Race & Politics, Theory & Essay

Stay Black. And Die.

photo(3)In the days that have passed since the Jordan Davis/Michael Dunn mistrial verdict on the count of murder in first degree, the following picture has been circulated frequently via social media. Put a pin in that, we’ll come back to it.

Before we go further, let me go ahead and say this upfront. I’m not a lawyer. I’m not even qualified to be a paralegal and I’ve never been to or seen an Everest College campus or student. So I’ll concede that my legal acumen is subpar, but I do have a really hard time understanding how you can be convicted of attempted murder for spraying a car but not be convicted of the success of your attempts.

While I don’t understand it, I see how it happened. While watching news coverage on Friday evening of the jury deliberations via the Jane Velez-Mitchell show on HLN, they were taking callers. One of the callers, clearly an older white male stated what I feel is an unfortunate but not surprising sentiment shared by many folks paying attention: why did the boys in the truck drive off then come back without taking him to the hospital? It is the belief of quite a few people that somehow, someway, those boys dumped of the gun that made this man feel scared for his life enough to dump 10 shots into a Durango at fairly close range. Somehow, this man (and a few other callers) seemed very disinterested in the psychopathic nature of Mr. Dunn, just the behavior of the youth that caused Mr. Dunn to fear for his life. Emphasis mine and intentional. Causation is a b*tch.

Which leads back to the picture and the message therein. Simply, white folks and Black folks have different “important” talks with their sons. This is true. It was true before the recent spate of high profile deaths by Black males at the hands of white people and it will be true if we never have another Black man die in the same fashion again.

To put it all on the table and go Captain Obvious, there has always been a different set of rules for Black people and white people. I remember my father teaching me the most important lesson of my even now to date. He sat me down and said to me quite clearly, “(Panama), your mother is white. You are not.” I never had any identity issues after that. But what followed was a string of conversations about what it meant to be a Black man in America. What was most interesting is that I didn’t even live in America while I was receiving these conversations. Near my home in Bad Homburg, Germany (right outside of Frankfurt) was this huge field. My father would tell me to come with him and we’d make the long walk to the field and walk around and he’d fill me in on life. Sometimes it was about the birds and the bees, but many times it was about what life looks like for people like us.

I imagine those conversations have been happening for 100s of years at this point. Because it’s always been different. Hell, my father STILL manages to drop those nuggets of information when its relevant. It’s why most Black males (and Black people) have such a healthy distrust of the police. Its also not just the police, either. It’s what happens AFTER the police do police things to us. It’s the knowledge that your freedom is pretty much like a car window. You can roll it up and lock your doors, but its just a piece of glass. If somebody wants to break into your car, it takes nothing to get into it. Your freedom is fragile and easy to destroy. And once its been tampered with, you realize that everybody else gets the opportunity to destroy you regardless of the facts. The numbers of people released due to the Innocence Project illustrates that very clearly. As a Black male, you spend your life doing your damnedest trying to NOT end up in the system at all. Well, most of us do. You figure if you just live your life right then you should be okay. And that probably is the situation.

But its when we’re robbed of the potential of the Black community that we’re reminded just how fragile that freedom is. Which is why we have to have those talks in the first place. Those talks wouldn’t have prevented that situation. In fact, the necessary talk in Florida is probably to tell all Black males to avoid all interaction with white men. But that’s just not realistic, is it?
I also saw this other picture all over social media. I think this one is a bit unfair. Nobody is going to want to hear this but it’s not just “white vision” glasses that see this picture. While I’m happy that we can all rally in our community behind miscarriages of justice in the courtroom, and Black boys do matter, many Black people view certain Black males in the exact same fashion as white people do – sometimes for the same reasons, sometimes for different reasons. I get the point being made, and perhaps its unnecessary to even point out that Black folks are just as guilt of this stereotyping, but my point is that we have some work to do on our own. We’re mad that Black boys don’t matter, but to some degree, we’re just not pulling the trigger on them. That’s food for thought for that ass.

And I’ll be the first to admit how conflicted I can be. It’s like the scene in Crash where Ludacris’s character is going on about how unfair it is to be stereotyped as a thug who is about to commit a robbery…and then commits a robbery because he’s exactly who they think he is. It’s the justification for paranoia: If I’m right then I’m right; but if I’m wrong, I could have been right, so I’m still right because maybe I’m not wrong. While this doesn’t hold up in court (or at least shouldn’t), I know many people who not only live by this credo, they are married to it til death do they part. Interestingly, none of them feel Dunn was right in any way, shape, or form.

“I don’t have to do sh*t but stay Black and die.” I’ve heard this statement more times that I can count. Usually stated in some form of defiance after somebody attempts to tell another what to do. Rarely is it meant to be prophesy. It’s supposed to be dying on our own terms as God intends. Not at the hands of another who doesn’t respect your life or even acknowledge that it exists.

Stay Black and die. Okay. But we probably need to amend those talks not only to include the police and the justice system to “boy, you don’t have to do anything but stay Black and try not to die at the hands of white man who will not be held accountable by those police or that justice system I already told you about.”

Yeah. That.

-VSB P aka THE ARSONIST

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Damon Young

Panama Jackson is pretty fly for a light guy. When he's not saving humanity with his words or making music with his mouth, you can find him at your mama's mama's house drinking her fine liquors. He believes the children are our future and is waiting to find out if he is the 2nd most interesting man in the world.

  • blackphilo

    Kudos to your father–and to you for writing this excellent post.

