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Feature Article | Apr 5, 2019

The America That Is Not For Me: Part 23

The America That Is Not For Me: Part 23

The Trumpian new house of horrors and the Trumpian fleapit didn’t have answers to those questions, all the questions I raised in the preceding chapter.

I will not fool myself that I had the answers either.

Neither the Trumpian new house of horrors nor the Trumpian fleapit had the answers―although the two structural humanoids were primarily responsible for creating the environment for the scandalous characterological contents of their developmental psychologies to take root, to fester, to proliferate―unopposed.

But other than that, the unscrupulous behavior of the White House of the Trumpian new house of horrors and the Trumpian fleapit itself perfectly accorded with the insidious enrootment of these scandalous characterological outliers and aberrations in the working personalities of plantation employees and management laboring in the Trumpian new house of horrors and the Trumpian fleapit.

As a matter of fact, the Trumpian new house of horrors and the Trumpian fleapit existed as a carefully hidden closet of laboratories and incubators for situations that provoke those kinds of existential questions I raised in the previous chapter, in the first place.

The two individuals I worked with in the Trumpian new house of horrors powerfully allegorized the questionable happenings and behaviors in this closet of laboratories and incubators. One of these two was the philandering male staff, the Assistant Manager’s boyfriend. However, until I was transferred to the Trumpian new house of horrors where I met the male staff in my capacity as his official relief on my first day of work there, I never knew he too had asked to be transferred to another location in the aftermath of his on-and-off skirmishes with the eristic low-level female employee. We were to relieve each other hence on the heels of my first official work there.

I realized just within a week that the Trumpian new house of horrors was going to be another challenging enigma―with its absolute lack of additional eyes in the form of ubiquitous cameras as was the case with the Trumpian fleapit.

This called for a pineal eye, or a third eye, as well as for optimal, effective reliance on the concepts of perceptual broadening, prosociality and developmental plasticity as I gradually acclimated myself generally and philosophy of mind in particular to this new or unacquainted environment.

For me, effective communication in a difficult, turbulent and fickle environment such as the Trumpian new house of horrors consisted in maintaining proper structural coordination between viva voce and the evidential integrity of oversight cameras. This wasn’t, as I alluded to previously, the case in the Trumpian new house of horrors.

Regarding allegations of patient abuse, for instance, the subjective evidence of verbal communication or anecdotal evidence alone may not be enough to meet the rigorous standards of the scientific method without, say, bringing the conscious oversight of apodictic camera evidence into the equation.

Arriving at satisfactory answers and judgments based on fair arbitration of occupational conflicts implied instrumental coaction of veridical verbal communication and unadulterated camera evidence.

Even with all the electronic monitoring devices openly installed inside the Trumpian fleapit to gather evidence on day-to-day activities and communication in real time, the Manager and management still selectively ignored evidence that put them in a bad light.

Cherry-picking camera-based evidence and facts reinforcing their elitist sense of official importance and the subordinate station of plantation employees in the company further enhanced their false sense of official leverage in the eyes of these naïve plantation employees. I wasn’t one of those naïve plantation employees for anyone to toy with, of course. My standing in the company as a prodigy of social justice, moral scruples, and decorum got me out of the meretricious realm of ingratiating naiveté.

On the other hand, those plantation employees who must have fallen for the dazzling aesthetics of organizational bullying rediscovered themselves in a straitjacket of pusillanimity.

Among other things, the Trumpian new house of horrors was a cesspool of emotional and political circus, very much like the Trumpian fleapit.

However, the absence of indoor cameras meant that, once again, substantiating allegations and other forms of verbal accusations could prove a daunting enterprise for investigators. For the most part, this also meant that whatever happened in the Trumpian new house of horrors remained squarely within the closet minds and souls of staff who worked there.

The male staff took advantage of the lack of indoor cameras to show his true colors, thankfully a situation that offered me another opportunity to reassess his behavior and work ethic in an entirely different environment.

I am referring here to a renewed interest in reassessing his characterological holism from the point of view of his erstwhile relationship with the low-level female employee, a symbolic likeness of Anita Hill or Christine B. Ford. I didn’t do this as thoroughly before when we both worked in the Trumpian fleapit, for at the time I never thought I had a reason to―nor did he give me any reason to.

