December 5, 2014
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#MikeBrown, #Ferguson, & #EricGarner has shown that even your own family won’t get it, if they aren’t Black too.
I’ve seen #MikeBrown and the protestors depicted as criminals. I say even if he robbed a store (and that is still in doubt as the cashier of the convenience store initially denied that) that was not a death penalty crime. But we will never know because Darren Wilson stopped his life before we could find out.
While some protestors may have committed criminal acts most have not, yet they are all considered criminals. Even Dr. King knew that riots were the reaction of the powerless and voiceless.
The decision not to indict Darren Wilson is suspect based on the asst. DA’s “mistake” in giving the grand jurors a copy of a statute describing the justifiable use of force that had been ruled unconstitutional in 1985 by the U.S. Supreme Court. And to compound that, she never completely clarified that before they began deliberations.
Everybody wants to focus on the criminality of the residents but no one wants to focus on the conditions that led to the situation.
Then we have #EricGarner. His death was ruled a homicide by the coroner. His death was videotaped. The officer was using a chokehold; a technique that was outlawed by NYPD. But once again, no indictment.
Folks are sick and tired of being sick and tired. We are tired that our lives mean absolutely nothing. We are tired of being told that we are playing the race card; hell I don’t even play spades. We are tired of our friends saying “yes, that was a terrible thing that happened but it happens to women, disabled, gays, etc. too”. I am tired of spending my day praying that my sons and daughter make it home whole. So if you don’t get it now, you never will. Just hope that folks are more understanding if it happens to you.
December 5, 2014
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The Two Races in America
Growing up I was told that I would need to work twice as hard to get half as far. I needed to learn to live in two societies: the mainstream and my home community. I had to learn two ways of speaking, thinking and acting so that I could achieve my goals. I was subtly shown that my home community was considered less than by those in the mainstream. Folks were astonished with my elocution, intelligence and interests because they were unaware that my “kind” was just like their “kind”.
In the 90’s, my “kind” was told that the playing field was level so we no longer needed the hard fought protections of certain laws. We began to be accused of reverse racism. We lost so much of the ground that our ancestors fought for.
In the new millennium, we were told we should be colorblind; that we lived in a post racial society. We were told that we were playing a hand of cards from an era that no longer existed. I knew better though because I had been in this race a long time. I knew that as long as me and mine were considered hyphenated Americans instead of just Americans that all the rest was smoke and mirrors. For too long others have determined that the narratives of their fellow citizens were only the fairy tales of race baiters. For far too long others have tried to prove to us that skin color had no effect on perceptions. Now as 2014 turns into 2015, the blinders are being forced off by the actions of the military organizations masquerading as civil servants that protect and serve. I, for one, am glad.
I’m sick and tired of being sick and tired. I’m tired of trying to adjust the rules for my sons so that they can make it home alive. I’m tired of denying my daughters full confidence in their feminity so that they aren’t viewed as typical wanton belly warmers. I am tired of over thinking what I put on to run to the grocery. I’m tired of my husband being passed over for promotions even though he has more credentials than those directly above him on the corporate ladder. I’m tired of being turned into the suspect when I report crime to the police. I’m tired… I’m also mad as hell that some of the people I love more than oxygen just can’t seem to understand. I’m mad that I have to question the motives of my Mexican and White relatives because they don’t get it either. I’m mad that my children will eventually have to navigate this course.
Hopefully by the time I meet my grandkids, their race will be easier.
November 9, 2014
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Normally/how this thing works/ smoothly/ no fits, rattles or/ jerks/ but as you turn/ to walk/ away/ my breath/ catches/ caught/ in my lungs/ unsteady/ as old rotten/ ladder rungs/ no air/ I laughed/ when Jordan said it/ now/ I stand instead of it/ in spite of it/ no air/ as I think of/ all of the should’ves/ I am holding/ it all together/ now/ somehow/ with my breath/ knowing/ I must remember/ or face death/ but I just breathed/ you in/ how can I/ let you go/ I must/ or you can’t return/ so that I can/ believe/ and remember/ to Breathe.