These last few days have been another blemish on America's already battered soul. It's a very dark time of broken dreams and shattered lives.
This country is haunted, taunted and tormented by the brutality of its past, of a white supremacy agenda that soaked its way into our soil through bloodshed reaching back over 500 years, of justice not being color blind, of hopelessness and anger and fear and ignorance and vicious, hateful violence.
Dreams deferred snake toward addiction, poverty, despair and drunkenness. They also explode in rage. The American Dream has turned into the American Nightmare. I'm listless, saddened, hurt and in pain for where we are as a society, at all of the killing.
We're not an enlightened society, we're a powder keg of hate and ignorance on the verge of exploding. Keeping all in my prayers for healing and a regeneration of the spirit. And I fear things will get worse.
Today, we were offered yet another troubling signal that we're headed down a path of no return in the form of Texas Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick, who called last night's protesters in Dallas “hypocrites” for expecting police protection from the sniper fire while they were protesting police violence.
(Photo Credit: USA Today)
He also blamed the protesters, saying that they created the atmosphere last night in Dallas that ended in the death of five police officers and the wounding of seven officers and two civilians.
“And I understand the First Amendment, I understand freedom of speech, and I defend it,” he said. “It is in our Constitution, it is in our soul, but you can’t go out on social media and mainstream media and everywhere else and say that the police are racist, that the police are hateful, the police are killers.”
At this point, I'm actually numb, that a man of that stature could be that ignorant, dumb and insensitive. Once again, we have irresponsible, unintelligent people in charge of a volatile situation that are fanning the flames of foment and dissension.
I don't even have the energy to yell at this point, so exhausted with an inability by some to understand that protesters did not kill people like Samuel DuBose, Tamir Rice, Alton Sterling, Freddie Gray, Philando Castile and thousands upon thousands of others over the years.
They did not, with their signs and chants and Black Lives Matter shirts, kill at least 102 unarmed Black people in 2015, which comes out to about two per week. They are not responsible for 37% of the unarmed people killed in 2015 by police being Black, despite Black people being only 13% of the U.S. population. The protesters are not responsible for the fact that unarmed black people were killed at 5 times the rate of unarmed whites in 2015.
To even suggest that the protesters are responsible for the tragedy in Dallas last night is both idiotic and criminally negligent. In our communities, we know that all police officers are not racist, that they're not all hateful killers. Some of our fathers are police officers, our mothers, sisters, brothers, cousins, aunts, uncles and other family and friends have proudly served in law enforcement.
(Photo Credit: USA Today)
But we also know that there are some, a few, who actually are racist, who are hateful killers. And we're asking that those cases where Black people were killed by the police when they should not have been, that those individuals, those who commit murder, whether they wear a badge or not, receive the same standards of accountability and justice.
James Baldwin once wrote, in his essay, "On Being White and Other Lies," about the price tag associated with the deal that brought White Supremacy to these shores: "But this cowardice, this necessity of justifying a totally false identity and of justifying what must be called a genocidal history, has placed everyone now living into the hands of the most ignorant and powerful people the world has ever seen: and how did they get that way? By deciding that they were white. By opting for safety instead of life. By persuading themselves that a Black child's life meant nothing compared with a white child's life. By abandoning their children to the things white men could buy. By informing their children that Black women, Black men and Black children had no human integrity that those who call themselves white were bound to respect. And in this debasement and definition of Black people, they debased and defamed themselves."
Black people walk around with very real cases of Post Traumatic Stress Disorders simply because of being Black in America, and the daily dangers, slights, insults, threats and possibilities of dying prematurely and violently because of the multi-generational hate that is associated with that Blackness. The list of damages is too numerable to explore in this insufficient space.
(Photo Credit: inquisitor.com)
It angers me when people refuse to take a look at a problem, without a willingness to explore the poisonous root causes that have allowed these problems to fester and foment, to thrive and wreak havoc. The daily impacts of these transgressions are irrefutable, yet we have people in positions of power like Texas Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick who doesn't get it, doesn't want to get, and will never get it.
In these times of tears and hurt and pain and anguish, the last thing we need is people like this blaming innocent people who want nothing more than change.
We're simply calling for justice and equal treatment under the letter of the law. And under the basic premise of utter humanity as well.