Really Though, Not All "Black" People Give a Fuck About "White" Dreads
A Short Diary on Mayhem and Race Nihilism
“And these rhymes ain’t tight, they’re terrorish
And that girl’s not white, she’s anarchist
And we float like kites to get turbulence
Born with our throats slit
raised to aim over it
Soldier with no king
War with the war on me
I am more than this world lets me be"
- P.O.S “Weird Friends (We Don’t Even Live Here)"
Note: In this essay I use quotations around all idenitity categories and ideologies (for example “black” people or “white supremacy”) for the purpose of calling into question their assumed legitimacy as universal truths rather than fictitious constructs that benefit social control.
1. N.W.A (Nihilists With Attitudes)
Despite being biracial, my skin tone is socially recognized as “black” (or dark brown compared to some). Some of the music I listen to is found in, and stereotypically associated with, “black culture”. The combination of words I learned to use, inspired by my environmental upbringing, are stereotypically associated with living in “the hood”. Racialized tension and state violence follows me everywhere I go. When I walk into a store, my baggy black sweat pants and pullover black hoodie leads people to assume the worst; I have a criminal past with the potential to cause trouble. But check this out, I’m not “black”. This society assigned me this “black” identity at birth and with social pressure expects me to embrace it. But I refuse. The very concept of race has no biological or genetic validation. It is nothing more than a social construct used as a tool of oppression. The complexity of my individuality can not be represented by “black” identity nor “cultural blackness”. Identities are fixed, generalized representations of people and dictated by social norms, expectations and stereotypes. They are standardized by capitalism and industrial civilization and assumed to be universal and beyond questioning. When I walk into a store I get the stares, all based on the shared concern that I just might steal some shit. But to be honest, they’re probably right. I just might. Because the social placement of my assigned identity is located near the bottom which means my access to resources is limited. So illegalism is how I create access to resources without vote-begging for equality. Under capitalism, equality can not exist. And I gotta' survive, so I’m gonna' do what I gotta do. And that doesn’t mean pushin’ poison and enabling intoxication culture. The dope game is a trap set up by the state, so I just gotta' be more creative and determined.
The socially constructed groups (“black", “man") that society identifies me as are ones assigned to me at birth by a system that benefits from my identity categorization- a system I reject all together. This is the same system that constructs “black” as inferior to “white", “female” as inferior to “male”, “animal" as inferior to “human". I will not deny the very real experiences of sexism and racism that people face, nor the reality of institutionalized racism and sexism that wages poverty and war on those of us racialized and/or gendered as “inferior”. “White supremacy”, “male supremacy”, and this capitalist society as a whole needs to be destroyed. And I refuse to embrace any of its identity mechanisms of division as personal forms of resistance.
Instead, I embrace criminality against the laws of identity, as well as the agents of identity reinforcement responsible for normalizing the rigid boundaries of identity. I reject the liberal narrative that I, as a “black man”, deserve rights in this country equal to the “white man”. “Black man” doesn’t represent me, and I refuse to assimilate into those roles. I want to see them destroyed, as well as the logic that creates them. My existence embodies the negation of social assimilation and of the prison of identity-based representation, recognizing individuality without measure as the sincerest form of anarchy. “Black man” identity ain't got shit on me.
2. Keep Your “White” Dreads. Keep Fuckin’ Shit Up.
I don’t care about your culturally inspired dreads. And I don’t care about “white” people's dreads neither. I got better shit to do than chasin’ people around with a pair of scissors tryin' to give them a free haircut. And skin tone doesn’t necessitate conformity to any particular culture, let alone culture at all. As a matter of fact, fuck culture. I never had a say in being assigned this “black” culture that I am assumed to be represented by. Is knowing my African roots gonna save me from attacks by armed, “white supremacist” militias? Or the state? And it seems that children are often coerced into cultures at birth by people who assume they know what’s best for them. That, in and of itself, constitutes a form of hierarchical authority that can also burn in a fire with socially coerced identity and assigned roles.
