A Universe expressed through a Window of Experience

Posts tagged “culture

Nationality vs. Ethnicity

Nationality

Nationality

EthniCity

Ethnicity

I was engaged in a warm debate over titles. I almost feel guilty because of it (it’s petty! More divisions? [smacks lips]), but the source of the debate erected from the verdict of the Trayvon Martin case. I’m lightly compassionate towards those who feel disgruntled or angry, but my sword of apathy swings at those who aren’t channeling their energy into something constructive to make it heard through the use of their constitution liberties and divine power. A friend (and I do mean that) that I know has the tendency to rant about racial conflicts; ironically that’s his comfort zone for discussion since he’s all about black unity. He’s good hearted, but he exhibits a sort of hyper-imposed black power type of consciousness. He has friends of all hues and ethnicities on his list, but he discredits most views that don’t agree with his or is not from a black person. He’s the type that hates the system, rants about it, but you never see Instagram photos of him fighting the system through protests or community meetings on legislation. He will post against interracial relationships and the western indoctrination before he makes a posts stating that he’s at a college or elementary school educating the youth. As I once stated “he’s like granddad from the Boondocks”. But, I still love the dude. Terrific artist! So, this part of the story begins like this:

I am not American. And neither are my fellow brothers and sisters. We are Africans who happen to BE in America. If we were AMERICAN we wouldn’t have to “Rally” or “Petition” for RIGHTS & LIBERTIES given in the Constitution. If we were AMERICAN our tax dollars would go to a GOVERNMENT that protects the interests of us AND our CHILDREN” – Angelo H.

If you’re thinking what I’m thinking, then you should be wearing the doo-doo brown stink face – yea, it smells sh!tty. But don’t distort my position; I see his intention. He’s partially correct, and partially incorrect. It would seem that I assumed hater status with my replies, but truly, most people who are friends with this guy knows that he talks out of his left nut without supporting works to uphold his claims. This post received 50+ likes, and I’m thinking “um, did anyone think about what he just said?” So I chime in with…

No matter how you reword it, you are an American. The African portion pays homage to your race/ethnicity/lineage, but by proximity and allegiance to the Constitution, you are American. If you have a social security number, you are an American. If you pay taxes to the IRS, you are an American. If you have a job that falls under the umbrella of US Department of Commerce, you are an American; because you are legally employed. If you purchase a passport and you go to Africa, guess what? They’re not going to view you as an African; their government officials will ensure that you are aware of the location of the AMERICAN embassy because in the event of a crisis, you will be accounted for there. Until you change your residence status to a dual citizenship, in which you are partly a resident of Africa, you are an AMERICAN. Otherwise, you are an illegal alien.

You have to remember bro, even the Native Americans had to FIGHT for their freedom. That was their form of a rally and a petition.

Don’t forget, tax dollars are FUNDING the programs on the below website. You’re welcome.

http://www.usa.gov/Citizen/Topics/Benefits.shtml

The link (which is authentic) was to remind him that there are government funded programs within the nation that support the impoverished, the elderly, the young, the sick, and the veterans. I follow up with…

Let me also add this….the government is COMPOSED of people that are just like you and myself. In the event that you don’t like how they are managing tax dollars, or governing the people, YOU possess a Constitutional right to petition.

“the United States right to petition is guaranteed by the First Amendment to the federal constitution, which specifically prohibits Congress from abridging “the right of the people…to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

That means you have a voice JUST IN CASE the government is consumed with power because God and humans know how corrupt and unstable we are. Keep in mind the that the BPP were not just n!ggas with guns. They studied the system, and they made it WORK to THEIR advantage. They devised their own rallies because people in power became corrupt. So they took some of it back to restore balance. Sometimes you need to rally and petition, so that elected officials can remember where the true power comes from……THE PEOPLE. And when OUR own are acting out of character you hold them accountable, and you take them out of office using your constitutional rights and your divine power.

Being American has little to do with corruption, because corruption is a spiritual problem…

Then for a while, we started playing tennis with a few ad hominems. I left the through room; dropping the ball. Or so I thought. He then rehashes in a fresh new status update with….

“Negroes are funny. They want to be “IDENTIFIED” with being AMERICAN so bad, want to be so PATRIOTIC. Why are we so LOYAL and FAITHFUL to a SYSTEM/land that has proved time and time again that we are subhuman? A system/land where our ancestors were brought here AGAINST their will(excluding Moors and Negro Indian tribes) and FORCED to WORK for FREE? Then forced to fight WARS for the same people who oppressed us? When the Emancipation Proclamation was signed we switched from CHATTEL SLAVERY to ECONOMIC SLAVERY. But you still want to identify YOURSELF as AMERICAN when your tax dollars don’t protect the INTERESTS of your PEOPLE? You gotta “Rally” or “Petition” for RIGHTS & LIBERTIES given in the Constitution. The same Constitution that said YOU are 1/3rd of a HUMAN BEING? Which is an OVERSTATEMENT” – Angelo H.

