Two weeks before the election, I was in Ferguson, MO with one of my BMB St. Louis brothers. It was the middle of the day and we just finished training when, stopped at a light, I saw two young niggas pull their straps as they tried to fire into our vehicle. One had an AR-15 and the other was armed with a handgun, it looked like a nine millimeter.
This was an attempt on our lives, but just like all other opportunities to stop the real, they failed. We didn’t know the young men who aimed to kill us, we don’t know if they were sent, or if they were trying to get us on their own volition, but we lived to see another day and that’s what matters most. I’ve refused to discuss the situation publicly until now because it holds no variance on the things we’re doing to transform our communities.
“As long as my people don’t have their rights across America, there’s no reason for celebration.”
-Marsha P. Johnson
Most people in the circles I frequent don’t contact me until I say something that offends them or if they think my safety is endangered. My humanity exists in some very linear spaces for most people I know. It’s almost as if they expect me to die or go to jail while others posterize our cries for freedom through memes of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris fist bumping.
“Keep it civil,” they say. “Keep it humane.”
Meanwhile the people who see what’s really going on are antagonized for speaking their truths.
We’re surrounded by Obama-Shakurs, people who’ve read Assata and can quote her with their eyes closed but are innately uncomfortable with flipping the bird at the status quo. “Black and proud,” they say. “Freedom is non negotiable,” they claim. Yet confrontation with the state unsettles their souls.
I live in a state where a Black man owning a gun is more important than the name he selects on the ballot. Voting moves the needle but never more so than joining or building an organization.
Political ideology matters, and the differences exposed through these ideas matters too. I know white boys whose everyday political line reflects mine more so than most of the Black people in my life. And this isn’t a soft pivot towards forgiveness for whiteness and the oppression forced on us. The truth is, I told y’all a long time ago, I don’t have no love for Black colonial styled imperial power. If I had it my way all of them would do 400 years in prison for their war crimes against humanity.
I don’t diss Kamala Harris because she’s a Womxn—I disrespect her because she’s an oligarch.
I had her and Biden pegged to win it all back during the primary. I liked Bernie Sanders, but he was scared of the ghetto—or he mistakenly listened to the folks who told him he didn’t need the Black vote to win the primary. He was a fake tough guy and it all fell apart when he had to look the real establishment in the face and resist. And what does it say about our current system that a 79-year-old white man is the main voice of dissent in this country?
The Struggle Continues
Now for the next four years, I’ll be slandering the hell out of both Biden and Harris with no shame in my game, just like I did Obama and Trump, unless they miraculously become the first administration that acts with any kind of decency towards the people at large. We must remember that even with a record-breaking turnout in the 2020 election – where 76.3 million people voted for Biden and 71.4 million voted for Trump – there are around 250 million U.S. citizens over the age of 18. That means more than 100 million people effectively said the election doesn’t matter to them. That regardless of who is president, their material conditions will not change in the slightest.
I don’t live in New York; I stay in Ferguson. I’m not from Hollywood, I don’t know much about political correctness. But I do know a lot about hard times and poverty. I also know a whole lot about prosecutors locking up Black niggas like me for nothing. Trump is leaving the White House one way or another and now we know who we gotta fight next.
So, while most people celebrate, my Black self has been clocking in for work because that silly ass crime bill backed by Biden and the wack ass United States prosecutor’s office run by Harris left so many brothers fragile and broken that as excited as I am to see Trump evicted from the White House, I can’t be celebrating this election as a win.
Words vs. Actions
You turned me into this piece of shattered glass and now it’s all good?
As the victim of your crimes I say — Nah, it’s not.
And every day, I’ll be as disrespectful as possible, so if you don’t like it? Guess what? This slave ship right here ain’t yours . . . it’s been hijacked by some real niggas and sisters who bust they guns too. And don’t quote no Malcolm X in front of us while proceeding to praise a person who would’ve got their throat slit by Queen Nzingha and her armies.
I don’t dislike Joe Biden because he’s a Democrat, I dislike him because from the day I was born there has never been any form of respect or understanding required for us to exchange from. You can’t bring a casket onstage during a rap battle and ask me to respect my challenger. The motherfucker brought an actual casket in here and left our faces on the front page of the goddamn obituaries and then demanded our support and energy.
I’m from the slums and I don’t care about the humanity of any politician who disrespects mine. Whoever sits in the executive chair of the POTUS is the person who will administer the heavy smoke to my people. Some are more compassionate than others for the sake of occupational advancement but let’s be clear on our public stance . . . I’m not angry, I’m not upset – I’m real and I’m tired of people telling me to be careful. I’m sick of the erasure of the poor. I refuse to spend this lifetime paralyzed, denying the facts because deep down I’m afraid of the possibility of a real revolution. Casual change puts us all on the fast track for dressed up cowardice to manipulate our good intentions.
My Opps Are Your Opps
I wonder how many of us would prefer to be the people who showed up to mop Fred Hampton’s blood and cry crocodile tears rather than trying to protect him? And don’t ask me to speak highly of any Black person Harriet Tubman would have shot in the face. Obama gave birth to the Black imperialist power spectrum; now, you can bomb African people who don’t speak English and scream Black Power at the same damn time.
In the activist world, anyone who dares to actually be outside with “the people” is destined to be labeled a so-called “street nigga.” Meanwhile the true to life street niggers don’t even know who the new “massa” is because y’all keep moving the goal line. The realities of the middle-class clash with the yellow teeth of the rebels who can’t bear to stay inside the house because it’s burning.
The Vice President Elect is a powerful well accomplished, extremely competent Black Womxn and she has made history, but her political allies are the FBI, CIA, NSA, and Homeland Security. Those are my opps. The type of motherfuckers who would lock me up for even typing this.
“Hold me close my sister, protect me as I protect you!”
Our first published works here at The Boycott Times will be from some of the smartest Black Womxn on the planet. The revolution has always been stabilized by Black Womxn who don’t give a fuck about your feelings. Like them, my strategic vote doesn’t come equipped with celebratory praise for my enemies.
If you had it confused about what this is, then let me say it a little more clear for the people in the back:
“Fuck them and everything they stand for. Y’all selected a leader, but me and mine selected our next opposition.”
And somehow, I don’t hate Joe and Kamala. A righteous man can’t hold that type of energy towards a set of human beings. But I do hate the team they represent. Whether it be Obama, the Clinton family, the Bush family, Trump . . . they ALL represent the same damn thing. Money over life. And that’s just not me, I will Boycott the system that enslaved and murdered my ancestors until the day that we are all set free.
Tef PoeTef Poe is an emcee and educator from St. Louis, who serves as the Executive Director of The Boycott Times. He co-founded the Hands Up United movement and is an advocate for grassroots movements in radical justice around the world. He has garnered two prestigious fellowships from Harvard University, the Nasir Jones Hiphop Fellowship and the American Democracy Fellowship. Tef is an award-winning journalist who has written for Time Magazine, NewsOne, BBC, and is currently finishing his memoir, Rebel to America.