White folks don’t get it, let me break it down.
This is not just about Michael brown or killer cops. It’s about an entire generation of black youth that sees this behavior and knows their lives have no value. When the world doesn’t value your life, it’s hard to find reasons to value yourself. How do we teach self esteem to black children that are being told they can be legally executed on sight for being black?
It’s not just police killing Michael brown, Tamir Rice,Aiyanna jones, Rekia Boyd, John Crawford, Oscar grant…
It’s also white civilians killing Trayvon and Renisha. It’s no justice for Marissa Alexander.
And that’s what *this* generation sees.
I was born in the 1980’s, this is old news to me. I came up in an era of police shooting black folks because it was assumed every black person was a crack dealer/user.
In chicago, We all knew who Jon burge was and we were scared of him. nobody who had power or authority cared what they did to us. Burge and his men would take your parents. His officers would rape your mother, torture your dad. They’d get a false confessions and you’d never see your parents again. Police would kill you on sight because they assumed you were dealing. Or they would assume you were a threat because you were using. If you were actually dealing, you had to pay bribes. If you couldn’t afford bribes, they’d kill you or arrest you. Because it was the 80’s/early 90’s.
that’s how I came up.
But before me, it was my parents generation. In the 50’s/60’s. They came up Watching rapes, beatings, and lynchings outside civil rights protests and polling places. They understand how the world sees us, both now and then.
Before them,Their parents came up during prohibition and the jazz age when every black person was assumed to be a bootlegger or trying to corrupt the white youth thru jazz music. So it was open season on negroes then too.
The generation before came up close to the turn of the century, when black folx were trying to get away from share cropping but were denied the ability to move forward. An era when black people were kept in place by violence.
And the generation before that? Our great great grandparents? They were born on plantations and only 3/5 of a person. Raping and beating and killing them wasn’t a crime then either.
So no. This isn’t just about Michael brown, it’s about white ppl again flaunting the fact they’ve had free reign to murder us as they see fit for centuries.
This pain today is 3 specific things.
1. Every parent/family member praying their baby isn’t next, and knowing we have no control over who actually is next.
2. Every parent realizing the world hasn’t changed and our babies now are at as much risk as they were during the crack epidemic, civil rights movement, jazz age, or during slavery.
3. A collective rage and coming of age of black youth that now understand the attitudes of their elders combined with the realization the world doesn’t care about them.
That’s what today is. Today is centuries in the making because every generation has seen this happen. It’s same hurt now as when Medgar Evers died. And Jesse Washington, and Emmett till. Every slave beat on a plantation, every lynching victim. This isn’t just about Mike brown. We are mourning our entire past, present, and future today Because we know there was no justice for the one before mike. There will be no justice for Mike. And probably no justice for whoever is next.
Phoenix Calida – Uppity Negress