If Ever Black Supremacy Were To Occur, Here’s Why I Think It Would NEver Look Like or Compare to The Atrocities of White Supremacy This is something I’ve pondered many […]
If Ever Black Supremacy Were To Occur, Here’s Why I Think It Would NEver Look Like or Compare to The Atrocities of White Supremacy
This is something I’ve pondered many times even before the recent insurgence of the Black Lives Matter movement. My thoughts always lead me to the idea that Black people would not treat other ethnicities in the same way we have been treated. My view may be idealistic but I believe that Black people are loving and inclusive, and given the chance, unlikely to inflict any kind of systemic oppression on another ethnic group. Although I do keep in mind the disheartening truth that some were responsible for the selling of Africans as slaves (but that is for another conversation).
I want to keep this digestible so I shall try to present my thoughts as concisely as possible. Let’s look to Malorie Blackman’s famous book “Noughts & Crosses,” (2001) which was recently adapted for screen by BBC (aired March – April 2020), with Roc Nation credited (alongside others) as an executive producer. The story presents a fictional dystopia in which Black people (Crosses) are the superior ethnic group, ruling over White people (Noughts).
Sidebar: I’ve always noted and found it interesting that the HEX Code for the colour black is “000000” but back to the topic.
Now as I said earlier, I do not believe that in the event of Black Supremacy occurring (if you want to call it that) it would ever look like the atrocities committed under the systemic oppression and racism we refer to as White Supremacy. Yes, “Noughts & Crosses” represents an extreme idea but it is art… and art is supposed to shock, make you uncomfortable, cause you to question and pave some kind of way for change.
Cast member, Kiké Brimah, said “I want people to feel uncomfortable with what they are seeing,” and personally I completely agree that it is necessary. Often times (and perhaps unfortunately) change only occurs when people are made to feel uncomfortable. If you ask me, that says a lot about the lack of empathy people possess (once again, that’s another conversation).
A look at user reviews of the BBC adaptation of “Noughts & Crosses” (IMDB) and you may feel happy and extremely annoyed from comment to comment, though what stands out to me most is the sole FAQ which reads: “I suppose there is some symbolic meaning to the noughts and crosses. Could someone explain?”
My inital reactive thought was “really?” Then I thought “wow, what if people really are this clueless?” My hope was restored by the answer (see below). It is important to note that the question serves as a reminder that people are often blind to what’s happening around them and in society – whether through choice or utter ignorance. Both reasons are a problem.
To go back to Kiké Brimah (cast member) speaking about the show, she says: “I want this show to reach people like Claire from Devon – people who are naive to these experiences.” She adds “for you to see another person’s point of view, you have to go through it.” I see her statement as a reminder that as uncomfortable as viewers may be when watching this (specifically White people) they will never understand because despite this fictitious presentation, they will likely never endure what Black people have.
To conclude and bring it back to my initial point, Malorie Blackman has been accused of being “anti-white” – something she hasn’t even dignified with a response.
Black Supremacy, as told by some Black Activist or Religious Groups of the past, admittedly has rhetoric that may be viewed as extreme: such as the dismantling of oppressive White governments. Before you miss my point, I hope you grasp what I’m trying to say because this article is not about debating the Martin Luther King or Malcom X approach.
The concept of Black Supremacy, if ever realised, could never be compared to White Supremacy because it would be an insurrection in response to the systemic oppression of Black people. White Supremacy on the other hand is encompassed by a complete abuse of position and power, lack of empathy and refusal to recognise all people as humans regardless of the colour of their skin. If you question that analysis, there’s 400 years (and counting) of evidence.
We need books, art, tv shows, films and more to continue to create awareness, challenge mindsets, start conversations and provide education. Like many, I believe that mere empathy is an obvious starting point for change but unfortunately it seems to be lacking in so many people.
If you are offended by the fictitious dystopia presented in “Noughts & Crosses,” imagine how the author (Malorie Blackman) felt when she was asked if she would mind making the Black “Crosses” Asian – in order to appeal to a bigger audience. Can you just imagine the disrespect? Another media attempt at diluting the Black Experience (fictitious or not). It may be on your TV screens but it is much more than entertainment.
Think about it, in a world where people read less and watch more, ten years down the line Malorie Blackman’s art would have changed faces and lost its message. Again, something I will dig deeper into in another post.
This was supposed to be short but ah well, I’m done for now.
Any thoughts, please feel free to drop them in the comments below.