I honestly don't know where to begin. As I watch the Nutcracker on what is officially my birthday (November 25) I do not sense the usual happiness and elation that comes with the day. November 25 is normally a day of internal reflection because it can truly be a day about me. What I have accomplished in the past year, what I need to do in the future. A personal inventory. This year I have to put that aside and look at my country and whats happening in it.
So looking at my timeline on Facebook and Twitter I am seeing sweeping generalizations and absolutes so I want to discuss those first.
The Looters are not the same as the Protestors
A lot of people are asking what does a taking Jordans and iPhone 6 have to do with Michael Brown. The answering is nothing. These people are taking advantage of the of the situation and unrest in Ferguson. They are criminals with no moral compass or humanity in my opinion. Simply, they are scum.
Rioting is not right but it does makes sense
Have you ever felt like you weren't being heard? Like you didn't matter? If you have didn't want to do whatever it took to have your voice heard. Would you not react radically to get attention. That is what is going on in Ferguson. These people, my people are screaming for their own country to hear them. I don't agree with it but I completely understand. When you are angry and out of options, your actions change.
Race is still a matter in this country
I know a lot of people believe that in this post Obama election time that race doesn't matter anymore. It does. Nothing has changed. Racism (personal and institutionalized) is alive and well in this country. We can see it in small things such as gay porn (look at the division there) as well as seeing how the police view black men. I'm 28 and my mom still worries about me when I go out. Not for crime or making bad decisions but of what other people might do to me a black man. After Trayvon she would ask "you aren't wearing a hoodie? If so take it off when you enter a store". One of the first lessons my father taught me was to be careful of the police. Be careful of how I move around them and what I say. That I cannot appear to aggressive or have an attitude even when I know I am right because I'm at a distinct disadvantage, my skin color. This is the conversation black parents have to have with their sons at 12. To save their lives. TO SAVE THEIR LIVES. Black people do not trust the police because Michael Brown isn't the first one to die. Unfortunately most of the Black Community doesn't see them as their savior and protection. Its sad but true but its because some Police officers act as the enemy. I always feel tense when I get pulled over or if they even follow me. Those times of being racially profiled stick with you. When you feel powerless you don't forget it or the people that make you feel that way.