Living And Other Things We Can’t Do While Black » VSB

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Living And Other Things We Can’t Do While Black

Baltimore Police officers in riot gear look toward protestors along Reisterstown Road near Mondawmin Mall, April 27, 2015, in Baltimore. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images)


After work yesterday, I was going to my friend Jason’s event down in Soho. He does this monthly conversation series called “Brothers and Sisters” in which brothers and sisters gather somewhere and over beer and wine have thoughtful discussion about a specific topic. Past topics have included conversations on beauty and dating. This month’s discussion was on protest music, a topic that I’m sure was settled on before Baltimore became #Baltimore.

The irony of that choice was not lost on me as I made my way down Crosby street towards Prince street. Once I hit Prince, I had to walk two blocks west, towards Broadway. When I arrived at the intersection of Broadway and Prince, I had the walk signal, but I couldn’t cross. I had to wait as protesters marching in the name of justice for Freddie Gray marched past me and other pedestrians. I knew where they were headed, because back in December, I marched the exact same route, in the name of justice for another unarmed Black man killed by police, Eric Garner.

I am going to assume that if you’re reading this, you already know the famous James Baldwin quote I am about to write:

“To be a negro in this country and to be relatively conscious is to be in a rage almost all the time.”

Those words were on my mind as I made my way to this monthly event that I have enjoyed going to every previous month. I consider myself a smart Black person and that room was filled with smart Black people who like having heady conversation about things like protest music no matter what’s going on in the world. Before we dug deep into what ended up being a two-hour talk, the moderator asked the room for 10 seconds of silence in solidarity of the protesters. We all did it because we had to. We did it because how could any of us smart brothers and sisters talk about anything (let alone protest music) in a loft one block away from people who were actually protesting?

The answer is, we can’t and it is yet another thing I have tacked onto a list of things we can’t do these days.

We must count our blessings because the names of our friends and our loved ones have yet to become a hashtag, but we can’t live like life is good.

We can’t stop crying and bleeding internally for the families of those lost at the hands of an organization that is supposed to help us not hurt us.

We can’t go to work in peace without worrying if we’re going to have to talk about this with coworkers.

We can’t get a drink after work with friends without talking about this.

We can’t tweet about some silliness without feeling like we also have to tweet out an article about Freddie Gray.

We can’t log onto Facebook without seeing videos and status messages about police brutality.

We can’t go home after work without feeling bad about not choosing to go to yet another rally.

We can’t write about other things without feeling like we should be writing about Freddie Gray, Eric Garner, Mike Brown, Tamir Rice, and Walter Scott.

We can’t start listing the names of the people who we know have lost their lives to police brutality without wondering if we forgot any.

We can’t keep up with those names day in and day out.

We can’t listen to some song about being in love or being happy without listening to Kendrick Lamar’s “Alright” first.

We can’t let two Black public intellectuals beef without feeling the need to remind everyone that we have more important things to worry about.

We can’t laugh at jokes about the police because no joke about them is funny.

We can’t walk by police without fearing them or hating them.

We can’t live without fear for our ownselves and each other.

We can’t protest in peace because that hasn’t worked.

We can’t riot because that hasn’t worked.

We can’t go to every march.

We can’t do a damn thing, but we also can’t stop trying.

When Eric Garner died, “I can’t breathe” were his last words. Very quickly, they became a rallying cry and a sad slogan to express what it feels like these days to be black in America. Haunting but also hashtaggable, those three words are fitting title for a new Civil Rights Movement, our remix on the older generation’s “We shall overcome.” But the truth is, unlike Eric Garner and unlike Freddie Gray, we can breathe. Breathing is just a lot harder to do these days.

Jozen Cummings

Jozen Cummings is the author and creator of the popular relationship blog Until I Get Married, which is currently in development for a television series with Warner Bros. He hosts a weekly podcast with WNYC about Empire called the Empire Afterparty and he works at Twitter as an editorial associate. He lives in Harlem, graduated from Howard University, and grew up in Seaside, California. He cannot get you a blue check.

  • Sigma_Since 93

    You came back hard in the paint Jozen.