But then again, like the Manager, the male staff saw himself primarily as that teddy-bear dolphin the weight scale of whose particle of intelligence far outweighed the mammoth physical bulk of an adult whale―collective intelligence. Undoubtedly, he presented himself as the signature Dracula face of special snowflake syndrome. But he wasn’t what Justice Clarence referred to as (Jacobs, 2018): “a high-tech lynching for uppity blacks who in any way deign to think for themselves, to do for themselves, to have different ideas.” He rather saw himself as an adult elephant in the weight scale of intelligence. He was in fact better and bigger than his stiflingly small world, his small world eclipsing the voiced plosive megaphone of collective intelligence.

He was the God of the small gods, the center and not the fringe of his ever-shrinking world. Known for always comparing apples and oranges, or Jesus Christ and Donald Trump, he easily mistook an adult elephant for an adult whale. The issue was that his world didn’t differentiate between terrestrial existence and aquatic existence, the same way the crude language of absolute literalness and the high-flown language of figurativeness mutually overlapped along the jagged contours of his perceived Brobdingnagian psychology. In short, he was not poetic in his approach to understanding his immediate environment. His fustian conflicts with the low-level female employee simply boiled down to an institutional texture of complex romance between the clash of egos and shadow-boxing.

What happened in effect was that of all places, in the Trumpian new house of horrors, to be specific, he almost succeeded in transferring the virtual extinction of and anger for the low-level female employee to his new co-employees―sparring partners. The theatre of war merely changed from the Trumpian fleapit to the Trumpian new house of horrors; only the humanoid punching bag changed from the low-level female employee to one involving the timorous shadows of his new co-employees.

His subtle approach to the psychological manipulation of weak-minded persons around him, a strategy central to his warped exegetical profiling of the philosophy of self―which he tactically executed for the sole purpose of satiating the sempiternal esurience of his ego, also remained largely the same, inviolate.

And whether he saw himself as a moral agent worthy of his colleagues’ attention, let alone anyone considering his pedigree of moral agency as a model of emulation, in the oblique context of his Machiavellian, tendentious reliance on his folie de grandeur as a statement of his moral superiority remains to be convincingly elucidated for the edificatory empowerment of posterity. This partly called for an informed, proactive and professional headship in the operational and structural character of the Trumpian new house of horrors, a headship to provide strong oversight of and ethical direction to employees needful of coherent compass in their professional relationships.

The Trumpian new house of horrors was in fact headless, without a manager, when I began working in that environment. That headless Trumpian new house of horrors was the headship of Medusa, with live poisonous strands of snakes in place of her shock of hair. Only one of the serpentine strands of venomous hair had been cut off, signaling an umbrella of deception. Two female managers quit the job within a space of two months of the official commencement of my re-assignment. The heavy demands of a house manager chased them out of the Trumpian new house of horrors. The headless interregna gave way to all kinds of character developments, of which the male staff’s was perhaps the most exceptionally destructive to both staff and charges, detrimental to the general psycho-emotional and spiritual health of the Trumpian new house of horrors.

This male staff, a symbolic likeness of US Supreme Court Justices Thomas Clarence or Brett Kavanaugh, also used his physical bulk to scare away female supervisors―house managers. He passionately detested managerial oversight from female managers especially unless, of course, he’d a deep romantic interest in or fondness for a particular female employee who, as it turned out, doubled as his immediate supervisor. His primary target was a woman who doted on men under the influence of affluenza, never dawning on him that these hardworking female house managers were mock-beggars, that the Trumpian new house of horrors was in fact a poorhouse, an almshouse.

“As Poor as A Church Mouse” was the song every staff sang to celebrate his or her hypothetical exit from the conflagration of privation, a world of diminished material comfort, to an existential semblance of material fullness.

These struggling female employees ignored his advances. He shied away from them in retaliation, riding roughshod over them merely because they respectfully resisted his advances.

He even refused to show up for important house meetings some of these female managers organized and superintended, including one organized and chaired by our new house manager to address critical complaints made by staff and charges alike. These complaints included patient safety.

Another threat in the form of a romantic war already in the pipeline? Possibly! Thus he made enemies of these females just because he couldn’t bring himself to zip up his fly. Love hormones defied the logic of gravity and rushed to the crown of his bulky head, creating violent waves of romantic and orgasmic paroxysms along the secret shorelines of his waist and loins in his dreams.

We had a house meeting one day and he didn’t show up for it so, as expected, the house manager asked me to pass on details of the meeting to him. The house manager wasn’t comfortable passing on these details directly to him herself. This bothered me on one level because it was within her rights to extend her managerial or supervisory authority to the subordinate private space of the male staff, but by allowing her paralyzing fear of the male staff to completely take over the oversight authority of her office, spoke to her professional myopia and absolute submission to the psychological gimmickry of the male staff. In a way, she relinquished her official authority on account of her blatant betrayal of the fiduciary obligations of her office.

