THE WORDS THAT WE SPEAK
[WROTE THIS ARTICLE FOR THE GRAMBLINITE [NEWSPAPER FOR GRAMBLING STATE UNIVERSITY] BACK BETWEEN 1994 - 1996, WHILE AT GRAMBLING]
As Africans in America in the midst of systematic bigotry there is no time for, nor an indwelling ability to withstand self inflicted anguish that serves to dehumanize and insensitize us to the seemingly overwhelming problems that encompass our entire existence. The trauma of which I write is not the myriad's of problems that exist within our community but instead, it is of the verbal denunciations, which proceed from our mouths as they are the cause of our distressful situation. By verbal denunciations is meant the manner in which we refer to ourselves, our world and the world that surrounds us.
We call ourselves 'Players' not realizing that by denoting ourselves in that manner relegates us to a position of inferiority. Consider first that in the world there are Men and there are Boys with various degrees after, before and in between. When one calls oneself a 'Player' one insinuates that one engages in the performance of some activity that activity being competitive in nature and hence, a 'Game'. The objects of the 'Game' are Women and the objective is to 'Score' with the objects as this is the means of payment. This 'Game' is not a profession. As it is not then the 'Players' no matter what the age a forever 'Boys'. For Boys enjoy playing games with no care for what comes after and no concern for payment. Boys do not recognize the equality of nor the need for Women as they consider all Females Girls.
These 'Players' if by chance they have a place of residence refer to it as a players pad or a crib. This adds further proof of the 'Players' undeveloped self as he is worse a Boy who sleeps on a pad or in a babies crib. These Players call themselves 'Dogs' as well. If the objective of the Player who is a male is to 'Score' with an object and the 'Player' calls himself a 'Dog' then it is obvious that he can only Score with a Female object and as such a Female Dog. We call European-American Males the 'Man' and if he is the 'Man' then his Female counterpart is naturally the 'Women'. This being so then we must be the 'Boy' and our Female equal must be the 'Girl'.
There is a definitive experience of our 'People' and we call it the 'Black Experience'. This Experience encompasses all of our People here in America and the World. However, there are some that unknowingly apply all that is inferior to this experience. For example if a Black Man speaks Standard form or Proper English he will be referred to as speaking like a white person. Now if we consider using proper English as speaking like a white person then we have automatically stated that using improper English is being Black or what it means to be Black. This line of reasoning is used many in many different ways.
Another example is when we refer to ourselves as a minority and to whites as the majority. This base words are minor and major. Minor may be defined as petty, unimportant, inferior, smaller, lesser in some extent it is derived from the Sanskrit term minati which means that which lessens or is lessened in importance. Major is defined as superior or greater in importance it is derived from the Latin term Magnus that means great. All of these underlying meanings are inherent in the terms minority and majority.
From our own mouths we degrade one another with an intensity that is unbelievable. Rather than uplifting one another with words of encouragement and providing one another with help when it is needed we choose to act out the part written for us by those who hate us and ignore one another. We have chosen to believe what others have said that we can and cant do and we have internalized those opinions and given them meaning in our words and actions. We are not what others say we are but, we are what we say that we are. We define our own reality and existence and We set our own limitations. It is from the thoughts that we think and the words that we speak that any and all of our actions are born whether at the balance of good and evil or at either of the extremes.