that the effects of apartheid went beyond economic and political and legal suppression of Black peoples (that is, Black, Indian, and Colored peoples in South Africa who constituted the majority of people in South Africa, yet had the least amount of rights in South Africa). He argued that the true effects of apartheid were psychological. Thus, he began the Black Consciousness movement.

The Black Consciousness movement wanted to expose the damage colonialism and apartheid had done in making Black people (in South Africa, Black people means people of color–I will use this terminology) feel as though their hair, their tradition, their languages, their religions, their laughing, their structure, their culture were all wrong. Biko believed that the first way to colonize people is to make them believe they are inferior in all aspects, and the way to make them subjugated is to drill that myth to be a fact. And what this awful inferiority does psychologically to Black people is dehumanization.

Hence, we even hear people of color in the United States say that their own culture is stupid, or that their hair must look like white people’s hair and natural ain’t beautiful, or that their language is backward, or that their religion needs advancement. This is all part of white people’s subjugation of our mind.

The Black Consciousness movement fought against this. Biko gave riveting speeches exalting Black people. He showed how white individualism was actually destructive to a culture, and that Black interdependency and family structure were of the essence, important, logical. He did this because the revolution–the peeling off apartheid–couldn’t even start without Black people regaining the confidence that was stolen from them.

While Biko was ready giving speeches before congregations about Black beauty and essence, he also had another front to battle: white liberals.

The context to this is that when Biko entered college–an inter-racial college–he noticed that a lot of the liberation movements were led by white liberals. These white liberals commanded Black people on what to do: print flyers, demonstrate, etc. They were leaders, modeling the same thing white racists had done by directing Black people in what to do, and their movement for obvious reasons was going nowhere. They didn’t want Black folk to fight the government fiercely; they wanted Black people to be thankful for their help; they wanted to seem enlightened as rebels against their parents.

Biko wasn’t amused. He started his own liberation group on campus that was only open to Black people. Guess who was infuriated? White liberals–they denounced his work as meaningful. They called him the racist and segregationist for not allowing them to participate.

In response, Biko wrote a newsletter, stating that white liberals especially had a role in ending apartheid, but that role wasn’t commanding and leading and helping Black people. Their role–their white role–was in saving themselves.

You see, Biko also argued that if Black people needed to heal themselves from their inferiority complex, that white people needed to save themselves from their superiority complex. Biko believed that white people’s superiority led to the breaking of their family structure, led to their inability to accept others or participate with other people in a humanly fashion or even have empathy for the Other.

Thus, Biko urged white liberals to fix themselves–that before they dare fix Black people, assuming the same role as the white racist as Savior to Black folk, they fix their own communities. He wanted white liberals to speak to their parents and say, “Hey, Dad, what you said is racist for A, B, C.” He wanted them to befriend Black people and listen to their concerns and then go back into their own community to fix its own depravity.

And while white liberals are busy fixing themselves and their own, Black people are remolding themselves to be equal. It’s during this moment of healing-segregation that the groups can be made equal, and then move forward into a more inclusive society.

Biko further proved his point by stating that even when white liberals open soup kitchens in townships/ghettoes, their charities don’t help. The reason is that white charities don’t address racism–they address a symptom.

Imagine if I have cancer because of the power plant next to my house, and my neighbor else who has cancer approaches me (but ovarian, let’s say) and says that the treatment is that I get chemo, is this truly the treatment, though? Is the treatment to the power plant next to my house truly chemotherapy?

This is the same as giving Black children scholarships, or giving money to the poor, or opening up soup kitchens: they’re a band-aid. It’s not evil, but it’s not good and pure.

If the neighbor with the ovarian cancer only realizes that the problem is with her parents owning the factory which kills me, my family and our neighbors, even if it’s disadvantageous to her and her family, this can truly save me, since my offspring afterward would be safer.

