I had no idea what to title this post. I have done my best to put on a smile after last weeks verdict, I tried to put on a smile after the verdict in the Trayvon Martin trial, I tried to put on a smile after the Jordan Davis trial, (took 2 to get a conviction for this man shooting into a car full of teens because their music was too loud) I tried to put on a smile after the Ramarley Graham trial, I tried to put on a smile after the Oscar Grant trial and this morning, I am trying to put on a smile after the Eric Garner trial.
There is a pattern that it seems is being overlooked and I really am tired. This country will never progress. Have you ever been in a place where you felt all eyes on you but they were hostile eyes? Ever had to go to a function where someone in the room you’d had a giant falling out & you hadn’t mended the fence, things were still hot between the two of you? That feeling when you ran into them and their friends and you could feel that you were not wanted but you were kinda stuck? Lately, that is how I feel just being an American of color. I tend to refer to myself as an American Desert Storm Veteran but it seems there is still a large segment of the population that thinks I am less than a dog and would treat me as such. That my life should be snuffed out for jaywalking, wearing a hoodie or playing my music too loud.
The other night, I went to the theater and parked next to a van with an older vanilla lady in it. I sat for a minute because I was distracted by my cell phone. I really paid her no attention until we both decided to get out of our cars in the covered garage together. I looked to smile and acknowledge, she looked apprehensive, got back in her van, started the engine and never moved, perhaps she thought I timed my exiting my vehicle with hers for a malicious reason. I really just happened to be done sending my message. My kids will tell you, I do my share of running back to the car or the house because I forgot something but it was the look she gave me before hopping back into her car. I was even willing to shake that off because I don’t know her, maybe that was her “I forgot to get….” look but when she started the engine and then just sat there, that was weird. Did she forget what the engine sounded like? I told my friend about this when I met her in the theater. Its stuff like these little things that chocolate people have learned to overlook, learned to laugh and shake our heads about. We even make fun of these people who live their lives in fear of a melanin count but lately that fear is taking our young men to the funeral home in boxes with no real justice for their murders.
I saw this video and thought the quote about the snow and the very last comment was so dead on that I had to share it here.
You, being ignorant of those of those attempts doesn’t mean the issue itself is being ignored, in the same way that when it snows where you live, doesn’t mean the world isn’t getting hotter. ~ Jon Stewart
I would love to say that we as a country has made progress with regard to race relations but that other riot in Missouri makes me feel that we have gone absolutely nowhere.
Tensions built, fueled by unsubstantiated press reports of Negro crime waves & gun purchases and by rumors and inflammatory public speeches.
We will never overcome, to say we have made progress is laughable because I am sure that someone will say “Whites are taking up the fight, its so good to see people of all colors protesting these injustices”. To you I say, pick up a freaking history book. People of all races have always fought to help, the problem is that the “reasonable” don’t talk about it where it really matters, at the kitchen table where young black boys are taught how to deal with police, being followed through stores when you know you’ve done nothing wrong and when to exercise the 5th amendment. Oh, this isn’t something you had to do with your son? That’s awesome, I would love to say the same. Racism like all forms of hatred and fear is taught, no one comes out of the womb with malice in their hearts for someone simply because the tan is different. For those of you that say that you didn’t teach your kids this, if I neglect to tell you something its considered a lie by omission and you move forward ill informed. By not talking about these things with your kids, you allow them to be influenced by outside forces and we don’t always have control or influence over those forces so you omitting the opportunity to talk race does not mean that they are not getting an education on it nor does it mean it does not exist.
Can we stop this madness, yes but will we? I have no faith that we will because as the dumb ass in the Jon Stewart video stated “You know who talks about race? Racists!” and as long as people who are considered rational think like this, the topic will forever be taboo and history will continue to repeat itself over & over. Can we talk about it without being shamed?