The United States has never been a society that embraces social equality. Any measure of perceived equality obtained has come begrudgingly and with shedding of blood. Contrary to documented history that supports this fact, white people still don’t feel they have an advantage in an America that caters to their every need – indeed, their every word. Or, in this case, lack of words. They’ll argue as if U.S. history (dare I say world history?) murdered them for the slightest of white-public-perceived offenses, or oppressed them with racist legislation. As such, this is precisely the kind of autonomous thinking whites employ that opens a portal to their ignorance, brazenly displayed in their inability (and unwillingness) to understand the type of world they have egotistically constructed. Continue reading “The America From Whence He Came”
It starts with a look.
It’s a silent gaze that screams from yesteryear the same way its daddy and granddaddy screamed: What are you doing here? Where do you live? Why are you in my store? Doesn’t take much to recognize it. I’m watching you. The scream is voiceless but it is immediately understood. It’s an uncomfortable feeling. Hard to describe especially in the middle of knowing exactly what “the look” is really about and from whence it comes. It’s really undeniable. It truly is. It can be deadly. I’ve felt it too many times to count. The awareness of that scream envelopes me with a mix of anger, frustration, helplessness, and a few more ingredients that unless you’ve been the recipient of that discriminatory, racist stare, you will not understand. Not that I don’t want you to understand, it’s just that you won’t.
Jermaine Massey was kicked out of a DoubleTree Hotel in Portland, Oregon, this week after making a call in the hotel’s lobby. He was deemed a safety threat and accused of trespassing…in the hotel where he had a room…that he paid for…in the lobby that is open to guests…where guests are allowed to be. There’s got to be more to the story some might say. Oh, yes, indeed – there’s more to the story, alright. There’s a whole history lesson involved. But on the surface, nah. I know what it is. You do, too. His account of the incident reads like a familiar book to me. Continue reading “The Familiar Look of Racism”
It doesn’t make sense.
I was sitting outside this Saturday morning in Panamá enjoying a fresh cup of coffee, listening to some morning jazz, getting my thoughts together for the day. As you might imagine, birds are singing and aside from the occasional bark from Jojo, (who got up early with me and sits at my feet), it’s quiet. It’s relaxing. It’s necessary.
I decide to break my personal protocol, interrupt the music, and look at my timeline. I know I shouldn’t. Not right now at least. Not only that but…how disrespectful is it to interrupt Miles?
But I do.
There it is again. Englewood. Right there in the Chi. Just two days ago, I was reading about the same area and what occurred there. The backdrop of jazz is in such contradiction to the video I am watching that I decide to turn the music off. It’s not fitting. It’s out of place. Normally, I can find beauty in contradictions – from an artist’s standpoint, that is. There is nothing beautiful about what I am watching. This is not art and the contradiction is repugnant. Continue reading “Englewood Doesn’t Deserve This”
I was told I have no idea.
A white teacher in Beaumont, Texas, was shown on video violently and repeatedly assaulting a young Black student and I was told I don’t understand. I was told, “it’s hard to keep your cool.” By a teacher, mind you.
Mary Hastings, a teacher at Ozen High School, was arrested after a video showed her slapping a student. (Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office)
I was told the kid “wasn’t even mad.” That he was smiling right after the uncontrollable, enraged, and violent teacher, Mary Hastings, physically attacked him – all the while being called “an idiot ass” and mocked afterward. Yeah. Why would he be mad, right? I would confidently argue that his reaction did not mean that he wasn’t even mad. More than likely, it meant that he was embarrassed and in order to mask his true emotions, he smiled. Those type of responses happen, tu sabes?
I was told that she must have been provoked to assault her student with the fiery aggression that she wantonly displayed. Provoked? Hey, don’t kill the messenger. Provoked was the excuse they told me. Continue reading “Don’t Kill the Messenger”