Updated: May 5
The media is a political engine utilized to mainstream informational intelligence in ways that tactically engage a divisive binary-centric partisanship model of us vs them. In its stature, it compromises the large-scale constitution of a bias-free multi-partisan critical independent political state where anti-racism and anti-coloniality are observationally and objectively stringently un-condonable across the entirety of the political spectrum. Period.
Polarization is the tool, reductively shallow bi-partisanship is the dangerous political state that is simultaneously affirmed, obscured, augmented, and protected, and misinformative oversimplification of critical alternative discourse is the how.
What does that mean?
The media is instrumentalized so as to package realities by framing and marketing them as singular topical issues sustained by two contrasting monoliths. These 2 conflictingly contrasting monoliths represent 2 reductive halves of a broken conversation where each irreconcilable adversarial discourse stands to directly profiteer political capital only from the single-focused delegitimization of the other.
These 2 halves are filtered down to maximum soundbite-friendliness where tension between 2 political discourses is radicalized and artificially heightened. This tension forever locates the state of politics as the ideological universe where 2 irreconcilable extremes are primed to combat for domination through authoritarian supremacy.
In the context of the N-word, as Webster explained, it is a classic tale of "[being institutionally conditioned not to] see the forest for the tree". The N-word is the institutionalization and politicization of trauma and supremacy made word. It is a prime exemplification of the overarching problematic reality that justifies its existence: systemic racism.
The N-word is mediatized in ways such as to strategically polarize political discourse into a reductive bi-partisanship where systemic racism is allowed to be an opinion, rather than it being unequivocally recognized as the factually incontrovertible state-sanctioned reality that it is.
So think about this for a minute; in a world that is fragmented into strategic racialization as a practice of institutional disenfranchisement, we have yet to critically decolonize our institutions, stop state-sanctioned mass murders of Black peoples, make civil rights equitably distributable, and recognize that systemic racism is real.
And yet now, we are perverting the course of the conversation on race by dangerously marketing it through sensationalistic soundbite-friendly fragmented bipartisan uncritical commentaries that make the N-word the thought-stopping implement that prevents the conversation from ever critically challenging the trauma and supremacy that nurture its core.
We are deliberately being distracted into doing lowbrow to high-minded qualitative semantics on a word, as a means to hype polarization behind the politically inconveniencing truth it buttresses in regards to our collective supremacist state of coloniality.
We have to first acknowledge to redress the system, reconcile peoples that are adversarially politicized into antagonism to co-create transracial allyship, disrupt the norm to transcend the supremacist state of our collective coloniality, so to then go on to elevate that heightened sociopolitical state where agency is non-hierarchically distributed in a post-racist and -colonialist fashion.
But we aren't there yet. So hyping the utopia of post-colonialism erases and diminishes the violence of the current dangerous dystopia of our supremacist sociopolitical reality. Just as designedly instrumentalizing the N-word:
polarizes the politically racialized into dangerous bipartisanship
deflates the momentum behind seminal epoch-making yet basic and necessary transnational anti-racist awareness
break the anti-racist movement by only legitimizing and determinedly misrepresenting problematic, uncritical, unrepresentative Black voices that discredit anti-coloniality as a valid collective stance and protect the rhetorics of racial domination
We have to be wary of how the N-word being systemically decontextualized and pivoted to serve the delegitimization of critical independent anti-racist glocal thought leadership. Here's how:
Strategically using consensus to control & destabilize the front-facing Black leadership: Consensus here is another way of saying the media are manipulated into factually coercing all Black voices to forcefully and artificially collectively self-identify as unidimensionally and reductively as possible by being pressured to impersonate a type of Blackness that placates the Establishment, protects supremacy, and denies Blackness itself. Think about it, Black people are actually Black peopleS(see the plural form here), a transnational displaced cohort of hundreds of nations institutionally kidnapped, violated, and enslaved onto Indigenous stolen lands. Sociohistorically we don't speak the same languages, have the same cultures, or share the same biological ancestry, and yet we are coercively pressured and expected to politically behave unidimensionally. For whose convenience? Furthermore, consensus here means denial and is an anti-democratic way of stifling our righteous political self-expressions by preventing us to own political agency and capital not as a people reduced into a fabricated and misrepresenting strategic political monolith of universal Blackness, but as separate categories of political Blacknesses that resist the domination of supremacy by disaffirming consensus as something to be roped into.
