Peace! Today's mathematics is wisdom knowledge abbt understanding (2+1=3). As I was traveling through my degrees, I focused on the question in the wisdom knowledge (21) degree in the 1-40..."Who is the founder of unalike attract and alike repel?" This got me to thinking about why everybody is at a loss for why Black folks (see "African Americans") can't get along. Many people will mention the psychological legacy of slavery and more specifically, the Willie Lynch Syndrome. I think there is some validity in the concept of Black people being seperated and turning against each other based on primarily physical characteristics (as the story reads), but that whole event and speech has never been proven to have actually taken place...sometimes folk just wanna believe in something so much to prove a point but it don't make it anymore true, even if the point is valid. Let's use slave narratives or factual information and research...somethin! But I digress...
The main reason that I see is the differences in people's personal culture. We should know by now that Black folks ain't one monolithic group. We are on different financial, socioeconomic, educational and class levels which determines our way of life. Due to this process of division, we all think that we are different...and to a degree, we are. Due to a level of being grafted and seperated from who we originally were (and there's some diversity within that, depending upon your historical lineage), we have been filtered out into different worlds, spaces and places, which creates division and infighting. So if you see someone who is unalike you, you may turn your nose up at them and justify to yourself how you are superior, failing to see some level of commonality, and hence keeping away from "your" own people. A so-called "square" don't wanna kick it with so-called "gangstas" and gangstas don't wanna kick it with squares. By thinking this way, you may fail to see the equality in both sides, but it's understandable cuz they live in two different worlds.
Culture plays a large role in how a person sees themselves in the world. Nowadays, you may find a Black person that was raised in suburbia around White folks, went to school with White folks, they play sports with White folks, go to parties with White folks, so is it really a surprise that they may feel more comfortable around White folks and that their interests mirror that which they have been exposed to? Besides varying levels of melanin and maybe a similar historical lineage (i.e. their great great granparents may have both been slaves), what does this person have in common with Reggie on the block that sells weed and hustles white tees?
On the flip side, this is how you get rappers like Pall Wall marrying Black women, who is totally comfortable around certain kinds of Black folks...cuz as far as I know, that's what he was exposed to. That's how he was raised. He was conditioned by all within his environment to have the same interests that resonate with some Black people. Even in the Bay, the "hyphy" subculture crosses ethnic lines. You see African American, Mexican, Vietnamese, Phillipino all embracing the same thing (music, sideshows, locks, grills, extacy). Culture is the tie that binds
Herein lies the problem with Black folks still tryin to come up with a universal plan to save other Black folks. Your plan is gonna be according to how you see the world, not how everybody sees it. One plan ain't gon work for everybody cuz we're in different places. If you got money, economics isn't your biggest issue. If you got good schools, education isn't your biggest issue. People (except for a select few who can see and understand the myriad of experiences across the Black community) usually address problems based on the needs of those within their interest group and worldview. So if you're a young Black professional for instance, and you want to network with other YBP's, your priority may be to set up a First Fridays in your city.
If you live in a neighborhood with crappy schools and your child is under-educated, you may fight for change within the educational system in your city. Is this a problem? Not necessarily, cuz if everyone works on their own piece, BUT is open to learn from the struggles, challenges and triumphs from others, and adds on their knowledge skills and talents to other people's issues when applicable, we'll probably be okay. B.u.t. a lot of times, we miss that last part.
So acknowledging that we are not a monolithic group, should we just stay within the confines of those who mirror our own interests and live a similar lifestyle? I would say emphatically no! This is what people TEND to do, which is understandable...you gravitate to those who are alike you. But unalike attracts and alike repels, meaning how are you going to learn and teach new things if you are always around the same kind of people all the time? Of course, I'm gonna be around Gods and Earths most of the time cuz we advocate the same perspective. This is how we continue to reinforce our bond to each other and see the commonality in how we are alike. However, as those who see the world in a similar fashion, we should repel off of each other (alike repel) to go amongst those who think and do differently to build on how we see the world (unalike attract). If I have knowledge of self, it is my duty to go amongst those who do not and share things with them, and also learn things from them.
Another example...if I want more money and am looking for financial abundance, I shouldn't spend all of my time around those who are in the same position as me...broker than a bad joke! I need to, at least some of the time, be around people who have money so I can learn how to get some! (unalike attract) Then I can bring that information back to those who are alike me, share it, and we can all do our own thing, go out into the world, and come up (alike repel). Just like Kimora Lee Simmons. She is a person who is unalike me...she seems to have this kind of diva bitch attitude and I would never talk to my staff the way she does. But in other ways, she is the Self He I Square! She is a mogul, mother, very business minded, loves her children, is a multi-tasker, knows what she wants, good delegater, can make ideas materialize, uses every hour of the day, and is by no means a figure head. She is runnin Baby Phat. So there are things I can learn from her by watching her show "Life in the Fab Lane" that I can apply to myself and strive for that can benefit those around me. See what I mean?
I didn't write a blog on Jena 6 cuz frankly, other people have written blogs and articles, and I wouldn't have had anything different to say. However, I will say this...yesterday, I wore Black (in hot 80 degree weather) in solidarity with those who were protesting. My thought was, this is one small way I can show support and continue to take a stance against abuses against Black babies and show support to the families of those 6 young people. After building with the God (check out I Majestic's blog for more context), I realized that we still got it messed up (not that I forgot, but this was a glaring example).
People were calling this the "new civil rights movement" and got all excited cuz lots of Black folks came together and marched. No, it was a Civil Rights MOMENT, cuz what will be done after this? We are so used to responding to overt acts of racism and prejudice that there isn't as much of an uproar over the systematic, covert, institutional racism that is consistently present, governing our lives THAT IS MORE POWERFUL than one act. I'm not saying that people shouldn't respond to the "in your face" stuff and I'm not really knockin those who went down there to show their support.
However, lets not get it twisted... responding to Jena was one act of wisdom...one tangible (I think) thing we did to respond to this situation. The big beast is culture...the systems that create the consistent activities that determine what kind of life we will have. It's the disparities in schools, neighborhoods, Prison Industrial Complex, economics. It's the diesel trucks that drive through your neighborhood and not other people's neighborhood, polluting the air with black exhaust fumes. Maybe giving all that we have and all within our power to attack those systems seems overwhelming. So we get a false sense of victory by winning one battle, when in reality, we're thowin pebbles at a big ole fire breathin dragon, bringin knives to gunfights.
I Medina Peaceful Earth