(Cross posted on Peter Marina’s blog)
After spending the weekend in the Dominican Republic it was time to get back to work, back to Antigua, my home base for all of this extensive research.
It’s a mixed feeling, going back to Antigua. Antigua is in many ways an undesirable place to live. The unrelenting sun beats down hard on an island where running water is in short supply. Apparently, the government gave away the country’s water rights to a private corporation. That’s right, they privatized their water, an act that would cause revolutions in some countries (see Bolivia). Moreover, the government failed to use tax-payer money to pay the corporation. As a result, the corporations shut off the running water, only turning on at unpredictable times and usually only for moments at a time. In fact, when I returned, the water had been shut off for four days straight. The result: Dishes do not get washed, people do not take showers, teeth do not get brushed, tempers flare, sweat sticks to you for days, toilets don’t flush, and everything begins to smell. Typically, St. John’s, the capital of Antigua, is dirty with garbage, it smells of urine from people pissing on the street, there are no restaurants, bars, or coffee shops outside of gringolandia – and those places suck. Now, without showers, the people smell, look sweaty, sometimes unkempt, and there is little air conditioning to give any relief to the sweltering heat. I hate to say it, but sometimes Antigua feels like a shit hole. I must admit to feeling general frustration about the water getting shut off for so many days. The government gives up water rights to a private corporation and allows them to shut off the water. And the people say nothing; don’t complain, pretend the problem does not exist. What is wrong with them? It’s all just (in a prolonged slow speed) “Yaaaaah monnn.”
Watching US propaganda brings laughter and humor to any person with at least half a wit. Even mouth breathers know that the system is a farce. My friend calls CNN the Cartoon National Network, a joke of journalism that serves as a propaganda station for the elite as well as sick form of desperate entertainment for the “educated” American (Keep in mind that when I say the educated American, I’m referring to the formally educated American who is so well educated into the system that they become almost incapable of critical thought and conform to orthodoxy). And all the cartoon networks, CNN, BBC, NBC, CBS, ABC, FOX, MSNBC, CNBC, all of them, serve the same function. Even the mouth breather should know that this is not a democracy, your president does not love you, or care about you, in fact cares little if you live or die. You are closer to a smelly homeless bum than the people you vote for. You are economically and socially more like a poor Haitian than the people you vote for, those you identify with. But you know that, even a mouth breather knows it. The question is if you admit it to yourself. So the mouth breather even knows that democracy in America does not exist, equality was never a goal (except for the small ruling elite who have a large degree of democracy and equality). American propaganda is everywhere, on our subways, school hallways, public billboards, internet sites, television stations, movies, clothes, bumper stickers, tattooed on human bodies, and so on. The Capitalist Party (what I call both the republicans and democrats – which make up the American Government) has orchestrated the greatest system of inequality, institutional racism, crushing poverty, ecological destruction, endless warfare, mind-destructing devices that the world has ever witnessed. The Capitalist Party is a terrorist group waging war against the human race, their land, their resources, their culture, their education, their human labor and activity, and their minds. It is a perfect machine of destruction and we vote for it everyday with genuine smiles. I live inside the greatest monster, the greatest liar, the greatest deceiver, the most destructive and violent system that has ever existed in all of human history.
That is why it is easy to see people fall victim to propaganda and advertisement here in Antigua. I asked the bus driver what’s up with the water. He offered a brief explanation (few Antiguans seem well informed about politics or economics, even when it concerns their lives directly) about how the old government did not pay the man but now the new government is good and will take care of the people because they care about the people so we should just wait. What a familiar story–wait. Hope. Yes, hope.
Even Americans refuse to admit the obvious. Yes, they know that we terrorize and bomb villages all over the world, but it is legal so it is ok. Most recently, in the past decade or so, they know we assassinate people, torture, and use bombs and predator drones to attack villages killing hundreds of innocent humans. Yet, somehow, with a new president, the killing and terrorism seems more humanized, more sanitized. But they know what the government is doing.
The recent assassination of Michael Brown serves as a good example.
