Saturday, October 13, 2007

Marvin X Turns White

Midway through the opening monologue of his Pan African Mental Health Peer Group to recover from the addiction to white supremacy, Dr. M shocked the audience by telling them he was turning white. To audience shock and laughter, he applied white makeup to his black skin. It was comic relief for his very serious remarks on the scourge of white supremacy, a drug that is literally killing us. Although musicians were present, he only called upon percussionist Tacuma King to accompany him, after which he said it was not about him but an opportunity for audience discussion. He began reading Step 7 from his book HOW TO RECOVER FROM THE ADDICTION TO WHITE SUPREMACY. The first comment was from Imam Ben Muhammad who sought to clarify use of the term Higher Power, suggesting it was good to use such terms because it avoided a drift into dogmatism and sectarianism. He noted that by degrees we are raised to the Higher Power, although such power resides in each and every one of us. The task is to plug into the source. Phavia, poet, musician, scholar, who came with an edited version of her book on racism, noted how we are duped into individualism. When Dr. M told how his white agent said he was not trying to recover from the addiction to white supremacy, nor were his friends, Phavia said listen to the "we" in the agent's comments. "We are not trying to recover." "African people are stuck on the I, never getting to the We. It's my car, my house, never about our car, our house, or this is our building for all of us, as in communalism, rather we are stuck in individualism while the enemy thinks as a group."

Dr. M told how a mentally ill woman had attacked a white man downtown Oakland at 14th and Broadway. She hit the white man while black men stood watching, and then called him bitch. Then she crossed the street and did the boogaloo to music from a passing car. Now we know New York City Councilman Charles Barron has suggested every black man hit a white man for our mental health. But it is interesting that the black woman hit the white man while black men stood watching. Even in her madness, the black woman knew who to hit--her's was not the misplaced aggression that most black men are guilty of when they killing each other on a daily basis throughout this land. Of course fear is the real enemy. Dr. M wanted to read Step 1 from his book which deals with fear but allowed the discussion to continue. A brother told of spending ten years in prison before he learned crime is not the way to success, rather he has learned to be an entrepreneur and says there is plenty of way to not become a wage slave to white supremacy, one need only do a little thinking to figure out what goods and services are needed by our community, such as mentoring and tutoring our children. Tacuma King told how he has taught children music for years as an independent contractor.

Brother Abdul, Dr. M's patron of the arts, commented on what one must do to stay economically free of white supremacy and become rich as he has done. "You must have self respect, dignity and honesty. All money ain't good money. I am not trying to do anything that will get me put into the criminal justice system. I have tried to help many people, Dr. M is one example, but my heart is in pain because I know if I tell brothers to meet me in the morning to make some money most of them will not show up."

Dr. M noted that as a result, before we can get rich or economically independent, we must be purged of our white supremacy behavior--yes, even before we can become rich with love for each other. We must detox from the spell and charm of white supremacy." Abdul added that becoming rich takes discipline and focus, staying the course no matter how rough things get.

Brother Ptah said he is thankful to have Dr. M and Abdul as elders to guide him, and also the female elders so he can stay balanced. Yes, he said, it is difficult to think independently and he must remind himself a wage slave job is submission to white supremacy.

The next session of the Pan African Mental Health Peer Group is Friday, November 2, 7pm at the Berkeley Black Repertory Group Theatre, 3201 Adeline Street. (One block south of the Berkeley BART.) Admission is $25.00 (includes copy of HOW TO RECOVER FROM THE ADDICTION TO WHITE SUPREMACY BY DR. M and refreshments). Call 510.355-6339 for more information on how you can recover from the addiction to white supremacy.

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