An Open Letter to Black Men
Dear Black men,
This past week revealed the undiminished ugliness in American society’s perception of you.
It was apparent when former Los Angeles City Council President Nury Martinez described a 2 year-old Black boy as a “little monkey” while fantasizing about giving the toddler a “beatdown.” And we saw it when, just a few days before, an obscene marketing campaign called ‘No Voting, No Vucking’ insisted, without any shame, on you being understood by society as a purely sexually-driven animal.
But it would be incorrect to say that we write to you in a state of disbelief, or shock, concerning the ridicule and outright indignity that you suffered as a result of these acts. After all, this past week was simply the naked expressions of the sort of prejudice that, in this country, has always tracked you from your infancy into your young adult years and beyond.
Not even would it be quite accurate to say that we write you in a state of righteous indignation. What has righteous indignation — that condition and default posture of pro-Black organizations in America for over half a century now — really yielded you in the way of having your basic dignity recognized by the rest of society? What have these organizations, with decades of their righteous anger, really done to meaningfully improve your prospects?
It is 2022. Look around and see the failed harvest of Black moral outrage.
At the American Descendants of Slavery Advocacy Foundation, we are post-angry; we are organized. And this is the state in which we write you. It is a state of readiness, of unity, and it is informed by a clear purpose. We are committed to shaping the conditions whereby America must do right by Black men well beyond this moment, beyond the necessary resignations of a few racist city council members.
Resign they must, but this is ultimately about power. And building the national apparatus to do the sort of politics that takes that power — rather than being helpless but to be outraged when that power defines you, as it has done now for so long — is what we are and will be doing here at the ADOS Advocacy Foundation until you are in control of your own political destiny in America.
Then, once that is done, we will only work harder to defend it.