But white people prefer giving us chemotherapy: letting us hold office and get elected, opening up charities, and visiting our motherlands to learn more. But rarely ever will they fight to shut down the factory that actually is killing us and our children, and this is because this is the harder and truer and more honest fight that they don’t want to look in the face–because when they do, they’ll realize that it isn’t just their parents who manage the factory who has the burden of sin, but also the children who profited from our assassinations.


Steve Biko’s essays, the ones he wrote before his assassination, can be bought on Amazon, if you’re interested in reading more from his own words about how actual liberation can occur–when we see ourselves, without makeup, without presumption, to see our sins.

His philosophy of change is one that I hold close when explaining what real social justice is.

And in actuality, Steve Biko’s ideas aren’t far from the Bible which calls us to clear the plank in our own eyes before we go to the speck in our brother’s eye. This is an important tenet to social justice work, if white people want to join the fight: examine yourselves, fix yourselves, save yourselves. And we’ll heal the wounds you made.

For the oppressor cannot be the savior, and the savior cannot be the oppressor.

What Happens When White People Control the Discourse of Racism

Vanderbilt University recently started an initiative to certify “student leaders” in Diversity and Inclusion. They marketed their new initiative as an open table of learning new leadership styles of dealing with diverse groups.

Now, we know that there must be a God, for even though I read their God-awful, white-liberal marketing, I still applied to be a part of the cohort; hence, we see the idiocy of human in the form of me. (Also, I was a senior at this point. Which makes this even sadder. Soak that in.)

SO I applied, got an interview and was accepted.

On our first day, I walked into the conference room and automatically noticed–as all people of color are trained by nature of being in the United States are–that out of the twenty chosen, only four were people of color. There was a significant amount of white women–like over 50%.

You know that feeling when you want to slowly step out of the room, when there’s a conflict or it’s the wrong class (yeah, freshman Lydia, just step out slowly from the lecture hall, even though they all see you now)? That’s the semi-anxious, semi-disgusted feeling I got, but, beyond God’s second sign to me, I walked in and sat down by my name.

My final semester at Vanderbilt, doing that Diversity and Inclusion cohort thing every Tuesday, was one of the worst experiences I had–but one of the more enlightening ones. I learned, first and foremost, and wrote in concrete in my heart that white people–racist or liberal or in-between–cannot help with the struggle if their mindset is to defeat racism by “helping” brown people.

Now, this notion is one that I trumpet everyone when people ask about solutions to racism (and my first response is for white people to FIX THEMSELVES before they come up in our neighborhoods). But I wanted to look at how white people actually discoursed about racism.

First, it should be noted that everything in this class–which happened every Tuesday night of my final semester–was basic social justice. Like being aware of multiple identities and struggles people hold. How to resolve conflict.

OH, and here’s a joke: on our second Tuesday meeting, we were asked to take five minutes of quiet time, alone, to think of all of identities. My list was:

Coptic

Female

Young: 21 (at the time)

Pursuing higher education at a private university

Immigrant’s child

White-passing

Bi-lingual

Grew up in the South

Couldn’t hold a conversation with any of my grandparents

A bearded woman

Sunday School teacher

 

That was my list of things that plague me and the things that I’m proud of and the things that make me feel both (at any point). In the end, we were supposed to choose one identity that prevailed above all, and I chose: Coptic (as in my religion specifically, more than my ethnic/racial claims).

Here’s the funny part: one the first years said that her most salient identity was….*drum roll* BEING THE YOUNGEST CHILD IN HER FAMILY. (“Like because everyone has already been through college, and ha–it’s just me!”)

(This is why I can’t hang with 97% of white people. This is why.)

Just so you get an idea of the hell I went through every Tuesday before my graduation.

More importantly, though, all of the people in that space identified themselves as liberals and/or moderates; they could identify racist people in their life, but never were they or their immediate friends. These white people smoked weed, were into discussing the oppression of Black people, how “broken” the immigration system is, how messed up Trump is, BUT none of them–none of them–could bridge the problem as themselves.

