Friday, December 5, 2014

Published 10:30 AM by with 0 comment

Post Racial America

Post-Racial America | Yes, We Rise

2014 has proven very interesting. As I reflect over the year, I have noticed the increase in horrific practices. These practices aren’t new – aren’t occurrences of shock; but they are – because it is 2014. In 1950, the plight of Black people didn’t matter much to the greater society. As a result, several activists fought for equality, the right to eat, educate, entertain etc together. I'm wondering if the minority won its battle only to lose the war.

In a matter of 7-8 days, police officers involved in the murder of two African American men were deemed in the eyes of a grand jury free? Or no indictment was handed down. As I watched with raised brow, I was not shocked. I was not surprised. I only hoped that my child, an African American boy, would have a better plight. As I watched, then not watched, I realized that racism is still alive and purposeful.

When Obama was elected, so many were tearful and gleeful. But these have been some painful years for us. Since racism is no longer politically correct, the underground railroad of racist practices created several pipelines only to destroy our communities, our men, our children. Sadly, instead of planning for this day, we – the African American community – danced in the streets. We watched and waited for Barack to save us. How incredible we are!

These behaviors by the police and the dominant culture are nothing new. They do not shock. They do not surprise. If anything, they raise the ire for a few moments and lives return to normal. Or do they? I see it in my own family; my own community. When we got Barack, so many were upset. So many were threatened. Equality in America only works when the darker hued individuals don’t have as much as the dominant culture. When they learned that a man, a Black man, with a White mother had won – their planning and strategy became paramount. Instead of rioting, they refused to hire minority males. Instead of fighting, they took advantage of their positions in the community and criminalized minor acts – not showing up for court for a traffic ticket, fighting in school, over policing specific areas and arrests for minor crimes (jaywalking) and most importantly in other venues, they have taken opportunities – education – why are minority males more likely in special education courses than IB or AP courses? These little things that don’t impact most people’s every day lives, are very important and strategic in placing people in a position to never revolt or retake their rightful place in society. If one is a criminal, it is most difficult to get a job. If one is marginalized in their education, most likely, they wont pursue a post-secondary degree or trade. If one is harassed by the police, they most likely will not think beyond their day to day and how to improve their situation, they become products of their environment.

Some will think this is false or a far stretch. I have lived in DC and Baltimore. I have seen aggressive police behaviors. I have seen VA police plot on who will be ticketed, who will be given a warning, and ultimately who will go to jail. I have also lived in the south. I know how the police think and behave when they approach me, my car, my child. . . When things pan out, I know they aren’t as happy. I also see the thoughts of people when I approach – or when a Hispanic man approaches . . . and when a black man approaches. I over hear conversations about how they feel about us.

It isn’t nice.

It isn’t true.

But it is their perspective.

I often find myself bracing my tongue so I wont embarrass myself or the people with me. I want to yell that we, too, are people. We are not the images they think they see and read about. We are not stereotypes personified. I stop because I note to myself they don’t really care. They don’t get it and why would they listen to me – a person who embodies the image they question and ultimately hate and fear.

We thought Obama’s win was one for us all, it was a great victory. With victory often comes strife. We, the African American community, are witnessing that strife. Our men, our boys are the target of every hate group. Our families are being attacked for standing on the corner – being at the wrong place at the wrong time.

As I watch the protests, I wonder, “What’s next?” I saw the DC traffic being stopped. I knew if I still lived there, I would be in that line, too. But I wondered about the drivers. What were their thoughts? They, more than likely, hadn’t killed anyone. What if they were late to work? What if they had to go to the bathroom? What are they thinking about the hues in front of them? Were we still niggers? OR were we proud protesters with great purpose?

Again, after the marching, after the riots, after the blocking of traffic – what next? We need think tanks and planning and execution of plans. This fight isn’t new. It is review. In review, we must look at what was executed improperly so we can plan and gain credible ground.

This post-racial America may very well kill us.

. . . Free As I Wanna Be . . . 

STILL Goal D Locs


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