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  • ANON The Griot

The Bastard Chronicles: Liam Nieson or I Wish a Nigga Would

I played football on the beach. It might not be incredible to you, but it was huge for me. I don’t think I’ve even considered playing football after my neighbor, Peaches (forgive his name--- he was my lil brother Germaine’s friend) cracked his head on a tree stump at Mesa Verde in Albuquerque, New Mexico. And even before then, I didn’t play football much.

I have bad hand-eye-coordination and I was bullied for not being especially hard or athletic as a little kid. Plus, I have astigmatism, but that wasn’t diagnosed until I was 14; I spent much of my youth slightly blind and feeling like a punk.

So that football game meant a lot to me. I had long ago abandoned any desire to play sports and had also acquired a disdain for it overall. But this Summer, I am living the words of Cee-Lo Green, “Until you’re truly ready to say fuck your fears, you are not alive.” And I realize that I had developed a fear of all things athletic because I wasn’t good at it. I’d rather focus on the masculine arts of freestyle and Hip Hop. I tried acting at Morehouse during my freshman year, but my director (all love now to Robert Conner) made me feel like a total amateur. So, I went back into my scary hole and decided to ONLY focus on what I was good at. Yep. Preposition at the end of the word. No explanation will be given.

But that beach football shit is much like Black shit. There are levels to it. Allow me to explain with an anecdote. Cedric the Entertainer shone like Rihanna’s diamond on Kings of Comedy. His best bit? The hope/wish theory. He suggested that white folk live on the ledge of hope. Were they to be late to a movie, they’d hope that no one was in their seats. Black folk; on the other hand, operate on a wish system. They wish a nigga would be in that seat. And this leads me to therapy and my discovery of my Liam Nieson theory. I have spent the entirety of my conscious life preparing. I didn’t wish a nigga would, but I always wanted to be prepared in case a nigga did.

And here is where we revisit those levels. On the beach, my non-token white brother realized the inherent paranoia involved with simply being a Black man in America. And it’s not cool. It’s passé. It’s old hat. It’s honestly annoying to speak about it. We are the products of trauma and we wear said trauma on our well-designed sleeves.

Our heads are on a forever swivel. My brother, Joe Stu and I discussed how no matter the circumstance, we have about 10 pre-planned steps ready to go. Mind you, we don’t even know the situation that we’d be facing. We have a proverbial mental grab-bag of options. And while one perspective is that oppression has blessed us with preparation, another view would suggest that we’ve been so traumatized that we don’t know how to live a single fucking moment without expecting the absolute fucking worst thing to happen. And yes, the statistics might show that only a small percentage of us serve prison times and meet early graves; those numbers cannot qualify the actual risk that we face on the daily. What we know that those numbers don’t is that just because it didn’t happen does not mean that it won’t. Or can’t.

We saw Freddie Gray. We saw Tamir Rice. We’ve seen family members incarcerated because they didn’t have the money to pay child support. Or a fine. Or anything. It has been open season on Black men since the first plantations were established in this nation. And while those scenarios are a bit drastic, there are even more pertinent threats that we deal with. When we drive. When we walk. To how we talk. And I’m still almost disgusted at myself for having to STILL write this shit. Like, it truly is about to be 2020 and I feel like an after school special from the 80’s.




See, the thing is. It doesn’t matter what occurs. We’re so bruised that the possibility outweighs the probability. Because this is a racist nation. It will not come to grips with it. And the lions have written the history of who they call sheep, so there is no truth in their documentation of the battle. We are forever involved in a losing narrative. Therefore, it is not illogical for us to imagine these unforeseen circumstances and the ways were might possibly finesse our way out. Nigga roll up on your lady with disrespect and he’s way bigger than you. What do you do? The cops roll up and accuse you of being someone else. What do you do? Your girl thinks you’re cheating with a chick you don’t even know. What do you do? It is a question that never gets completely answered because inevitably, it will have to be answered again and again. And this is not a show with a certain host on a certain network. This is life.

And I’m not sure if I know the answer to why or how. On one hand, there is a power in being an earthly omniscient. We are the best third person narrator of our lives. We see routes like the best running back. See how I threw football in there? But we’re also as paranoid as America should be if Black folk ever decided to be unforgiving and decided to claim what is rightfully ours. And for all the omniscient Infinity Stones, I’d change everything to be as carefree as a white guy jogging in a neighborhood that he’s never seen before. Because he hopes no one will bother him. But that hope is only a slight fear. He’s experienced enough days of peace and calm that it’s only a passing concern. We; however, wish a muthafucka would. Because we’ve spent so long planning. We’ve spent so long avoiding. We’ve spent so long swallowing spit and pride. We’ve eaten crow when there was a full buffet spread before us. We have been patiently waiting like 50 Cent with Eminem. On that Lose Yourself in the moment. But Farrakhan don’t know us personally. That aggression is our atonement.


My only remedy is therapy. And we need it terribly. Cuz, I wish a nigga would take a moment and give his soul the comfort it deserves. Being Black is tedious. And this shit is getting on my nerves.

Postscript: Liam Nieson stars in Taken. And he’s old. And white. And not even Southie white. He’s European white. Lawd knows he ain’t the killer you think you want. But apparently, he’s the killer you need. How the hell did this guy become my totem? There are levels to this Black shit. And I wish a nigga would argue otherwise.


Peace.


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