Me thinks that blogging will never be any source of income for me… I like it but I get distracted (or long-winded). I started this blog almost 4 months ago and I’m still not done with it. I am trying to edit and reword, but I think my main problem is that it’s at something like 8000 words. I don’t think blog posts are supposed to be that long, are they? I really wanted to share what I was feeling so I posted this on Facebook a few days ago
Maybe I’m racist or ignorant or a bad person, but in what world is it ok to wear a shirt that says “kill white people” or “kill cops”? I can understand the outrage over the death of unarmed persons, but they aren’t not ALL black nor are they ALL killed by police officers. What about the outrage over the death of officers who are trying to do their jobs and are killed for it. What about the outrage over stray bullets killing children in their beds? Or the victims of rape and domestic violence or drug addicts who feel like there is no place to turn or foster kids who are just a paycheck. Why aren’t there marches for these people? I promise you that the war we are fighting in the middle east… Our enemies couldn’t give a rat’s behind if you are white or black or Asian or Hispanic… We are all AMERICANS and we all receive the same level of hate. I’m not stupid, I know there are lots of issues in the world, but singing songs and making speeches about getting revenge on white people or cops, I just don’t see how that is ever going to make anyone’s life better. I’ve listened to Dr. King’s speeches and I don’t remember any calls for violence or death to white people. I heard calls to be proud to be black and about being strong, but I heard a lot more about loving each other and loving God than anything else. Maybe I’m wrong, correct me if I am.
And I was very pleased when I got a thoughtful and intelligent reply back from a black friend of ours. This is someone that Q really looks up to, as a musician, a father and as a Christian and so I asked if I could share his response and he said yes! Here it is:
No, Brogan, you are not racist, ignorant, or naive for thinking there is something wrong with the wearing of a shirt that says “kill white people” or “kill cops.”
It may be a shock to some but I’m actually black. And I’m a peace officer. It’s unacceptable to attack anyone because of race, sex, etc.
At the same time all of us need to allow those not like ourselves to express their reality. While I may not ever be touched directly by rape or child abuse as an individual, this won’t stop me from actively speaking against it. The same goes for (and I’m speaking to my brothers and sisters of color) those of us being black; we have a right to speak out against ongoing, specific disproportionate treatment against us. But we must never let these experiences lead us to be racist or discriminatory ourselves. What is wrong with us? This is hypocrisy.
I agree our enemies can care less if we are white, etc. but I’m not just an American (whatever that is, I’m certain it cannot be defined by race). When many of us as black people hear, whether rightly or wrongly, someone who happens to be in the racial majority say, “We are all Americans” we tend to interpret these words to mean, “So, are you saying I shouldn’t celebrate my blackness? Are you saying my blackness isn’t worth very much?” Now, I don’t believe for a moment this is your thought on the matter , but this tends to be the interpretation of some whenever these discussions on race occur.
I could give a textbook definition of what it means, theoretically, to be an American, but the truth of any word is brought into focus through the everyday, lived out experiences. This is why I struggle with knowing what an American is.
Growing up in an inner city and having cops (who happened to be white; by the way, all white people aren’t racist) physically man handle and snatch me off of my grandma’s porch, rough me up, throw me in the back of their squad car, drive away, illegally question me (at the age of 15) about things I knew nothing about, finger print me, take my picture at the police station, all without provocation and without speaking to my parents or grandparents, did something to me. And I could speak of other illegal encounters, too. But at some point one cannot play the victim and grow out of this imprisoned way of thinking…what I wonder is how I might respond today if a cop used illegal force against me. I wonder what thoughts of fear, anxiety, may resurface.
I know this sounds so childish and immature (and I am in many respects) but I likewise wonder how practical it might be to tell a rape victim, to just think, when she’s alone with a man, “We are all just people. All men aren’t the same…” While we would all say this is true, I would imagine some other reality is taking place inside of her that causes her to dismiss the actual reality.
Tragically, some of us have been damaged to such a degree that we’ve swung too far in the direction of calling for the death of white people…
I pray for the day we can live out the true meaning of the word “American”. We aren’t there yet…and won’t arrive at that destination by calling for the bloodshed of ANY group of people.
In closing, even if you are an American (Hispanic, Korean, white, black, etc.) but also a criminal, you should be prosecuted accordingly. I really don’t care the level of melanin in your skin under these circumstances.
God bless you.
His response also brought to mind something that Muhammad Ali said in an interview many years ago, he went into a diner after a fight (he was already a successful boxer) and the man came up to him and said, “We don’t serve negroes”. His response? “And I was so mad, I said ‘well I don’t eat ’em either, just give me a cup of coffee and a hotdog”
I don’t agree with everything that Cassius Clay believed in but he sure was funny and honest.
Anyway, that’s been on my mind and I am finally getting around to publishing it so if it seems choppy it’s because it isn’t technically finished!
As always: I have no idea what I am doing,