  • Sahel

    I feel for black americans,i really do. To be a minority with nowhere to turn when the security services and Justice department are generally against you’re existence as a human being. The prisons are stuffed with one group of people. There has to be a change in laws to help the lives of black people in the US and black people have to step up,black people from all classes to push for their welfare.

    • Sandpaper

      What needs to happen is we need to revive the black community. Greed is ultimately what has placed us in this position. People sell their souls for pennies when it is the most precious thing in existence. What they don’t realize is that, as a group, we ALL would prosper if only we stuck together. Conditioning and the lack of critical thinking being developed is a helluva drug. It’s too much to overcome for most people, even the so-called talented tenth.

    • Val

      Don’t feel sorry for us. We have led the world in fighting for Civil Rights. We’re not a people that need to be pitied.

    • ratchet d-Ibaka

      Why do you feel for just black Americans? Even your own African people fall under this category known as targets. So long as you are black in America, the system does not distinguish or give any one upper class honors for being foreign. Point is, black is black is blackity black.

      Matter of fact, we as immigrants here need to have these conversations with our kinfolk who are interested in relocating here.

  • http://www.twitter.com/IluminatiNYC Todd

    Reading this thanks to a wicked case of insomnia, and I have to give props to your dad for having talked to you like this in Germany. Heck, a train ride to France or England could just as easily get you hemmed up, quiet as it’s kept, as it does in the US. I’m glad he had the sense to make sure you got it.

    I know with my dad, I was sat down and taught how to talk to police, how to smile and move slowly and not say anything threatening. It’s been worthwhile, because I got out of a few tough spots that way. Still, that life is flat out different for a Black man is hard to relate to others. There’s also that weird dynamic between being non-threatening inasmuch as no one thinks you’re Out To Get Them, but non-non-threatening enough that you don’t look like an easy mark. It’s an odd dynamic.

    Like I said yesterday, Black culture scares the heck out of White America. I have to admit Panama is right in saying that (some) Black people are afraid of their own kind, as if Uncle Charlie is the Light Of The World. Though some of Uncle Charlie’s daughters have some fat a$$es with small waists… Still, it’s silly to think every young Black man is somehow an active threat as opposed to being a young person living life, trying to figure it out like everyone else.

    • Tentpole

      Todd, you and I know that, but when the majority America only sees us in a negative light and then when they do see us in person and we validate the negative stereotype you know what going to happen next. PJ example about the scene from Crash hits home. Too bad we weren’t home when it rang the bell.

  • Val

    White men have been killing both Black men and women since we were dragged aboard the first ship to set sail from West Africa to South Carolina. And, for the most part, they’ve done it with impunity. This is what we all know but somewhere during the last 30 years or so seem to have tried to forget.

    I think the generation of Black folks who came of age just after the Civil Rights Movement have done us a gross disservice. They were so busy trying to assimilate. Busy trying to climb the corporate ladder. Busy trying to live next door to White folks. Busy trying to prove their worth. So busy in fact that they forgot to fight the system rather than to be apart of the one that already existed.

    The result is that no real systematic changes have been made to the power structures that nourish and keep the doctrine of White Supremacy alive and well.

    So, here we are well into the new millennium and it in many ways it looks like the a rerun of the previous 100 years. Segregation is in full effect both in housing and in education. Black folks are still the victims of economic terrorism at the hands of both government and the private sector. And, White men continue to kill Black folks with impunity. If not them then their agents in the form of police.

    Structural changes must be made. Otherwise our children’s children will be having these same conversations. And I fear that the only way for those changes to take place is for us to give as good as we’ve gotten. The NRA says own guns. We should own guns. And when a White man confronts us, we take that gun and pull the trigger.

    Sure some will be sacrificed into the justice system. But, after a point White folks will get tired of getting shot down like dogs in the street and will demand reform. They will demand laws be changes to stop the carnage. They will chose life.

    There will never be a peaceful solution. No one has ever removed their boot from a neck because they were politely asked. The longer we keep looking for a bloodless solution, the longer we will be having this conversation.

    • http://tripsixes.com/ Trip

      If human history teaches us anything, it would come close to resembling your last sentence. I may not like it, but the truth far too often makes us uncomfortable. The conversations we participate in now have already been paid for in blood, so we need to make them count.

      • Val

        The original Black Panthers had the right idea. A updated version of the Panthers would be right on time. And not those Panthers who are running around now trying to ruin the good name of the original organization.

        • http://tripsixes.com/ Trip

          In order for it to work this time around, each one of us has to be a Panther. The “organization” is no longer effective, far too easy to fracture and discredit in the big brother state we live in. Only a grand unified front can bring about the change we want to see.

          • Sigma_Since 93

            “Only a grand unified front can bring about the change we want to see.”

            Wouldn’t this go against the notion that we all don’t act and think alike? Doesn’t the collective think tank mentality diminish our worth when it comes to political and economic empowerment?

            • http://tripsixes.com/ Trip

              Unity doesn’t require us to act or think alike, but we should be able to come together enough for our own protection and survival. There isn’t a “white people hive mind” either, but they sure can come together when it benefits them. Anything else always seems to amount to divide and conquer with us, the last part always a reminder of the ridiculous double standards that we have to contend with.

              All of this is just one idea out of many with questionable effectiveness. I’ll just say that we need to do something different this time around. What we have gained is way too much to lose.

              • Sigma_Since 93

                I’m Sigma Since 93 and I approve of this comment.

              • SuperStrings

                “Unity doesn’t require us to act or think alike”
                My sister used to work for a Jewish country club. They started the club because Jews in the south could not be admitted to any other white country clubs. What my sister quickly learned is that there were several factions of Jews in the club and the community at large. Some absolutely could not stand each other, but they still managed to have a generally unified agenda. Certainly, we aren’t Jewish, and our struggle isn’t the same, but I do believe that we can be philosophically opposed on certain things, while still supporting an overarching beneficial agenda.

