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Big Baby Trump

Trump is a big baby. There I said it so that you don’t have to. Many will object to this seemingly over-simplistic analysis. Hear me out before you roll your eyes in dismissal.

It takes one to know one.

I spent the first decade of my life as a big baby. Well, now that I think about it that is not entirely true. I spent one year and eight months, basking in the glory of my only child greatness. I was the adored grandchild, the cute baby cousin everyone fought to spend time with. I knew adoration was my birthright.

Until he arrived. …


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The Water Bearer, Lorna Simpson

When I was very small before anyone could tell me anything I knew something was amiss. And that whatever it was, was very bad. Caution is not spoken; it is expressed in a narrow-eyed look, a tensing of the shoulders as the head lifts slightly higher. I was born attuned to danger.

Later when I was old enough to question with more than my eyes my elders: parents, grandparents, aunts, and uncles´ replies provided me a scope of the horror. Sometimes the response began with a sigh, “In the end, we are all just human.” Or they would gently take hold of me, look me dead in the eye, and say with a firmness that was almost convincing, “What matters is now.” Or they would slowly shake their head as if to hold off the bad juju their thoughts invited, “That was before you were born, what are you worried about it for?” …


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“When we open our eyes today and look around America, we see America not through the eyes of someone who has enjoyed the fruits of Americanism. We see America through the eyes of someone who has been the victim of Americanism. We don’t see any American dream. We’ve experienced only the American nightmare. We haven’t benefited from America’s democracy. We’ve only suffered from America’s hypocrisy.”

Malcolm X, The Ballot or the Bullet

Malcolm X wrote, “The Ballot or the Bullet” in 1964. This oft-misunderstood speech was a declaration of purpose. In it, he outlined a Black nationalist vision for Black liberation. That vision was borne out of the same frustration Stokley Carmichael would later feel as a Freedom Rider when confronted with the deep-seated fear and self-loathing of the Black southerners he sought to support and organize. It was the same heartbreaking exasperation that led Malcolm X to craft his vision for Black liberation. He grew up in a politically active family. His father was a Garveyite. Marcus Garvey was a Jamaican political activist whose particular brand of Pan-Africanism spawned an international movement. Malcolm X´s family home was burnt to the ground by the local KKK. His father took revenge and was subsequently murdered. That murder destroyed his family. …


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“Selah is on the road to healing and contextualizing her own childhood, and is allowed her process, but if you come for me, come for your own mama, and those absent fathers–come for them too, your grandparents, your great grandparents, your great great grandparents, your great great great grandparents, Caribbean parents, African parents and everyone else damaged and judged for being Black and forced to conform and ‘assimilate’ to western standards of ‘order’ shaped through the filter and lens of anti-blackness. As my children mature, they see the state of the world. …


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Last week I heard a story that was supposed to be good news. Various school districts across the country announced they would sever ties with the police. Let us first take a moment to contemplate where in the annals of batshit crazy ideas does a school/police partnership fall? It must at least rate a solid, “Are you fucking kidding me?” At what point is it ever okay to criminalize children? Because let’s be clear, adding police is adding an entire administrative and institutional layer of criminalization. Why were we not all rioting in the streets to protect our babies? How does society even reach the point where they consider let alone successfully follow through on such a horrific idea? Is white supremacy a drug? Does it not only erase history but your damn whole mind? Inquiring minds are dying to know. …


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In 1999 punk drag goddess Vaginal Creme Davis directed a film called The White To Be Angry. The film is an exploration of white supremacist culture and the sometimes blurry lines between love, hate, and lust. Davis, a seminal figure in the LA punk scene was dismayed with the way white male anger replaced the anarchy and joy of the multicultural scene by prioritizing their anger over everyone else. The film was originally a concept album of the same name by her band Pedro, Muriel, and Esther aka PME.

