So, just imagine. If any of the many papal headlines are at all an indication of a genuine likelihood - African guy becomes the next pope of the catholic church - we could be in for more heartbreak. Considering how well the “African as leader of western institution” marketing veneer is going for them, wouldn’t that just be a great coup for imperialist/Zionist Europe and its new world militaristic allies? It would breathe more life into the post-racial arguments of the denial faction in western society, as well as whip the not very aware/informed Catholic constituents on the African continent into further ecstatic, blindness-inducing piety and unquestioning, religious loyalty. What a perfect setup for further imperialist facilitations. With a total constituency slightly besting the population of the most populous nation on the continent, one would as well call such a pope the political leader of what would be the equivalent of the largest and most populated African country. That would be a huge amount of power for an undemocratically elected official to yield. How would such power be used?
Of course, I am speculating. No telling what will happen. Paddy Power gives such an eventuality better odds than any other, currently possible. If recent events are of any lesson, I’d better prepare myself mentally, for the possibility. For, these days, I’m not much one for unpleasant “surprises”.
The following is a facebook status update by an online friend in regards to Quentin Tarantino’s latest Hollywood film, Django. I haven’t watched it and won’t be, because I don’t support or promote Hollywood. Nonetheless, I feel moved to share this very sincere perspective on the film.
“It’s funny how one half of my news feed loves Django and the other half can’t stand it. Your[sic] a funny old bunch.
Personally getting your jollies from Tarantino’s gratuitous violence set in this context seems problematic, and I personally am not comfortable laughing at those “silly incompetent white guys” which shifts the focus of the white supremacist power structure that maintained slavery, and individualises it.
I think perhaps my feelings come from actually having a direct connection to this period, my family and community at large are intrinsically shaped by this period, often negatively. The role of men within the Caribbean family, the effects of fear, violence and discipline in raising our children, the relationships between men and women, notions of beauty - so much of how we function as a community is connected to this period. You can see it in the stats between Africans and African Caribbeans, we have been here longer, but are failing at every level. What is the difference? It’s our historical experience.
And for sure I am not talking about my wider African family, nor even my wider political black family here. None of you could truly know what its like when the door is closed on a family descended from enslaved Africans - it’s a very peculiar psychic experience.
My father, who I love very much, though he lived with me all my life, may well have not been there, he paid very little attention to us, I often wondered where that came from, then I meet my grandfather, and after getting to know him I realised where it came from, he too was there but aloof. I don’t think it’s a lack of love - but more a lack of know how. Fatherhood is something that gets passed down through generations, the lessons about how to live, how to behave, your role as men, your responsibilities within your families - these things are learnt more often then not from father to son, mother to daughter - most of you probably without knowing it are living on the wisdom and life experience of your great great great grand parents passed on down the line in various adapted guises.
In the Caribbean sense there was a huge fracture at a period of time, where all of these roles, responsibilities and accumulated life experience was destroyed, along with the contortion of culture, identity - where memory could became a dangerous thing, a hindrance to plantation structure - here violence, death and fear dictated most of our daily lives.
To turn people into cattle purely for breeding, children bought and sold, is some kind of disaster I cannot fully comprehend, not to mention the constant fear of violence, the constant threat of death to someone you could grow attached too - so it’s best to avoid feeling that way about each other. Those things don’t just go away after 400 years, because you gain freedom from the whip.
All of these things, compounding with the more modern forms of white supremacy shape my family - I see it everyday in the eyes and actions of my brother, mum, dad, and cousins. It’s not really a joke to me, it’s not a spaghetti western - that kind of movie does very little in addressing the psychic trauma that exists in my immediate community. I’m not saying it should address those issues - I’m just saying that is what I bring to a film like this - when I engage with this period in whatever form, I am engaging with the historical energy that directly effects my immediate. So before you all start cussing those that are offended, or taken aback by this film, maybe it’s worth understanding the different spaces we each occupy.
I cannot help but know the experience of my family, it was an effort to learn about - I cannot unlearn what I know, put it aside for the sake of entertainment.
I have no problem with anyone presenting this narrative, white or yellow - I do have a problem if I think that presentation does not treat that experience with respect nor comes at it from a place of integrity.
But again that is just my experience informing me, ya’ll free to think what you want. This is not 1984 just yet. Just extend me the same courtesy.
This is not a debate.