                • http://tripsixes.com/ Trip

                  Yes, this is a good example of what I was trying to explain. Many Jews historically understand just how much is at stake, and so do we.

                • h.h.h.

                  Some absolutely could not stand each other, but they still managed to have a generally unified agenda. Certainly, we aren’t Jewish, and our struggle isn’t the same, but I do believe that we can be philosophically opposed on certain things, while still supporting an overarching beneficial agenda.

                  i really wish we could.
                  but between rachets vs. non-rachets, conservative vs. out-there, male vs. female…

                  therein lies my doubt.

                  • SuperStrings

                    Yeah, but these same dichotomies exist in other communities.

                    • h.h.h.

                      but like you said, the dichotomies exist, but other communities can do the united front on issues that aren’t (for lack of a better term) emergencies…we, as a community, don’t seem to do that

                  • Sandpaper

                    Goes back to what I was saying about critical thought being developed which would then lead you into a discussion about fatherless homes which would then turn into chaos.

                • Brother Mouzone

                  I TOTALLY agree Strangs..Sometimes, I think we as Black people think we have to agree on EVERYTHING to be unified. We ALLLL have to be christian, we ALLLL have to be from a certain region, we ALLLL have to have the same politics, etc…This is the barrier we face everytime there’s an attempt at unification. The unifier is called out by other Black folk for what they DON’T have in common with him. **whiny voice** he a muslim, he too militant, he too educated, he too dark skin-ded, he too light skin-ded..etc..There are enough core issues that affect ALL of us that we should be able to come together on, regardless of our differences…you know, like MOST other non-Black groups do.

              • Brother Mouzone

                “There isn’t a “white people hive mind” either, but they sure can come together when it benefits them”
                Or when they are the majority on a jury….

          • Val

            You have a point but a new movement would have the advantage of knowing about Cointelpro. And, it wouldn’t take huge numbers to be direct members. It would just take the right members.

            Quiet as it’s kept not every African American was in favor of the Civil Rights Movement. So, I wouldn’t expect every African American to be behind a new movement.

    • NomadaNare

      You and I are in agreement here, however I’m a little more skeptical of the response. They will either change stand your ground, change gun control laws, or increase the level of violence against us. I honestly don’t know which one they will choose. I live in Illinois, a stand your ground state and it’s getting to the point where I am seriously considering getting a concealed carry license, not for Chiraq and the like, but because I live in the suburbs.

      • Val

        I’m guessing they would change the Stand Your Ground laws. They won’t take guns away from themselves. And if they know violence will be met with violence they won’t choose that option.

        • NomadaNare

          You don’t think they would endeavor to wipe us out? I see that as a likely response, more so than changing the SYG laws by the very fact that SYG laws exist. Here’s hoping you’re right though.

          • Val

            The census says there are about 45 million of us. And if I know Black folks that means there’s about 60 million of us. So, wiping us out isn’t an option.

          • afronica

            Part of making this change will be for all of us to understand that there will be a very heavy price to pay. A lot of us will die. I’m sure that sounds paranoid and hyperbolic to most. But that’s the truth. But another truth is that this is already happening at a slower rate, and that this loss is more concentrated at the poorer end of our population. What we’re talking about here will speed the decimation and will spread that death up the socio-economic ladder. I think it’s unavoidable. I also think it’s really the only option left.

    • Sandpaper

      Working hard too…

    • http://vagabondaesthetics.tumblr.com/ Ricky
      • http://www.twitter.com/IluminatiNYC Todd

        I see your article and raise you this one: http://www.slate.com/articles/life/history/features/2014/the_liberal_failure_on_race/affirmative_action_it_s_time_for_liberals_to_admit_it_isn_t_working.html

        It’s an interesting survey of the history of Affirmative Action, and how it was used to play upon existing divides in the community.

        • 321mena123

          I posted this on my FB wall last week. Amazing how repubs were on board for AA and liberals were not.

        • Hollywood Cole

          I read it. And I’ve always agreed that affirmative action was a cheap band-Aid for a serious problem that would require much more in the way of resources and national attention.

          But like all the critiques of affirmative action (and most critiques in general) it does an OK job of pointing out problems, but not much to offer in the way of realistic solutions or feasible. Yeah, affirmative action may not have been started with the best of intentions, but neither was ending slavery and I’m not complaining so those aren’t grounds to necessarily discredit it. And if your main ground ground for it’s infeasibility is that affirmative action creates resentment among withes because of unequal privilege then what do you think the backlash of the more comprehensive solutions will be? Lastly, the people who benefited from AA tend to be better off then their counterparts so it is a net gain, but also the true measure is what the affect is has on their children. Maybe all AA hires don’t work out (and the ones that wont will be held up as an example instead of looking at the big picture), but affording families middle class status and preventing another generation from being raised in neighborhoods with systemic social, governing and educational problems may be a more efficient fix than social engineering, but I never see any longitudinal studies on how the next generation fares in relation to non beneficiaries.

        • Brother Mouzone

          Frances Cress Welsing, Frances Cress Welsing, Frances Cress Welsing

          • SuperStrings

            A must read. Also, Yorugu by Marimba Ani.

          • NomadaNare

            Maybe, she lost me when she started talking about “black photons”.

