The jist of it all…
We are different… for a long time I didn’t want believe this. Recent events have shown me otherwise. I am seeing (which I have always known but haven’t bothered with) a disconnect with a majority of America and the Micheal Brown incident. It seems that America doesn’t get it… I hear friends saying it is not about race, it was a accident. Honestly, you can’t shoot another human being 4 times by “accident”.
Being a black male… I KNOW things are different. I am 100% certain that I have had to deal with things that I know hasn’t happened to my non - black friends. Let us make a list shall we…
In damn near all medium to high priced clothing stores I’ve been followed. In most cases it is not nonchalant.
A woman grabbing her purse either when walking by or standing near me is almost a daily occurrence.
From 4th grade on I can remember every time I’ve been called a nigger… and… it… is… a… lot.
Losing wedding jobs (I’m a photographer) because the bride’s / groom’s father/mother/family is racist. Happens more than you think in the south.
How do I know? Fortunately honestly is rampant and I appreciate them for informing me. Any attempt to raise my voice and I’m instantly pinned as a angry black man.
To add insult to injury I’m 5’10, 240 lbs… evidently this automatically makes me more menacing and situations occur more frequently.
These are just “off the top on my head” instances, I’m sure if I wanted to relive all the racist, idiotic things that happened to me I would be here forever.
I guess I should preface the rest of this by saying I’m not a pro militant black male. I’m a “grew up mostly in the suburbs” black male. I am a “all for drug testing for welfare” black male, I’m a “I enjoy super racists jokes about all races” black male.
Furthermore everytime I had a run in with police officers I was treated very fairly and was not talked down too. I have no fear of or ill will toward police officers. BUT I am well aware of injustice and how I’m perceived by law enforcement through stereotyping and just plain ole dumb Jim Crow ways of thinking.
Is it sad… yes, the media will say that black people are just playing the race card and that we are overreacting. THIS KID LOST HIS LIFE!! “Overreacting” and “dead son” should not be said in the same breath so casually. If our fake, made up, race card reality can possibly hurt or kill us then it is our reality!
This is what most of America does not understand… this IS our reality, not yours. We get shot, not you… you might get tackled, tazed or even beat up. We get shot… end of game.
I guess trying to become a father has made me hyper sensitive, just knowing the simple fact that when my son or daughter is born they already have a couple of strikes against them sickens me. On top for all the regular worries non-black parents have, we have to worry about our child being shot, hung or dragged behind the back of a truck because the color of their skin.
Some get it… there are those who understand or attempt too. This segment from Jon Stewart’s show hit home for me (below). I really appreciated his levity and how on point he was with everything.
The Daily Show: Jon Stewart Goes After Fox in Pow…: http://youtu.be/RqTED8UjKr8
This isn’t a attempt at sympathy… this is attempt to show you we are different. Things are different for people of color, acknowledging this fact will be a huge step towards better race relations in this nation.