It’s Not about Race
As we look at what is taking place in Missouri, we must look hard at the system that allows such incidents to take place. Many of my white brethren will say “this isn’t about race.” And as a black man in “America” I wish they were right, but they are not. As a black man/person in “America” I have to be conscience of what I wear and how I carry myself. I have to think every time my 16 year old leaves the house on his own, will he be molested by those that are supposed to protect the neighborhood. They will say “this isn’t about race.” But their children are free to not look suspicious wherever they might go. They will say “this isn’t about race.” But in the same breath ask; why there is no outrage about blacks killing blacks (as if that somehow justifies the deaths of any children). The sad part about the argument “this isn’t about race.” Is, the argument is shallow, because what most black people do is almost exclusively tied to our race. Our race determines how we are treated by the justice system. Our race in recent history determined who we married, where we lived (in some cases our race still does), or where we could attend college. When people argue that blacks need to forget. I argue, how can we when Oscar Grant III (22) was murdered while in handcuffs in Oakland, California (Fruitvale Station)? How can we when George Zimmerman was acquitted for the murder of an unarmed Trayvon Martin (17) in Sanford, Florida? How can we when the man who shot Jordan Davis (17) Jacksonville, Florida did everything wrong and was still found not guilty of his murder? How can we when Eric Garner (43) Staten Island, New York was choked to death? All of them had two things in common. They were black and unarmed.
Sad thing is, this is not new, and it is prevalent, because it has been for some time now. Blacks are policed differently than any other race. Blacks can’t gather in a park or a public corner without catching the ire of those who are tasked with policing the system. We can witness white men in robes screaming “Nigger go back to Africa!” with police protection and in the same night be asked for identification for being out in our very own neighborhoods. The sad truth is, blacks aren’t protected by this system, but instead victimized by it. It is hard to not be the victim when one is constantly victimized (think stop and frisk). Stop and frisk is the norm, it is just not on the books in most cities. We are routinely placed at the mercy of a system (justice system) that looks upon us as part of a whole. When a black person does anything no matter where we are all placed into that category and placed at the mercy of a system that declares us guilty until we prove we are not.
I say to the people in this country, you should be glad it is about race, because when it is no longer about race, you will face the same brutal system that blacks face today, and you will be screaming for these injustices to stop. But the injustice will not stop, because you allowed it to happen when it did not affect you.