There is this idea that the celebrity you love is the leader of all people. Celebrity is not synonymous with Leader. I do believe that clout allows for people to get their messages across more efficiently, but the fact remains that this does not qualify them to bare the role of leadership. For some, this can come as a burden, for others, the mere ego stroke gets them going.
I feel as though Alice Walker expressed it best, "...how wonderful to have a really old Revolutionary," and in this statement, I had yet to consider this idea of being able to SEE physically, someone who fought and pledged to challenge ideas and narratives to bring about change for the better, for our people. If our people, Black people seen Revolutionaries in their Senior, I truly believe that this cosplay and safe route of celebrity-ness would cease to exist as we know it.
The safe route grants you the privilege to challenge in nuance only and not directly. There is an art to curating the experience of nuance so that some understand and others do not but the overall concept translates.
Many people need an economic foundation and I believe many of us reinvented ourselves and learned from those before us and chose life over death in pursuit of happiness. However, there has to be an understanding that the lights that shine bright and flash on certain people are not responsible to lead you in any direction and that that power belongs solely to you. Many debates arise and sometimes I have to stand back and work to understand why people look up to others that have no track record of helping you, or those around you directly to put you in a position of security.
At this point, what is happening, is a road is taken and if it works, others follow to grant themselves their own economic safety. But also, the history we learned, taught us about leaders that led and fought and each year and each day when an issue arises, we look for someone to lead us all- and socially nominate someone we celebrate for singing well or dancing phenomenally and force them into a spotlight to command us a whole, in the 'right' direction- somehow entrusting them to lead a people in a wage of war politically.
I am not defending those that I am not- I am expressing an observation and concluding that celebrities are not our leaders. That- is a fantasy.
Alice Walker @ 16:08 sharing her sentiment of seeing Revolutionaries grow old
As I scroll down my timeline, there are so many arguments where the main goal is to eradicate "white privilege". However, in people's efforts to do so, their constant use of the expression realizes this privilege even more so.
I took it upon myself to express, "Let's retire, "white privilege,: because that phrase is affirming and gives more space for it to live, grow, and thrive." In the moment this was tweeted, I felt that if the feelings were strong, then I should come up with a solution. Because words matter- finding the semantic is imperative. I think that at this point, there are strong temporal drags that assume the listener or reader understands your nuance in language. This is not always the case.
As a concept, this privilege is really an advantage that has been granted strictly based on race and the color of someones skin- "whiteness," as we know it, is no more- it has expanded to include those who consider themselves to be a "Person of Color," in which really, does not exist. "POC" is an idea that their nationality, race, and ethnicity can be grouped together with others that do not look like them but there is an assumption the oppressive systems work the same- equally rather, against them. FALSE. Any inequities other races are facing in America differ vastly and sometimes have the capacity to intersect.
POC can be weaponized and has been because many people who identify, can also identify as white, therefore also, taking advantage of any freedoms that may come with it when it best suits them. So what is happening is this huge practice of anti-Blackness from those who are able to choose to experience whiteness.
2021 is a great year to begin selecting words and phrases more carefully as to not manifest greater powers and reinforce oppressive phrases and terms that keep people idle and trapped.
Here are some phrases or sentences that can be used instead of reinforcing and giving power to those we are not kin to socially/politically/familial(ly):
-Those experiencing social immunity due to their race
-Conceptual power (that can only realize itself if you reinforce it)
Off the top of my head, this is what I could come up with so leave a comment of other affirming words/phrases for your Blackness so the focus shifts to us and not always in tandem with "them".
Stay blessed Niggas.
A Negress, Suni Mullen
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