Ostracism, Loneliness and Community



Another great essay from The Kintespace. I recently noticed that it is served well with a side of this Liberator backissue essay on Loneliness.

(Kintespace) Ostracizing Remarks about Being Ostracized: The recent UBM post “A pissing contest at BlackProf.com” really opened up the subject of being ostracized for me. For you gals and guys out there with the stiff upper lip, taking for granted that you are deeply entrenched in several organizations you may liberally call “communities,” you should have pity on me for being ostracized. “Ostracized” is probably my middle name—but, you know, with American slavery and all, who really knows what my name is…?

The screenshot below is an excerpt from the Google Book version of Ostracism: The Power of Silence. It should set the tone for us—I mean for me (since I am the only guy on Earth, apart from maybe my eldest son, reading this article):

The passage shown above goes on to discuss how people will actually change their perception of a measurable object in order to avoid the remote possibility of being ostracized. Since “Ostracized” is my middle name, I am immune to such bullshit—and this braggadocio alone encourages even more socially acceptable cowards to ostracize me. These cowards must ask, “What keeps Bryan going? Surely by now must driven crazy by being left out of so much community.” Hey, pal, I’m glad you ask such questions. The short answer is this: Since I grew up in a functional, Black, working-class neighborhood as a child, my formative years did not feature being ostracized. This implies several things—here are a few:
  • Self-described Black people who grew up in far more affluence than me but were the only Black so-and-so, surrounded by sea of white-bread suburban mediocrity are seen as ‘less fortunate’ by me. My challenge to you is to survey most of the savvy Internet users of color and you will find the majority of them are from this world of white-bread suburban mediocrity. This should explain why developing a dedicated Black audience for kintespace.com is so “challenging.” My chances are better in Sweden.
  • My previous use of the word “working-class” means that as a child I saw grown Black men working. This fact alone is impossible to imagine by too many colored kids from the ghetto joined by their white (and white-like) benefactors that “allow” them access—across the “digital divide”—into the Internet. My stubborn assumption that Black men, according to my model of Black manhood, work and they work hard—for parity and objective, measurable supremacy—also helps to explain why developing a dedicated Black audience for kintespace.com is so “challenging.”

1970s Christmas PartyThe longer answer is in this very journal you are reading now. By browsing through a random sample of just 50 articles in this journal, you can literally, arithmetically measure how much I don’t give a shit about being ostracized. My knowledge that allows me to hold this position is based on one simple germinating thought: When you are anti-social in a sick society, you are fighting for your health—you are looking toward real life instead of a fake one. Poor people, literally dying of malnutrition would deeply and gratefully accept any morsel of social recognition. It’s just not that bad for me yet. It’s just not that sick and twisted. This is why a sexually assaulted Ugandan woman with a uterus punctured by a stick would be eternally grateful living in Sweden—while I would get homesick (for a home that no longer exists) in a few days and start complaining about the weather.

You see, being ostracized from a Tantric organization of heterosexual African women scholars and nature walkers, aged 30 to 40, who are also vegan chefs, would break my fucking heart right to the red meat. But being left out of most of these tricycle, poot-butt organizations, teetering toward dysfunction under white-supreme oppression, might have been very painful as an adolescent but as an adult is too, too often a blessing in disguise. Joining the wrong social organization(s) as an “urban” adolescent while your working-class neighborhood systematically degrades into a divorce-ridden ghetto can literally be deadly. Just because I now have access to relatively “upper class” formal and informal organizations as an adult does not mean a double (or triple) standard should be developed to evaluate these “elite” groups. When shit comes through any sphincter, it’s just that same ol’ shit.

Being an outsider and a natural-born thinker, allows me evaluate the benefits of many organizations and social groupings as an outsider—without fear of being ostracized. Since most of my time in solitary confinement is spent reading about people and listening to people, my database gets full and functional, revisable generalizations are made. Most organizations in the world do not measure up to the benefits I received as a child growing up at 1355 West 70th Street in South Central Los Angeles. It is just as simple as that. And for me to take steps to explain why this is my reality means you don’t come from where I came from. You see “the problem” of actually remembering where you came from? Most of you think you are having fun—you have no idea homes…

Some random ones:
  • The classic Hollywood threat is, “You’ll never work in this town again.” When this threat is real, the person doing the threatening is effectively telling you that his ostracizing will cause other social/commercial groups to ostracize you. This is why central control—even at the expense of common sense, human rights, and objective science is still oh so sexy—even in the age of the Internet. What’s Google’s stock price now?
  • My outsider observations suggest that most people frequently ostracize others based on the fear of being ostracized themselves. Any perception of reckless non-conformity sparks ostracism.
  • The Black neighborhood scenes in Devil in a Blue Dress are very touching to me as I am confident that I grew up in the last throes of this organized Black settlement in Southern California. These short scenes go a very long way to explain what was taken away from me in the name of “progress” and is extremely hard to replace.
  • Ostracism is also a form of energy conservation. Ostracism is not totally “evil.”
  • People who have been ostracized for most of their lives (like me) tend to become experts at what Pink Floyd calls, “wearing out your welcome with random precision.” Small talk is a challenge for me—I’m not “pretending” to be difficult. Now go eat a cookie or something…
  • Because of my relatively healthy childhood background, being ostracized represents largely a lost opportunity to be helpful. Most of my sorrow related to ostracism is realizing yet another moment of not being of assistance—especially being of assistance to ‘traditionally oppressed’ people. The weird way racism, sexism and oppression works is that when most people meet me, nothing resembling the possibility that I could be of help to them comes from the words they say or how they present their body language to me. I do not find it a “challenge” of charm to generate and dissipate lavish amounts of energy to “overcome” what appears to me a deeply profound and foundational misunderstanding of my character. And, on the other extreme, what one would regard as me “helping” them is often interpreted by me as a form of selfish exploitation, habitual slave driving—a bitter irony when self-described Black people are trying such exploitation.

Ostracism can ‘force’ those that have been ostracized to really question what it means not to be ostracized—this leads to examining what it means to be cared for—what it means to truly “love” in an organized and constructive manner. It can make you evaluate how people treat each other like how a connoisseur of fine wine evaluates wine. This can make you (like me) a very critical person—which causes more people (cowards) to ostracize you. Sadly ironic but under these fascist circumstances, there are not many viable alternatives—what Basquiat might call “no mundane options.” You can see just how abysmal the modern situation is in “Four Rules to Understand What Makes People Tick.” (source)