Guest post I did a while back…forgot to post it here:
“What does it mean to be Black in 2010?”
Strabismus. When eyes are not aligned with each other. Greek in origin meaning “to squint”. As the eye muscles lack strength and coordination to focus on the same points simultaneously a person suffering from strabismus often lacks depth perception, adequate peripheral vision, inability to establish or sustain power of motion or direction, and a blurred frontal focus. Directions of the deviation include exotropic meaning outward and esotropic meaning inward, there are also rarer, vertical deviations hypertropia (upward) and hypotropia (downward). To be Black in America is to be afflicted with Strabismus.
It often seems that we as a people lack the ability to see what’s in front of us, and that which we do see is distorted. Who’s holding knowledge captive? I wish I could see the key in my hand, unfortunately, my vision’s fucked. Three hundred years mentally bound; soul still humming hymns yearning for freedom, back still stinging with scars of woeful submission.
Why won’t you let me be great?
Who are we talking to? Exotropic…everyone who burdens me. Esotropic…I who have bent my back for the ease. Hypertropic…God. Hypotropic…Satan. Despite the audience we are crying out. Lost as a people. We. Can’t. See.
We can’t see ourselves. We can’t see each other. There’s a Swedish proverb that says “eyes that do not cry, cannot see,” and as I stand, Black in 2010 I just wish my people would weep.
Weep and wake up to realize these eyes we have don’t work. Take a cue from Jacosta and become blind, maybe then we could see by faith, and learn to trust. As it stands we fall prey to wanting. Something. Everything. Make it better. Somebody? Self? God?
We don’t trust. To be black in 2010 is to give in to the safe mediocrity, or to strive for better battered and wounded at having to claw out of the pack. Why are you leaving? Are you better than I am? Do you see clearer than me? What do you see that I don’t?
Envious of the vision the forerunners. Realizing not, we long ago closed our eyes.