Oh my, such stereotypical behavior coming out of Baltimore this week. Didn’t these people learn anything from Ferguson? Don’t they realize that destroying other people’s property and looting does nothing to further their cause? They expect us to want to help them while they behave like thugs and animals.
Does this sound like anything you’ve heard or read this week? I, for one, am sick and tired of the commentary. If one more person utters this to me, I may pick up a brick and toss it through a window.
Imagine, if you will, that you are born a person of color, into a life of poverty, an overcrowded and underfunded educational system, perhaps a broken home and little to no support system. Businesses cannot grow in your community because people of color will more likely than not be turned down for small business loans. Jobs are scarce because you have no education, skills or experience. Parents are working outside of the neighborhood when and where they can, thus unable to be home and ensure their children are safe and supervised. Those who have taken an oath to serve and protect only serve to bully and intimidate. You are a target any time you leave your home, either by others who have lost their moral compass or officers who deem your life to be of no value. You are routinely stripped of what little dignity you may have, by a Country that looks upon you as a burden. You are more likely to die from diseases that are generally treatable because you don’t have access to quality medical care or knowledge of warning signs when you should seek help. You begin to look at others who look like you and resent them. You begin to hate them because they are a reflection of your hopelessness. You are violent because you are invisible. You are violent because you are void of all feeling. You are violent because nothing fills that cavity where aspirations and dreams once dwelled.
True, some make it out. The majority do not. The majority continue the cycle. Many Americans seem to be okay with this, as long as it doesn’t spill into their existence. When it becomes uncomfortable, then it gets attention. Just as with Ferguson, Baltimore is drawing attention to an issue. Unfortunately, the issue seems to be how black folk cannot control themselves. The idea of rioting has overshadowed the truth, which is very convenient for those who don’t want to face the root cause. It seems to give a pass to the problem at hand, because we see how angry and scary African Americans truly are. No wonder the police are killing them. For that one, I may hurl a garbage can.
Let’s turn the tables for a moment. I wonder what actions would be taken if the headlines read:
Unarmed White Man Choked To Death by Black Policemen While Pleading He Could Not Breathe
Unarmed White Man Shot In the Back by Black Policeman
White Man’s Spine Mysteriously Severed in Paddy Wagon after Arrest by Black Policemen
Unarmed White Man Shot to Death in Wal-Mart by Black Policemen for Holding a Water Gun
Unarmed White Man Shot to Death on Street by Black Policeman
Unarmed White Man Pulled out of Car and Beaten Severely by Black Policemen for Broken Tail Light
White Woman Arrested For Not Giving Up Bus Seat to Black Man
White Man Found Murdered In Connection With Allegation That He Whistled at a Black Woman. All Black Jury Finds Black Defendant’s Not Guilty
White Man Beaten Half to Death by Black Policemen. Jury Finds Black Officers Not Guilty
White People’s Church Bombed. Four White Children Dead. Black Defendant’s Found Not Guilty.
White President and First Lady Depicted as Monkeys in Email Passed Around by Members on Capitol Hill
White Women Dying of Breast Cancer at a Rate of 10-1 Over Black Women
White Men 12 Times More Likely to go to Prison Than Black Men
12 Year Old White Boy Shot and Killed By Black Officers for Having a BB Gun
White Man Shot by Black Man Dressed As Officer During a Police Sting. Black Man Not a Policeman but Apologizes Before Heading Off to a Bahamas Vacation
You can choose to continue to believe that this is a Black problem, not an American problem. You can continue to believe that ignoring the problem will make it go away. You can be “put out” that you cannot attend a MLB game in Baltimore this week. You can keep insisting that this is America and everyone has the same chance to succeed. Just make sure and duck to avoid the rock I may throw at your head.
Or, you can face the fact that our Country, no matter how great, has a problem; a big problem.
I seem to recall reading about a time in this Country when a large group of demonstrators who’s voices were not being heard, destroyed other people’s property, got the attention of those in power and started a Revolution that changed our Country forever. Maybe the next great Revolution in these United States of America will be for Equality, Liberty & Justice For All… Again.