Trayvon and Black on Black Violence

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Ohg Rea Tone is all or nothing. He is educated and opinionated, more clever than smart, sarcastic and forthright. He writes intuitively - often disregarding rules of composition. Comment on his posts - he will likely respond with characteristic humor or genuine empathy. He is the real-deal.

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Trayvon and Black on Black Violence

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NOTE TO READERS:  This post originally contained a racist cartoon image at the top right.  Some found it offensive and we agreed.  We removed the image and apologize for any hurt.  The new picture is of HELL – which is where I am going if I don’t change my ways.

I have a facebook friend, black, and a generation younger than me.  He posted the following commentary on his facebook page yesterday.  Eloquently written in the familiar cultural language of Rap – the larger issue of violent death of young black men in America is presented as much more relevant than a single white on black death.

Enjoy:

O.K. . . . .
Let me start by saying that I both empathize and sympathize with the Martin family for this tragic loss.
Having said that. . . . I’m about to speak frankly. (sorry,mom) –
Y’all kill me with this BULLSHIT.
Why is THIS such a nationally recognized incident?
No.
Nevermind.
I’ll tell you why. . . . Because the young man died at the hands of a person outside of his race.
Really?
No, really ?!?!
Again, I am in no way trivializing Trayvons’ death – however, black folks die by the THOUSANDS every year.
EVERY YEAR!
What’s wrong with you motha fuckas?
Niggas can die as long as it’s niggas killin ’em?
But, soon as somebody else steps in and does the job for us, it’s a prollem. . ?
Why don’t we get this fired up at the young black people that die every day involved in this gang bang shit?
Why do we not get this fired up by these nuttin ass musicians that kill the innocence of our children with EVERY SONG we play on the radio?
What of the tobacco companies that put “guns” in the hands of our youngsters every day, encouraging them to play the proverbial game of russian roulette?
You ignorant motha fuckas got your priorities ALL fucked up.

Every day, our daughters learn that they are naught else but bitches and ho’s and that their worth is determined SOLELY by how fat their ass is and how hard they “shake it” in the club. . . .Our young men are pussies because they don’t carry AP 10’s and all manner of assault weapons; their manhood determined by the number of bullet holes they sport, how well they fight, the number of years they’ve spent incarcerated or how easily they can take the life of a nigga “eyeballin” ’em.
The part that’s really disturbing to me is that these stupid motha fuckas don’t realize that we did this to OURSELVES.
Nobody glorifies murder, promotes death or personifies mayhem better than we do.
N O B O D Y ! ! ! !
Matter of fact, the nigga that rap about killin the most niggas and fuckin the most bitches is our spokesperson.
I’ll bet you this: I’ll bet none of you black people watch your back at a white club like you do while you at a black club.
I know. . . I been there with you and/or heard you say it.
Why is that?
I know in St Joe and Kansas City everybody always sayin that aint no place for black folks to go – because black folks don’t know how t act.
I ain’t makin that shit up – that’s a direct quote out of the mouths of a GANG of y’all still in the Mo.
Again, your ignorance astonishes me, black people.
Miss me with that “justice for Trayvon” shit till you silly bitches recognize, promote and perpetuate justice for ALL black people. And remember this, stupid; it aint the white (mexican) man we should fear;
They’re not the ones killin us off at an astonishing rate every day.
#realtalk

Following are the comments posted, Respondent One:

I feel that shit fam! My only beef with that situation is that regardless of color that was a child. No reason any grown ass man should need a gun for a child and if you that Damn soft you shouldn’t be neighborhood watch. My beef is the system failing our kids. I almost lost my daughter. Had I went to work I would be putting here in the grave this week and social services says there is.nothin they can do. Now as a dad, a father a real father, not no weekend warrior, sum.other Kat raising my kids as nothing chump, but as a man that takes care and CLAIMS every single one of my kids I understand. Now grown ass mean wanting to be in.the game and all that, your retarded ass gets no love from me. But these kids, they have NOTHING! Most do have a dad, some.got worthless.moms, many have both and the system isn’t but a mouth piece. That’s real talk. I could say more but that’s for another time. Only race issue I see is black people its time we get our shit together.4 hours ago ·

