I’m tired. I just want to crawl into bed and have blissful, peaceful dreams. But I can’t. I was this close (thumb and pointer finger an inch apart), but I was on FB and read comments about the Charlotte protests. #KeithLamontScott, was gunned down by police officers in the Queen City. Just a day before, #TerenceCrutcher was killed in Tulsa, Oklahoma. And the day before that…well, you get the picture.
I’m tired of the same stuff, different day. I’m tired of the story Black man/woman killed by police because (insert any of the claims here). I’m tired that folks still argue that “He had a gun” in a right to carry state. Or, she/he should’ve complied, even though hands were up. Or, he/she pointed the gun, when white males can shoot at cops or kill a mall full of folks and still be apprehended alive. Or, when we cry black lives matter, there’s an echo cry of “white/blue/all lives matter”–when, duh, that’s already been established.
I know, it’s just me. I’m the one that’s ranting because I’m tired. Not to be confused with the Twitter complaints of protestors shutting down streets and highways because that’s the real inconvenience. Trust me, I want to hit the highway, mind my own business, and stop off at Friday’s for a drink, too.
Even though I’m exhausted, I’m staying up not to write any of the stuff above. Disregard all of that. I just had to get it out of my system. This blog is only meant to address the riots. “Why tear up stuff?”
First reaction is to of course, question and agree, “I don’t condone rioting or looting of any kind,” right? Then I thought about it…why is it that we only post status updates when it comes to these protests and then label the people as thugs and such? I’m not saying that there hasn’t been an element that has gone astray, but as I told my daughter: we’re dealing with a generation that has been reminded over and over that their lives don’t count, are worthless. When bodies of their brown brothers and sisters can be killed, chilled on the street for hours till the coroner finally comes, and no repercussions at all…well, there is anger beyond what we can imagine in their bodies. They are not the protestors of the CR Movement singing freedom songs. Hope has been snatched away from them, so you think they’ll value someone’s car or store?
But still…debates continue. Yes, blacks have rioted. Who needs to be reminded of the LA Riots AFTER the Rodney Kind verdict. Oh yeah, there was a video of several officers beating the heck out of him. “We shall overcome . . . we shall overcome one day-y-y.”
Where was this disdain and public outrage when college boys are being boys and sports fans were just overly passionate?
Perhaps the protestors should repackage their protests/riots…make them less about protesting their right to live and mask it under sports. Perhaps the masses will be able to identify with their struggle? Okay, I’m being cynical…but forgive me, I haven’t been sleeping too well lately.
Why riot and burn down cities? This is such a tough question given the fact that there is a history of rioting and looting of Black towns with reasons gone unanswered till this day. Well, we know the answers: those townsfolk were getting too prosperous, too uppity, too haughty, too equal and had to be reminded of their places. Recently, @atlantablackstar has reported on eight: 8 Successful and Aspiring Black Communities Destroyed by White Neighbors Atlanta Race Riot (1906); Greenwood , Tulsa, Oklahoma “Black Wall Street” (May 31 – June 1, 1921); Chicago Race Riots (1919); Rosewood Massacre (1923); Washington, D.C. Race Riots (1919); Knoxville, Tennessee Race Riots (1919); New York City Draft Riot (1863); The East St. Louis Massacre (1917)… There’s a good, old movie to check out, Rosewood.
And I won’t go into church bombings or past race riots, and stuff like that…I’m so tired to try to go with a full history lesson. But my point is…why is the outrage always one-sided?
Hint: the narrative is slanted. If we are fed day in and out that Blacks have a tendency towards aggression and anger, then it won’t take long to believe this as truth.
Well, aren’t “they” proving it with rioting? *slaps palm to forehead*
I’ll go ahead and borrow some quotes from Appalachian poet and friend, Rikaldoh Nazahrioh-K.’s page (last initial used only because I didn’t seek permission to post this first). Rikaldoh went back and forth with the question above and here are thoughts from the intellectual:
“The power to protest is inherent to this nation. We have throughout history rioted, burned, destroyed our spaces when government has failed to protect its people. We cannot have amnesia of the fabric of this nation. On the other hand we cannot ask people to turn the other cheek when both cheeks have been slapped multiple times. It is discomforting and disconcerting and perhaps that is what is needed to address the issue of police murdering citizens. We need more people involved demanding change.” (Differing opinion inserted here) . . . “No one has answers that is why e are where we are. Citizens have been patient watching people being killed. Hoping someone in government be it local regional sate or national would intervene and demand, legislate some action to change training or modalities or personnel. No one has and the citizens’ cup has runneth over once again. Until these issues are addressed systemically we will continue to periodically see death and protest. I hope it doesn’t become the norm…”
Well, until thinking like the one below changes, I’m afraid it might be the norm. Lord, I hope not. In the words of Rodney King: Can’t we all just get along?