Exalting the scream from the ghetto

Chapter 36




The system - or the sum total of our daily repressive thinking - as usual employs repressive tolerance towards the pressure from our victims, strangulating the scream from the underground by exalting it and granting it acknowledgement for its artistic value.



The oppressed - both in Europe and America - are given safe conduct to exhibit for the better-off and better-thinking among us - with all our sympathetic words about the "problems of the ghetto" and benevolent sermons on hunger and overpopulation in the Third World.



We strangle the oppressed with all our high-flown talk about integrating "them" while we ourselves flee to the suburbs, causing further ghettoization.



We are vociferous in our bragging about having a black friend here and a Muslim friend there, but we never wonder why blacks or European immigrants only rarely come to these art palaces, and accept without batting an eye that black waiters carry on the master-slave relationship at these functions.



As buffer-troops we can absorb all criticism of the system and distort it and avert it by consentingly raising it to the level of art. This is also what will happen with my photographs, I predicted..... long before they were invited to be exhibited in the US. Congress and various American museums.



Affluent liberals whom I came to love and hate at the same time because they are so much of myself, give me all kinds of support to exhibit my critique of their society, shocked at the things I have seen in America and ashamed because they feel I have passed a threshold they ought to pass themselves.



Such people carry on in all societies about the need for change in order to help ghettos and underdeveloped countries "up", but on election day all their promises wither away.



Therefore I know that I, too, exploit our victims, for these pictures will not benefit them at all. We will feel a little sentimental about the suffering of the oppressed, but we will do nothing to change ourselves, give up our SUV's, foreign travels and private schools to redistribute the goods of the world.



And so my pictures will only be a catharsis. Although I knew this beforehand and often was told so by the underclass blacks who had no illusions about trying to talk to the "inner goodness of whitey", I nevertheless persisted and have thus betrayed the oppressed, making this page the only one almost all U.S. blacks and E.U. Muslims can agree with.



I have created an entertainment and emotional release for the oppressors and extended our system. I am just as hypocritical as these art snobs because I am playing by their rules.



If my critique became too radical, they would turn their backs on me.



Therefore I am forced to water it down by using their premises so that my presentation just becomes tear dripping and condescending paternalistic nonsense on the sufferings of the ghetto and our unfortunate shadow sides - such as this sentimental journey into Harlem -a few blocks away from the stronghold of these liberals - the Museum of Modern Art:



If you take the train with me
uptown through the misery



of ghetto streets
in morning light
where it is always night:



Take a window seat,
put down your Times
you can read between the lines,
just read the faces
that you meet beyond the window pane:



And it might begin to teach you
how to give a damn about your fellow man!



Everything in Harlem is black - except all business which is owned by whites and immigrants. The only stores that are not owned by whites, the street people will tell you, are the omnipresent funeral homes, since white undertakers will have nothing to do with black bodies. Being an undertaker is one of the surest ways of reaching middle-class status. For death is as ubiquitous in Harlem as the fear haunting everybody beneath the uneasy sporadic laughter. Yet I feel safer as a member of the ever-present invisible "Whitey" in Harlem than most blacks are, for as always in slavery, aggression is aimed towards fellow victims rather than towards the hated oppressor.



This funeral home next to a drug rehabilitation center illustrates clearly the unremitting choice you have in Harlem - the choice between an instant death or an enslaved life under The Man. Thousands of addicts choose the door on the left.



They know all too well that if they choose the door on the right, they will either become re-habilitated, which means a return to the previous condition in which they could not survive without using drugs - or else they become "up-habilitated" by learning how to live with the ghetto jungle through mind-crippling and killed sensitivity - thus subjugating themselves to the The Man's blame-the-victim slavery of changing the victims rather than their oppressive environment.



This woman is a living illustration of the constant choice in Harlem. A mad attacker had broken into her apartment and tried to kill her with a big knife. She survived by jumping out a window on the third floor - and was crippled for life.