I’m thinking “come on; first you tie a rock to your leg, and now you’re going to throw it in deep waters?” (smh) And his entourage was in the front row throwing flowers, screaming “preach”, and going all Spliff Star on the brother, hyping him up. When he said “I wish John Nicholson could GET IT!” that’s when I felt compelled to interject.

No bro, you don’t get it. Until I can LEAVE American soil and legally RENOUNCE my citizenship….I have this brand attached to me. You hate the system, but you aint doing sh!t to change it except talk on Facebook. No apologies here, but I’m more practical than that.

If any of you have ever traveled outside of the continental US, then you would know exactly what I’m talking about. You cannot go to Iraq, Europe, Africa, Cuba, or the damn Virgin Islands saying you’re African when your passport says United States of America. When you travel ANYWHERE in the world, they wanna know what you nationality is…”what is your citizenship status?” It’s going to be America. Sure you are African by LINEAGE…but you are a CITIZEN OF THE UNITED STATES, bro. Legally. I could walk around on us soil saying I’m African, all day everyday….but guess what? I’m still on American soil while LEGALLY classified as an Afrikhan AMERICAN. If I’m going to renounce being American, dammit, I’m going to renounce my citizenship. You do it right! I am currently under DUAL CITIZENSHIP. America and Kuwait. That’s how the sh!t works. When I renounce my citizenship….THEN…I am no longer American.

Saying I’m not American doesn’t make it true if I still have a citizenship. How can you NOT get that? (laughs) I’m funny…no no no (finger waves) YOU’RE FUNNY!

This was an argument about nationality, not ethnicity. And again, you have people liking his status while I’m wearing the stink face. (chuckles) Am I hating or just setting the record straight? Now, for breathing room, some of the onlookers connected with the meaning of my content. You cannot deny being an American when that’s your nationality. Even white South Africans cannot deny being South African because it’s their nationality. Until you renounce your citizenship, you retain a legal allegiance to your designated nation.

Through this jungle of words, I did learn a lot. In the trunk of my conscience, I’ve retained a handful of curiosity of what measures would need to be taken to establish permanent residence in another country if I ever decided to divorce America. Angelo’s post chauffeured that hidden curiosity that I stashed away in my well of subconscious thoughts to the front stage of my conscience. I love the dude; even though many of his posts are normally contradictory, racially fueled, limited, and often deprived in legitimacy. All of this was also linked to an inquiry for my homework assignment that requires me to construct a presentation on a place I’d like to visit. And surely, Africa is one of them. Where at specifically? Well, a few places; Egypt, Ghana, Zimbabwe, Cape Town, Nigeria, JoBurg, Morocco, Kenya, Ethiopia, Tanzania, Rwanda and maybe Congo. I wrote about a dream that I had previously, which involved me being transported to a store somewhere in Africa. I held on to that dream because I felt like I would be there. And now, I’m setting goals. The plan will trail behind as well as the execution when I discover the time (and that rhymes). After my journey to the Middle East, I have developed a hunger to travel to other places. My plate is full; I just gotta reach out and digest. I wish to be able to say that I’ve went to Africa; and whether I stay or not, I wish to be able to say that I’ve lived there with my own account of what it means to be culturally in tune with my ethnic roots. Plus, it really shuts people up in debates when they say “why don’t you go back to Africa?” When someone counter argues with “I did….for 3 years…and I decided I wanted to be an American again” then it really crunches eyebrows like “Oh…well…I would’ve stayed with my people” (side eyes)….right….because you know that life in Africa is better than in America. After living an American way of life, it’s a cultural earthquake adapting to another…especially when it’s not as enriched and convenient as the previous. From all of this, I’m just thankful that I’m not an extremist for black love and black power. I’m thankful that I’m not prejudiced and particular of one culture, ethnicity, or race. I feel like…why choose one when I can taste them all? Why only limit myself to Georgia when I can be all over the US. Why only study Christianity when I can study Taoism too? Why be Conservative, when I can be Liberal today, Communist tomorrow, and Democratic and Republic within the hours of each other? Loyalty? Well I tell you what, when the tide changes, sometimes the things that you are loyal to become your travel guide to destruction. Human’s have survived and died from commitment to their values. I just seek more options; more resources, meaning more freedom, in case I need to adapt to the changes of the tide. Every culture and belief system is designed for a set of conditions. And since conditions change, I want to be able to adapt.

Intelligence should be fluid always, and mechanical when necessary.

 


Feminist for a Day

equality_by_hiaamir-d2zn55o

Please stop spouting foolishness such as “men are providers and protectors by nature” and in the very next breath, “women are nurturers and domestic by nature. If that were the case, we’d come here ready to do such. Each and every one of us have to be taught how and what to do in that regard. I know some men who are cleaner than some women, who keep house better than women.

