Erotic provocateur, racially-influenced humanist, relentless champion for the oppressed, and facilitator for social change, Scottie Lowe is the brain child, creative genius and the blood, sweat, and tears behind AfroerotiK. Intended to be part academic, part educational, and part sensual, she, yes SHE gave birth to the website to provide people of African descent a place to escape the narrow-mined, stereotypical, limiting and oft-times degrading beliefs that abound about our sexuality. No, not all Black men are driven by lust by white flesh or to create babies and walk away. No, not all Black women are promiscuous welfare queens. And as hard as it may be to believe, no, not all gay Black men are feminine, down low, or HIV positive. Scottie is putting everything on the table to discuss, debate, and dismantle stereotypes in a healthy exchange of ideas. She hopes to provide a more holistic, informed, and enlightened discussion of Black sexuality and dreams of helping couples be more open, honest, and adventurous in their relationships.

Tuesday, August 04, 2015

The Lion Sleeps Tonight

It’s hard to believe that it’s now been 20 years since I used to watch The Lion King every day with my two and a half year old cousin.  We watched The Lion King like she was studying it for her Master’s thesis.  We would watch The Lion King three or four times a day.  “Watch it again, Miss Avity!  Avity!  Watch it again!”  We sang the songs together, we did the dances; suffice it to say that I was extremely knowledgeable about that movie.  Every time we watched it, every single solitary time, she would ask me some existential, philosophical, metaphysical question that a 2 year old should not have even been able to ask.  She asked questions that I couldn’t answer and that would have me stumped as to how to respond.  I would struggle to explain to this beautiful, inquisitive little girl about the concepts of life, death, and morality and how it all wove together in a movie about a damn lion.

Here I am today, two decades later, and I’m still very much struggling with the concepts of life and death and morality as it pertains to Simba’s cousin, Cecil.  (You didn’t see him in the movie?  He didn’t have a speaking role so it was easy to miss him. He was the one that had black on his mane.)    Anyway, Cecil the Lion was a “famous” lion who was hunted and killed as a part of a blood-sport safari package.  His killer, Walter Palmer, is a dentist from Minnesota who paid $50,000 for the thrill of killing Cecil.   I must, out of necessity, put the word famous in quotes because Cecil wasn’t really famous.  It wasn’t like he was a Barnum & Bailey star performer that millions of people had grown up loving; he wasn’t the lion that ate Siegfried.  Or was that Roy?  Anyway, he didn’t have his own reality show; he wasn’t on a t-shirt.  He wasn’t the latest toy craze he; didn’t have a stuffed animal fashioned after him that parents had to get their children because they were having meltdowns in Toyz R’ Us.  Cecil wasn’t even on social media.  He didn’t have a Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook page; there were no memes with Cecil’s image that had gone viral.  The nation is mourning a lion that . . . 99.9% of the people in this country had never heard of before his death, in a country that 95% of the people can’t find on a map if you paid them.  But, oh, poor Cecil.  Oh the horror, oh the tragedy.  Posthumously, Cecil has become the nation’s golden child.  Their outrage and fury have reached a fevered pitch over the death of poor Cecil that is unparalleled. 

Walter Palmer is a wanted man.  Everyone is out for his blood.  Every conceivable form of social media has got him in their crosshairs.  He’s had to shut down his dentistry, he’s in fear for his life; there is even talk of extraditing him back to Zimbabwe to have him prosecuted.  Celebrities are speaking out, people are crying.  Walter Palmer is the most hated man in America. 

I will tell you this, and of this I am 100% positive, if Walter Palmer had killed a Black man in cold-blooded murder, all caught on video, right here in these United States of America, he would be a national hero right now.  He would have a GoFundMe account where people would donate millions of dollars to him.  He would be the bastard love child of Fox News and the NRA.  White people would be OUTRAGED if there was talk of prosecuting him.  People would find ways to excuse his actions as long as his victim was a Black man.  People would be chanting his name, only this time, it would be to hoist him on their collective shoulders and cheer him on as not only innocent, but justified in his actions. 

White America cheers when a Black person is murdered in cold blood.  They celebrate it.  Every day in a national holiday when a Black person is killed in this country because it’s always their fault.   They shouldn’t have been so uppity.  They shouldn’t have been so menacing.  They shouldn’t have resisted.  They shouldn’t have been walking in a neighborhood they didn’t belong.  They shouldn’t have been playing in the park or buying a toy in Wal-mart.  Clearly, he shouldn’t have been running away or working on his own car in his own driveway.  She shouldn’t have been sleeping on the sofa or asking for help for her broken car.  They shouldn’t have been driving without a license or had a broken tail light because those are crimes punishable and justifiable by death.  They shouldn’t have been arrested 20 years ago.  In essence, they shouldn’t have been a NIGGER. 