Conflating intellectual individualism as an artificial freedom more important than civil & human.e rights as universal liberties for all: The N-word is reduced to the intellectual showpersonship of intellectuals (at times uncritical) who manipulate semantics in ways that too often mistify, sensationalize, and uncritically reproblematize the fact that systemic racism is the undergirder of racial genocide. Without a real anti-racist critical pedagogical unpacking and decolonizing of race, supremacy, and trauma, sanctioning the N-word as a critically acceptable instrument is dangerous. Critical acknowledgement, awareness, and solidarity must come first before semantics and language politics are allowed to intellectualize slurs in mainstream political consciousness in a post-colonialist manner. Or else, this intellectual showpersonship will keep on being done in ways that 1) allow intellectualism to hinder and obscure humanization, 2) individualize its usage and make it a choice, an opinion, rather than an incontrovertible politico-historical fact tethered to profound civil & human.e rights implications and considerations, and 3) uphold unsanctioned problematic speech dissemination as a liberty more constitutive and binding than the very civil and human.e rights it oppositionally denies and contrasts. Every time it is uttered outside of the Black community, it is an invalidating utterance, never an activistic performance of humanization of the sociopolitically racialized and violated. And fighting for the right of the people who have been and still are politico-historical agents in weaponizing vocabulary that protects, justifies, and corrupts trauma and supremacy is not an act of decoloniality. There is no advancement of reconciliatory sociopolitical justice that will ever be attained by enabling systemic racism under the guise of protecting intellectual individualism as a freedom that supersedes the understanding that unresolved and unsanctioned supremacy is the only beneficiary that stands to gain from the N-word's uncritical perpetual usage, not anti-racism. We ought to be critical about what the N-word means, who it politicizes as well as how and why, and how acknowledging the fact that its verbal utterance immediately materializes supremacy in the room as a sabotager and violater of Blackness. There is no universe in which having a White person using the N-word isn't a sociopolitically contentious micro-aggressive event that re-visibilizes through problematicity only an institutionally state-sponsored supremacist political system that attacks and destabilizes the entirety of the racialized human.e spectrum. Period. It is not a matter of opinion, it is one of forcibly preventing shallow claims to intellectual individualism to institutionally be made more valid and necessary an imperative than the real, factually ascertained need of honoring human.e dignity and our shared humanity. Period.
Wow, Ches --- I get it now, but then, where do we go from there? What's next?
Well, instead of inflating issues that only make for a partial, fragmented, polarizing micro-perspective on the real issue at stake (in this case, overinflating the N-word through misinformative sensationalistic controversy to strategically deflate the momentum about exposing and undoing the political racist state), let's get our priorities in order: blowing systemic racism into post-colonial annihilation.
Let's first destabilize THAT, our undue regime of genocidal coloniality that makes race a determining political privilege that targets anti-Blackness as something that is rationalizable, normalizable, and condonable through state-sponsored violence. Then, as that will be preestablished, we'll be able to go on from there to post-colonially reframe our vocabulary down to the finest layer of intellectual semantics.
Doing the opposite, making race about the sensationalization of bipartisanship means:
Strategically polarizing, disabling, and distracting our collective capacity to stand as one in a collective cross-institution single-focused multi-partisan anti-racist macro-effort, commitment, responsibility, transracial allyship network, and co-leadership, that is binding, enduring,
AND 2) making social transformation a cosmetic intellectual exercise that has no real purchase in protecting Blackness as the supremacist political state is disestablished.
So here is what YOU can do, to pivot from where we all are to where we need to be:
Think decolonially and act intrapreneurially: Become a fast-micro-action taker strategist activist that is pragmatically minded. Be clear on what is a distraction and what is a priority and layer your anti-racist activistic engagement by acting on compoundable consistent anti-colonial micro-action. Be a doer, not an intellectual individualist. Strategically establish your own personal hierarchies of fast micro-action that express the best tactical way for you to contribute more of yourself through intelligent micro-activism to empoweringly and positively elevate anti-racism as a necessary sociopolitical norm. For ex.: use your Instagram to visibilize anti-racism content pieces & racialized activist guest voices, sponsor grassroots decolonial initiatives, support Black-owned businesses, join digital anti-racist protests, prosume anti-colonial content pieces like podcasts and amplify their message, etc. Strategically compound micro-actions that are generated through different scales from low- to high-level engagement, activism, and strategic political visibility. From an Instagram repost to you doing a live, to going from volunteer to co-host of an anti-colonial panel or world summit --- build different layers of micro and macro anti-colonial action-driven commitment. Lead with the immediate and the micro-level engagement then compound it through higher-stakes activistic engagements that you can then routinize (from volunteer to host, to media activist, etc.).
Be focused, not complacently distracted: When controversy is manufactured and heightened to dispel the focus of anti-racist mobilization away from necessary, inconveniencing, and unfortunately basic acknowledgments (such as that racism is systemic by occulting and mystifying that reality behind the N-word as a tactically distracting controversy), be discerning. See how words are institutionally weaponized to disable the consolidation of the anti-racist political movement, domestically and transnationally. Stay sharp and dedicated in your focus. Don't let a distraction let you get myopic and ineffectual in how you strategically show up to disrupt how supremacy is the protected genocidal norm of racial privilege and exclusion. Call out the media when they are instrumentalized to keep us complacently myopic, ineffectual. Write about it. Speak up against it in your chosen capacity (Instagram/Facebook post, story, blog, live, etc.). Stay on track with your activistic micro-action agenda. Don't stop to acknowledge coloniality ---- use your micro-activism to defy the authority it claims over our lives. Think about the following: What is the most intelligent way to strategically offset supremacy through your brand of digital micro-activism? How can you be an anti-colonial ordinary hero whose dailiness - is activism made simple - augments anti-racism as a binding political norm?
That's the thing about the N-word. We have to be smarter than the gimmick it is purposively instrumentalized as in order to delegitimize anti-racism. Focus on the root, not the branch. Push for generation-making cross-institutional change, not uncritically framed language politics that protect the liberties of the intellectual individualist at the expense of the systemically racially violated and politicized.
Be the change you want to see in the world. Today. Every day.