This should go without saying, but inclusion is not equality. If I had a nickel for every time I saw my Black brothers and sisters online, on television, or in magazines, in an outrage for not being included – I’d have enough to buy 40 acres and a mule. They say they want equality, but equality isn’t winning awards given out by Whites, being on television shows created by Whites, or not being included on a list of recognition constructed by Whites. Equality would be having our own outlets to better represent ourselves (we have a few).
Malcolm X said:
“If you can’t do it for yourself, what the white man is doing for himself, don’t say you’re equal with the white man. If you can’t set up a factory like he sets up a factory don’t talk that old equality talk.”
I agree wholeheartedly. Equality isn’t us being able to play in a game they created, or to be a part of movements they created. We can fight and fight to be included (still not equal), and if we are finally let in, we still won’t be seen as equals. If anything, it will build animosity and/or have us looked at in pity, as charity cases. I don’t want to be pitied, I want to be respected.
Imagine yourself on the sideline of a basketball court all day. On this sideline, you’re watching Michael Jordan in his prime playing one on one basketball with all worthy contenders and beating them. You watch him as he plays against Dominique Wilkins, Reggie Miller, and Joe Dumars, all people who have earned their respect on their own basketball courts to play against him. Then you, the spectator, walks on the court and challenges Michael Jordan. You very well could be a better ball player than him, even though he doesn’t know it. Instead of you going to a different court and earning your own name and becoming a known contender, you whine and talk about how you’ve been watching him all day and deserve a shot. If he accepts your challenge, you still aren’t seen as equal to him or his other contenders. You didn’t earn equality, you only earned inclusion. Even if you win, you don’t win, because others will say you didn’t earn it, you were pitied. If you win, they most likely will say “he let you win to make things fair”. You may beat him, but it will still be his court and you still don’t have one of your own. What is fair? What is equality? What is inclusion?
I, Nova Sankofa, don’t want to be included. I want to be equal. I want to be equal in every way. You will never see me or anyone who thinks similarly to me in the cold, picketing to the White man to be hired and used by a job he created. You will never see me attach myself to a movement not designed for me to only cry to them because I’m being treated unfairly in that movement. You will never see me cry about schools being closed down that only poison our childrens’ minds with eurocentric and White supremacist teachings anyway. You will see me trying to align myself with others to create our own jobs that sustain our communities and families. You will see me working with other people and organizations that have my best interests at heart and I don’t have to compromise my integrity for. You will see me trying in each and every way to diversify curriculums being taught in schools and eventually creating our own schools.
WE DON’T WANT TO BE INCLUDED. WE WANT TO BE EQUAL.
This is Part 2