I honestly can’t find the words to make this as eloquent as it probably should be. My patience and frustration has turned into a very chaotic mental state.
A few days ago, I was bombarded in my inbox and through sideways Facebook statuses regarding my refusal to celebrate or acknowledge “Independence Day.” I watched black folks get all dressed up in their red, white and blue and celebrate a day that had absolutely nothing to do with us. In all honesty, I love a good cookout also. I am not mad at you for enjoying your family and friends over a good hamburger.
I am, however, disturbed that you truly don’t know what your ancestors were doing on July 4, 1776. That you chose to use the words “Independence” as if we were free then…or now. As Frederick Douglass so thoroughly questioned, “Are the great principles of political freedom and of natural justice, embodied in that Declaration of Independence, extended to us?”
He went on to say “What to the American slave, is your Fourth of July? I answer: a day that reveals to him, more than all other days of the year, the gross injustice and cruelty to which he is a constant victim. To him, your celebration is a sham…….your shouts of liberty and equality, hollow mockery; your prayers and hymns, your sermons and thanksgivings, with all your religious parade and solemnity, are, to Him, mere bombast, fraud and deception, impiety, and hypocrisy-a thin veil to cover up crimes that would disgrace a nation of savages.” Savages!
Douglass went on to state that crimes against God and man must be proclaimed and denounced. See entire transcript here: http://www.historyisaweapon.com/defcon1/douglassjuly4.html
Now, I can’t help but notice some of you who celebrated “Independence Day” are now angry and praying about the most recent MURDERS committed by modern day slavecatchers, policemen.
In case you’re just starting to wake up, let me remind you that MY ancestors built this country. Mine. My ancestors endured hundreds of years of beatings, demasculations, rapes, and torture at the hands of lazy, weak white men. All while becoming scientists, inventors, and even Presidents. Wait, before you tell me “Black people sold other blacks” or “black people owned slaves” let’s stop. Now. Just as I don’t want to hear your attempts to justify black murders by police officers by mentioning black on black crime, I certainly won’t entertain your lack of research and objectiveness on this subject.
So what about these police officers? Malcolm X once said that the KKK would eventually remove their hoods and replace them with badges (paraphrasing). It is no surprise that we are seeing lynchings in the form of senseless murders almost daily. Not only are we being murdered, just as the white man has always done, they are consistently getting away with it.
Comform, obey, they say. Don’t ask questions they say. Wait, you mean like say “Yassa, no sir, Iz be good massa?”
They say just lay down, don’t move. You mean don’t flinch because your knee in my back is killing me?
They say don’t resist. You mean because my shoulder feels dislocated and you’re forcing them in cuffs behind my back?
Don’t wear a hood. Don’t walk. Don’t run. Don’t smile. Don’t look them in the eye. Keep your hands out of your pockets. Is this required teaching of everyone or just our sons? Yall stop acting like it applies to all. We see the statistics. It doesn’t.
I do not hate police men and women. We need them…..Wait, let me fix that. We need GOOD police men and women who have taken that oath seriously and will speak out against bad cops. If you are silent, you are all the same. And I don’t respect you. We shouldn’t.
I am a daughter of a retired police officer. While I was taught to respect the law, my growth has also taught me to understand it. The system was not created for us and more and more we are being reminded of that. With every incident, I am reminded why my dad always told me to be sure I conformed and obeyed. He knew the routine. He was part of the Blue Fraternity.
So what do we do now besides continue to be slaughtered by these weak officers, “trained” to serve and protect? That’s another post but for now, I’m gonna recommend less praying and forgiveness and more action in the form of where my dollars are being spent. African American consumers are the most targeted of all consumers. We have the power to control how and where we spend our money so that white, Corporate America suffers and recognizes our buying power. Even if our lives are saved because of our economic spending, we have to recognize our power.
Until the next murder by another cop who won’t be held accountable, that’s all I got. I’m tired.