It was really hard to be on any social media platforms this weekend. In general I think I will be taking a step back. Mostly for my mental health. It is too much.
Mr George Floyd makes it too much.
Police accounts trying to prove that they are not like the officer who senselessly and recklessly took Mr Floyd’s life… it’s too much.
The stacks on stacks on stacks of books by black authors is too much.
All the conspiracy theories saying this is all an antifa rhetoric.
I spent no real time on my public IG pages since Friday afternoon and today I clicked over to see what was what and it was so overwhelming. I even had to unfollow a page (one that I had not actually seen a post or engaged with in months, maybe years) because they were posting in a way about things I did not support – black bookstagrammer or not. Then there was a really popular bookstagrammer that posted her own stack of books by black authors, with an equally as long caption and used the acronym BIPOC. I had to go to google because I had no idea wtf that even meant… and then was quickly annoyed and closed the app because no, that is not what this is about right now.
To be completely honest, I am just over all these white people who pick these moments to support black people.
Where are all these people when a black man hasn’t been kill by a white dude?
Where are they when the cops are called ona black man out with his biracial children? You know because a black man MUST be kidnapping these two white kids.
Where are they when a black woman is in line for the fitting room and only the black woman is given a card indicating how many pieces they are going in to try on?
Where are they when someone calls the police on a black individual and describes them as COLORED or AFRO AMERICAN?
Where are they when someone finds it appropriate to ask if they can touch a black person’s hair? Where are they when that same person receives a chia pet as a “gag gift”?
There are tons of examples that I have personally dealt with that I could list to further illustrate my point. I have said it before, and I will say it again throughout my spaces on the internet, DO FUCKING BETTER. Stand-up for the injustices when you see them. Don’t just read a bunch of fucking books and say “SUPPORT”. Read a bunch of books and then go be better; go do better. This does not mean you have to go march in the street. But when you see something happening to a black (or colored person) just because of what seems like the color of their skin – do something. Say something. And don’t just whip out your cell phone and take a video to be posted online. Ask why no one else is being given a tag for the dressing room? Maybe step in when you see someone calling the police on a father with his kids and tell the person that the kids are not in distress; they are calling this man “dad”.
Things are not black and white as the media, or social media, is making it out to be. It cannot be said that all cops are bad, just like it can not be said that all black people are criminals. That is simply not the case. But much like the black criminals that make the news, it is perceived that black people walking around in hoods are up to no good. While in recent years all police have been seen as evil because of a few bad apples.
I work with a department of all white cops. Some of them are some of the best people I know (aside from my husband). They would give ANYONE the shirt off their back. They don’t have lunch everyday with inner city kids, or play football with them, but they are good people. And I would have to think a lot of them have been scared for their own lives. They and many others, get up every day, put their uniform on to go help the people in their communities.
It breaks my heart to see all the looting and rioting. To see what my own people are doing to their communities. There is no way I can wrap my head around why people would destroy their own neighborhoods in order to “achieve justice”. But what is this justice exactly they are insisting on? The primary cop involved in Mr Floyd’s murder was fired and arrested within four days of the incident. FOUR DAYS. I know not everyone is aware of how the process works but four days for anyone, let alone a police officer is impeccable timing. I read somewhere that “they” won’t rest until he is tried and convicted. I’m not sure they understand how long that actually is…. at the rate everything is going it will burn out before the man makes it to his first court appearance.
Life is a marathon, not a sprint. Pace yourself accordingly.
That is why I say to do better for yourself. Show people to be better. Because the path to racial equality has not been a smooth or quick one since we are still on it. To put is in perspective, the first interracial marriage was only 53 years ago. Much like same gender marriages, the government had to ALLOW people like my husband and I to get married. It still blows my mind that it was illegal at one point in the not too distant past. And back when we first got together (and I gave a fuck), I could tell when people saw us together it made them uncomfortable.
This thing is about winning the war, not the battle. And wars go on for a long time. Yes, you may win this one but looking back on the whole thing – how are we doing? You have to crawl before you can walk, and walk before you can run….
In times like this I turn to Martin Luther King, Nelson Mandela and Mahatma Gandhi. No conversation can be had, no understanding can happen when both sides are yelling.
This goes for black people too. You want others to treat you better and with respect, treat each other better and with respect. For those that live in the inner cities, like Chicago where almost two people are shot and killed every day… you can do better too. Be better. That number is astonishing and what is worse is that it does not make the news. It is “not important enough”. When a black female Officer was killed by a black assailant while simply sitting in her patrol vehicle, that was barely a blimp on the radar. WHY? When things like this happen and for the most part go unreported by the mainstream media, it is up to us. We don’t need the white people to do it for us. We can simply respect each other’s lives. And when they see us loving ourselves, they will learn to do so as well.
There will always be racist people in the world. Unfortunately we cannot rid the world of all evil behavior but if you just do the right thing for the people in your life – your friends, your family, your coworkers – you will rub off a little on them and they will rub off a little on someone else. It’s a ripple effect.