Living Black: Trigger Warning Episode 1 Review
Rather you are of the Culture or a sometimes visitor of it, then you probably heard all the ruckus surrounding two mind boggling docuseries on Netflix. First, FRYE featured in depth look at how Ja Rule and his scammer Jewish business parter scammed thousands into spending top dollar for a fraudulent festival in The Bahamas. Then, Trigger Warning featured comedic relief and realism on a few of Americas dirty and ignored truths. Though controversial and arguably extreme shock value, Trigger Warning provokes sincere thought and discourse which could make viewers so uncomfortable that they have no other recourse but to combat the discomfort.
Killer Mike, a Grammy award winning, Hip Hop artist and passionate Activist, has a personality that can ruffle your feathers or make you beam with joy in response to his rebellious nature. His politics are politically incorrect but worth a discussion not only among Blacks but among all humans, especially in America.
“Study the white man, he is successful in his endeavors”~ The Honorable Elijah Muhammad
The series kicks off with Mike, committing to a 72 hour, “Living Black” challenge, which requires him to not consume any goods that are not made by Black People. The challenge perfectly illustrates how difficult and almost impossible such mission can be, as some Black products either do not exist or are not as easily accessible as nonblack products. For instance, though cars may be built or assembled by Black people, they are not from Black owned manufacturers. Blacks do not own such sort of institution. For instance, though your local marijuana dealer may be Black, your weed is not grown by Black people, as many Blacks are in prison doing hard time for distributing the very same product that is now legal in various states and that the government now tax.
As Mike, clearly finds himself suffering from “white economy withdrawal,” the lesson to gain from it all, is that we all have to question the negative ramifications that desegregation has had on the Black Community. We have to question why Black people are laborers and builders of numerous industries but the owners and manufactures of few if not any? We have to question why, do we go to Subway when we are hungry instead of having just as many options to support Black as we do to support White, Jewish, Asian, Arabic? In present day, it seems the foreign man is more equipped to go into business for himself and his family than we as Black people are as natives. Is that the fault of the institution or is that the fault of our own? The truth is, that we have built this country but have not benefited in any way for the years of labor that our ancestors put in and that we continue to put in, via the collegiate/corporate plantation and the new slavery/; mass incarceration.
“I think this country is better off, when The Black community is strong.”~ Killer Mike
This is seemingly an incredibly difficult statement for those not Black to agree with. I would argue that America is at threat of the entire structure falling a part if the Black community was strong and that is why every effort to strengthen it, is destroyed. I mean, Black Wallstreet was a domestic ruin by the powers that be. Fred Hampton’s demise was governmental ordered. Drugs and guns were flown into the Black community. The Black Panther Party was marked as a “Hate group” by the government. With Black flourish, comes white demise according to this country.
Its only logic that a foundation needs a top and bottom to survive but why that bottom has always been Black, is for us all to unpack and combat. If the Black community was strong, the status quo would end. Who would be the slaves? Who would be the beggars? Who would be the masters? Who would be the inmates? What would be the power structure? A strong Black community directly interferes and threatens, the White institution and the powers that be and that has always been in this country, called America, “Land of the Free.” The issue is an issue of humanity and morality. From the beginning this country has valued capitalism over humanity, specific humanity at that.If you do not understand that as fact, research the 3/5th law, Jim Crow, Slavery, mass incarceration. Should I go on?
Mike’s group mate, a white man, whom Mike refers to as an “ally” offers a bit of realism from his white privilege perspective. As Mike, realizes that El-P slept on a queen mattress, ate lobster and ordered room service, while he slept on a park bench, El-P states,
“We are an unstoppable force.”
The “we” that he is referring to are his Caucasian brothers and sisters that help perpetrate and advance a disadvantageous structure that keeps the foot on the throats of Black and Brown brothers and sisters in this country. So no, Mike refusing to tip an Asian stripper in the Black strip club that was likely financed by a white institution is not enough to restore order and equity. Creating a new Green Book to help modern Africans in America navigate a racist society is not enough to destroy the current institution. To destroy the institution this country needs, so called white “allys” like El-P to realize it is not enough to jokingly admit that the institution that he benefits daily from is “an unstoppable force.” It is not enough to have a Black rap partner. What’s necessary is for all Americans to realize that the current structure is not a Black/white problem, but an American problem, as the country is a sum of ALL its parts. Thus far, only a specific part have been permitted to live the American Dream, while others have been killed for attempting to do so or used to help build it for others to enjoy the fruits.
Until we all understand and commit to changing the structure, I can at the very least look into turning in my Apple for a Figgers phone.
What were your thoughts on episode 1?
Review of episode 2 coming soon.