    *Stands and applauds*

  • Nicholas Peters

    What is the solution?

    • h.h.h.

      What is the question?

      • Nicholas Peters

        Sometimes I get the feeling that more upwardly mobile black people only talk about issues like these to vent…but venting doesn’t solve the problem or protect you or your children any better…

        – So what is the solution to the issues discussed in the article?

        • h.h.h.

          i understand. i’m not someone that likes to vent…and i’m not an overly emotional person, i learn to keep most of my thoughts to myself, if they aren’t working towards an end goal, or a solution to a problem.

          but as to your query on what the solution should be…i don’t know.

          i say ‘i don’t know’ because there are more or less, 40 million black folks in america, and 300 million americans, more or less. we all don’t have the same mindstate on how we can achieve ‘a more perfect union’. but in my opinion, we care more about material gains, we care more about ourselves than we care about others, and we move through life and love like…it’s a war. and we have to choose sides.

          history has shown us that there are many americans, that don’t have a voice. women. black women, LBGT/Black LBGT. the homeless. the young. so one thing could be to give them resources. and i’m not saying throw 50 million to someone and call it a day. but actually work with people, listen to people to hear them out and push them to find a vision of what the pursuit of happiness looks like, and guide them to a (legal) way of obtaining that. setting people up so that they are able to produce goods at a price that allows them to purchase affordable housing..and working towards providing affordable housing

          also love. and i don’t mean the physical, chexual love that someone does something for someone in exchange to get access to their love below. but a love of each other, to understand that we all have been through hard times, and struggled with different things in our lives, so a little empathy for what others go through, a little understanding why women approach things differently than men..and a little empathy why men think things differently than women. but both genders understanding and moving toward each other with love (and if ‘love’ is too much, a fundamental level of respect that one would expect to be treated).

          and hope. you have people in urban areas that have lost hope, due to past actions of those in power. you have people that have lost hope in each other, because of the actions of those that look just like them. and the hope that has been lost, was replaced with cynicism, among other things. we can’t move forward, we can’t grow when our seeds are watered with cynicism, in my opinion.

          anyway, i’m rambling, i apologize. i don’t have the answers, but i think if *i* work towards empowering the voiceless, and giving hope and love to my fellow human being…’an answer’ can be awakened from the masses that can be a tangible… ‘solution’.

          or maybe i’m naive. and the best way to find a solution is to rise to power, become king of the hill and just serve the people that look like me, ticking off others in the process. *shrug*

          • RewindingtonMaximus

            How can you be another life form and yet think with the same thought process as me?

        • h.h.h.

          TLDR version:

          naively – faith, hope, and love.

          policy-wise – police that cause the death of citizens lose any ‘police privilege”, independent (fed.) prosecutor for any law-enforcement death, police precinct must match (or come as close as possible) to ethnicity breakdown of their jurisdiction, but at the same time there must be minorities; more minorities in inner cities for police recruitment, top-to-bottom re-training for police invovlement/interaction with minority populations…

          as a start.

        • There’s some truth to what you’re saying. I remember reading a research paper where they showed that amongst all races in the U.S. the only group, on an economic level, where scores for stress are higher in the middle class than in the lower class were black people.

          From a human perspective, there is no end to oppression, prejudice, poverty etc all there is the good fight and progression through inches and inches. Like weight gain or loss, changes usually occur on a cellular level and you don’t notice them until one day you stare in the mirror and are like “Damn, things don’ changed!” The person who steps on the scale everyday, checking to look for changes or improvements, often ends up engaging in self-sabotage and doesn’t accomplish them due to discouragement which ends up leading to stress…that’s what it’s like for many upwardly mobile black people who want to be invested in the community.

          The solution is always to focus on the miniscule, the things that don’t gain attention, the things that don’t make great novels or great blog posts, the things that don’t get much likes on a facebook post: “I taught my kid how to make a hook shot today.” Of course, people should continue to fight the good fight, and do what they do, but more appreciation of the tiny tidbits of things that make us better and make us feel more alive and useful are what will make life better for us all, and which overtime, will help us build the power base and influence to shape our communities into what we want them to be…the thing is there’s never going to be a symbol or alert that tell us we’ve arrived…it’ll just be there.

