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SYSTEMIC RACISM

BLACK PEOPLE’S FIGMENT OF THE IMAGINATION?

If it is systemic it is broad based according to its time, space, and driving forces. It is enduring. It is transgenerational. It is endemic. It is prolific. It is a constant. It is predictable. It is routine. It is structured. It is devious: transparent one moment, subtle the next.

If it is systemic it is its own universe. It has its own domain of interconnectedness, its own self-preservation, self-perpetuation dynamics, its own fallacies contra conventional wisdom.

If it is systemic it is the noun system in applied form. The term system defines particular arrangements of processes, objects, and concepts designed to deliver set outcomes; precision assuming fulfilment of given pre-determined conceptual and operational parameters. A system represents methods to follow in order to achieve certain outcomes. A system may be natural or man-made.

If it is natural, a system may never fail to the extent that applicable natural laws remain constant. Man-made systems may never fail to the extent that they do not seek to defy the laws of nature.

Racism is a man-made system of thought and behaviour that promulgates and applies ideas that there is, by divine providence, a non-contestable unequal relationship amongst the diversity of ethnicities comprising the human race on earth.

Racism is a political power instrument. It’s a social control force exercised by elite classes to explain and justify their oppression of the weakened and broken for economic domination purposes. Racism as we know it in our times is an off-shoot from the growth of modern capitalism from the 16th Century onwards.

It functions on the irrational classification of human beings according to physical attributes, starting with skin colour and purported cognitive endowments differentiations in favour of dominant classes.

An arbitrary distinction was introduced to classify light-skinned people of Eurasian extraction as being of higher intelligence with the God-given right and power to dominate others of darker skin complexions.

According to racism postulates, the darker-skinned were meant to be at the permanent servitude of the light-skinned. This justified European colonial endeavours the world over, with Africa taking the brunt of it all through the ensuing slave trade that took multitudes of African people into plantation slavery in the Americas.

Racism appears in different forms all over the world. For purposes of this presentation I look at the Eurasian anti-Black racism. This is in view of the current state of global Black Lives Matter debates sparked by the horrific visuals of George Floyd’s heartless murder in Minneapolis, USA, on May 25, 2020.

Along the way to the Americas, millions of other African people perished at sea. As a total dehumanizing experience, colonialism and the Afro-American slave trade have left an indelible trauma in the psyche of African people in the continent and the Diaspora.

At the same time, the White Power movement that grew out of the Eurasian economic might class in North America continues to use the partly successful crushing of the Black African spirit as proof of their superiority.

Fragility of racism as a system starts already with the man-made divine providence principle. Devine providence has no basis in natural law precepts. It lacks consistency, therefore; opening itself to non-ending enquiry leading to infinite inconclusive findings. Doomed to failure in the long term.

Racism’ systematic application of manipulation and overt extreme violence as tools of oppression have persisted, hence systemic racism.

In the White Supremacy racism against the Black world context, systemic racism is the complete set of conceptual and practical tools devised to sustain the status quo of the racists’ unnatural dominance of the Black race in order to perpetuate the one-sided capitalistic exploitation of the subjugated.

The set of tools sustaining White Power systemic racism have long permeated the amoral fabric of Western society and its satellites the world over. Appearing in unique forms in the Middle East and Asia, the methods of subjugation of the downtrodden are the same, amongst others:

  • Part to total disenfranchisement of the oppressed
  • Limitation or total denial of access to education
  • Limited access to wealth creation opportunities
  • Sub-standard living conditions
  • Sustenance of squalor through deliberate minimal to zero provision of social amenities
  • Application of effective brutality against any real or perceived rebellion: police, military
  • Development of a powerful propaganda machinery across society: educational system, culture and sport, media, faith,     family
    SYMBOLS: Monuments!
  • Devise a state machinery to ensure functionalities of all the above: bureaucracy – INSTITUTIONALIZE!
  • Teach, reward, and protect agents of state machinery: impunity

Systemic racism is a living reality. It’s not a creation of novel minds. Neither can it be explained away with rhetoric. We use fine language and sophisticated wordcraft to describe it in order to demonstrate that we know well what we are talking about.