And here’s what I mean:

The way white people–racist, liberal, or in-between–discuss racism is what is killing progress in this country, is what is killing Black and Brown lives in this country, is what is keeping families apart. Why is that?

White racists see racism as two things:

  1. Either a thing of the past (i.e. slavery is bad–but the ancient Egyptians had slaves, and the Western African tribes helped white people make Black people slaves);
  2. OR it’s a thing white people experience now (i.e. why is it so bad for us, frat boiz, to listen to Beyonce, but not allow Black people to our parties?)

White racists have no concept–or have difficulty in constructing–of Another’s pain. They can’t understand generational trauma, nor can they understand generational entitlement, nor can they see their white culture as inferior to most cultures of the world. They buy boats that have Brown maids to help tidy up after their parties; they wear pastel-colored shorts made with the delicate hands of a woman somewhere in Vietnam perhaps, unable to see her children grow because the money isn’t enough even though the hours are long and the buyer richer than all her ancestors combined; these white boiz say things like “boi” and “whassup” and “I finna,” without the marked realization that these are stolen expressions from the people–the Black people–he kills, daily.

And now the white liberal objects: “Okay-whoa! White frat boiz aren’t all white people. Statistically, a lot of white women vote liberal, so don’t group us with them. And also no matter how much you hate frat boiz, Lydia, don’t exaggerate. Calm down.”

I’ve never had a white racist tell me to calm down, by the way–only white liberals.

What’s key here is two arguments that white liberals usually make to Black and Brown people:

  1. Don’t group us together (lol–look at my earlier post entitled “Calling White People ‘White People’); white women are different, or poor white people are different.
  2. White people are not that bad.

To the first claim, I want an example in which white women have stood by Black and Brown people in this country. I want. One. Example.

When white women saw white men rape Black slaves in the colonies, she didn’t holler for freedom and solidarity with her sister–she made the Black female slave’s life hell. She supported her man. And mind you, slavery would not have been possible without the iron rod of white women who wanted to be higher than someone, anyone, and who developed their own cultures and norms–like beauty standards–to keep women of color down. Don’t forgot that: white women support their white men. They bore these white racist men.

When white women got the right to vote, they left Black and Brown people disenfranchised, stopped the fight once they were hooked.

Planned Parenthood sterilized Black and Hispanic people. Scientists, to perfect the C-section, allowed the murder of hundreds of Brown female bodies–just for testing. (Science is just as evil as politics and religious extremists).

When the 2016 election came, white women overwhelmingly voted with Trump, not Hilary. People of color stood by Hilary, even though these white liberal commentators were shouting, “Where’s the Black vote?” Yeah, the Black vote was there for Hilary, but my question is: “Where is the White Liberal vote?”

Don’t tell me that white liberals–female or not–don’t side with racists when it comes down to it. This is why when people point out that identity is multiple and needs to be recognized as so, I think it’s a valid point, but why are white people never pluralist in their way of thinking and acting in the world? (A CNN article shows how white liberals, when a white racist brother benefits them, will side with him over Black and Brown interests and needs. Very interesting–almost like nothing changes.)

To her second claim, yes, white people as a whole need to understand the evil system they have created–much worse than any other system in the world–and that they sustain it. They sustain it when their friends only speak English, when they don’t understand accents and don’t want to, when they eat at “ethnic” restaurants owned by white people in a city like New York, when they gentrify neighborhoods of color (in particular “broke” white college students), when they don’t realize that we’re slowly dying when the nearest hospital is in the white area, when they don’t realize that cops are our worst nightmares and that they don’t protect us (instead, they hurt us), when they don’t understand that we ain’t capitalists, when they don’t understand that our school system is just as segregated as it was in the 1970s, when they don’t realize that we’re dying, suffocating really, and they’re the ones holding down the pillow.

But what leads white people not “to see” the system they’ve created?

