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Friday, January 17, 2003

Dead at Last: I Have a Nightmare

by Clinton Fein

Click to Send PostcardI regret to inform you today we bear witness to the greatest erosion of freedom in the history of our nation.

Symbolic platitudes, such as a day dedicated to Martin Luther King, and upon whose poetic insights these dire forebodings are reconstructed, offer little more than a decoy that enables us to avoid the yearnings of institutionalized apartheid, inadvertently vomited forth by racists at political birthday celebrations of bitter men as fresh as their moldy ideological predispositions.

For forty years later, not the nigger nor honky, the kike nor kaffir, the spic nor kook, the raghead nor faggot, the witch nor shwarze, the beaner nor Jap or any other ethnic, cultural or social epithet you can conjure, have enjoyed anything more than a cursory nod to random speech prohibitions cloaked in political correctness. Lonely islands of token terminology in the midst of a vast ocean of ill intention. Religious dogma exiles the compassionate to languish in the scornful corners of faithless derision, killing spirituality with fanatic fervor. The chosen versus the abandoned, the saved versus the damned, the holy versus the holey.

In a sense we’ve reached a point where it’s time to empty the cache, and load the ballistic fingerprinted magazine of our hate nation. When the architects of our republic penned the ambiguous words of the ill-treated Constitution they did not imagine the destructive forces of faux piety laying claim to the sacred doctrines to which every American was to fall prey. The indoctrination that accepts that all but a few privileged white men - yes, one or two wealthy black men as well– should be blindingly ensnared by the government’s domain over death, entrapment and the illusion of happiness.

It is obvious today that America has not changed an iota since Doctor King reminded America of her sacred obligation, (or differs much from a regime on the southern tip of Africa who at the time likely attributed Rosa Parks’ refusal to move to the back of the bus as Negro laziness). America’s blank-check racism is far from insufficient. The savings garnered by storming out of the World Conference on Racism in Durban, South Africa just prior to the events of September 11, 2001 stands testament to the revenue-producing potential of unbridled denial when combined with cutbacks in tolerance and layoffs in leniency.

But we cannot deny that the bank of justice is as bankrupt of equality as its leader is of moral consistency. We have to acknowledge that there lies nothing but worthless stock options in the great vaults of opportunity of this nation. And so it’s time to cash this reality check, a check that will give us upon exchange a mere glimpse at the pretense of freedom and surplus of indiscriminate justice that plagues America.

We have also come to this tainted realization to remind America of the final solution of procrastination. This is the perfect time to wallow in delusional national security at the expense of fundamental liberty or to take the debilitating drug of affirmative discrimination.

Now is the time to pig out on the lies brimming over the trough of democracy’s empty promise. Now is the time to realize that the treacherous path of identity politics and all advances in social progression lead forebodingly back to the dark and desolate valley of segregation and ignorance. Now is the time to face our nation’s shameful reemergence from the polluted swamp of covert racial injustice to the solid rock of unabashed Klean Kut Kommunity. Now is the time to continue to fake justice and blur reality for all of God's hated and deluded children.

It would be predictable for the nation to overstate the earnestness of its compassionate commitment to remove the hoods, while amicus briefing its true intentions. This bitter winter of the Senate’s unintended exposure will not erase the explosive spring of half-hearted apologies and unconvincing spin attempts that followed, and will continue to.

Two Thousand and Three is not a beginning but a damned continuation. Those who hoped that the demise of the disgraced helmet-haired Honky Segregationist, Senator Trent Lott, would not blow over, or that the incident would force the media to focus intelligently on racism, deserve the rude awakening as the nation, once again, dons its hood and returns to business as usual. There will be neither rest nor tranquility in America until every citizen is reclassified as an enemy combatant at the mercy of military tribunals. The hurricane of denial is nothing more than the bulimic byproduct of a nation binging on political correctness at the expense of comprehension and in the absence of contextualization, and will continue to reinforce the impenetrable foundations of our deep-rooted perversion until the darker days of vigilante justice reemerge stronger and more sinister.

But there is a tornado of turmoil that envelops those who stand on the icy precipice towering over the shantytown of justice. In the process of absent-mindedly sauntering to the front of the bus, try not get run over by the White Lexus of the United States leadership or fooled by the whitest faced blacks in the blackest wing of the White House, nor mistake Condoleezza for Rosa. Let us not blindly drink from the poisonous well of bitterness and hatred, marketed and packaged as an anecdotal quench for our thirst for token equality. We must forever remember the transformational political makeover of hoods and sheets into suits and ties offering cheap platters of petty placation. The uppity plane of dignity and discipline must not thwart creative protest or preclude self defense in the face of physical violence. Look closely at the colors on the frontlines of America’s preemptive war against America, and praise Ivy League alumni for their ability to give orders and profit from body bags.

Again and again we must defend against the jagged shards of cultural suspicion and dangerous misappropriation of moral superiority. The horrific hijacking of spiritual compassion must serve as a color coded alert to anyone pawning rectitude in the guise of religious piety or as a fundraising cash cow for the sin sowing temple thieves and apocalyptic assassins of reason, remedy and resolve.

For few today have come to realize that their political and pseudo-religious maneuverings are functions of, and enabled by, media complicities. Complicities glued by the wholesale purchase and selling of access, by cozy elites, to the production and distribution of consumer messaging. And most don’t seem to realize that their delusional freedom is inextricably bound by their subservient devotion to unbridled consumption of the entire destructive package.

We walk alone in fear, plagued by paranoia.

