Welcome to the “Beat Down.”
The Beat Down is a term coined by Catherine Austin Fitts, president and publisher of the Solari Report. It describes the conditions we are living under right here right now. The Beat Down is the next wave of oppressive pressures heaped upon us following 250 years of slavery then 80 years of Jim Crow terrorism. The Beat Down manifests in various forms – severe economic inequality; mass incarceration; police shootings of unarmed Black men; “911” callers reporting Black people swimming in their pools, napping in their student union or moving into their neighborhoods. The Beat Down is bringing racially motivated mass shootings; subprime loans targeting Black borrowers even with good credit; Black people suffering and dying from stress related diseases at younger ages and at greater rates than whites.
Even though there is no apparent architect of the Beat Down, its effects are too pervasive to be random. Thomas Piketty, the French economist, analyzed it in his book Capital in the 21st Century. He said that government policy has brought about the depression of the African American community spanning from the end of slavery to today. Add to the mix, the societal propaganda that appears to be designed to convince us, as well as everyone around us, that we are inferior beings. That our lives are not as valuable. That our contributions to this country and the world are of little or no consequence in the greater scheme of things.
Of course, we know that these demeaning stereotypes foisted upon us are not our reality. They are part of a long running propaganda campaign that has convinced white people that we are these inferior, dangerous people. Generally, it has made them very afraid of us. Interestingly enough, the Beat Down hammering at us on the bottom of the ladder is also hammering at the rest of society as they desperately cling to the rungs above. We are all targets of the Beat Down. The only ones not having problems with the current circumstances are those who are financially well off.
Unfortunately, we actually can’t do much about what people believe about us. According to Rev Terry Cole Whittaker, “What you think of me is none of my business.” When Barack Obama was elected to the presidency, we hoped that would change minds. Unfortunately, it just made certain segments of the population even more angry. In backlash, they elected a man embraced by white supremacists.
But all is not lost, there is something we can do in this frustrating situation. We can flip the script on the Beat Down. We can reverse its negative effects on us directly. Hopefully, in the process we can bring some of those who are afraid of us along for the ride.
So, how do we do it? There are several steps to this process.
First, we begin to flip the script by voting. Voting? Yes. I know that there are those who say that voting is a waste of time. Viewed in isolation, I can see how they would think that. However, we’re talking about changing your life. So, we must view everything from a broader perspective. Exercising your basic rights as a citizen is a necessary and critical step to claiming your power. So, by all means, please vote. But wait, there’s more.
Support protests against the injustices. Yes, protesting and demonstrating are definitely pathways to change. If you feel the need, then definitely get out there and join the protests. Organizations like Black Lives Matter, Hands Up Don’t Shoot, and others are organized, mobilized and ready to make lots of noise. They are great tools, but unfortunately, physical action through demonstrations and protests is not the final answer.
Why? Surprisingly, the physical action of protesting and demonstrating is an ineffective mechanism for bringing about permanent change. That’s because of the fire that drives it. The physical act of protesting is usually provoked by anger and frustration. It is a reaction to the disrespect of one’s personhood. Anger stimulates the desire to fight back – fight the injustice, fight the oppression, fight the enemy, fight the evil. But, Newton’s 3rd law of motion tells us that for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. So, fighting the oppressive enemy usually results in the enemy fighting back. So, even if we are able to bring about that desired change as a result of the pressure of protesting and demonstrating, the resistance does not go away. It merely goes underground and waits for a chance to strike back.
When the Voting Rights Act was passed, many people believed that the issue had been resolved. Black people would no longer be denied the vote. It worked for a few decades. Then, in 2013, the Supreme Court decided that the protections provided by the Voting Rights Act were no longer needed. According to them, racism at the voting booth was over. So, that law was gutted. Within minutes of the Supreme Court announcement, several states began creating laws that would suppress the votes of Black people again. So, while laws can be created or changed to help our cause, they can later be changed to hurt us.
So how do we bring about permanent change? Real change must come from real power. As the Voting Rights Act shows, passing new laws goes a long way towards helping resolve conflicts that provoke protests. But, its recent weakening reminds us that laws are written by humans and humans change their minds.
U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas said, “If society cannot end racial discrimination, at least it can arm minorities with the education to defend themselves from some of discrimination’s effects.”
So let’s defend ourselves and learn how to use the power that we were born with. Real transformation for us must come from a power that will work in our favor no matter who is in charge. Real transformation for us must come from a power that transcends the laws of governments. Real transformation for us must come from a power that is above the laws created by men and women who are constantly changing their minds. Real transformation will come from a power that can bring peace to your state of mind on a continuing basis.
So where does one find it and how does one acquire this power? You don’t acquire it. You already have it. It’s just asleep.
The next step to awakening this power is to prepare yourself to handle it. It requires your physical readiness. It requires emotional clarity. It requires mental toughness. It requires calm poise; a poise that can only be achieved by reaching an inner state of tranquility. No tension. No anger. No resentment. No upset. If you feel any of those conditions, you are in a state of stress. If you feel them on a regular basis, you are in a state of chronic stress. Chronic stress weakens you. Chronic stress tightens up your body so that your energy flow is blocked. Chronic stress breaks down the body. Chronic stress can kill you with heart problems, high blood pressure, stroke, and a number of other stress related diseases.
Chronic stress causes your body to continually pump out chemicals designed to fire you up in a fight/flight situation. Trouble is your not in a fight/flight situation. You’re in a frustrating situation. You are in an upsetting situation. You’re surrounded by it. So, it’s not something you can run from and it is certainly not the place to start a fight. So, it is important to make your body healthier getting by rid of chronic stress. You do that by letting go.
Let go of the resentment. Let go of the anger. Let go of the frustration, grudges, hurts, and slights. Let go of them. When you do, you’ll feel your body relax even if you only let go for a few seconds. Let go and forgive. Forgive by letting go.
Forgiving allows you to breath. It relaxes the tension and opens up channels within you that permit you to take a deep breath and allow the energy to flow through your body. Forgive. Forgiving is a critical step. Forgiving moves you forward on the path to achieving a state of peace. Achieving that state of peace begins to enable your mind and body to be empowered in ways that will surprise you. It will enable you to achieve much more than you may have imagined possible.
So start working letting go and we’ll approach the next step on my next post.