By Chief Anye
The colony breeds disunity, deceitfulness and general pettiness. Not only does it breed these contradictions between colonized people; it actively encourages and fuels their existence. These traits are rewarded under colonialism because these are direct road blocks to achieving revolution. There is a constant battle between revolution and the colony, between love and hate, and staying principled and organized is how this contradiction is stamped out.
The yin and the yang of this battle is intense, but at the same time, colonialism continues to specialize in confusing and hiding the truth. The fierceness of this battle even causes the non-revolutionary to get the lines confused. Therefore, as revolutionaries, we must make the lines clear because we know that lying and deception are traits of the colony.
Being a revolutionary has to extend beyond organization – otherwise one is just an activist. Revolutionary integrity must extend to the personal relationships in the revolutionary’s life, and they must extend this integrity to themself.
What does it say about a revolutionary if they are fooling themself and, by extension, feeding lies and deception to other colonized people?
With this question in mind I am obligated to our organization, my colonized people, and even myself, to present a public self-criticism around deceitfulness and liberal communication within my personal romantic entanglements.
Historically, the personal relationships of revolutionaries are used against them to taint their image in the eyes of the masses. Martin Luther and Coretta Scott King as well as Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera come to mind. Black Hammer revolutionaries will be looked at as the model revolutionaries by the people, and I cannot and will not allow white power to use my name as ammo to attack our organization.
In the early months of 2020, around the same time I joined BHO, I was beginning to be romantically involved with a Chinese woman, whose name I will leave out for privacy concerns. The relationship was running smoothly for the first few months and balancing well with my work for the organization, as well as my colonial contradictions.
However, there were compromises I made that she was not made aware of and this is the original contradiction; as I had not laid out fully what I want in a relationship or the boundaries of said relationship.
Some months into the relationship it came to my attention that something was going on behind my back. In the middle of one night I woke up to plug my phone in. In the process of taking hers off I saw what I will describe as a concerning message.
Instead of taking the principled route and expressing my concerns about it when she woke up, I took the toxic route and unlocked her phone to look through the messages. Jokingly, I would blame my being a Scorpio, but realistically I know colonial thinking entered my brain to tell me that was alright to do.
In looking through the phone I saw a thread of heavily flirtatious messages as well as what I took as evidence of previous interactions. I remember feeling one of those distinct heart-sinking feelings. I had previously been in open relationships but even these would cross even those set boundaries. Although, I feel the need to reiterate the no boundaries had been expressed at the beginning of our relationship.
After reading through the messages, as well as screenshotting and sending them to myself as evidence, I proceeded to quietly leave her apartment to go back to my house. This was an unprincipled decision because instead of struggling with her around it, I decided to exercise several toxic traits. This caused damage to her mental health as well as my own and is a completely malicious way to treat a colonized Asian woman.
Any act of retaliation towards an undeserving colonized person, whether physical or mental, is an act of colonial violence. My toxic behavior or deceitfulness towards her was a sinophobic action and therefore an attack on colonized unity.
Over the next day I weaponized the screenshots I had taken trying to convey how hurt I was – or how I put it at the time, how “f**ked up” she had me. Over the next few days I refused to accept or even listen to an apology. Instead of resolving or officially exiting the situation I decided to exercise the toxic trait of ghosting.
After some time of dragging it out and pure coincidence, I decided to give the relationship another chance. This was ill-advised in retrospect because I wasn’t over the issue. Also the original contradiction of the relationship had never been resolved. Me not being over the betrayal led to me being half way back in the relationship with a complete loss of trust – which again I never conveyed to her. It continued to go south when I moved states and we decided to do long distance.
I already had an emotional distance and now the physical distance only worsened our issues.
On Christmas Eve I was on the phone with our Commander in Chief, Gazi Kodzo. After discussing work they noticed that I was driving and asked where I was going. I mentioned I was going to pick up my friend – an Indian woman I went to university with who lives in a major city nearby – and that we were going to smoke and just catch up.
Our commander asked if my partner knew.
I said no.
I said no in a completely dismissive way. Not dismissive towards our Commander in Chief, but dismissive to the fact that it was an act of deception and a completely unprincipled way to move in a relationship and towards two colonized Asian women.
After struggling with our Commander in Chief, I came to realize how colonized disunity manifested itself in the way I was moving.
I let the contradictions of my relationship spiral to the point of me not fully wanting to be in one. I let colonial pettiness cloud my vision in seeing an issue with having someone else at my apartment without my partner knowing. I also let the deception rope my friend into a lie they had no business being in.
I was fully in the mindset of “Well she can do that behind my back, so why do I need to tell her what I’m doing?”
As a revolutionary. What type of s**t that?
This ain’t Love and Hip-Hop and I ain’t Stevie J.
If people are going to be in a romantic relationship with a Hammer, they need to know that relationship is going to reflect the relationship Black Hammer has with the masses. That means it has to be principled, communicative and healthy. Hood, yet wholesome.
I felt especially terrible having to struggle with this because I’ve seen first hand as a young kid how colonial deceitfulness can affect the lives of our colonized women. My mother, also an Asian woman, had multiple Colonized men inflict mental and physical violence upon her under the guise of providing safe space and refuge. These attacks on colonized unity took an extreme toll on her mental health, eventually leading to personal contradictions that opened the door for the state to take me away from my family. Only now, 17 years later, is she able to say she’s recovered from those traumas.
After the Christmas Eve struggle and some deep self-reflection on the rest of the relationship – I brought personalized versions of this self-criticism to my former partner as well as my friend. Admittedly, the self-criticism was not subjectively received well, but it has gone all the way back to the original contradiction of the relationship and overturned it.
When the original contradiction started to spiral I continuously handled it in a colonial manner. Unwillingness to communicate to resolve an issue and dragging it out is unacceptable for a revolutionary. Going behind the back of a colonized woman is completely contradictory to our Principles of Unity no matter what that person has done in the past – barring intentional acts against the revolution.
Not only is it important that I have internalized the importance of overturning these contradictions of my relationship by presenting this, but it is also important in a historical context.
A lot of the times the private lives of past revolutionaries are weaponized against them when what’s done in the dark comes to shine. The FBI used Martin Luther King’s infidelities as blackmail to try to destroy the civil rights movement. People tried to shame Frida Kahlo for sleeping with colonizer Leon Trotsky, leading to an attempt to pin his assassination on her.
As stated before I cannot and will not give ammunition to the colony. Ammunition they could use to delegitimize our liberation movement or my role as a revolutionary.
In all future relationships, romantic or not, I will move like a revolutionary. I will lay out the boundaries of the relationship and communicate when I feel something needs to be discussed. I will handle contradictions, not in a reactionary manner, but through revolutionary struggle where an agreement is met. I will not be liberal with these contradictions anymore because I have seen the domino effect that dragging them out causes – something I have long seen through organization but am now reminded applies to all aspects of the revolutionary’s life.
I am hoping that my comrades, as well as the colonized masses who come across this, can unite with the way I have overturned this contradiction through the revolutionary tool of self-criticism. I am also hoping that presenting this self-criticism in such a public manner can serve as an example. An example of how as colonized revolutionaries, we need to be revolutionary in all aspects of life; because, unlike the colonizer left, we know that colonialism affects every aspect of our lives.
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