Essays on Spirituality: Street Violence, Partner Violence and Pimpin
By Marvin X
from Beyond Religion, Toward Spirituality,
essays on consciousness, Marvin X, Black Bird Press,
281 pages, 2007.
"When you kill your brother you kill yourself."—Abdul James
Black on black violence is a hate crime and should qualify for the death penalty. If a black man kills a white man, it will more than likely be a hate crime, but the killing of a black by a black is nothing—two or three years the killer is back on the street to continue his savagery.
Violence in the hood is causing the complete destabilization of our community, yet it is not totally a criminal or even economic matter but at its root is a spiritual disease in the hearts of mostly young black men and lately women.
Some of the killing is ritual murder for gang membership, including homosexual acts upon the victim followed by murder. Such activity has roots in decadent and demonic spirituality.
Sadly, the gangs are often the only family youth have known. Often there is no mother, no father, no hug a thug from the preacher, teacher, artists or politicians—thus many youth have become cold blooded killers, not by choice but by societal design.
Of course economics plays a role since the dope man is the number one employer of youth in the black community coast to coast. And the drug economy feeds directly into the prison industry where the youth are housed at thirty to fifty thousand dollars per inmate per year, and there are two million currently imprisoned, mostly for drug related crimes, including violence.
The societal costs are staggering in terms of education, family stability, and community progress. But how can we expect young black men to resolve their problems non violently when the American government spends half a trillion dollars annually to spread violence around the world. The youth watch TV now and then; they know what's going on in Iraq and Afghanistan. They know America has troops around the world in its sham terrorism war. They know America is a gang of thieves, liars, and murderers in suits and ties.
The same guns used abroad are used at home in the hoods of black America, and of course black people have gun factories and drug factories, don't we?
But no one can make us kill if we have the mind-set not to kill, if we put on the armor of God and express God consciousness rather than animal consciousness, devil consciousness that makes us desire to take a brother out at the glance of an eye.
We are now doing the job of the KKK. Youth have told me when they get bored they get their guns, get in their cars and ride through the hood killing nigguhs.
We fulfill the Willie Lynch letter or as I say, we are Yacub's children playing with steel: guns and cars. Spiritual consciousness is the only way out of our morass—fa salli lirabbika: so pray to your Lord.
Why are you not angry at the white man, surely he has wronged you worse than your black brother. But you dare not touch the white man in your cowardice and punkism.
You are ready to kill your brother if he looks at your woman, but why you got her out with the crack of her behind showing? We know you angry because daddy was never there, and maybe mama wasn't either. Get over it, accept the pain—it's called growing up. What did Langston Hughes say, "Life ain't been no crystal stair." Ain't been paradise for none of us, not in 400 years.
Embrace your brother with love. There is no other way. This is a thinking man's game. See the film Animal. You must think your way out of this madness.
Partner Violence and Spirituality
By Marvin X
"I beat her because she loved me."— mx
Any semblance of partner or domestic violence is antithetical to spirituality. No person who beats another can claim spiritual consciousness, rather they should claim animal consciousness. And no matter what any scripture says, I say domestic violence or partner violence must be outlawed totally and absolutely, no matter where it exists anywhere on the planet earth, simply because it does no good whatsoever, and ultimately drains the sand out the hour glass of love and respect between human beings.
It has a traumatic effect on the mate and children, thus it must be avoided at all cost. To beat another human being is the height of savagery and men, in particular, must rise above savagery and step up to their divinity.
I speak as one who was such a savage and it was all to no avail. In the end, the sand was indeed drained out of the hour glass of love and respect. I subjected my family to great pain, literally, and suffering, and many times it was due to my altered state of mind, i.e., drugs and alcohol. Too much domestic and partner violence is initiated when one or both partners are in an altered state of mind, so we must be advised to check yourself before you wreck yourself. You know the ritual: even before the first drink someone is angry, then the drink, then another and another until the wrong word is said and its on. But the alcohol was the devil who forced up old issues that were supposedly resolved, old pain, wounds, treachery, sexual improprieties, money, anything, even jealousy between mates, or some other evil thought or suggestion due to the altered state of mind. Yes, loose lip sink ships, and we can be very loose with the devil juice or some other drug that diminishes any possibility of anger management.
Before we know, what started out as a beautiful evening turns into a nightmare: blood is flowing, bones broken, police in the house, somebody goes to jail, another goes to the hospital or morgue, children are taken to child protective services. The mental damage is irreparable.
I wrote a play (In the Name of Love) about my madness which my ex-wife and daughter came to see. After the play my daughter asked me why did I need to tell all that stuff about how I beat her mother. I told her it was for the healing of myself and the community.
