Racial Law

The 20s are all about standing up for what you believe and putting those thoughts to action. I solemnly swear that post is going to shake your very core. I will apologize in advance for the unproductive "us" and "them" language used, but frankly this quote explains it, "Justice will not be served until those who are unaffected are as outraged as those who are" Benjamin Franklin. I will also put the disclaimer that this post is going to be harsh, there will be no sugar coating and I'm taking no prisoners. If this post makes you mad, IT SHOULD. It should make you furious, it should make you sad, it should make you FINALLY feel something. Last but not least, I will point out that just around this time last year I wrote a very similar post about the George Zimmerman case - Black Hoodie. Whether you're ready or not, here comes racial law. *Vine of the chaos and unrest - Tear Gas in Ferguson
 
Let me start by acknowledging that I'm literally shaking with anger and anguish as I'm writing this post and this post is unfiltered. I'm not holding back. I can't do it anymore. I would be doing myself and everyone who reads this damn blog an unspeakable disservice. Also, let me proceed by saying that yet again people of color CANNOT be racist (and by racist I mean say or do racist things - no one just is) in that we do not have SOCIAL POWER to devalue, stigmatize, stereotype, and disenfranchise white people. Reverse racism also doesn't exist for the same damn reason. Yes, people of color can be prejudice but also notice that if people of color distrust white people they are distrusting and that would be appropriate. When white people distrust people of color that's an irrational dehumanization aka racism. With that being said, I'm going to proceed in trying to keep it all together and make this a coherent post.

So what the actual hell is going on, you ask? My smartass response would be, turn on a TV, look at a magazine, read a newspaper but in this specific case none of those would be appropriate because there was a freaking media blackout in one of the heinous violations of first amendments in the recent history. I'll break it down for you. In Ferugson, MO (demographics: 67% black, ~29% white; of the 43 police officers only 3 are black; last year 483 black people were arrest while only 36 white people were; 92% of searches and 86% of car stops involved black people; source Missouri Attorney General) an unarmed African-American teenager, Mike Brown, was shot and killed allegedly by a Ferguson police officer even with his hands up in surrender. Now the details around the encounter have yet to be realeased and nothing can be officially confirmed but eye-witness accounts relay the encounter as such. Mike was set to start college at Vatterott College the next day (let's be rational here, why would someone commit a crime the day before they were set to leave for college ...). The next night a candlelight vigil was supposed to be a peaceful remembrance instead became a riot as outraged community members looted stores, burned down buildings, and gathered outside the police department demanding calling for the identity of the officer responsible to be released and for him to be brought to justice. Varying conflicting accounts of what actually transpired before the murder (note it's been the ONLY homicide in Ferguson, MO in 2014 and an officer was the perpetrator) have come from different people, particularly shaky ones from the police department. The night of August 13th, peaceful protestors along with eye witness reporters and media personnel took to the streets of Ferguson to assemble and chant. All media representatives were asked, then threatened, and some forcefully reprimanded to turn off all cameras, cease and desist taking pictures, and leave or be arrested. Police fired tear gas and rubber bullets, while women and children were present (as if this was a warzone ... oh wait, yeah it was), with barricades, tanks, snipers, machine guns and whatever else lethal force they deemed necessary. All livestreams were cut and twitter was the only medium where information from the battlezone (not even being dramatic) was being conveyed. Let it be known that #Ferguson was removed from the trending topics on both Facebook and Twitter, and no major news outlet was carrying the story for the night. Pause, and exhale with what the hell is going on there and where are all the officials, the political leaders, the mayor, governor, National Guard, and the freaking President of the United States. Somebody has some explaining to do. Racial law has been enacted and it's 2014 - don't forget it.

You know what gets me about this whole chaotic ordeal is the reaction from some white people. I'll applaud them for getting on board and even acknowledging what is going on because it seems like everywhere else Disney Channel playing reruns of That's So Raven and the #ALSIceBucketChallenge were more important than a paramilitary state going on in our own country. I'll take back my applause because the white people that did have something to say were more concerned and outraged with the violation of first amendment rights like that to peacefully assemble, freedom of speech, and freedom of the press, than the actual issue which was the assassination of Mike Brown. Are you kidding me? Screw the camera crews and reporters come to see what's going on (yes, none of this would have been shared without them and citizen reporters) but it's truly laughable that two who were arrested finally spoke the truth saying, "If this is how they treat reporters [shoved, slammed against cars and threatened with guns] think of how must treat the black people that actually live here." The few white people who are engaged are angry at the maltreatment of their precious reporters, but haven't said a single damn thing about the community member who was murdered in cold blood. A person was killed, and rules are more important. Mmmkay, that's humane *sips big ole mug of tea like Kermit the damn frog.

