Black is Cheaper

2015-05-07 11:07

Worry not if you haven't yet come to possess the latest gadget, for the Black Market is here.

A place that does not discriminate against societal bankruptcy, where the depreciating levels of consumerism never come to reach those who strive to keep the market alive; this is the place where everyone comes to thrive, and purchase things, for an ultimately, overly negotiable, cheaper price.

Of course it makes sense to call it the Black Market, since the term carries with it all the world's most terrible connotations, accumulated throughout history, past, present, and if pessimistic you are, future.

Today this market, yesterday a stage for the finest trade then observed, that of humans as goods, sold for nothing but profit and utility maximization. The force that built several nations, and the bones that erected glorious statues (now falling), belonged to those we've come to know as slaves. Yesterday enslaved by whips and even words of seemingly religious nature, today by an idealism as perverse and futile as those we proclaim emancipation from.

What is it that makes us cheaper?

Yes, because the problem at hand is not our condition of being cheap, but cheaper.

It's easier, quicker and far cheaper to ship the black to a land of no territory; or to pin diseases on unborn children and ensure the fair redistribution of social inequalities in townships. Black lives are easy to produce, and even easier to reproduce. Black lives experience existence with a chained obligation of never forgetting the past and reenacting it in every possible opportunity, of filling the puzzle of the same historic episode in each social encounter, and of classifying each interaction according to that which for a long time dictated what it meant to be black in South Africa. Black lives happen and stop happening everyday, and I suppose, for this reason, expenditure on them would be a laughing matter for some, for why spend so much caring for the those who know not much more than violence?

I think we have come to this forced epiphany. I think we get stuck in the coarseness of our hair and resolve to plant, instead, foreign and softer threads in our skull, hoping that such softness will disperse to our ever resistant ideologies, but the project of civilization once more fails, and our neurons, rebellious by force, resist the urge to relax themselves, and indignant at our hair's resignation and loss of dignity, hope to elevate themselves in the broken bikoisms we pick up from frustrated and uninformed toyi-toyians.

What, then, of the Mama Afrikas and the uBuntus we eat everyday, what of the standardized black collective existence, and shared historical experience we wear in our long and weary afriKan tunics, what of the ever-glowing pride of being Black, that we had to resurrect from its empty grave? All this ends up in the Black Market, to be consumed by those who cannot gather enough cents to consume what they truly wish.

What we truly wish to buy.

White is right, and that's what we want.

We want the shade so as not to get darker, and strategically position ourselfies so as to look as yellow-bonny-ish as possible. We erase our eyebrows and draw in new attitudes; we tweak out remains of our mother tongues and elevate a range of vocabulary unknown to our inner metaphors, because someone's pronunciation, it seems, is an apparently accurate sign of education.

We acknowledge our own inferiority, because we look at ourselves from a broken mirror that does not wish to be fixed, and that we do not wish to fix ourselves, for it is far easier, to the eye and to the society, to remain where we are, as we stand, and to find solace in the ragged pages of books banned.

So we prove to others what we cannot prove to ourselves; that blacks matter, that we matter. We proclaim poets and compose chants, we rename streets and reshape foundations, in the hope that someone else will finally come to terms with our existence, in the hope that someone else will legitimize our value, validate our contribution to the progress of the nation.

Perhaps this is why we are cheaper, because we are not consumers of our own selves. We do not buy what we wish to live, we do not promote what we are able to sell to the world. Our words need be converted to stronger currencies in order to be made commercially viable, and in the process, end up losing whatever they wished to transmit anyway.

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