          People who can’t appreciate the trivial, often end up not appreciating what life truly is about and take for granted the little things surrounding them that tells them what life is truly about and how to enjoy it to the fullest.

        • Wild Cougar

          I don’t usually agree with you, but it seemed whiny and narcissistic to me. No shots fired, but…..why should I care that you feel guilty about posting jokes on Twitter?

          • Nicholas Peters

            huh? jokes on twitter?

            • Wild Cougar

              Most of it seemed to be a lament about having to think about the situation instead of just going about their fabulous smart black people lives like usual.

              • Nicholas Peters

                I want people to think outside the box because black people have an emotion default that they can’t divorce themselves from

                • Wild Cougar

                  I think you generalize about Black people too much and you should probably meet more people outside the circle of people in the region you have been exposed to. Your image of what Black people are, feel, do, is terribly uninformed and small.

                  • Nicholas Peters

                    of course there are people who are different…but then how come generally the black community…nation wide…have the exact same reactions to the same situations without being able to at least consider the idea that that idea (in this case marching and protesting) might not be the best solutions to our problems?…

                    • Wild Cougar

                      Doing what was done before or what the conventional wisdom says is a human thing. Has nothing to do with the Black community. That’s why I say you need to expose yourself to more people, you’d realize that.

                    • Nicholas Peters

                      but doing the same thing over again and expecting different results is insanity…

                    • “History is the autobiography of a madman” -Alexander Herzen

                    • Nicholas Peters

                      “In the end, the only madmen that win are the ones with the biggest army…there are only 40 million of us.” – Nicholas Peters

                    • Lol, you didn’t get the quote.

                    • Nicholas Peters

                      I did…I’m saying black people don’t have the luxury to think like that

                    • That’s not the point of the quote, it also explains why you’re not getting where WC is coming from.

                      The point of the quote is that if you observe history, you consistently view, despite the necessities of the moment, despite the characters, despite the races or classes… in most cases, they often end up doing the same thing. There is a default nature in human beings collectively to repeat the same mistakes that they have always made, even when the demands of the time provide that they think and act differently.

                      To base an ideal or pursuit and ignore the limitations of human nature in the achievement of such goals, is a vice of tyrants and dictators, and black people have a ton of experience with those kind of people outside the borders of the United States and have suffered severe consequences to people seduced to this kind of mindset. To get anything out of human beings, collectively, especially, if you’re dealing with black people, it’s essential to remember that you are operating within limitations that do not make those goals easily attainable. The more respect you have for your own people, the more likely you are able to work within those limits, and change the default which is insanity.

                    • Nicholas Peters

                      but its not human nature. In the context of America the only minority group who acts in such a fashion are literally the black community. Women, LGBTQ, and almost every other racial and ethnic minority have used what is used to discriminate against them as a nucleus to create their own vital resources, monetize their communities, and then use their culture/history/language to protect those economic systems. Then they used that money to influence politicians to push measures that supported their community…

                      because those were the actions that led to success

                    • The black community is actually more united that the groups you mentioned – far more! I’ve mentioned this in the past, that the black community are that I can think of who actually refer to each other as “brother” and “sister” and mean it to some extent. If it was possible to be over-unified, then the black community fits the description.

                      When you look at the other groups, like LGBTQ or Women, they aren’t that much united, there are often other smaller groups that fight against each other and have fierce differences – the wealth and power of NOW doesn’t flow all the way down, simply ask the bell hooks of the world. What they do have is for “short periods” of time, they mobilize and get legislation that favors a particular small group that they advertise as supporting their group as a home. However, they often function mostly as independent units. There are no communities, for instance, where black feminists and white feminists live in harmony. Most of these groups live off what the black community achieves.

                      As for Jews, a little thing about Jews: there are ton of poor Jews, like a ridiculous amount…those that are wealthy in the Jewish community, don’t give an F about them (this is pretty obvious to people who live in NYC). And they are perhaps the best example of what you’re talking about in terms of utilizing their resources, economy…and there’s only about 6 million of them in the U.S. They do get together, they do gather their resources, but if you’re not going to those synagogues where the doctors, lawyers, business owners are etc…you’re invisible. This is the same with every minority group in the United States, that achieves what you think they achieve.

