Villains are Heroes Too

I’m sitting in my hotel room in Elmina, Ghana, Africa.  I’ve been here four days now and it has been an emotional, but life changing.  To say that I thought I would never come to Africa wouldn’t be accurate.  Ive always believed in myself and been confident in my abilities, yet I never knew how I was going to feel until I actually got here.  Witnessing and walking the paths of our ancestors overwhelmed me.  It gave me a sense of peace and deep introspection.  I kept thinking about history and the suffering: something I speak often about.  Then I got to the point where I started to feel this fire in my belly.  It wasn’t hunger. I wasn’t thirsty.  I felt heavy and it wasn’t from breakfast or because I haven’t seen a treadmill in a few months.  No, this was the weight of the chip on my shoulder.  I couldn’t calm it. The fire burning wasn’t hunger pains. It wasn’t oppression. It wasn’t discrimination. It wasn’t feeling disenfranchised. It wasn’t feeling disrespected or disregarded. How much longer can I sit back and watch the people in my city praise the worthless?  I don’t need to compete, not interested. But I will…

Today I am feeling more fired up, a bigger chip on my shoulder than ever before. I have come to the point today, I believe, where I have seen enough.  I’m at the point where I’m just attacking everything and everyone. Not out of jealousy or unwarranted malice (this may have been the case previously). I used to be like this before but I don’t think I did it very smartly. I was still out for applause and the popularity that comes with being loved. But today felt different:  I said “fuck it.”  If I’m going out, I’m going down the angry monster. I just wanted to scream, “you wanted Gravy, well you’ve got him!”  I think before I still was holding out to get my PhD, didn’t have a job that I felt comfortable with, and just was overall living in fear of being unsuccessful. Today I realize success by the terms and definitions of this society is a complete waist. It’s not what it’s cracked up to be. Walking the slave routes and witness the slave river where our ancestors took their final bath before being sold into slavery enlightened me to something.  Kill me my way. We are all going to die sometime anyway, but on who’s terms? It’s like a kamikaze situation or an African soldier who carried around a pouch filled with poison so that if they ever got captured or surrounded that they would just drink it and die for they let their enemies capture them, kill them, or exploit them for secrets. I’m going out like I came in to this, fighting, angry, and motivated.  And people will say, why can’t you just be happy and content, focus on yourself and leave other people alone and out of your crosshairs. To which my reply is, that’s not good enough. No no, there are plenty of phonies, opportunists, capitalists exploiting their race and status, “Mr. nice guys” who get by doing shitty work but because people like them, everyone thinks they are so great and accomplished. 

Did you know that monsters live forever too? That as much as we like Luke Skywalker, Darth Vader will also go down in history and never be forgotten?  I guess you can say that I am finally understanding and agreeing to the full embracing of the dark side of “the force.”  In this case, the force represents life energy.  Too much good, is not good for us. I remember an interview done by George Lucas talking about the legacy of Star Wars, and he mentioned that Darth Vader is the true hero of the Star Wars trilogy.  His life actually brings balance to the force. He changes the history of the Jedi and the republic. There are plenty of “nice guys” out there. I don’t think the world needs that right now, and especially from me. Embrace being the guy with a chip on his shoulder. You don’t need to be rosy and sweet and smile all the time, shaking hands and kissing babies.  I’m here on what I would call a seek and destroy mission. Goal oriented not people oriented.  Be the angry winner over the happy loser.  I’ve finally given up on being that guy: in my personal life and in my professional life. You do NOT have to like me. But you damn sure will respect me and what I do. You don’t have to like Darth Vader, he can be your villain, the anti-hero, the one everyone is afraid of.  But don’t you dare even think about telling the story of Star Wars without him. You wanna talk about a disservice?! As much as we talk about Black Panther, can anyone forget about Killmonger? Magneto (Malcolm X in Stan Lee’s diaries) didn’t hate humans.  He believed they would never accept to love among mutants equally in society and their fear of “equality” with humans would lead to their persecution.  We can wait for society to choose our heroes, but I have a feeling the most deserving (I hate the word deserve), and the most capable will never see the light of day… even the best villain is still the best, and that’s better than nothing…

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