On that same note..no I’m not a black person. NO I dont know what the every day experience is for black people in this country. But I see what has been happening all over the country each time a person of color is killed. It would be a disservice to simplify this issue with a blanket cause or solution. There are many reasons people of color feel uncared for in this country: Poverty, racism, classism, less opportunity…so many reasons I dont even know probably.
Author Jonathon Kozol writes a lot of books on the topic of gentrification, as well as how poverty & areas where the poor live can and do affect one’s opportunity in life. IN neighborhoods where theres a single parent or two parents working to make ends meet, there’s not parents banding together in a PTA to raise money for new school supplies, a new playground, etc. Wher=eas in other more affluent neighborhoods, theres community support, fundraisers and access to a variety of resources made possible by extra money that comes in to the neighborhood school. If a child goes to a school lacking in supplies, where classrooms are in need of repair, where they dont feel safe or supported..that child may not last long at said school. Or even if they do, how will they access information to colleges & universities if there arent school counselors, extracurricular opportunities, AP Classes and things that an give kids a better chance to attend college?
But I am getting sidetracked.
I have seen people all over the internet invent countering hashtags to the effect of “all people matter,.” Yes they do. However, that is not the issue being called attention to with the hashtag #BlackLivesMatter. .People who rush to dismiss #BlackLIvesMatter with something else are not hearing the call to be heard. As humans we should care for each other. We should care if another group of fellow Americans is feeling alienated. We should care to work together to find solutions. I’m not a person of color but if those that dismiss them choose to not seek further information or to seek out answers, if I’m the only person that cares to explain even if the most generic terms my white self can give I will try to do that, for the sake of hoping to develop understanding To one person I gave the example, “if you brought up an issue in which you felt women were being treated unfairly and a man replied by stating men have issues too, then went on a tangent about men’s issues…and never once stopped to give you space to explain the topic YOU brought up -women’s issues – you would be saying “womensLivesMatter and theyd bne the ones saying AllLIvesMatter or MensLIvesMatter, which, while valid, is dismissive of the issue at hand…and you’d be left feeling rather unheard too. . People want to be acknowledged. They want their needs and voices heard. I cant speak from a place of authenticity because its not my place or experience, however what I am trying to convey, is understanding. . I’m sorry if I am overstepping & this isnt my intent. I try to use simplified examples to try to convey what is being said & I know since my experience is direct that I dont have a whole picture
Mark Wahlberg, rapper, actor, entertainer is also a criminal. As a teen and young man, Mark committed many heinous, racially motivated crimes that nowadays we refer to as “hate crimes.” These are serious things that strem from some very serious feelings and ideas. Mark now wants the state of Massachusetts to pardon him for this slew of crimes committed because now hes a good person. I have no doubt he is. However I do not believe Mark Wahlberg should be pardoned. He did not commit one offense. He committed MANY. racially charged offenses. These are not the act of a foolish kid who didn’t know better. These acts-throwing rocks and chasing schoolkids, beating up a man and shouting racial epithets-are an increasing pattern of racial violence. These should be a part of his permanent record, That is a consequence of his actions.
I would understand better if Mark had committed one act as a kid who didn’t know better. If Mark had gone on to take classes in conflict resolution, or learned how to deal with others in a diverse population, then that would be different. But Mark hasnt done anything that outstanding beyond what others who learn from experiences do. He got out of jail. HE got a successful career. He got married and had kids. Good for him. But he doesnt deserve a pardon for that. As a responsible adult who wants to take responsibility for these actions, Mark should accept this with understanding.
MLK day! And what have we learned so far in 2015? Well we have 1 black President out of all the Presidents ever. This is hailed as historic and wonderful. Which of course it IS but this one win should not be it for us.By no means should folks sit back & think “well we made it! we can rest easy” and put their feet up thinking everyone in this country is treated and regarded equally by everyone in society.
It IS Great we have a black President. Mr Obama is intelligent and articulate. He is also much more privileged than the average black man. I do not feel he often uses his position to push for equality or to speak for others as much as he should. President Obama grew up in an upper middle class home. He lived in Hawaii which is by no means a cheap state to live. He is half white which certainly helps in terms of his opportunities in life, his upbringing, opportunities etc. He does not speak for the lower class black man struggling to survive in the projects, in my opinion. That said, his election to President (even the Senate before that) has heped make strides in equality for this country. IT broke the tradition of the good old boy network in the White HOuse.
However in the rest of this country we’re still battling whether women have rights to birth control. LGBT people still dont have full rights in many states. Racism and treatment of black lives throughout the country has been a “hot topic” in the media of late. Racism in America is quite alive & well, as are a lot of other “isms.” The internet is a battleground full of extremists on both liberal & conservative spectrums who all need to check themselves. (IE There may be bad cops, not all cops are bad. Westboro Baptist may be “religious” but not all religious ppl are like Westboro Baptist. 99% of rapists might be men, but not all men are rapists, and you get the idea) Folks if you find yourself falling for an us/them way of thinking, no matter how you spin it, you might need to check your own prejudices, it starts with you. Everyone can battle prejudice – starting w/ themselves. We still have a long way to go.
So Ferguson, MO …seems to not completely be going down in flames today. I am always a person to fact check before opining on situations like this but honestly its been hard to wait through the opinions. I def am for people questioning government, taking (Positive) action when they see wrong & def police can be wrong,. IN this case I do not think the officer was. One commenter on Yahoo put it quite succinctly :” re the Michael Brown autopsy results: 4 shots to the arm to stop an assailant are what happens when you shoot to disable by aiming for the side of center mass, since they are less likely to kill the assailant, if not disabled and the target is closer then you go for a head shot, sounds like good training to me to explain the location of the bullets…. I am sorry for this it is now true that he was not running away, the witness has been discredited. we have to wait for the rest of the reports.” All very valid…and it substantiates that the officer did his job. End of story. I don’t think there is a conspiracy here. I live in a state that has seen a fair share of officer involved fatalities & I have oft sided w/ the victim in those cases or heavily sympathized. (Rodney King, Oscar Grant, Andy Lopez) I certainly do sympathize. Its sad when ANYONE dies. However if you die in the commission of a crime, or being questioned for one, it warrants a bit less sympathy on my end. I was not impressed with Mr. Brown’s parents on Good Morning America either. They seem to fault only the officer, be in support of the rioting & showed little concern for their son’s activities that day. This coupled with the autopsy results & the very valid comments I Quoted above, lead me to believe the officer was not in the wrong here.
NOT TO MENTION….rioting, looting, stealing, defacing property in the name of justice for someone is backwards & WRONG. If Mr Brown were innocent than people committing crimes in his name will not sway observers favorably. In my opinion, the rioters are nothing but criminal opportunists looking for an excuse to do damage while police resources are stretched managing all that is going on. This is not justice. This is shameful. Godspeed, Ferguson.