Social injustice is a prevalent topic. It’s a touchy one as well. I’ve had some particularly say to me, “Why don’t people leave it in the past?” Well, here’s why it should not be forgotten. It’s because it still exists.
Now, will racism ever go away? No. However, if we could attack the source by UNDERSTANDING the source, we may be able to make it a little better for those who are suffering from it and/or are the cause of it.
People don’t know they are hurting someone.
I am from the south, Montgomery, AL in point of fact, and though I have not come across blatant racism, I’ve definitely experienced it indirectly as well as seen and heard about it. One example I’ve witnessed is through every retail store that I have worked at. You’re probably saying, “Huhhhh?” Well, the word ‘retail’ is short for ‘slavery’. Do you honestly think that when Abraham Lincoln “freed” the slaves in this country that the art of slavery totally went away? I certainly hope not. What happened was more secrecy and uniformity of the slaving business. Retail is the number one line of work that exists for the uneducated. In fact, it’s just about the only line of work for the uneducated that will bring in a steady income. Those working at a retail location are trapped by the system and not ever expected to escape. My coworkers always said, “I’m ready to go home,” but they can’t leave. Why aren’t they passionate about their work, I’ve often wondered. It’s because they are treated like incompetent dogs.
The chain-of-command in retail markets.
If you’ve noticed, there is a chain-of-command everywhere in this world, but for the blue collar job, there is a big difference in how ‘order’ is conducted. For instance, in a white collar job, the intelligence of the employee is taken into consideration. These jobs that are deemed white collar are typically those that require an education of some kind. On the other half of the fence, blue collar (retail) employees are slaves. They are not treated as if they have a bit of sense.
Why is that?
It’s because they are chained just like slaves who were deliberately held in bondage since the beginning of time.
In my first book, “Secrets of Their Shadowed Hearts”, Barry makes two interesting comments to Kaylin as they are washing the dishes in the kitchen, something she attempted to protect him from doing–wash the dishes. The first thing he said to her was, “Do you think that I am blind, that I do not see what goes on around me? I see everything, but survival is–a mean monster. A person must survive in order to live even if the effort sponsors degradation.”
He was telling her that, as the owner of that plantation a.k.a the boss of that blue collar job, he sees everything, the unfairness, the way the employees are treated, the minimal pay, the favoritism, the punishments, and the lies. He sees it all, but due to the design of those who are of the ‘smart or privileged sort’, there can be no adjustments to this injustice. Retail stores religiously practice this. The store owner for example, who may or may not have a lick of education in his blue collar job, is allowed to exercise all of the above; his Managers a.k.a ‘overseers’ just the same.
The third key is the ‘trustee’. On plantations, there were some who were allowed to advance in the ranks if you will. For their promised cooperation with the code of conduct, they were ‘promoted’ from the field slave such as the food and preparation clerk, the cashier, the bagger as just a few examples, to a higher standing. In a white collar job, a promotion is beneficial financially; although, one’s intelligence is already acknowledged. Conversely, in a blue collar job (retail/slavery), this just means that you are now entitled to hold an invisible whip. You also must not only be willing to crack it when you see misbehavior, but also you must be willing to snitch to the Manager a.k.a. Overseer. If the trustee should seek harsher results, he/she may then go to the Store Manager a.k.a Plantation Owner.
We see a bold example of this in this excerpt from “Secrets of Their Shadowed Souls” in which the situation was Thomas failing to break up a fight. He was attacked by his own dogs which almost cost him his right arm, but SOMEHOW he had to place the blame for the skirmish onto someone else to save his face. He did his digging and in turn decided to blame the trustee that was patrolling the area. When the man was taken to the Barry’s office a.k.a. the “Manager’s office”, both he and Thomas decided to gang up on the man through tag teaming.
The excerpt reads as follows:
The door budged and Thomas eased slowly and carefully inside while eyeing me under an expression of guilt. This talk with me was important on his list of things to do, more important than any other bullshit. He needed to clear the air between us and I’d give him a chance. This conversation, I can say, was important to me as well.
“Stay there,” Thomas told Jeremiah after glancing over his shoulder to view him. Thereafter, he came a inching towards my desk reverently, unpretentiously, ready to say, “You wanted to see me, Barry?”
This opening to our discussion was mere standard procedure for he knew already why he was here.
I cupped my hands and leaned forward. “I want you to tell me what you found out about the incident that went on yesterday, but before that, I require that you know something first. I don’t want you to think that I didn’t care about what happened to you earlier or that I had something else more important to do.”
I did. As sad as it might seem to say, I stand by Thomas asking for my permission to be the manager, my head overseer, which meant that he should be able to deal with these problems while seeking for me to intervene as a last resort.
“Why did the fight break out?” I asked to get to the point.
Thomas sat a hand on his waist, the one on his good arm. “Because I didn’t see everything from talkin’ to Colt in the shack, from what I gathered from Jeremiah outside and a few others, four niggers were involved. According to Alice, Mae stopped what she was doin’ and run over to Mary. When she did that, Mary’s husband Henry jumped in to break ‘em up. That’s when Joseph rushed in to get Henry off of Mae and then it got to be just the two men fighting.”
“And when did you get there?”
He inhaled. “I came from the shack with Buford and Beast–”
“Why did you use them in the first place,” I interrupted, my brows lowered, “when you told me you hadn’t finished taming them yet?”
“I acted out of impulse,” Thomas answered. “All I knew was when shit like this happens we’re supposed to get it under control fast. That’s all I wished to do. I wasn’t thinkin’.”
“It’s unlike you to make a mistake,” I said sarcastically. Next after that, I blinked at my desk then blinked at him and then the door. “Is Jeremiah out there? Tell him to come in.”
