It’s crazy how people are so easily convinced that there is a “war on law enforcement” but refuse to believe that there is a war on black boys.
From the start, all people needed to hear was the phrase “Black Lives Matter” to be convinced that there was a war on cops, and then they got their supposed confirmation with their one sniper attack and their one shooter.
Yet, they still remain unconvinced of that war against black/brown boys despite videos, pictures, names, statistics and facts.
They don’t see any problem unless the black boy is the problem.
It is not about bad cops and good cops.
It’s about being raised in a society that portrays black boys as the Other/as an enemy/as a threat/as dangerous and obviously having people who are products of being brought up with the message constantly portrayed to them.
The cops who continue to believe that narrative of the dangerous black man are not always full-out racists. But they are the product of a racist society. And until we acknowledge that problem, we get nowhere.
Also, friendly reminder of this: Were any of y’all scared when you saw (if you saw) the all-white “militia” who was occupying a federal building with all their guns ready at hand? Did you even perceive them to be a threat? No? Exactly. Neither did I.
Be honest with yourself.
How many times have you been afraid of a black man? When you think of the scary members of society, who do you think of? And yo- I’m not judging you for your answers. I’m just saying the problem, and there is a problem, is a lot bigger than individuals. It is our society, and the images that we’re fed continually. And there is a history to this. There always is.
It is not just all of sudden that we are scared of black people- but not “those” black people, the “other” black people, as someone so eloquently told me once.
Really- almost any of us could be a member of law enforcement who uses excessive force against minorities disproportionately.
We all grew up here.
It’s up to you and all of us to challenge what is in your heart and dismantle any biases that you might have.
Y’all are the next CEOs, people in the entertainment industry, future police officers, and leaders of different corporations. Racism didn’t go anywhere among millennials. It’s still very prevalent. So challenge your heart. And if someone is telling you that something you said was racist, try being empathetic and actually listening to them before discrediting what they say.
Everyone wants to critique the media, right? Whether it’s conservative or liberal?
So, how about we start by stop letting them shape our perceptions of people? And let’s go a step further by not taking individuals to represent a whole group- if a black person, immigrant, person from the middle east, or white person has ever done you wrong, it is ignorant to let them stand for the rest of their group. That’s one person.
Seriously, y’all. Let’s stop blindly defending any and all institutions that we were taught to respect. Their ideals may be lofty and their mission might be respectable, but to critique something or point out systemic issues in its operations is not to hate the institution. But if someone does hate an institution that continually disadvantages them, you need to let them have their emotion and work with them to remedy the issue so that they hate it no longer. Think about it- if there is a person who has continually demeaned you, how much do you really like them?
Again, I ask y’all to examine how easily you were convinced of a “war” on law enforcement vs. how you’re still not convinced of a “war” on black boys. If it is about evidence, there is more for the latter.
Maybe we just need better education of all of our histories and for our American history textbooks to be honest as to the extent of slavery, Jim Crow, economic disparities and other realities.
We get a lot of facts but not a lot of context and not a lot of why and not a lot of history.
#BlackLivesMatter is bigger than this moment.
It goes from when we were considered property and subhuman to now when we’re still considered one-sided, violent, subhuman still, and a joke. S/o Kelly peeps who laughed every time a black person came on Channel One. S/o to everyone who laughed so hard any time the black man in Purge: Election Year said anything.
It goes to all the people who think removing someone’s “blackness” is a compliment, to people who compliment people on how mixed they look, to people who have interacted with black girls and boys and yet still somehow believed all the negative or positive stereotypes.
It goes to deflections about black on black crime without seeing that white on white crime is a thing too (most people kill other people of their own ethnicity). Honestly, that’s one of the most offensive deflections. It’s saying, “oh they kill each other, so why does it matter to them if we kill them too?” Check yourself, cause you kill one another too. And also check yourself if you think the black community doesn’t deal with other issues too. We can discuss more than one thing at a time. We got it, boo.
It goes to denoting a table the “black table” without noticing that there’s plenty of all white tables nearby.
It goes to applauding the families of last year’s church massacre for the forgiving way in which they responded and for “showing reason”.
It goes to continually denying there’s a problem until white people acknowledge there’s a problem too, and then it’s “oh, well, I guess there might be.”
And again, it’s still needing more evidence and more bodies to convince you something is wrong in the way law enforcement (as a product of our society) deals with the black population, yet being convinced from the beginning of a hashtag and one attack by one sniper that there is a war on cops.
But aye, I understand, we’re so violent, so unreasonable, so dangerous- what more would you need?
If you want to educate yourself on any of these issues, because the US education system won’t do it for you, take an African American Studies class, take a Chicanx Studies class, take Asian American- Pacific Islander Studies. If your school doesn’t offer them, the library of novels, poems, songs, film talking about perception, media, police, being x minority in America, goes back to the “founding” of this nation. I know you can find them. Check out a museum. Check out articles on line. Check out academic journals, theses, and speeches. Read more of MLK’s work beyond the I Have A Dream Speech. Read some Malcolm X. Talk to your friends. Build up your own repertoire of information.
But beyond any of that, please consider that nothing is as it seems on the surface. Nothing is that simple. Critically examine anything and everything, until you get tired of thinking. Then take a break, and think again. And look again. And dissect every little thing. We don’t just live in this moment. We live in all of the ones that came before us, and plenty of those moments showed the ugliest side of humanity imaginable. It carries.
Also- I do not feel the need to respond to any of you, especially if you respond like a jerk. Yes, maybe conversations are good to have. But if you don’t get it, it’s not my job to make you get it. Someone else can handle it.
*originally posted on Facebook*