Thursday, December 4, 2014

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#BlackLivesMatter

Mike Brown

Mike Brown's family this past Thanksgiving without their baby

Clear, vivid, and disturbing image of Eric Garner getting choked to death by the NYPD

Eric Garner's last words.

(Let's take a break from the dick jokes, cute animals, and strange, yet hilarious, banter.  The world is turning into a terrifying place right before my eyes.)

Look, I don't hate the police.  I was raised to revere them - to love them.  My father is a retired law enforcement official and still holds the spot as the best man that I know.  Although life was not great for him, he made sure that he raised a pragmatic and intelligent son.  He kept me safe, but not sheltered.  He made sure to teach me right from wrong, but, most importantly, he pulled back the curtain.  

For years I wondered why my father always told me to keep my wallet in my front right pocket (I'm right-handed).  At first I thought it was just a comfort thing, but then I slowly realized it was a precautionary measure.  While attending high school in a predominantly white area, I asked many of my friends where they kept their wallets. Most said they kept theirs in back because that's the only way they've seen it done - a respectable answer, but also a privileged answer.  Their fathers didn't have to worry about their kids getting shot when they were reaching for their wallet because the cop thought it was a gun like my father did.  They also didn't have to worry about walking alone on the street late at night.  Or being deemed "suspicious" for wearing certain clothes.  For awhile, I was naive.  I thought that if "I stayed out of trouble" and "kept a low profile", everything would be alright.  
Every day is a dice roll for every individual that walks the planet.  But, for me and others that look like me in the United States, the die are a bit more weighted.  After the recent events that have taken place in Ferguson and NYC, it has become abundantly clear that my life's value is much lower than I thought it was.  Again, naivety.  Like many others, I thought "WE MADE IT" when President Obama was elected.  I thought racism (overt and subtle) was on the way out.  It's not.  It's just reformulated and re-purposed.  Even though I've stayed out of trouble and kept a low profile, I can be dead tomorrow.

I'm not a lawyer and I'm not going to pretend to be (same goes for you, fake Facebook political analysts - newsflash, you all look like idiots), but lives were lost and repercussions were not administered.  A family was without their son and children were without their father this past Thanksgiving.  Trayvon Martin's parents had to spend another year filling that void in their hearts.  Legal system aside, that is some sad shit.  Imagine your dad, brother, friend not being around this Thanksgiving/Christmas and every holiday thereafter.  It's heartbreaking.  And I know that could have been and still could be me.  I wear hoodies, I listen to rap music out of the car, and I'd attempt to break up a fight if I saw one on the street (barring the situation).  But preconceived notions, man.  I'm a SERIOUS threat because I'm a reasonably stout, young black male and there is no way that I can shake that.

Please, everyone that reads this, take note of what I'm saying here.  Don't hit me back with "All Lives Matter"  (that's like running into a random funeral and yelling that you've experienced loss, too) or comment any stupidity on this post because I won't be having it.  Just read and absorb perspective from the other side of the lawn.  Ask questions.  Reach out to people and say "hey man, how are you?"  Shit like that goes a long way.  I implore you that this is not the time to argue.  Lives were lost, families were destroyed and cultures have been rattled.  It's bigger than all of us now.  

Thanks for reading.

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  1. Eric said... July 10, 2016 at 2:55 PM

    Thanks for sharing, Mr. Jones. #BlackLivesMatter

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