Today was a rough day for me. It was also a rough day for a lot of people. I felt like I was on the verge of a full blown crying episode all day. I woke up to read about yet another senseless killing that should never have occurred. My social media page was inundated with the video of the man being murdered in cold blood by those who were supposed to protect him. I know my limits and I didn’t watch either of the videos that emerged from the incident. I read an article the other day about a man who got 15 years in prison for beating a puppy to death. It’s not easy to live in a place where justice can be served for the life of an animal but not for a black person. It’s a sobering reality that continues without any signs of stopping. We have a new hashtag, a new family that is grieving, but the same story. The truth is that black people have always been perceived as threats–even in times of slavery. There was a unanimous outcry on my timeline today for some sort of tangible action to happen. However, the vast majority calling for justice were those who had the skin color of the murdered man. I didn’t see any “allies” joining in. With all the talks of gun control in this country and the need for law abiding citizens to arm themselves against all enemies, foreign and domestic. maybe the first group of people we need to disarm is the police. It’s worked in other countries. This targeting of racial minorities and executing them needs to stop. It’s not about resisting arrest or feeling threatened, no one deserves a death sentence for selling CD’s.
I haven’t done a lot of posts on current world events, but like most of the world I was shocked and saddened by the events that happened this week at the church in Charleston. As someone who lived a relatively short distance from the Aurora theater shooting, this incident affected me in a different way. It wasn’t the act of a deranged person, it was someone who targeted a group of people solely because of the color of their skin. Someone who knew that most people don’t carry their weapons to church and who tend to be vulnerable not only emotionally but physically as well. Race related crimes are nothing new in this country. They’ve been happening for hundreds of years and despite the assertions of many idealistic and sadly misguided persons, we don’t live in a post-racial society. The election of someone to the highest office in the country doesn’t erase the attitudes that have been over a hundred years in the making. As soon as the incident happened people began to talk about the excuses that would be made for the shooter. Just like clockwork it happened with almost all the news circuits searching high and low to find a motive that did not involve race. They painted it as an isolated incident and something that is outside of the norm. Black people have been specifically targeted and killed for long period of time and it continues to happen. Since this incident there have been more discussions about increased security measures in churches than the deeper issue of racially motivated massacres. I was reading some tweets the other day that discussed the fact that there is an expectation that black people just forgive and move on. That they continue to turn the other cheek and refuse to classify all people of a certain race into a negative category–a luxury that they’ve never had at any point in this country. It just doesn’t make sense to me and I don’t think it ever will. There’s a lot of racist people in the South, but there’s also a lot of racist people everywhere. It’s an issue that most people are either reluctant to address or stay in denial that there is one. I’ve never been an optimist and at this point I have absolutely no faith in humanity. It’s a shame.