It has been a week since the brutal murder of George Floyd was etched into every American’s brains. Since then, protests and social activism have taken precedent over COVID concerns or day-to-day activities. Everybody processed, or is still processing, the murder of George Floyd differently.
News flash: I am a straight, white, (handsome) man. I have never been persecuted or discriminated against, and I likely never will. But let’s set things straight – you have to be an idiot not to see what goes on between races daily, and an even bigger idiot to sit in silence and ignorance as it happens.
For a long time, I was sitting in silence. I have friends of all races, and I figured speaking my mind on black rights would get me persecuted from groups of friends or family.
A lot – almost all – of my interests intersect with black culture. I am a huge rap fan, and there is no rap without black people. I am a massive sports fan, and the level that professional sports is at could not be reached without black people. I used to have a different interpretation of what this meant. I used to think the fact that I loved a lot of aspects of black culture meant I was some sort of honorary black person. As if I knew what being black in America meant.
In middle school, I would throw around the n word like it meant nothing. “Why are people so upset about a word? If you can’t tell I love everyone by now then its your loss” would be a common excuse. How painfully stupid. It was not until the murder of Trayvon Martin that I took it out of my vocabulary entirely, except for this odd exception where I was still saying it loudly and proudly while rapping songs from my favorite black artists. It was not until I read Ta-Nehisi Coates’ Between the World and Me that I stopped that bullshit and thought I woke up. But was I really ever fully awake if I was not actively fighting to protect and enhance the lives of my black brothers and sisters?
The murder of George Floyd and even the lynching of Ahmaud Arbery has made me rethink my entire approach. How can I be justifiably in love with black culture while not using my privilege to ensure that black culture and people are protected at all costs? It does not work like that. The fight for black rights did not end with the Civil War; it did not end with the redact of Jim Crow laws; and it did not end when people marched for Trayvon Martin. It took me 21.5 years to wake the fuck up. My brothers and sisters need me to fight, and anyone who knows me knows I am the last person that will back down from anyone, no matter the size or severity.
This stupid little blog may not be much in the way of advancing black rights in the legal or policing space. However, I want this to serve as your wake-up call – whoever you may be. You may already be awake – then let this serve the purpose of me telling you I am sorry. I am sorry it took me this long to begin actually working towards American equality. I am sorry I considered myself a friend while not fighting for you at every step of my life. But I am here now, and I will not leave until equality is achieved and racism is a thing of the past. To the people who still need some slaps in the face to get the picture – please continue getting all of the information you can about the black experience in America. Watch videos of recent riots, protests, speeches, go back and watch MLK and Malcolm X, read Ta-Nehisi Coates and James Baldwin, listen to Public Enemy and NWA. The hurt of being black in America has been lamented about since the dawn of the country. Educate yourself and begin working towards a better tomorrow where these conversations will be a thing of the past. It is very likely that you learned nothing in this blog other than my stance on the matter. Who am I to educate people on what has happened and what is happening? Below is a list of resources and links to do just that.
I recently had a good friend of mine ask me if I think a civil war or revolution will be breaking out. My mind tells me that if change is not on the immediate horizon, something of the sort will happen. We as Americans are on the precipice of something enormous – something that has not occurred on Earth since its inception – that of human equality. We cannot let it slip through our fingers.
It is very likely that you learned nothing in this blog other than my stance on the matter. Who am I to educate people on what has happened and what is happening? Below is a list of resources and links to do just that. I leave everyone with an interesting thought. The title and subject matter of one Gil Scott-Heron song is The Revolution Will Not be Televised. I always agreed with this sentiment – white-controlled mass media would never televise or stream a black revolution because it gives the movement power. The problem is that Gil Scott-Heron was not around to see social media.
Please wake up. The revolution is CURRENTLY being televised. And it is one of the most glorious things I have ever fucking seen.