    • http://www.twitter.com/IluminatiNYC Todd

      Personally, I believe in that the culture has to be reformed. I am not going to pretend it’s easy, but there’s a lot of hard work that needs to be done to end the culture of fear between Black and White folk. I’m not pro-nationalist…or pro-integration either. Let a thousand flowers bloom, and may the best approach win. If anything, this whole top-down control of the Civil Rights agenda has completely and thoroughly ignored the grass roots efforts of Black folk in their communities living their life and creating smart solutions in person or small group at a time.

      No matter the approach, we still have to relate to White people. They aren’t going away, and neither are we.

      • Vanity in Peril

        “No matter the approach, we still have to relate to White people.” Don’t we spend our entire lives in this society relating to white people? We’ve been relating and relating and saying “see boss, I’s is just like you!” and still thy hate us. So what now? More soft shoe? Let them figure it out. Do the heavy lifting for once. I’m ready for a new world order.

        • CNotes

          “We’ve been relating and relating and saying “see boss, I’s is just like you!” and still thy hate us.”
          Because that is not really relating; it’s begging for acceptance; which makes us seem inferior. We need to (in my opinion) strengthen within our own culture, learn and master the American system of power. Stop being the “consumers” and become the owner’s of businesses, property, etc. This is what is respected in this country and that is what “they” relate to.

          • Vanity in Peril

            I agree we need to come together and do something but I disagree that we can overcome by using this system. We’ll never dismantle the master’s house with the master’s tools, imo.

            • CNotes

              Interesting….I’m not sure there will ever come a time where we will “dismantle” the American system. And, even if there was a small chance of that…..we need to have economic power to do so. So, yes…..to an extent….we do need to use the system to our advantage. The problem is that we have no real strategy other than always being on defense and putting out fires.

              • Val

                I think VIP is talking about Black Nationalism. It’s about creating our own mechanisms of commerce and governance. So, we don’t necessarily need to dismantle the system that’s in place so much as utilize our own which in theory would favor us.

                • CNotes

                  I understand the ideology, but how realistic is that approach?

                  • Val

                    People talked about it in the late 60s and 70s but it never got off the ground. I think it could be done but it might take a catastrophic event to get enough people on board to make it viable.

                    • CNotes

                      “….but it might take a catastrophic event”

                      And, I think this is what I’m getting at. We likely need a more practical strategy with a higher chance of success. I am no expert on Black Nationalism and maybe there is a strategy within to make it viable, but I can’t see it being acceptable in this country.

                    • Sandpaper

                      I agree. It wouldn’t be allowed to prosper. It would become the new Haiti.

          • NomadaNare

            We will never dismantle the masters house with his own tools. Most countries from which these people stem already had strong bases and native culture to draw from. This made it easier for them to successfully integrate among Americans. Black people do not have that luxury and when we built our own it was purposefully destroyed as to keep us from prospering further.

      • Brother Mouzone

        The problem is the MINDSET. It’s not integration or affirmative action, it’s the MINDSET that Black folks had and STILL have. It’s the mindset of “white is right” and just BEING AROUND whiteness is somehow “better”. Other groups, Asians for example, generally don’t give a f*ck about whites and deal with them on their own terms by out achieving them and creating businesses that whites come to if they want, and if they don’t, their own peeps and others will patronize. Yes, we HAVE to relate to whites simply because of the country we live in, it’s unavoidable, but we are always dealing with them with the wrong mindset.

        • http://www.twitter.com/IluminatiNYC Todd

          Exactly my dude. The one thing is that people who are against the White is Right mindset jump all the way to White is wrong. The best way is to deal with them as with any other group with their plusses and minuses.

        • TheOtherJerome

          I kind of feel you but, see, ….. Asians’ have problems too. Ask them how they feel about the establishment or issues between Asian men and Asian women….. and White men! They’ll tell you in a heart beat. The point it they actually DON’T always deal with the majority on their own terms and it’s a source of problems for them as well.

          What they do however, is promote and support business within their communities….. and don’t sell to anyone outside of their families. This concept really promotes wealth. I can’t tell you how many Black business got successful, then sold their business (for a profit, but still) to buyers outside the comunity. Honestly the entire Black beauty industry is an example of this. Asians would never do that. Jewish people wouldn’t either. Black people however, once we make a profit, we’re out.

          Seriously, at this point we should own the music industry…….

    • SuperStrings

      “Black folks who came of age just after the Civil Rights Movement have done us a gross disservice.”
      Or maybe it was Black folks during Civil Rights who did us a disservice. Assimilation was not the original goal of Civil Rights. It was an ideal that was introduced by liberal whites and educated Blacks. Initially blacks just wanted equal access to resources, i.e. have their own schools, but have equal access to education funding.

      • Val

        Yep, the core reasons for the movement changed. That was a product of the movement moving toward the mainstream toward the end. That mainstreaming also had a negative economic impact. Which was counter to the original ideals of the movement.

        But, when the opportunities that were born from the movement presented themselves to those coming of age, they joined the system wholeheartedly. They never stopped to think about the long-term impact of their action. They just wanted to be “in the house”.

        Those are the folks who had the chance to make structural changes. Those who were around for the Civil Rights Movement only had the ability to start a conversation. Those who followed never turned that conversation into action.

        • SuperStrings

          “They never stopped to think about the long-term impact of their action.”
          I’m about to speculate, but I think the current state of things provides some support for what I’m about to say. I think many at that time didn’t think about long-term impact because they never really had a long term solution or a long term plan. Movements are often short-sighted in that they focus all their energy on changing things as they are because things as they are are so severe. So, people from the Civil Rights era probably felt like, “Sheeeet, lets stop our people from being hung, burned alive, and tarred and feathered first, then we can think about other stuff like long term economic impacts.” There’s some merit to that, but the problem is that, without a real long-term plan or vision, it left the future pretty much up for grabs. So, now we not only have to fight the old enemy to implement a plan, we also have to fight against ourselves.

