“That there is a lap baby.” My uncle said as he pointed an accusing finger at me. Me and my baby were visiting for the holidays. I’ve learned quickly as a new parent folks always want to offer unsolicited advice. I remember one time running errands. It was nippy out. A lady fussed it was too cold to have a baby outside. I replied “what can ya do.” She was shocked. But moms can’t stay in the house all day. Things need to get done. So just hush.
I shrugged as I bent over to pick up my squealing little one. He sniffed and rubbed his face into my sweater. “What I am supposed to do. Let him cry?” My uncle leaned back into his recliner chair. “You know I raised six kids. Now let me tell you–” I tuned him out. The truth is, my nerves can’t take too much hollering. Plus, I enjoy snuggling with my little one. Especially when I think about the black mothers who aren’t able to hold their babies.
As folks prepared to bid farewell to 2015, we got the news that the cops who killed 12-year old Tamir Rice would not be indicted. How horrible that a mom was going into the new year without justice for her son. While all the murders of black folks by cops bother me, the deaths of children like Rice and Trayvon Martin, are particularly upsetting. Both were minding their business being kids. It’s disturbing to me they died alone. I’m sure in their final moments they longed for their mothers.
I’ve been processing the death of Renisha McBride. The thought of having to write about the murder of another young black person, was daunting. However, I know that my heartache doesn’t compare to the pain of the McBride family. Also, I think it’s important for those of us who blog, twitter, tumblr, etc., that we keep these issues in the forefront. Mainstream media often tries to bury these stories. It’s usually due to the push back of parents/family, why we even learn about these killings in the first place (as in the case of Trayvon Martin).
It’s alarming that black women are being increasingly killed by white racists/police. Our womanhood doesn’t protect us (despite the rhetoric of white feminists that women suffer the same struggles). Black women have been so degraded/stereotyped in mainstream media (e.g. angry, ready to fight, ,etc.) that many non black folks find us as threatening as black men. There have been times I have been out late at night, and grown white men crossed the street when they saw me. Shouldn’t I be the one in trembling in fear?
A couple of nights ago, I attended a vigil for a young black man murdered in my city. His father had been protesting for three years, about the unlawful death of his son by police. A couple a weeks ago, the father passed away, literally from a broken heart. The extra stress of dealing with murder of his son compounded his heart problems. I can only imagine the level of frustration/sadness/confusion of parents of these murdered children. You don’t think your child will be shot in your gated community. You don’t think someone is going to shoot your child when they have a car accident and need help.
It’s angering that black parents are suffering like this. All parents/folks should be outraged that children are being murdered so senselessly. I think things are going to get worse before they get better.
Huh? What?!! I was shocked when I read Lupe Fiasco’s tweets about the Zimmerman trial. I have never been a big fan of his, but I have always respected him as one of the rare “conscious” rappers in hip hop. I figured he would hit folks with some thoughtful commentary about the murder of Trayvon Martin. Eh…nope. I tweeted my displeasure with his comments. I was nervous, as it was the first time I tweeted a celebrity. I didn’t know how he would respond. But I all I got was –*crickets.* I think he felt he said, all that needed to be said, about the incident. Personally, I thought his comment “the justice system relies on reasonable doubts, not our emotions,” odd. Lupe has been rightfully critical of the warmongering of President Obama. But now he just shrugs his shoulders, tells us to stop being emotional, and have faith in the system? So, does that mean we should just have faith in the president? As I tweeted the rapper, “another one bites the dust.” Oh well, “Bitch Bad” wasn’t that great anyway…
As he was called on another blog, this z list actor wrote a boring letter to “Trayvon’s Sympathizers.” Basically, Malco feels if black folks just cleaned up our act (stop being “ghetto”) white folks will feel compelled to no longer shot us in the back. I reject the notion that I have a responsibility to make white folks not be racist towards me. While I do find some elements of rap/hip hop culture problematic, white folks should have common sense to know that black folks aren’t monolithic. And so what they are some “thug” images of black men out there? It doesn’t give someone the right to shot them, because of what they have seen on TV. The show Criminal Minds depicts white men as rapists/kidnappers/serial killers/sexually deviant every week. Is it okay for me to shot the next white man I see, for fear he will do one or all of the above things to me? The amusing irony of Malco’s finger wagging, he has played stereotypical roles of black men:
Malco claims he will be more contentious of the roles he takes in the future. Let’s see how long that lasts, when white Hollywood dangles those checks in his face.