Thus she betrayed her tactical sovereignty and official legitimacy when she peeled away from the official conduct of exercising her managerial powers. Her professional myopia and visible trepidation around the male staff contributed to his professional inertia, elevated sense of self and overweening airs, misogynistic proclivities, and misplaced machismo. This made it possible for him to fan out his infective Trumpian arrogance across the credulous space of one other staff who had fallen under his spell. He reportedly enjoyed a steamy romantic relationship with a female supervisor in the Main Office, leveraging this relationship to press this timid staff into service in his behalf.

Unfortunately, his pedigree of romantic brinksmanship failed to exercise its intimidating presence in the Trumpian new house of horrors.

Now, in a sense, he was a spitting image of our previous manager, the Manager, in his characteristic controlling, scheming and ambiguous dispositions but more particularly, in his I-don’t-care attitude, with his trademark verbal squibs alone enough to incite a vendetta against him.

He was now the new Margaret Thatcher amongst male employees in the Trumpian new house of horrors.

Once again, I found myself caught in a pincer movement largely defined by a suit of unprofessional practices in the White House of the Trumpian fleapit and the Trumpian new house of horrors, an environment where the subtext of implicit bias and racism and ethnocentrism and nescience gave birth to the narrative thread underpinning the superstructure of my American experience. Of course, I was no doubt caught between the devil and the deep blue see.

My broken immanence was in complete disarray.
It was not that I purposefully got myself inebriated on the vodka of racial victimology.

Consistently seeing my Hollywood-esque black-turned-white Andromeda in the pincer grips of Harriet Washington’s Medical Apartheid: The Dark History of Medical Experimentation on Black Americans from Colonial Times to the Present, Edward Hooper’s The River: A Journey to the Source of HIV and AIDS, and Rebecca Skloot’s The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks unnerved me.

Not even devouring Bryan Stevenson’s Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption could salvage what remained of my consistently brutalized psycho-emotional landscape from its steep declension into a chaotic volcanic crater.

I found my adopted Trumpian America behaving more and more like Ron Powers’ No One Cares About Crazy People: The Chaos and Heartbreak of Mental Health in America.

One expected to discover Bryan’s curious world in the accommodating constellation of the American Dream but, alas, Ron’s world seemed to offer a better approximation of the charming, sexy illusion that was the American Dream, hidden behind impenetrable iron bars where the engrossing humanity of hard work and studiousness and law-abidingness and imaginative ideas lay buried.

Rather, Ron’s world defined my America and the Trumpian fleapit and the Trumpian new house of horrors.

The Trumpian fleapit and the Trumpian new house of horrors presented themselves in my mental map as the clash of the titans. No two people in Orwell’s Animal Farm exemplified this confusing existential dialectic of the American experience than the internecine tensions which the sneaking literalness of the male staff and the unpredictable trope of the Manager created in the equanimous ethos of my immanent ontology. This sometimes drove me into the open arms of The Philosophy and Opinions of Marcus Garvey and the writings of Garvey scholar Tony Martin.

Ironically, for the vaunting heads who claimed to be in absolute ownership of every channel of insight into the complexity of human nature, these macrocephalic empires of the Trumpian fleapit and the Trumpian new house of horrors couldn’t bring themselves to bear the weighty insightfulness of these intense writings on the bold stump neck of social justice, of racial equality, of cultural justice.

It was that simple, what Bob Marley, a master of the mystery and laws of human nature, characterized as “Man to man is so unjust” on “Who the Cap Fit.”

“They stab you in the back, and they claim that you are not watching,” Bob Marley on “Want More.”

“Where there is a will, there’s always a way,” Bob Marley on “Zion Train.”

The Trumpian fleapit and the Trumpian new house of horrors couldn’t make me understand these timeless apothegms.

The immanent evil nature of man, the Trumpian fleapit!

The immanent wickedness of man, the Trumpian new house of horrors!

Garvey was indeed a man of considerable insight. He told me exactly what to do in the face of psycho-emotional and racial abuse even as the male staff and his protégé, the other male staff we worked with, conspired against my plans to keep the Trumpian new house of horrors and our charges clean, and in order. Whenever they knew I was relieving them on their separate shifts, they left many tasks undone as they used the time intended for these tasks to watch music videos, talk on their phones, play video games, and watch movies. The Trumpian fleapit was now the Trumpian new house of horrors in its characteristic proliferation of wickedness and dereliction of duty. The male staff was now doing to me what the female staff at the Trumpian fleapit once did to me.