        • Brother Mouzone

          “They never stopped to think about the long-term impact of their action. They just wanted to be “in the house”………..
          There’s that mindset thing again….

    • Tentpole

      Well said Val. The simplest change seem to be the hardest to understand. We as a race of people have NO respect for ourselves. You would figure as a race of people who were brought here as slaves, the last thing we would do to ourselves is kill one another. You figure we would not devalue education since we fought so hard for the opportunity and right to be educated. I can never understand why we validate negative images of ourselves. When Amos & Andy went on the air, our community fought tooth and nail to get it off the air. When you look the episodes today, it is easy to say you don’t understand why we wanted off the air. That because we think ROHA and Love & Hip-Hop are only watched by us. We fail to realize all the 2520s who work behind the scenes and the conversations they have about us when we are not in the room. Another thing to consider. Black athletes have been a part of national championships, but NO majority Black school has won a Division I championship. It has gotten to the point where all white teams can beat an all Black team. All this because we keep waiting for the next MLK to save us.

      • Val

        Actually, Tent, the reason we can be so self-destructive is because of our history. Five hundred years of being told you aren’t human has a long-term impact. Those who are against us know this, that’s why there has never been a true reconciliation or real acknowledment of the atrocities committed against us.

        The Japanese got reparations. When you get reparations that says you have value. But, when the abuse ends with not even an apology, that says something too.

        I’m right with you about being able to control our own images. We need control over media. And yeah, I think about how Black schools never win national championships and yet the talent that leads White schools to victory is usually us. That’s part of the assimilation that I speak of.

    • Sigma_Since 93

      “I think the generation of Black folks who came of age just after the
      Civil Rights Movement have done us a gross disservice. They were so busy
      trying to assimilate. Busy trying to climb the corporate ladder. Busy
      trying to live next door to White folks. Busy trying to prove their
      worth. So busy in fact that they forgot to fight the system rather than
      to be apart of the one that already existed.”

      I would split hairs with you on this one. The challenges were vast and there wasn’t a consensus as to what item should be attacked first. The analysis by paralysis stunted any momentum gained through King and company.

      Let’s be real when it comes to jobs and housing. Yes we lived in mixed housing back in the day but the living conditions in those neighborhoods were poor. If we were going to test the notion that we could “be”, someone had to move out of the neighborhood and test the waters. Black enterprise was ok but it was not able to absorb the teems of talent we had coming out of our HBCU’s and PWI’s. Again someone had to break down the door to show that it can be done and provide a roadmap for those to come. We still have work to do in this area because we often notice the lack of black professional leaders / mentors at the corporate executive level.

      • Val

        True but 10 or 20 year in one would think enough people would realize that not enough was changing. And those folks could have fired up the mechanisms of the movement again.

        • Sigma_Since 93

          But things were changing. Affirmative action laws, housing laws, acceptance into collective bargaining unions were happening. All of these changes were imperfect to say the least; we traded marching for appeals in the court systems where our forefathers did both.

          • SuperStrings

            I think the issue is the vehicle were forced to use to affect change. Jews were able to strategically gain a foothold in the financial arena, and that offered them a measure of control in almost every facet of American society. Asians have found that they can affect change by dominating academics and flooding the middle class, and that offers them a measure of control. Many eastern Europeans found that they could affect change through force and violence (bootlegging, organized crime, etc), and that afforded them certain controls. Well, all of these vehicles for change were systematically eliminated when it came to Black people. Any forceful or violent uprisings were quelled in the most brutal way. Neighborhoods that thrived financially/economically were often terrorized or completely destroyed. Education was systematically denied to blacks and was punishable by death in some cases. The only vehicle for change left was what basically amounted to begging, i.e. marching, protesting. Oh, please respect me. Please, oh please let me have a little bit of rights. Please, be so kind as to not hose me down and sick dogs on my kids. Is it ok if a just a few of us attend your colleges and work at your jobs? While, this method did yield some favorable results, unlike the other vehicles, it offered us NO control, only the option to keep begging. Well, some of those vehicles are available to us now (at least a little more than they have been in the past), and we have to start employing them more so as to transition from begging for changes to demanding changes.

            • Sigma_Since 93

              Maybe this is why America welched on giving us our reparations and continue to jerk the black farmers around.

            • http://tripsixes.com/ Trip

              We have our culture, but how often have we been able to monetize it on a broad scale? Just imagine if we were able to charge a tax for emulation…

            • Tentpole

              You almost got it right. The simple answer is that we are for sale. We value money over power. Our values are only good if we get paid. History supports this. Jazz went from to Miles Davis to Kenny G. We created Jazz in case you didn’t know. We made sports profitable, but we never pooled our resources to be owners and control behind the scenes. We made hit records and then sold our record label and our TV network. BTW lets talk about how BET improved our imgage and empowered us to respect the struggle. Oh wait that never happend. Lets count the number of time our own exploited us for their on monetary gain. Don’t forget black folks were slum lords too.

              • Sigma_Since 93

                You almost got it right too. Ownership has always been the key and we’ve lacked it in most cases. Yes we created Jazz but didn’t control the infrastructure (record companies and radio stations) Curt Flood (big ups to the Fraternity Brother) became the face of free agency but the union a) needed someone to step out on faith and protest b) knew that it would benefit more white players than black players; other sports just adopted the model. We did own teams but the allure of our best and brightest playing in the big leagues killed our baseball and basketball teams.