Thomas nodded and turned around to retrieve him.
Jeremiah Bucket from the Bucket farm was one of three of my trustees whom I had promoted only a week ago, so he was rather green. I knew it, but his negligence caused a disaster out in the fields and also almost cost my brother his arm. This incident proved that Jeremiah had bad eyes or had become lazy once put into a higher position. Today, I would converse with him to let him see that the sort of matter on this level was not okay.
Jeremiah, one of the halfway decent looking slaves I had, was twenty years of age. His buff body, trimmed hair and beard were mighty popular amongst my gals, his smooth voice too. I hoped that Mae and Mary weren’t fighting over him; if they were then what a tragedy for all three.
The boy approached my desk trembling. Behind him, Thomas pushed the door to and stood near it with a hand on his waist from his good arm.
For effect, I frowned, had my elbows on the tabletop and my mouth pushing against my fingers. “Jeremiah,” I said in due course. “Son, tell me what happened with those workers under your watch yesterday.”
Keeping his eyes on the floor, the boy parted his lips to respond. “I saw Mae get at Mary, suh. They got to fightin’ an’ den dey men got in it.”
“Why were they fighting?”
It was a simple question; however, Jeremiah had a problem answering it. He kept quiet which was a dumb move in the presence of two white men.
I raised my pitch. “Son, I’m not going to keep asking you. Now you tell me what this was about, because you know what? They’re in some shit and you’ll be with them if you don’t tell me what started it.”
Jeremiah burst out quickly. “Mae and Mary was sleepin’ wid ‘em.”
“Those niggers were sleeping with whom?”
Thomas was also intrigued.
Jeremiah continued. “They wuz meetin’ with overseer Marcus, suh.”
“You’re full of shit!” Thomas snapped. “Marcus never told me about any nigger bitch he was bangin’. Tell the fucking truth nigger right now.”
I personally didn’t think Thomas’ coercion was correct. Leave it to my brother to consider everybody a liar if he was the last to know. I believed Jeremiah, on the other hand, and I said those words before saying this.
“So Marcus was fucking two bitches,” I said, “and Mae fought because she found out about Mary getting action from him too. That makes sense to me, but what I’m upset with you about is allowing it get this far without letting Thomas or I know about whom all was doing what. As the trustee, you were to report suspicious situations to us in confidence, but I can see why you didn’t say anything. It’s because an overseer was involved. In the future, boy, you say something to save your ass. As an extension of my right arm, you tell someone if you see those niggers talking or standing around. They are not to be plotting behind our backs. I didn’t promote you to hold your hand. I promoted you because I trusted you to keep order. If you can’t handle it, I’ll put you back down as a field nigger and let Rufus get the position. So take this as a warning. Keep a better eye out or it’ll be your ass I get if it happens again. Understand?”
Jeremiah was happy to have dodged that bullet. “Yes suh,” he bowed. “I’m gon do better. Thank you, suh.”
For the point of securing his trust, I told him to grab himself an apple from the fruit basket beside the door while he took his leave and as always, based on my prediction, Thomas was pissed to hell off. What was new?
You can see that the two men in charge begin with a formal conversation of business – because it’s overall about keeping the business going. Throughout their entire conversation, the brothers stick together, ganging up on the poor man too in the process even while they are at odds; a classic managerial move. Barry closed the interrogation by striking fear in the trustee’s heart. In addition to that, he praised the trustee, gave him a piece of fruit to secure his continued obedience, when he should have been punished (written up); a classic managerial move number two.
The second thing Barry said to Kaylin in the kitchen was, “That is the world we live in. Someone must be made to suffer.”
What exactly did he mean by this?
He meant that this is a dog-eat-dog world in which only the strong and selfish survived. During his time, the strong and selfish were Caucasian and the eaten dogs were Native Americans, slaves, and abolitionists.
In this excerpt from “Secrets of Their Shadowed Souls”, he talks more about this concept. It reads:
Jeffrey and Kaylin came down the steps of the porch and stood near us to make a complete circle consisting of five members. This was a memorable moment to me because I was situated among people who truly knew how the world functioned which was beneath lopsided ideals denoting inequality for all men no matter their race. These people, dissimilar to most, were not ignorant of society’s imbalance that catered to the successful; its survival of the fittest, dog-eat-dog, crabs in a barrel concept. They knew that the world sought to keep us and others who weren’t so fortunate to know the truth in humble beginnings, in slavery seeing what we could attain, but forever while we drew breath away from it. This is why this entourage is hollowed beings with souls exposed. It is because they are unsure of what to believe anymore, unsure of which ideal is correct. As much as they prefer to not be torn in order to trust that virtue exists, they’ve been scarred unbearably in some way. I can sense that all four of them believe they have no purpose except retribution against those who trampled their essence, their friendly feelings, deeming them as mere specks of flesh upon the planet, a waste of air that the cooperative folks who have stilled their tongues could be using. As former men of service, they’ve branched out to go rogue purposefully to see the deception underlying the system, the root of slavery altogether. What they found was traumatic, something that was called ‘nature’, a survival game in which only the selfish survived.
This is the sad but certain truth. Barry’s entourage was the underdogs, the weaklings for wanting real justice. They were the ones who were ‘uncooperative’ and hence are suffering from the struggle; whereas if they were among the ‘cooperative’ folks, they would be facing lesser hardships. At this point, they are not denying that this country never said that she was fair. They merely question her ideals, what she means to be in pretense only. These people left their services in order to know the truth. Now that they’ve gotten their answers, they aim to move away from subjugation as much as possible, because what they found was a cold, heartless deception that is underlying the system, slavery, the very thing this country was built on what and what it currently rides.