I found out about The White To Be Angry either the year it came out, or the following year on this magical platform called the internet. The internet I learned was one giant web connecting all time and space. It communicates through a series of vibrations that ripple along the web anytime anything exciting emerges. At least that was my understanding. Anyway, the 19-minute film was a revelation. The cult of skinhead movies that began in Britain in the 80s and swept across the US in the late 90s and early 2000s was by 1999 wearing. I was already annoyed because white skinhead culture is an unabashed appropriation of Black Jamaican dock worker style and culture. But wait, a white supremacist culture that wholesale steals from Black culture? Shocking, I know. Worse, Black style stolen to dress young white supremacists in coolness. So on top of dealing with rebranding Black culture as anti-Black, I also had to contend with white skinhead white anger. …


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A bus from Luanco, Asturias

My Mom, an otherwise sunny person who takes a great interest in all things, would curse while driving. When I say curse I do not mean an f-bomb here, an a*hole there. She let out a barrage of insults that would make a sailor blush. I was horrified. I never, ever wanted my mother to chaperone my fellow classmates for fear of her driving induced tirades. Whenever I tried to admonish her she would smile as if suppressing a chuckle and shrug her shoulders. Never once did she try to justify her actions, simply accepting it as necessary. I was so flummoxed by this response I would throw up my hands in exasperation and sigh. My mother is a generous and deeply kind person whose fierce temper only flashed on the road. She saw it as her right to vent her frustration, which began and ended in the car. My parents didn’t allow us to curse but they also didn’t stop us if we’d reached a recognizable level of frustration and provided our cursing wasn´t an outright attack. I love cursing, it dissipates anger in a way that few things can. Screaming out a few well-chosen expletives is a mini-catharsis, that releases built-up energy. Like a sudden summer storm once the fury´s unleashed blue skies and sunshine return. Cursing out a driver should never be confused with road rage. Road rage is pent up anger left to fester that explodes in a fury of actions that could range from rolling down the window and screaming a few choice words to deploying a weapon to intimidate or threaten another driver. …


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Josephine Baker, Black Expatriate

The Trauma of Black Life

In the earliest years of my life, I didn’t know I was black; I just knew I was me. I didn’t remember that until I started thinking about my journey here to Spain, how that confidence in knowing myself anchored me and allowed me to move out beyond what I knew. But also compelled me to find a place where I could be free enough to be myself. The moment I found out I was “black”, like Eve, I suddenly saw my nakedness, my vulnerability and it was then I realized the place where I was from may not be the best place for me. …


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Dear White Allies,

We have reached a critical moment in the history of humanity. The most powerful nation in the world has revealed the White racist core at its heart. Black death, Native death, Brown detainment, Asian hatred is the US story that blazes across screens worldwide. Saddening the world. Haunting the dreams of those of us long gone but connected by heartstrings in the form of family and friends.

I know you are sorry. We are all so very sorry. However, your sorry is not enough.

We have no use for hand wringing. Your guilt cannot shield us from bullets. Your good intentions have yet to save a single soul. You're being sorry will no longer do because the only reason any of this is happening is your White identity. Whiteness is the excuse for the murder and exploitation of people of color and it is tearing the country apart. …


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Image by Hanna Barczyk

I am absolutely fascinated by Christian Cooper, the Central Park birdwatcher, and his response to his racist attack. His demeanor throughout the whole situation from the initial incident to his dealings with the press has been a sight to behold. He could give a master class in clarity and calm. He does not back down from the seriousness of the situation, he knows he could have been killed but at the same time his compassion for Amy Cooper, the white woman who tried to get him arrested, is a principled one. Really his compassion is just shy of pity. In the face of being asked to do what she was legally obliged to do she loses her shit and retaliates like a petulant brat. He sees her racial posturing for what it is a pathetic power grab. He allows us to see it through his video which would be embarrassing were it not deadly. It also exposes the way some white people are quick to enforce the existing and as yet unresolved US racial hierarchy when they feel threatened. Facilitated by a social structure organized for Black racial oppression Amy Cooper´s actions had life or death consequences. US structural racism facilitated the incident by providing a vehicle for her to successfully carry out her threats. And yet one white person’s feelings of superiority set the spark. …

About

Nicole Pearson

I am a Bronx born, Anchorage, Alaska raised activist, writer, teacher, and entrepreneur living in Spain. Here for all things travel and migration related.

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