Depression Confession

Before I begin, I want it to be known that I’m not trying to gain any pity from writing this, nor do I want to read something that will make me feel worse. This is one of my venting entries where I need to blow off some steam and shed a tear or two. 

As you know one of my most used topics has always been about the mainstream media and its usual platform of racial stereotypes of black folks. You see it all the time in news and entertainment. Some people are not aware of how unbalanced the portrayal of African Americans is in the media as they are glued to the television busy trying to see what the media has to say about the Kardashians that day. But in the midst of the media’s Kardashian obsession, there will be images emerging that will tell the world how bad black people are supposedly are according to white media. 

The nightmarish reality of all this is that even if you turn the TV and radio off, stay away from newspaper stands, and overt your eyes from their websites because you know what to expect, the presence is still there surrounding you and affecting everyone around you. At the same time, the public wants more and more of the same shit. They can’t seem to get enough of it. They want fear and hate because that is entertaining to them.

I’ve written and described how this can bring about collective shame. When it comes to news, it’s mostly crime reports that get the ratings pumping. Whenever a bad crime is reported, some black folks do not want the suspect to be the same race because they know society judges all black people with the actions of one. (You will hear it when they say, “I hope he wasn’t black.”) All it takes is one to confirm social fears about black men. More than one will enact government action to watch black communities more closely and implement tougher penalties. When the reports describe that the suspect(s) was a black male, or if the report shows a mugshot of a black male or mugshots of black males, then their fears come true.

Even though having such anxiety is illogical, it is explainable. Black, brown, and native people in this nation is always seen through a “white” lens. The worst among us is a small minority within our group, not the majority. However, the American mainstream media focuses on that minority for ratings purposes. A illusion is created that makes people believe that most crimes in this nation are committed by men of color, and they are out in large numbers to invade white communities to cause trouble. Nothing is explained about what factors would make men of color commit crimes let alone why crimes occur in general.

It seems to me that lately the news is going into overtime focusing on the color of crime which is usually black. I know and you know that there are blacks who do commit crimes, but there are a small number of those that engage in criminal activity. Yet, if you were to check out the news, you’d think that black people are natural-born killers and rapists. You never hear about the good things blacks have done or are doing because the mainstream public doesn’t find that interesting. But let them tell a story about how a 10-year old white kid organized a fundraiser for a sick child and it’s a “feel good” moment. This is what gets to me. 

I shouldn’t have to feel guilt or shame because some crazy fool screwed up severely. Then again, I shouldn’t just let it slide and consider it as part of life either. I shouldn’t have to worry about what white people will think about us, but I do worry about what whiteness will do to us. After all, it still haunts the American government and “justice” system. Remember Troy Davis? Nuff said. Now, I’m sorry if I sound like a frightened negro to you right now, but like I said in a few of my past entries, I’m still conditioned to think a certain way. I guess the media has a Pavlov effect on my mind and heart, and it may take all my life to be free from this.

So, right now I’m thinking and wallowing around in depression. I’ll be okay soon, and I will feel this way again. I’m still Brotha Wolf, but right now I feel like a damn poodle (lol). Hey. Sometimes even wolves feel so much pressure. 

19 thoughts on “Depression Confession

  1. Brothawolf, I like your website.

    I think that with regard crime, we have to see the realest crime of them all. That we are here in America. And I do not mean that Europeans are in America (we’re not Europeans after all)–that’s a crime, too. But the other crime, that we should concern ourselves with, is that we are the victims of a kidnapping, enslavement, embarrassment and harassment. Everything else should be moot. Frankly, no kidnapped person should ‘behave’ according to the standards of the kidnappers (ooo, maybe that can be another ‘allegory for me.’)

    Beside from that, I have quite a few nice posts on my website, I do not know how to send links in this reply box, so I can name a few.

    One is named “Excerpts concerning the Aryan Invasions of India” which shows how even 4000 years ago, Europeans have been terrorizing Africans.

