They always operated within the realm of darkness. Whether it was under the cover of the darkness of night or during a bright sunny day under the darkness of hate… their ultimate goal was to spread the darkness of fear.

They would seize upon their Black prey like a pack of hyenas with an insatiable thirst for blood. His only crime: being a human being… or more accurately… acting like a human being. This would never do. Whites were human beings. Blacks were… if not animals, they were somewhere in-between… but certainly not human beings. Not equal to Whites. Maybe 3/4 humans…but that ultimately was for God to decide on “Judgment Day” when we all get to heaven. Until then… the White mob would decide on what would become “Judgment Day” for the Black man here on earth. 

So they would set upon the Black man with clubs, stones and bricks. He was beaten, whipped, kicked, punched, dragged and spat upon to an “inch of his life”. They purposely made sure that death wouldn’t come so easy… or quickly. He would be dragged mercilessly, all the while crying and begging for his life, to a tree which would be furnished with a rope. Sometimes he would be stripped naked. Most times he would be immersed in coal oil. Every time he would be hung on the tree.

The Black man, barely conscious and now numb due to the shock of all the trauma, would remember the sermon he had heard in church on what was now to become his last Sunday morning. The sufferings of a “White” Jesus would return to his mind and he would try to identify and sooth his soul that like HIM, he was bearing his cross. Like HIM he was innocent of any crime. Like HIM he was being led like “a lamb to the slaughter”. BUT as he takes his last breaths… as he looks through his swollen eyes into the hate filled souls, see the crooked smiles and hear the shouts and jeers of the citizens of the realm of darkness… there is a stirring in his soul… a moment of clarity of his mind… that he is not “White” like his beloved Jesus. No… he is a Black man. This is not a religious experience… a crucifixion to save the world. No… this is a terrible injustice. This is a lynching.    

Some of the perpetrators would cut off body parts for souvenirs… ears, toes, fingers. Pictures would be taken. If some thought and planning had gone into the event, a picnic, a barbeque with other festivities would take place. Then he would be set ablaze. A human torch. A beacon of light in the realm of darkness. 

What type of person would commit, participate, condone and even watch this type of atrocity being carried out!? The same type of person who would hang a noose on a tree in an effort to terrorize a group of Black students who decided they had the right to sit under it. The same type of person who thought it was “okay” to reference this horrible event in a “joke”. 

As we remember the life, work and “dream” of Martin Luther King, I applaud Tiger Woods… that he didn’t allow recent events to drag him into this realm of darkness, but decided instead to take the “high” road and let the “content of his character” guide his steps (see here). As my Granny used to admonish me when I felt justified into fighting all those who called me a name or said something to me I didn’t like: “If you get in the mud to fight with a swine, you will end up looking and smelling like a swine”. Therefore, we need to be cognizant that just because there are those who continue to judge us by the colour of our skin, this doesn’t absolve us of the responsibility of acting (or re-acting) with the content of our character.  

So I am one who believes that not only should you always pick and choose when you fight, but more importantly… you should always pick and choose how you fight. Be in control. Do not be a slave to your emotions or the emotions of others. There are those who feel that only an angry negro is a real negro. It is normal and healthy to feel anger, especially at all the “bullshit” we see, hear and have to deal with daily… individually and also as a community. However, anger is a temporary, fleeting emotion that gets quickly gets replaced by ambivalence with the “click” of a mouse, the change of a channel or the turn of a page. I admire and respect those who are passionate about their beliefs, and utilizes this passion to fuel what they do and how they do it. This was the passion of Dr. King. I feel this passion in the words of thefreeslave, Lovebabz, Ensayn Reality, Eddie Griffin, James C. Collier over at Acting White, Brotherpeacemaker and The Black Sentinel… to name just a few. I see this passion in Tiger Woods.

It is this type of passion coupled with the content of our character, that will keep our minds clear and our hearts pure. It is this type of passion coupled with the content of our character, that will keep our eyes focused on the prize. It is this type of passion coupled with the content of our character, that will prevent us from getting distracted and falling victim to the realm of darkness.