I have to admit it's been pretty appalling for me to witness racism lately here on GaG concerning the racial issues with the police in America. Of course, it isn't the first time I've seen it on the web, as I also saw it on Answerbag and Experience Project before. So after enough thought and observation I do want to say what I think.
As a black man, let me be upfront and say right now that black people ain't perfect. Hell, I could write you a series of Takes in succession enough to be made into a book about what's wrong with us and what needs to change, but that could go on for weeks. But what I can say concerning violence and crime is that I am pretty sick and tired of it being a focus in the black community.
We don't want to be stereotyped and discriminated against, yet we glorify rap and hip hop that sings about crime, and we adore rappers that came from criminal backgrounds or are still criminal. Our young sons are out on the streets dealing drugs, stealing, robbing stores, and punching and stabbing people on the train. Our young sons are hanging with gangs or negative circles, or just want to copy the image of bad "n!ggas," and being proud of "getting locked up" and having a record, not realizing how it hurts them later on. And our mothers are in the church claiming to love the Lord yet not teaching their kids to live a right life - and will even try to protect them in their misdemeanors or even encourage it.
We talk about the hood life proudly, love talking about who got shot, or wanting to do something or get back at somebody we don't like. Yes, I know not ALL of us are like this, but at the same time we've made this image a widely known one of ourselves. One minute we hate the white man stereotyping us and saying we're all criminals, but the next we're glorying in that lifestyle and image. And we want it to be okay if we can walk into a Walmart or Target in a white area dressed like a hood or nasty ghetto girl, but not be stereotyped as one.
When you're trying to copy the negative images of crime and have one yourself, you can't be taken seriously. So when people like Michael Brown and Alton Sterling - who were thuggish - get killed, I feel bad for them that it was done out of racism, but then I still find myself thinking, "Maybe if you weren't in that life, you might have lived." When you're doing wrong and in the wrong circles, it does catch up with you, especially for black people.
My mother kept me and my brother out of the streets growing up, and we were raised to dress decent, keep our hair decent, and not talk and act like the other ones. And it paid off. We were respected for it by not only the ghetto neighborhood guys but also white people. Have we experienced discrimination by the police before? You can bet your ass we did, and it's probably something 98% of black men have or will experience anyway, but even in that the police could still see we were clean cut, and went on their way.
Having said all that, I don't think black people are perfect, and in some ways we can make ourselves bait for trouble. And while some white people think we're dangerous to all society, most black crime is against our own people, not them.
I hear a lot of the classic covert - and sometimes not so covert - racist arguments in defense of the police for killing black people, and they don't change my mind. While Sterling and others might have already been typical street crime thugs, that still does not give the police the right to abuse the law they swore to uphold, and especially not out of race. Whether white people want to face it or not, they are less likely to be killed by police, and that does stand to be true. I hear all these angry white guys trying to claim how badly they have it too with the police, and it's not the same. And others pretty much even try to say black men deserve it.
If some white guy out on the streets was selling stolen car parts, bootleg movies, or drugs himself, and he was confronted by the police, 99% of the time they are not going to wrestle him to the ground and kill him.
There does seem to be some kind of fear factor with police in confronting black men. Or pure disregard. Stereotypes are heavy in America that black men are violent and carry guns, so the police feel they don't need to think twice about shooting. Yet the facts are that since the Civil Rights movement, it's been the police to be more violent towards blacks than vice versa. And even if the "suspect" does have a weapon on him, they will rarely use it when confronted by the police. Alton Sterling did have a gun on him, and he wasn't reaching for it. Philando Castille initially warned police that he had a weapon but also a gun permit, that he wanted them to see so they wouldn't attack him.
What a lot of people also try to overlook is that the police can create the stories they want to make themselves look innocent. They destroy or tamper with video proof, police reports, and other evidence. They cover up their crimes. They lie and say it was the citizen or pedestrian in the wrong. And they get away with it. Police chiefs will stand by them. As does Internal Affairs. State attorney generals. And judges. All of these authority groups work together for their own good, so they're not about to convict their own. While there have been some cases where families won lawsuits against the police, for the most part the legal system is already set up to agree with law enforcement, especially in racial cases, and we've already seen that in the cases of Freddy Gray, Trayvon Martin, and Michael Brown.
So having said all that, I still think the police's actions are worse because they are the law and supposed to uphold it. When you fail at it, you lose my respect and I can't take you seriously like you think I should. I think black men are wrong to want to look or act thuggish, but I also think the cops are very wrong to abuse and kill discriminatorily.
Shootings on police officers...
Lately we're seeing strike-backs happening where black shooters are killing the police, and people are saying how awful it is and how not all cops are bad and shouldn't have to pay for what other cops do. This is a similar ideology to other comebacks when whites are victims in some way. White people are getting sad and angry about cops being killed, but aren't thinking about how black people feel on the other side of it. It should be a day of mourning when your cop husband, father, or brother is gunned down, but all you can give when innocent black men are killed is, "We don't know what really happened that day. For all we know he really did intend to hurt the police," or "The evidence shows that the guy was a crook. Get over it." It's taking it too far when cops are killed, but not when black men are.