Author’s response:

Thank you both for the like and the comment. Just read the post and it’s a little more harsh than I intended.
The reality is, though, that I’m sick of my people blaming the white man (or whatever nationality) for OUR problems. We all sit quietly by and let shit happen, go to the funerals and mourn the passing of our “homies” or children or other loved with the appropriate amount of tears an “why’s” and “they were such a good person’s” and so on.
But not ONE black person is promoting healthy living to prevent our younger generations from suffering heart disease or high blood pressure. We encourage our young daughters (at 1 -3 years of age) to dance to the nonsense that passes formusic these days. The young men are taught to fight and not be “punks” instead of encouraged to study. It’s a vicious cycle. And until we realize and UNDERSTAND that we did it to ourselves and that ONLY we can change it, ain’t shit gon change for us.
Maybe put on some Al Green instead of that non singin ass Drake. Groove on some Jill Scott to get our womens’ worth back on kilter. (No, she ain’t the thinnest of women, but she IS a sexy ass woman.
See what happens when we promote positive instead of always glorifying the negative.
Oh, and here’s a hint, black people – education starts at HOME!

Respondent One:

Ah yeah Fam, we on the same page. I’m.just so fired up about this shit with my daughter. System isn’t good for shit for real. I’m sorry to all the family service workers out there but its the truth and you know it

Author response:

Right on, cuzn. Again, I am not at all minimalizing the fate of the young man. I’m not the father who was there every day of my childrens’ lives. But I can promise you all that, had this happened to one of my children, I WOULD be seeking retribution. My only point in this whole matter is that what this man did to the young brotha is the same shit we do to one another EVERY DAY and ain’t none of us hollerin’ about that. I sincerely hope that the harshest of judgements is meted out to the coward that shot Trayvon. Sincerely.
I only also hope that we will soon scream as loud when one of us kills our own.

Respondent One:

Amen. That whole stand your ground law…. As i think one this whoever voted for that shit has got to be the….. Can’t even think of a word good enough…. Ya know

Respondent Two:

herb you know me brother the thought of death dont bother me one way or the other but when its a child it gets my fuckin blood boilen and what ever they can come up with for that sonofabitch isnt good enough for me

Respondent Three:

Right on Herb. Funny thing is, I have busted my ass to break these generational curses with my own children. All three of them. Had to do it as a single mother, but they were raised with all of the values above. Now my two grown ass kids are on their own and for the most part I can say I am proud of them. All children need to find their own way, but I can only pray all the harsh ways I brought them up will prevail in the end. As far as comparing the Treyvon case to black on black crime, my personal feelings are as such: It is and always will be a tragedy for any senseless act of violence by any race. I think the reason there is more of a reaction is in our society we all know, BLACK AND WHITE FOLKS, that if this was a black neighborhood watch man who shot a WHITE teenager (let add extras for comparisons sake drunk, loud, confronting, trouble maker, etc) that BLACK MAN WOULD BE BEHIND BARS THAT NIGHT even if he fled because AMERICA would be looking for him to bring to justice. Another point of view I feel is to blame for our uprising is when it is outside of our own race we all feel the HOW DARE YOU INTERNAL PRIVILEGE WE ALL HAVE BEEN PROGRAMMED SUBCONSCIENCELY TO FEEL. When I was growing up I was told, If one of y’all come home crying, you ALL better come home crying. You are family and you stick up for one another. You kids are probably going to be one of the only few blacks in your classes, so if you see any shit with any of the other black children, Y’ALL STICK TOGETHER because whatever they (white kids/folks) will say and do to one, they will do to you ALL.” It is a sense that when there is an infraction outside of our race, we are all to ban together, however as you so eloquently stated, we were never taught how to react or what was acceptable within our own “FAMILY”….49 minutes ago

We at thefiresidepost.com find the expression of grief and sadness is tempered with reason and hope.   Please respond to this dialogue if you have any opinion.

