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.



Rob said...

Well said Brian. If it's okay with you, I'd like to piggyback with an edited rant I left on another thread:

I’m not sure if this is the appropriate thread to post this, but I gotta vent somewhere. Between the Paula Deen shit, the Trayvon Martin shit, the Voting Rights Act decision shit and some shit I’m sure I’m overlooking at this moment…it’s been an incredibly frustrating year to be a black person. Not solely because of the incidents themselves (because after 30 years of black life, you’re basically like “thems the breaks!” at some point to preserve your own sanity), but because of the lengths the media and people are willing to go to rationalize all of this as NOT being racist.

It was a one time incident. She can’t help how she was raised. We don’t know what that boy was doing. Wouldn’t you follow a stranger in your community? We’re not perfect, but we’ve come far enough along to drop protections against racial discrimination at the polls. For true racial equality, we’ve got to stop REVERSE racism and “racial entitlements”.

All of these statements are somehow seen as less crazy than simply he/she/them/we is/are still fucking racist. And that blows my mind and really depresses me sometimes. And I know I’m not alone. I tend to hang out with “artsier/alternative” black friends…the kind that are often in places that have lots of white people…and I would describe our recent mood as confused and angry. We just don’t get how there’s such a strong sentiment to willfully set race relations back another ___ years.

I don’t know where I’m going with this. I guess to stress that this shit matters and we shouldn’t be downplaying the negative impact it’s having on the psyche of black people in this country.

K, done. Apologies for the rant.

The Chocolate Puma said...

Never ever apologize for ranting here, I am in 100% agreement with all you said here.