A cop killed a black kid–and by one eyewitness account–execution style; straight-up intentional murder. Police (not most but many) have been terrorizing black and brown kids for many decades. This is unsurprising that a cop killed an unarmed black male. This happens frequently, always has. Reading some comments posted on various blogs, some people make the argument that black folks are playing the race card, as if the killing has nothing to do with race and its related category of class. Others feel ashamed that the native blacks are getting restless, rioting like uncivilized barbarians in their otherwise civilized city. Murder, on the other hand, when done through a legitimated and legal institution – the legal system – is civilized. Terrorizing villages – when done through a legitimate and legal institution – is not a problem, and it’s legal and moral. The same act, when done through an organization that has not achieved legitimate status, is considered wrong, terrorism. It is like saying raping a woman is wrong, unless it is done legally, which makes it right. Murdering a negro is wrong, unless it is done legally. Bombing villages in the Middle East is wrong, unless it is done legally. But what makes an action legal? Who gives organized activities legitimation? Who decides what actions are legal or not and who may or may not make such actions? And who benefits from this, and who does not benefit? The answers are easy; it is in your face. It is like I’m slapping you and your mother in the face and telling you I am not doing it and you believe me. I’m slapping your mother, I’m doing it now. And you can’t see it. You can’t see it? Can you?
St. Louis, some angry people will say, is one of the most racist cities in the US of A. But that is not true. All American cities are equally racist, the racism just takes different forms. Racism is normalized and embedded so deep into our consciousness that we only see it when a cop kills an innocent kid. And most people still don’t see it despite an obvious blatant murder. I’m slapping your mother in the face, bitch. And the reply, “No, you are not.”
If you say “niggah” or “spic,” you are a racist and will offend the white liberal. But kill one? No racism to see here, it is legal. Who decides what is legal? Who does it benefit? Are the answers obvious to you yet? Did the law benefit the dead black kid? Did it benefit any of the dead black kids? After we bombed the village, did it benefit the dying baby in the Middle Eastern village crawling desperately towards its dead mother’s now-useless breast?
Are you uncomfortable yet?
Did you know your tax dollars pay for this? Did you know you pay for this? Did you know your president (leader, ruler, or whatever word you prefer) ordered it? Did you know that you don’t even care? You will forget this in just a few minutes as you go on with your life, or a fluffy human-interest story is shown on the Cartoon National Network.
The story in St. Louis hits close to home since I conducted research in the same high school – Normandy High School – where young people from Ferguson attend school. This empire we call the US of A is waiting to implode. These cops better stop terrorizing people; the fire to spark a revolution is a matchstick away. I can feel it in my bones. The illusions are burning away, even the mouth breather knows.
What is interesting is that though your mother is being slapped hard in the face with great fury, the words you hear via the media appear stronger to you than the reality of the blood you see splattering from her broken lip. The media (backed up with your years in the mind-cleansing educational institution) frames the debate and all its angles. As a result, the sheep fall in line to near perfect predictability. The negroes are playing the race card. Why can’t the negroes behave appropriately when we murder them? Why loot even though we’ve been killing your babies for decades?
Come on negroes, be civilized. You need to show more respect.
Or maybe one day we will create huge buildings of cages to separate you from your species for years at a time and give control of these cages over to corporations for profit. That will teach you; that will make you respect us out of fear. We will take the piss out of you then. You will respect our authority then.
In New Orleans some of the black kids target defenseless white people usually with money walking alone a night. They beat the living shit out of them for seemingly no reason and never take a dime from them; no robbery. They just beat them to near death for no apparent reason. But there is a reason. When you brutalize an entire race of people and control them within all your institutions, and exclude them violently when you cannot control them, and build privately owned prisons when the poor excluded people do not obey all your white rules in all your white institutions, they are gonna freaking bite back. Afraid of being bitten? You better build more walls of protection. Do you think they will ever be high enough?
