…..and I’m not going to.
Not in full at least.
Many black women, more eloquent than I have written about it and have shared feelings and ideas that mirror my own.
I barely discussed Trayvon here, and I’m not going to get deep into Mike Brown either.
I was asked a question from my Ask Me Anything post that stopped me in my tracks though….and is now “forcing” me to write about Mike Brown’s murder (that’s what it was, shut up) even if tangentially.
Here’s the question:
What’s your opinion on this whole Mike Brown situation? Do you find yourself on a fence being that your husband is white and your children are biracial?
(Is the second part of this question absurd to you too, or is it just me?) My very first thought was full of snark, but I’ll spare you that and just say No.
No, I do not find myself “on a fence” about Mike Brown’s murder because my husband is white and our children are biracial, and I am unsure how those two things are related. Being inter-racially married doesn’t negate my blackness or my humanity. Further I’m unsure of what you mean about being “on a fence” with this issue. What possible fence could an educated, non-racist, open and aware person be on with regard to this child’s death?
As for the first part of the question….the “Mike Brown situation” gives me a lot of hope. Now, real talk…., that hope is buried deep under a heap of rage and disgust…but it’s there. And for my own mental and emotional health, that’s the part I have to choose to focus on.
Our sons (and daughters) are under attack from various angles (ex: segregation, media brainwashing/brain-numbing, unequal education, unfair sentencing etc…), and it makes the world a scarier place. I don’t want to get into this here. I don’t want to discuss the systematic racism, the reinforcing of black lives being less valuable than white lives, and the anger and powerlessness my people are feeling and have been feeling, the hard conversations I’m going to have to have with my children so they don’t get used for target practice too, the disgust and annoyance with white “friends” (read: ex friends) who just don’t “get” that this issue is about race and that racism is alive and well (and consistently reinforced) because “I mean like, we have a Black president.” I don’t want to talk about this shit here!
……… as I’m writing this, Rohan is sitting on the floor building and watching Daniel Tiger. A song just came on “close your eyes, and think of something happy”……. LOL perfect Timing!
OK… lemme get back to the hope.
Now… I generally have little faith in the american public. I mean…we will get all up in arms on an issue for 5 minutes, and then Beyonce will make a song (or Robin Williams will die) and attention will shift back to things that don’t matter.
But something about this case is stirring people up differently.
Maybe it’s the frequency…we had Trayvon…that died down, we had a few rumblings with other cases that didn’t get much attention… but very recently we had Eric Garner and not shortly after Mike Brown… maybe because the recency effect of these senseless (and you can’t tell me it’s not racially motivated) crimes against unarmed black men is getting higher, we’re getting angrier.
There’s not been time for the anger to simmer down. And that’s a good thing. Now, I’m not a fan of looting and burning shit down, but I am a fan of letting your rage out in a way that makes people pay some fucking attention. And it’s about time some attention is paid to this, and not by the same black and brown faces that have been paying attention before.
I have hope that this child’s murder will not be in vain. He has sparked more people to discuss racism, police abuse, and even more people to silently think about, read about if they’re too scared or ill-informed to discuss it.
For that I am grateful, and hopeful.
More people are paying attention. And more will. I’m hopeful that more white moms and dads educate themselves and talk to their children about racism, and not just the “slavery and Dr. King” talks that mean absolutely nothing to a white child in 2014. I’m hopeful that more white folks will realize the subtle (not so subtle) racism that pervades everything in this damn country, openly discuss (versus deny) their white privilege and work to make this country a safe and fair place for everyone to live.
I’m hopeful that black and brown boys will continue to do what they need to to keep safe….well, as safe as possible, cuz stopping, putting your hands up, and being unarmed will still get you shot twice in the head…but…you catch my drift. I’m hopeful that parents of black children continue to educate them on what it means to be black in america right now and going forward. I am hopeful that those same parents choose to instill values into those black and brown children versus allowing the media to do so.
I’m just hopeful. It’s an awful circumstance, to spur what has been spurred in America right now…but I feel like we’re turning a corner, and some good stuff lies ahead.
I didn’t spell check/grammar check this, and I’m not gunna re-read this, so if I did any their/there/they’re mistakes, just forgive me and move on.
Back to the lighthearted shit tomorrow. My soul can’t take blogging about this stuff here.
