#MNR: The Re-education of Ty Monday
“My mental is excelling cuz I dabble in the books.”
“He simply wishes to make it possible for a man to be both a Negro and an American, without being cursed and spit upon by his fellows, without having the doors of Opportunity closed roughly in his face.”
William Edward Burghardt Du Bois
I know my ratchet followers (whom I love dearly and accept with open arms) want the ignorant Monday to drop more often. I hear y’all thoughts. “All that knowledge and wisdom is cool bro, but we ain’t come here for all that shit my nigga.” I can dig it. Trust. Gimme a minute to talk to my enlightened folk. They want a word to munch on too. And I can’t mix the ratchet with the godly so I’m not gon attempt to fuse the two in one blog. Hang on tight, niggas. I got you. For now, take a two-on-two of knowledge through your nostrils and into your brain cavity.
I should have listened to my mother and took my dumb ass to grad school directly after college. I didn’t (fuck the reason why; it’s merely an excuse), and I am not currently in a position financially to be able to attend. Moreover, I’m trying to get my ducks in a row so Brandi and I can purchase property inside of four years, so that’s where my financial priorities are directed. Yet, [Black] Political Theory has intrigued me since university with the great Eric S. King, the man who taught me the subject from the ground up. Add a sprinkle of Professor Tola Merid with State and Local Government and The Politics of Social Welfare with the benevolent R. Kirk Jonas, and I was blessed with the foundation for pertinent analysis in the field of politics. I said all that to let you know I am well rounded and astute in the field of politics, but a graduate degree in Political Theory would be paramount. Unfortunately, that’s not in the plans at the moment. But what I have chosen to do is put myself through “Poor Man’s Grad School”, a concept I adapted from my brother @brotherfuture94 (Warin). I don’t have the financial means to matriculate, but I do have the money to purchase particular pertinent pieces of literature (try saying that three times in a row). I also have the power to not only read the text, but to also study the text (highlighter and dictionary within reach). This means I have the ability to interpret and master my studies. Then I will have the utmost confidence to hold my own against ANY so-called expert, and I can talk my shit.
Now, I’m not asking anyone to turn into Johnny Scholar, nor am I trying to shame your ignorant, dumb ass for not reading anything beyond street signs and ingredients. What I am saying is that we have the means and ability to become masters of any field. Modern technology has awarded us the opportunity to quench the thirst for knowledge that until recently was inconceivable to many. Google can become your professor, granted you research credible sources. But once again, the key to it all is what you put into it. We cannot ascend without education. I’m re-reading The Souls of Black Folk by the great W.E.B. Du Bois, and it’s bringing me back to the ideals I learned long ago. The main question that has been in play since desegregation has been, “What will it take for us to rise up?” Unfortunately, the answer is layered, complex, and virtually impossible to answer with precision. There is a shopping list of things we need to do as a race to ascend, but it all begins with education. My O.G. told me, “if you know better, you’ll do better.” Applied knowledge is power. Do all the learning you can do while you’re in the classroom, then continue to learn once you’ve left the physical classroom and entered the omnipresent classroom of adult life. It’s never ending. Then apply that knowledge to your everyday life in a manner that will be beneficial to you as well as your tribe (each one teach one). A lot of us don’t even know who we are or the greatness that we have evolved from. That’s where the learning should begin. Then learn this country’s political and economic systems. Then figure out how you are going to carve your niche. The ultimate level of ascension is when we’ve made it and we pool our resources and talent together to form our own conglomerates which will allow us in mass to help our downtrodden and underprivileged. That’s it. We can fancy it up with multisyllabic words to make it more ornate, but that’s the crux of the plan.
I have the utmost respect for my younger Black folk out there, man and woman alike and equally. I love the hunger you have for change. The things I have seen in the past half year have shown me that you are capable of leaving this planet in a much better place than the one you inherited. I said it before that we have seen more change in the past few months than we as a race have seen in forever. I defend my statement by asking that you view it through lenses of relativity. No, there was no Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka (school desegregation), Civil Rights Act of 1964, or Voter’s Rights Act of 1965, but there was a reckoning that forced many institutions and businesses with long and extensive records of discrimination to not only admit but to also atone for their centuries and decades of wrongdoing. This reckoning did not come from singing “We Shall Overcome” and marching across bridges. It came from taking it to the streets. Some nights in some cities were darker than others. At times, blood was shed. But it was purposeful. Again, you have my respect and support. But I am troubled when I’m on Twitter and I read some of my brothers and sisters dogging key figures in this movement for life that began long ago and continues to this day. Example: I read a thread of young Black folk trashing the late Senator John Lewis (D-Ga) while he was still alive for a statement he made concerning the physical abuse he suffered at the hands of the PIGS on the Selma Bridge along with 57 others on 3.7.1965. The statement made it seem as if he were thanking the PIGS for beating the dog shit out of him. I can agree with my folk in that the quote sounded crazy AF. But I can also add perspective to the statement, perspective that comes from having existed on this earth and experienced more than my younger brothers and sisters have. I know y’all TTG. Shit, we raised y’all to be that way. Y’all got it honest. But you have to add perspective to his statement and respect to him and others who walked alongside him across that bridge and in spirit throughout the Civil Rights Movement. The passive resistance of peaceful protests like marches, boycotts, and sit-ins seem passé today, but back then they were even more revolutionary than what we see today. The rights of a Black person were waaaaaaaaaaaay more limited back then they are now. That goes without saying. But maybe should be said because it has been excluded from the conversation these days. A mere glance and alleged whistle could have resulted in being lynched and cast in a river. Ask the family of Emmett Till. You think the court system is shitty now? LMMFAO. Research the term “kangaroo court” and get back with me. You have no idea. The simple act of sitting at a lunch counter in Woolworth’s to get a coffee and slice of pie could have resulted in you getting spit on and the mother fuck beaten out of you. Marching down a public street could have gotten a water hose turned on you or a PIG K-9 let loose on your Black ass. I won’t even delve into policy because you can’t even fathom the laws and institutions that were in place to keep us in the garbage can. The brave YOUNG Black folk back then had so much more to lose for doing the things you dispel as weak. I put the word “young” in all caps for a reason. Imagine how a Black parent felt when their son or daughter told them that they planned to go to Woolworth’s for lunch or that they decided to spend their summer as a Freedom Rider down Mississippi. Imagine telling your grandmother before church that you planned to march down Main Street in protest against the man right after service. They literally risked EVERYTHING. So, instead of talking crazy about them and belittling their mighty contributions to your life, uplift them and add the statement to your manifesto that says you are building off of the contributions of so many brave folk who came before you. Please. I implore you.
That’s the fat and the skinny. If you can’t dig that, you can’t dig it period. But that’s on you. I have my suspicion that most of y’all talking that Tough Tony the Revolutionary shit are frauds anyway. Instead of talking about it, be about it. And if you do, I’ll be the first to give you your just do. It’s that simple.
That’s my time y’all. Smoke sum’n withcha kinfolk. I’m a see you when I see you, unless you see me first.
P.S. I met the late Senator John Lewis. I shook his hand and looked him in the eye. We enjoyed a brief conversation. He was a good man. Leave him alone.