Lack Of Focus

I'm tired, I'm tired of watching black folks being killed like it's open season.  I'm tired of the media making excuses and labeling the assailents troubled or mentally ill when they're white, while labeling black folks thugs, criminals or that we need to practice more "restraint" when we defend ourselves.  I'm tired of the fact that this is happening with much more regularity and I'm tired that we, as black people don't follow through on our protests most of all!  

What do I mean by this you say?  Well let's start with some examples, Trayvon Martin is killed by George Zimmerman, we protest by marching, wearing hoodies, we tweet up a storm about it, we set back patiently and listen to a not guilty verdict, and what do we do?  We yell a little bit then let it all blow by.

 Trayvon Martin, killed because he "looked dangerous"

Trayvon Martin, killed because he "looked dangerous"

 I don't hear much about Trayvon Martin at all these days now.  Eric Garner, choked to death while being arrested by New York City police officers for selling cigerettes on a street corner, something that is normally dealt with by giving a warning or a citation.  Once again, what are we doing?  We march a little bit, tweet about it, wear some t-shirts, a few basketball players may wear shirts during warm ups with a slogan on it, but once again when no charges are brought, we let it go.

 How folks felt after the refusal of the District Attorney to indict officer Darren Wilson in Ferguson, Missouri 

How folks felt after the refusal of the District Attorney to indict officer Darren Wilson in Ferguson, Missouri 

 Ferguson, Missouri was the sight of a similar case where a young man, Mike Brown is unarmed and shot and killed by a Police officer.  So again we march, and we riot a little bit after charges were not brought against the officer. 

 Eric Garner, being choked to death with an illegal choke hold.  Was selling a pack of cigerettes really a death sentence?  Garner was recorded telling the officers over and over that he couldn't breathe.

Eric Garner, being choked to death with an illegal choke hold.  Was selling a pack of cigerettes really a death sentence?  Garner was recorded telling the officers over and over that he couldn't breathe.

 The officer gets to go give "inspirational speeches" to folks, despite the fact that the entire handling of the investigation was shady, and we again let it go.  Freddie Gray is apprehended by Baltimore police, with no probable cause or charges by the way, and dies with a broken spine as a result.  So we riot, tweet, make shirts and finally we get charges brought against cops and what do we do?  We party in Baltimore like its Mardi Gras even though charges are not a punishment or accountability.  Charges are just that, charges.

 Rioting in Baltimore, Are we fed up yet?

Rioting in Baltimore, Are we fed up yet?

 And there has been no trial or conviction yet, which is where real accountability comes in.  But once again we drop it because the charges are like a bone thrown to a dog, just a distraction.  Now we have a racist, terrorist Dylan Roof, who shoots up and kills 9 members in a black church in Charleston, South Carolina and alas, the pattern, the same pattern begins again.  

People, when are we going to have some follow through and take the protesting to the end until real change comes?!  I'm tired of this same old worthless song and dance, because that's what it is.  Society and White Supremicist culture doesn't take us or our lives seriously because they dont have to!  We don't force them to!  

Those who participate in such a culture know they can do and get away with whatever they want because all we will do is march, talk, and if they are patient enough, we will just go away and drop it.  When will we follow through until the end?  People use the civil rights movement as an example of how peaceful protest worked and all we have to do is be patient.  But did it really work?  What's so much different between then and now except for a few cosmetic changes?  We are still being oppressed and fighting for equity and equality in many areas, and these days we are also being killed left and right with no recourse.  When we do fight back we are being called thugs and criminals while white assailents are given more sympathetic labels and excuses.  

 Prayer outside the Charleston, SC church.  Prayer is always good, but is this enough to keep us from being unwarranted targets?

Prayer outside the Charleston, SC church.  Prayer is always good, but is this enough to keep us from being unwarranted targets?

If black or foreign born individuals were to commit the same crimes, we are met with more aggregious labels and our acts are called major crimes or terrorist acts, not "tragedies".  Sometimes talking gets old, especially when the words are hollow.  There's always a plea by the dominant oppressive culture for both sides to sit and talk things out when the oppressed match the force of their oppressors with force of their own, as if oppressed people have never tried to express their displeasures verbally before.  Peasants in France tried using speech before the French revolution but they were met with jail or silence.  In Lybia and Egypt folks tried talking as well.

 But it gets to be difficult to articulate your frustrations and political desires when you're being grabbed by Secret Police at night and beaten, jailed, or "disappeared".  Even the American Revolution came as a result of colonist asking the Queen for certain liberties that she wouldn't give.  What do all these "Successful" revolutions have in common?  When the oppressed saw that talk no longer worked and their words were either being ignored or met with violence, their follow through became force.  They met power and oppression with power to gain their liberties.  The most basic human instinct that we are all born with is that of survival, fight or flight.  With that being said, to expect African Americans to not become angry and fight back after their continuous pleas for relief from oppression and brutality is simply unrealistic and unnatural. 

If you continuously punch me despite me asking you to stop, then maybe punching you back is the only way to get your attention so that you realize I don't appreciate it and understand what it feels like.  Whether you believe violence is they key or not, history shows that in many cases, it's the only thing that an oppressive system will concede to or recognize.  Now I would like to stay away from violence as much as the next person because I don't want to see innocent people hurt.  But all to often innocent people are hurt, and those that are disproportionately hurt are of my very own skin tone simply because of a system that doesn't want to recognize us as equals.  It took the bloodiest war in the history of America (Civil War) just to be free and earn rights on paper.  

And I say on paper because Jim crow law, a form of oppression and leissez faire slavery, was still practiced up until the 60's and in some ways, it still is (prison industriual complex), just in a different form.  America is always afraid when Black people collectivley get angry.  It's what I call America's bad conscience.  I call it that because this country knows its history all to well, the maltreatment that African American's have received and how unfairly it still treats us.  And the dominant culture that runs this country is afriad of the day that our anger goes from being individual anger and resentment, to unified anger and action that we turn against them.  We can't change things individually, but we change everything when we are together.

 Had rioters in Baltimore and Ferguson taken thier rioting to surrounding wealthier subburbs instead of their own community, you would have seen a swifter reaction by the police because the rioters wouldn't have been destroying property in their own inner city neighborhoods.  It would have been the residences of those officers and white citizens who live in a higher tax bracket who have more prevelant voices within the local political system than those of poor black folks.  If you want to be heard you go to the homes of your oppressors and knock their doors down, you don't knock down your own doors.

 I am fully aware that this post and what I'm saying may lose some readers as well as garner negative attention toward me as an individual.  Folks may even want to question my character.  But facts are facts, and history (example: afforementioned revolutions) speak for themselves.  So my challenge to Black America is, when are we going to stop with the fad of the two week march, tweet, song and dance and carry out our protests until we see change?  When are we going to sustain marches and boycotts until they impact our local economic structure so much that our local and national political systems actually have to take action and concede to us what we so rightly deserve?  

Which is complete equity and equality in all facets of life.  When are we going to stop letting these unwarranted, senseless murders and deaths go unpunished and happen so frequently?  When are we going to force our rights upon society and prove that black lives matter instead of just saying it?  Or maybe some of you don't want that because the cost of these freedoms and your time are too valuable.  Maybe some of you are just the tweet, march, and shirt wearing type.  But we see where that's gotten us haven't we?  Nine more folks dead and another criminal who is being let off the hook by the media who labels him mentally ill while claiming they are clueless to his motivations.