Through our articulation, we seek to give systemic racism a face so that those with eyes to see, with brains that think can have something tangible to relate themselves to as we invite them to step into our shoes to learn about our existential realities.

Systemic racism is a well-oiled machine of bigotry and ignorance. It therefore has to be addressed with superior intellectual firepower if we are going to eliminate it from the face of the earth.

In terms of application and experience, racism is a very personal trip. As an object of racism from birth in formerly officially White Supremacist Apartheid South Africa, I know racism when I see it; I know racism when I feel it. I can smell racism from afar.

My personal sensitivity to racism transcends the active or passive practitioner’s ethnicity. Racism comes in packages as colourfully diverse as the human race is. It’s only about degrees of application, and extents of actual or potential damage caused.

Given my background, it goes without saying that I know more about Eurocentric White Supremacist racism than any other form. And, that is my personal experience, and mine alone. Nothing, and no one else compares to that.

No one can define, no one has the right to want to define for me what racism is or what it is not. Doing so is in itself symptomatic of the oppressive, imperialistic nature of racism. At the individual level, application and experience of racism are relative modalities for the aggrieved.

Systemic racism is racism collectivized. Systemic racism steps over the individual and contaminates the group for eventual total domination, if not genocide at worst. In this case, racism is applied institutionally in one-size-fits-all formats.

Meaning that, for example, in the eyes and power tools dispensation of anti-Black White Supremacists’ worlds, when you are Black you are Black. It doesn’t matter how cultured or uncultured, enlightened or non-enlightened you are with regard to integration or non-integration into these worlds.

You may be a shining star highlighting values of White Supremacist ideology with pride and pomp. But, in the end, when you are Black, you are Black: arbitrarily designated as inherently inferior, primitive, savage, divinely cursed to slave for the Whiteman. It’s just the way it is with systemic racism.

It makes sense, therefore, that, to be effective and produce lasting effects, the anti-racism struggle targets systemic racism states institutions, their functionaries, and their symbols.

Because the systemic racism state is ever so strong and intrinsically inclined to apply immediate brutal force to quell dissent, it’s not strange that carnage and destruction to property shall often accompany uprisings against the system. Contemporary and historical examples of that abound in the USA, South Africa, and several Latin American countries.

In cases of extreme indiscriminate systemic racism state violence against the people as we’ve witnessed in the USA lately, the people’s rage will be such that they’ll even target their destructive energy towards “their own innocent Black-owned businesses”.

Self-harm as a form of expressing frustration, hopelessness against overly strong, insensitive forces resistant to change is called self-flagellation in the Bible, the book of systemic racism proponents, even if they hold and read the holy book upside-down.

Manifestations of the socio-economic collapse of post-colonial, post-slavery societies cannot be understood detached from the overall destructive consequences of White Supremacist systemic racism consequences.

Apparent degeneration of moral and ethical values as evidenced through rampant corruption, sexual abuse and violence against children and women as we see across the world today has a direct link to systemic racism practices over the years.

Racism as relentlessly pushed on by White Supremacists has created monsters in its victims.

Violence begets violence. Those who live by the sword die and promote death by the sword. Is this really the kind of world we want to live in in the 21st Century?

SIMON CHILEMBO
OSLO
NORWAY
TEL.: +4792525032
June 30, 2020

STORM OUTSIDE – A Poem

STORM OUTSIDE

Storm outside
Not of atmospheric pressure variations
Rage of the people
Rumbles through
Earth’s atmosphere
Turbulences the world
From pole to pole

If you circumnavigate
The globe
Precise as a
Substandard complication clock
Marching against time
The people’s rage
Will entangle you
Every minute of the way
In the 21st Century

It is a ferocious storm
It’ll embroil your insides
In degrees
Immeasurable
Unpredictable

It’ll obliterate
Your comfort zones
You’ll run into your bunker
You’ll find it full of your shit

You puke
See
If you can breathe now

Were you ever to
Come out of your delirium
You’d find that
There is order
In the heart of
The storm outside

Rage of the people
Has a cause:

Bullets
Knees
Nooses
Strangleholds
Denying oneness
With the atmosphere
Must cease

I can’t breathe

You kill me
I glide into
The valley of death
My body joins
My ancestral spirits
In the soil