Like race and gender, culture is also a social construct only maintained by those willing to validate it with their own subservience to it. And some folks are never permitted to know anything outside their culture - except maybe all the problems with other cultures. This sense of nationalism seems immune to critique from leftists and most anarchists. “White supremacy” and nationalism are widely called out and confronted but since when did “black supremacy” and nationalism become acceptable? Don’t get me wrong, “black supremacy” and “black power” are not backed up by the state, and came as a legitimate response to white power and supremacy.
But reproducing more identity-based supremacy is counter-productive and reformist..“Black power” limits itself to identity-based empowerment without confronting the foundation of assigned identity to begin with. And don’t act like “black nationalist” tendencies don’t exist within some anarchist circles. I'm side eyein' y’all wack-ass identity politicians who power play “white” anarchists with guilt. Y’all got them policing others- promoting the liberal, rights-based narrative of all “black” people as victims.
I ain't tryin' to waste time reforming shit. I ain't tryin' to embrace the establishment’s prescribed identity and then demand rights for it. I demand nothing from this system- I wanna' destroy everything that gives it validation, including the identity assigned to maintain its class binary. “Black nationalism” is not a solution to eliminating racism. It reinforces racism as a cultural and institutionalized system by validating the “white” and “black” racial and class binary. And if we tryin' to all get free, why embrace the same identities that were constructed to divide and stratify us? And how we gonna' take back and determine our lives if we still stuck in the shackles of internalized victimhood?
Those who maintain cultures on a traditional basis are in positions of power which constitutes a hierarchy between those who embrace that particular culture and those who refuse. I not only refuse “American culture” and all its social constructs and values, but all cultures that govern the mind. Cultures discourage freethinking and limitless exploration of one’s individual potential in life. Rather than allowing individuals to interact with the world and develop an opinion based on their own independent experiences, a preconceived narrative of life is imposed and justified as “truth” by those in positions of manipulative power. To exist, cultures rely on the subjugation of a group of people homogenized based on socially constructed roles and characteristics. I not only find cultures and their desire for control and domination personally undesirable, but I have learned that their power drops anchor in the mind of the subservient. Those who either don’t have the courage or accessible inspiration to think for themselves, or who actively promote culture and nationalism always turn to manipulation tactics like shaming and guilting others who refuse to assimilate. These cultural-based nationalist type groups do not reflect a universal truth or reality, nor do they represent all the people they claim to.
So hey “white” reader, “white dreads” are not culturally appropriating. No culture holds a monopoly on a hairstyle. Culture is a state of mind that can only manifest materially with rigid boundaries of essentialism which are protected by the laws of identity and those who enforce them. Are your dreads out of bounds with the laws of identity? Did the identity police come and charge you with disrespecting the laws of essentialism? Did you reject their self-appointed authority? Then you might be a criminal worth knowing. In the context of capitalism, if you tryin' to sell dreaded hair as a fashion commodity, that’s not culturally appropriating. But you still might get your windows smashed for being a fucking capitalist. Capitalism aside, if your dreadlocks are smelly, dried-sweat strands of tangled and/or matted hair, rock that shit. My dreads are too. Fuck conventional beauty standards, capitalism, and those who defend both.
3. Another Word for “White Ally” is Still “Coward”.
I don’t care if you identify as/call yourself a community-approved “white ally”. But I will assume that: 1. You are incapable of thinking for yourself. 2. You are a coward. 3. You will hesitate under fire when I ask you to hand me a molotov cocktail- fearful that you will be doing “the community” a disservice. Assuming you will be beside me in the streets or somewhere where tensions are high, I don’t want you to stand behind me and ask me what you should do. I don’t want to be your leader. Leadership- isn't that the hierarchical complex we are fighting against in the first place?
As my friend, will we hang out and have discussions freely or will you spend your time hesitating and stumbling over your words trying to keep your PC terminology in check for fear of offending me? If you say something fucked up, am I incapable of being considerate of the world you live in and calmly asking you to think about what you said? Will you police my other “white” friends with your expertise on anti-racism, in hopes of gaining my applause and approval? Will you police the boundaries of identity and reduce me to a mere “marginalized voice” incapable of taking space against white supremacy? If so, then you suffer from “white guilt” and are more of a conformist with some personal work of your own to do. I don’t want what liberal social justice warriors and some wack-ass anarchists call “allies”. I want accomplices. I am fine on my own, but I would enjoy the lawless company of those with ideas and strategies that aren't always my own, and with experiences and histories that differ from mine. Do you refuse societal submission and instead embrace life as daily attack on capitalist society and everything in between? Cool. I do too. Despite socially constructed categories and assigned identities, this is our bond. This is our affinity.