                BET lost it’s way well before Donnie Simpson was fired; you can create a whole separate post on them.

                Black income property owners followed the same playbook others before them have played and continue to play; put the least amount of investment dollars into the property to avoid seeing profit margins shrink. Why would we / do we hold us accountable at a higher standard that we have failed to obtain from the powers that be???

    • http://www.facebook.com/MentalMass MENTAL MASTURBATION

      I never understood the push for integration. Integration destroyed black businesses within the black community while giving white people the ability to come into our neighborhoods and set-up shop. And of course, many black people worship whiteness and see white efforts as superior to black efforts; and that essentially killed the economic base of the black community.

      We were very quick to accommodate white people and their businesses within our community. I do not know why because the same kind behavior is not demonstrated to black patrons in white communities. It’s all very confusing to me….

      • Sigma_Since 93

        It was all about access. It will always be about access. Give us equal access to resources instead of putting us in a box. Don’t give me your outmoded textbooks, facilities and uniforms and then say my education, job skills, and sporting teams are inferior. Don’t tell me my business is a business risk when dude on the other side of the tracks has similar business characteristics and he got the loan and / or obtained a better rate than I did.

        Black business came under the same plight as the American auto industry; some were putting our a crappy product and banked on support always being there despite an increase in the supply base.

      • Val

        The first rule of White Supremacy is White is best. We were victims of White Supremacy not just from the outside but from the inside too. And we are no less victims now. Look at how much money we spend on designer clothes. Those people don’t even advertise to us.

        We have to free our minds.

        • http://www.facebook.com/MentalMass MENTAL MASTURBATION

          International colonialism aka global white supremacy is definitely a b*tch.

          I knew the world was in trouble when I found out Africans, Indians, and Asians were in their own native countries bleaching their skin, wearing blue contact lenses, and dying their hair blonde.

          Minds are trapped in an ivory-clad prison.

          • Brother Mouzone

            “I knew the world was in trouble when I found out Africans, Indians, and Asians were in their own native countries bleaching their skin, wearing blue contact lenses, and dying their hair blonde.”
            And praying to a white jesus when they LIVE on the continent where the damn stories took place! smdh

        • ratchet d-Ibaka

          *waving*!!

          But, Val in as much as we are victims of white supremacy, we are also to blame. Why line the pockets of these designers then cry about oppression and what have you? If you really are about it, then give the likes of Doru Olowu, Tracy Reese, B Smith and the like, your purchasing powers.

          • Val

            Hiya, AM!

            *waves*

            That’s my point. White Supremacy colonizes minds. We are victims of this colonization. But, I definitely agree that we should support our own rather than begging White designers to market to us.

            • ratchet d-Ibaka

              You still blogging mama? Or you took a break? Miss both blogs.

              • Val

                I just went back to blogging a couple of weeks ago. Lol. I still miss your blog. Are you going to start blogging again?

                • ratchet d-Ibaka

                  Oh snap. Nice. Nope.

        • Brother Mouzone

          “We have to free our minds”.
          So are a$$ will follow…lol

      • Epsilonicus

        “I never understood the push for integration. Integration destroyed black businesses within the black community ”

        The thing is we never saw an actual policy of integration. Integration would have been folks building together. What we say was just saying that Black folks should participate in a system where White folks have the benefit. That is not integration.

      • Brother Mouzone

        Great minds think alike…

    • h.h.h.

      Sure some will be sacrificed into the justice system. But, after a point White folks will get tired of getting shot down like dogs in the street and will demand reform. They will demand laws be changes to stop the carnage. They will choose life.

      There will never be a peaceful solution. No one has ever removed their boot from a neck because they were politely asked. The longer we keep looking for a bloodless solution, the longer we will be having this conversation.

      i think…this is an interesting and pragmatic ideal.
      i also think that this leads to fear, and fear perpetuates the endless waltz of war, peace, and revolution. i think that if we want it to stop at peace, we will have to utilize other things than ‘fear’ (in the various forms that we as humans use it in this society).

      i wish you well.

      • Val

        Whose fear are you referring to? Because White folks already claim to be afraid of us. So, maybe we should stop worrying about them being afraid of us and just do us.

    • http://esotericexistentialist.blogspot.com/ MPM

      You can take what you want from what I say – I am a white male, but I’m speaking as a human being – but I’m super conflicted about the “stand up and fight” mentality. Certainly part of me understands the frustration which must be felt by communities that have historically been enslaved, treated as inferior, discriminated against, etc., and that continue to be so. But violence will not undo what has been done, it will exacerbate it. You say that white people will “get tired of being shot down like dogs in the streets”, but I don’t think that will happen. White people are still a majority in this country, and certainly that will change in the next 30 years, but they are still a major part of the power structure. It’s not killing people that will change things, it is changing minds. You’re right that there has been a failure since the civil rights movement to keep pressure on the country to not only change institutions, but to change attitudes. There has been a leveling off that has resulted in stagnation that has been persisting since the 80s. And while white people can look at the civil rights movement as a “success” and feel happy about themselves and the state of their country, black people in this country look at statistics and people they know and realize that our country hasn’t come as far as we think we have. So we need to pick up where the civil rights movement left off and continue to press for greater equality, not with guns and ammo, but with the reality that black, latino, asian, etc. are all groups that are made up of individual people that should be treated equally and fairly based upon their individual qualities. Violence will not solve this problem. White people have more guns, more tanks, more airplanes, and more political power to use it than all other minority groups put together. Dr. King’s commitment to non-violence and the success that the civil rights movement had using those tactics is undeniable. You can’t change hearts and minds with guns, you can only change them with compassion and information.