 

There Are 2 Responses So Far. »

  1. You speak as if you have absolutely no understanding of the history of the U.S. as it pertains to the treatment of African-Americans.

    Do you not understand that there has been a systematic devaluation of african-american life since our time here? Are you familiar with Jm Crow?
    Are you even familiar with racism now within the workplace?
    Are you familiar with the underfunding of schools in poor areas of minorities? The lack of quality teachers? The lack of after-school programs that gave kids a place to go and stay out of trouble?
    Are you familiar with the statistics that black kids are more likely to be suspended for infractions in school that go unpunished when done by white kids?
    Are you familiar with NYPD’s unlawful stop n’ frisk policy?
    Are you familiar with any unarmed white folk that have been shot by police?
    Are you familiar with unarmed black folk that have been shot by police?
    Do you understand how drugs were introduced to the black communities?
    Do you understand why there are guns in the black community?
    Are you familiar with the treatment of black folk during Katrina? Was that their fault as well?
    Are you knowledgeable of the fact that there are more black folk in prison now than were enslaved in 1850?
    Have you well-read in books on the struggle of African-americans? For example, The Mis-education of the Negro, the autobiographies of Malcolm X, Martin Luther King, Booker T. Washington, Frederick Douglass, etc.
    Are you familiar with how African-Americans were taken advantage of during the housing burst and subsequent collapse?
    Are you familiar with the current unemployment rate for African-Americans – how it’s near record levels and nearly double to rate of whites?
    Are you familiar with the disproportionate amount of negative media coverage African-americans receive in the news?

    In a vacuum, ignorant of all of the historical context, it’s very easy to take the stand you’ve taken. It’s a stand that many people – mostly non-blacks unaware of our history- take. I suggest you educate yourself completely on African-american history- even if it’s mostly recent history like I’ve listed above, then take your stance. If you are knowledgable on all of our history, maybe use your very eloquent and expressive voice to educate those that you condescendingly attack. Perhaps they don’t know their history as well.

  2. To both Gary Clark and son,
    I would like to extend a sincere thank you for allowing me the opportunity to air my opinions in such a public forum.
    I am a lover of dialogue and conversation and am painfully aware that these are all but lost arts in todays’ society.
    My response here is not in anger. There is no malice. Only a desire to share my point, express my thoughts and, yes, hopefully, learn in the process.

    To Rob,

    I would like first to say thank you for your response to this post.

    I promise you, sir, that I DO have a clear understanding of the “history of the U.S. as it pertains to the treatment of African-Americans.” And would even go so far as to say that, being of mixed heritage, I probably have a clearer understanding than most as I get to see the situation from both sides of the fence. Kind of.
    I have been the victim of racial profiling on many occassions. I have been pulled over for driving-while-black. I have been followed through stores (retail and grocery). I have been suspended from school for bogus reasons. (My mother can attest to that.)
    I understand that racism exists.
    I understand that a number of police and a great number of people in any position of power will hide their thinly veiled contempt of certain groups of people behind their “shields”, will committ treachorous crimes and will, at every turn, be justified in them.
    I assure you, sir, that I am NOT, as you stated “living in a vacuum,” devoid of historical context.

    Do I not understand that “there has been a systematic devaluation of african-american life since our time here?”
    Of COURSE I’m aware; I’m BLACK!
    I take issue with this fact only because the devaluation of our lives began with the slave owners and has been TAKEN OVER BY US! ! ! !
    No one wants admit that, though.
    No one wants to accept the fact that for every black person that is shot/killed/beaten by law enforcement or someone outside of our race, 10 times that number of black people are killed at the hands of their NEIGHBORS.

    Am I familiar with racism in the workplace? Yes.
    I have no doubt that there are and have been qualified black people passed over at raise/promotion time due only to the color of their skin.
    I also have no doubt that there are black people who do not get hired for certain jobs or get the raise/promotion because they are simply NOT QUALIFIED.
    I cannot say that I have ever been kept from a job because of my race, so I cannot speak of personal infringement.
    I can, however, say that, being witness first-hand to interviews and watching young black people fill out job applications, I don’t think racism is as big an issue as we would like to make it.
    As a business owner, I don’t want to be represented by the saggin pants, slang talkin individual. I want a person who can read, process and pass on the information given to them to best do the job I have hired them for.