If you’ve ever been with an ex-convict or military man, you’ll know what I’m talking about, not that that has to be the case. But they are instructed and forced to uphold a certain standard of cleanliness and hygiene. Oft times, they carry those lessons with them throughout the rest of their lives.

Please learn the difference between instinctual behavior and learned behavior. I’m kinda of tired of having the same old argument with folks – Ebony Imhotep

 

^^^ That statement was my initiation into the realm of feminism. As a male, you hear about this movement, but your curiosity usually isn’t aroused enough to want to dive in. So, I essentially remained submerged in a separate Jacuzzi of immense cognitive dissonance on the matter. I was numb to their cause – usually shrugging indifferently towards their convictions. I mean, there are so many misconceptions and misrepresentations of the feminist movement that the male psyche is enslaved to the assumption of the movement being violent towards all men. As they say “if you don’t know, get educated”, but naturally, I assumed that I was the enemy, which reinforced my apathy. It’s like looking at a gate that says “keep out” – maybe I just needed a new eye-glass prescription. But, I always felt unwelcomed in this uncharted territory that my conscience never became aroused to explore. My Facebook news feed would precipitate a light dew of feminist remarks. Some of these remarks holstered an aggressive tone, while others were assertive in calling out irresponsible men for making foolish remarks against women. Ultimately, I adopted the façade that feminist women just didn’t want to be involved with men. (Shrugs) Stereotypes. But in this dialogue, I assumed the neutral position; I know a little about a lot, but in comparison to the women, I felt an “I”- exchange….inspired than intimidated. Intimidation is a response to a perceived threat – what’s the threat here? It’s a challenge to our knowledge-base….our culture. Men have been cultured to behave a certain way. Can it be said that this radical rebellion threatens a way of life?

A guy named Brian defended the traditional views of a matriarchal society like a valorous Spartan in the face a large battalion. He purported the cause of the division of the black family to be attributed to the implementation of the Willie Lynch Method by American slave owners. By the way, there was never a William Lynch from the West Indies in the 18th Century America, nor is there a Willie Lynch effect. Anyway, he furthers his claim by stating that this method “reversed” the natural order of the black family. My response to his comment was the beginning of my shift into the realm of feminism:

….This topic is based on the “assumption” that when men are born….their genetics automatically inform them to be protective and providing or nurturing and domestic. Your argument fails you because you mention “CULTURE”. Without culture, there are only genes and instincts [in this context of our discussion]…take a man out of his culture and you strip him of an identity. The essence of “what” he is remains. Cultures give you an identity.

..…..[it is through] cultures [that] people inherit LEARNED BEHAVIOR, which means any African identifies with “what they have been taught”

…. Human behavior may be motivated by “some” genetic traits…but it must be “cultured”. You only know women to be as they are because of the cultures [they’ve been associated with]…if your argument was true and consistent…you would never see a b!tch made man and a butch woman

He suggested that “nature” determines who is biologically fit for certain societal roles, and that by virtue of biological constitution, men are naturally and instinctively protectors and providers. I couldn’t accept this as truth knowing that in the absence of culture, a boy has no inherent informer whispering to his conscience like “hey, we must protect and provide the family”. If his claim was truth, men would not need to guide their sons – the guidance would arise from their genetic dispositions. It felt like a word game as I arrived at this statement:


The assumption that men are naturally and instinctively protectors is an incredible one. Instincts are not the same as “potential”

Men have the POTENTIAL to be protectors based on their physiology << that is acceptable. Men have the INSTINCT to protect themselves <<< that is acceptable. Men possess the INSTINCT to protect their families. <<< that is unacceptable. Men LEARN to protect their families << that is acceptable.

I was flooded into the awareness of the conflict between the patriarchal views vs. the matriarchal view. Realizing that the matriarchal culture’s influence on the male psyche, it made me question the order of human civilizations throughout the past 4000 years. Brian refused to adopt any other view that would defy his teachings. He was steadfast in defending his views:

My arguments are backed by historical facts so you can keep living in your world where men are not the protectors and leaders and that there is no such things as natural roles associated with cultures, have fun with that.”

….we should care about which gender is the head of the household cause that is supposed to be a man and that’s one of the main problems in the black community the man isn’t there and the woman is head of household that shit is backwards ,it is not in a man to be following after his woman and following her lead that is backwards and that’s what the slave master implemented, when a woman is around a real man that is doing what he is supposed to do and being that alpha male she almost always yields to him and that’s her NATURE as much as you want to say its only culture it is not, my thinking is not flawed it is realistic.

