Monday, August 29, 2011

the gaze

A metaphor.

I'm posted up in the library for a minute.

The white dude who walks through the stacks to see that nobody is eating in the study rooms came walking by. He has caught me once before. I'm not eating anything this time. (Sometimes, you have to eat or you won't be able to study, and, in a study room, that's pointless.)

But, meanwhile, the Asian dude in a study room right across the hall from me is eating a big-ass, sumptuous sandwich wrapped in shiny aluminum foil and he has a couple of plastic bags out on the table, bags that look like they might contain fruit or pastries or something. He ain't even trying to hide the shit.

But, there, the white dude just walked by for a second time, and both times, because he was looking my way, he missed the other dude. Twice.

There's a metaphor in that. They are so busy policing us that they can't see what is just a few feet away from them.

Nigga can't just study.

Nigga can't just write.

Nigga's gotta be on the lookout for the ways peckerwoods try to criminalize us all the time, anticipate the shit from time to time and head it off before some funk happens. Try to notice patterns. It doesn't mean I'm going to stop breaking the rules. But it is important to take note so we know where we stand in all of this.

And there it just happened again while I was writing that last sentence! A white girl just went walking down the hall with a brown paper lunchbag in hand. Now, if we're not supposed to have food in the library, it doesn't just mean we aren't supposed to eat food in the library but, rather, it signifies a ban on the substance entirely.

Gotta laugh the shit off. But, again, the nigga is the point of focus, no matter how brazenly the peckerwoods are breaking the very same rules. Always.

Five hundred years later, what else is new? Back to the slave.

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