Right-wing spokeswoman Candace Owens and Kanye West pictured here during Fashion Week in Paris. Photo via Candace Owens' Twitter.

Dr. Joy Leary DeGruy calls it “Post-Traumatic Slave Syndrome.” Before her, Dr. Naim Akbar labeled it “Internalized Oppression.” Prior to both of them, Reverend Albert B. Cleage Jr., “Father of Black Liberation Theology,” called it “Niggerization.” Each was referring to the ongoing mind/body/spirit damage done to us via enslavement and ongoing generations of racial terror. When I heard Kanye West wore a “White Lives Matter” T-shirt because in his brain “Black Lives Matter” was a “scam,” my first thought was, “Social media has made us all dumber.” And that may still be true. But I was reminded that we all (Blackfolk) suffer from untreated damage done to us and our ancestors—damage scientists have shown is passed down via our DNA. Damage that shows itself in any number of ways displaying open “self-hate” and “hate” or disrespect or dismissal of those who look like us. It’s easy to see it in Kanye. He puts his on display daily. What’s harder is doing the work to see it in and root it out of ourselves.


For some reason, the trial of Baytown Police Officer Juan Manuel Delacruz who gunned down Pamela Turner in May of 2019 feels different to me. Maybe it’s because Turner was a Black grandmother. Think about that for a minute, and all that the institution of “grandmother” means to us as a people. Grandmothers not only raised our parents, for many of us, they’re raising our kids too. Black grandmothers have been our matriarchs, our spiritual North Stars, our family griots. And if our grandmothers can be shot down like dogs, and nobody pays a price, what does that say about the criminal justice system? What does that say about America? What does that say about us who allow such abuse to continue?


For the past few years, every election has been hyped as “the most important election ever.” And each one has been. Why? Because over the past few years, the little slither of “democracy” that exists in America has been under attack. This November, that attack is at “Threat Level Maximum.” National news media folk often mince words. I won’t. Believers in the myth of wealthy white male supremacy have already taken away women’s rights to have agency over their own bodies. Now they’re banning “Girls Who Code” books to limit their access to education also. They’re suppressing votes via gerrymandering and an ongoing Jan. 6 coup to trash Black votes — ongoing via the “election deniers” on ballots nationwide. Recently, U.S. Sen. (AL) Tommy Tuberville, who made tens of millions of dollars off the free labor of Black men as a college football coach, told a 99% white Nevada crowd, “They (Blackfolk) want reparations because they think the people that do crime (Blackfolk) are owed that. Bullsh*t. They aren’t owed that.” He basically outlined the national Republican Party stance: all Blacks are criminals who don’t deserve squat. Every right we have is on the line this November. Vote.

Aswad Walker

I'm originally from Cincinnati. I'm a husband and father to six children. I'm an associate pastor for the Shrine of Black Madonna (Houston). I am a lecturer (adjunct professor) in the University of Houston...