I’d entered the Trumpian new house of horrors on a number of occasions only to be met with technical knock-out blows from fecal and urinal stench, and yet the male staff and his partner in crime seemed not to care. And so, once again, I ended up assuming additional responsibility for their shoddy work, though I never left any work undone for them to complete when they took over from me. I respected them enough not to burden them with additional work meant to have been accomplished during my shift. In fact my conscience forbade me from doing exactly that. You then wondered what sorts of consciences some human beings were born with. Still, other problems persisted as well:

There were also times, a couple or so of them, when I wasn’t relieved hours after my shift ended. And my relief, the male staff in particular, never called in to let me know why he was running late and whether he was even going to relieve at all. When I had to relieve him, I always did so on time. Not once did I show up late for work. However, in these times when a staff came in late I labored beyond my scheduled shift work hours as the pangs of hunger gripped and consumed my intestines, my tongue, my throat, and my psych-emotional wellbeing. No one, not even the house manager or management or the tardy staff, had the courtesy to apologize for inconveniencing me.

Were these staff members workshy? Or merely lazy?
Were they human beings with an atom of conscience in their wicked bones?

What did their unconscionable actions say about their developmental psychologies?

Did they possibly suffer from synesthesia which may have grossly distorted or screwed up their sense of time?

Here in the Trumpian new house of horrors, like the Trumpian fleapit, why did I have to vacuum the entire house, clean each bathroom thoroughly with bleach, wash and rinse and dry cooking utensils and cutlery set, put soiled clothes and linens in the washer after my overnight shifts only to return ten or so hours later the same day to find the laundered material still sitting in the washer or dryer―sometimes still wet, other times kept dry but still unfolded?

Do hardworking, law-abiding and conscionable human beings have to go through the conflagration of mind-eating thorns and rusted needles and nails, of emotionally sapping sharks of frustrations, of endless cycles of bitterness and pain to get a tiny bite of that illusionary American Dream?

These colleagues made me feel like the paralyzing stench of death, like a soulless coffin.

Do we make a choice as to the possibilities into which our humanities are born? I made several complaints to management about these happenings but nothing was done. So I resigned. There were additional reasons why I resigned, though. I couldn’t entertain the idea of being wrongly cited for patient neglect when I did more than my fair share of work to put the place in order, protect patient safety, be an advocate for patients, and guarantee the integrity of occupational safety for all and sundry, for I couldn’t bring myself to bear the brunt of vicarious or collateral punishment for another’s dereliction of duty. I didn’t want a blemished record to spoil my future plan of becoming a nurse. The male staff couldn’t care less about these important matters.

Also, I covered for a staff member then in nursing school pursuing a licensed practical nurse (LPN) on a number of occasions but couldn’t get him to agree to do the same for me once nursing school opened.

For how long must I continue fighting for myself and patients? At this I couldn’t take it anymore. I couldn’t fight for myself and patients anymore because doing so drained me physically, emotionally, spiritually and mentally, for I lost my presence of mind and died whenever I fought on. Besides, except for my family and a few close friends, no one seemed to care what this actually did to my mental health! Those who said I was morbidly obsessed with the aesthetics of death suddenly changed the syncopated tunes of their criticisms now that they knew I was alive only in the tasteless rhythm of death―dead still attached to the grieving stigma of bilateral ptosis! How many times can a man die? And how many times can he be buried? Can a man die three times and be buried three times? Listen to the late Joseph Hill, of Culture, on “Down In Jamaica”:

“Earth's greatest prophet was born
“Down in Saint Ann's bay
“He was going about
“Prophesying equal rights and justice
“To the nation, I know
“And because about that, they took him away
“And told us black man he's dead
“But I weep not at all
“For I know that one man
“Just can't dead and bury three times…

“I know they took him away
“Man, they took him away
“And told us, our black man is dead
“Come on, black people, it's always this…”

Before resigning, though, I asked a supervisor why cameras weren’t installed in the Trumpian new house of horrors. “No, we can’t install cameras in this building,” she riposted with a grimacing emoji of a face. “State laws don’t allow it.”

“Why?”
“These are adults.”
I then shared other jaw-dropping secrets with her, including serious allegations of abuse, physical and emotional, but she didn’t appear to show any interest in them. She even appeared not be listening to my plaints. One particular charge made me privy to these allegations. He reportedly mentioned the male staff as his abuser. The male staff privately confirmed these allegations to me.

However, without visible marks on this charge to indicate acts of physical abuse on his person, how could anyone objectively verify the allegations―though not all cases of physical abuse result in visible signs of injury?

