Her beauty is obvious to any eye and no place is safe from her radiance. She’s the gorgeous symbol of hope to those who lack her exterior goodness but wish to be like her someday. People travel to see her, to be amongst her, to be seen around her – anything – …her. She brings upon bouts of jealousy and scorn, birthing friendly enemies who admire the strength of her appeal but not her perceived arrogance.
She’s the greatest achievement the marketing industry has ever seen.
She’s the girl who was raped by someone close to her. She spoke up but no one believed her because they didn’t want it to get out about the family. And besides, she’s probably lying, you know, she thinks she’s SO much that she just wants attention any way she can get it. She keeps quiet. She protects the family. The family should not be embarrassed – the family is right and just – that’s not how we are. She can never let the family down. She is the crown jewel and shines the brightest so she has to be perfect for them. Quiet as kept.
They wonder why she flaunts around like she does and acts all recklessly now. She has to do something with all of the cries for help she suppresses every day under that earth-shattering smile. The family doesn’t like how she gets around, like a slut – why is she like that? They’re taking advantage of her and the family has to protect her from all of them. Every last one of those sons of bitches. But you know, the family has an image to uphold and a business to run and it’s best for business to work with them. Just keep your legs closed while they’re around, America!
I understand why it’s hard for white America to admit what’s obvious. There’s a number of reasons actually and ignorance (the true definition of the word, not the insult) is a major one. Not knowing how it really is. Not knowing how you look outside yourself. Not knowing how others are affected. Not knowing your history and how you became so beautiful.
It would require admitting that the family is brutal, selfish, murderous and full of shit. It makes granddad and great-granddad sound like pieces of shit who stepped on others to put the family in a place where it’s pretty fucking hard to fail. And when it’s pretty hard to fail, it’s way harder to see why others can’t do what you did. You know, just do it.
America, you’re so beautiful that, to hear you say some of the things you say still makes me want to know you because I feel like you will get IT one day and I can enjoy you just like the others.
This IT is a myriad of hard ass obstacles that seem simple to you but have permeated a culture – no, a community, hmm …no, a race tha – AHH, even better, a skin color (shades vary) that isn’t yours – in ways that only a generational conditioning of jaw-clinching defeat can do. So much so that children of the fruit of those poisoned roots can tell you they have had their dreams crushed at a young age because a ceiling has to be put on you for protection.
To feel equal as a baby, a toddler and put a hand over your heart and pledge allegiance to the same flag only to make it to be a little bit older to see that it’s not a horizontal line but a vertical line. One over the others. To defy the advice of those who love you and try anyway because “maybe they didn’t have what you have”, only to get slapped down and put into place like they did. And to try to fit these pieces of hurt, anger, confusion and distrust into a puzzle that looks like it’ll pass for a person of determination despite the odds instead of the “FUCK YOU REVENGE” that it shape-shifts into.
To live a life full of contained rage that finds itself seeping out creatively or violently sometimes, in the confines of the little place where it can happen and nobody will care because it’s out of sight, out of mind. We’re raised by that FUCK YOU REVENGE. All that inner turmoil we use on each other, we try to keep it away from you because you don’t understand that this isn’t necessarily against you, it’s because of you. We love you America, we’ve known you our entire lives but you act funny when we try to embrace you. You’re scared of us.
We’re scared of you too.
Ask Donald Trump: The person you worry about the most when you’re facing time is the person with you that’s scared the most. They act irrationally and start talking and saying things you don’t want them to say. Words they shouldn’t say. They do things they shouldn’t do. And then you have to do what you have to do.
Be careful of what you say next. Not as a warning but as advice, because you’re better when you’re honest. Your PR team will love it. It’s even better than the “Melting Pot” or “The Land of the Free” bullshit. It’s better than the patriotic garbage they put out when they throw military personnel away when they’re done with them and cut pay OR it’s even better than the evangelistic angle. Way better than that angle.
It’s the “Better than I ever was” slogan. That’ll make all the others slogans right. The admitting that this beauty didn’t just happen overnight is the one, I promise. You didn’t wake up like dis. Nah, sis did your makeup and hair. Auntie worked on that dress for you. Ma did those nails and kissed you when you were worried before you stepped on stage for the world to see. When they loved you, they loved us too…but you left us out of the acceptance speech. So, sorry we fucked up your trophy and whatever – trophies get made every day, b. Be sure all the contributors get the awards on the reissue though.
But hey, before you go: We know you don’t want to fold on the family and soil the legacy. Well, shit, I get it, I can’t speak for everybody else. It’s tough but it’s necessary so that you can stop the act and be you and we can all just BE instead of dancing around each other. We did a lot of good shit together awkwardly right? Imagine if it was all natural and shit. You can still be proud of your ancestors while at the same time admonishing the bad that they did. That was then and this is now, beautiful, and it’s time for you to write a better chapter.
the greatest achievement the marketing industry has ever seen has the best comeback story ever.”
PS: We missed you at the family reunion so we’re bringing it to you.