And as we walk, we are forced to avert our eyes and watch our backs. We cannot turn back. There are those who are accusing the pesky devotees of civil rights of terrorism. We are meant to be satisfied whilst women are the victims of the unspeakable horrors of religious intolerance and governmental subjugation. We are meant be satisfied whilst women’s bodies are dictated to by the penis platitudes of erectile dysfunctional males, and are afforded fewer rights than the fetuses they carry by the men who raped them. We are meant to be satisfied whilst teenagers and children slit their wrists rather than live with the sordid secrets and painful aftermath of the musical pedophiles, hidden and sheltered by the religious institutions, snatching their parents’ meager salaries to settle steamy sexual lawsuits. We are meant to be satisfied whilst our children are sodomized and robbed of their childhood and their futures by God ordained evil men wearing satin dresses or hooded sheets. We are meant to be satisfied whilst men, who wrap their heads and arms in leather in devotion to the God that chose them, feel no compunction in strapping leather over the heads and arms of their neighbors before flicking the power switches to kill them. No, no we are not satisfied and we will not be satisfied while injustice rolls down like toxic mudslide with boulders of patronization crushing down like a devastating avalanche.

I am not unmindful that most of us are recycled products made up of telegenically cleansed consciousness vacuums and pop-psychology induced apathy. Where the First Amendment is nothing more than a pornography provision from a Hollywood flavored Larry Flynt movie. Where the greatest struggle we’ve encountered is how to reconcile Esera Tuaolo’s coming out of the closet as a gay NFL linebacker with our deep-rooted attachment to stereotypes. Most of us come from perspectives where our casual disregard for basic freedom leaves us battered by storms of political deception and staggered by the stench of institutionalized hypocrisy. We have been the victims of creative propaganda. We can no longer recognize the fact that the human suffering of others, left unchallenged, is ultimately self perpetuating.

Cry for Mississippi, cry for Alabama, cry for South Carolina, cry for Georgia, cry for Louisiana, cry for the cross burning, Bible thumping, sheet-hooded past of our northern cities, knowing that somehow in keeping with the worst of our misguided intentions, this situation will never be changed.

Let us wallow in the menacing meadows of political incorrectness. I say to you today my scapegoats - so even though we face the nauseating reality of today and tomorrow, I still have a nightmare. It is a nightmare deeply rooted in the horror of the American dream.

I have a nightmare that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal" by stoning women to death, burning faggots and Caucasian-exempt conscription.

I have a nightmare that one day on the acrid wastelands of Tennessee, the sons of former politicians and the sons of former affirmative action recipients will peel off their pasted smiles and cover their perfectly barbered and coifed hairstyles with familiar slit holed sheets and erect a partition at the table of racism.

I have a nightmare that one day even the state of California, a state sweltering with the heat of superficiality, sweltering with the heat of shallowness, will complete its transformation into a spirit sucking desert of bulimia and skin cancer.

I have a nightmare that my little children might one day live in a nation where they are forced, in sickness, danger or in health, as children to bear children, because some Attorney General, who anointed himself with oil, believes the only way to keep his job is to raise a generation of criminals by making parents of a generation of inadequately equipped minors.

I have a nightmare today.

I have a nightmare that one day here in America, with its vicious racists, with its putrid judges inseminating the separation of Church and state with the gonorrhea of confusion - one day right there in America little unborn fetuses will trump the rights of little boys and girls as well as sisters and brothers and fathers and mothers.

I have a nightmare today.

I have a nightmare that one day every tragedy shall be cheapened with token gestures and cheesy sentimentality, and every hill and mountain shall be leveled to make room for more Starbucks and McDonalds franchises, that the rivers will run with the sticky syrup of a patented Coca Cola recipe, doubling as pesticide for the genetically engineered corn on the banks, enveloping the landscape with the sickly sweetness of intellectual property litigation, and the glory of the dollar shall be revealed and all DNA-monitored, retina-scanned irises shall see it together.

This is our future. This is the foreboding that I bring to the New Year. With this toxicity we will be able to hack out of the mountain of despair a monolith of psychosis. With this failure we will be able to thrash the precarious threads of harmony into an entropic cacophony of regret and recrimination. With this agenda we will be able to fire each other, to fuck each other, to hate together, to murder together, to detest and deplore together, knowing that in the shadow of a pitiful dream, we will be dead one day.

This will be the day, this will be the day when all of God's children will be able to loathe with new meaning "My country 'tis of thee, bitter land of hypocrisy, of thee I wretch. Land where my fathers were lynched, land of the Pilgrim's massacre of natives, from every pillaged and polluted mountainside, let hypocrisy scream!"

And if America is to remain a belligerent nation of self-deceiving fools, this must remain true. And so let hypocrisy scream from the burning skyscrapers of New York. Let hypocrisy scream from the littered streets of Louisiana. Let hypocrisy scream from the urban sprawl of New Jersey.

Let hypocrisy scream from the hate-filled slopes of Colorado. Let hypocrisy scream from the overextended hydro-electric plants of California.

But not only that; let hypocrisy scream from the empty office space of Texas.

Let hypocrisy scream from the anthrax-dusted offices of Washington DC.

Let hypocrisy scream from every project and ghetto, synagogue, mosque and church – from every homeless shelter and prison.

Let hypocrisy scream. And when this happens, and when we allow hypocrisy’s scream - when we let it scream from every abortion clinic and every veteran’s hospital, from every electric chair and every detention camp, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God's illegitimate and abused children - black men and white women, gays and straights, hermaphrodites and transgendered, Jews and Gypsies, Muslims and adulterers, Christians and Wiccans, Protestants and Catholics - will be able to glare at each other, place barrels squarely between each other’s eyes and spit in each other’s faces and mutter, with trigger-clenched fingers, in the words of the current American spiritual: "Dead at last! Dead at last! Thank God Almighty, we are dead at last!"

Clinton Fein can be emailed at clinton@annoy.com


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