Covert Power Play


Although mankind share many differences the bridge is in the magic of our similarities. Similarities that even if precarious through doubt in some, have the power to be cemented in others.

Our similarities in perception can fluidly travel to and fro from the above types. My favourite among such similarities is that of the power of perception.

Irrespective of the external differences that separate people into “us” and “them” mainly, race, religion and gender. Perception serves as a magical bridge that binds hearts and minds in understanding because what is perception except as popularly translated in the dictionary,as the way in which something is regarded, understood,or interpreted.

It can be argued based on the content in image above, that Queen Elizabeth’s refusal to respond to the request of apologising for britains role in the slave trade is because she is _______ (fill in gap with any charge that claims a narrative connected to racism and lack of empathy)

Such an argument stems from the perception of the one making it, which isn’t something I personally care to condemn, refute or debate.

I’m interested more in sharing what came from my own perception. I read excerpt from a article discussing Megan markles ancestry amidst talks of her shared ancestry with prince harry.

The first feeling I had was….that’s a bit awkward, followed by a thought that asked why put the request to her publicly?and then another that was criticism based ‘it’s funny how some people expect muslims to apologise for heinous crimes done in the name of Islam’. A train of thoughts followed, that led me to my annoyance for all those who did apologise due to similar pressures that accompany such matters. My annoyance came from my individual personality that couldn’t and still doesn’t accept such situations when I’m made to witness it.

Because of that, I as a black Muslim didn’t have a problem with Queen ELizabeths claimed refusal to apologise.

Why? Because the request seemed like a covert power play and in the grand scheme of things, I felt that she recognised that and actually respected her for refusing, solely because of that.

Those who felt frustrated by it perhaps did so because the need behind the power play was not satiated. And those who were not bothered by it (like me) were not because of the perception we have about it.

“Everything that irritates us about others can lead us to an understanding of ourselves” ~C.G. Jung

Whatever the reaction whether frustrated or not bothered, it’s important to note that we merely serve as the audience the one attempting the covert power play, relies upon for the support that ensures the success of their attempt.

Ever since 9/11 happened I have genuinely cringed when ever I saw someone feel entitled enough to request or expect, a Muslim to apologise for or disassociate themselves from attacks that harmed innocent people. Through the condemnation of the attackers, simply because said attackers shared similarity in religion or race. (I cringed even more when some did it)

The entitled individual was exercising a covert power play over the Muslim whether knowingly or not in such situations. The choices presented were basically; apologise so I can feel better and if you don’t it means you are like them!

My soul has never felt comfortable witnessing such psychological power plays. Successful Covert power plays leaves the aggressor feeling powerful and the victim of it powerless. It’s an exchange that taxes on ones honour whilst granting the other an illusion of increase in their own.

The motive for empowerment is concealed in what ever narrative the sought after empowerment is presented through, hence why it’s covert. It’s disgusting to say the least. In some ways even cowardly as it shares fragrance with passive aggressiveness.

Elizabeth may have condemned slavery in other ways but it’s the refusal of requests like this that many choose to judge by. Although I have no interest in other people’s conclusions per say, I do care about how certain truths can be obscured when viewed through a black and white lens.

It opens the doors for much judgement as a battle of the twits commences. A black person who shared my perception on this matter can be quickly labelled a sell out who isn’t “woke” and a white person who has it will be labelled a concealed bigot, relentless perhaps in making excuses.

When the truth is in today’s day and age differences in perception, is what separates people into a new form of us versus them.

I’m just wondering what is us and them in this context? Intellectuals vs pseudo intellectuals?

This isn’t about pride it’s about honour, and what is self love without the awareness of when you are getting mugged off on the sly? Successful covert power play simply means you’ve been subdued successfully.

It’s successful because one remains non the wiser while it happens to them. Apologising through empathy or stating your position about something through compassion for another as a show of solidarity, isn’t the same. Definitely not the same when that intent is fulfilled through you being a victim of a covert power play that invited you to state what have you, in the first place.

The former elevates a soul and the other dishonours through subjugation. The former shows a strength of character whilst the latter the lack thereof (for many reasons)

What’s interesting is I feel compassion for the one covert power play is exercised on and anger towards the doer. I feel anger for the latter because they attempt to commit, what I see as psychological humiliation on another.

Islam doesn’t only place value on human life but also the honour of a human being. And a coverted power play attempt disregards that ones honour is sacred.

Is it fair for me to state that one who has been subjugated under such circumstances lacks character?

In some cases yes and in others no, there is a plethora of reasons as to why this happens. In summation the reasons that support the no in my answer above, is because some people get subjugated due to blind spots that stem from unconscious matters in play in their own psyche. Matters that can’t really be equated to their character by default. The reason why I view it as an attempt on ones honour is why I also see those who don’t see through it, as having a lack of character. It’s that lack that allowed the infringement on their honour, an infringement I feel their wholesome character could have evaded.

Character is something that can be built as well as discovered the more one understands themselves. It’s innate gifts can be discovered and through experience and knowledge other aspects of character can be acquired. Hence why I like to shed light on these things.

After all at times ones perception of granting the benefit of the doubt in some cases towards some people, is also the root cause as to why covert power plays
happen to be successful. What’s more it’s the shield of ‘misunderstanding’ that the one waging it hides behind. It’s what gives them the guts to attempt it.

So Perception is not only the lens through which reality is understood. It’s also the lens that leads to what reality one experiences… any given situation.

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