The murderers of Eric Garner didn't get indicted. The coroner ruled his death a homicide and no one was held accountable for his death. The police department turned their backs on the Mayor for asking for further accountability after the incident. People posted pictures of themselves wearing t-shirts saying, "I Can Breathe," they posted videos of themselves being choked like it was funny. LEGIONS of white people posted online, justifying the murder of Eric Garner for resisting arrest, saying he shouldn't have been selling cigarettes, saying he was fat and it was his fault. Yeah, but poor Cecil the Lion though.

Walter Palmer’s life is in ruin.  He was forced to issue a lie, I mean an apology saying that he didn’t realize that he had killed a protected animal and how very sorry he was.  Conversely, Darren Wilson said he would kill Mike Brown again if he had to do it all over.  He wasn't even the tiniest bit apologetic.  He retired from the Ferguson Police Department amidst rumors that he had in excess of a million dollars donated to his defense fund.  A fund, incidentally, that he never had to use because he was never even indicted.  His flimsy story, contradicted by every eye-witness, even by the autopsy report, was never questioned by John W. Public.  (I’ll give you two guesses what the W stands for.)  The public swallowed it hook, lie, and sinker.  White people went so far as to photoshop pictures of Darren Wilson making him look bloody and bruised when in actuality, all he had was a case of rosacea.  White America said that Mike Brown DESERVED to die because he stole some cigars.  No, this isn’t 1815 when Black men were killed for minor offenses all the time, when whites would kill niggers for any tiny infraction.  I want you to listen very closely to what white people are trying to say.  White people are boldly proclaiming, loud and clear, that they want to go back to the good old days when they could murder Blacks for offending their lily-white sensibilities.   Being Black in America is a crime.  Being poor in America is a crime.  Being under-educated and unemployed in this country is a crime punishable by death. 

George Zimmerman has shown the world time and time again that he’s volatile and unstable, that he’s actually a thug.  But the overwhelming number of white people believe that he was justified in killing Trayvon Martin because he was in fear for his life, intimidated by the big, Black man who clearly was not where he was supposed to be.  Lions are predators.  They are one of the most vicious animals on the planet.  They kill for food, they kill for territory, they kill for control.  Where are the tweets about how Cecil deserved to die, how he was a threat, where is the defense of Walter Palmer for killing a threat to society? 

Black lives don’t matter.  Racism is not in the past, don’t let it go.  Racism is alive, well, racism is flourishing and thriving with the help of Fox News, the anonymity of the internet, and the unabated ego of white people.  The evidence is there, as plain as day, that white people loathe Black people, they value animal life more than Black human lives.  Kid yourself if you want, delude yourself into believing that the presence of a Black President or interracial relationships symbolize the end of racism, that the playing field is level in some way but I promise you that there are white people in relationships with Black partners and people who voted for Obama who have justified and excused the murder of Black lives in this country because the victims weren’t educated enough, weren’t assimilated enough, weren’t “white” enough.  And I can promise you, that some of the loudest and most virulent and repulsive racist voices, those espousing the most heinous and prejudiced beliefs are the very same people OBSESSED with Black sexuality in secret. 

I went to an exhibition on lynching once.  It showed pictures of white people gathered around corpses of burning, dismembered Black bodies, smiling and happy like it was a day at the fair.  White people used to send out invitations to lynchings, they sent out postcards with pictures of Black people hanged like charcoal piƱatas.  White people would put the severed genitalia of Black men on display in jars of the people they murdered.   If that isn’t the height of racism, if that isn’t the epitome of arrogance, I really don’t know what is.  Racism is deeply-ingrained in American culture and nothing has changed.   We are still hated, vilified, and stalked like prey, like wild game on a safari.  Am I supposed to believe that the same people who dress up like Trayvon Martin for Halloween and who troll Black websites to call Black people niggers are not the same people who would take selfies of themselves in front of the mutilated bodies of Black people today?   

I would like to conclude by saying that hunting for sport is nothing less than barbaric and should be outlawed in every corner of the planet.  Anyone who finds pleasure, entertainment, or enjoyment from killing is a sociopath and needs to be kept away from society for the collective safety of the entire animal kingdom, human beings included.  If there is one thing I’ve learned from this event, one existential question about life, death, and morality that I can now answer with certainty and authority, is that Black lives don’t mean a god damn thing in this country other than expendable entertainment for the racist, white masses. 

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