 

I realized that he carried a misconception that I had about the movement. Women aren’t trying to replace men or eradicate their existence. It’s a matter of equal treatment + equal opportunity. No…it’s a matter of justice A woman should be afforded the platform to actualize her potential, and exceed her limits in the same manner as men. We’re talking about evolution. How can a species evolve, especially if the counterpart is placing limitations on the other? I help you evolve, you help me evolve.

And from there, I realized that feminism is yet still its own culture; one that shares a spirit that is similar to the Civil Rights Movement: balance. This confronts the traditional order, and calls it to be accountable for repressing the potential of the prevailing female generations. These male-dominated traditions were permitted because that’s how it’s always been, and it works for us. And history has disposed a critical need for a platform in which women can establish a true identity for themselves based on their actualized potential rather than interests coiled from a male-dominant culture. I pondered throughout the discussion: “why do I even care? This has little to do with me”. But, I empathized as a historical scroll of feminine warriors, teachers, healers, pioneers and leaders unrolled before me. And then I saw virtues as spiritual faculties absent of gender-orientation. I saw this fabricated lie called “natural order” as a man-made organism rather than a disposition of the planet’s ecosystem. And here before me, I witnessed a small aperture view of woman-made organism, sponsored by the creative feminine energy. I was now aware that its creation was an innate response to the limitations of the environment. It was no different than an organism in the wild – one that transcended the harsh limitations, and evolved. It reminded me of the X-Men. I was infected with a hint of intrigue as to how many women repressed their secret identity to conform to the pressures of the fear-induced matriarchal order.

What I will reiterate is that some women forget that a lot of men are under the spells of a patriarch. For the black community, the Willie Lynch letter just motivates more scapegoating, and removes acceptance of personal shortcomings. Let’s add in the predisposition of low self-esteem that’s encouraged by religion, peer-pressure, social media, and career-competition. Now let’s add the presence of women whom are well-cultured and genetically endowed with high self-esteem outperforming the male; one who was raised to under patriarch-influence. The gravity of all of that can be intimidating because the conditioning is so subterranean. 20+ years assuming it to be your identity – it feels like an attack. It’s a natural fear response. And we use tactics to reinforce the conditioning. This is the stuff that slave mentalities are made of ….cultures. Brian even used the animal kingdom as a reference to support the patriarchal paradigm. He definitely wasn’t partial with an excessive use of the term alpha male as if there was no equivalent. Yet, to my surprise, the common knowledge library known as Wikipedia states that “In social animals, the alpha is the individual in the community with the highest rank. Male or female individuals or both can be alphas, depending on their species. Where one male and one female fulfill this role, they are referred to as the alpha pair”

“…look at every single one of our great African kingdoms and cultures and you will see there were way more rulers and leaders that were men by far over women…Why….Cause that was and is our NATURAL role! Even in nature it is the alpha make that is the leader!”

I thought about this – history reveals the influence of the male-dominated order. And in nature, the same reflects….in some species. Yet what I noticed is that there are hints of a democratic order. If the alpha male is accepted, then he holds the position. Yet without the consent of those who voted the alpha male into the group’s position, the alpha male is a wander or assumes another role. The group’s culture adapts to the environment. <<<that is paramount because the evolution of a species depends on its ability to adapt to the environment. Genetics are passed on to offspring as a consequence of the adaptation in order to promote the continuity of a species.

I admit that I was getting schooled on the sly. The “lion and primate” argument that he presented was clever, but not strong in comparison to the women’s approach. They’ve showcased brilliant experience in providing “facts”.

A cocoa butter-skinned, soft-eyed Roshell Williams gracefully states that Male lions are the muscle while females are the providers and teachers. It’s a give and take relationship. Female lions have been known to kill their mates and attack males

Ebony Imhotep with her Brown-sugar hue, stern glare and full lips chants nonchalantly: I also guess they don’t know that the lioness hunts, AND TEACHES THE MALES TO DO SO, thus making sure he eats. Yeah, I don’t think they know.

And with a look of sagacity, Carmel-fleshed Adrienne Roach exclaims: Gibbons and Bonobos…now Wikipedia those. And, while you are at it, look at the hour long documentary Stress, Portrait of a Killer to see an interesting CULTURE change in an isolated group of chimps.

Yeah…you still get no dice on this quarter. It’s CULTURE, not nature.

In a thicket of discovery, I shake my head, covering my mouth as I was filled with amazement. I’m verifying their facts as the posts pop up, looking for faults, reaching the realization that these women know their stuff….probably with experience.

It was a circular argument, but it wasn’t in vain. The dialogue propelled my interest like a catapult. Does this make me a feminist? Am I full supporter? Naaah. And that wasn’t the intention here. This was an informal introduction that may lead me to fathom the feminist consciousness and possibly assist or bridge some gaps in my future human interactions. This was a peek in the window. I know there are more issues on weary shoulders. I know there are books and such. The resources have always been there. I will say, for now, that my awareness is open to the movement….no matter how fashionably late I’ve arrived.