I have a saying from when I use “Ghetto Logic”: It’s alright to call somebody a dirty motherfucker, but don’t write that sentiment down unless you are ready to go to war.
Implicitly, the saying recognizes the authority of text over talk. What was said can be denied or argued that the talk was misinterpreted. But when you write there is evidence that remains beyond the moment of the sounding.
With respect to Black folk, the “text vs. talk” dichotomy is much deeper than linguistic logic. Remember, not so long, i.e. prior to 1865 (which in 2019 was 154 years ago, which is on average at least three female lifetimes long, or maybe four Black male lifetimes long); any who, back before the Civil War, in the Confederate states it was against the law to teach the enslaved to read and write.
But it’s deeper that that. If you were Black you needed to carry “papers” that identified you and what you were doing away from the homestead, plantation, farm, etc., otherwise you might be a runaway subject to the Fugitive Slave law. I know, I know we don’t have to worry about that now, except we do. Try being Black, getting stopped by the police and be unable to produce government sanctioned identification.
Let me give you the context. I am currently reading She Came To Slay: The Life and Times of Harriet Tubman, a biography by Erica Armstrong Dunbar. Check it out. Our general did much, much more than lead well over half a hundred enslaved runaways to freedom in the north, some of whom went on to Canada to avoid re-capture and re-enslavement.
President Obama decided to honor Harriet Tubman by putting her on the $20 bill. Subsequently, when Trump became president he slowed down that movement to a crawl by re-scheduling the monetary portrait to 2026, well after he’s out of office even if he somehow is re-elected for a second term.
Meanwhile, at the end of 2019 there is a major impeachment movement aimed at the punitive, modern day slave-cathcer, President Trump. Whether Trump is stopped and removed from office is doubtful, but a whole bunch of dubious and downright dirty Trump shit is being exposed, which is not surprising in one sense because Trump, well, he’s a dirty mo. . ., ah dirty, dirty man. And you can write that down.
More in a minute. Much, much more.