Honestly, I’ve been so emotionally spent this week that each time I’ve sat down at my laptop to blog I’ve been at a complete lost for words. How do you articulate the pain you feel for a mother who’s lost her son and a community who feels helpless and broken in the midst of a nation who’s divided in their beliefs of right and wrong? America has proven the complaint box is unattended.
I first heard the news of Ferguson through my Twitter news feed. Hashtags were updating almost at the speed of lightning with cries for help and justice. A little confused, I rushed over to Facebook to check the trend log. Nothing. Google was my next stop. The headline read, “Ferguson, Missouri Community Furious After Teen Shot Dead By Police“. A few lines into the first paragraph, my first thoughts were, “Lord, please don’t tell me this young man was unarmed”. He was. From that point, I knew what I was about to continue reading meant it was about to be bad business in the US of A. I scrambled through article after article trying to uncover the details of what happened. Unfortunately, I was met with the same contradiction and confliction that pipes through different media sources whenever a death like this rocks a community. I went back to my twitter trend log and watched Ferguson unfold. Images and live feed that I’ll never forget began to stream.
For a moment, myself and millions of others who were tuned into Ferguson live on Twitter, thought the government had sent in troops to shut down the protestors. But these aren’t troops you see. This is a militarized police ready to go to war against Americans. I couldn’t believe it. My husband walked in the door from work and I said, “Babe, look at this”. He said, “Oh, I know about that. That’s the troops in Iraq”. I said, “No honey. That’s not Iraq. It’s Ferguson, Missouri!” I watched his facial expression transform from ‘okay’ to ‘what the heck”. And in unison, we both lamented with a, “What is going on in America!” I explained to him what was transpiring and directed him to his twitter app. I know that sounds odd. But, in this case, social media seems to be the only closely accurate source of news right now. I haven’t bothered to turn on the news yet. Who would have thought?
Post after post, I’ve been in awe at the state of American beliefs. We’ve gone from brutally beating people in the streets to executing unarmed human beings in broad day light. What’s sick is we’ve found resolution in justifying this type of behaviour. I read through some commentary from some individuals on social media who say this young man deserved to die because he allegedly stole some cigars. That got me to thinking about how American’s view bad behavior across the color lines. A few years ago, I was in a Walmart shopping one evening and after about twenty or so minutes into strolling the aisles, I realized I wasn’t strolling alone. Big brother was there to assist me on each aisle in the event I had a question or concern. ::laughter:: Well, we merged onto the makeup aisle and there we met six teenage Caucasian girls who were using their book bags to borrow some of Walmart’s collection of Loreal and Maybeline. Call me a snitch if you want, but after being watched for 30 minutes I thought it was time to make big brother earn a real paycheck. I politely stepped two steps over to him and said, “Are we allowed to borrow makeup like that? If so, I’d like these new summer shades by Covergirl. I have a fierce outfit at home that these would compliment just fine.” He rushed over to the young girls and demanded they open their backpacks. They refused with profanity and one of the young ladies even swatted the guy across the shoulder with her bag while demanding he leave her the eff alone. The worker snatched two of the bags, emptied the makeup onto the floor and told the girls, “Get the h**l out of the store before I call the cops”. They left, but with a whole lot of free makeup in four other bags. No cops were called. No executions. Just a warning and a few months supply of free makeup was given away. On the flip side, I’ve seen African-American teenagers get approached for stealing a lot less and arrested on site. I don’t care what anybody has to say, regardless of what race you are, bad behavior for petty crimes or alleged petty crimes is not punishable by execution. America is proving by the minute right now, that aint the case. Heartbreaking…
A classmate once asked me years ago, after the Rodney King trial, why are black people so angry? I was young, 14 to be exact, when the questioned was posed. Without responding, I walked away pissed; pissed at the fact that I knew we had every reason to be mad and at the fact that I didn’t know enough of the right history to articulate a educable response. See American history has done a real bang up job with properly educating school aged students on African-American history. I had to graduate high school and matriculate to college just to sign up and pay for a class specifically designed to teach African-American history. And even with that, I still find myself at the public library thirsty for more accurate depictions of the true history of African-Americans.
I recalled this question while my husband and I were spending some time with the boys on yesterday. What I know now based on what I knew then, I coud write books that would properly answer my classmate’s question and a few other questions that I’ve been posed with over the years. Why are ghetto’s filled with black people? Who built these ghettos? Why are so many black people on food stamps? They aren’t. It’s reported that way. And to be honest, welfare is just another dimension of slavery. Trust when I say it is in no wise breaking America’s bank as reported. Why are so many black people in jail? Because it’s a multibillion dollar investment cow for the upper echelon. Black people are just easy targets for it. If you don’t believe me, look at the new plight to legalize marijuana and make billions on it after years of passing out felonies to the communities it’s being filtered to all to fund their prison investments. Why is there so much crime and drugs in the black community? It’s reported on an ongoing basis that African-Americans in low-income communities are extremely poor, don’t want to work, and enjoy living off the state. If that’s the case, then where are the poor African-American people in these communities getting money to buy drugs and guns? I don’t think it takes a history lesson here to figure this one out. Listen, African-American people aren’t angry at other races because they drive nice cars and live in nice houses. We do too, but unfortunately, if you’re not a mutimillion dollar athlete or musician, that’s not portrayed on the 6 o’clock news. MOST IMPORTANTLY, African-Americans are not angry at white people. We aren’t pining away secretly awaiting the opportunity to give Plymouth Rock the business. That’s the propaganda that’s been filtered through the media for years to keep us divided as a nation.
If I could say my mother did one thing right, other than introducing her children to Jesus The Christ, it was to expose us to the beauty of culture. We grew up around all types of human beings; African-American, Caucasian, Asian, Hispanic, Indian, French, the list goes on. Heck, if I’m not mistaken, we have all of these races in my blood line along with Cambodian and Australian.
Watching Ferguson unfold is like watching a precious child pull a bandage off of a sore that won’t heal because it’s been picked at repeatedly. It’s time to let it air out, the truth that is, and apply the right ointment: salvation, justice, equality, unity and peace to help it heal. And hopefully, allow that healing to engulf America.