The following paragraphs are my thoughts and words put together from conversations and interactions with various friends and acquaintances on the recent issues of race and relations here in America. For some they will be offended and others will empathize, but the goal is to make you think and have a positive impact that will lead to further conversation among those wherever you are for a greater understanding that will ultimately lead to helping find realistic solutions without continually and only rehearsing the problems. It is conversation and my personal perspective expressed in the hopes you that are reading better understand the thought process behind some of the various feelings and thoughts currently being voiced in our society:
I'm not against white people. I'm against ignorant people who choose to be ignorant by ignoring the injustices inflicted on other people, and refuse to acknowledge they've benefitted from it while simultaneously refusing to properly address it as if they are not part of the problem, and therefore exempt from taking any responsibility in the solution process. Instead they make demands of those who have the problem as to what are they doing about it to fix it among themselves in order to deflect away from their hands in the problem too. This really messes with me because many of them say they are Christian or some other religious persuasion. My White brother will tell me to pray about it and let God deal with it while they do nothing. I believe God is even wondering when are they going to do something. Instead, they complain about me and call me names when I say or do something about it.
They speak of their "ancestors" as the guilty ones in an era they say is long gone. However, not long ago it was their parents and grandparents sicking dogs on protesters, blowing them away with fire hoses, blocking school admissions, and even having "lynch picnics" where they would hang a hapless Negro and then enjoyed food, fun, and fellowship beneath the innocent swinging dead black body. Today, it is not the ancestors wearing police badges shooting black men or choking them out in full view of the public without repercussion. It is not the ancestors sitting on judicial benches openly admitting they incarcerate Black & Hispanic defendants with 2 to 3 times harsher sentences than white ones for the same crime because they regard them as more dangerous and automatically assume they are guilty. That is them; the descendants of their ancestors doing these things and telling me to fix it. It can't be fixed without you and it won't stop happening until you help stop it.
One of my biggest complaints against black folks is the continual bringing up of black issues publicly as a critic of the community on such topics as "black on black" crime as if it is a magical trump card that eliminates or makes null & void our arguments against racial injustice. White on white crime is almost just as high but you rarely if ever see or hear white people coming out against the white community about it no more than you see Chinese people in Beijing or Mexicans in Mexico City continually openly rebuking their communities for same ethnic group on ethnic group crime. People commit crime against who they live among most often; it's not a mystery or an anomaly. Crime should be punished regardless who's doing it or where they do it. An equally great, if not even greater issue is how we perceive and prosecute those crimes based on who is committing them or falsely accused of them. Why is that ignored in defense of the black community against racial injustice in favor of black on black condemnation with little to no contribution by those who most often bring it up? That is unbalanced, unjust, and an insult to those who address the issue regularly at the grass roots level in the black community, to every black parent who has buried a black child because of such crime, and is also dismissive of the many black men incarcerated in disproportionate numbers with harsher sentences for the same crimes as white criminals not to mention those railroaded in court trials and imprisoned unjustly.
My biggest complaint against my white brethren is how easily they have forgotten how the Civil Rights Movement and Freedom Fighters against slavery ultimately won out on a lot of reforms we now have. That was not by black efforts alone; it had to involve white help also and today's group forgot what "some" of their parents marched for, took beatings for, and in some cases were even killed for which was equality for all against injustice. Moses the prophet refused to accept the benefits of being accepted as an Egyptian prince to endure with the sufferings of Israel until they were free. Esther the queen used her position to save her people when she could have looked away and only saved herself. Until white people in America accept as a whole that black people are their people too and do more to make things right we will continue to have these issues. Social irregularities cannot be corrected by one group and they are everybody's problem to solve. They are human rights issues even more so than civil rights issues. I sometimes wish Peter Pan had just whisked me away to "Neverland" so I wouldn't have had to grow up into this type of adulthood. It's exhausting and I'm way past tired. I'm willing to stand for right on anyone's behalf, but I can't do it all by myself nor attend to every situation. So, don't criticize me when I don't speak out on every situation when you're aware of them and are just as capable of addressing it if not more so. I have several white relatives married into my family and their whiteness never occurs to me because they are just my family. If we have issues when we have issues they are family issues; not racial issues. It's just unfortunate that is not the way we are with everyone in the human family or this country.
