I recently released a music video for a song called “Gun Control.” It offers a voice for the frustration stemming from the murders of Black men, women and children by police in America. It presents the question, “What if we shoot back?” Keep in mind, I don’t condone violence. However, in a country where arms rule, at some point peaceful protest turns into anger if something doesn’t change. In less than 3 months later, we have another hashtag on our hands, Jordan Edwards. Jordan was just 15 years old before he was shot and killed by a police officer who answered a call about underaged drinking at a house party- a favorite pastime of White youth. Rather than do what investigating officers do- investigate- they opened fire on a car. Edwards was struck in the head and killed. The report said the car was driving aggressively towards the officer. This was later found to be a complete lie. The sad part about this is my video is relevant again and chances are, it won’t be the last time. And people wonder why there’s outrage.
The comments the video is receiving reveals other saddening issues. First, some people are imbeciles. My use of control in the title is meant as a play on words. It’s not gun control as in laws surrounding the usage of deadly weapons, but ‘control’ as in getting a handle on something or taking matters into your own hands. Like “we need to control this situation”. Second, you can’t save everybody. Some people will attempt to poke holes in any argument that threatens their power. They’re incapable of facing the truth, because deep down they like their position of privilege and don’t want to relinquish it for mere justice. The never of these freedom fighters! Some people are bandwagonists who fear association with the truth will put them at a disadvantage. And lastly, for many people, it still doesn’t matter.
I find it very telling that the notion ‘Black Lives Matter’ gets met with resistance. Why is it so difficult for you to say, unconditionally? Why do I have to fight you for the most basic amount of respect… to simply matter. Not matter more. Not get any unfair advantages. Not be richer, smarter, or more powerful. Matter. What’s so hard about that concept? What are you afraid of? Instead it gets met with All Lives Matter. A noble idea, if it were true. The irony is that is exactly what Black Lives Matter is fighting for- all lives. But in order for ALM to be true, BLM has to be true (according to Einstein). Why can’t you say BLM without cringing or deflecting? If you struggle to say BLM, ALM is not true. Since when does 1+0=2?? I’ll give it to you if you give it to me. That’s equality. But I get the sense that BLM is not in your vocabulary. It’s not in you to make the effort to understand the voice of a people asking to matter. Not asking for help. Not looking for revenge (cuz lord knows). Not looking for you to feel any less about yourself. To matter.
For your reasoning to reside in black-on-black crime is misdirection at its finest. Black on black crime doesn’t justify police murder. Does a woman in an abusive relationship deserve to be hit? Did she approach the guy at the bar with the most rapey look and invite domestic violence back to her place? Its easy to say she should get out, when you haven’t taken the time to understand that there may be no way out- that she might literally die trying. Similarly, Black people didn’t ask to be disenfranchised. And we damn sure didn’t ask to be criminalized. “Hey, uh, I’ll have an order of Jim Crow. Oh, and could you throw in an extra side of segregation with some Redlining sauce? Thanks.” Metaphors aside, you act as if crime is exclusive to Black people. Like we have a patent on violence and are suing police for infringement. Like Dylan Roof didn’t happen. Like the Holocaust didn’t happen. Like Columbine didn’t happen. Like this country didn’t happen. Like Brock Turner isn’t happening… right… now. Like how 85% of white people are murdered by white people. Like how in recent years (or throughout all of history) White people’s death toll dwarfs any other group on the planet. Furthermore, your handy [crime] percentages are lopsided when you factor in the rate at which Black people are convicted compared to White people. You have the luxury of #crimingwhilewhite. You get away with more, if you’re even questioned at all.
Let’s be clear: Black people don’t condone this type of violence either. The 6 corporations controlling our media who also invest in private prisons certainly do. All you’ve proven with your off-topic stats is that crime happens, and it happens where it’s convenient. It happens more in areas where poverty is concentrated, and concentrated poverty is no accident (neither was slavery). What you forgot to consider is who faces a consequence for their actions and who doesn’t. So please, put down your eighth edition of Black People for Dummies. Just because you don’t hear about the work being done to improve our communities like CSA farming, restorative justice, and the countless after school programs making up for… school, doesn’t mean it isn’t happening. It doesn’t mean that we’re not testing into every Ivy League school. It doesn’t mean we aren’t CEOs, educators, soldiers, engineers, nurses and Presidents. It just means the media left that part out and you didn’t bother to find out for yourself. Because it doesn’t matter.
What we’re actually talking about is people being paid to protect our communities- seemingly. Instead they’ve been given a license to kill, a pass to stop and frisk, and the right to harass for a reason to be made up later…
What will it take for you to see what’s happening? Because it’s happening. It could happen to you. But it probably won’t. So then the real question- Why AREN’T you outraged? Why aren’t you outraged by cops lying on police reports? Why aren’t you outraged about them singling out one particular group? Why aren’t you outraged about them shooting people who don’t deserve to die? Perhaps you feel like they deserve to die. I’m guessing you don’t. I’m guessing that’s not what was fed at the dinner table. But why are you justifying it? Why doesn’t it matter?