The Authentic Gentleman

common sense, ironically, is for the uncommon.

Why I’ve Boycotted America

It all started around 8 years ago. I visited America – Texas to be precise – with my mother as a rather over-thrilled teenage boy finally getting the chance to see the country – well at least a part of it – he’d always admired and been so fascinated and excited by. It was not long after my visit that I then realised the country I’d so patiently longed to visit was nothing but a disappointment.

There’s a saying, ‘expect little and never be disappointed’. In retrospect, it seemed I had expected a little too much. Arriving with an abundant amount of excitement and eagerness (as you’d expect from a young teen), my mother and I were automatically welcomed by immigration officers who, with their prolonged and somewhat unnecessary interrogations, almost made us miss our connect flight from Newark, New Jersey to Austin, Texas.
It wasn’t until my return to England and a couple of years later that it occurred to me how racial it was of the officers that my mother and I were questioned whilst other non “black” or to be politically correct, non-ethnic visitors were free to collect their bags without being questioned.

Eight years on from my last and only visit to America, it appears the country is in turmoil (whether they – the government and even some of the public – want to admit and acknowledge it or not) due to racial discrimination, inequality and abuse which some ironically seem to think has only just started to happen despite its history dating back to centuries.

Considering the number of protests and rallies that have been held in the past few days and weeks due to the killing of several ‘black’ members of the American public by caucasian members of the police force, however, it seems nothing has been done to try to resolve this ongoing issue even if we all know racism can never die in America let alone the world, but some sort of action can be done to prevent more ‘black’ and other ethnic’s lives from being unfairly taken away.

Personally I feel that protests and rallies only go so far in resolving an issue and that is being heard. However, there’s a difference between being heard and actually being listened to. The most all these protests and rallies have done is inform the world about the current racial crisis in America, but as stated in the aforementioned nothing has actually been done to at least attempt to resolve the issue or issues ongoing.

Moreover, this now brings me to the point of this opinion piece.

Nigerian writer Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie mentioned in her critically acclaimed novel, Americanah, (my personal favourite of the year), through the novella’s protagonist, Ifemelu, that “I wasn’t black until I came to America.” I can’t help but seem to think that is the case with all ‘blacks’ not only in America but generally in ‘the West’.
As a very young boy, I left my country of birth (Nigeria), as stated, a ‘young boy’ and came to the country I happen to still reside (England) and out of my wildest imagination and knowledge became a ‘young black boy.’ In my motherland, Africa, mostly everyone in each of its 55 countries, apart from perhaps South Africa, are identified not by the colour of the skin but by their birth name, wealth, occupation or reputation. So you can only imagine how aback I was taken when in social circles I was either identified as ‘the black kid’ or described as the black kid and when at school being described as ‘the boy with the long name’ due to the length of my cultural birth name.

Poet and Classical-Scholar, Thomas Gray once said, “ignorance is bliss where ’tis folly to be wise.” It is without doubt that ignorance is one of the primary reasons behind racism and I for one cannot be an advocate of a nation that freely takes away the lives of ‘blacks’ in an effort to eradicate its race. I simply cannot visit a country that I would endlessly fear for my life due to the colour of my skin.

I simply cannot and will not visit a country in which I would endlessly fear for my life due to the colour of my skin.

Eight years since my last visit and for all the aforementioned reasons I shall continue to count.

 

 

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The Walls Bleed with Termites (vol. 2)

(Side B)

Empty.
Lights beaming, flickering like an unstable man twitching with anxiety.
Crawling, racing, they compete with their lives on the line – who gets to the bag of rice first? Life’s complex question. Who survives?
Reliability, a rarity. Like a man with weathering emotions, reliability is a falsely sold dream;
Their noises, fast as a tornaduous wind whistling through the walls, with each flickering light. flick, flick, flick.

The walls bleed with termites.
The long and jaded corridors; rotten with life – suicidal, each plea filled with desperation.
As he lays, lying flat on the soulless floor – they crawl around him, slowly, without evident movements and suddenly like an ambushed and tireless troop – helpless and withered, with no hope in sight.

Yelping.
A piercing noise rises from his mouth like a newborn child seeking warmth and shelter.
Destitute of care, he plunges into the deep, endless ocean.
Swimming heartily in hope of rescue – a return to familiarity; a comfortable warm sea.