How would you like it if black people controlled all of your schools, all of your political institutions, all of your businesses, stores, malls, movie theaters, all of your cultural institutions, your English dialect, your styles of clothing, and the rules and laws you must live by? And when you don’t obey them, they exclude you; exclude you politically, economically, culturally, and socially. They call you a behavior problem, emotionally disturbed, criminogenic, inferior, problematic, dangerous, silly, stupid, uneducated, maladjusted, threatening, disrespectful, challenged, psychologically disturbed, uneducated, uncivilized, ill-mannered, and in need of counseling or therapy, elocution lessons anyone? And the black cop kills your white child. Perhaps black cops should go into your white suburbs and start picking off all your white children – Sarah, Tabitha, Samantha, Kelly, Chaz, Chad, Brad, Chase instead of Jamelle and Shawanika. What is the difference? My bad, it’s got nothing to do with race and its correlated class. Nothing. I’m not slapping your mother violently.
I say burn it. Burn it all. Burn all ‘dem illusions. Do not take it. Do not take this legal terrorism. They will not stop, they will keep shooting until all your children are dead, broke, uneducated, poor, underprivileged, underemployed, weak, submissive, subservient, respectful of authority, subdued, broken, and succumbed. So burn it. They pushed you, like Grand Master Flash, over the edge. And if you don’t lose control, you will lose your children. And we all are next unless we all lose control. Burn all the illusions down, it is the only way to survive. Your grandparents new it, they just lost the battle. The tide rolled back; the battle was lost. But you can fight it now; we can fight again.
Tear down the walls, burn all illusions, tear down the system, one notch at a time. How long is this sustainable? How long will this last? And when it all comes down and you must face the mirror (or your maker) whose side were you on and what did you do? You will die. What are you going to do about it in this life? What will you have learned? What side did you fight for?
I’m getting sick of mainstream American culture; she disgusts me that tired old fat cow. The orthodoxy, conservatism, the lack of critical thought, the brutalizing but sanitized legal racism. America, you were once a beauty, a lovely gem with promise. Emerson felt it strongly to near transcendence as Walt danced in the leaves of grass. Emily could almost see the fly that buzzed and Jack searched for the end of the road, the promise of the American dream. I loved you in school, America, loved all of that promise you once had. Your promise reflected the innocent promise I had about love, life, and people. Your promise showed through my bright eyes filled with intellectual curiosity and will to help America achieve its dream and better the world. My folks were torn from their homeland because of how beautiful you looked from afar.
But you are far from good.
I grew up and it hurt. I learned. And the more I learned, the more you tried to hurt me. I saw through you and your images and faces and newspaper stories and TV channels. I saw you for who you really are; you are ugly and it makes me sad. A faded dream, a useless unrealized potential, reduced to nothing but a cheap ad selling your commodities and bombing countries and people to keep it going. Is your destruction of humanity worth the price of your gold? Jack K. saw the end and drank himself to a stupor. The great dream never existed. Michael Brown is not an exception, he is America. Like the cop, America stands for protection, morality, ethics, honesty, hard work, pride, promise. Like America, the cop betrays and kills our children, kills our hope. America you killed our dream and this cannot be forgiven. You broke my heart and tore it to shreds. How could you?
But now I’ve made my own dreams. And I’m living them. It proves you are not the only dream; we can make new ones.
(Before I go on, to all my police friends, of whom I have many, this is not a personal attack on you, your department, or your character. The nature of police departments today in our world system of nation-states and global capital requires that the organizational logic of the legal institutions and their institutions of enforcement behave in this manner. I know that you are good people, most of you anyway. I find many of you proud, and see you as heroes. You save lives. Most of you want to help people, not hurt them – just like my Pop. Most of you are hard-working men and women of honor.)
Cops are by their very nature Kapos.
Yes, Kapos. Though most are well-intentioned, they actually serve the wealthy, whether they would like to believe it or not. They uphold the rules, laws, codes, and regulations of the powerful. Watch any protest at the G8, or any WTO and IMF protest, and you will see it with your own eyes, clear as day. I’m slapping your mother. It is a fact; you can actually see it. Cops defend privilege. And in all reality, killing black children serves the interest of the white elite, which is why we put them in privately owned jails. That’s probably why more negro children aren’t killed; it takes profit away from privately owned prisons. It would not surprise me in the least.
So many Antiguans think that their new government loves them, cares about them, will give them their water back, at least some of it, some of the time. I often felt sorry for how ignorant and subservient, and submissive the Antiguans seem until I thought for about Americans. Your cars, bank accounts, chain restaurants, fancy phones, designer clothes, it’s all coming to an end and you can’t see it. The system is falling apart and your mind is looking to some far away place. The writing is on the proverbial wall but your education has made you unable to read it.
