Friday, August 15, 2014

I. Am. Tired.

"The 18-year-old was the 'primary suspect' in the robbery of a convenience store moments before he was killed.”

Sigh. I’m tired.

In Ferguson, Missouri a predictable play is unfolding. A young black man is killed by the police and instead of figuring out what happened the slandering of the victim begins. He is painted as a thug. He is accused of crimes and labeled a suspect instead of a victim. He is now charged with defending himself from the grave. And God forbid he did anything wrong because in the eyes of many that justifies his death.

Honestly I just can’t even begin to put into words how this summer has made me feel. As a black man in this country I am tired of having to always justify my damn existence. I basically wrote this exact same piece in the wake of the murder of Trayvon Martin. Michael Brown was just walking in the street. That was his crime. And don’t bring up a “robbery.” The policeman that murdered him didn't stop him because he was a suspect. He stopped him because he was a black man and as a black man sometimes your mere existence is a crime. That’s the sad truth that is my daily experience. As a black man that is such a sobering, disappointing, and depressing portion of my reality that I can’t even explain. That’s not blaming anyone that’s just a statement of fact. I have been told I am paranoid yet every few days an unarmed black man is killed by the very people who are championed to serve and protect.

And please if you come to parrot some tired lines of “what about black on black crime?” please see the door. Yes most murders that occur in the black community are committed by black people but guess what...most white people are murdered by white people (84% if you need a number). I have yet to hear what about white on white crime as a way to distract from a travesty of justice such as this. What does black on black crime have to do with the deaths of Eric Garner, Michael Brown, Oscar Grant, Sean Bell, Amadou Diallo etc.?

I’m just tired.

I’m tired of people, usually old white men, who know nothing of our communities being “kind” enough to alert me to what my problems are. People like Bill O’Reilly telling me how I should feel when a cop fucks with me for no reason other than being alive. This coming from a guy who went to a restaurant with mostly black clientele and was shocked people weren't yelling “where’s my sweet tea motherfucker!” Something tells me your understanding of the black experience may be lacking quite a bit.

I’m tired.

I am tired of hearing about how black fathers aren't there enough and that’s the answer to all the ills of the black community. Let me drop this on you:

But hey keep spitting the black fathers’ don’t care line; don’t let a thing like facts get in your way.

So basically if you come to me caring more about the officer who shot an unarmed kid in the back please fall back.  This country has taught us innocent until proven guilty…unless you’re a big scary black man. Then your fear trumps my right to even exist.

Holding the weight of that reality is tiring.