Years later I gave a reading and my ex-wife was there. A poet requested I read the poem about domestic violence (Confession of An Ex-wife Beater, see Dr. Julia Hare's How to Find A BWM, chapter, The Violent Male) that was in the play. At first I resisted because the poem had been in the play that my wife and daughter had seen, and since my ex had come to the reading to support me, I certainly didn't want to upset her. But the poet insisted I read the poem, so I did. And it did indeed upset my ex--when we got to her house, she claimed she'd never heard the poem before. I couldn't convince her that she had, and furthermore, she said I had never apologized for beating her, so I apologized, and of course it ruined our evening since her suppressed memory was jolted. But some healing occurred so I thank the poet for forcing me to read the poem, Lamont Steptoe.
We can't imagine what we do to each others psyche with partner violence, let alone what it does to us physically. And things go from bad to worse, so if we don't' get started we won't need to stop.
I suggest therapy at the first sign of physical violence because it is possible to save relationships with therapy before police or relatives intervene.
Dr. Nathan Hare suggests couples need not break up due to violence, but I say it is unacceptable and must not occur for one moment because things go from bad to worse, and certainly, people professing spiritual consciousness must be above physical abuse, although emotional and verbal abuse is just as bad.
We are a people in need of much healing before we can come together, far too many times we come together and don't know a damn thing about each other, then all hell breaks loose, we discover we're in the house with a monster, a devil, a beast. Then we have babies by the monster, the beast. And it's possible we're both monsters, neither one can claim a clean bill of health.
But let us renounce violence at the outset, then proceed to process the emotional issues, since we know we come together far from a state of divinity and have much healing work to do before we can claim spirituality.
Pimpin and Spirituality
By Marvin X
I am not a pimp. I am a hustler, sometimes a trick. A hustler waits for no one to bring his money, he gets his own. It is beneath his dignity to wait or depend on a woman or anyone to get his hustle going. All he needs is product, almost anything will do, even a roll of toilet paper he can hustle. But the pimp's thing is women, he considers himself their manager and they consider him the same, usually by mutual agreement, often by torture, kidnapping and exploitation, including mind control, deprivation of sleep, food and isolation.
Having never been a pimp, I cannot speak with total authority, although I have been around pimps off and on my entire life, from growing up on 7th Street in Oakland to hanging with pimps in New York. My brother's claim to fame is pimping. He never desired anything else in life but pimping, as a result his life has been pimping and prison, nothing else. I have been deprived of his brotherly love because of his pimping and prison life.
Many of my friends were pimps, including some of my Muslim brothers who said they made their ho's make salat or prayer before they went out on the stroll. I was around Muslim pimps on the east coast who had their women selling bean pies and whoring to buy Crack.
More recently I had the pleasure of meeting several pimps-in-recovery at my theatre in San Francisco's Tenderloin district when we produced the Black Radical Book Fair in 2004. The pimps included Fillmore Slim, Gansta Brown, Jimmy Starr and Rosebud Bitterdose. They claim to have given up pimpin and have indeed written books and films on the gospel of the game.
In the case of Fillmore Slim, he is still greatly respected as the godfather of pimpin, especially on the West coast. He hooked up with me to see if I could help him get the message to young people that pimpin ain't easy and there's a price to be in the game. If you willing to pay the price, then go for it, but just know you are going to pay. Fillmore paid with several prison terms.
He says these young brothers call themselves pimpin but ain't hardly pimpin, ain't doing nothing but messin up the game. Don't have no style, no class. If you saw the BET awards last night, Prince was the only artist with class, the others looked like bums and derelicts, especially the hip hop brothers. As Fillmore said about young pimps, they don't know how to dress. And he said they most certainly don't know how to treat a lady. They want to beat women. He said they don't understand if they don't beat her, she might come back. They want to kill another nigguh if she runs off with him. This ain't part of the game. Don't be killing people, he said, like you own the woman. You don't own nobody. When she choose you, she with you, when she choose somebody else, let her go. Fillmore said these young nigguhs act like they in love. And keep a night job, he says, because pimpin ain't easy.
Young brothers so close up on the ho a trick can't get to her. And the nigguh look more like a woman than the woman. You don't know who to turn a date with, the pimp or the ho. He got earrings in both ears, blond hair and pants hangin off his behind, living at his mama's house, pimpin on a bicycle. Nigguh please.
Pimp like Bush. Get you a real ho like Condi Rice that can ho all over the world, that can serve presidents, prime ministers, generals. Dr. Bey used to say, "If you going to do something, do it in a big way." Some would say Dr. Bey did right and wrong in a big way (may he rest in peace). And my daddy said, "If you gonna be something, be the best."
The white man is the world's greatest pimp: he pimpin you and yo woman, but you don't have a clue. On BET last night he pimped some of our greatest artists, had them parading as nothing but naked whores.
Nigguh pimps got babies on the street, eleven, twelve and thirteen. What they know about ho'in? They don't know how to put a rubber on a nigguh, let alone give head. They need to be in school. Get their GED. And the pimp needs to go with them to get his. Imagine the social consequences of over a million children dropping out of school each year, over 50% of them. Society, including the school, the religious community and the politicians are responsible for children choosing the pimp life, especially when our nation needs scientists and engineers if we are to have a future beyond pimpin and whoring.