If you look at the past 500 years of human history, first-world countries created transportation systems throughout all of the countries in the third world. These transportation systems carry all the wealth from the interior of these countries, including human commodities (slaves, indentured servants, and wage servants), natural resources (including necessities such as water), and raw materials to something called port cities on the coasts. All of the goods (humans, resources, and raw materials) are put on boats and sent to the first-world countries. This has happened almost everyday for the last 500 years.
Everyday, do you understand me?
It’s like I’ve been slapping your mother, everyday, for the past 500 years. Everyday for the past 500 years all of the wealth in the so called third world has been fracked, drilled, mined, and expelled from the land and seas and brought to the white elite in the first world. It is why you have some gas in your car, though at a steep price. It is why you have the crumbs left over from your masters and why the Haitians are so goddamn poor. They are poor so you can at least have a little. You know this is true. You know it. But you don’t really care. Next.
For the past 500 years everyday, the wealth of the so-called third world has been ripped out of these countries. Yet, in your educational facilities of insanity and lies, they do not tell you the real actual obvious truth about why these nations are poor. Do you know now? It is because for the past 500 years, everyday first world countries, using an intricate system of transportation systems, extracted all of the wealth from the interior of “third-world” countries and sent it through ports to the increasingly wealthy first-world countries and into the hands of the elite. This is a fact. It cannot be proven wrong. It happened exactly as I’m stating it. This will forever be true, a fact. Your mother was slapped and cannot be unslapped.
But now the kicker.
Those suck zones have all been sucked, there is nothing left to suck from these now poor, resourceless countries. It is all sucked dry. The land is as useless as that dead mother’s cold, useless breast. And you helped pay for it. And now, the Middle East is almost finished being sucked. Your seas and oceans have been sucked and are nearly destroyed and polluted. There is nothing left.
Now YOU live in the new suck zone. Ha-ha. Suckers. Hope? Ha-ha.
You are the new Michael Brown; expendable and worthless. Not worthless? You helped kill him. Are you doing anything worthy for the dead black kid except for saying what a tragedy it is and fabricating some genuine sorrow? You are the new Paco and Julio from Mexico. Ha-ha. Go vote, ha-ha. Have hope.
You live in the new suck zone and you have become the new commodity selling your labor to the wealthy for cheap rates, little if any pension, no labor union, devaluation of your currency, and rising cost of living.
You live in the new suck zone.
This is why they frack your land and tell you it is good. This is why they make pipelines through your land and say it is fine. This is why they drill on your coasts and say it is ok. This is why they pollute your air, contaminate your soil, steal your water and say it passes the legal code (who creates the codes and who does it benefit?)
It is because they sucked all there is to suck from everywhere else.
All there is left is you; you and your land is the new suck.
You suck, literally.
And you voted for it. Don’t feel sorry for the Antiguans. Who are the real suckers now?
I told a good Antiguan friend of mine that when black people behave, they get to live like Antiguans. When black people don’t behave, they get to live like Haitians. Haiti was the first successful black revolution to achieve independence from their white overlords/leaders in the Caribbean. They overthrew a US sponsored dictator. So, when black people don’t behave, they get to be Haitians.
And Haiti has been sucked for a while.
This is what happens when they create suck zones and people let it happen. You become Haiti.
Haiti was once rich, full of pride and with an abundance of natural resources. But it was all sucked.
When everything gets sucked, you become Haiti.
Now America, now you are getting sucked.
America is rapidly becoming the new Haiti.
And you agree to this. You allow it, some of you even vote for it. Do you really suck? I’m slapping your mother.
You and your land and your children’s land are in the new suck zones. This system is not sustainable. You are being drowned out and excluded from any decisions. They are doing to you what we did to Haiti. This is the truth. This is a fact. I wish it were not, but it is an obvious slap-your-momma-in-the-face fact. What will we do, what will happen next? Will we become the new Haiti? That is the direct path as of this writing.
I’ll write more about Antigua on my next posting coming soon.