Friday, January 8, 2016

The Definition of an Ankh Nigga

You are young, black, and you want to be successful in the world. You also see a lot of obstacles, and you want to overcome them, be a productive part of your community, and help uplift those after you, but you do NOT want to compromise your identity, your community’s identity. You don’t want to simply assimilate into mainstream society as if you’re a male angler fish attached to a female, melting away into the shiny, toothy beast that is American Society. You make it a point to be “woke”, to not just be complacent about BS you see in the world, to call it out, and to speak to it, all while trying to be an example to others to be a good man. Do all of that. You’ll make yourself and everyone around you proud. Just don’t become an Ankh Nigga.
I have been using the term “Ankh Nigga/Negro” a lot lately. White friends, you’re probably asking right now, “What is an ‘ankh n-word’? Can I say it using the real word and not ‘n-word’?” I will be happy to tell you, and hell no. You know exactly why. In fact, I just assume that your eyes can’t even see the word, that you automatically scan a page and see “n-word”, like some sort of race Predator vision.
I was going to explain what an Ankh Nigga is to the tune of Tupac Shakur’s “Definition of a Thug Nigga”, but given the subject matter, I thought it not appropriate to define to the tune of someone who was convicted of sexual assault.
An Ankh Nigga can easily be mistaken for a Conscious Brother. A Conscious Brother is a black man who studies up on more than just what they learn in school, who strive to enlighten their fellow black colleagues, who go out into the world and remind everyone of the greatness of black American culture, whether it be through activism, art, writing, or what-have-you. Ankh Niggas claim to do all this, and sometimes they actually do a few of these things, but at the same time think that their “enlightenment” and fight for their people includes disseminating false information that is easily researchable, defending absolutely everyone black man under public scrutiny (except for  Alan Keyes and Clarence Thomas) by way of conspiracy theories and rumor, and exalting black woman and putting them on pedestals as if they were fine China (they’d call it “fine Africa”) while at the same time being hyper-judgemental of their every move. If they don’t fit a narrow, civil rights saintly image, complete with afro halo, the Ankh Nigga will deem them trash. Ankh Niggas’ “Consciousness” is often at the expense of putting down everyone who is not a black heterosexual man, to include black women who don’t wear their hair naturally, homosexual and transexual people of color, and of course, The White Man™. It is as if they would be conscious, were it not for their abject misogyny, homophobia, and ultra-masculine heteronormativity.
Ankh Niggas are called this because of their penchant to be obsessed with Egyptian history and lore. There is an ankh somewhere on their body. A Conscious Brother might rock an Ankh, but he at least knows the many meanings of it, and he knows that the symbol was found in cultures as far as Mesopotamia and Persia. An Ankh Nigga will talk a big game about Africa, but his mental map of Africa is Egypt, and the Rest of It. A Conscious Brother can likely list off at least 45 of the 54 countries of Africa, and can likely tell you which of those countries has had a woman as head of state at least once. Ankh Niggas will throw out a few random Swahili terms, but likely knows little to nothing of Igbo, Yoruba, Congo, Fulani, or any other native African tongue that African American ancestors likely spoke. A Conscious Brother may not know many of these languages, but he can at least tell you from whence in Africa they came, beyond just The Rest of It. Ankh Niggas also have a few African masks in their houses, but on further inspection, you realize they got them from the deep jungles of Pier One Imports. Conscious Brothers may not have any African masks in his house, because depending on where he lives, the only way to acquire an authentic one would be to go through a dealer who may or may not have appropriated them fairly, and he does not want to participate in the black market that siphons away important pieces of culture to indigenous groups without knowing that it is explicitly consented by said group. Ankh Nigga’s kinte cloth may have a pattern like “Made in China” on it, but the Conscious Brother will order direct from Ivory Coast. Ankh Niggas and Conscious Brothers are the Goofus and Gallant of black activists.
Conscious Brothers look at a point in history and question the pristine view that usually prevails in history books. For example, a Conscious Brother might point out that Andrew Beard was a black engineer in 1897 who invented two significant improvements to the modern Janney Coupler for train cars. This made rail transportation safer and has been put into play for years to come. An Ankh Nigga may tell you that, but he will more than likely tell you that the wrench was invented by Joe Jackson while in prison, and they call it a “monkey wrench”, because The White Man™ wanted to insult the black inventor. First of all, it was Jack Johnson who invented a wrench while incarcerated, but not THE wrench. Yes, first black heavyweight boxing champion Jack Johnson invented something, Don’t underestimate the intellect of athletes. Second, Loring Coes invented the monkey wrench before Jack Johnson was champion of walking and feeding himself. All this is easily researchable, but since the bogus Jack Johnson story is one that canonizes a black man and vilifies The White Man™, the Ankh Nigga goes for the lie. The funny thing is that a real vilifying story is that Jack Johnson was arrested for having a relationship with a white woman, but that would mean the Ankh Nigga would have to acknowledge that a hero of American black history consorted with white people.