I really can't say I feel either way about what's happened to those cops. My feelings are neither invested or uninvested in it really. I basically see it as the unfortunate part of the circle of life. Tables turn in every age, circumstance, and society. It's just how life works. Some people will start being on the receiving end. It's neither good or bad. It's what they call karma. Karma is intended to get our attention and wake us up with an important message, and the key is to heed it and learn from it, otherwise you will go into further failure.
Police at the Baton Rouge shooting last week
Having said that, I neither support or disapprove of the black shooters who killed those cops. I will say that it certainly doesn't make us look good since we're already stereotyped as gun-toting thugs anyway, so that doesn't help. But a message is being sent here that we're supposed to listen to.
Black Lives Matter...
You have a lot of people who are also against the Black Lives Matter movement and think it's radical or "terrorist," but I actually see nothing wrong with it. Some white people want to point out what some bad members in the group have done to try to devalue its cause, but some bad apples in a group doesn't make it bad because you say so. If that's the case we might as well call the U.S. government a despotic terrorist regime for striking other nations like Iraq with calculated intent, lying about all our political motives, imposing our rules on other nations, and killing many innocent people in the name of conflict. Not to mention many politicians have been child molestors or rapists or have sexually harassed women interns. Yet the same people who want to demonize BLM for its bad members want to wave the American flag loud and proud and praise our leaders. What a joke.
Then you have the white people - and it is mostly white people I hear - who want to say, "It's not just black lives that matter, all lives matter." This is just their way of not wanting to humble themselves and acknowledge that black lives are significantly being injured by law corruption. Of course all lives should matter, but that in itself didn't matter to white people until black people started expressing the need for their people's lives to matter.
Trying to disregard the issue by highlighting how "all lives matter" just stirs anger and resentment in people of color, because you're basically trying to brush off their concerns through minimization: "You're not the only one suffering, everyone is suffering," when that really is just Bullshit. White people still are not brutalized or victimized by law enforcement like people of color are, no matter how much the angry white guys - and anonymous white women - here want to prove otherwise with their FOX News statistics and all that other tilted crap.
Racism in America...
Although many of us claim that America is less racist and more tolerant than we were before, I do question that to an extent. In many ways we have gotten better racially, and blacks have rights like whites, but in our social infrastructure there can still be friction. Much of our racism today is more covert and secretively calculated. I once heard a radio program last year on a black radio station saying that a study shows that today's generation of white Americans is actually more racist than their parents and grandparents. I don't know if I exactly agree with that, but it is still present in today's generation to some degree.
Some white people try to talk about counterracism and how black people are racist too. And it is true, black people can definitely be racist, especially with our jokes about Hispanics speaking Spanish so fast and living in a house full of 12 people, and jokes about Asians. But the issue is that it's still mostly white people in positions of power and influence, so the decisions they make and what they do for people - or not do - will tell us where they stand on race. And it isn't black people killing someone of another race out of racial prejudice. That's the difference. We have a black president, but much of his authority has been hindered by a white majority in Congress.
Social media is one of the places where racists love to come out and play, so you see it best here and other places, and it can be surreal. Recently I posted a Take on relationships between black men and white women and what I love and hate about it as a black man, and I could definitely say the results were pretty racist, with white males taking offense as if they fear black men stealing their women, and even some white women were against it, and of course black women took it as a slight when I never even mentioned them, only to momentarily praise their own beauty, but they overlooked that. I simply wrote about what I thought was both beautiful and negative about those relationships, and most people read it the way they wanted to. It was both amazing and humorous for me to see. It is true that a lot of Gaggers' reading skills are not very good.
Yet I'm seeing the guys like Polocrew, Fearless_Banana, and anonymous white males - and some white females like KittieCat - writing about black people and black movements being negative, and how they won't apologize for being white anymore, and people are agreeing with them. Witnessing it can be somewhat appalling and fascinating.
We do have more work to do on racism, but progress is hindered and anger is stirred when we're trying to justify people for why they acted against people of color or outright deny it.
While I generally don't have problems with white people, and I like white girls, I'm still no fool. I'm still black and I'm aware of the world around me. I'm never really big on statistics and studies, but I do wanna share some here about race that not a lot of people really know about. Something to sober the racist whites mouthing off about people of color and listening to FOX News:
More white people are actually on foodstamps and welfare than blacks.
Even I didn't know this until a few years ago. Racist white conservatives love talking about black mothers leeching off the welfare system, when more whites are doing it than blacks.
White men make up the majority of rapists in America more than black men.
Because the photo of the chart didn't meet GaG's extremely annoying photo upload size requirements, I can't post it. But according to RAINN, it shows that 57% of rapists are white males while 27% are black.
More murders are actually committed by whites.
According to a chart from as recent as 2013.
Most mass shootings are done by white males.
Although whites like to focus on violent crime being done by blacks, the majority of mass shootings in America are done by young white males.
Just something to think about.