I remember watching the Furgeson riots on CNN in buffalo ny and my heart just breaking. I recall finally going to the store for no reason so I could get away from watching it on the TV screen. I couldn’t believe that what I read in history books in elementary school about the mid 1900’s was still a reality years later. Racism never died. How foolish I felt because I was shocked about the protests, riots and racist behavior. The question is, why would I be shocked? Yes I have dealt with racist people and I knew it was alive and well. But seeing it on TV and reading it in the news was too overwhelming for me. But I knew there was no getting away from it. Here we are years later and there’s more protests and rioting. Why? Because unfortunately, things have not changed.
Some people ask why are African Americans are so angry since slavery ended years ago. It’s because the shackles may have physically come off (although our prison system is fucked but we will discuss that another time), but we are still shackled by racist’s all around us. They judge us, jail us, hurt us, degrade us, limit us and stifle us. Some of them are police officers, judges, bosses, coworkers and lawyers. Some of them lie to our faces about their beliefs and others show us their negative perception of us through their actions. These actions such as lies, abuse and death are why we are angry. And if you turn in the news it’s not just “us” who are angry, people of ALL races are over it.
Racism has never gone away. It’s simply repackaged and redelivered over and over again regardless of how many times we try to return it back to the sender. It’s not a package anyone wants, yet racism continues to be distributed everywhere. People are tired, as am I.
We have progressed so much as human beings and as a civilization. We are far from cavemen and cavewomen. We no longer etch our records in stone or hunt for food daily. Yet we are so behind when it comes to the human mind in regards to race, prejudice and judgement. How are we as people able to develop incredible technology, amazing athletes and beautiful smart minds…yet we can’t coexist amongst ourselves?
Is it a foreign concept that we are all human beings? That we all love, hurt, bleed and desire the same happiness and respect as everyone else?
I was amazed at all of the love and support that has been encouraged and given to everyone amid the Coronavirus pandemic. I thought perhaps we as people developed more compassion, empathy love and gratefulness for one another. But this had reminded us that there are still terrible people all around us. Here we ALL are living through quarantine and dealing with a virus that has us changing our lifestyles in a million different ways. Yet we still have to worry about being judged by the color of our skin? That’s beyond asinine.
Is it fair that I have to worry about every black man’s safety that I know and don’t know although I know men of all colors? Is it fair that I have to worry every black woman’s safety that I know and don’t know although I know women of all colors? Is it fair that I fear for them because of the ignorant thoughts and behaviors of some people who are not the same color as us? No it’s not fair. But life is no such thing. Still, that’s not as excuse. We are better than this. We are America the “supposed” land of the free. But we can’t be free if we are trapped by racism, violence and ignorance.