When speaking to women, a Conscious Brother may randomly use a term like “Sister”, or “ma’am”, or “miss”, or just use their goddamn names. An Ankh Nigga will speak of hoisting black women on pedestals and treating them like queens. He will claim to cherish his “black queen” beyond anyone. In fact, he will call a woman “Queen”, mostly in order to get in her pants, because that’s how you become one and enlightened too! The next day, though, he will talk shit about one woman’s perm, another one’s choice of dress, and another one’s profession, if it is not one of which the Ankh Nigga “approves”. He enjoys contrasting Angela Davis and Bree Newsome against Nikki Minaj or Gangsta Boo, because the latter talk about and flaunt their...assets...whenever they get a chance. You definitely want to exalt your civil rights leaders, but if you are doing so by shaming black women who show off their bodies, you’re doing it wrong. The Ankh Nigga will claim that the latter are not “real women”, because he feels that he is in a position to say who gets to be deemed a woman. No one has to like a certain type of music or patronize a strip club or ogle women in videoes, but owning and controlling one’s body and sexuality is a privilege that was taken away from women, especially black women. Black women have been treated like Hottentot Venuses even before Saartjie Baartman was born. Now, after a history of being controlled, they hold some power in what they should have always owned. I am not saying that black women who flaunt themselves, be they singers, actors, or adult performers, are intentionally taking back what was psychologically and physically taken from them for hundreds of years. They may not be Sexual Rosa Parks, but a woman owning and controlling what she does with her body deserves as much respect as a woman who climbed a flagpole to cut down an American Swastika from a state house lawn. Actually, they both deserve respect because they are both human, and you don’t know their personal history. Quit Ankhin’.
A Conscious Brother can see shards of his struggle for equal rights in other people’s struggle. He may not explicitly ally with other groups, but he doesn’t get in their way when they march, and he doesn’t say inane things like, “We can’t help anyone else until we get ours!” This is a bad practice for activism and sex, and in both cases, you will wind up sad and alone. The Ankh Nigga takes the Goofus approach, and in many cases, he puts down other people’s causes as invalid, saying that they will destroy his precious black community. Specific targets may be the LGBT community. We  all now know that gay people have been around since people have been around. They may only be 5-10% of the population, but to claim that they are tearing apart black families is ludicrous. Your family’s buying into the thought that homosexuals have some devious plan to turn everyone into a pink rhinoceros (or whatever the conspiracy is this week) is what is tearing apart the black family. The Ankh Nigga probably won’t admit that back in the time of Hannibal, sexuality was more fluid for both men and women, and today’s climate is slowly leaning back toward sexual fluidity. He will NEVER admit that Bayard Rustin, good friend and speech writer for Martin Luther King, Jr, was openly gay, and that he was an ardent activist in both black and gay rights movements. That would shatter the armor of his fragile, subjection-based masculinity. Speaking of fragile masculinity, the Ankh Nigga will most likely post and repost about #BlackLivesMatter, but he will never pick up a sign that says #TransLivesMatter, even though of the 20+ transgender women who were murdered in 2015, nearly all of them were black or brown women. I suppose #BlackLivesMatter, but only if they fit the Ankh Nigga’s binary view of gender and sexuality. This will explain why he will talk of the danger of Jaden Smith wearing a dress and how he’d beat his kid if he came out, yet he will not reconcile the fact that a lot of African cultures had unisex clothing, often consisting of a form of sarong, which is essentially an elaborate dress. His precious Egyptians didn’t even wear pants.
The Ankh Nigga will go on for days about how there are no positive images of black men on television, and how it is now frowned upon to be masculine, all because of a Homosexual Agenda®, and therefore we’re lost. That is because his masculinity is so delicate that anyone pointing out that he derives it from a point of chauvinism instead of actual brotherhood will be deemed an agent of the Homosexual Agenda®. It’s funny, because if his masculinity were actually strong, it would stand a few questions about from whence it came, and not depend on oppression of others. There are and were agendas that are detrimental to the black community that the Ankh Nigga claims to love so much. The redlining of communities prevented black families from getting homes in better neighborhoods, or even getting loans to attain said homes. This cordoned us off into specific communities where it was difficult to work and be stable. There is also the disparate rate of arrests and the harsher punishment of black men for certain crimes, especially nonviolent drug offenses. One cannot forget the effects of deliberately racist policies, like Jim Crow and chattel slavery. To this day, there are still people who think that black people are too stupid, lecherous, and/or physically strong to control. This feeds into the idea that we are so impervious that sometimes physicians will not prescribe us treatments for pain that they would for lighter hued people. They second-guess us at work, or are surprised when we get our work done on time. At worse\t, when we are unarmed and shot, a primary excuse is that we essentially looked “scary”, with Superman strength or animal powers. These are a few things that are ACTUALLY detrimental to the black community in America.  The Homosexual Agenda® did not perpetuate these myths, but the Ankh Nigga will continue maintain that the guy who likes to kiss guys is destroying his home. He also will not speak of the TRUE damage to African and African American societies in relation to homosexuality and gender non-conformity: adherence to religious interpretations fed to those communities by American and European missionaries that espouse hatred and death for all non-straight people. People are being lynched and burned alive in Rest of It, all fueled by the rhetoric of those missionaries who planted and cultivated a view of sexuality that made any binary outlier a tool of the Devil. The Ankh Nigga will not admit that this is the seed of his homophobia though; that would mean admitting that he received something from The White Man™.