In an instant
My soul trajects
Into outer space

There is no peace here
There is no rest here
All souls I find here
Are floating non-stop
Bouncing on to
Bouncing off
One another
All crying

Where is the love

They say that
We were coerced here
Far too early
When we arrive
Prematurely
Into
The kingdom of God
We land into hell
This is zombie land

This place here
Has no room
For our pains
For our tears
We are far too many
Arriving one after the other
Some souls arrived
Multitudes upon
Multitudes-in-one-at-a-time
Over time
Spanning six hundred years

God cried
Storms rumbled
Across the universe
Ancestral spirits
Hold center of
The earth together

Rage outside is
The people
In the eye of the storm
This is
The mother of all storms

If you thought
Hurricane Florence
Was a tough one
Wettest ever seen
Yes, in your words
From the standpoint of water
If hurricane Dorian scared
The wits out of you
In yet another bizarre display
Of your delusional
State of being
You ain’t seen nothing yet

This time around
The storm is called
George
In this name
Pulsates heartbeats
Of slain Black lives
In your vain pursuit
Of
White supremacy
Dances with the devil
Over six centuries

In
George Floyd’s name
The people say
Time has arrived
To say
Enough is enough
Gianna’s words
Aren’t empty words
When she sang
Daddy changed the world
Either you are with us
Or you perish

Look into
The eye of the storm
The order
In there is simple
Valid for all times
We want equality
We want freedom
We want justice
We want peace
We want solidarity

Let’s breathe!  

Do you wan’ to pray

Go down
On our knees
On the ground

Ever danced in a storm
Play
In the name of love

Hate is subdued
For life

Breathe
Man
Breathe

END
©Simon Chilembo, 05/ 06-2020
In memory of George Floyd, MHSRIP

Simon Chilembo
Oslo
Norway
Tel.: +4792525032
June 05, 2020

ANGRY BLACK MAN – Poem

ANGRY BLACK MAN

Are you afraid now
Have I just
Pulled your illusory
Comfort zone carpets
From under your feet

Have I suddenly become
Your worst nightmare
Come to life
Blacker than
The abyss into hell
Spewing flames of
Raging fires
Splashing volcanic lava
All over your terrified face
Rolling down your
Blood drawn
Protective hands
Your body frozen stiff
As if Sodom and Gomorrah’s
Pillar of salt 

No, it’s not the end of the world yet
You are still alive
I burn you with my words
Salivary showers follow my speech
Not to give you comfort
But to moderate the heat somewhat
You mustn’t pulverize yet
I need you alive
You gotta hear what I gotta say to you
Even if yours are lead-soldered ears
Read my lips, nincompoop  

Fuck ’n ’ell
You bet I am angry
I am fuck ’n furious
I’ve had more than enough
Of your dehumanization of me
Year in and year out
Over five fuckin’ hundred years
Not only do you continue stealing 
Wealth of my land
You have made it your mission to
Eradicate me from planet earth
Only because
You decided to make me
Black and abominable

Whilst you took
My forefathers by surprise
And overwhelmed them with
Your uncanny brutality
I am a different ball game
In my time
I know you
More than you really ever cared to know me

How could you ever
Know me
When you’ve numbed your senses
To the suffering you cause me
To this day

Talking to you
Is like talking to faces
Of a desolate mountain
In the middle of nowhere

Crying in front of you
Is like
Crying in the middle of a desert
My tears evaporate before hitting the ground
The only thing your eyes see
Is the sub-human
Your sick mind has made me into

You don’t respect me
You don’t respect my humanity
You’ve emasculated my forefathers
You’ve raped my foremothers
So much humiliation
Have you subjected my people to
But now you have reached
The end of the road

Read my lips
Yes, I am one
Angry Black Man
My rage is wild
My rage is raw

I’ve harnessed all
The blood and thunder of my people
I shriek with every breathing cell in my body
To thrash your senses back to life
To awaken you to reality
Of my time
I want what is mine back
I want my humanity back

Things will never be the same for you
Your time is up
Shut the fuck up
You’ve said enough
You’ve caused enough damage already
My bitterness is five hundred years old
You can’t stop me now
GRRRRHHHRRR…MHRRR…!!!
You wanna hide now
I’ll search for you 
I’ll find you
This world is mine

©Simon Chilembo  
(19/ 11- 2019)

OSLO
NORWAY
Telephone: +4792525032
December 03, 2019

FOR SYRIAN WAR CHILDREN: A POEM

CANNOT BE RIGHT

WTMFblg

Buy book on link. All rights reserved. Simon Chilembo, 2016.