And herein lies the problem with white liberals in particular: they see the problem of racism as a system. White liberals quote the Atlantic, can give you figures on how many Black men are shot by police, tell you Chicago is the most segregated neighborhood, will tell you that it’s the government and corporations and capitalism’s problem. (Note: whenever you hear a white liberal say, “Capitalism is evil,” run. Just run. They blind. And they toxic.)

Capitalism is not the problem; white people just don’t want to look themselves in the mirror and say, “I did this.”

And the system is not the problem–at least not the root of the problem. The system’s corruption is a mere manifestation of the deeper problem: white society–all of them, racists, liberals and all the in-between.

White society–racists, liberals, and in-betweens–don’t see a problem in living in an all-white neighborhood. White society–racists, liberals, and in-betweens–see nothing wrong with their racist parents, but they see that Trump is disgusting ironically. White society–racists, liberals, and in-betweens–will go to Harvard and Princeton, comfortable being in a class without people of color. White society–racists, liberals, and in-betweens–will only learn languages if it benefits them, not if it brings them closer with other humans of the world. White society–racists, liberals, and in-betweens–still study regions of the world as these regions are only discoverable through them, in English, French, or German, but not in any other language or people. White society–racists, liberals, and in-betweens–won’t admit that the FBI wanted the Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr. dead or that the CIA assassinated in cold blood Mohammad Mossadaq before his own people, just for nationalizing Iran’s oil. White society–racists, liberals, and in-betweens–hate what “America” hates: Russia/Iran/North Korea, but they don’t see that the only ones to drop a nuclear weapon was themselves, the United States.

White society–racists, liberals, and in-betweens–fears without truly knowing fear, for they have never listened to the fear of a child in the United States when the cops pass by and his mother is undocumented and his father isn’t here. White society–racists, liberals, and in-betweens–fears without truly knowing fear, for they have never felt like their language was ugly, never were they repulsed by their own skin. White society–racists, liberals, and in-betweens–fears without truly knowing fear, for they don’t know what a bomb, dropping on your people, as they stumble to live.

White society is a menace which created a system of oppression–that is, the United States government. And capitalism fueled that government. But both the US government and Western capitalism are by-products of a society that profits from its hate refurnished as successfulness.

This is why white discourse on racism is broken, endless, un-critical, and non-supportive–because it’s about themselves ironically. But instead of critically engaging their history and present-continuation of hate and disrespect, for if they did they would find all of themselves the source of oppression, they merely engage racism from a perspective that they are the victims of it too, that they have suffered too, that they are children still, that they can’t make change alone, that they are powerless against the system that is their parents and grandparents, that they have not inherited that hate re-spun for a new day.

But in this is a contradiction, for while they are without hate and without power, they must chair the Diversity Committee; they must say be our representatives in Congress; they must open up their coffee shops in our communities.

Racism–their racism–is built on a contraction of who they are and what they’ve done and what they’re doing.

And, hence, this country, like the definition of a third-world country, will remain in standstill as a oppression is reimagined and pushed into the lives of people of color in a white (racist, liberal, and in-between) world. People starve, a government kills, children grow up fatherless, families can’t see each other for years, scientists are paid to kill people, education is sub-standard, workers aren’t allowed to defend their rights, an elected president sexually assaults women, and churches have shoot-outs. Welcome to the United States, the land white people stole from Americans to teach the world what suffering is.

InshAllah, Or As We Say It: ان شاء الله

Arabic is a spiritual language–any Semitic language is. Hebrew, Ge’ez, Syriac, and Arabic all have the quality of something formed out of people who worship.

When compared to Germanic languages–which are languages made to work and to tell–Semitic languages have such a caressing poetic essence.

Arabic, in particular, has a cadence, a walk of its own that was before factories, colonialism and savagery. It’s a language of poetry, enunciation, forbearance of a stronger message.

Hence, in Arabic–which, mind you, is a derivative of Syriac, the language Christ spoke while on earth, in Palestine–there are many a nuanced divine words in regular speech.

