Sigh. I pray for and send the peace that surpasses all understanding, to the family and loved ones of the two police officers murdered yesterday. Wenjian Liu and Rafael Ramos, these words are so very trite in this instance and should have been beautifully uttered at your retirement celebrations; but, it is all I have – “thank you for your service”.
Are we happy now? Do these executions bring back the men in whose names these murders were supposedly done? Or better yet – can we fucking breathe now?!
I am incredibly saddened and angered by these killings. These men were doing nothing more than their jobs; never realizing that they were being set up by a coward – shit… by a nation of cowards – to breathe their last breaths. And make no mistake – that man who killed them (yes, I know his name, but it will never appear on these pages) – that man who, before murdering these men shot his ex-girlfriend, was the fool holding the gun – while our anger, inciting words, misguided actions and a mentality of denial of culpability – placed our index fingers on the trigger!
Again I say, there certainly are instances and documented realities that substantiate that there are discrepancies in the treatment of people of color as it stands in relation to others. Yes. But similarly, there are also instances that, if we were to stop and educate ourselves, we can point out where the reverse is also true. So what do we say then? Oh yes, I know, “we” say, “the only reason “we” behave badly is in response to the treatment “we” have endured for so long!” “We” say that, “it is only in response to the violence perpetuated upon us that “we” come out swinging!” “We” say that, “we” are forced to rob, loot and kill each other because “the white man” has forced us into lives of poverty, desperation and a survival of the fittest!”
I say to all that, “we” have become a culture of excuses and mediocrity. “We” have taken a reality of racism and segregation that began with our fore-fathers and that many have fought (and, in some ways, won) to change and have latched on to it in an effort to excuse ourselves from the responsibility of our own actions! “We” have and continue to use this as the reason “we” do not get the fuck up and work; because, “why should “we”? The ‘white man’ won’t give me a job no how!” Well actually, with that vocabulary, matched with that mentality, this black woman won’t give you one either!
Yes, I’m mad as hell! Listen, if I am railing against what I opine as a collective ignorance, I too need not indulge in singular stupidity. So, I will not state that our world is devoid of racism and that each of us gets what we deserve; but, trust me when I say, “we” would not like it much ether if we did all in fact “get what we deserved”! But, I digress. Yes, we sadly live in a world that, in spite of all its strides toward a more equally beneficial finish line, still litters the course with booby-traps that seem to have “our” names on them. Indeed, when we look at the divide in employment opportunities, levels of education, housing, to name a few, there are discrepancies that are glaring. Certainly enough to at first make “us” scared, then angry!
But, it is this anger that we need to address; because this anger and how it is relayed, is what will determine how we all get out of this state. Think about it – when we get angry, let’s say in our relationships, if we both started to break things, or in any way lash out, what the hell does that solve or achieve – except a whole lot of broken dishes, holes in walls, or, heaven forbid, holes in faces? At some point (and hopefully that ‘point’ comes sooner rather than later), in the interest of achieving any positive outcome, a conversation is what is needed; many, if the person we would like to hear us is a bit, well, hard-headed. Listen, take it from a former dish-thrower, the only take-away from that behavior is your temper, your violence; the initial cause of your distress becomes lost in your subsequent noise.
So, what now? What happens now if, heaven forbid I need to call 911 for an emergency; will they think twice or thrice before responding because, well, I DO live in Bed-Stuy? Will they now (rightfully) wonder if all emergency calls are so-called emergencies, designed simply to lure them to their deaths? So now, without my consent, I can potentially be left victimized and unprotected because, in the name of Eric Garner and Michael Brown I have been placed on the “us” side of “us vs them”?
No one deserves to be murdered; no one! But, the response to what “we” may perceive as an injustice is not further injustice! Please, we need to find a different way. We need to employ a better method. Yesterday did not need to end that way for those men and the people that love them. Today does not need to begin with us all now falling victims to the misguided decisions of some. We certainly do need to relieve the pressure that seemingly cuts off the fresh-air-flow that some in society feel; but not this way. Please.
“An eye for an eye only makes the whole world blind…” Gandhi.