    Another is “A quotation on our past renown from Lady Lugard” which tells you that the world once looked up to us as the best–a White woman points this out.

    Another is “Fable: The God Fearing Hunter” which attacks European theology at its core. A nice fable if I can say so myself.

    Another, which was useful to me when I was younger, is “Of Ibn Battuta the 14th Century Traveler in Africa” which reports how Africans were the most moral people in the 14th century as according to the world’s most traveled man.

    Check them out. Maybe it can address your depression. 🙂


  2. Peace Brotha Wolf
    I read your blog regularly and enjoy it.
    I read your post today and wanted to share my thoughts with you as a Black man who has had bouts of depression over the years. I feel like I can relate, to some degree, to what you’re dealing with. I’m sharing my thought in an effort to be supportive.
    Not that you need to hear this but what you are dealing with is completely normal. Some people have issues with their eyes, heart, leg, ear etc… and some people have mental health issues. We are not soft, sensitive, and overly emotional or any of the other labels used to describe people with depression. As I understand it we just have a chemical imbalance of some sort in our brain. It’s pretty common. In fact I think quite a few people deal with it, especially in our community, but are unaware that there is name for what they are dealing with and that it is treatable.
    I thought the link below might be somewhat applicable to this post. It talks about what Black people deal with in this country in terms of racism, prejudice etc. and the effect it has on us. Who wouldn’t be depressed with all the ish we deal with on the regular.
    All the best.

    1. I’ve been struggling with it too, but just a few years ago, I started to develop this sense of collective black shame whenever I hear about a bad crime happening somewhere and the suspect is a black man. I don’t how it began.

  3. Brotha, I think it’s all by design. It’s meant to make us feel tired and weary.. especially defeated. Sometimes, even black folks who weren’t born and raised in this miasma of American racism tend to look unfavorably on those who have suffered a lifetime of wave after wave of this crap – and get tired and fed up with the game! Let whatever critics first walk/live in “these” shoes, and then judge.

    Do what you gotta do to be strong. It’s okay to cry this anger and bullshat out of your system when needed so you can recover and behave sensibly moving forward with all of your might. Having been there MANY times I can assure you that – this too shall pass – but I can’t promise that it will stay gone. I do believe that the older you get, the more you know/learn how to best deal with it, without hurting yourself, or those closest to you – or anyone.

    Focus on the positive that resides IN you. : ))


    “I think that with regard crime, we have to see the realest crime of them all. That we are here in America. And I do not mean that Europeans are in America (we’re not Europeans after all)–that’s a crime, too. But the other crime, that we should concern ourselves with, is that we are the victims of a kidnapping, enslavement, embarrassment and harassment. Everything else should be moot. Frankly, no kidnapped person should ‘behave’ according to the standards of the kidnappers.”

    Thank you for articulating that !!

    1. It is easier said than done. I try not to personalize it, but after so many, it gets maddening. Even though I know the media is heavily racially biased against black and brown people, something that has been proven, the shit storm still continues.

  4. Antidote:

    Louis Moreau Gottschalk. Will Marion Cook. Ernest Hogan.
    Buddy Bolden. Jelly Roll Morton. Fletcher Henderson. Jimmie Lunceford. Scott Joplin. King Oliver. Duke Ellington. Sun Ra. Miles Davis. John Coltrane. Cannonball Adderley. Lionel Hampton. Charles Mingus. Bud Powell. Thelonious Monk.
    Son House. Bessie Smith. Charley Patton. Tommy Johnson. Mance Lipscomb. Mississippi John Hurt. Sleepy John Estes. Muddy Waters. Buddy Guy. Frank Stokes. Clifford Gibson.
    Billie Holiday. Erykah Badu. Nat King Cole. Ethel Waters. Dinah Washington. Lena Horne. Anita Baker. Roberta Flack. Joan Armatrading. Tracy Chapman. Ella Fitzgerald.
    Jimi Hendrix. Vernon Reid. Bernie Worrell. George Clinton. Buddy Miles. Billy Cobham. Bootsy Collins.
    Junior Walker. Marvin Gaye. Wilson Pickett. James Brown. Edwin Starr. Aretha Franklin.
    Grandmaster Flash. Tupac Shakur. Kool Moe Dee.

