Thursday, July 25, 2013

This Is Why I Am Angry and No I Am Not Sorry About It

This isn't the Chocolate Puma talking to you right now, this is Brian Thompson talking to you and I gotta tell you I'm angry. For the past week and a half I have been attempting to put into words how have felt and frankly the more time passes, the more segments on the news I see, and the more pieces I see written I just get angrier. So if you wanna see something light hearted check the archives or come back next week because I am about to get real.

I'm angry about the Trayvon Martin situation in Sanford, Florida. While I am not in agreement with the ruling that's not what angered me the most. What angered me the most was that it took nationwide protests to even get George Zimmerman arrested. Does anyone not notice how fucked up this is? They took the word of a guy who shot and killed an unarmed teenager and let him go home. Would you not be mad about that? I’m angry that I never once thought there would be a conviction of any kind because frankly I felt like the authorities there felt he had it coming.

Was I the only one angry that during the trial of Zimmerman, the unarmed teenager who was murdered in the street was the one on trial? And frankly I was angered and insulted by the news reporting that African Americans were going to riot at a not guilty verdict. Like we're so animalistic and savage we can't take bad news or an unsatisfactory outcome?

I'm angry that every time disappointment in the end result of this trial was mentioned some talking head parrots one of two talking points. "Well there are children who get killed all over the country every day," and "well what about black on black crime?" Ass clown what makes you think I am incapable of being upset about more than one injustice at a time? I was and suspect many other African Americans reacted so strongly to Trayvon's story because we can relate to it. I can't count the number of times I have ran to the store or to grab food in just a hoodie or t-shirt. Does that mean I deserve to be shot on the street? We were angry about Trayvon because his story was actually told. He represented those children who seemingly were forgotten by the national media and for the most part the local media.

I'm angry that this kind of injustice is looked at as an anomaly. Unarmed black men are killed and it's rarely reported. Oscar Grant, Sean Bell, Kimani Gray, Kendrec McDade, Travares McGill and many more all met the same fate as Trayvon and the judicial system felt their lives did not matter as their killers walked free or got less time than say someone who stole a loaf of bread.

I'm angry that every day I have to worry about if I have to deal with someone judging me that threaten my well being. Every day I walk the street with my head on a swivel, not for the thugs that the national media reports on but for your George Zimmermans of the world, someone who takes it upon themselves to unfairly judge me, deem me a threat and cause harm to me.

I'm angry that people who know nothing of my struggle and that of every other young black man feel they can tell me to calm down, or I'm playing the race card. Acknowledging unfairness and discrimination is not playing the race card. I got into an argument with one of these advice givers recently about use of the "n" word. And I was told because I get offended when white people use it yet not when black people use it and was using my race card or flaunting "black privilege." So black privilege is being able to say the "n" word and get sickle cell anemia. Well ain’t that awesome.

What makes me downright furious however is that if I have a son one day I will have to sit down and not give the birds and the bees talk but instead give a "so this is how you have to act in society so you’re not unfairly judged and you still may be unfairly judged" talk. Your very existence has already been deemed a threat to some. That he has to sometimes swallow his pride and sometimes do things to let scream to the world "hey! I'm safe!" People think thugs run Chicago but I have had more guns pulled on me by Chicago Police than any street punk. And each time that happened guess what I was doing...walking to the train or going home from working out. You know suspicious shit.

So there you have it folks, these are the irate rantings of an angry black man. Someone who since he has been over the age of 10 has had to deal with stares as though I am going to rob someone, being followed in stores, unfairly judged and many more I won’t get into. I don’t write this to garner sympathy or blame white people, I write this so anyone who was curious as to why this case hit home could understand what black men who say “I could have been Trayvon” mean.

Thanks for your time folks. I’m about to go look at YouTube videos of baby otters to calm down.


Monday, July 1, 2013

I'm a Dog Person

I have never been what one would call a dog person. Sure growing up there was the occasional pet canines such as Little Puppy (cut me some slack I was 3) and Milton. But my budding friendships with my four legged companions were cut short when thieves stole both dogs which is actually quite common in Mississippi. Through these events I had come to the conclusion that dogs just were not meant to be for the Puma of Chocolate persuasion. That was until a Saturday visit to a local shelter and the first dog that strolls in changed my mind immediately.
Sir Franklin of the House Thompson
 I remember it like it was 8 weeks ago; the door opened and in strolls a short legged Corgi-Spaniel mix that plopped right down at my feet. If I could have walked out with him that moment I would have. He had won me over. He was so relaxed, so calm, and overly lazy. He was just like me. I left there without him but a mere two days later I was back and walked out the door with this delightful weirdo.
The first few days were filled with feeling each other out, what he could do and what he couldn’t do. Very early on it was evident he had a home before as he was house broken pretty well and was a bit quiet. But there were some rough patches, he had a freak out moment where he just wouldn’t move off the couch so old Puma sat up with him all night, patted his head and we watched tv literally all night. Around 5 am he felt comfortable enough to hop off the couch and follow me outside and give chase to a few squirrels. After that one rough night my little buddy appeared to be a changed dog. He’d hop on your lap as soon as you sat in the chair in my living room, began to figure out when he was in best position to get a treat, and of course his pension for falling asleep in the oddest positions ever.
Who sleeps like this?
 So after about 5 weeks of awesomeness together the decision was made to have a temperament test done by a trainer who came highly regarded after seeing a few disturbing characteristics most notably attempting to bite my niece. The news that came from that wasn’t good. Apparently the prior home I suspected he had been in earlier had been a bit violent as he had been overly corrected to the point of fear to growl which is how you know a bite is imminent. Because of this it was suggested he be placed in a home where there were no children and minimal social activities. Crushed, saddened, deeply depressed the next day my little buddy was taken back to a fantastic shelter where later that evening he was placed with an older couple with no children and a large yard for his goofy run to get plenty of action.
So here I sit, entering week two of no spastic jumping when I enter the room, atrocious smelling farts, and hearing scratching at the door whenever I went to the bathroom and while I am comforted by the fact he is in a home where he is comfortable and not stressed whenever someone new comes in it has been by no means easy.
Very different reactions to a torrent of farts.
I still wake up every morning around 5:30 because someone wouldn’t let me sleep in, I plan social activities still around getting home to let him out, and find myself looking from my bed hoping to see him sprawled out.

But alas the asshole-ish nature of another human may have made him not the right fit at the current moment. I am comforted that he had a good home and saw that not all people are ass clowns. So that’s it. Will I get another dog again? You bet I will. And I will destroy your Twitter, Instagram and Facebook feeds with pictures of him.

Why? I guess you could say I’m just a dog person.
Special buddies.