The fact some white folks even try to justify a supposed "backlash" of indifference against black suffering, pain, and anger and also feel entitled to be the ones who get to say when racism is or is not an issue is preposterous and ridiculous, but it is very white so I'm not surprised. There should never be any "backlash" against a people for crying out against injustice & inequality perpetrated on them as some have said is the case as to why white people tend to ignore black problems. They get tired of the whining, being lumped together with others, and believe that every complaint is the proverbial pulling of the "race card" even when the issue is clearly racial. Just because we're tired of hearing about it doesn't make it go away. That only happens when we do something about it. Backlash against another for being mistreated only further encourages the mistreatment and exacerbates the wrong as being justified or deserved. That kind of backlash itself is injustice and the assumed "lumping together" has no bearing on wrong or right. What's next? Do we backlash against women for crying rape or domestic abuse? Do we backlash against children for reporting abuse? Backlash is unjustified when I'm taking lashes or bullets unjustified as an explanation for ignoring social issues and defending white America's indifference, apathy, and lack of involvement in spite of their heavy contributions to our social issues.
I guess only white folks have a right to "backlash", because when black folks do we're somehow being unfair to whites, or whiny and using the race card, and acting like savages or baboons as some say. How many times does a man have to say, "I can't breath" before the almighty white backlash stops? I just want to know so I can practice holding my breath long enough to survive. By the time black people backlash things have long been out of control and make headlines for which white folks blame us for and call us names openly or behind Internet aliases and avatars when it occurs, and then talk to you at work or in church like they are above all of that and nobody they know ever speaks or thinks like that. When the white community decides to "backlash" the black community loses jobs, goes to jail, gets beaten, and killed while continually ignored which was already being done. This isn't truly "backlash" by whites but the same pattern of "act like the problem doesn't exist" or it isn't their problem to solve but is black folk's only. I don't see white people doing anything and have no expectation they will so things will remain as they are. They'll just keep making excuses like "backlash". Being considered "Poor White Trash" is real close to being considered a "Nigger", so I would think some would understand. Maybe someone will prove me wrong, and in the meanwhile I'll need prayer for my cynicism. I'm sure everyone isn't this way but I'm having a hard time finding them.
Having our first black president is a monumental achievement for our nation but it doesn't solve all the problems put in place and created since our founding and under the watch of all the white presidents and Congresses before him. I find it interesting though that he seems to be the blame for all the country's ills in a vicious kind of way, and considered by many (mostly white) people the worst president ever. Someone else broke it, never fixed it in over 400-years, but now it's a black man's blame for all of it in what will amount to only 8-years of a presidency?!? I am not angry or even disappointed, because this is what I have grown to expect and have experienced as the norm. Even though I'm not a supporter of our President as it relates to politics I'm not against him as it relates to his humanity as a black man; especially under intensely cruel and racially charged scrutiny. It's amazing to me how many I grew up with that lived close by were yet worlds away. Ugly situations and uncomfortable issues often call for ugly conversations and uncomfortable confrontations. Disagreement can be healthy and often necessary if we are willing to listen even if not right at the moment of a heated exchange. We're human, and often humanity is ugly regardless of how it is packaged but we don't always know how ugly we are until we are forced to take our masks off and look in the mirror that is one another and compare it to the image of one such as Christ. If we have a food fight but never come back to the table to eat together then we'll eat separated or starve, and die alone in equal ignorance.
A white brother said the following to me at the conclusion of one of our discussions: "I guess what I'm trying to get at, is growing up I was never corrected. And, even if we were raised a certain way, when we see we hurt someone with something we were raised to think was OK, shouldn't we change??? I THINK SO!" He's right. The truth is the truth, and also colorblind. We all need to change or we'll all perish. ~ I.J. West