My five-month-old son swallowed a grape whole today. Twelve minutes of restricted breathing felt like a brief lifetime slipping away in my arms. Every tragic scenario imaginable played previews in my mind as I swung him upside down, forcing my…
(In this article, I’m addressing those who care about the plight of black people and humanity in general. I have no interest in entertaining or trying to enlighten the weight of bigotry and ignorance at perilous times such as this.)
“Where is the outcry when black people kill other blacks?”
It’s happened again. Another black male, Michael Brown of St. Louis, has been slaughtered with his blood running cold in the streets by a person who has taken the oath to “protect and serve.” And, once again, the murder has been met equally with enraged outcries and dismissive arguments trying to absolve the action by shifting the focus to the violence by our own hands, without offering any solutions. The problem is that this argument has as many holes as the lifeless body of Michael Brown.
I hear this retort every time, and there are many, a black person unjustly loses their life to someone in “authority” over them. And by “authority,” I mean anyone who expresses or has been given the power to express superiority over the disenfranchised; which would includes the George Zimmermans and Michael Dunns of America.
The similarity in cases of violence where black people are the victims in America is that black life is not valued when it is deemed “free;” certainly, a relative term. It is only valuable to those in “authority” when it is incarcerated. The lesson of self-hatred and black criminality is on the curriculum of American citizenship from birth for African and European (or non-African) descendants respectively. We have lost the will, the desire, the value of living, especially in areas where poverty outweighs opportunity. And, those of us who have been granted such amazing opportunities, point pious fingers at those of us who haven’t and bellow misnomers like “black on black crime,” which exists only if “white on white crime” does also. (Every ethnic group kills within their own racial demographic more than not. However, white Americans have killed both within their own race and overwhelmingly more than any other groups outside of it historically in America. Coin a phrase for that. )
I am certainly enraged when one broken black spirit takes the life of another. I weep for those who are dying in Chicago, NY, LA, Minneapolis, & all over the country by our own hands. I weep for those I’ve loved and lost to the hands of violence by their own reflections. I also weep for the black hands that pull the trigger who will inevitably meet the fate of death or incarceration. The fate that many in “authority” will never meet when they have the same offense, which further embeds the message that our lives don’t matter. Is that not a reason for outcry? Is the state of our brokenness and impoverished spirit not a reason for outcry? Is the justifiable murder of unarmed black lives by people in “authority” not reason to galvanize, organize, and reestablish our communities and outcry? Perhaps just making it “their” problem and cloaking ourselves in righteous indignation and superiority, excusing one murder with another, will help.
Who should be leading by example on how to value black (all) lives: those in “authority” or who have been given lessons in value and self-love, or the broken-spirited? How dare we expect more from those with less than we’re willing to give. If you’re ready to stop sitting on the sidelines echoing baseless arguments, start by implementing the list below, as much as you can, in your community. It’s time for more action and less argument. #TheBackToBlackList
Stay tuned for “Part II: Armed With Blackness,” & “Part III:Black Criminality vs. White Mental Illness.”
(Please post all comments directly on the blog post by clicking on the “comment” button above the article.)