It’s always been a thing of intrigue for me to think of what language promotes in the individual, in the culture. For instance, English is a short, draft language–very utilitarian. Hence, English “culture” is based on being brief, capitalizing on time, and efficiency, whereas in Arabic, a poet’s language, is based on elongating time and finding in a meaning in the void. Hence, when one is in Cairo, the cafes never close, the words never finish–there’s always meaning somewhere, even in idleness. Thus, Cairo and London, although both cities, have different feels–because they have different languages, different peoples, different cultures.

(I should take the time perhaps to say that I am no linguist, so, although disagreements are always welcomed with reason, especially now is needed.)

Arabic, to me, promotes a beautiful religion.

There’s a particular phrase that one will hear from Arabic-speakers often: InshAllah. It’s one word when transcribed into English, because of how commonly fast it is, but it’s actually three separate words in Arabic.

And although it’s often translated as “God willing,” the phrase (note: it’s not a sentence; it attaches itself to sentences)–the phrase itself implies a sense of drifting: “that God wills.” InshAllah, then, holds itself as a dream, a hope, a kind of quick prayer.

What’s more, this quick prayer that hears even the smallest of our conversations, even the smallest of our desires, is said so often:

“Are you about to finish school?” -“InshAllah.”

“When are you getting that new car, after your new promotion?” -“InshAllah, soon.”

It’s the kind of phrase, attached or unattached, that bears so much meaning to Arabic-speakers: my cousin once joked that whenever he hears his mother say, “InshAllah,” he knows then that it’s a no.

Three words in Arabic made into one word in English is brought to denote several emotions: the caustic InshAllah when your friend says she won’t speak to that boy again, the sorrowful InshAllah when your immigration application is still in loop with USCIS, the happy InshAllahs at engagement parties as every guest comes to greet you and say, “Congrats–may God protect you,” the InshAllah you add on the phone when you have nothing to say to him.

If I ever taught a Middle Eastern cultures class, this is the phrase I would begin with, ask that anyone traveling to the Middle East–whether it’s war-mangled Syria or to Islamic/Shite Iran or to the most-populated country, Egypt–know this phrase/word/sentence, understand this phrase/word/sentence, because this phrase/word/sentence brings us back to the beauty of the Middle East.

It’s not just the cradle of life, or the mother of humanity. The Middle East isn’t just history–like Jericho or Jesus–although this is a big part of it.

The Middle East is a peoples.*

*not a typo

And we understand that by InshAllah–because no matter the back-breaking worries, the wilderness of tribulations, the blood scattered on a plain, or the words dropped as molten rock, there will always be an uncle in Cairo or Baghdad or Jerusalem or Aleppo smoking, watching the world pass as a dream, his beads in his right hand, muttering a prayer that God can will.

 

What is Exclusion?

**this piece has been a long time in the making because I have not heard a lecture on it, nor have I really discussed to this extent with many people; therefore, I ask the reader for patience, a chance to talk about points she may disagree with and perhaps an understanding of how under-developed my thoughts are on this topic.**

 

I once was in conversation with an older white male liberal about the Coptic Orthodox Church. (You can already tell this doesn’t end well–but it actually did because I kept my mouth shut…you’ll find a pattern in most of my rants btw.)

Anyway, he was surprised that Coptic Churches don’t allow non-Oriental Orthodox people to have communion. He decided to add, “In the Methodist Church, we have an open table, which means anyone, by their own free will, can come up and receive the peace of the Lord in fellowship.”

This was very interesting to me on the basis that this white man, older (and by older I mean he was alive during the Civil Rights Movement, so that somehow justifies his love of Black people which I will not get into, but you understand…)–that this white man, older and wiser, didn’t understand that the Methodist Church developed the tradition of an open-table communion in order to gain converts. It was very interesting to me that white people don’t see the connection between inclusivity and colonialism.

But it’s actually a logical connection between inclusion, Western Christianity, and colonialism, for in order to make themselves righteous like God’s prophets, they needed to be welcoming and inclusive in policy. Through this religious inclusion–making Black slaves Christians, missionizing in the Middle East (lol), etc.–white people maintained a dominance through their own righteousness as introducers and includers.

