The Spirit of Kashiya Nwanguma

November 1, 2020: I slept all day on Halloween, so I’m up at 3.15am, when this Trump/Pence commercial comes on TV. The extreme dislike I’ve had for someone I don’t know personally know but who affects my life personally got really clear… clearer than it’s ever been. I not only work in government, but I’m a student of Constitutional Law and a advocate for the total liberation of Black people from racist systems in America. I’m a feminist. I’m always rooting for everybody Black. I’m a humanist. I’m an empath. In my 43 years, the last four have been some of the most difficult to watch play out socially. It all goes back to Kashiya Nwanguma.

While positive representation matters so people can envision themselves in their dreams, representation in negative situations can lead you to envision yourself in your biggest nightmare.

In March of 2016, Donald Trump held a rally in Kentucky. Like most of his rallies, there were protesters calling him out as a racist, booing him, the regular, and his militia of poor to working class angry White people who felt like the American Dream was denied them by some affirmative action program. He instructed the crowd to “get them out”, and the White male crowd began to mob, surround, push, shove, and manhandle three of the protestors. All three claimed some form of assault happened on the rally floor. One stated he was punched in the torso, one stated she was pushed and shoved, and the third, Kashiya Nwanguma, stated she too was pushed and shoved, which you can clearly see in all the videos of the event, towards the exit by the mob and called racial and sexist epithets. She filed suit against Trump after the incident. One of the most violent was in a MAGA hat, was Matthew Heimbach, a known white nationalist, who was charged with assault and battery. Another defendant, a Veteran, apologized for his actions. The ring leader, your President and his campaign were charged with incitement of a riot, negligence, and vicarious liability. Trump was found guilty of inciting a riot.

Kashiya Nwanguma

Watching that woman who looks like me and many of the people closest to me, started this period of intense reflection for me about the space in which I occupy as a Black woman. I am the mother of a Black son, who was younger than Tamir Rice, a 12 year old shot dead by police while playing with a toy gun in a park in 2014. I am highly educated and successful, the very person those mobs of White men see as their direct threat. I am outspoken, assertive, and I speak up for myself and others who may be silenced, especially in the face of racism and sexism and the delicate but real intersection of that discrimination. I am also a threat at work, armed with more knowledge, skill, and talents than the majority of my counterparts, especially those who make the decisions about who will sit beside them to compete for further promotional and leadership opportunities. My resumé and skill set outperform them by leaps and bounds, but I’m not given the same opportunity as the mediocre white women and white men around me. I often feel pushed and shoved towards the exit by a mob of white people. I hear “get her out” everytime they deny me an opportunity for no other reason than I’m Black, female, smart, and unapologetic about it. I am Kashiya Nwanguma.

The Presidency of Donald Trump has been a stark reminder that we are both a threat and unwanted. They will push us out, and if that doesn’t work they will pack the courts with people who will deny us our rights, and if that doesn’t work, they’ll sanction police to kill us in the streets, behind bars when we speak up and protest their mistreatment, or in our own homes when they scare us out of our sleep. These things are not new, but technology has given us the ability to videotape them and share them on every social media platform over and over so we all see it happening, sometimes in real time. The availability of these direct messages of hatred has been both eye opening and simultaneously difficult to consume on what seems to be sometimes a daily and sometimes a weekly basis. We are able to find out who the victims and perpetrators are in a matter of minutes. We are able to see the victim’s mistakes flashed before us like justification and their history of protest and activism that sealed their fate like so many of our heroes before them. We also get to see these racist monster’s manifestos and hate group participation live and in living color in a matter of minutes. These things didn’t start in 2016 but they certainly have been amplified.

Here’s the thing… we have the ability to show that we are not the same Americans who enslaved millions of people for hundreds of years. We are not the same America that put holes in humans with high pressure water hoses because they simply wanted to be treated with respect and dignity. We are not the same America that planned the execution of every Black hero that gave us hope in times of despair. There are certainly some of us who are those same people, but the majority of us have evolved past those times. We cannot sit around and allow the least of us to represent the best of us anymore. The American Dream is a fallacy because the systems of racism in place do not allow ALL AMERICANS to reap the success from the seeds of excellence they sow. However, we can redefine the American Dream, and it can morph and change over time. Right now, let’s start with this… Let’s construct an America where the laws and policies reflect the desires of the best of us and not the worst of us, where respect, humanity, and freedom from the -isms that allow some to be treated less well than the others are our guiding goals. Because this shit going on right now… is some bullshit.

The best of us won’t vote for a man who instructs a crowd to get protestors out by violence, but particularly not one who instructs White men to push and shove a Black woman like a rag doll, who admits to touching women without consent, and who has commented he would date his daughter. The best of us won’t vote for a man who says suburbanites (read: White middle class) should be afraid of urban (read: Black poor) people ruining their neighborhoods and infiltrating their schools. The best of us don’t vote for a man who says a pandemic that has killed hundreds of thousands and left long standing health implications with millions is a blessing. The best of us don’t vote for a man who can’t simply say white supremacy is horrible and children should not be separated from their parents and left in cages for crossing a border. The worst of us will and then attempt to justify it with arguments about the economy and politics.

Donald Trump is not a politician. He has said so several times. He’s a business man who once hated the mere idea that in his America, a Black man… a handsome and articulate one at that… could elevate to the highest position of leadership as his businesses failed and went bankrupt, his intelligence was questioned, his hair piece ran away from his face, and his waistline disappeared. He is President because he was angry a Black man was President, so much so he incited the white supremacists into voting for him claiming to care about their economic and personal interests… when all he really wanted was for Eeny, Meeny, Miny, and Moe to put bullets in their rifles, put on their hoods or riot gear, light their tiki torches, lace up their steel toe boots, and catch a nigger by the toe.

