I was a child during the Newark riots. I know how damaging they can be. I never advocated rioting. Neither did Ezinne. The point is we have tons of young voices now that realize that in the era of Trump and police killings of Black folks, that simply singing “We Shall Overcome”, and quickly granting forgiveness to those that kill our fathers, mothers, sisters, and brothers, will not, and has not, made things better or easier for us as a people. The dominant society only seems to recognize us when we are direct. They have an expectation of our docility and our forgiveness. In fact, they have used it against us. What characterizes our strength mostly is our ability to fight. The old way of fighting will not work in today’s society. Racial capitalism is too cruel and unforgiving. Voices like Ezinne’s, which don’t seek to first sooth feelings before being expressive, are sorely needed.
At one point in time, I thought the way you do. However, I have a 15-year old son, who’s been in the car with me when we were racially-profiled. So he’s seen first-hand how dangerous and escalated things can become. And like any teen, he’s active on social media and keeps up with these random killings and destruction of Black bodies and families. It’s hard trying to explain why, over 50 years after the civil rights era, this type of nonsense is still happening in this country. We were so happy with being able to sit in the same restaurants and share drinking fountains, that somewhere along the way, we forgot to realize that our “loud” voices are just as important as the voices of those who run things. His generation has a strong and loud voice, and, to be honest, it’s been refreshing. This world will eventually be his. I don’t want him silenced, and I don’t want him having to first think of “etiquette” before he expresses his dissatisfaction with the current racial dynamic.