By: S. Davis
My feelings on the Michael Brown Jr. case run the complete gamut of human emotion but the one that I don’t feel is surprise, not one bit. I try to look at things in a way that focus on “the bigger” picture but the images my pupils send to my brain for processing are all grim and reflective of a time where this country thought it progressed from.
Unlike a large portion of the coverage, I have not overlooked that Brown robbed and assaulted a convenience store clerk, and deserved to be arrested for the transgression. We break laws, we get our punishment and, hopefully, we all become better individuals afterwards. The tragic turn of events for him is everywhere so I’ll pass on highlighting them here.
I never bought into the mantra once Barack Obama was elected that America would dramatically change for minorities. If that were the case, the inner-cities or the “hoods” in every city would be better served. Opportunity is plentiful for those of all backgrounds in this age we live in, but this country – which I love – is not a racial utopia.
Not even close, not even close.
This is the clearest and most respectful way for me to say this, as an African-American male in the U.S.A. and a minority, that is thoughtful, reasonable and honest: Unless you have been discriminated against, just for merely existing and having naturally tanned skin you should be quiet – or speak sensibly and respectfully regarding race relations in our country. Period.
Whether Caucasians are comfortable with it or not, in the early 1600s, people they may or may not be direct descendants of owned people from Africa. I’m not of the group that wants to blame all the ills of the African-American experience on whites because as a race, we’ve got to make our own way. I’ve made mine and I don’t hold slavery against them. However I will not forget it or sweep it under the rug, nor do I want to.
The problem I have is when I hear comments like:
“Well, the president is black so what else do they want?”
“Why are they thugs?”
“Why aren’t they civilized?”
“How come it’s not newsworthy when a black person kills someone white?”
Concerning the presidency, well, Congress and the Grand Ole Party has made sure that our current, black, president might be the only one of that skin tone (and racial background) for a very long time. “Thugs” does nothing to me but illicit a laugh because underneath I do wonder at times if they’re trying to disguise the n-word.
Civilized? The Confederacy fought for slavery in perpetuity during the Civil War; look for the definition of perpetuity. Also, they ripped the fabric of the African-American family to shreds over generations just for profit, due to the slave trade…once again. Don’t say another race is uncivilized – it just looks hypocritical and it’s low-hanging fruit.
Newsworthy? Well, you have to talk to the media on that one. Since the news conglomerates are dominated by white men, you should be able to get a seat at the table. Maybe it’s because they want to get ratings and get the country riled up so they can then show how uncivilized we are while selling advertising space. You want a voice; you have FOX News which seems about one more racial issue away from broadcasting in white, pointed hoods. That was wrong of me, right? I’m out of line but some of the rhetoric they spew is of another age, a dark one in this country’s history.
Whites who believe that racism is overblown should read the editorials, message boards and the abhorrent comments sections on any topic concerning race. It’s a cesspool but it makes me aware of the thoughts of those hiding behind those usernames. Racism and antiquated methods of thinking are alive and prosperous.
Anyone that knows me can tell you I’m a lot of things. (Some not fit for print.) One thing I am is accepting of anyone that’s respectful. I have great people in my life that are African-American, Puerto Rican, Caucasian, Asian, Mexican, European, etc. Other white people flipping the hell out over why blacks are upset and rioting over the Brown case need to know that there are a rainbow of races upset.
There are Caucasians (and a great number of other races) on the side of the protestors, unruly and otherwise, I see the faces. They are mostly dark-skinned but there is a ton of color in those crowds. Notice the smaller protests breaking out all over in cities across this nation; not just blacks. Social change for a particular race takes people of ALL races to step up and work as a cohesive unit. Society progresses together, especially if we’re talking generational change.
The Civil Rights Act passed in 1964! Do the math on that for me because this is 2014, right? Even then it wasn’t a golden parachute of opportunity. To those that will then blindly point to the Civil War: Abraham Lincoln did not fight it to end slavery, he took up arms against the South to preserve the Union in its entirety. Ending slavery just happened to be a bonus – and if freeing slaves was his mandate then the exact moment the war ended, African-Americans would have been granted every single right that Caucasian-Americans have had…forever.
Sadly though Brown’s death will be swept under the rug until the next minority has his or her life ended in a hailstorm of bullets. Politicians will talk; others will criticize the “thug” element of African-American culture and this country will limp along….like it has.
Having children was always conditional for me. Meaning I needed to establish myself – professionally, financially, mentally, emotionally – before the topic could even be discussed. Granted I need to stay in a relationship for an extended period of time and get that aforementioned list solidified, I’m getting there, but the environment in this country is too dangerous for young, male, minorities. It makes no sense for me to feel this way and it makes me sad. I’ve seen a great deal in my life and burying a child, if I can help it, will be avoided at all costs.
Michael Brown was shot at least six times by Darren Wilson; six bullets isn’t excessive at all? That wasn’t enough for any charges to be filed, especially when 12 shots were fired? Again he was wrong for robbing the local grocery store – and deserved correct punishment – but did he warrant having his life ended? Wilson had to protect himself, yes, but since he felt threatened enough to pull the trigger is he not trained to hit arms or shoulders? I know you aim for center mass and the chest and head are large targets but was death the only way?
Courtesy of someone in my close circle I forgot to mention something else, you know what African-Americans? It’s not fair to riot, cry foul and show complete lack of respect for one another – and then go nuclear when a cop takes a life, in this case. There’s a sickening abundance of black-on-black (and minority-on-minority) crime that Caucasians are not responsible for, at all. Look in the mirror and evaluate yourself before calling the next person out. It isn’t always someone else’s fault. Thank you, April.
Blacks (and other minorities) need to stop blaming whites for their shortcomings and whites need to abandon the naïve notion that this country is equal. It is not.
I love America. Our flag, in my opinion, is such a perfect blend of colors and stars. Even though this is one country, Caucasians and minorities continue to reside in two separate nations that look similar but are so far from it.