My hunch is that the majority of those well-meaning folks who say, “When I see you, I don’t color,” or a variation, have no idea how exhaustive it can be to many Black folks. And to Black folks who hear this constantly, the typical response is usually a deep inhale and a …. “well, here we go again!”
Case in point is Oprah Winfrey’s latest magazine “O” with an advice column headlined, “How to Deal with Your White Friends”– advice for Black women feeling worn down by the neediness of others to help them deal with racial issues.”
So why this recent surge in interest in racial issues, Black ones in particular?
“The Black Lives Movement wants to see the destruction of the nuclear family.” “BLM is a hate group that’s planning to destroy the police.” “Let us not be confused. BLM is nothing but a Marxist group.”
These are actual quotes – from politicians running for office (surprise, surprise, surprise) – that typifies how Black Lives Matter has become a convenient boogey man – a political wedge issue – these days. However, the words have moved from baseball caps and posters. They’re now painted in large letters on streets in New York, Washington, DC and other cities. You’ll even find the words on tattoos, and even engraved on protective masks to stop the spread of COVID-19.
If there’s an upside to the images of those protesting the death of George Floyd, it’s dismantling the myth of angry blacks alone roaming the streets, looting, setting fires and burning down their neighborhoods. I mean, one must be blind if they did not see people other than African Americans holding up “Black Lives Matter” posters, getting tear gassed, hand cuffed, arrested ….andlooting. Truly a watershed moment in social history if ever there was one.
Remember Rashard Brooks and Other
Black Victims of Police Brutality
In 1964, Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. said, “The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice.”
As the Black Lives Matter movement continues to sweep the country, the arc of justice needs to bend more quickly in the case of Rayshard Brooks and other African Americans who have been killed by police. This is especially important as the country commemorates Juneteenth.
The justice system must send a clear message that overzealous police cannot get away with targeting and treating Black men and women as second class citizens. Every American must fully comprehend that all Black lives matter. Continue reading Juneteenth Message – by Elwood Watson→
Is this the beginning of a revolution that finally addresses racism honestly?
Part 2: The Present and A Way Forward
The continuum of violence against African Americans and the Black Community
What has happened in the past is not different from what continues to happen today because racism is generational. Racists who have committed crimes use all the tools of systems of privilege built in their favor to avoid being held accountable. In doubtful circumstances, lawyers have changed venues for trial to predominantly White communities where their White accomplice juries can unconsciously and consciously exercise bias.
I am not happy when I read some of your posts and ask who are these people? Have they always felt this way about me and my people? Some of us are minimizing what happened and trying to justify police officers brutal attacks. However, this particular policeman had no concern for another human being’s life as we all watched his face that lacked any emotions. Yes, there are good and bad people period but this is not about that it is about watching a black man die before the WORLD’s eyes by the hands of corrupt police officers.
This is being done on a regular basis like it is open hunting season on black males. Some of us want to bring up George Floyd’s past to once again minimize what happened as I have stated before if he was butt naked running through the streets, screaming he did not deserve to die like that. Some of us want to question the looting and rioting. Believe it, a lot of that has been agitated by people who infiltrated in the peaceful protest with one agenda to make it chaotic.
I woke up this morning with recent events and names like George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, and Christian Cooper swimming through my mind and decided to take a walk to clear my head. As I stepped outside, I took a quick pause to consider my safety. Since the tornado on Easter, I have been staying with friends in a different neighborhood and I wasn’t sure of how I would be received.
As I started my walk, another friend’s Facebook post also crossed my mind. She posted her comments and a tweet from Quinta Brunson which says, “Being black is having a good day and then seeing another black person was killed for no reason. Then you have to think about/talk about that all day or don’t and numb yourself. It’s a constant emotional war. . . Meanwhile you still need to work and worry about everything else.”
We are still dealing with the Atlanta area shooting of African American jogger, and now the death of George Floyd by law enforcement. In the midst of this violence, Chattanooga announced progress in creating a physical space to remember the lynching of an African American more than a century ago. The memorial will be a contemplative space near the Walnut Street Bridge and despite the pandemic, the expectation is that people will come to learn, reflect, mourn and learn from history. And hopefully, to apply those lessons going forward
My son’s an avid jogger. For him, circling the track in a nearby park enough times to reach his 4-5-mile daily goal is no big deal. Shucks, his jogging regimen was enough motivation for me to join him on that track; not as a jogger but, okay, as a 2 mile “fast walker.” Thus, I’d not given more than a passing thought on the inherent dangers of “jogging while Black” until the Ahmaud Arbery story went viral.
“That could have been my son,” was the disconcerting thought – and rage – that unsettled my mind as I watched that sickening video and heard those gunshots that snuffed out that young man’s life.
Meet the Class of 2020:
Kevin Womack Works to Increase Diversity in Data Science
As an undergraduate student at Morehouse College, Kevin Womack double majored in mathematics and computer science. To study two such demanding fields was doubly difficult, he says. But, crediting his mother (an engineer) and his father (a computer scientist), Womack says that quantitative reasoning came naturally to him and he was undaunted by the workload. Now a student in the master’s degree program at the Data Science Institute at Columbia University, Womack excels in his coursework and is an advocate for increased diversity in data science. Here, he discusses his background, his career goals, and his commitment to diversity.
Tell us about your time as a student at Morehouse College in Atlanta.