    Am I familiar with the underfunding of schools in poor areas of minorites? Lack of quality teachers? Lack of after-school programs that give children a place to go and stay out of trouble?
    Yes, sir, I am. My grade school (Everett Elementary – 14th & Olive, St. Joseph) was closed in my 6th grade (my younger brothers’ 4th grade) year. The reason given by the school was something akin to lack of funding. The REAL reason (as so eloquently and rightfully stated by my WHITE mother) – “Too many black folks here.”
    This, Rob, is a very REAL problem. No question.
    But where are WE at? Where are the black people DEMANDING that they get the same funding as “white” schools? Where are the (not only) quality, but black teachers? Where are the black people writing petitions, and picketing or whatever needs to be done to get these after school programs back in the schools?
    I’ll tell you where they are –
    THEY’RE AT HOME YELLING AT THE T.V. ABOUT HOW UNFAIR THE SYSTEM IS AND HOW WE ARE ENTITLED TO THESE PROGRAMS.
    We (black people) haven’t yet figured out that this is not, in fact, how it works.
    We want all the benefits of these programs and funding and teachers but are unwilling to go GET them.
    Instead, we write to Al Sharpton and others like him, hoping that THEY will get something done for us.
    How can all of us expect to be treated fairly if NONE of us will take a pro-active stance in gaining that fair treatment?

    Do I understand how drugs were introduced into the black communities?
    Let me answer that question with a question:
    Can you tell me why they are STILL here and more prevelent than ever?
    This goes to my last point – Everything that happens to black people in current times is “racism.”
    Each and every one of our problems was somehow initiated by the white man.
    O.K. Let’s say I concede that point.
    Even so, it is NOT the white man who perpetuates and exponentially grows the problems in OUR communities.
    We complain that the white man introduced drugs into our neighborhoods. That’s a fact.
    However, it’s NOT the white man who buys and sells these drugs to/from our parents/children/peers – WE do that to ourselves.
    PERIOD.
    WE can’t blame “the man” for that.

    Katrina . . . . . . ?
    Messed up.
    Terrible treatment of ALL the victims (not just black) and was not handled AT ALL the way it should have been.
    But, again, I MUST ask – where were the black people?
    Aside from a few celebrities screaming about how America doesn’t care about us and how effed up the situation was being handled, where were we?
    Same place we always are – sittin back screaming about how unfair the system is to us.
    Not one black person stepped up to actively help the victims. The monies donated TO our people during this tragedy FROM our people was nowhere near what it should have been.
    Again, a gross mis-carriage of “justice.”
    And, AGAIN, us waiting for “them” to handle it.

    I don’t know about you, but I cannot see the benefit of investing a million dollars in a man knowing full well that all he intends to do with that money is gamble, drink and elicit sexual favors.
    That, Rob, is bad business.

    As far as the last sentence of your response goes, Rob –
    I am educated. Both current and past histories. I know where I (we) come from.
    I know that there have been countless struggles in our past to get us even as far as we’ve come to date.
    If my tone is condescending, I apologize. I am better than NO man.
    I am, however, a man who deals strictly in reality.
    Tragically and most unfortunately, the reality of us is this:

    We say that the white man is the cause of all of our problems.
    He won’t hire us.
    He won’t pay us what we’re worth.
    He won’t give us the proper education needed to be a viable force in the work place.
    He won’t provide a place for my child to go after school. . . . .
    We do all of this screaming, crying and complaining and then wait for that same white man to FIX the problem.

    ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ?

    A wise person once stated:

    “keep doing what you’re doing, keep getting what you’re getting.”

    If we all of the time only complain about the injustices perpetrated against us and continue to sit back and wait for someone else to fix the problem, we’re never going to rise to our true and intended stature.

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