People were supportive, but even if they weren't, I'm comfortable enough with myself that I'm glad I can express emotions when I need to. The point I pondered all day is just how much the events are triggering me and the heavy impact these events have on my ability to have a healthy psychology.
I know I'm extremely sensitive to the suffering people experience. I'm thinking a lot about how difficult it must be for people in Puerto Rico right now. How much their lives have been thrown completely upside down. They have just suffered through two devastating storms when their reality was already challenged from a neo-colonial existence in the first place. Now, they don't even have a basic infrastructure to support the people there. Its heart wrenching.
Seeing my people shot down consistently and systemically by state terrorists is trying and traumatic everyday. Then, to add insult to injury, so many people who know just enough about the experiences of oppressed people to leave a thimble half empty, are so self righteous and opinionated about how so many of us express our legitimate outrage at the terror we face.
Then, to see so many of our Indigenous Brown family members upset and concerned about what will happen in the U.S. as so many of them fear deportation is equally as heart wrenching and an assault on the humanity of any compassionate person.
Finally, over 30,000 people in the West African nation of Guinea protested the inhumane mining conditions there last week. Guinea supplies much of the world's aluminum products through its bauxite deposits. The conditions there are miners as required to work seven days per week for pennies. They die often before they reach 40 years old. People are sick of this and resisting it as they should, but people in the West probably don't know much about Guinea. As long as you can wrap up that sandwich in foil for later consumption, why would you need to know, right?
I know that what happened in that meeting is a sign for me that this society is not healthy for me at all. With my sensitivity to human suffering, living within a society that has no moral conscience, I'm aware that staying here for an extended period of time is very bad for my mental health. And, believe me, a plan is being put in place to address that issue on a personal level, but then there is my ideological and practical foundation and experience. The training that has taught me that I do not exist as an individual in this world. My African culture has taught me that we are always a part of a collective experience. That is the African way. And, since I know the history of my African people, I also know the history of all of humanity. So, I cannot make my reaction to the suffering in Puerto Rico simply that of an emotional response on my part. I can't because I know the reason the people there suffer is because of the impacts of years of neo-colonial rule where the people of that small island nation are treated as inferior subjects by the U.S. empire. There is no reason why these people, most of whom are African people, have to suffer like this. Socialist Cuba, Puerto Rico's geographical neighbor, has demonstrated to us with their consistently limited losses of life from these storms, that a society that prioritizes its people can figure out how to avoid intense tragedy in spite of having limited material resources. So, I know my people there don't have to be going through what they are going through. If we had the level of organization that a united socialist Africa would provide us, then we would have the resources and capacities to respond to our people in Puerto Rico. We wouldn't have to wait for the imperialist empire to act as if it is the saving grace when it is the reason the people are suffering in the first place.
My training also tells me that our people mean well when we make every attempt to try and address our legitimate grievances against systemic racism while not offending the ultra sensitive egotism and arrogance of European society, but that strategy only serves to reinforce the problems. The truth is we can't, and shouldn't, be reacting to their flag waving stupidity. Clearly, the flag is a part of the problem. Its the symbol of white supremacy and capitalism, the system that oppresses African people. The police are the enforcers of that same system. The schools are the propagandists of that system. And, the churches are the moral justification for that system. You can't separate one element from the rest. The entire system is rotten. Its like we are trying to separate the alcohol from whiskey. There's little question that when we protest police terrorism we are protesting the system and everything it stands for and anyone who denies that, or tries to dissect it, has a separate agenda. Maybe they are attempting to carve out some space for them to operate and make money within this oppressive system. Only they know, but those of us who seek truth have to tell ourselves that those people cannot refute the overwhelming evidence that this entire system is guilty.
And, like Puerto Rico, Guinea and the rest of Africa suffer because of that same neo-colonial system. The entire U.S. (and world capitalist) economy is based upon exploiting Africa. It was built off of this exploitation and it maintains itself off of this exploitation.
Then to add to all of this, I know that Kwame Ture was correct when he said that "capitalism makes everything that should be strange seem normal and everything that should seem normal seem strange." That's why the Indigenous people, the rightful caretakers and inhabitants of this land, along with their descendants are being labeled as "illegal aliens" and being forced to justify their existence here while the children of the thieves who stole this land walk around with their chests poked out acting as if they are the rightful owners of everything that exists in this hemisphere. My training easily identifies the insanity within this.
So, although most people who don't know me well would probably conclude that my emotional outbreak in my meeting on Tuesday resulted from my being overwhelmed by all of these events, I know that's not the case. My reaction is related to my intense desire to see us move to building that united socialist Africa that would address the problems in places like Puerto Rico. That would create the respect we need for ourselves that would force this backward society to respect us. Its hard to gun down people when you need to be able to negotiate resources from them. And, the impact of a free Africa logically means that the U.S. is unable to be the supreme power that it is today since its prominence is only due to its dominance over Africa. As a result, a free, united, and socialist Africa means a weakened U.S. empire. One that is ripe for the Indigenous people to reclaim their destiny and move out all these freeloading hustlers who claim American identity. Either be willing to accept the realities of this new and just world, or take your toilet paper flag and go straight back to Europe!
My reaction in that meeting is because we don't have our united and socialist Africa and honestly, there is so, so, much work needed to get our people to even understand the necessity to move in this direction. That's what triggered me. But, I know that my responsibility isn't to judge the speed of our progress. My responsibility is to chip away at it to the best of my ability everyday for as long as I have breath.
So, I am using Tuesday's episode as a point of reference. It's a sign that I need to figure out how to engage the work in ways that permit me to take better care of myself. Something I'm trying to learn how to do for the first time in my over half of century on Earth, but unlike so many people who are having emotional reactions, mine wasn't because I'm overwhelmed. I know exactly what needs to be done. All I have to do is figure out how I'm going to do it while doing my best to maintain my sanity while I'm still trapped under the power of this sick cesspool capitalist system.