Short-Circuiting Black And White Power

“God has spoken once; twice have I heard this; that power belongs unto God.” ~Psalm 62.11, KJV

“If we choose, we can live in world of comforting illusion.” ~Noam Chomsky

Power, at least as supreme when relating to human beings, is an illusion. No matter how comforting, this consolation is a self- sustaining ruse. Supreme power cannot be contained in a culture, totally or absolutely possessed by a government or its leader, passed between color- coded groups, exchanged on a market or consumed no matter the product it is packaged in. This supreme power cannot be possesed and energy is wasted in our strivings for it. Supremacy cannot be taught or explained. One cannot be trained to be supreme. And there is but One example of such power and God does not offer lessons.

Instead, the power that we feel is an agreed upon power, both as an individual and as a member of the group. We or I or you agree to a position and the group agrees to submit to the authority of this position in support of an agreed upon goal or position.This agreed upon power is circumstancial and is determined only by those who agree to submit to it. We apply for positions of power and are elected to influence. But, it is a power that can be voted out or that we can choose to leave behind when the rulership is no longer worth our time or talents. It is the power of will.

But, even our wills are not supreme. We believe that because we were able to wake up this morning, get dressed and go to work that we are somehow self- sufficient. Only God has that designation. Our ability to look at a clock and tell the time we arose does not mean that we have any knowledge of how we get up from day to day; neither does it suggest that we will know the day or the hour when when we will not rise. We simply do not determine our uprising and downsitting. Luke is right: “In Him, we live, move and have our being” (Acts of the Apostles 17.28). No matter our position, regardless of our possession, we don’t live a part from God, take no action without His knowing and cannot move outside of His strength.

Black Power and its counterpart White Power, the belief that one socially defined racial group is supreme and the ruler of all, is a comforting illusion. But, we can stop our chanting, lower our fists and take off our costumes and end this masquerade of social purity and omnipotence. Power is not the solution to oppression and no socially colored group is the definition of power. Though Public Enemy sang “Fight the Power,” a rhythmic social critique to white supremacist ideas, the racial formation that pervaded American culture and the need to fight these powers of persuasion, the power is only in our heads.

And we  make a social tug of war spiritual, assigning designations of black and white devils, black and white Gods, black and white Christs. All the while, our words undo us as we script God and His Son into our narrative. We make the Divine a mere character, a social puppet that we string to our issues and agendas. We fight against God’s power in suggesting that we need to be supreme in order to right the wrongs of the world.

Power is not the problem. The problem is the illusion that we can do anything a part from God and God’s ability. The problem is that we feel that we are truly independent of God. But, this is our reality: “power belongs to God.” It is not reality if not founded upon this truth.

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