My New Black Messiah
Are you familiar with COINTELPRO?
This was the FBI’s Counterintelligence Program. In the 60’s, the program was used to monitor the activities of the communist party, eventually diversifying its bonds and expanding to include domestic groups like the Socialists Workers Party, Ku Klux Klan and the Black Panthers. During it’s 15 year reign, under the infamous J. Edgar Hoover, various social and political movements were disrupted, misdirected, discredited, and icons targeted.
Do these names sound familiar: Dr. King, Malcolm X, Fred Hampton, Stokely Carmichael, Elijah Muhammad?
All targets. All a “threat” to American Domestic security.
Why? Because Hoover deemed these men as men of influence within the black community. He wanted to stop the rise of a “Black Messiah” – defined as someone who could unify the black nationalist movement.
Are you following me?
It was deemed dangerous for black people to unite and fight for basic human rights. It was “terroristic” to think that we deserved to be treated with the same respect as the privileged race. It was “terroristic” to think that we should have access to the same opportunities. It was “terroristic” for us to find common ground, tell the United States to go f*#k itself, and develop opportunities for ourselves. That wasn’t in the nation’s plan, because those on “top” would have far less backs to stand on in their pursuit for wealth and power.
These men and women were Not terrorists. They were Revolutionaries.
When your people are hungry, tired, and scared, you fight. You fight to feed them. You fight for shelter. You fight for freedom. You fight so that your loved ones have opportunities, and a future.
We are still in need of Revolutionaries.
We need a Black Messiah.
It is a daunting job. It is a job that could cost you your life in this country.
Stepping up and into the spotlight on behalf of human rights for people of color, especially black people, takes conviction.
I am hoping that Barack Obama will feel that conviction. I am hoping that he will not fade into the sunset as he leaves office. I am hoping that he will see the need for a leader in our community who has the political influence to unite people of color from all walks of life.
I have a sneaky suspicion, that during his last term Barack has been laying the groundwork for such a move. He has been called the most consequential president in American history, and while many may wish to debate the issue, you cannot deny he has used his position to turn attention to issues that affect marginalized groups of people.
He has publicly acknowledged that race is a HUGE issue in this country. He is the first President to step inside of a federal prison and visit a mosque. His code-switching and the calculated way in which he effortlessly pays homage to black culture and history is a joy to watch. Whether he is quoting Al Green at the Apollo, hosting pickup games at the White house, ensuring that all Americans have access to reliable and affordable health care, or planning to work at Columbia University after his term ends, it is clear that he is a man with a plan.
There is purpose in moving to NYC. There is purpose to the pardons of nonviolent drug offenders. There is a purpose to starting My Brother’s Keeper. That purpose surpasses “community organizing”….or at least I hope.
Everytime I watch OUR president speak frankly to the American public I get goosebumps imagining the possibilities. I imagine a space where black people have a clearly defined agenda, with a clearly defined leader, who has the power and influence to make s*#t happen! I imagine a world where privilege is confronted and challenged daily. I imagine a level playing field.
Barack is my Black Messiah…I just hope this isn’t a dream deferred…
For more information on the Black Panthers, check out the documentary, The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution.
For more information on COINTELPRO, visit Democracy Now! At present, similar tactics are being used against political activist and those willing to stand up to the status quo.