                      The black community in America, is the only group in the country, that is concerned with uplifting the entire 43 million versions of themselves in the United States. People abandon pursuits in academia to become rich and successful, to enter careers where they can better understand society so they can achieve this goal. Is it possible, is it easy…perhaps not. If black people wanted to achieve what the Jews and all the other perceived “more successful” groups in the country have, you could simply have all those successful and well established black people in the DMV area gather around, do business with each other and say F the poor…but then again who wants to consciously be an Uncle Tom?

                    • Nicholas Peters

                      does it matter if you call each other “brother” and “sister” if some black people will undercut each other at every opportunity and generally refuse to help each other out on a scale that would bring positive change to larger portions of the black community…

                    • You’re under the impression that other groups help their poor more so than black people. What have you specifically observed in other races to make you come to such a conclusion?

                      If you know anything about other racial groups, especially the ones like Jews, you’d know they do help each other, if they already have money or are well educated…as for the poor, hey, America has welfare for them, so you don’t have to lose sleep over them. In other words, they act just like white people, as in they assimilate.

                      Where you and I disagree, is what the identity of this abstraction that you call “positive change” actually is. I personally, think that the positive change you support and believe in is painfully slow to achieve (and the results are what you see in black America), and that most of the successful races that come to mind in this country are the way they are because they chose not to pursue such things: they took care of themselves and their family members/friends and as they succeeded they began to work with other people who accomplished the same – if they didn’t they gave 2 Fs about them. They never were invested or lost sleep trying to benefit the “larger portions of their community.”

                    • RewindingtonMaximus

                      Took me a really long time to notice my arrogance and come to this conclusion. I see where Nick is coming from. It happens to many people at some point, we all will question the purpose of humanity and why it works the way it does.

                    • Brad G

                      This is everything. Seriously. No one else carries the community mantra better than blacks. I have hope for the world knowing that a fellow “sister” is down for me without knowing my name

                    • Wild Cougar

                      And….you still haven’t explained what that has to do with Black people? We are just like every other type of people in that aspect. Maybe if you stop taking that “smarter than the rest of you niggas” tone, you might be able to persuade somebody. Nothing is more annoying than a black man with a little education who thinks he knows every damn thing and needs to learn the rest of us ignant negroes how to act.

                    • Wild Cougar

                      And….you still haven’t explained what that has to do with Black people? We are just like every other type of people in that aspect. Maybe if you stop taking that “smarter than the rest of you negroes” tone, you might be able to persuade somebody. Nothing is more annoying than a black man with a little education who thinks he knows everything and needs to learn the rest of us ignant negroes how to act.

                    • Nicholas Peters
                    • Wild Cougar

                      Your point? If you’re gonna wag your finger at Black folks, you gotta stick with a line of thought.

                    • Nicholas Peters

                      I’m not waving a finger I’m just trying to understand people who don’t think like me and attempting to show another train of thought

                    • Wild Cougar

                      Yeah. 1. Referring to the ways of thinking you don’t understand as belonging to black people at large and 2. Thinking your opinion is different from most black people and 3. Thinking anyone needs to be shown your “different” view is both ignorant and arrogant.

                    • PunchDrunkLove

                      So is asking “what is the solution” question repeatedly

                    • Epsilonicus

                      And people are not “doing the same thing”.

                    • Question

                      You’re taking unnecessary shots when the proof is in our actions. We’re marching and protesting. For what? (read that not in the rhetorical snarky sense, but in the sense of “for what goal or purpose”)

                      Back during the CRM, the marches and protests were a tool that were a part of larger toolbox of goals. The problem that I see in 2015 is that the marches and protests are about all we’ve got. The rest is being left to small independent, disconnected groups in their individual communities, and I’m wondering if its getting us anywhere.

                      I wonder why no one is asking the question of whether we’re making broader progress. Worse, we turn on each other for questioning whether we’re making progress.