Don't even get me started on the disengaged white population. I'm absolutely finished with some white people (I'll keep trying to not make generalizations and say all, because it's not true) and arguably the majority I've come into contact being absent from every conversation about race and racism. I had a friend say, "I get tired about talking about race" and my response was "I get tired of dealing with racism everyday." You have the power to check in and check out of conversations on a daily basis, my ass doesn't have a choice. Whether I want to or not I am reminded of my status as a racial "other" minority, subordinate, outsider whatever bull crap term you want to use. You have RACE. You're white. There I said it. Hell yeah that means something. It means something way different than what my brown skin means. It means at the end of that your life has more value than mine. Stop and read that sentence again. Why did I write that? Look at the media portrayals of kidnappings, murders, assaults and everything else with the time dedicated to going after perpetrators of these crimes and even giving white suspects the benefit of the doubt in character boosting. Look at African-American victims and suspects, barely described, grouped, and convicted as soon as they hit the screen. Don't believe me, here's an article about it "When the Media Treats White Suspects Better Than Black Victims". You don't have to worry about what it means it to be a young black male because we're being hunted and slain. Regardless of our innocence because of our skin color we are seen as dangers. Your white privilege lets you be so many things mainly an INDIVIDUAL, because it would be irrational to group people based on stereotypes and one characteristic (oh hey, isn't that what we do to people of color?). You get to not be seen as dangerous, a threat, or out of place. You get to speak your mind and not speak for the group you're perceived to represent. You get to see yourself in so many diverse ways in every facet of the media instead of caricatures and stereotypes where you're either a sidekick, comic relief, or the villain. You are the ultimate ideal of what people are supposed to be, look like, and be attracted to. You get to make all the laws and decisions. You can live wherever you want, be whoever you want, wear whatever you want, and appropriate any cultures you want. You're the best. All the ideals of you are what the rest of us are judged on. Do you not understand, that is literally the definition of racism and white supremacy. Let me stop right there before I hurt too many feelings but some of us are living under racial law and others are just above it.

You're probably so over all this negativity but I'm telling you to what the hell up. This is REALITY. Not everyone, aka people of color (as with all other outsider identities), gets to live in a world where they see themselves represented. You do. If you don't want to talk about racism, run away, like always. If you do and realize you have nothing to say, it's time you do some reflection. If you're actually saying something, doing something, and above all feeling something - thank you. My big question whenever some travesty occurs in the POC community is where are all these so-called allies, our advocates, (not white saviors, nobody wants your pity here) and FRIENDS? Why don't you care? Why don't you feel anything? I had one of my friends say I see all this stuff and it makes me feel bad but I can't do anything about it so I just move on. Let me say that you can think that we need racial equity all you want but how the hell is anyone else supposed that's what you believe unless you say or do something to demonstrate it? I'm not a mindreader. I have no special negro powers. I can't detect when a white person actually gives a care about me and everyone who looks like me. People often ask me if I hate white people and I say no because that's ridiculous. I can NEVER make that sweeping generalization to write of an entire population even if I've had numerous (and I mean numerous) bias incidents, microaggressions, and all the nonsense in between with some of them. I can realize that even though it might be warranted, it's still unfair to all those who have been good to me, been real friends, and treated me like an actual HUMAN BEING. I think everyone has value. Everyone is worth getting to know. Everyone deserves the right to equity and justice. Here's tumblr giving life to some experiences: Realest Tumblr Quotes About Being a Person of Color I've said it once and I'll say it again. My new definition of racism is as follows: the belief that people of color are less than human. That definition is the only way in my mind that white people (yup it's back to you again) can justify not having empathy, not batting an eyelash, not coming to help, or perpetrating incidents of racial bias. Don't come at me with that colorblind logic and knowing that we all bleed the same. Yeah we do, but who is bleeding more often and why? Oh but we're all human, and yet you treat your iPhone better than people of color. Do I sound angry? That would be because I am. I have the right to be. After all the things that have happened to me personally, people I know, and even those I don't, I'm pissed off. All I want is for those who have the actual power to do something to actually do something. White people I'm looking at you. In your neighborhoods, at your workplaces, on your college campuses, stand with us, lock hands with us, bombard social media with us and use your voice. If you care about humanity (which is rhetorical) then PROVE it. If you're friends with me on facebook you know I can post absolutely random things and people will come out of the woodwork but when I post anything about race/racism it's people of color liking and a few of my conscious friends (notice no need to even put white there, it's implied because that's the "norm"). When I post about sexism, heterosexism, body-image, ableism, classism, and everything else, people support it, but race is a no go. You are AFFECTED. Maybe the results aren't as visible or make you feel as much, but this all has an impact on you. Abolish racial law, dismantle the systems of oppression you benefit from, question the sources of biases and prejudice, and be the human race again. It's been a long time coming. 

Let me finish by realizing how exclusive this post was to other people of color. It always seems like when we talk about race it's either you're black or white but Asian people (as if that's a proper descriptor), Native American, Latin@, experience racism daily too. The ways are very different but it still happens nonetheless. I'll say that it's African-American people that get the most airtime (as if that's something to be competing for). I love the term person of color because it broadens the community and it's inclusive. Whenever you're ready white people, I'm ready and willing to embrace you if you're willing to celebrate, value, and strive to understand or at least acknowledge my identity as a person of color. I'm aware of yours and relish in it's complexities daily (I have to, I live in a white society), join the "melting pot" instead of stirring it from above.


My blog post question for the day is ... how did this post make you feel? I'm infuriated.

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