10 Things I’m sick of Hearing/Reading Since The Murder of Michael Brown

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In wake of all the social unrest in this country there are quite a few things I keep hearing and seeing in the media that I can no longer stay quiet about. Here are ten of the most irritating ones.

  1. “America isn’t racist, we have a black President.”

 

First of all, have you seen how they treat the black president? It took America like, half his first year as POTUS to stop addressing him by his first name! He’s supposedly the most powerful man in the world and he still gets called racially offensive names. Not to mention we also spent a year debating his “blackness” and insinuating he had ties to a terrorist organization because of his “ethnic” name. I’m very proud of our President and what he represents. However, he is merely a representation of what this country still seeks to achieve. We’ve come a long way but still have just as far to go before we can claim to live in a Post Racial America.

 

  1. “I know what you’re saying, I grew up in a bad neighborhood with black people.”

 

This comment is one I see so many times in conversations about white privilege. It’s called white privilege because it has nothing to do with your socioeconomic status. Fortunate enough for you, statistics prove that even a poor white person has a better chance at success in this country than an educated black person. I’m sorry to burst your bubble but “poor” can be fixed. It’s about what you don’t have. Black cannot. It’s about who you are. So no, you do not know what I’m saying.

 

  1. “When you encounter police it’s important to know your rights.”

 

Okay so, once I’ve learned my rights, now what? I’m pretty sure the Police know my rights too. How about we hold them accountable to respecting them?

 

  1. “Maybe if black people did or didn’t (insert some behavior perceived to be limited to blacks) you would be treated better.”

 

Listen… we’re not talking about admittance into an organization or club of some sort. We’re not talking about how to get people to like or even respect us. We’re talking about an entire culture of people who are being denied access to the same legal rights that this country said were afforded the rest of the population at birth. So, if my rights are dependent upon my behavior and yours are given to you at birth… are we seeing the problem here?

 

  1. “Slavery was a long time ago, get over it.”

 

We know this, and no matter how close to post racial this country gets, we’re not going to forget for the sake of honoring our history. Just like we’ll never forget any of the other historic tragedies that nobody ever even thinks to tell people to forget i.e. The Holocaust, Pearl Harbor, 9/11 etc. We actually CAN’T forget. Slavery is where the inequality began, and it continues today. So, no.

 

  1. “America is the best country so stop complaining.”

 

In the grand scheme of things, The United States is definitely one of the better countries in many areas. However, that will never mean that we don’t have much work to do. If you’re comfortable with every aspect of this country then feel free to sit back and relax. The rest of us will work to make things better for the rest of us.

 

  1. “Everything isn’t about race.”

 

You’re right, EVERYTHING isn’t about race, but don’t pretend like NOTHING is about race. When things ARE about race, it’s up to us all to call it what it is and to address it. By “us” I mean everyone. If, in fact, we want to live in a post racial society, it is each person’s duty to recognize racial injustice and hold the perpetrators responsible so that racism is not accepted in any way shape form or fashion. I’m not going to overlook a racially charge event or comment because talking about race makes you uncomfortable. I’m tired of being uncomfortable being black. Let’s talk about that.

 

  1. “Nobody would care if it were a white kid murdered by police.”

 

Of course we would. We always do. Name a time in history that something tragic ever happened to an innocent white kid and we didn’t hear about it. We are even quick to victimize the actual criminals in certain instances, excusing their behavior with perceived mental illness and even attributing the actions to being TOO PRIVILEGED (afluenza). America always cares about tragedies when they don’t happen to African Americans or other minorities. Now is the time for change. No more overlooking black and brown lives.

 

  1. “Anger won’t solve anything.”

 

Anger is a by-product of injustice. It’s not meant to solve anything at all. It just happens. Anger is a natural reaction to being wronged. It’s unhealthy to encourage someone NOT to be angry about the possibility of being shot down in the street. Why wouldn’t I be angry that my children may not have the same opportunities their classmates have? Why wouldn’t I be angry? Wouldn’t you be angry? I say be angry. Channel that anger to productivity. Use that anger to make a difference.

 

10.“Unarmed black male shot by police.”

 

Last, and most importantly, I am so sick of the “accidental” deaths of unarmed black men. I’m tired of expecting no one to be held responsible. I’m tired of the victims being criminalized so that America can sleep at night knowing another “thug” is off the streets for good. I’m tired of the police pretending to enforce the law they have the privilege of living above. I’m sick of seeing grieving families and communities. I’m tired of debating the most illogical speculations as to why the unarmed black man was in the wrong. I’m tired to the point of tears.

 

Usually, I don’t talk about being sick of something without offering a solution. The solution is happening now. Everything that is happening is long overdue. My prayer is that the peaceful protests will outweigh the violence. But the unrest is justified. Our deaths are not.

 

Imani

Imani Williams is a staff columnist for The Mixx Magazine from Louisville, KY. She is a Clark Atlanta University graduate with a degree in Communication and a passion for people. Her goal is to provide meaningful commentary and positive images on Black Love, Literature, Hair & Culture. Imani currently moonlights as Beyoncé.