4. Gettin’ With the (Anti)-Program.
There is no use in making demands. It is pointless asking those in positions of power to stop their quest for control and domination. I can’t ask liberal POC organizations, academics, and social justice warriors to stop pretending they represent me and my interests. I don’t have time to spend hours explaining to them that not all people they identify as “black” can be “saved” by the church of social justice. Some people just want money and the power to dominate others just as any “white” bank owner or corporate executive. I can’t plead with them to stop invisibilizing my existence as an individual acting out of bounds with their political programs. I can’t vote beg leftists and anarcho-leftists into realizing their plan to “organize the masses” ultimately discourages a vitality of anarchy- individuality. I can’t change or reform their system that they operate within and attempt to dominate the political terrain with. I am anti-political in that all programs derived from politics are doomed to fail because they all have one thing in common- representation. None of these people represent me, my personality, nor the anarchistic actions of my individuality. I am anti-political in that my actions of revolt do not constitute a politicized occupation separate from my daily life. Anarchy is not my activist hobby. My individual existence is a nihilistic, transformative expropriation of a life that was never intended to be my own in the first place.
So if you are “white” and are reading this, you have already defied the police in your head who tells you to never read anything critical of “black” liberalism, identity in general, and allyship or culture. Just like when you walked away after being scolded about your dreads from a “black” activist, and under your breath mumbled “go fuck yourself." Or in the streets when they called you an “outside agitator” for trying to smash a bank window- and then you did it anyways. You do you. The liberals, anarcho-liberals included, will continue to attempt to police everyone with politically correct terminology that changes every year. They will continue to guilt you for having “white” skin. They will guilt you when you stand up and act out against the authority of their studies and academic jargon. They will continue to threaten you with call out statements, ostracizing, and maybe even physical violence as long as you refuse to psychologically submit to their program. To the “black” reader, nobody can represent the totality of your individualism because despite their assumptions of you, your intellect and experiences are not fixed into place. Your existence can not be confined to a mere social position on a ladder. Do you feel the shackles on your imagination while operating within the confinement of your assigned identity? Can your identity as a “black” person ever truly liberate you or does it secure you in place with an internalized sense of victimhood that comes with that racialized assignment? Do you feel coerced to surrender yourself to “black liberation” in fear of feeling alone and isolated? That fear is legit. And that fear is what keeps one submissive. This essay was written in hopes of inspiring the criminal in you. If you recognize the prisons that “community leaders” place our imaginations in, perhaps you will escape from the liberal confines of sign holding, endless meetings, chanting, and marching for “justice”.
Fear is their weapon for “organizing the masses” and discouraging individual determination. But that’s OK. I don’t need their masses or programs to know when and how to attack. Do you? And do all the other “black” people who feel they have to join these liberal or radical identity- based groups and organizations to remain loyal to “blackness” as a cultural identity? The shared experience of being “black” under capitalism is only limited to identity. Just 'cus people share the same institutionalized form(s) of oppression don’t automatically mean they share the same visions and objectives on how to destroy it. These are important differences that shouldn’t be flattened. While these groups continue their mind-numbing attempts to create a new system of race essentialism within the shell of the old, some of us are having fun destroying all the systems. My anarchy is an existential expansion of individuality beyond the limitations of racial (and gendered) social constructs. When they say “black and brown” unity against racism and fascism, some of us have been sayin’ every body against racism and fascism, as well as the fixed identities that makes them functional. Where chaos blooms with emancipation and the limitless potential that follows, individuality becomes a weapon of war against control and categorical confinement. While they scold you “white” people and chant “Cut Your Dreads!”, I am saying really though, not all “black” people give a fuck about “white” dreads. Stay ungovernable. See you in the streets when the night is lit by fire.