America to Me

By Robert Lilly | November 1, 2012

Vocabulary: Illusion-a deceptive appearance or impression: 2) athing that is or is likely to be wrongly perceived or interpreted by the senses. What happened to the America that we had beenpromised? What happened to the dreams of our foreparents? Is it ever apossibility that we could live in this land of our prior slave masters and notbear the burden of oppression? Some of you might be asking, “What America is helooking at?” My response will be: “The America that you are ignoring!” What is reality in America? Reality is that which isconsistent with fact and truth. Fact:nothing happens in a void or vacuum. Fact:people have choice. Fact: the humanpossesses a unique ability to recall history and use it to his advantage. {{more}}Fact: everything has a background inwhich it has been formed. Fact: wehave lost the knowledge of our ancient ways and civilizations. And by losingthis knowledge we think all we have ever had was our place here in this land.That is so wrong, we are a global people with a legacy of enumerableaccomplishments. Our history does not begin in racist America. Nevertheless, I want to go back to answering thequestion of what happened to this other ‘America’ we had been promised thatstill seems so illusive. We were told that all we had to do was get aneducation? We got that! Still, our children, in comparison to other racialgroups fare the worse in this public educational system. We were told we neededthe vote. We got that! Look around, more elected officials today thanyesterday, but betrayal and trickery still keep us away from real power. Wewere told, “No! What you really need is a good job.” Define ‘good’? If yourdefinition of ‘good’ doesn’t include self-determination, or independence thensomething is wrong with it. If it does not entail the acquisition of wealth,which is not the same thing as income, then it is flawed. If it doesn’t embracejob creation or entrepreneurship then it is only a ruse or an act of trickeryfor further servitude to a system of oppression. Some of you would do well to learn the history ofAmerica; it appears all the more clear to me that too many of you are obliviousto such. I know, history wasn’t your favorite subject in school, but it is bestprepared to reward its researcher. America was forged in the crucible ofEuropean colonialism and British imperialism. This article, for clear purposescannot be the place for lengthy discussion on these subjects, but I implore thecurious reader to go deeper. Words are needed for you to gain ‘overstanding’. Fortoo long all we have gotten is ‘under’-standing, and that is we are standingunder others, whose feet rest upon our confused heads. We need to rise abovebase knowledge and come into a worldview that is above the high school level. Ihave learned that it is next to impossible to organize an illiterate people.There must be pedagogy for the oppressed; a unique practice by whichinformation is delivered and learning is obtained by those most beat down bythe system. From the Constitutional Convention to our contemporarytimes Institutional Racism has riddled America like termites in a house. Thisis a form of racism that is structured into political and social institutions.I went to and found this description of institutional racism, “It occurswhen institutions, including corporations, governments and universities,discriminate either deliberately or indirectly, against certain groups ofpeople to limit their rights. Race-based discrimination in housing, education,employment and health for example are forms of institutional racism. Itreflects the cultural assumptions of the dominant group so that the practicesof that group are seen as the norm to which other cultural practices shouldconform . The people who manage our institutions may not be racists asindividuals, but they may well discriminate as part of simply carrying outtheir job, often without being aware that their role in an institution iscontributing to a discriminatory outcome. This not only threatens the effortsto improve health care for all Americans, but it also creates problems for asociety that continues to struggle with a legacy of racial discrimination andoppression .” I contend that, despite all that many people will slang back at me asproofs of ‘change’ in America, some American are not ready to accept blackAmerica, except as silent, subservient, partakers of whatever it happens toreceive by accident. As long as we cannot change what we look like we willcontinue to be the objects of suspicion, scorn and rejection. That is, until orunless racism and oppression are resisted by both black and white American’s. Arnold Toynbee’ s observations of sixty plusyears ago are still valid: “The…may have found spiritual salvation in the White Man’s faith; he may haveacquired the White Man’s culture and learnt to speak his language with thetongue of an angel; he may have become adept in the White Man’s economictechnique, and yet it profits him nothing if he has not changed his skin.”-Excerpted from writing by C. Eric Lincoln. Wewere duped into believing that Integration was The Solution to our problems. And, yet even still now with allthat we face today, we are unwilling to acknowledge out loud that thoseproponents of the past were wrong, integration was not the solution. That so-calledsolution opened up a whole host of problems in a country that has essentiallyremained true to its foundational origins: America was to be a White Man’sland, all others may be welcome but only as tools of labor or for exploitativepurposes. Any attempt on the part of oppressed people to change this dynamicwould be met with extreme displeasure and violent resistance. Doesn’t historybear out that fact? Doesn’t the rhetoric of our current political milieu makethat clear? I am not saying it would be better to goback to the way things were. Things were not completely right then nor are theyright now. Democracy was always said to be quest toward something that was tobe fulfilled. Today, both locally and nationally we have a system ofnepotistic, plutocracy. That is rich people looking out for their families andfriends. And so if it is to be, it is not yet done. And if it is to be then itis up to WE! We havemore work to do, which is my point. Let’s not stop here at the two-car garageand the corporate job or the flat screen T.V. and the 5-disc CD changer stereo.The one hundred and forty channel cable system and the X-Box 360. Oh my people,you are being lulled back to sleep by trinkets, these things are not theequivalency of freedom, they are, rather a testimony of your unintelligenceand lack of political sophistication. These items express a sign of yourcolonialized minds, enslaved to the American economy. It is one designed to benefit those whoconform to the white man’s standards. He wants you to be obsessed with consumerismand not to think in terms of real blackpower. We must control our destiny by reconsidering our place in Americaand our relations to our people abroad. We must form black think tanks toconceive ideas that will lead to our liberation. Stop being afraid to thinkabout us in terms of us. No other civilized and sane people cancel themselvesout to prove their love for their opponents. Such practices arecounterrevolutionary, and self-destructive. Argue with me, you may but it does not changewhat I have said, we are loosing our future because of our lust for the rightnow wants. Wake up! Learn to love your people and let’s get organized!