                    • Wild Cougar

                      I think the marches and protests are all you see. Your vision is not omnivision. There are Black people doing other things. Find them instead of talking about what “we” are doing and what “we” need to be doing.

                    • Epsilonicus

                      Exactly. No one knows Ferguson got more Black folks in city council and passed some laws that better manage police department behavior. That isn’t on CNN

                    • cakes_and_pies

                      Who says that we haven’t but don’t get the same traction and attention as the default response? We don’t all want Al Sharpton popping his bobblehead up all the time or anytime. Staging a march is quick and visual although fleeting nowadays. But getting the word out on voting, caring about state politics. getting people to see how laws are designed to work against them, takes time, resources, and constant follow-up. It is not a pretty or fast process most talking heads can get down with.

                    • Epsilonicus

                      I think you are foolish in thinking not much is happening other than marching. Ferguson for example, got better people elected on city council and are now passing some decent laws. None off that made national media. I only know because I am friends with Deray McKesson and he is helping out there.

                      Baltimore had some organizing going on for the past few years, especially post 2012 election. And there is some progress happening. However it is slow.

                      The issue is so many people complaining about “nothing happening” oftentimes either are not super involved or they are not doing the work to find the information.

        • ReadyRoc

          I have worked in community projects and plenty of organizations and sometimes it just seems hopeless talking to our people. It’s like some want better but find it too hard to make the changes they need to for themselves that would help them the most.

    • INDYOO7

      To quote Rick James, “UNIIIIITTTY!”

      • h.h.h.

        are you speaking Unity on a 40-43 million level scale?

        how do we reach that when we don’t think alike?

        how do we reach that when we self divide, people that think tradition vs. people that don’t think traditional, shea butter twitter vs. ashy larry twitter, grits vs. no grits (you get my drift) and we malign and put down the people opposite to us?

        • RewindingtonMaximus

          Exactly. It would literally take an alien invasion for us to drop biases for 5 minutes and band together for a common cause

          • INDYOO7

            You are right. It would take an alien invasion to unite us. Over 400 hundred years when they invaded the motherland, they were recognized as invading aliens. The problem is we have been conditioned to not see “THEM” as invaders. We have become comfortable living amongst alien people. I think its time we wake the heck up and realize who these people are. So are you ready to put aside your bias? I packed mine up long ago.

            • RewindingtonMaximus

              Get preachy if you want, but if you know anything about human psychology, you’d know the most common way people deal with systematic trauma that causes them to turn against themselves and those around them is another traumatic event that renders the events of the previous trauma mute.

              It’s not a bias when I say we will never be able to get all Black people in this country to get on the same page. That’s just life. All of our individual experiences cloud our abilities to focus on one factor. Unless we are faced with a scenario so foreign to us, that we may not be able to move forward. That is the legacy of humanity. Even if we were to be invaded by aliens tomorrow and the while world banned together, once the threat is gone, we would eventually go back to regular humanly squabbles of land ownership, wealth and poverty, race, cultural and education differences….that’s our nature. To separate ourselves unless we have a reason not to.

        • INDYOO7

          I understand your point of view. What I’m referring to does not require we all think alike. How could we? We are individuals. As a student of history I know that the system of White Supremacy works as long as divide and conquer works. The system has feared the unification of melanated people because a united people are a force to be reckoned with. We don’t have to forgo our individuality to come together and collectively acknowledge no matter where in the world we come from we share a genetic legacy. This legacy causes all of us to share so many common life experiences. It’s this legacy that calls to us in times of trouble. This is a time of trouble. Due we heed the call and put aside our agendas and work towards a greater good? I know we can because history proves we have done it! Rising tides bring in all the ships. The tide is rising and its time to come in from the sea of selfishness. Pessimism is surrendering. Become optimistic and never surrender. We have united before. Will unite again.

  • Beverly Adade

    Well said. Thank you.

  • miss t-lee

    This was beautifully written.

  • KB

    I am tired of being in a state of constant outrage. So much so that I have outrage fatigue, but despite my weariness I will still press on and proclaim at the top of my lungs that BLACKLIVESMATTER DAMMIT!!!

