Why Our Children Hate Us
The urban classic by Ulysses "Butch" Slaughter and Eric "Brother Shomari" Grimes. A piercing look into the historic betrayals by Black people against their own children.
Book Introduction Excerpt
by Ulysses "Butch" Slaughter
Time flies. But time doesn’t necessarily or naturally heal wounds. The fact of the matter is that wounds can get worse with the passing of time. Wounds, either untreated or misdiagnosed, can eventually lead to death. The wound on Black skin has gotten worse. What at first is a mystical, majestic and beautiful birth into Black skin too frequently morphs into misery, meanness and madness. The legendary rhythm and blues band Earth, Wind and Fire sings: "child is born with a heart of gold. Way of the world, makes his heart so cold." I said it in the first edition of this book. I’ll repeat it here in the rewrite: “only those who are out of touch need research” to substantiate that Black life has gotten worse. My name is Ulysses Grant Slaughter. I'm named after my father. Many people know me as Butch Slaughter. There was a time when I preferred to be called Butch. There was a time when I despised my father and didn't want to share a name with him. My father killed my mother Clarice when I was 12 years old. I heard the two gunshots that took her life. I watched her bleed from a gaping hole in her right temple. I testified in court against my father. I didn't want his name. I wanted as much distance from him as possible. Time flies. And sometimes time can heal old wounds. It doesn't happen naturally. We have to acknowledge the wounds. We have to address the wounds. We have to seek and scale the steep mountain of redemption. Sometimes, through love, compassion and forgiveness, we can heal wounds. Sometimes. I forgave my father before he died. He asked for my forgiveness. Deep in my heart, I wanted to forgive and be forgiven of my trespasses, too. My mother would have wanted it. And so it was. Transformative forgiveness. Radical reconciliation. In addition to wanting forgiveness for my father I wanted my name back. My name is Ulysses. I am my mother's son. I am my father's son. I inherited their love, their fears, their mistakes and their dreams. One day my children will inherit mine. One day I may need to seek forgiveness from my children so that our family can move forward. This book is called Why Our Children Hate Us: How Black Adults Betray Black Children. I came up with the name and the concept for this book back in the Spring 2006. Hatred for my father influenced the book’s conception. Love for my children influenced the book’s completion
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Dear Daddy, I hate you
by Ulysses "Butch" Slaughter
Fuck you. And fuck the god that created you. He’s as much to blame as you. Maybe more... I’m not sure. I don’t know. I’ve never met him. Never seen him...never talked to him. I’ve met you. But I’ve never met him. People will say that’s my fault. They’ll say: “He’s there. Let go, let god. Peace, be still.” They’ll say: “He may not come when you call, but he’s always on time.” People will say: “God’s will be done.” That’s stupid. Your god’s will is always done. His will and his won’t, too. Fuck your god. And fuck you, too Daddy. You and your god must have made a deal. You two were working together, I guess. You did exactly what he told you to do. You killed my mother. Your god gave you permission. He told you it was all right. You asked him if it was okay to shoot my mother and he said it was okay. He blessed your decision. He said: “go ahead, my child. Kill my other child.” He said: “It’s part of my di- vine plan.” He said everything happens for a reason. So he let you do it. He helped you do it. He told you exactly where to point the gun and let you pull the trigger. The bullets screeched and god’s angels rejoiced. The heavens parted and my mother fell to the ground. A perfect sacrifice, a testa- ment to your god’s will. And now my mother is gone. Been gone for years. Been dead for years. Ashes to ashes. Dust to dust. Back to nothing as if she never existed at all. Gone. Past. Dead. I guess if your god gave you permission, he must have also forgiven you. That’s usually how it works with your god. No matter what you do, your god will forgive you. My mother is dead, but still your god allows you to be reborn. My mother’s blood is dirt dry, yet you can be reborn in your god’s blood. She’s finished, yet you can start all over. Move on. Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Praise his name. You can kill and be forgiven. That’s good to know. That’s “good news,” isn’t it? You killed my mother, but your god has given you new life. And you might still even get into heaven. Hallelujah...good for you. You’ve been forgiven. Good for you. But tell me this, muthafucka...what do you want me to tell my children? What do you want me to tell my mother’s grandchildren? How do I explain where their grandmother has gone? How do I tell them what happened to her? Tell me...I’m listening. But I can’t hear you. What should I tell them? How should I explain it? Why don’t you ask your god? Certainly he’s got the answer. Ask him how I explain his divine plan and your honorable posi- tion in his perfect process. I’m waiting. I’m listening. But I can’t hear you. Neither of you. Silence... Fuck you. Fuck you and the god that created you. My God sends his regards. Your son, Butch
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Forgive: the new mantra and practice for Black Men
Book excerpt by
Ulysses "Butch" Slaughter
Skip the “we Black Men” conversations for now. Forget about what “we Black Men” have in common. Be by yourself with this book. Read this book for you. Spend some time with you. Start with you. Search you. Feel you. Bring it all back to you. This is not a book about Black politics. This is not a book about Black culture. This is not a book about Black media. This is not a book about Black social conditions. This is not a book about Black history. This is not a book about Black education. And though I am talking to Black Men, this is not even a book about race. This is a book about the illumination of God through The Black Man and expansion beyond The Black Man. This is a book about channeling unique energy through your unique Black Man. This is a book about self-definition and personal, cosmic accountability. This is a book about a relationship: the relationship each Black Man has with himself. This is a book about forgiving misconceptions. This is a book about forgiving self-imposed limitations. For now, forgive the common notion that we are so much alike. You are special, Black Man. You are the only you. Think about that. Consider the miracle of you. You contain Black multitudes, but you are the only you. You can create a purpose in this place. You will do things no one else has ever done. You will do things no one else ever could or ever will. You can have unlimited opportu- nities in this moment. You can expand “Black.” You can have so many choices in this time. Who will your Black Man be? How will he express himself? How will he move? Your Black Man can’t take anything to the grave so what will he leave behind? What will he give? What will he forgive? Today people often speak of the need for Black Men to heal. Forgiving is the pathway to healing. Clarity - clear vision and awareness of your connection to universal God power - will make forgiving a joy for every Black Man who dares engage the practice.
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