A Note to the Dumb

Epiphany Morrow (Photo: Tatjana Ring)

I’ve learned it often takes generations to “heal” intergenerational trauma. This healing process is affected by the duration and extremities of the trauma and is hindered by active resistance to it. My sisters were always better at math, but centuries of slavery, added with another 150+ years of oppressive acts and systems, plus a load of excuses, diversions and silence . . . brought me to the calculation of “I’m actually amazed Black folks are doing this well!”

Anyway, in discussions, I learned it’s healthy to attempt to understand and/or present plausible solutions to problems. Furthermore—Shonda Rhimes’s shows aside—discussions work best if you listen and process before responding. However, since some are slower . . . I got you. Here are some ineffective responses to the current goings-on:

  1. Starting off with “But what about the such-on-such crimes . . .”
  2. Trying to work in/co-opt other movements
  3. Pulling the ol’ “Well, this happened to me” trick
  4. Repeatedly expressing a lack of understanding without ever actually trying to understand
  5. Uttering “All lives” anything

However, doing such is your prerogative. Mine is matching your energy. I’m honestly unsure if my breaths are limited, but I’m positive they’re being wasted with you.

‘I ain’t gotta peel back too many layers to know y’all hypocrites own more memes than mirrors.’

And to my folks outchea moral-high-grounding it, I see you, killa. Being from a baby boomer, Christian household, I recognize game. Plus, I check many of the “good dude” boxes. I graciously accept compliments after a performance or some rapping “Captain Planet” workshop I do. Still, I don’t buy into my own hype enough to condemn others for actions when I know I haven’t fixed a grip of my own. I ain’t gotta peel back too many layers to know y’all hypocrites own more memes than mirrors. To quote the nappy-headed, bronzed philosopher y’all pimp out from your pompous plateau: “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye?”

So to all my self-righteous, open-mouthed/closed-eared, tell-people-how-to-be-angry, redwood-in-the-retina, diversion-tactic, non-solution-offering, stir-the-pot-faced, “like button”–gangsta-way-having, selective-compassion-giving, public-posing/private-patronizing, set-in-your-ways caricatures . . . there is an unfollow and block function located on my page. Press now.

Portrait of Epiphany Morrow wearing a backwards baseball capMorrow (Photo: Rett Peek)

 

Now, let’s be clear, I’ll still take your monies if you ever wanna purchase any product or service that I or any entity I’m involved with offers. (I learned that trick from the supremacy systems you’re upholding.) However, I’m good off of breaking bread, conversing, discussing almond milk, responding to DMs, “hoping this time’s different,” feeling sorry for your children or COVID bonding with you. I won’t feign that I have the remotest interest in your thoughts and ways other than to track the enemy. I’m strangely both the most tired and most motivated ever, while having my peace game on point. Fortunately, I just checked and you don’t fit my zen.

#begreatbeloved #housecleaning #worksinprogress


DONE DYING: Big Piph’s new music video inspired by recent events.


Epiphany “Big Piph” Morrow, ’01, is a hip-hop artist, community builder and global ambassador based in the Atlanta metro area and in Little Rock, Ark. Email him at stanford.magazine@stanford.edu.