By Nicholas Brady
The end is near. The end is here.
Yet this begs the question, what can one call the end? How can we define the end? Does it mean that there will be no life on the earth? Does this mean the atmosphere will be broken by the trajectory of a million asteroids; or the land and ocean will dry up into a lifeless desert; or some random code will be activated and all the nuclear weapons on earth will launch?
This seems to be missing the point. The end of the Mayan calendar is not necessarily about predicting the wrath of an unseen God or the demise of all beings – instead it is about the end of life as we know it. This is about the end in the way of being in the world, a way of being that has defined “the world” as the world-in-itself. An end of human being(s). This is the end of our world, a world I have never been able to be in. An end of an era, an end of this time and this place.
And it is in this spirit that I stand in solidarity with this, let us pray for the end of the world!
I demand for the end of the world that began and continues to live with my end. I am talking about the end of the life-worlds of my ancestors — denied the status of being my kin — that began with the raiding of the continent, the forced opening of its limbs, dragging black flesh east and west. If it is true to consider Africa as the womb of humanity where all of us can trace our origin to, then the unconsensual invasion of Africa that can be dated back to 625 a.d. unmakes the continent into a disfigured and silenced womb, what Marlene Nourbese powerfully describes in her essay “Dis Place” as a radical “innerspace to repopulate the outer space” that gave birth to Asia, Europe, and the New World as we know it. This is to see the middle passage as a womb, a pregnancy, a violent birth – an end that is a beginning, a beginning that is an end. An end of life-worlds that produced black people was the beginning of the white/non-black world. The end is near, for the end was already here for us.
Later today, an activist I respect greatly, Dominique Stevenson, will make a journey toward a prison to demand for the reinstatement of a program began by her, political prisoner Eddie Conway, and other men on the inside named Friend of a Friend. The program was terminated for being “subversive” and “revolutionary.” On the day that many people will post either sarcastic statuses or ones denouncing the Mayan calendar, she will stand up to a system built on warehousing and murdering black flesh. She and others will scream into the abyss, demand to be heard by those who could not bear the sight, let alone the sound, of their existence. Against the end of the program, they will demand the end of an order built on ending us. For all you out there skeptical about the end of the world, this is what it means to end the world: tear down the institutions built on using our end as a means to their ends. Fuck civility and democracy, this is not a deconstruction, this is the destruction of an order that attempted to destroy us!
Destruction is an act of love for a community made impossible by machinations of violence that use us a means for an end. It is irreconcilable to love the world and love those destroyed for its very existence. For too long black politics has been sitting in that zone of indecision and confusion, trying to love Amerikkka and ourselves at the same time. We have been trying for too long to heal a nation through the brute strength of our own bodies, willing to be murdered to protect a nation inflicting the unspeakable and unspoken pain. These sacrifices are to be revered, but not repeated. I respect past generations and those of us currently who use this methodology, but I will accept it for myself no more. Slavery is not a scar on the foundation of a nation, it is the scar that is the foundation — the point of no return that gave birth to its terrible existence. Slavery is not something to get past or beyond. The beginning was the end and we can never go home again. So the road to the future is not a road at all, it is destruction as an act of love.
Against the world that could not hear Anna Brown scream as she slowly died as she was being dragged out of a hospital into a prison cell. Against a world that murders a black person every thirty-six hours. Black suffering is so normal and redundant that when it occurs, when the police rape and murder, when 4 year children are suspended, when schools are closed while youth jails are opened, it registers little emotion, little response aside from further infliction of pain and punishment. How can some deaths be mourned nationally while others occur in a space of unthought? Everyday we are blackened, beaten, bruised, until we meet our demise at their hands, clubs, guns, ropes, whips, chains. This world loves to destroy us and we must demand its end through a radical form of love, a love of blackness.
The world that blackened Africa and its people in order to bring itself into standing must now be made black. This is the destructive process that the radical black tradition has called for. The end is this process of making the world black. This is to demand the world to pay the costs of blackness, the cost we pay everyday with our flesh and our lives. The demand has been called abolition or reparations, black nationalism or even the pan-Africanism of W.E.B. Dubois and third-worldism of Frantz Fanon and the Black Panthers to name only a few. The demand for the world to be black is an ethical call with political dimensions, a call for the world that began with our end to meet its end too, to fall into the black hole of the dark continent and become the dark world. A friend just told me a few days ago that I was a “black partisan” and I responded, “if such a thing as a black party could exist, I certainly would be.” Across the globe groups with the stated purpose of blackening the world, of demanding for it to meet its end at the point of our own creative oblivion have sprouted up and I feel nothing but solidarity with the revolutionary forces in this world and in this nation. If one black party is not possible, then a cold war fought on multiple fronts, led by forces underground and outer-space, making incoherent demands, using tactics of the unthought, speaking from the inner-most point of unspeakability might bring about the impossibility of a creative destruction, an end without means. A revolution that truly irrupts out of nowhere.
The end is not about a day, an hour, or a minute. The world will not end when my clock turns midnight or when it turned midnight in Australia or California. We are lost at sea, ripped apart and divided into the singularity. Time has no meaning for the black. We exist in a non-time in a radical state of non-being. Time ended for us long ago, and, in a way, it did for you as well. This end is not an event, but an event horizon, an endless end. This is a different type of calendar, a black form of time not governed by the setting sun or changing seasons, but the end of an epoch. Let December 21st be stretched across the horizon, elongated and divided infinitely, spaghettified until sub-atomic presence is ripped apart and the world meets the singularity of our suffering.
Let us pray for the end of the end. The end is not near, for it is here!