      • Val

        “You can’t change hearts and minds with guns, you can only change them with compassion and information.”

        Okay but, for the last 500 years we’ve tried to make change peacefully. It hasn’t worked. And as they say, the surest sign of insanity is doing the same thing over and over while expecting a different result.

        Also, insurgent groups are rarely intimidated by the enemy having larger numbers. In fact there are advantages to having smaller numbers.

        • http://esotericexistentialist.blogspot.com/ MPM

          I would argue that a lot of progress has been made in “500 years.” Certainly there is a long way to go, but major shifts have occurred (both with violence and non – violence). But the last shift cannot be overcome with guns, because changing people’s minds involves education, exposure, and understanding. I think that resorting to violence would have no impact on that, and could likely undue previous gains. But I could certainly be wrong…

      • Sandpaper

        Dr. King was changing his mind. That’s why he was killed.

        • http://esotericexistentialist.blogspot.com/ MPM

          That is true, he was killed. But the movement and his ideas continued.

    • HRD

      The weren’t dragged, they were purchased from guys who had already purchased them from Blacks. You’re viewing the past through the prism of modern day moral concepts. Also, white folks have been kinder to Blacks than many others have been or will be, ie look what is in store for African countries under the Chinese (not very remorseful those Chinese). And at the end of the day, if whitey is so unbearable, demand a chunk of the USA as an autonomous zone and get away from the white devils. Check, you’re welcome for the corrections Val, good day.

      • h.h.h.

        The weren’t dragged, they were purchased from guys who had already purchased them from Blacks. You’re viewing the past through the prism of modern day moral concepts.

        no, they were dragged into a slavery system that was not in place in Africa. methinks that you’re viewing the past through a very opaque prism as well.

      • SuperStrings

        Actually, they were dragged. Why else would they have needed chains and shackles to restrain them? You’re also attempting to equate two different systems of servitude. This is a common mistake. African “slaves” could have recognized marriages, they could marry non-slaves, own property, have jobs, participate in society, and eventually become an accepted part of the general society. There were no such allowances in American slavery. American servitude was of the chattel type, which meant that slaves were strictly property to be bought and sold. They had no more rights than the chair you’re sitting on.

        • NomadaNare

          Exactly. Common white apologist mistake in the game of false equivalence.

    • Brother Mouzone

      This couldn’t have been expressed better….Val, you’re my she-roe.
      *Back from 3 months of lurkdom*

      • Val

        Hiya BroMo!

        Nice to see you!

        Thanks. :-)

  • Andrea

    I tried to not follow this case very closely due to the inevitable change of subject to Chicago, rap music, black marriage rates…etc. “There were also more blacks killed by King Leopold in the Congo than by
    whites in the United States, but that would hardly have rendered the
    architects of American apartheid less worthy of condemnation or
    overthrow. The white man who would have referenced the Belgian empire
    and its crimes each and every time the NAACP raised its voice to protest
    yet another American lynching in those years, would rightfully have
    been seen as a pitiable propagandist, a grotesque and puerile apologist
    for the inhumanity of his own people. So too should we see Bill O’Reilly
    and Ted Nugent in this way, whenever they meet evidence of white animus
    against blacks with yet another chorus of “they do it to themselves.”

  • why?

    Not long ago…you sir….Panama…talked about being ready to fight in a bar with work clothes on because some dude said something about the way you were dressed or something…as a joke. No threats…just jokes and you were grimaced up…you and your boys just went in. This from the same dude that says he ain’t never ever seent an Everest campus.

    Jordan Davis died glorifying what the some of the most “educated” in our race glorify. Self included…2 master degrees and I used to be that monkey in the room. So…no shade…just pointing out something for us all to consider.

    I can’t watch reality tv and scandal. Hits too close to home and makes me ashamed of myself. Reminders of the old me, rap and sports…I’ll pass. Too much hurt…seen too many fall to those three things. Folks will become about that life or relapse dealing with black twitter and love/hip hop wives reality mixed with scandal.

    • SuperStrings

      What exactly was he glorifying? If we accept your glorification argument as true, did it justify his death?

    • panamajackson

      Interesting that you would make that parallel. Hell, I’m not even sure what point you’re making there. In that post, I also mentioned that 1) I’m too old for that; 2) pride is a helluva drug and thus a problem, and 3) and that cooler heads prevailed because they should have.

      So please help me understand your point. Please do.

  • Sigma_Since 93

    I’m tired but I must remain vigilant
    I’m frustrated but I must remain hopeful
    I’m scared and I don’t know how or when that feeling will subside

    Every generation has the black male endangerment moment; for me it was the Atlanta child murders and the drug game claiming homies. I look back and it seems like the more things change the more they have stayed the same. It’s sad that I’ve become an unwilling participant of a struggle that was supposed to have ended a long time ago.

    I look at my sons and wonder if and when they will get it. I’m foolish to think that suburban life will spare them but I also realize that I need to continue to set the tone with how I interact with the establishment because they are taking some of their ques from me. It’s maddening to think you do everything to raise your children right yet people will see what they want to see.

    • http://uphereoncloud9.com/ Wu Young

      “I’m tired but I must remain vigilant
      I’m frustrated but I must remain hopeful
      I’m scared and I don’t know how or when that feeling will subside”
      It’s ire inducing to walk around with your head on a damn swivel all of the time, bruh. After 30 plus years of the constant vigilance routine I’m just tired. To my detriment I compartmentalize a lot of things in my life but I haven’t learned how to put the hate in a black box and pack it away.

