I once heard an elder declare that vigilance was the price of freedom. Of course, there are many more prices that we all must be willing to pay for freedom. Now I know that what he meant was that we have to pay attention.
When walking into a storm one should pay very close attention to everything that is going on around them, and not just what’s right in front of their faces. Oftentimes, elements can hit you from all sides, and behind you, and pull you into a whirlwind where you lose all direction. If you are not following the flow of the wind, the direction of the debris, the cloud formation in the sky, you will get lost in the storm. Storm trackers use special equipment to do all of these things in order to minimize damage and save lives.
In crisis, people’s natural instinct is to run for cover. That is good, but what we have found in the aftermath of crisis, tragedy and storms is that when people join together in harmonized, organized, collective effort, more lives are saved and less damage occurs.
In this era of Trumpism, where racism, oppression, discrimination, and all the brutalities of the state apparatus’ are intensified, it becomes more important than ever before in our lives, that we pay close attention and join with others to secure and maintain our mutual safety.
And yes, we must pay close attention to everything that is said and done by Trump and everybody connected to him For example, knowing the history of law enforcement in America as having developed out of the plantation system where overseers and “slave catchers” were charged with making sure that enslaved Afrikans abided by and obeyed the rules and regulations of the plantation, makes it deeply offensive and ominous when you paid attention and heard the Chief Law enforcement officer of the United States, the Attorney General , Jeff Sessions, say that :“We must remember the anglo-American heritage of law enforcement in our country.” That was a battle cry to white rac-ists who still exist in and most times control our police departments throughout America.
He was reminding white racist America that at one time in America’s history racist white men controlled law enforcement in America. This is so, despite the fact that many brave, conscious and consci-entious Black, White, Latino and Asian officers strive every day to make sure that their policing does not continue to reflect the racist and brutal past of slavery and plantation enforcement.
That statement made by Jeff Sessions, himself a southern racist with a history of discrimination and the manipulation of the law to enforce racist policies and agenda in Alabama, where he was a State Senator, issued a dog whistle to racists all over America to remember when White men controlled the country, they forfeited and devalued the humanity of Afrikan people, indigenous people and even their own women in the furtherance of their greed, lust for power and their col-lective insecurity of manhood that they have to live with despite all the trappings and illusions of power and wealth that they possess.
Just like money can’t buy you love, money can’t buy you manhood neither!
Since his presidency Trump has been dismantling every civil rights gain made by Black and Brown people in the last fifty years. He has appointed unqualified but stanchly racist judges to Courts all over the country who will be ruling in favor of white racist policies that effect the lives of Black and Brown people on a day to day basis for years to come. He has appointed over one hundred and fifty judges to the Federal courts. But we are still not paying attention.
He has dismantled our government to the point where nothing gets done unless he approves it and he has spread so much money among his racist cronies in Congress and in the Senate that any legislation that does not support or uphold White supremacy in America does not get the votes for passage. But we are not paying attention.
He has created so much chaos so that he has everybody, politicians, scrambling for the left over scraps of government largess because they see nothing but doom in the future. The attitude is to get whatever they can right now. Corruption and all the rest of the negative social consequences that it breeds don’t matter. But we, Black and Brown people still ain’t payin attention.
We don’t pay attention while this whole reality of White men’s insecurities shows itself in the promotion of a manifest destiny that brings slavery and imperialism together as two sides of the same American coin. The second amendment gave White men the right to form militias to take land from our indigenous brothers and sisters, rape their women, and enslave the young people; the same way that the thirteenth amendment gave White men to the legal right to enslave Afrikans in mass imprisonment. We ain’t payin attention and we ain’t looking at the true history of America with the dots connected.
We just have to pay more attention, awaken our consciousness and “stay woke” with our young people. We have to stay on top of all of the words and actions that come from those in our government. They can’t help themselves when it comes to telling on themselves. Telling us what they are doing as they try to code their language and symbolize their behaviors is obvious if we only take off the blinders of the inferiority complexes that they embedded in us.
If you want to be a part of the reclamation of Our Collective Power, then Paying Attention is the one prices that you must be willing to pay. Power to The People!