I randomly get questions worded that way because my husband is white. I tell them my husband’s race/ ethnicity has nothing to do with my personal opinions just like he still has opinions even though his wife is black… But I dread the day I have to explain things to my future children. I only pray that I raise them in a way that will surpass what they look like and scream (not just speak) volumes about how they were raised; to be well mannered, law abiding citizens so that way no one can try to cast doubt on racially motivated mistreatment.
I refuse to comment on the cases in the media because the media can be slanted to suit their own agenda but my heart aches because I know how it feels to lose a loved one in death.
I love this Dani! I just hate how the media shows everything from one side and what will “get the most ratings” and continue to tear us all apart even more than before. I don’t ever discuss politics, religion or major news issues because I’d come off sounding like a complete idiot. I’m not even as eloquent as you to discuss this issue but it’s def the latest hot topic and won’t die down until charges have been filed and even then just a little!
Faith Ansah Bayliss says
I am 100% with you on this! Amazing post … I seriously could not have said it better myself.
And I hate it more than anything when my opinion is questioned on matters like this because my husband is white. What does that have to do with anything? Just because I’m married to Sean doesn’t mean I don’t see what’s happening in America, that I don’t feel what’s happening in America. Questions like that (I’m sorry to say) is part of the ignorance in America.
Nik G. says
I can’t bring myself to blog about it either. Just too much to say and too little time and space. I really can’t take the emotional drain. That may be a bit selfish of me though. Also, that last part of the question rubs me the wrong way too. It implies that if someone is white or has a connection to “white-ness”–they may automatically be on the white guy’s side, and vice versa? That’s scary.
Here was my response to Dr. Cornel West:
@Cornel West you are a true humanist and embody characteristics that just may eventually lead to a speciation of Homo sapiens. A species that would rely heavily on empathy, intellect, community and altruism instead of violence, hierarchy, philistinism and isolation.
The looting and rioting issue is a distraction. I don’t agree with it but I understand why it is happening.
I also wouldn’t be surprised if it is being incited by agent provocateurs. It seems a little convenient that right after the people were able to protest peacefully the riots start and the power structure then had the justification to encode curfews to disrupt what is both cathartic and perhaps useful in creating policy change to prevent another event such as the execution of brother Mike Brown.
There isnt much justice for anyone on America and even less for lower socioeconomic strata, which through institutionalized racism, black Americans are unevenly forced into.
I agree there aren’t many quality black leaders left in the United States. I can’t blame them. A few generations ago we lined them up in the streets and publicly executed them. We continue to do so on a less public means through the updated lynching mechanism that is the capital punishment prison complex.
I will disagree with you on the point that we need strong black grassroots leaders.
We need strong leaders, of every race and creed. My white brothers and sisters need to realize we are the house negros. We need to realize we have more in common with our black and brown brothers and sisters than we do with the white folk that primarily comprise the top 0.5% who are the shot callers.
We need to do this together. Together as one people. Together as one human race.
Power to the sheeple!
Danielle, the children, and I are on the same side of the fence. We are on the side of justice, morality, and equality for every man woman and child.
What happened to Mike Brown was a tragedy. There needs to be widespread, sweeping, nation wide policy change.
I find it unacceptable for anyone to be treated as a second class citizen.
I find it unacceptable for someone to be publicly executed for stealing a box of cigars, if that even happened.
I have stolen cigars too.
Cornel West on Missouri: “Obama reeks of politica…: http://youtu.be/USc_LZeRYug
Jennae Petersen says
Jesus be a fence between you and people like this. Did she really assume that because your husband is white, you’d have a different opinion of the “situation?” That you’d feel different about the state-sanctioned murder of a teenager because of your proximity to whiteness? I think I just threw up in my mouth a little.
I don’t want to blog about this either, but I feel like I HAVE to, especially for my white readers. I’ve been writing a post in my mind for days, and the words won’t go away. When that happens, I have to let them out, so I will. And I’m glad you did too. Because yes. All of this.
Joyce Brewer says
I don’t want to blog about Ferguson and Michael Brown either.
But I did a Facebook post about it which prompted a white blogger to sample it in her post about it, then we had a phone conversation about it and she proceeded to tell me she has “black friends” so emotionally I’m spent because people either understand it or they don’t.