The most annoying thing that the Ankh Nigga does is ardently defend every single black man who comes under any public scrutiny. In some cases, it is justified. Many of the clap aimed at Barack Obama deserves some clap back…perhaps not the drone strikes and not closing Guantanamo Bay after promising to do it in a year. However, some people need no ardent defense. When Dr. Benjamin Carson speaks, just let him speak. Critics of him are not criticizing him because he is a successful black doctor. They are criticizing him because he is either a liar, or despite his prowess at cutting people open, his is a fucking moron. The Ankh Nigga will ignore that Carson said that the Pyramids were really grain silos, even though nothing but dead people and their belongings were found in them. Being the source of the ankh, one would think that the Ankh Nigga would be more defensive of all things Egypt, but since a black man said it, he let it slide and go after the historians, who know what the hell they’re talking about. Any time a black man gets into legal trouble, the Ankh Nigga will defend him so hard. If a famous black man is in trouble, it MUST be a conspiracy concocted by The White Man™ to “keep the brother down”. It couldn’t possibly be that some successful black men make some mistakes. The White Man™ didn’t go undercover as pit bulls and convince Michael Vick to have them fight each other. He did that on his own. The White Man™ also didn’t disguise itself as Tiger Woods’ penis and have affairs to break up his marriage. The White Man™ didn’t force Michael Jordan to gamble, or give Magic Johnson HIV, or make Cee-Lo Green roofie that woman, or make Wesley Snipes evade taxes, or force Mike Tyson to beat up his wife or rape that woman. Most recently, The White Man™ did not convince 50 women from different walks of life to come forward and concoct a story about being drugged and assaulted by Bill Cosby. It was not because he tried to buy NBC back in the 1980s. They did not wait over 30 years, in the twilight of his career to “take him down”. That is the lamest revenge plot ever. But the Ankh Nigga will cling to whatever conspiracy theory (or in this case, COSpiracy theory) to defend any black man in trouble. Oft times, this defense includes slut-shaming women from all walks of life. He will call them lying sluts. He will question their motives. He will ask why they didn’t come forward sooner. Even if they came forward the minute after they were assaulted, he will question how they got to a phone so quickly after being traumatized. No matter what it takes, they will be certain to completely trash a woman, even his ever exhalted black woman, to defend any successful black man. It is ironically almost homoerotic, his devotion to defending black men.
The Ankh Nigga’s conspiracy theories about The White Man® are actually an insult to the conspiracies that The White Man® actually did perpetuate. The Tuskegee Experiment was a plot to use black men and women as guinea pigs by deliberately giving them syphilis and testing the results. The forced sterilization of some poor and imprisoned folk was another covert attack. Redlining communities was a President-approved plot. One of the crown jewels of conspiracies by The White Man® was the FBI’s COINTELPRO. It was purported to be an anti-communist task force, but it was really an excuse for Hoover’s FBI to tear apart every civil rights group that promoted racial or gender equality, sometimes from the inside. Hoover even tried to blackmail Martin Luther King, Jr with evidence of his infidelity. Even with that, Martin Luther King ACTUALLY did cheat on his wife, but King didn’t budge. His civil rights reputation is still intact today, though. Sadly, The Ankh Nigga will continue to cling to the fantastic, and not the real.
This is gymnastic twisting and bending is not often afforded to successful black women. The Ankh Nigga will continue to critique Halle Barry and her relationships even though he is probably single. He will not come to Oprah Winfrey’s defense, but he will feed into the lesbian/beard rumors, or just talk about her weight. As mentioned earlier, performing artists get much scorn from the Ankh Nigga, since they don’t fit the civil rights nun image that he fantasizes women civil rights activists fit. When he does speak of black women, if it’s not about talking about how she is the queen of the universe, it’s usually about how fine she is, but both are in objectifying terms. He thinks he sounds intelligent and complimentary, but he just sounds like every other person expressing the male gaze in words. There is nothing wrong with looking at the person that one likes and expressing interest, but the Ankh Nigga does not know how to actually do it respectfully.
So sally forth, young black man. By all means, uplift your community. Uplift your race. Uplift your world. Just don’t fall into the traps of an Ankh Nigga. There are more countries in Africa than Egypt. You can call the black woman a queen if you like, but treat her like a person, not a piece of porcelain. Fight for equality, but not by stomping on another group of people who had nothing to do with your community’s ills. Defend public figures who get a bad raps, but acknowledge that everyone is human, and sometimes, they actually DID do something bad. Here is a simple test: if you call yourself a civil rights activist, but your form of activism involves putting down certain people in (or adjacent to) your community, then you are an Ankh Nigga. Stop Ankhin’.

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