Our lives have always mattered.
Our voices will never be silenced.
Our beauty is undeniable.
Our intellect is unsurpassed.
From our land, humanity was born.
From Kings and Queens, we descended.
Our freedom you did take
Our minds always have been free.
Our hearts always have been free.
Our souls always have been free.
And because you could not capture them.
We have soared
Our contributions undeniable, too numerous to dismiss
Our history is not just our history.
Our history is American history.
Like the giant oak tree, we are rooted in the very fabric of this country.
Without us, it would not exist.
As James Brown exclaimed
Say it loud
We are BLACK, and we are PROUD!
I have seen many people today, including African Americans, denouncing the protests/riots in Minneapolis, especially the looting of the Target. While I am a proponent of non-violence, it is rather difficult to expect that after centuries of oppression and the senseless killing of our people African Americans are expected to continue to march and sing we shall overcome peacefully.
Will we overcome?
We already have overcome:
Our culture being stripped from us
The loss of our ancestral history.
We are still battling.
Social injustice, but we have not let it destroy us as a people.
Now is the time for America to overcome its
Racism and Bigotry
Only then will America be the country it gave lip service to when it was founded. One where all people are created equal.
Even Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. understood there was a time when a peaceful, non-violent protest was not always going to bring about the necessary change.
Yet another unarmed young man of color hunted and shot down, yet another attempt to cover it up, yet another attempt to silence our voice Ahmaud Arbury was only 24 years old when his life was ended for what appears to be the unspeakable crime of jogging while black.
Police officers in New York City were doused with water by punks, not black punks, not Spanish punks, not white punks. No, just punks; their color does not matter. They were wrong and showed a level of disrespect to the men and women who put on a uniform every day and risk their lives to protect us that should never be accepted. They should be arrested and charged to the fullest extent possible. Leaders in the community need to speak out in the loudest possible voice to condemn them. To let it be known that their type of behavior does not represent us, and our communities will not stand for it.
With that said, let us not lose sight of another issue, those who would use this disrespectful incident to justify police misconduct with memes like ever wonder why the police mistreat you. Stop breaking the law. Seizing upon the disrespectful action of a few as justification for police misconduct, no better than we an entire police force is held accountable for a few bad officers’ actions. Rather than looking to exploit the issue to create a false narrative, it is time we have a real discussion about the disconnect between the communities they patrol and the police. Let’s talk honestly about the issue of police misconduct. Like every company, government agency, not-for-profit, and the church has a few bad apples, and those bad apples need to be rooted out.
Sadly if you believe the concept that people of color can avoid police misconduct by obeying the law.I guess:
You have never been pulled over numerous times but never receive a ticket and are left to wonder if you were stopped because you were driving while black.
You have never been stopped and frisked in a low crime neighborhood while sporting an argyle sweater and matching socks. You didn’t appear to fit the profile of who they were supposedly looking for unless that profile was merely black.
You never had a gun pointed in your face while tossing a football in a white friend’s suburban backyard because you didn’t appear to belong in that neighborhood because you were black.
You have never been a 53-year-old African American male whose never been in trouble with the law. Whose palms get a little sweaty when a police car is following you while black.
All of which have happened to me.
But you’ve never been black.
Let’s stop protecting the rotten apples on the police force and applauding punks who disrespect the good police officers and have a real discussion.
I defended my country, the country I love, in WWII, but I was denied service at the lunch counter when I came home.
I defended my country, the country I love, in the Vietnam war, but when I came home, they turned the fire hoses on me when I dared to vote.
I defended my country, the country I love, in the Iraq war, but when I came home, the police still stopped and frisked me for no reason.
I am a person of color, and I joined the military, and I am a veteran today because I love my country.
Yes, I love America, but America has not treated me fairly. America has enslaved me, segregated me, denied me the right to vote, denied me equality in housing, wealth opportunities, and education. It has jailed me at in-proportioned numbers. Slowly I have seen things change, gotten better. But these changes did not happen by themselves. I had to stand up to the country I love and demand that it lives up to the promise that it was founded on – All men are created equal. I did not stand up to America because I hate it. I did not kneel in solidarity because I disrespect it. I did it because I love my country, and make no mistake; it is as my country as much as anyone’s because despite the obstacles I had to and continue to endure, I continue to create breath taking masterpieces, inspire others in literature, art and music. Produce life-saving breakthroughs in science and medicine. I continue to achieve great things every day, and with each step, I take forward, I leave an indelible fingerprint on the very fabric of a country. So no matter how hard some may try, I will not be silenced; I will continue to shine a light on social injustice. Continue to demand that America live up to her promise. After all, dissent is the highest form of patriotism, and I love my country.