After reading about Timbaland’s new apology song to Jay Z, looks like he doesn’t stand for anything. I am not an overly religious person, but I do like to think evil folks like Zimmerman get theirs, once they die. However, we can’t leave everything up to a God. Folks should take a stance against injustices, here on earth. Timbaland is trying to take the easy way out. Like Lupe, he claims “we don’t know what really happened.” Uh, yeah we do. It was all recorded. Zimmerman didn’t stay in his car, as told. His insisted on following Trayvon because he was a young black man. This is the same guy who racially profiled a 7-year-old child. You don’t know what happened? Yeah, okay. Don’t support Timbaland, he hasn’t had a hit since Aaliyah, anyway…
and last and very least
I almost hate to write about Charles Barkley, as he tends to say foolish things all the time. Hard to take him seriously, really. But I found his recent comments, so insensitive to the Fulton/Martin family, I have to say something. Barkley stated, “Trayvon Martin, God rest his soul, he did flip the switch and start beating the hell out of Mr. Zimmerman.” Yeah, he did. Why? BECAUSE A GROWN AZZ MAN LATE AT NIGHT HAD BEEN STALKING/HARASSING HIM. I would’ve whooped Zimmerman’s ass too. I mean, don’t all parents tell their kids if a stranger attacks them to either RUN or FIGHT? Mine’s did. Maybe Charles Barkley tells his to hop in the car with ’em. What an idiot.
I learned long ago that many black celebrities will sell out at a drop of a dime. I wouldn’t be surprised if these folks made these comments just to get attention. It also shows the staggering divide between poor/working/everyday black people and rich/black celebrities. Now that they have white folks cheesing in their face (because they have $$$), get treated half-way decently by said white folks (because they have $$$), and get to live in exclusive neighborhoods with these white folks (because they have $$$), they act brand new. It’s pathetic, really.
Today, like many folks, I marched for Trayvon Martin. Despite the heat, I wore a hoodie and shouted in a collective voice“No justice, no peace!” It felt good to let the anger pour out of my body. I was defiant as I pumped a black fist in the air. There were many speeches. Some folks went on a tangent about America, in general. Some folks tried to piggy back off the march with their own agenda (420 rights). I liked the people who spoke honestly/passionately about racism,black liberation, and anti-black racism. I had mixed emotions about the white hipsters in the crowd. The march was held in a neighborhood hit hard by gentrification. The displacement of a black community by those very same folks. There weren’t a lot of people. The park should have been filled with protestors. When I walked to the rally, it shocked me to see people casually hanging out coffee shops, sipping on drinks outside restaurants, and walking leisurely down the street. Why weren’t more people outraged? I thought. Why does everything still seem so normal? The sad truth is that despite these tragedies, life goes on. I think that’s what makes it so messed up, when you think about it. The rest off us will go on with our lives. The truth is the anger gets reduced to a simmer until the next incident (probably the white man who shot a black teen for blasting music in a car with friends). But for Trayon’s parents, this is their truth forever. They no longer have their son. He was murdered for no other reason than being black.
There has been a lot written about Rachel Jeantel, the friend of Trayvon Martin. So much so, that I feel it isn’t necessary for me to write my own post. Many writers have articulated my disgust of the treatment of Jeantel. This is a young woman who heard her friend get murdered. I can only imagine the trauma it has caused her. Yet, ignorant folks bashed the teenager’s looks and dialect.
One of my favorite posts written about Jeantel, comes courtesy of the Blog Snob website:
Jeantel made some uncomfortable because she was too much like how some black people are. We all have relatives or have known someone like this or perhaps have even been Rachel Jeantel ourselves. And the self-loathing that is instilled in most of us to dislike ourselves — especially those who are darker and heavyset and remind us of the stereotypes we are running from — is real and it was on display in real time on Twitter. It wasn’t surprising, but it was disappointing that those commenting, often with spelling errors and poor grammar of their own, were allowing their fear of “the white folks are going to think we’re all like this” cloud the fact that Jeantel was simply being herself.