But for white liberal culture today, inclusion is the new it word:

“We want to include everyone in our initiative.”

“Diversity and Inclusion is our new office’s name at Vanderbilt.”

“Why don’t you include everyone?”

It’s almost as though included means welcomed. But it doesn’t–because in order to be included, there are certain standards. For instance, when the French colonized the Levant (which is Syria and Lebanon today), to be included on economic deals, you had to be Catholic Christian. Middle Eastern Orthodox Christians were not welcomed until they included themselves into the French Catholic tradition. (Hence, those of Catholic heritage in the Levant are richer than the Orthodox Christians in the Levant, typically, because they were included–welcomed–into the League of whites.)

Inclusion is not a warm welcoming; it’s a means of subordination and superiority; it’s a means of separation and partitioning Brown and Black communities.

To be accepted by white people, a person of color cannot be a person of color, cannot live as a person of color. Instead, a person of color, to be included, must be white, separating herself from her community. Hence, we see Obama take the White House in the United States and still continue a policy of droning Middle Eastern and/or Muslim-populated countries, watch Black people die while their murders are captured on film (but isn’t considered evidence enough), unrelentingly deporting and tearing families apart, and a persisting choice to keep economic disparity.

People of color being included in white spaces, whether it’s their churches, governments or clubs, means that they can and must translate into whiteness. That’s not inclusion. That’s not welcoming. That’s be-like-us-and-we’ll-be-docile. That’s still superiority–and still, as though people of color are stupid, in the same language white people used to quill our ancestors. That’s still dominance.

People of color cannot implement themselves in the United States; they’re not allowed to. They can only be included, which I define as: losing yourself, your people, your language, your culture, your history, your food, your desires, your needs, your humanity in order to be welcomed by white people and society. In other words, this is what inclusion means in the United States: whiteness.

Inclusion, in terms of white liberal politics, is actually exclusion. There’s an exclusion of our languages, cultures, sensibilities, religions, systems, ideologies, colors.

So what’s exclusion?

Exclusion gets a connotation that leads many white liberals in the United States to think of segregation and, before that, slavery. They see exclusion as violent; hence, they don’t like it when Copts say, “Only those of our tradition can partake of Jesus’ Body and Blood.”

To them, exclusion is the policy of white racists, and while looking at racism at a child-like level (i.e. what the KKK promotes, Jim Crow, etc.), they can’t see that in actuality exclusionary policies cannot occur–cannot be white agenda–before inclusion. Thus, we have Trump after Obama was president because white racists couldn’t stand having to include a Black man; thus, the KKK is born when slavery is abolished. It’s no coincidence that “inclusion” by white liberals means people of color are excluded by white racists, and the irony is that both options are bad for people of color–assimilation and lynching both kill us at equal amounts, but in different ways.

But exclusion, for me, has a positive rendition–a shining light. And I’ll explain what I mean through analyzing the Coptic Church’s sacrament of Communion.

For the Church, to partake in communion, the partaker needs to within the Body of Christ–that is, a baptized member. This does not mean someone who is saved, by the way, since there will be those who are baptized and yet their lack of will and desire to repent and to confess will lead them to a different track, according to the Coptic Church.

Thus, essentially, the message is that “to eat with us at this holy moment is to live, breathe, survive with us.” It’s a message of community and bond. Thus, exclusion by the Church actually is a fortification method of a community; it’s a means of protection, of bond, of relating on a spiritual level, for those who partake in Communion are the same who nurse the elders who are sick, visit the prisoners, teach in Sunday School, clean the bathrooms, cook the meal for after Sunday Liturgy. To take part in Christ’s Body and Blood is a privilege, not a right (which white people in general have difficulty understanding that they’re not entitled).

There’s even a segment of the Coptic Liturgy in which the deacon requests that the people greet each other in reconciliation; a requirement of Communion is that all be reconciled, with no grudges.

