So many names, so much blame & so much hatred. The divide is wide it seems, then on other days it seems non-existent depending on your walk of life. I have remained silent as the latest story in the saga of black & white unfolds but I have paid plenty of attention to what is being said by the media as well as the buzz on social media.
There are a few people I have paid particular attention to on social media because I have been conducting an experiment of sorts. When Michael Brown’s memorial was destroyed, one of the people who was part of my experiment expressed outrage that anyone would dare create such a memorial for a thug. My response to him was “this thug was someone’s loved one, just because you are pissed that he jay walked & possibly stole cigars doesn’t mean he was less loved by those that knew him personally”. Now this same person seems ok with saying that a man who was invited into a church, sat for an hour & then assassinated 9 people has a “mental issue”. WHAT?
Then there is the flip side of the coin, you have whites who are outraged that this person who shot up a place of worship did so because they were black. The interesting part of this unfolding on Facebook is that there are so many black people showing up on the threads thanking the white people for being outraged. WHAT? I will not thank PEOPLE for thinking of other PEOPLE as PEOPLE! It’s ridiculous! AND just so you know, other races are not just now becoming enlightened, we have all been together in the struggle for equality since the 1st slave was unloaded off a ship. The Underground Railroad would have been a total disaster without the help of whites so stop acting like this is brand new. People who have compassion & realize that wrong is wrong are the ones outraged, it has absolutely nothing to do with their color & to thank them for wanting what is right is….well, wrong.
Not all white people hate blacks, not all blacks are void of racism towards whites, not all police officers think they are above the law, not all black men are violent, not all white people who kill have mental disorders.
As the story of the young man unfolds in South Carolina, many were angry that he was apprehended unharmed & wearing a bullet proof vest. The outrage was that he wasn’t manhandled like we have seen done to so many blacks. People wanted him harmed at the hands of the police. Now, I get the reason people feel this way but let me interject some objectivity into this situation. Our general outrage is that the police use too much force yet when this person was arrested, we wanted them to use the very thing we keep asking them not to use? Think about that for a minute. The other issue people had was that he was given a bullet proof vest, whether we like it or not, the main purpose of the police officers are to “serve & protect”. A few rogues don’t mean they are all bad people AND South Carolina is actually, in my opinion leading the charge on how to handle things properly, after all, they are one of the few states that has actually indicted a white officer for excessive force against a black unarmed man. So let’s not be mad at them for doing the job the right way.
I am more upset with how mainstream America is responding to these situations than how S.C. is handling this particular one. Whites who feel Michael Brown was a thug who deserved do die but this “kid” as he is being called (he’s 21, that’s not a kid) who murdered 9 just has a mental disorder and there is no vehement outrage scares me as I watch what are supposedly upstanding citizens express these very biased opinions. Until we really take the time to sit down & review our own beliefs on race, the divide will never be bridged. When rational, law abiding citizens call for the blood of a cigar thief but not for an actual murderer, its reason for pause. When rational people call for the police to stop brutalizing citizens of a certain color and then ask that they brutalize citizens of a certain color, its reason for pause. Go back & read that last sentence, I have a feeling you might have missed the irony if it didn’t really make you think.
Young black men, are human beings. Police officers are human beings. Racism is taught but these human beings are capable of mistakes just like the rest of us and should not automatically be thought of as the enemy because of a badge or a skin color. Harmony is a choice just like hate too, is a choice. Either you are part of the solution or you’re part of the problem but you get to decide. Shall we bridge the gap or will we continue to feed the divide?