      • Sigma_Since 93

        If it weren’t for my sons, I would have checked out a long time ago. I feel that I can’t rest until I’ve seen them successfully navigate these choppy waters so I know for certain that the lessons, examples, and talks have taken hold. Until then, I’m forced to deal with a burden that I don’t want to.

      • JayIzUrGod

        The full time job it is to know that having black skin and being a man equals death at any moment is nothing that can be explained commonly with words. Can’t express it anyway other than being tired of being tired.

        • Val

          Studies show that the stress of being Black in America is one of the reasons Black folks on average live fewer years than Whites. We have to find a way or ways to relieve that stress.

  • SuperStrings

    My dad had these conversations with me, and now I’m begrudgingly having them with my kids. I always try to maintain a balance when doing it though. I want my kids to have a realistic view of society and their (perceived) place in it, but I don’t want them to feel stagnant because of the additional life constraints that they have to deal with. See, the underlying message in many of these conversations, even if you attempt to mask it, is that “you are at a disadvantage in society”. That’s a huge burden for a child to bear, and it often plays out in such a way that the child grows into an adult who behaves as someone who is disadvantaged. I want my children to be empowered, to know that the world is theirs, no exceptions, no doubts. It is a conundrum, indeed.

    • http://trulytafakari.com/ dtafakari

      My mother says that she never told me I could be anything I wanted. lol.

      • SuperStrings

        Yeah, my parents also told me there were limitations. I think this is the gift and curse of wisdom that comes with age. It helps protect us (and our kids) against disappointment (maybe against death), but it may also be limiting. The wonderful thing about being young is believing that anything is possible…anything. Most movements throughout history were initiated by young people (usually students), often against the advice and admonishment of their elders. It’s just speculation, but I think if those young people really knew what was in store for them (what the elders knew was in store for them), then they might not have started those movements at all. Sometimes it might be better not to know the odds stacked against you. Of course, now I’m becoming an elder, and I’m often conflicted when talking to my children. I want to put them in a position to pursue their dreams unhindered, but I also want to protect them.

    • ED

      I’m getting married soon so now I’m thinking about the way we’ll raise our future children. I want to tell them they can be anything they want. Not because I don’t believe that there are limitations, but because I don’t think we will ever get rid of those limitations if we don’t challenge the status quo. Every barrier black people have broken down in this country is because someone challenged it. I think we do our children a disservice and we put into their heads, at an early age, that their are limits to what they can be. I’ll teach them things gradually as they get older. I want them to actually believe they can be whatever they want, and when/if they face any limitations, they’ll believe they need to fight for whatever is rightfully theirs.

      I hope to every supreme being in the universe that I’m right.

  • Keisha

    It’s times like these when I’m glad I don’t have children. I wouldn’t know where to start. Do you teach them that the police are their friends and they can run to them for help?…With the added disclaimer that this goes out the window the moment they start going through puberty and can be viewed as a threat? You don’t want to teach them to be afraid of anyone, but you also don’t want them to have a false sense of security either.
    It’s all too much…

    • Sigma_Since 93

      It’s a balance; you teach them that not everyone is a nice person, not everyone is destined to be their friend, there are good adults and bad adults, there are good authority figures and bad authority figures. Give all adults respect but if the adult tries to harm you tell someone.

  • Secret Sauce

    Sigh. Every time there is an injustice involving individual African-Americans (Troy Davis, Travyon Martin, Jordan Davis, Jonathan Ferrell, etc., etc., etc.) we immediately make these grand pronouncements about how white America or the justice system has it out for black people. Duh. Think pieces are written. Twitter and Facebook get set on fire. We’re told we have to talk to our sons and daughters about the differences in how they are treated and viewed as opposed to the majority.

    This lasts about one good news cycle before we move our attention to whatever draws our attention away from what enraged us in the first place. Nothing really happens to dramatically change the plight we face.

    Then when, not if, the next injustice takes place, we’re gonna go through the whole song and dance again. And, that too, will subside like a whisper.

    I remember appearing on a radio show not too long after Hadiya Pendleton was slain in Chicago last summer. A listener phoned in saying something along the lines of “This should be a wake up call for us.” I responded
    by rattling off names of kids who had been murdered in cold blood months, and even years, before Pendleton. And then I said, “I thought those deaths were supposed to be wake up calls, too.”

    At the end of the day, we only are concerned with the individual. Until that changes, nothing will change.

    • jay totha dee

      Jordan Davis didn’t do anything wrong. We play by the “rules” and it doesn’t matter. What are our options? White America needs to change their behavior ultimately, no? What is the solution?

      • Sigma_Since 93

        This is the thing that burns me up. My son asks me dad what did he do wrong and I can’t answer. Adults may joke “my skin is my sin” but I’m not ready to plant that seed of doubt / distrust / paranoia in his young mind.

      • Tentpole

        Jordan didn’t do anything wrong, but his parents did. They failed to get him to understand what it means to be Black in America. Look how many Black lives have been saved because of responsible Black parents making sure their kids know when to what where.

        • jay totha dee

          His parents are to blame? His parents are responsible for his death? Please explain further.

    • panamajackson

      I agree with this.

    • JayIzUrGod

      Tough pill to swallow but true. It happens one day and we are all concerned. Two weeks later, it goes away.
      Trayvon hoodies won’t be seen anywhere until maybe the 5th anniversary of his death. We aren’t dedicated to the cause. Why should we be? Life goes on anyway right? So its our behavior and understanding that needs changing just as much as our opposition.