Black folks have been a target of white hate since the end of the civil war and slavery. I guess its hard giving up free labor and the ideology that makes Black folks lesser human beings and not entitled to the same rights as whites. Even though we have been free about 150 years we are still being plotted against.
We Black folks are good at sitting back and taking injustice and prejudice quietly. Like the great migration north and west. It was a quiet movement against the caste system established in the Jim Crow south to keep Black folks down and suffering. We did what any other people would do who wants freedom. We left the south. Over the years, we have had to endure various injustices and political plans against us. But now in Ferguson, Mo., Black folks have taken to the streets to protest and riot because of the murder of Mike Brown who was unarmed and shot while his hands were in the air.
Ferguson is a suburb of St Louis, Mo., and St Louis is the headquarters of the Council of Conservative Citizens (CCC). This organization is like the so-called respectable “citizens’ councils” formed in the 1950’s and 1960s to fight integration and maintain the southern way of life. This organization boasts as one of its founders the segregationist Lester Maddox, ex-governor of Georgia. In 1998, the media exposed prominent congressional republicans for their affiliation with this organization. For example, Mississippi Senator Trent Lott, who was Majority Leader, was forced to resign over his affiliation with the CCC. Over the years, the CCC had friends in high places like former senator John Ashcroft of Missouri who fought desegregation of St Louis schools. The CCC openly celebrated when President George W. Bush appointed Ashcroft as U.S. Attorney General with the newsletter headlines “Our Ship Has Come In.” So, can you imagine the decades of the influence of this organization in the state of Missouri. Is this why Ferguson police force of 52 officers and only 3 are Black when the population is two-thirds Black.
Thank God, the Black citizens of Ferguson are not being quiet!!
Dick Gregory’s album “Kent State” use the analogy of America being a cowboy and his latest Indian being his own children. Well, I guess its our Black men/boys turn to be the Indian in American society. But, our young Black children are fighting back through social media. It feels like, “I’m sick and tired and I’m not going to take it anymore” via Martin Luther King Jr way of non-violence. I have complained for a while now about the negative way African American men and boys are portrayed on the news. They are labelled as menace to society, violent or dangerous by the media.
Our Black children our fighting back through selfies of themselves in two different pictures with the hash tag #IfTheyGunMeDown which picture would they use. The media puts forth the worst light when it comes to young Black men/boys. Meanwhile, there is a push for the media to start using softer words for reporting and describing the news on crazy folks who threaten or do harm to themselves and others. Instead of using crazy person you would use mentally challenged. These folks are officially crazy!! How about trying the same with our young Black men/boys? Put less of a negative spin on the news about them.
Police are more feared in our community than admired. I have witnessed traffic stops that have made me cringe and I felt compelled to watch until the person was in handcuffs and placed in the police car. Not out of curiosity but in hopes with someone watching the police will do no harm to the Black man/boy.
Now, there are riots in St Louis because the people are sick and tired and are not going to sit back and take it anymore.
When a Black mother gets a call that her son has been stopped by the police sheer panic takes on a life of its own in her heart. There are so many incidents of white police officer shooting unarmed young Black men/boys nationally that Black folks are starting to protest this injustice by rioting. Is that the only way Black folks can express their outrage? We are helpless and at this point any response is better than no response.
There was Eric Garner last month pleading for his life, “I can’t breathe” and we watched as he took his last breathe with several officers on top and using the infamous chock-hold. Now, we Black folks suffer another lost with 18 year old Mike Brown from Ferguson, Mo. a suburb outside of St. Louis. A witness says he had his hands in the air submissively. How much can a Black mother take?
Is this what my grandparents went through hearing of a lynching in the community? Back in the day, folks had a lot of kids. My grandparents only had two sons amongst their brood of eight. Did they worry about them being murdered at the hands of a lynching mob? As I was watching the morning news, they showed Mike Brown’s mother stating they took something away from her that they had no right to do. I can’t watch anymore news cast on the subject. It’s too painful! Protect and serve has a different meaning for Black folks.
Where are the Black organizations that should be taking the stand, “no justice no peace.” NAACP, Urban League, Black legislators, fraternities and sororities, where are you!!