This was why the Trumpian new house of horrors deserved its own ubiquitous installation of surveillance cameras!

As mentioned elsewhere in this chapter, I had reported for my overnight shift on a number of occasions to find this same charge partly covered in excrement and the male staff never bothered to change him. The asphyxiating stench of fecal and urinal pollution had greeted me at the door where I, a stickler for occupational hygiene, had been turned into a fog of confusion. I wondered how the male staff allowed this miasmic erosion of his sense of occupational hygiene to continue unabated―given that he ate in that environment among other activities. “Francis,” the charge would tell me, “I pooped on myself several hours ago but your friend refused to clean me up.” I would then clean him up thoroughly, change him into new clothes, replace his beddings, clean up his room immediately and then bleach the floor of his room in the morning, and cart away the soiled materials to the laundry.

To make matters worse, the male staff also reportedly refused to hang around this charge just to make sure he had swallowed all his pills―with a cup of water―without any problems. What if this charge were dysphagic, with an upper limb dystonia to boot? So I checked up on this charge first thing during my nightly rounds only to fine his evening pills scattered on his bedroom floor. I had called the male staff to ask him why he had been doing this to this particular charge. His answer: “I don’t care; he’s disrespectful and abusive to staff!”

He later refused to answer my phone calls on some other occasions claiming that answering work-related calls from me when he was home relaxing wasn’t part of his job description, given the fact that he wasn’t paid to answer work-related calls from me when he was home.

He even refused to answer work-related questions from me once he had a foot just outside the main door of the Trumpian new house of horrors after he had punched out. “My work is done,” he would tell me with a tinct of superior airs hanging about him, “can’t you see I just clocked out? Let’s talk about this when I am working.” I was home when he was working.

I logged every activity and then lodged a formal complaint of these happenings with a supervisor. And yet nothing was done about my complaints. To allow my conscience to rest in absolute peace and in harmony with the rest of my spiritual and emotional beingness, I continued to advocate for these charges and to do my best for them in spite of these cyclical frustrations―however.

Why didn’t this supervisor take my complaints seriously? Was she really afraid of the male staff, just as the male staff had previously told me she was scared of him? She probably couldn’t stand an African or a black person offering her constructive, creative suggestions on how best to effectively deal with a daunting crisis of a purely management texture, much the same way textbooks for two of my classes, Fundamental of Interpersonal Communication and Public Speaking and Critical Listening, completely ignored certain nonverbal communication behaviors that were not only unique to Europe and the rest of the West, but typical of humanity as a whole.

My professor identified philology, semantic allusions, semiopathic ideas, and semiotics with the great mind of ancient Greece. For the sake of Western intellectual magnanimity, the non-Western world had to thank the Greeks and the West for originating these non-verbal communication behaviors while the rest of the world slept.

Why was everyone including Hollywood, America and the rest of the West, Western textbooks and media, and the American classroom ignoring me, my humanity, my African world, my many contributions to the human genome and of civilization? Was I responsible for the biological blackness of my beloved Africa, of humanity? Was I responsible for white supremacy, racism and ethnocentrism, xenophobia, and scientific racism? Was I responsible for the unpardonable sins of Adolf Hitler and Christopher Columbus, apartheid, slavery, colonialism, imperialism, neocolonialism? Was I responsible for the historical and contemporary wrongs of the West? Was I responsible for human suffering? Here I was:

Like Peter Tosh, I adore Mama Africa!
Like Ziggy Marley, I embrace my rich black story!
Like James Brown, I am black and I am proud!
Like Nina Simone, I am black and gifted!
Like Kirk Franklin, I smile to ward off the evil, miasmic Jezebel of apocalyptic and nihilistic thoughts!

Like Pharrell Williams, I am happy to stay focused in life no matter what people say!

Like Whitney Houston, I look to my inner deity for the flourishing art of universal love when all hope seems lost!

Like Mariah Carey, I look deep inside my heart and soul for self-love and strength when the odds are stacked against me!

Like Louis Armstrong, I cling to what remains of our wonderful world!

Like Tupac, I keep my head up in spite of the challenges of life!

Like Bob Marley, I am that hopeless sinner who could hurt all of mankind just to defend the inherently good nature of man!

Of course when all is said and done, I am my own hero, for crying out loud!

Bob Marley on “Rastaman Chant”:
“One bright morning when my work is over, man will fly away home.”

Francis Kwarteng
Francis Kwarteng, © 2019

This author has authored 567 publications on Modern Ghana.
Author column: franciskwarteng

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