    • Nicholas Peters

      what is the solution to leave the state of constant outrage?

      • KB

        Protest. Fight. Educate. Empower others. Do what you can I suppose.

        • Nicholas Peters

          The first recorded protest to treat black people as somewhat of human beings was recorded in 1668. I may be wrong, but I believe that if that first protest was in 1668 and we are using the same tactic, primarily, in 2015 that probably means our problems can’t be solved with protests…

          Fight who? there are only 43 million black people in America

          How does education and empowering others solve our problems?

          • KB

            What is your purpose of asking these seemingly rhetorical questions? Are you trying to start a meaningful dialogue or just be contrarian with no real point?

            • Nicholas Peters

              Asking for depth

              • KB

                I don’t know what the solution is or the perfect route to go along which would achieve said solution. I’m not even sure if one can even be attained given how deeply racism is embedded into the very fabric of this country and so much a part of its history. I wish I had the answers. Maybe we should ask Sway.

                • Dougie

                  The goal is justice, right? That’s what we want. There wouldn’t be all the protesting necessary if a couple of cops went to jail for the rest of their lives like murderers are supposed to.

                  But how do we get there? In order to get justice, black bodies have to be recognized systematically. The powerful court system has to throw a bone to the powerless. They have to throw one of their own cops under the bus. That shit’s not happening without taking some power from the powerful. That’s why protests and riots are the way to go IMO. I’m down with the burning. It’s giving an image to the movement. I personally don’t care that the image is looked down upon by anybody. Nobody likes to see the CVS burning, but without it, it’s just another dead black guy and some walking and chanting. With the unrest, there is prolonged media attention and a discussion that is actually more robust than when Michael Brown was murdered…. Sure the media isn’t telling the correct story, but the cameras are in the right city. And with visuals, there is opportunity. Baltimore is an opportunity for voices to be heard at this point. One person, by one person, hopefully peoples minds will change. Hopefully police policies will change with it. And maybe, just maybe, a judge will catch the wave and be on the just side of the law.

                  And when a cop finally gets put away for a long, long time, other cops will start thinking twice before reaching for their gun or exuding excessive force.

                  That’s the way I see it, at least.

              • RewindingtonMaximus

                You want meaning but you’ll only get perspective. You’ll have to draw your own meaning from those prospectives.

                • Nicholas Peters

                  I want people’s personnel perspective…because there is no reason being upset and angry if that anger doesn’t move you to find a solution…if it doesn’t you might as well except your position

                  • RewindingtonMaximus

                    The anger works side by side with the need to survive. Even if we want change, most of us do not have the luxury of missing work or leaving families simply to fight the good fight. Not saying others, past and present, had it any better, but choices must be made. Also, thanks to technology, people are both more proactive and lazier than ever. We take pride in knowing we can find people who agree with our perspectives quite easily, and leave it at that. Others keep pushing to organize functions that would be very difficult by other means. I don’t think you’ll find the reason that people don’t act on their anger to be a simple answer.

                    • Nicholas Peters

                      who said anyone had to miss work or leave your family?

                    • RewindingtonMaximus

                      The times I wanted to protest, I couldn’t because I had to go to work, to save up money, to pay for my surgeries. That’s one example.

                    • Nicholas Peters

                      who said protesting foxed the problems?

                    • RewindingtonMaximus

                      Who said it didnt? It at least shows participation in a fight. No protesting means nothing happens at all, so even if it doesn’t fix a problem, it let’s the opposition know we have a major issue with it.

                  • INDYOO7

                    Exactly!!!! The real solution is BLACK UNITY TODAY, BLACK UNITY TOMORROW, BLACK UNITY FOREVER!

            • Question

              I think you’re missing the point – I agree with Nicholas Peters.

              We’re using old methods to fight new problems (or at least new mutations of old problems). A part of me feels like we romanticize protests and marches because it connects us with the Civil Rights Movement, but don’t think much about the efficacy of our approach.

              What is the goal of these movements, aside from gaining public awareness? And once we have public awareness – now what do we DO with it??