 

The Walls Bleed with Termites (vol. 1)

(Side A)

hollow and dark –
He finds himself twisted and lost.
Trapped by the poverty of desperation or the desperation of poverty,
Life. 
Never exactly what you plan it to be; simplest of plans become the most complicated.
Duped by opportunity, blinded by what proposed itself as ‘grace’ and ‘kindness’.
Tossed like a garden salad; overwhelmed by the falsity of man.
Suffering is a man not until he is clutched from comfortability, familiarity and flung into a sea of peculiarity.
Drowning: his life now nothing but a slideshow before his frail and callow eyes.

 

gloom.

[Life], like a gloom in the dark clouds of a grey world;
Once a young man embodied with ambition,
he wandered nakedly into a world of inhumanity and feral beasts –
bursting of ambition,
intact with enthusiasm,
ferociously consumed by the ghastly manner of the world around him,
He found himself gradually falling into the shallow pit of life;
stripped of his dignity and hope
he mirrors himself with misery and disappointment.

Repetitive desires followed by heart-shattering failures,
he sees a reflection of the young man he once was,
an optimist full of faith and hope,
overdriven by pain and disappointment,
transformed into a pessimist numb with emotion,
Drunk with fatigue;
in the glare of hope and a chance of revival.

afrodisiac. vol. 1

afrodisiac.

her skin, pure like the heavenly fruits of eden,
she moves like a whistling wind wafting through your soul – 
her smile, seductive like the Egyptian queen;
queen to the goddess
goddess of the gods.

she is afrodisiac, the queen of the jungle;
lioness, she roars mightily into your heart –
bewitching.
lost.
lost in the jungle;
feeble and destitute, you awake at her feet.

solemn. Vol. 2

solemn: la finale

Two days on from posting the first volume, solemn. Vol. 1, I question myself if perhaps ‘It is too early to post the second? Do I keep a feel of mystery…suspense? Does anyone even read my work? “Keep them wanting more” – all my English teachers ever reiterated during my drudgery school days.’

So here I am, two days later. Quarter past the hour of 12, midnight. The blissful compositions of Erik Satie is sailing through my ears as I read Alfred, Lord Tennyson’s ‘Everyman’s Poetry’. In Memoriam, perhaps my favourite of the collection. I pause at the 50th line, “Be near me when my light is low, when the blood creeps, and the nerves prick and tingle; and the heart is sick, and all the wheels of Being slow.”  I reread that particular verse over and over again. “Be near me when my light is low.” Poignant, yet heartwarming. Thoughts wander through my mind; I cease with a thought: what dreadful words…dreadfully beautiful, however.

A pause. As I grab hold of the picture frame, gazing at her image a thought bestows my mind: I am all but nothing, worthless and needless without her. I seldom like to refer her as “beautiful”. Personally, I find the adjective to be rather overused and barren.
Though she is all that God created in his own image – (beautiful then I suppose).
The cause of joy in my heart; her allure is envious to many and unattainable to all. To envision a life without her is knowing there is no life at all. For she is my Queen. The light to my darkness. The blood flowing through my veins.

12:51 am. as I arrange to retire into my cold, yet luring bed – on this note I conclude with Da Vinci: “As a well spent day brings happy sleep, so a life well spent brings happy death.” 

Adieu.

– empty your mind through my words.

solemn. Vol. 1

solemn.

6:46 am. I lay on my bed crooning along to Al Green and Otis Redding records. I think about my life and all that I have done…I realise all that I have done is all I haven’t done. (Or at least all I have yet to do).

Approximately this time last year I created an online diary (aka, a blog) and wrote my last piece – a year on I have yet to compose anything new. 12 months and over, still untouched, neglected and frankly decayed. I could come up with many excuses as to why I hadn’t or should I say still haven’t composed anything new, I could, but I won’t. I know the reason (not excuse) that I mercilessly abandoned it. I lost touch of myself and succumbed to desperation. I was perilously searching for something which was already in front of me. I embodied a facade, a life-crunching facade. I drove myself into the wrong lane along with habitual wrong doings -desperation gravely took hold of me.

However, I see this piece as a form of reflection. Reflecting on how and who I was exactly a year ago – looking at the person or character I am now, I can only look with a smile of joy and happiness. Alas, I had let desperation and personal guidance lead me into a bondage which I was so badly in need of breaking out. The point where I had to profoundly dig deep for a vision, a direction and a key to unlock me out of the soul-depreciating bondage I had moronically led myself into. This, the stage where I fell into a hollow pit and God picked me out. You could say this is a testimony. I say it’s a testimony of some kind.

I look out of the window, it’s bright with clear sky. No cloud to be found. It is 7:04 am. I have all but slept. Eye lids begging for sleep; hunger knocking on the door. I shall stop here…for now.

Adieu.

solemn. Vol. 1