Spoken word by Ibrahim Sincere addressing and analysing some of the modern and historic implications of racism and white supremacy.
Ibrahim Sincere is a Muslim student and creative writer of a mixed Somali and Indian descent. Check out his articles for The Muslim Vibe here, follow him on Twitter and like his Facebook page.
Times have changed.
Let me rewind to the days not so long ago as you may think that our people were enslaved, and I can bet that you just visualised a black and white image with a ship full of Africans in chains but its not always that is the case, I could have been speaking of today…
Though we’ll come back to that, for now let’s go to that place.
Where a long lived nightmare was a reality we like to ignore, where the black man was an asset to the white and nothing higher or more, with a past and a back full of gore, 300 years of a holocaust, and this isn’t a time for you to cry and mourn, this is the time we bring the people to life like the sky when its dawn, because it wasn’t exactly sympathy that the Mau Mau were fighting for, they fought; so they can reclaim the humanity that was taken from them.
How can you call men violent animals after instilling your hatred in them?
Put them in cages explaining that they are lower forms of the homosapien, so justified your oppressive relations to them with the thought that the whiter the skin the higher the status of men so now we hate to be reminded of our Blackness everytime we take a look at our faces again..?
Being lighter is nicer, its a thing we seem to accept, but again, I SEEM to be skipping ahead…
And times have changed.
We can go further back to the times of Garvey, or a little less to the rise of the Black Panther Party but, let’s flip the page, and go back to when Malcolm and Martin tried make us see that your dark skin was a beautiful gene before racism was paint brushed under the carpet.
So it was after a long period that the youth were asleep, that Martin had a vision and of course it was a beautiful dream, but Malcolm reminded us that if you have to then you must… shoot to be free.
And they called him crude and extreme… But let me enter the mind state of an ex-slave after the trade was abolished, a sign that says ‘No Niggers or Dogs’ are a thing very usual to see, I would love to sit here and listen to you explain what the constitution reads but words are just words, I demand that you prove them to me.
Because, though I’ve had my language culture history name and religion removed from me… love is the best thing that you looted from me, that was my grandfather that saw his wife and children executed at sea..
Imagine that… ?
So calling the rage of the oppressed irrational just sounds a little too deluded to me, for how can they expect colourful fruits and leaves once they’ve already damaged the roots of the tree? So Malcolm wanted you to perceive that your mind is your greatest weapon, and you have the pistol aimed at the chains of your cuffs so you must… Shoot to be free.
But have times changed?
And listen attentively to what I’m about to say, what you see on the surface may have a new face but, deep down underneath the sugar coating the bitter taste of reality is still the same. We give our freedom fighters Black and Brown figures that inspired an uprising an illustrious status in our time but in our time nobody wants to actually discuss race.
And when we do and we challenge those racial perceptions hidden away, they say that we segregate, and our claims cause distasteful discrepancies if we were to say that, history and the foundations of capitalism have left such a legacy that, every single one of us still suffers from white supremacy.
And that’s an uncomfortable term isn’t it?
It all gets a bit … *uncomfortable* when we start to discuss white privilege, and don’t get it twisted my comparatively lighter skin tone means I also acknowledge my privilege; like I’m somehow less animalistic than those darker than me and partly, it comes with the idea that the whiter the skin the more morally supreme see I just want you to open your sub conscience and question what you really believe how else can we really be free?
And why am I more likely to go inside?
Is it that the jury would be more inclined to look for my good intent and innocence if I was white? And I have to be taught through punishment because I’m not so civilised see I can empathise with being more able to relate to your own you can argue its only natural I know, its just certain views many members of the population hold you think the immigrated should go? ignorance has clearly taken a hold when you forget the oppressive ways this nation had grown, who were the enslaved and taken from home? and whose government has always sent troops to take control of a “foreign” land, drew new borders, set its own rules whilst taking the gold? You call that the victim card I call speaking the truth the ruins where the resistance sparks, cos we fought wars in our minds before they lit up the dark, before our ideas exploded and the shrapnel split us in half man down man down I took a hit to the heart, they were shootin’ at me I tried to shoot to be free, man down man down I need a lift to Allah…
Cos times ain’t changed…
Hear it from an African Asian Muslim trust me I can relate, I could have been just another kid from the estate, slave to the system instilled with hate and we tried our hardest not to be filled with pain though, certain teachers couldn’t see past race, then most police couldn’t see past the criminal they subconsciously see in our face, and that cycle of discrimination could have been the reason half of my friends didn’t see pass grades, the only way out they could see was the money from the C class grade and my talk was only talk when I tried to say that; we are great.
It hurts that I failed most times, they were good hearted so I hoped they never change inside cos I knew Allah had the key to the jail in our minds but social conditioning had them destined to fail in their eyes, the history teacher should never take the blame for their crimes but the way his-story told our tale isn’t right; Columbus was a power hungry conqueror who tried to wipe out the native tribes but, still its like they celebrate his life,
So where’s the change in times?
The United States claim to be humanitarians of the greatest type but they go to our lands and they take what they like we got a Black Hawk Down with a snake inside..
And kids playing on site.
Still I owe the world to the teachers that gave me their time, and to my parents for showing me the way to the light, that I will be a slave to none but he who created I…
Everybody has their own story and that’s a taste of mine, I believe we can find peace and fight for it at the same time, so in the name of every struggle ever faced in our lives..
By any means necessary,
We will race to our freedom…
In these racist times.