Monday, May 12, 2014

Intimate Portrayals of Oppression and the call to break the chains of white supremacy



An intimate portrayal of oppression and the call to break the chains of white supremacy emerges as one more man is gunned down and murdered while driving his truck on a freeway in Richmond, California in broad daylight.  The police have yet to catch any suspect.  - Henry K. Lee, SF Gate, May 4, 2014.

The murder of one man on a busy freeway becomes an experience in search of meaning in the realm of human interaction.  A profound loss to family, friends and coworkers, his murder presents life as an intense and intimate context of fear and oppression enfleshed with acts of violence seldom understood.  This act of violence, while grotesque and unsettling, is a peculiar evidence of the intimate aspects of relationships and community in a society where violence is more often than not a mediation of identity.  Violence, in its various forms, is a primary discourse and means for maintaining those margins which reveal the boundaries determined to be critical to definitions and terms created to maintain and project social, political, military and economic power. 

A new Jim Crow, more cunning and devious, considered here as a projection of white supremacy, is alive and well seeking to shape, shift and deceive an emerging demographic narrative to maintain power as Willie Lynch invests in a new and diverse caste system.  In this context intimate portrayals of oppression arise as voter ID laws, hard won civil rights and affirmative action policies under attack, an overcrowded prison industrial complex, an irrational fear of the non white immigrant, a supreme court seemingly in bed with corporations, and individuals who, at times, let the proverbial “cat” out of the bag, reveal a violent mindset reminiscent of the days of the southern slaveocracy, the runway slave and Bull Conner.  What we have here is a recalcitrant white supremacy suffering from pathological narcissism and a longing for a new, diverse and glorious plantation culture.  

In the face of this violence hope becomes a powerful outpouring of the moan, and the cry of a people who long for justice.  Hope is that prophetic voice heard and felt deep within the soul of people the world over, who exist within a matrix of oppressions perpetrated by a lust for money, corporations, and the politics of systems which have determined, since colonial expansion, that the one and only way of survival is the way of white supremacy.  I ask the reader, “Is there no other way to survive except the way established by white supremacy?”   That said a reading of the words of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. illicit thoughts of creating and developing a different imagination of access to resources and as such survival.

Dr. King’s words are not some pie in the sky philosophical ideal but a response to the injustices of white supremacy.   It is a call for each of us,to be the resurrection and in this sense the Jesus of Nazareth in our communities.  To be God’s life and love, an affirming holy response to the injustices perpetrated upon God’s people.   The death of one man then on a busy Northern California freeway, which occurs, like so many other crimes against humanity, even in the midst of this matrix of oppression presents an opportunity be that holy and sacred response from within the community of the beatitudes, to not only ask the question but to be the question, “is there another way to survive, to live, to be free?”   

Beloved, we must understand the connection between one man's death on a busy  Northern California freeway, and those structures created and developed by and for white supremacy which lead to those acts of violence.  We must change the rules of the game.

If, like King, we allow our faith to live, new ways of access will emerge beyond that which has been dictated and authorized by white supremacy.