They caught Kashiya Nwanguma… and she put on her cape, activated her Black Girl Magic, sued the shit out of them, and called them out. So in the infinitely dynamic spirit of Kashiya Nwanguma, let’s #sayhername while she is alive and well, and take the pushes and shoves we have endured and make our gold cuffs, our ballot and our lasso, our vote, and catch a racist by the toe… and when he hollers, which he will, we will sing in harmony…

“Bone, bone, bone, bone, bone, bone Now tell me whatcha gonna do
When there ain’t no where to run
When judgment comes for you”

Tuesday, November 3rd, I’ll see you at the crossroads!

Caught You Slippin Up

Do you know where you live? You see, we have not been hoodwinked, bamboozled… we hoodwinked and bamboozled ourselves Black people!

In case you forgot:

This time the politicians gathered together and decided to take back their majority interests in a country becoming much more like gumbo than chowder in the great American melting pot… Plymouth Rock didn’t land on us, we forgot about it. We forgot that while America is Apple pie, baseball, democracy, and freedom… it is also chitlins and Jim Crow caught a nigger by the toe bondage meets a grabbing pu**y President and kids in dog cages. It is racism, sexism, inhumanity, and rape culture. The vestiges of slavery. Freedom for some.

It’s a tale as old as time, WE know all too well. Yet we didn’t exercise all of our rights, the real dream and the hope of slaves. Instead we sat out of the ultimate game, the greatest show on Earth, the Great American race… and kept our votes like movie tickets from our first date, locked away, too precious to see the light of day. The Black vote declined 7% in the 2016 Presidential election, the one with the greatest potential impact. 765,000 LESS Black people voted in 2016 than 2012. (1) That is an outrage!

It was the worst of times. And we set it in motion, the more you pledged you wouldn’t vote, the higher the stakes got. You think they don’t care about us, they do, but only in respect to how low they will go to beat us at a game they were sure they rigged against us. Slavery, capitalism, gerrymandering, elections, the electoral college, and everything in between was a part of the big plan put into place to strengthen the big lie. Everything their ancestors learned, they learned at the feet of Egyptians. Pythagoras, Thales, Socrates, Plato, Euclid, and Homer… all studied under Egyptian priests. Imhotep, an Egyptian architect, poet, mathematician, and astronomer was in fact one of the first philosophers and helped construct the pyramids based on mathematical formulas in 27B.C., long before Greece was thought of.  The underlying systems in this country are a big FU to that history. You dimply cannot be great if you are fighting to live, learn, eat, and have a drink of water. It was political prohibition. And the only way to dismantle it is to use the greatest tool of political power, the vote.

It was like we didn’t believe him. Like he was pulling our coattails.

“…they’re sending…drugs and rapists.” (Mexico)

“…she got schlonged.” (Clinton when beat by President Obama)

“…torture works…”

“The only card she has is the woman card.”

“Look at my African-American here!”

“He founded Isis” (regarding President Barack Obama)

“You’re living in poverty, your schools are no good, you have no jobs…I will get over 95 percent of the African-American vote”

Why didn’t we believe him?

Our “representational government” has been 80% white, 80% male, and 92% Christian since 2015. (2) Furthermore that top 2% we hear about, well 66% of Senators were in the top 2% and 41% of Representatives in 2012. (3) The American Dream… that whole premise was a fallacy. Come here and be all you can be… not.  While a few of us have broken the code and learned the secret password, we don’t broadcast it because we too have been brainwashed to think elevation is for the few and not the many. Wealth for the privileged is a birthright that buys them a position. We have to work for ours, 10 times harder. Systematic oppression is written into the laws. The only way to change those laws is to put people in office who truly represent your interests. Vote.

We failed.

So in a little over 500 days, we have watched a man ban groups of people from entry, break down Unions, withdraw from the UN, set in motion a plan to get rid of key government agencies, promote HBCUs (hahahaha…. he wants us out of State colleges and universities and especially Ivy League institutions), and allowing companies to hire H1-B non immigrant workers with less red tape, blurred the lines between church and state. He will get a chance to nominate two Supreme Court judges in under two years, setting off a plan to build a moat around Ruth Bader Ginsburg filled with the fountain of youth… oh the Supreme Court. In just a few weeks they have set out to reinstitute the travel ban, opened all your cell phone data to police, crippled labor unions, set in motion an overturning of Roe v Wade, and allowed voter suppression and gerrymandering that disproportionately affect people of color. Yep… all of that!

So where do we go from here… I don’t know. We fix the Democratic Party? We help as many of us excel as possible? We EACH register to vote, and vote every single time? We build for our kids so they in turn build for their own? We claim our worth in a system that constantly claims us unworthy? We stop trying to mimic and we live in our truth? We learn from others and history so we don’t repeat it? I don’t have all the answers but I know this to be true: we are here!! Texas isn’t gonna succeed and give us our own state. We aren’t all going back to Africa, or even to Canada. We have to participate in the process, or we shouldn’t be surprised when there is an Ofdonald, wearing nun wings, Melania is in teal with a tight chignon and dreadful disposition, and Gilead is real life.



  1. Pew Research, 2017.
  2. The Washington Post, 2015.
  3. CBS News, 2012.