The Facts of Why We Are Outraged
I am an African refugee from Liberia. I grew up in Swarthmore, PA, what fluctuiates between top 5 and top 10 suburbs in the USA each year. I grew up loving my cop friends. I won the D.A.R.E essay contest and the white cops gladly awarded me money and a lion. My white friends were great and we were diverse. I have nothing against white people or white police, or the police for that matter. That is, I have nothing against the good cops. I grew up with privilege. I sort of had white privilege coming up in Tree City USA. Nonetheless, I’ve always understood my privilege.
Up until right before high school, I never had to worry about the cops. They never bothered me, and I kind of loved them. I actually believed they were there to serve and protect me. But as I aged, things changed. I realized I was one of the few blacks who had a close to equal chance to make it in this country. I guess my friend below saw that aswell, so I don’t blame him for his blind statement. He doesn’t understand what white priviledge is in this country and why he is so far off on this statement regarding the outrage my people are expressing due to the verdict of the Mike Brown case. He asked me why we have to make everything about race and after I responded with a few statements that appeared to him to be strictly emotional and unfactual, he rebutted with this statement (I love my friend, but this is completely laughable):
Read up on ur white privilege, we both come from different cultures so we’re gonna have a different view on this. I understand what you’re saying, I realize the fact that there is inequality and there’s still racism. Also about your white privilege, I disagree, I don’t believe that you are lesser within social, political or economic circumstances. I think you have just as equal amount of opportunity as me and you hold your own account of how you take advantage of that. I guess you’re saying I don’t understand that because I’m white but hey we’re in the same major, taking the same classes and you have a equal opportunity as me to become very successful. I think the whole not having equal opportunity, and whites having certain advantages is blown out of proportion. I mean our president is half black for gods sake. It all just seems to exaggerated to me, and maybe I still don’t quite get what you’re saying but that’s how it seems to me and that’s still my view on it.
Logic | Reason | Injustice
He told me that my thinking was flawed. I’m a computer scientist. I like logic and reason. When I’m programming, everything that goes well happens for a reason, and everything that goes wrong also happens for an equally logical reason. I don’t ever hope my program goes one way or another because I know that if I’ve programmed it appropriately, and have done it justice, it will work and cooperate. On the other hand, if I continually put in the wrong logic, do it injustice, the lines that have been treated right will go on in silence, and the ones that have been treated wrong won’t cooperate and will spit back fire and hell at me: #ERROR #NULLPOINTEREXCEPTION #THATDOESNOTMAKESENSE #YOURLOGICISWRONG #INJUSTICE!
So if for four hundred years, you put in the wrong logic and reason into a system, if you serve justice to some and injustice to the other, some will go on about their lives blinded by their privilege and the others will cry out in outrage. Further, the ones that are continually screwed over by the system will be reminded each time of the previous times they were not treated right and the tension will build exponentially. You see where I’m going with this?
So why are my people mad? Why are we outraged that Mike Brown was killed. Why is it that so quickly a nation is in love with this one boy and his family. Why is it now that a nation is outaged by a single instance of a white police officer taking the life (we see life, he may not) of a black boy? Why are people so dramatic? Why do we always make it about race? Why aren’t we talking about black on black crime? What ever happened to us being human beings first? Where the hell am I going with this? Why do I shed a tear whenever I think of myself being gunned down and my mother being left with no justice?
The Emotional Answers
These don’t matter so much right now, if you want to read the emotions, you can take a look at my previous piece here.
These are what matter. These are the reasons I never pledged by alligance to your flag. These are the reasons I won’t serve in your army. These are the reasons the nation is in outcry. Take these parts as a whole in our goal to understand why everything seems to be about race and why we are outraged (in the figures below, the black icons stand for black men unless otherwise noted):
So Why Are We Upset
My friend thinks everything is peachy in respect to equality in the USA. He said I was speaking straight from my heart and not from my brain. The stats show otherwise. Aside from the facts, the ones that can be recorded and recounted, there’re the lives we live as African-Americans in the United States of America. “I mean our president is half black for god[’s] sake,” so why is it that we think everything is racially charged?… Well, my privileged friend, we think everything is racially charged because we live in a racially motivated society. All we want is change and understanding.
We need you to stop asking why black on black crime is not being discussed because nobody is discussing white on white crime. Why? Because that is not the matter at hand. When you talk about 9/11, nobody talks about all the terrorism the USA commits overseas. Why? Because that’s not the tragedy at hand. We need to stop reflecting questions with questions and start solving issues one step at a time.
Innocent Until Proven Guilty
There’s a stat out there that every 28 hours, a police officer kills a black unarmed male, but we now know that is not true. However its damn near close to true. What we do know is true is that the police is killing people. What ever happened to innocent until proven guilty?
Why is it that our officers are shooting to kill and not to disable? Why is it that our officers are emptying their magazines on single targets? Why is it that the officers who alledgedly murder civilians are given the chance to plead their case while they dehumanize the victim who lays dead? Why is it that as a black man in the great nation of the United States of America I have to walk, talk, gesture, talk extremely methodically. The answer: because there’s a racial disparity in this nation that some people do not want to admit.
Why is it that when a white man goes on a killing spree, he is subdued with his life in tact, but when a black man is walking while black, he risks losing his life? Why is it that Michael Vick went to jail for hosting dog fights? Why is it that a black male was sentenced to 35 years in prison for killing a police dog, but time and time again, a police officer is let off free after killing a young human male. Forget black male. Time after time, police officers are let off free after killing a human being. After the fact, the officer dehumanizes the victim he has unlawfully taken the life of. I say unlawfully because our laws say that people are innocent until proven guilty. Apparently, some people are innocent until proven guilty and others guilty until proven otherwise.
I’ve been privileged for much of my life. My parents took my younger siblings and I from the middle of Philadelphia, PA and brought us to the quiet township of Swarthmore, PA. I was shielded from much of the injustice outside my town. One could say I’ve lived the life of a white human being in respect to the privilege I’ve had. With great power comes great responsibility, right? Well, with great privilege comes a duty to achieve great feats in life while consistently advocating for the ones in the back rows, the ones born with monumental obstacles in their paths. Because of that, it hurts me when people try to tell me everyone has a fair chance in this country and if they fail, its all because they didn’t try hard enough. In most cases, that’s simply idiotic, ignorant, and the thought of the ones who are unaware of their privilege.