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DIA: blacks and our depression #3 Fernwood/New Pal

Ytzhak writes "Victoria Independent Media Center

(Vancouver island, British Columbia)

Original article is at http://victoria.indymedia.org/news/2003/07/15769.p hp

DIA: blacks and our depression #3
A note from Fernwood/The Hood/New Palestine
Lawrence Ytzhak Braithwaite
An author in North America

There has been essays written concerning Blacks and depression (one of which is by Dalani Aamon entitled "Blacks and Depression") and one of the causes of this depression having come the residual effects of the African Americans Experience starting with slavery. Not all of us have been slaves or from a slave background nor were we raised in the US psychic landscape but we have been assaulted by it. A great deal of us are Diasporic and so the effects of the affected African American psychology has invaded our domes. The US racism and the Canadian supremacy has had a damaging impression on our lives and mental health. I am certain that there are those who suffer from chemical imbalance which render them privvy to mood swings on various scales. However, the state of dread and downpressor inwhich most of us have to exist offers us little moments of true being and I'm afraid prolonged exposure to the madness and twisted logic of North America only brings more pain and collapse.

We must realize that mental illness in Black people, on our continent, is not tolerated. Not by the medical profession nor our own peoples. When it comes to Blacks, especially Black men with mental illness, we have not progressed from the Restoration period and William Hogarth's depiction of Bedlam. Our Bedlam can be either the mess of North America, the ghetto, or the state found in the etched imprints in our mentals (minds).

We have become driven by this madness as did Tom Rakewell (an 18th century playa) who, disassociated with his home, becomes enveloped in the underlying message of greed and status orientated London, England (or as is refered to as being a "demented Britannia"). However, Rakewell, has little knowledge and absolutely no overstanding of the true makeup and motivation of the libertine rakish society inwhich he falls into and is seduced by. He only sees what is considered successful and acceptable and then follows through hoping that --no -- thinking that this will make him and remake him in the eyes of the new society. Rakewell's efforts lead him to riches, poverty and then madness.

We, as Black people, whether ghetto or yuppy or middle-class, are caught up in this disassociation of place and context. We cannot, although we may front on the matter, make sense of the cognitive dissonance that is this demented America. It as if we are children or men caught in an abusive household each one of us or as a collective have fallen into the familial role of those in an abusive home'
The perfect one,
The peace keeper,
The clown,
The rebel
But no matter how much we struggle in our roles we still fail to achieve the overstanding and remove ourselves from the situation. The house must fall. We must cease to help it exist with all it's secrets and past abuse. Our presence fuels it. It legitimizes it. The abusers knows, far more than we ever will, under these circumstances, how to push every button and manipulate us with status, money, power and maybe even a kind word and genteel touch here and there.

Right now, and for a longtime, a world has been fighting back to end this abuse or to stop the abuser from incorporating them in the vicious circle of this madhouse. We, as Black peoples, don't seem to overstand this -- fully. Which is why we assist in the assaults or close our doors (selves) to our own. We point fingers and take pleasure watching each other fall. We invent new philosophies and transforms ancient faiths to fit them into the demented American landscape. First on the list of blame is each other and then comes this metaphysical white man (a devil or snake or yacob). But very little is done to actualize our anger and redemption except when it comes to attacking each other (the lost, the mental slaves, the 85, the uncivilized, the gutter negro, the country nigger, the 10, the sellout...) we have many names for the understandably confused and depressed Black peoples and we are swift to attack each other and kill each other, especially in the most cruel of fashions, and that is in the willful destruction of a human beings aspiration -- our spirit our Black souls. It would be easier for us to achieve peace and overstanding of the system of downpressor than it would for us to overstand each other and accept out weaknesses and strengths and victories. So we hunt for leaders to lead us (because of slavery and this endless Moses metaphor). We choose dead heroes (silent and well printed posters on college walls or in house holds. Maybe a PBS documentary they offer us during a now infamous Black history month). Last we follow puritan inspired ranting fascist who distort philosophies and faiths for the purpose of power and control. But what we lack is a revolution of all our own. Where Blacks can finally be peoples with all the faults and greatness that most people know over this planet and are willing to starve and die for.

If you look at it this way who wouldn't be depressed. And if a Black man has a mental illness then it will certainly become magnified to the point inwhich it becomes madness -- as William Carlos Williams wrote of the Black peoples of North America "true products of America go crazy".

This pandering to abuse and the constant blaiming of each other is a suicide. It is a slow and cruel suicide as most true suicides are. Forget what you've heard and what you think or read or have been taught. A true suicide is not a call for help and the failed attempts are not failures. They are practice sessions to insure that when the time comes and the right mixture is found that it will have the perfect effect/affect -- it has become the a hard Science combinding proper elements. It has, unfortunately become true M.A.D.ness = Mathematics of the African Diaspora. That would be the North American obsession with the crossing, the passing, the otherside, what most humans call simply death. For it is in death, we are taught, once by this physical and now metaphysical slavemaster and now by each other that we truely achieve rest, perfection, peace and blessings and sometimes greatness.

Of course we have the right to sing the Blues. But I'm afraid that it has been optioned and copyrighted for pub houses and biker soundtracks. But so has every diasporic invention of art.

So that would make anyone sad or as Rod Serling once wrote a line in "Requiem for a Heavyweight", "don't it just make you want to lay down and die." ...or can it Bee, as Lauryn Hill once wrote, "Die for me/you said you'd die for me/live for me/why don't you live for me".

The future is ours if we remain what Marcus Garvey once called "The Nation" and we truely believe -- in each other = the original peoples, with all our faults; cease to submit to the effects of hypocrites/munafiquns in this "demented America".

Stay Strong

"The Fire Next Time"

http;//www/ilovepoetry.com/search.asp?keywords=bra ithwaite&orderBy=date

What We Teach (Redux)
Fernwood/New Palestine
http://victoria.indymedia.org/news/2003/07/15444.p hp

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