My great grandmother, Asantewaa, once whispered this short story:
A young man once had a toothache. He looked in the mirror, mouth wide open, and spotted the area of the ache, and then the tooth. His grandmother warned him to wait it out for another day. He refused. The pain was unbearable. With some help he managed to gather enough funds to get the tooth pulled out.
A month later, the ache had returned, it had moved to the next tooth. Again, he had the tooth pulled out. Thirty-one months after, this young man was left with no teeth. His grandmother than asked, “Kofi, is the pain gone?” He replied, “No, Nana!”
After all, the teeth had nothing to do with the ache, Kofi’s gums had become infected. Nana then asked, “Are you going to pull out your gum?” But of course, Kofi was now distraught.
“Some actions are irreversible, you ought to be certain,” said his Nana.
After the narrative, Asantewaa put it more succinctly: When you have a toothache you don’t always have to pull the tooth out. Or soon, you’ll have no teeth with which to chew. You must find out more about the ache. Were you knocked in the jaw? Did you fall on your face? Is it a tooth decay? Or a fracture? Or perhaps a gum infection? These are important questions in need of constructive answers. For after all, it’s not about the ache. It’s about what caused it.
But so is the science of Human Interactions.
Many misunderstand why the African American community is not particularly happy with mainstream media portrayals of several predominantly white women’s accusations of rape by Bill Cosby. The issue is not entirely about the morality. There are no African Americans who condone rape!
The issue is about the cancer in American institutionalization of racism. The culprit here is the mainstream media – white media to be precise. There is no shortage of examples in the long history of the Crucifixion of Black males in white media – a concerted and widespread phenomenon. ‘The Black man is no good, or up to no good,’ says white American media.
For many African Americans, whites are only quick to condemn Black crime. A remarkable long history is that of mass incarceration where more Black males go to prison all too often and spend more time in jail for absolutely no law enforcement reason. While white males, for example those dying from Heroin overdoses in New England, are looked upon favorably and supported for rehabilitation with the hard-earned taxpayer currency, of which Blacks contribute a significant sum.
In parallel is the Bill Cosby issue and that of the white man, Charlie Sheen. While the brazen mainstream media has chosen to spread Bill Cosby’s arms on the cross for his inexorable decline into Hell, Charlie Sheen, his job and his TV Shows are fully earmarked for a flight for Heaven. Charlie Sheen had infected, and continues to infect women, raping some in the process, with HIV.
No wonder, the story of another white man, a law enforcement officer, who raped at least thirteen Black women while on duty, has conveniently vanished from the Yeshiva of white media attention and from the ‘ever-watchful’ eyes of the American white public.
The incessant Crucifixion of Black men is a relentless effort in white media. African American communities are incensed and appalled by its unpardonable march. If it wasn’t the case, the morality of the issue could be at stake, but then again white America has a long history of an inhumanity towards African Americans that it mires any chance at this too. Why belabor this elaborate issue in barbarism.
The fact remains, Bill Cosby is just another sacrificial lamb. He will be chewed and spat out by the hoard of inhumanes parading the vast terrain of white American mainstream media. The target has been Black men for decades, and white media is intent on keeping it that way. Next week we could be garrulously witnessing a video of a Black man beating his fiancé, and then perhaps marrying her a week later, while the other thousands of abuses in white America, by white men, like the white male drug addicts of New Hampshire, will remain forever shrouded in white American mysticism.
When it comes down to it, it’s really not about the morality of any issue. It’s about maintaining a racial eidolon in American institutions. African Americans know it and white Americans know it better. It’s all about painting Black men as ‘evil, no good and up to no good,’ to justify brutalizing them, incarcerating them and murdering them on the bloodthirsty streets of America. This has been the case since slavery. It’s not about morality.
As for me, I have come to humbly and completely understand when African Americans zen on the root cause of their pain, their ache, and not the tooth. But so should you!