So, in actuality, exclusion means a form of inclusion in many contexts of color. For instance, while Copts exclude non-Oriental Orthodox from Communion, they’re including each other in a much deeper and more important, fundamental way.

Therefore, why do societies that do want to include people turn out to exclude instead?

First, as mentioned, we’ll notice that societies of color that exclude often wish to focus on including the fringes of their own, binding themselves, healing themselves from within.

Secondly, and related to that point, we’ll notice that societies of color that exclude are often scarred. They’re communities that have been demolished, yet survived. They’re communities that have been raped of every history, of every essence, they had found glory in before. They’re communities that have been so made to crumble that even they close themselves off, it’s a symbol of healing what is broken.

Thus, we ask: so white people don’t need healing?

No, white people need healing; they need healing from their superiority complex, from their blandized, made-universal culture. But their healing comes not from being made broken, but rather from puffing themselves up.

To sum up, exclusion in many societies of color like the Black Panther organization or the Coptic Church or Bedouin tribal formations in the Arabian peninsula should be viewed not in a negative way, nor should they be called “backward” because what is backward is savage violence–the kind of savage violence that has been committed upon these people, whether Black, Egyptian Christian, or Bedouin, etc. But their exclusivity is not: it’s their way of healing.

Whereas the white liberal notion of inclusivity on college campuses, in workplaces, in schools seems honky-dory, there’s a sinister line to it–because their inclusivity is actually that which is most isolating for people of color.

And, trust me, I know. The number of years I spent learning and fortifying my English, so I wouldn’t have to be my parents. The number of years I spent eating chicken nuggets instead of what my good Mama actually cooked for me at home–falafel, koshary, grilled fish, kofta, etc. The number of dances I went to instead of enriching my community, the number of hairstyles I chose to hide my identity, the number of times I hid my parents are too unbearable to count today.

I know what it means to succeed in the United States. And I know that it means, to be welcomed, to be included, to have your name uttered where you step, to have admiration crawl up everyone’s spine when you enter the room, means you’re less of your people than you really think.

Calling White People “White People”

I was talking to a friend, at lunch, about the Qatar-Saudi Arabia situation and the complex (?) hypocrisy of American-Middle Eastern alliances (which brings about the destruction of many of these regional states).

Anyway, I mentioned that Sisi was playing big-man politics which I define as a government supplicating to another government by being a bully to a third government. Thus, we see Egypt sucking up to the United States by bullying and banning Qatar (and hence, Sisi diverts attention from his selling the two islands to Saudi Arabia, an American ally, and also follows in Saudi Arabia’s footsteps). Big-man politics has a lot of ironies to it–as does American foreign policy in general.

I then said, “I hate when people of color call each other ‘terrorists,’ as Sisi said about Qatar’s Al Jazeera, when we should only use that term when discussing white politics in Middle Eastern countries.”

The white girl at the table gave a subtle glare at me and then rolled her eyes.

I didn’t say anything to her, since, before, she has already mentioned my “attacking” her politics and ideas.

But let me say: this isn’t the first time I’ve received a glare for being direct and truthful.

I think, believe and know that using the term “white people” for white politics, culture, food, language, life, and world brings about a truer sense of what we experience as people of color.

Let me explain. But first, it’s important to know that white people have often, and continue to, to group people of color–whether it was using the N word to group slaves from different tribes, languages, cultures in Western Africa, or saying “Latino” for everyone who speaks Spanish in the Americas, or saying “Arab” for every brown person. Grouping people is not new, and it’s initial creator is white people themselves–because when grouping humans into singular categories, there’s a purposeful dehumanization of the Other. It’s a colonial mindset that persists. It’s a death–an assassination–of diversity, of peoples. It makes people of color, in their beauty and glory, without a legacy other than their contribution to white society.

