|Home||Book Orders||About Tyrone Powers||The Powers Report||Resources||Contact Dr. Powers|
|Click here to order your copy autographed copy of Eyes To My Soul|
"Resist the devil and he will flee from you."
The Holy Quran
My FBI supervisor approached my desk and looked over my shoulder at the Cincinnati Enquirer newspaper article I was reading. I knew exactly where he was positioned. I knew his height, weight, and strength. I read his vulnerabilities. Nate had taught me how to do this. How to get the most out of my soul. How to use its suppressed, hidden powers to protect my very life, its very life. How to cause it to revolve around my brown shell, like a surveillance camera, and assess the threat from my surroundings. I sensed my supervisor's cold, drawn body move up closer behind me. I could visualize the pastel-colored eyes that sat in his sunken sockets, the lifeless, stringy hair. His eyes moved from left to right with my eyes, across the article on sanctions that had been placed on the South African government for the continuation of its satanic system of apartheid.
I felt the coldness from the depths of his soul as he opened the door to his frozen morgue and began to speak. "I don't understand these sanctions. They're stupid. We are only hurting Americans. I mean, take for instance my wife, how am I going to buy quality diamonds for her if we can't get them from South Africa? Everything else South Africa does to its people is irrelevant to me."
I didn't acknowledge his presence. As far as I was concerned he was just another zombie Klansman being utilized by the true holders of power to cause me to act in a self-destructive manner. He was one of the cretins, shrouded in government sheets, who had invaded my FBI Academy dormitory room, attempting to bait me into physical confrontation. I had ignored them, and I could certainly ignore this shadow of a man. This mentally infirm, frail agent-provocateur.
It seemed as if he was on a mission to engage me in a verbal and physical battle, a battle in which I could easily be made to seem the savage aggressor. Who would speak against him? Who would tell the truth? He was shadowboxing with me, waiting for me to throw and undisciplined rabbit punch so that he could justify my disqualification from this historically segregated and sexist arena. Or maybe he was testing me. Seeing if I were willing to make a Faustian deal, as the FBI's selection process had indicated. If not, this was the time to weed out a real Black man who was unwittingly let in through the narrow back door over which hung the sign "Negroes Only."
My supervisor continued his volley. "You know, being a racist is not the worst quality a man can have, or the worst thing a man can be. As long as he provides for his family and does his job, it shouldn't matter." I continued to read and to ignore. But now the simmering volcano deep within overtook my calmness.
As the FBI's "defender of racists" continued his diatribe, I felt warm blood rushing over scattered, broken pieces of suppressed anger that had fallen from the neatly organized shelves of my previously orderly soul. Here before me, or rather behind me, was a FBI supervisor trying to draw me into a discussion on the "righteousness" of a racist and the "complications" that his wife faced because of sanctions in South Africa. Here stood a fraction of a man, whose duties included the defending of civil rights, telling me that the right of his wife to wear diamonds was more important than the lives of African people. He was perilously and wantonly poking a dagger into the soul of a Black man, and he knew it.
A cold, steely silence filled the suffocatingly warm room. A few of the other agents, who were seated at their desks, stopped working and provided the supervisor with the smiles and then the laughter that he so desperately craved. The laughter indicated recognition of a frail insecure human being. It indicated support for a being who needed to know that he had the power to do something -the power to move people toward some type, any type, of emotion. The laughter echoed throughout his hollow soul and puffed up his bony chest. His smile widened. A few other agents, who I believe did not agree with the warped statements of their superior, presented only dry grins to the speaker.
The supervisor was not yet completely satisfied. He had not moved me. I was not smiling or laughing. I sat there, solid, unmoved, unruffled. Either I was supposed to create a fake grin, show my white teeth, and chuckle like a good ol' negro or I was supposed to get up and scream and holler like a hysterical, distressed nigger. Maybe I would physically strike out at him. He had provided the necessary stimulant. It was the same type of incitement that James Thorton had told me was intentionally being used to goad the inner-city community to react in a certain, predicted manner, thus allowing those in control to justify their own heightened reaction, which in reality was a well-planned, well-thought-out, strategic provocation.
The supervisor was determined to fit me snugly into one of two clearly defined categories: "good nigger" or "malcontent trouble maker." He just needed me to reveal myself. Thoughts and memories of words said reverberated in my mind. Echoes of past conversations made relevant by the current event. "They always know what buttons to push." James said that those in power knew how to cause a riot. Well, James was right. For within my soul there was a riot of emotions. I could feel the heat from the fire. Nonetheless, I refused to succumb to the urgings of my emotions. I would not extinguish the fire, rather I would control it and limit its expansion with a strategically placed fire line.
My refusal to bare my soul to this FBI provocateur caused him much consternation. His thin pink lips straightened across his reddened face. His eyebrows became hunched like the back of an agitated cat. Something was wrong. He had put a worm on the hook but the fish wasn't biting. He would get a reaction. He had to. He decided to attempt the more risky tactic of direct confrontation. This tactic would most assuredly cause him to reveal his white Klan hood; his provocation would be obvious. But it no longer mattered. No witness would testify against him. I had to be classified.
"Mr. Powers, what do you think? Do I have a point?" I hesitated. I knew what I wanted to say and how I wanted to say it. I wanted to say "Fuck you and your wife." I wanted to tell him that any woman that would marry an idiot such as him didn't deserve a diamond or anything else. I wanted to confront him physically. To crush every bone on the coward's racist body. But what would it get me besides dead? His whinnying voice broke into my pleasurable plans of forbidden murder. "Do you agree?"
I scanned the room, stood up, and looked straight into the eyes of my tormentor. "Personally, I want nothing to do with a racist. I have found that most of them are cowards who never confront the object of their hate one-on-one, face-to-face. They hide away in some dark closet and engage in perverted conversations with their sick, cowardly cohorts. Have you ever known a racist to face a man one-on-one without his friends or a weapon? Secondly, I have to assume that every racist is out to destroy me; therefore, I must make it my goal to be prepared to destroy him. I don't give a damn about what he does for his family. In fact, I don't give a damn about his family because I know he cares nothing about mine.
The room fell completely silent. The smiles and smirks disappeared. I continued, "As for the sanctions against South Africa, I think it's all bullshit. I think the United States is supplying South Africa with everything they ask for when they ask for it. I think the U.S. is still trading with them. I think that if the Blacks in South Africa want freedom, they are going to have to take it and not wait for the effects of sanctions or the benevolence of the rest of the uncaring world. There are too many people more concerned about their wives' having diamonds than about Black folks' lives. Once they realize that in South Africa, they won't expect help from outside forces. They will either obtain their freedom or die trying."
I moved around or through the thin, frail being and out into the silent hallway. I headed nowhere or anywhere, just away from the danger of my anger-the danger of striking out at an insignificant decoy. I had heard enough and so had he. I figured that I would be labeled because I had dared to express the truth. I had dared to look him right in the eyes. I had not remained silent. I was not supposed to do that; I was supposed to reply in a meek fashion, nodding my head in agreement with whatever he said. To have done so would have meant that I passed the test, that I was okay, that the selection process worked perfectly. I was to have no thoughts except those propagated by my FBI "superiors." I had gone too far. I was reading and thinking on my own and had the nerve to voice my thoughts. I had defied the system. I had not stayed "in my place." From this point forward the FBI would try, in its own words, to "handle the troublemaker."
[top of page]