Recently I dreamt I got into a confrontation with a crazy, NRA-loving, KKK-groupie beast, in which the Neo-Nazi nut felt completely justified to pull out his gun and point it at me, in full view of witnesses who could later testify in a court of law (assuming it would have even come to that) that I wasn’t the aggressor, and I was unarmed.
In my dream, I was somehow able to wrestle the gun away from the racist psychopath, and give him a taste of his own medicine.
Reality, however, is another matter, entirely.
According to “Operation Ghetto Storm”, a report released by the Malcolm X Grassroots Movement, in 2012, there were at least 313 extrajudicial murders of Black men, Black women, and Black children, an average of one killing every 28 hours.
As of this writing, the 2013 numbers have yet to be published, but it’s doubtful that statistic won’t see an uptick.
The practice of murdering Black people just because they’re Black is little more than business as usual in these Xenophobic States of America, so exactly what else is there to be said about what’s going on right now that hasn’t been said already?
While I’m asking this question more from a place of genuine concern and love for my People than I am from burnout, I have to admit I’m mentally exhausted, almost to the point of numbness.
I’ve grown tired of the “wash, rinse, and repeat” nature of Black folks’ responses to these extrajudicial murders that invariably follows, and I’m SHO’ NUFF tired of hearing the same rhetoric, every time it happens.
We KNOW America has a problem with Negroes. When didn’t it?
We KNOW Racism and White Supremacy protect their own, and as such, the possibility of our receiving justice for the unjust acts committed against us is highly remote.
We KNOW something’s gotta give, before it’s too late.
We know ALL of that, and so much more.
We knew the extent to which Black folks were hated when Trayvon Martin was executed for walking home with nothing more hazardous than candy and a soft drink. We knew it when Jordan Davis was killed for playing his music too loud. And we knew it when Sean Bell was killed for celebrating his last night as an un-married man.
But, what exactly have we DONE about what we know?
We got mad, we rioted, we came up with cool catch phrases/chants and media sound bites, we whined about how tired we are of the way society (white people, especially) treats us, then we let the Reverend Chicken Foot Negro Preachers come in with all that “turn the other cheek” bullshit, robbing the moment of the precious energy needed to become A LEGITIMATE MOVEMENT, and then we went back to sleep, until the next wake up call.
A call you can best believe is sure to come.
Don’t misunderstand me: I’m not at all discounting our collective anger and outrage.
Nothing, I repeat, NOTHING could be further from the truth.
James Baldwin said it best when he said “To be Black and conscious in America is to be in a constant state of rage”.
And as I am both Black and conscious and living in America, my rage is most definitely constant.
The problem I have is with how we’re handling what’s happening to us: Even with the palpable and justifiable outrage over so many of our Brothers and Sisters being slain without any true provocation, our collective response to it is almost hilariously predictable, and yields no real or lasting results.
What bully ever stopped bullying because he knew it made his victims feel bad?
On the flip side, how many times did a bully go after someone he knew wasn’t afraid of him, and wouldn’t hesitate to fight back?
That’s exactly my point.
I DO NOT presume to have the answers. Trust me when I tell you if I had the answers, I wouldn’t be here writing about them; I’d be out there implementing them.
What I do know, and what I can say, however, is we need to do something different, something with lasting impact.
Or this will definitely get worse, before it gets better.
I was watching a live stream featuring Tariq Nasheed, producer of the “Hidden Colors” documentary series (if you haven’t seen it yet, I strongly recommend it), in which he said African Americans needed an economic base, if we were serious about creating the kind of change that would prevent future Michael Browns.
I agree with him: Public policy and economics seem almost inextricably bound, and most certainly enjoy a symbiotic relationship.
African Americans are strong on passion, yet weak on cooperative economics, which in turn makes us weak on legitimate public policy.
And that weakness is costing us more than we know.
Unless we figure that out, and deal with that, Black folks will continue to be used as target practice for anyone who takes issue with the melanin in our skin.
I want to be wrong about that, but I know I’m not.