The Death (and Rebirth) of Hope

I don’t even know where to begin with this. Darren Wilson was not indicted in the murder of Michael Brown last night and though I expected this, I am still and will always be angry about it. When George Zimmerman got away with the murder of Trayvon Martin I felt distraught  because I still had hope in my heart.This time around, the hope was so small that I could barely feel it. I wish I could just pick a different country to move to so I wouldn’t have to deal with this racism problem anymore but white supremacy is overarching and touches everywhere on the planet. When I went to Cuba and spoke to a black Cuban about racism, he was very surprised to know of how prevalent and powerful it still is today in the States so what does that say about the the defender of democracy? What does it say when North Korea is able to laugh at the US for not handling its own problems with human rights? So many people have tried to justify it saying this and that but think on this, if the murderer of your child walked free without even a trial how would you feel? If a system that wasn’t designed to protect once again showed its true colors how would you feel? If nothing you do: not education, not social class, not where live, not what you wear, not where you work, could stop you from being killed because of your race how would you feel? The word is hopeless.

The truth is this is how I feel. As much as I try to do what’s “right” by getting my education and staying out of trouble, the fact remains that I am still seen as a threat because I am a black man first. There are many people out there who are happy and content with this verdict, many who feel that justice was served because Mike Brown was a “thug” or “asking for it.” Many people are saying we need to talk about black on black crime and stop focusing on this. To them I say you are the perfect examples of white supremacy at work. Conversations about black on black crime fail to explain how black on black crime is a byproduct of institutional racism. When someone mentions black on black crime they fail to mention discriminatory housing policies and redlining that took place in cities. They fail to mention how the public education systems that many blacks have access to were abandoned following major migrations of white flight. They fail to mention the police brutality/white vigilante justice and how they have been committed to destroying the black community from the inception of this country. They fail to mention the war on drugs which unequally targets minority communities in urban areas. Also why does white on white crime not get as much attention because it is also a problem? Why does the media focus on the actions of a few and highlight rioting instead of the injustice that was done? People around the globe across history have always expressed their anger like this with so called “riots”, yet the American Revolution and French Revolution are seen as great strides for democracy while Ferguson is seen as “just blacks being blacks.” (The recent Pumpkin Festival is another example where the word “rioting” is not used when in conversation with whiteness).

These examples are so entangled because of the nature of racism in America. Racism is the foundation that keeps America the way it is and that is why this injustices continue to happen. Anyone who seeks for racial justice understands that we are doing the same thing and getting the same results. People keep advocating for protests and get out and vote but many who are hopeless now ask when have those worked. Black people have been protesting for centuries and yet still our lives are not valued. Voting would then seem to be the next best thing but once we elect officials they abandon us to pursue power or vote with the political party. If you think this is just about Darren Wilson you are delusional and wrong, this is about the systematic oppression of black bodies. How do we force people to confront their racism and white privilege so that something can change for the better? How do we change this system that isn’t broken but working exactly what it was designed to do? How can we hope again when every time it is reborn, it dies? I don’t have any answers to these questions but I will keep doing what I can to make a difference and maybe one day my descendants will not lay in the streets for 4.5 hours after they are murdered.

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