At this very moment
In Aleppo City of Syria
Putin’s bombs
Have just rained down
In claimed pursuit of Daesh
Little Sarah’s body
Is shred to pieces
Little Abdullah’s body
Is by waves of fire
Charred to ashes
And goes up
With smoke and bloody dusts of war
Parents wanting
To believe
It’s all hallucinations
Curse Allah
If this is his willing
Then
He’s not so great anymore
May the next bomb
Land on us
Insha’Allah
Please, please, please
Allahu Akbar
They with soundless voices
Wail in agonized helplessness
With tearless ducts like Madiba’s
Wishing there were
Wi-Fi broadband to Allah

At this very moment
Little Maryam
And
Little Mustafa
Clutched
In parents’ arms
Are searching
In vain
For Western freedom and peace
At the bed
Of the Mediterranean Sea
Dead
The bombs had missed them
So
Allah’s willing
Overloaded their escape boat
It capsized
They failed
To breathe under water
More horrified by
The sound of
Tonnes of sea water
Pressing densely into their ears
Than any bombing’s
It’s just as well
There’s no
Wi-Fi broadband to God

Ever cried under water

At this very moment
I cry with grief
‘Cause I’m broke
As in Bankrupt
Valentine’s Day tomorrow
I’ll lose yet another woman I love
‘Cause I don’t have any money
To call her on the phone
Let alone
Buy her a romantic present
I don’t have money
To call my mother
To say, ‘I love you!’
For like to Allah
There’s no
Wi-Fi broadband into my father’s grave
If I had money
I’d call my younger father
To also say, ‘I love you, Dad!’
I’m wearing
Old, faded, tattered clothes
On my body
‘Cause I haven’t had any money
To buy new clothes
Since
The start of
The Syrian war
At that time
Somebody said to me
Tsk, tsk, tsk, ignorant you
Conflict is healthy
Conflict is the essence of human progress
And I said to him
Does Assad really think
He’ll ever crush the opposition
The ill-informed wise man
Told me
I’m a fool
So, it’s okay
I can stay broke
Till there are
No more people
Till there’s nothing left
To genocide for
In Syria
So much
For conflict
For human progress

At this very moment
I cry Europe
Little Farrah
And
Little Ali
Have defied the bombs
Have defied the seas
Have arrived alive
At your shores
Show them what humanity is all about
Independent of what Allah wills
It can’t be right
To deny them
The sweet taste of
Liberty and peace
It can’t be right
That I stand here
And cry for money
For telephones and new clothes
When
Little Maryams
And
Little Mustafas
Clutched
In parents’ arms
Cry for life
At the bottom
Of the sea

At this very moment
I cry for hope
Fuck the money
Fuck the war
God
Amen

END
©Simon Chilembo, 13/ 02- 2016

SIMON CHILEMBO
Riebeeckstad
Welkom
South Africa
Tel.: +4792525032
February 13, 2016

38 YEARS AN EXILE: XXX

HOME AT LAST! Part 30
OWN TURF IN THE DIASPORA

SONY DSC

Simon Chilembo. All rights reserved, 2015

Because I was not born with a silver spoon in my mouth, the notion that I must be happy with what I have here and now, no matter how little, was ingrained in my head from a very early age. If I could get more by doing what is acknowledged as good and acceptable practices, well and good. However, if it doesn’t work, too bad. Try something, or go for something else, and/ or simply wait.

Waiting never meant for me to just rest on my laurels, hoping for some miracle to happen for the more of that which I want to materialize somehow, without any effort from me, though. If I have to pray, it will be more to introspect and find peace of mind so I can think more clearly, but not for God to deliver it all for free just because I believe in her … (Continued in the book: MACHONA AWAKENING – home in grey matter. Order book on Amazon).


