Black Consciousness is Not a Legitimate Way Out of Politics

Black Consciousness is Not a Legitimate Way Out of Politics

The logic that you shouldn’t participate in UK politics because of white supremacy & political corruption, and that the solution is to build “back home”, doesn’t make sense.  White supremacy doesn’t have a cut-off point at Gatwick Airport, and #Blacklivesmatter in the UK, as they do back home. The irony is that it is white supremacy that gave us this geographical racial hierarchy – measured by proximity to whiteness, that is.

Disengagement is short-sighted because “back home” is not just a sea of Black faces to swim off into, but comprised of countries who’s self-determination and right to rule in the interests of its people, our people, is systematically weakened by British foreign policy. Policy drafted by the same political groups we fail to hold accountable if we retire into the belief that nothing changes and they are all the same.

The corruption in the system relies on your apathy and willingness to retreat into the self-interest of making your own life pretty. I say pretty, and not better, because it is mere adornment in the fantasy of your freedom from political consequences.

Admittedly, I too am of the belief that we are living in a/the “matrix’. But to not vote (in the interest of the many) is not to unplug, it is only to change screen. The only disruption it presents is to those of us painfully pulling up the intubations from our throats. Whilst you recline in smug acceptance of our collective condition, as though seeing your own entrapment is freedom enough.

Over the past two years as I moved through Black consciousness of mind to that of the soul, that good esoteric shit, I admit I withdrew and mentally exited. It was a necessary adjustment for me. It was not easy to begin my study of Astrology, or to practice tarot in an environment that only values reason, and tells us intuition is the domain of wild beasts in the field. Obviously, not the ones Theresa May was running through.

But it also became clear to me that to attempt to live outside of my body in the ether was to hallucinate a matrix of my own making. Voluntary madness. The true clarity of Black consciousness is to see that to live outside of the matrix, if you believe in it, is to decide upon your death in the pursuit of its destruction – a la Walter Rodney, Patrice Lamumba, Steve Biko, Agathe Uwilingiyimana, Amílcar Cabral, Fred Hampton, Malcolm X, Martin Luther King Jr. Not to mention those who have been killed, just for breaking the rules by being Black and free in even a minute way – Joy Gardner, Shekuh Bayoh, Sarah Reed, Trayvon Martin, Renisha McBride and so many more.

What about death through poor healthcare, inadequate housing, poverty, domestic violence? Or is it okay because they’ll just respawn?

Are you feeling to exit? Are you about that life? If not, you need to be running interference with the rest of us my ninja. A claim to Black consciousness is not a legitimate way out of politics. If you don’t know, you better ask somebody. Like a scholar on Toussaint Louverture, who will tell you his political manoeuvring was a significant factor in ending the slave trade in Haiti. Enslaved Africans took on white supremacy, Napoleon and his French army, and the most unfathomable cruelty of enslavers daily. But you feel powerless to stop the Conservatives? Really?

It isn’t all party politics and personalities. It isn’t only canvassing and small talk with white folk. But ignoring the general election does signal other trends of squandering your personal and political power.  Yo, London is fucking dirty. Lobby to get our streets cleaned man, and better food for our young people than those chicken shacks the pigeons are eating from.

Few things piss me off more right now, than esoteric folk who speak in coded language and are waiting for the Black rapture. I say this because I am part of this spiritual community. Find ways to lovingly engage with this world. Black consciousness is not a legitimate way out of politics.

Leona Nichole Black

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