shet the hell up!: on the media being itself

cropped-kendra-bitmoji-5.pngI’ve been sittin on this blog post since America’s white patriots assaulted the Capitol, January 6. All this time, I’ve been steady pondering, damn near fuming about, media’s use of the terms “protest,” “terrorist,” “patriot,” “American,” “citizen,” & “democracy” & how carelessly mainstream reporters have exclaimed, emphatically so, their bewilderment, their upset, their absolute fear re: those white folks’—their kinfolks’—uprising, which too many of them keep calling a protest (& sloppily comparing to Black Lives Matter movements). The events of January 6 were a got damn coup, & it didn’t fail. & it’s not surprising—nor is it unAmerican, undemocratic, or unprecedented.

America’s “patriots” been couping: The Civil War. The Chicago Race Riot. Dred v. Scott. Jim Crow. Brown v. Board of Education. Ronald Reagan’s War on Drugs. Rock & Roll. Gentrification. The HBCU. So what these white folks stormed the Capitol? They stormed the whole of America before they stormed parts of Africa whose natives built the country. They stormed Cuba, Abu Ghraib, & Haiti. They stormed Tulsa, Oklahoma; Mississippi; Overtown; Standing Rock & Mount Rushmore. They stormed the woman’s body, especially the Black woman’s; education; healthcare; legal affairs; real estate; religion; social media (cause Black Planet was the first, before MySpace & Facebook, who has tasked itself w/determining one’s right to free speech). They stormed Breonna Taylor’s bedroom. & who gone check em? Who has checked them? <croons: Keith Sweat’s “Nobody.”>         

I’m so sick an’ tired of mainstream white reporters.

Most Black & Brown people (& a few white co-conspirators) have long time understood Black folk are “terrorists” who terrorize—by their democratic attempts at social justice & human rights—America’s patriotic white citizenry only to whom democracy has belonged. So, why the fvck are mainstream journalists spittin rhetoric coated in U.S. exceptionalism? Why they still carryin on about America’s democracy, actin as tho the terms “patriot,” “terrorist,” “citizen,” “protest” & “democracy” ain’t couched inside the same flagrant intentions framing Trump’s “Make America Great Again” slogan? Why are they so “taken aback” by the audacious white privilege displayed at the Capitol? Come on media people! <in my Bill Cosby voice> Will y’all ever stop it already w/the brainwashing & hoodwinking?

Mainstream reporters interviewing Congressfolk cryin & carryin on, tryin to make themselves invisible behind furniture, talkin’ about bein terrified for their lives, while they, & the media, fail to recall Columbine, Stoneman Douglas, & Birmingham’s 16th Street Baptist Church. Reporters empathizing w/a killed-by-police-wearing-MAGA paraphernalia-35-year-old-white-woman who traveled from San Diego to DC, breaking Capitol windows, threatening the only democracy that served her—an ex-military white woman—yet failing to recall 21-year-old Fred Hampton; 17-year-old Trayvon Martin; 12-year-old Tamir Rice; & 34-year-old Miriam Carey, who was murdered by police for making a motherfvcking u-turn at the Capitol’s checkpoint. <flips table & the middle finger>

Reporters have even claimed January 6 as the worst day in America’s history as if every lynching wasn’t the worst day in America’s history. As if the Trail of Tears, the Birmingham Movement, & the Atlanta Murders, weren’t the worst days in America’s history. As if the murders of Martin Luther King, Medgar Evers, Biggie Smalls & Tu Pac weren’t the worst days in America’s history. & about Trump’s second impeachment: a white woman reporter claimed the day’s victory “a sad day in America.” What the whole fvck? I can’t even unpack that. Nope. (But her disillusionment mirrors reporters who continue to stress Trump’s absence from Biden’s Presidential Inauguration as an antithesis to its supposed act as a “peaceful transition of power.”) Sigh.

Exhales. I bet Congress folk, especially now that they’re “victims,” have most likely released themselves from any accountability re: the matter: of white folk patriots & their audacious privilege. Their violent partisanship. Their American Dream. Their got damn rights. (I know y’all hear their unaccountability in the speeches preceding Biden & Harris’ swearing in.) I mean, clearly, the media has released itself from its responsibility in maintaining the charade they continue to play as reporters inflate Joe Biden, who will “save America & restore democracy.” <read: covertly MAGA>

The got damn media.

*            *            *

In her last collection of essays, speeches, and meditations, The Source of Self-Regard, Toni Morrison includes her 1993 lecture to the media, “A Race in Mind: The Press in Deed.” In it, she informs reporters she is not going to flatter them, but she intends to comment on “the serious problems in the way the press functions as mediator between the experience of life in the world and its narrative and visual representation.” In other words, Morrison calls out the media as the superstructure it is, maintaining the hegemonic power w/its language play, visual distortions, & well, “fake news.” Shrugs. The beat goes on. I’ve linked it here for your reading, cause Morrison has always excavated America’s bullshit (& everyone should read Morrison).

For sure: ain’t nothin new under the sun, & yet, I couldn’t resist writing out what Black Twitter & IG been declaring; what Black & Brown folks been experiencing. Shit. I’m light weight pissed, so I reckon since in the beginning was the Word, & the Word was w/God, & the Word is God, my putting down this word will reach God so that my hope, our hope, in “Let[ing] America Be America Again” is unscathed. & so it is.

2 thoughts on “shet the hell up!: on the media being itself

  1. Whew Lawd! First of all, thank you for this offering that ‘quickens’ my spirit and mind. Second of all, thank you for this expression. It provides me permission to do the same. Third of all- so much here- overall it moves me to think once again about the media. And well, it seems they represent the perspective of the current collective consciousness of our nation. I just wonder if the media would produce ‘stuff’ like this, like your blog minus the profanity- though profane language is my heartbeat, Lol. Anyway so back to wondering what it would be like to turn my tv to mainstream media and hear stuff like this😋.

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