    I could go on for hours, literally. All the above are just people I’ve gotten specifically interested in, in the course of studying 20th Century American music. That list isn’t near complete. But the history of American music is absolutely dependent on them. From Sousa and Foster on, all white composers have been directly, massively and irreversibly influenced by them.
    Full disclosure: I’m a white guy, but I can get depressed for exactly the same reason, from the other side; I didn’t sign up to be the world’s biggest asshole any more than you volunteered to be its punching bag. Our society stinks, period. But when I feel bad I turn to music. And the best music to turn to was made by the people who know what it’s like to feel bad.
    There’s a few Stagger-Lee ‘bad man’ types in the list above, probably Charley Patton and a few others. But they’re a small minority. (And their music is just as good.) All of these people dealt with what you’re talking about on a daily basis, yet created transcendent art, at least part of the time. Nothing can ever exclude any human being from the ongoing dialogue about what it means to be alive.
    Your effort at transcendence is proven by the existence of this blog. Thanks for that.
    I was once a hitch-hiker, and was picked up in North Carolina by a black preacher who drove me to Kansas City. We talked all night. I remember little of what we said, but this quote from him stood out, and I think of it still almost daily: “Life is a mystery to be lived, not solved.”

    By the by, poodles can be quite formidable when cornered.

  5. Depression is an appropriate response to what has been and is being perpetrated against People of Color in the U.S. It is what many have used as a coping mechanism to keep from slapping somebody. Physical exercise, creating art or music, getting outside where nature is visible, laughing and writing ;^) work to mitigate depression for many. Knowing we’re not alone is crucial. Knowing others feel the same way and desperately need us to reach out to them can save our own and collective ass. I remember getting an email once from a guy that needed my supportive input along this line. Reaching out to him strengthened me for months afterward. Don’t try to “escape” a feeling that’s completely reasonable — because it won’t leave. It knows it’s reasonable. Just give it a big hug and rock it for a while until it — and you — can go another mile. You are SO loved, Brotha Wolf.

    1. Thanks, Changeseeker. I wrote a couple of years ago that the best thing about having this feeling is knowing you have that feeling. I didn’t feel this way when I was younger, but now that I’m older and wiser, I’ve seen the world as it really is, and I’m outraged by how insane it is.

  6. BTW, Brotha Wolf, I’ve used a boatload of therapy at one point or another to identify and deal with connections between social situations over which I have no control (such as you’re describing) and personal issues that get hooked by those social situations. In order for this to be effective, however, you have to find a therapist/counselor/whatever who has a good understanding of the social situation. They exist and they may even be connected to community agencies that offer low or no fees. Just a thought.

      1. Warm and sincere hugs Brotha Wolf. I’ve been battling depression for years and so I agree;you are absolutely right about the difficuluties in finding a health professional educated to understand our special issues, especially those black men must face. Don’t give up on this search if you believe this method of healing may work for you. If only every community had a Dr. Joy De Gruy! Medication may be an option if symptoms occur frequently and disrupt your daily activities. Ain’t no shame in taking meds-I take one, and millions of others do as well! Tips I’m sure you already know: Sports or anytype of physical activity you enjoy will naturally effect your dopamine centers making you feel better, so if your not active, force yourself to be. Artistic endeavors (beside blog)? Engage in them if you’ve got the time. Consume mostly Living Foods- it really does make a difference =)

        Please know that you are not alone in these feelings and the work that you do helps and heals so many of us who are suffering with the collective “shame” and weight of whiteness. We need you BW;but please, take time for yourself- or I am comin’ after you, LOL! (joking=)

        We are here and you are not alone. Signed: A smiling black woman who sends a smile to you. (And I’ve got a Fantanstic smile!)

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