              It feels like we’re pretty efficient at getting to step 1 – the awareness. But little thought is given to step 2 – what we do with it. Tweets and online petitions don’t do much if they aren’t supported with actionable steps toward affecting change.

              Here’s a question that I asked in Ferguson, and am now asking in Baltimore – how do we know once we’re successful? How do we know when we’re making progress toward the goal? Better yet, what is the goal??

              • that boy going

                Step 2 should be introducing legislation, reform that goes towards the criminal justice system and how many of the laws especially in inner city’s that target black people.

                • Question

                  We’ve been saying this for years (maybe decades). Are we any closer to achieving that goal??

      • RewindingtonMaximus

        There’s no solution, you have to pick your own relief. Create a manifesto, write poems of rebellion, sing a song of solidarity, teach someone a new perspective…..pick your poison. Just don’t get comfortable. I’ve made that mistake. That feeling of comfort is really just tuning out the facts so that you can keep the rage locked away.

        • Nicholas Peters

          so your saying it is hopeless? or a from cannot jump out of a boiling pot?

          • RewindingtonMaximus

            Hopeless is based on interpretation. Nothing is hopeless. But you won’t get easy results nor even well fought for results anytime soon.

            In essence, I chose to believe that I am a prisoner with a spoon, slowly escaping my cell. Everyday I use that spoon to dig a hole a bit deeper. It might take a very long time, I might get caught off the pass, but I will keep diggong until the results I seek are possible.

            • Question

              I disagree that you won’t get results anytime soon – we need to change our approach.

              • RewindingtonMaximus

                I agree that we need a different approach when the enemy always knows how we will react. But I know that getting people to think outside the box is no small feat and usually is slow to come by. That’s why I said what I said. You might immediately convince a few, but many? No.

    • RewindingtonMaximus

      Keep the fight going, never put it in the back of your mind.

  • RewindingtonMaximus

    Amen to that Kendrick Lamar – Alright. Between that and Schoolboy Q – Blessed, it’s like a warm up to psyche yourself up for the onslaught of craziness the world throws at you while demanding you stand up straight, keep your mouth shut, and be obidient.

    I guess you can’t even far while Black at this point, lest someone accuse you of harmful intent or acting like a thug with blatant disregard.

    I’m tired. So tired.

  • La Negra Bonita™

    In tears… reading and relating.

  • Dougie

    I haven’t walked past a cop in months without ice grilling them in anger, then fearing that they’ll see the ice grill and retaliate and frankly, kill me.

    I feel boxed in. I know it’s irrational fear most times, but I can’t help it. I hate that I can’t shy away from irrationality, and I hate that I’ve been forced into that box. A lot of what you wrote is exactly how I feel and as a result I’m going to share this post as much as possible with my white friends so they can catch a glimpse of how I’ve felt.

    Thanks, Jozen. Sincerely.

  • Well done!

  • ReadyRoc

    Here is my reasons why we are not moving forward.
    -We are tweeting #blacklivesmatter more than we are demonstrating through our actions.
    -We can’t decide rather we really are a black community or a collection of black people who are gay, feminist, atheist, misogynist, or prone to misandry that happen to be black.
    -We want to prosper without changing the negative habits that are destroying us.
    -We want to praise single parent homes without acknowledging that statistically two parent homes are just better.
    -We want to celebrate our black intellectuals even though they are nothing more than preachers without bibles.
    -We want to be loved by white America but are too proud to admit. That’s why have not taken a F it attitude about race.
    -We are are tired of the extra stress that comes with being black so we try to escape in sub groups in the dominant society.
    -We have people ridiculous enough to call themselves “Dark Skinned Activists”.

    • Dougie

      Shut up.

      • ReadyRoc

        I am sorry I don’t comprehend that. Let me check google translate for troll to English.

        • Dougie

          I was going to reply before, but you having Harold Blood as your avi explains everything you just typed.

          • ReadyRoc

            You replied. That explains you contradicting yourself.

    • Nicholas Peters

      1,3,4,5,6,7 partially correct are correct and Rashida Strober is an idiot

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