Therefore, when we use the term “white people,” we are not the first to do this. And actually, this is not in retaliation. I’m not a vengeful person. This is not me giving white people a dose of their own medicine. Many people of color say that’s why they use the term “white people”–because white people used it first, and they need to know how it feels. But this is not why I do it. Our God is a god of vengeance–She’ll take care of oppressors.

It’s not revenge, but rather a confrontation of white values. One of the fundamental issues–and yes, issues–of white culture is a sense of superiority. White people–from racists to liberals–have the strong belief that their way is better, or their reformation of a person of color’s idea. For instance, being religious (which most people of color are) is seen as backward to being scientific and rational and secular. Or being at home with your family is seen as not as fun as going out to see a movie or spending money on weekends.

But when white people hear themselves being grouped, it’s an important registration of their own awareness of their humanity. White people are hyper-humans in the West; they’re holy, their actions are sanctified and blessed by themselves. But when they hear themselves as a group of idiots who don’t spice their food, pray, or priorities their families, they become humans–not sub-humans like they made people of color.

Therefore, the idea is not to dehumanize white people, but rather to humanize them from their god-like status in the world. It’s not about mocking their food or culture, but rather allowing white people to understand that their way of living and breathing is not the superior model, but merely a model.

I do not dehumanize anyone, nor does anyone using the term “white people” dehumanize any white person. (White people just have to stop crying about everything true.)

This is my first point, then, that grouping white people linguistically is a mechanism of humanizing humans-who-made-themselves-the-world’s-gods.

My second point in grouping white people and their actions and their ideas is that it provides a truth that often isn’t exposed.

White people–more than any other race upon the earth–have grouped themselves in such a way that they might conquer. You would imagine that there would be many differences between the English and French, no? Or you would imagine that there would be major differences between Canadians and Americans, since they can’t tell the difference between a Palestinian and an Egyptian. But there isn’t.

Why is that? Why is that, more than any other race upon the earth, white people have made themselves a mega-tribe?

There are many answers to this–lack of diversity within white culture and ethnicities, a common goal of hating Black and Brown people, a savage need to conquer–but the important point to make is that white people do group themselves, for their own needs. When we then use the term “white people,” we are only pointing out a global phenomena that white liberal Frenchmen, like Emanuel Macron, will get along with white racist Americans like Donald Trump, shaking hands, smiling, bonding. Their politics seem to be complete opposites, their languages are similar but still different–yet, they bond, yet they work together. It’s an interesting dynamic.

White people–in their own diversity–have made themselves a mega-tribe to oppress Black and Brown peoples. How else is England going to continue extracting diamonds in South Africa? How else is the United States going to continue killing oil laborers protesting in Nigeria? How else is Germany meant to push Greece to the brink of bankruptcy? How else is the European Union (EU) supposed to be keep denying Turkey entry into the EU?

White people are white people.

People of color are merely stating what they see: a mega-tribe coming out of the caves of a forest, ready to feast on human sacrifices. White people are ready to forsake their own differences in order to devastate Black and Brown lives.

That’s why white racists birth white liberals who broke down slavery only to create the prison industrial system in the United States, so that Black men to sent to the slaughter while their families, communities, and essences cannot rise.

So, yes, there is great diversity in the white community–but white people don’t want that diversity. They want to be politically, economically and socially grouped, so as always to stay on top. Therefore, when we use the term “white people,” we are pointing to the reality. Cry all they want, but this is what they do to themselves.

To sum up, using the term “white people” is not racist. It’s not dehumanizing. It’s not mean, rude, or not intelligent. Not only do they group themselves (yet find the means to blame us, people of color, for grouping them), but they also think of themselves as gods. These two false assumptions must be dispelled. White people are not gods; their cultures are not God’s glorious Truth. And white people have grouped themselves for centuries. Why is it rude when we do it? After our enslavement? After our colonization?

Use the term white people. They’ll cry and pout. But like babies who are left in their crib to throw their fit, their parents not responding, white people need to learn to grow up, manage, and develop human senses of Truth. Let them cry–let them learn.