Simon Chilembo
Riebeeckstad
Welkom
South Africa
Telephone: +4792525032
November 23, 2015 (more…)

38 YEARS AN EXILE: XXIX

HOME AT LAST! Part 29
RACISM IN THE DIASPORA

©Simon Chilembo, 2014

©Simon Chilembo, 2014

Racism is a constant. Racism does not change colour with location, or time. Racism is not some figment of the imagination. Racism is as real as day and night. Racism cannot be explained away; it is neither an intellectual nor academic exercise. Racism is unidirectional like an arrow in flight. Its objective is to demean, use, abuse, exploit, hurt, dehumanize, destroy, and obliterate; nothing in between. The ultimate goal of racism is genocide.

Racism is a systematized, institutionalized mind-set of false superiority, entitlement, and privilege … (Continued in the book: “MACHONA AWAKENING – home in grey matter”. Order book on Amazon).


Simon Chilembo
Welkom
South Africa
September 14, 2015

JE SUIS CHARLIE

JSCharlieChilembo

In a million voices

He was heard

In all corners of the world

Je suis Charlie

L’image vivante

Immortal

Silently

I hum

I am Chilembo

The written word

Indelible

My body

Shall perish

That’s the plan

My story

Shall thrive

END

©Simon Chilembo, 2015

(French language advisor: Ozzy)

Simon Chilembo
Riebeeckstad
Welkom
South Africa
Tel.: +4792525032
January 14, 2015

38 YEARS AN EXILE: XII

HOME AT LAST! Part 12 CITIZEN OF THE WORLD? MY FOOT!

SPECIAL NOTE: Link takes us to an article written by a frustrated young lady in Oslo, Norway, who feels she has no place to call home anywhere. Although my writing below may sound harsh, it is not personal. I am writing on the subject in general terms at her inspiration, from my, of course, highly subjective point of view. Believe me, I feel her pain, anger, and sorrow. Nelson Mandela, PresidentI am a citizen of the world is another one of those idealistic statements of which poetry and literature are inspired. I am a citizen of the world as an emotional statement reeks of arrogance, ignorance, naiveté, self-centredness, patronization, and imperialistic tendencies. You don’t go calling yourself citizen of the world simply because you don’t feel at home in your country of birth, and/ or your host country if you are an exile in the Diaspora. It’s not up to you to declare yourself a world citizen, as if the world owes you any favours, to begin with …(Continued in the book: “MACHONA AWAKENING – home in grey matter”. Order book on Amazon’s CreateSpace here).

 

 

Simon Chilembo
Riebeeckstad
Welkom
South Africa
December 15, 2014

WAR IS WAR, PART II

The Side I Take

In a perfect world, and according to Gospel Chilembo, all intelligent, thinking, reasoning, rational, and knowledgeable human beings ought to know that WAR IS WAR.

The sole purpose and intention of war are to kill. Annihilate the enemy.

As true as death is the ultimate outcome of living, the first most likely to go in all wars are the most vulnerable, the least protected, and yet some of the most innocent of beings: Children, mothers that are, mothers to be, the sick, the weak, the poor, animals. These days, even world travellers, sitting enclosed in aeroplanes, and, in that environment, seemingly as innocent and unknowing of the ways of the world as children in mothers’ wombs, get shot down like birds of game in the sky. That is the nature of war. Sick.

Around negotiation and bargaining tables, nobody dies. There are no children here, there are no weak and vulnerable here; there are no poor mothers that are, mothers to be. Those who die, if at all, round negotiation tables, are simply those who are unfit and unhealthy from before … (Continued in the book: MACHONA BLOGS – As I See It. Order Simon Chilembo books on Amazon)


Simon Chilembo

Welkom
South Africa
July 20, 2014

 

38 YEARS AN EXILE III

HOME AT LAST! Part 3

Friends, Families, Comrades in Exile

I guess I, like everyone else, can be bad to people; it is not beyond me to do real bad things to people. There are some who go limping around, thinking that evil doings are prerogative of only certain people by virtue of their names, tribes, races, nationalities, religions, and faiths, as well as their mental and physical dispositions. People are bad; people are good; that’s just the way we are. That’s how we roll. Just cross the lines … (Continued in the book: “MACHONA AWAKENING – home in grey matter”. Order book on Amazon here).

 

Simon Chilembo
Riebeeckstad
Welkom
South Africa
March 12, 2014