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Prepare yourself for a rant...

I'm selling my writing and my thoughts short having to leave this to a hastily written blog post. I wish that time allowed for a more focused, elloquant argument instead of the random thoughts and reactions I just feel the desire to put out there. In light of this week's events I've noticed a few things...

Obama said in his speach about how, even though things are difficult and the road is hard, we've still come a long way.  That's not a direct quote, I should mention. I was thnking about it . I remember watching the LA riots as a kid. We've been here before, I realized. It's just a new generation walking this path but did we really get anywhere in those 20 years? Have we really "come a long way." No, I think if anything things have gotten worse, darker. Those LA riots I recall watching as a kid was a product of the same injustice sparked in that  particular case becasue a black man was videotaped being beaten by the police. This is for a young black man being murdered...and hardly the first. Police bruitality (which had become such a norm, I remember the term turning into kind of a joke phrase in 90s comedies) has turned into shoot first, ask questions later.  How is that progress when at this stage the police brutality that once outraged us, is comparitivly getting off easy?

The fires I saw on TV Monday night were the product of too many high profile and too many written off stories of young black men being murdered by a militarized police or authority figures and that authority not being called to pay the consequence for murder. As before, the police either try to cover it up or make escuses and the media falls in line, placing the blame on the victim. "Well if he wasn't doing anything wrong the officer whouldn't have had to stop him," The victim is heald to a higher level of morality. The victim is inevitibly charged with the crime of being black in the wrong time and place. Although the cigar theft should not come into the picture becasue the cop was not aware of it when he confrunted Brown, (despite of how the story was framed by the procecutor in his speach last night) even if you feel, "well he was stealing"  Yes stealing is cigars is a crime but it is not a crime punishable by death now is it?  The punishment does not fit the crime. Even assulting a police officer alone does not carry the death sentance to my knowlsedge. The victim blaming is void of any perspective.

Going back to what has changed in the last 20 years, the image of a police officer has changed to a guy sporting the same weapons of a person fighting in Iraq. Did you see those police tank-like things in the foreground of your TV screen? You give these cops a bunch of nifty toys their trigger fingers get itchy and they are just waiting for an excuse to use them.  Yet at the same time, the way these guys back pedle out of the consequence of using deadly force is to express/confess cry wolf of "I'm such a huge pussy I was terrified for my life." I'm sorry, no. The person with the weaponry has the power. You are the authority figure. You are tasked to maintain your cool. I know it aint an easy job but it's your responsibility to enhance your calm, motherfucker. You can't be the sole gun wearer in the altercation and call yourself the victim in a case where you're the one left alive and your livlihood is to be a representitive for the community/figure of authority etc.

So all that said I watched the riots and I have to say I've reached a turning point in my life. I hate when punk asses hijack the May Day protests to fuck my city up. I've never been proud of what happened at WTO (both the cops side or the people fucking up my city). I've always been for a non-violent way to protest and express dissatisfaction. I'm over it now. I'm not for anarchy but the state of things in this country--the racial tensions, which is an extention of the greater problem, the widdened divide between the rich and the poor, the stagnation of wages, the culture villifying poverty, and the total and utter loss of our democracy--what other way are we going to be heard without fighting back and burning shit down? I'm not advocating violence but I'm just saying. The Occupy movement failed with the exception of changing the dialoge and maybe securing the 2012 election for Obama. This conversation is about poverty as much as it's about race. It's about power and systemic injustice. Black folks have every right to be mad and I am sympathetic. The system is corrupt and there has got to be a change.

Which leads me to my last point...

Sometimes convincing a white person that white privilidge exists is like trying to convince a creationist that evolution exists. Just becasue you don't buy it, or can't understand it doesn't mean it doesn't exist. There's been a lot of conversation on Facebook the last couple of days about white privilidge.  These conversations have stemmed from white people expressing "the anger doesn't justify the rioting" the counter argument being a polite version of" look at the context through their eyes check your privildge" kind of a deal. Then the initial white person gets really defensive. Be it "I'm not a racist" or "I earned what I have" or "I've suffered pregeduice," or even "I'm the most emphathetic person I know, how dare you accuse me of being unable to see other's perspective [therefore white privlidge doesn't exist]" That was a weird one. I get so riled up in these conversations but I've avoided engaging in them. Mostly becasue I just don't have the time. Plus, when people get defensive like that it's really hard to talk to them. It's an ego you have to get past. I want to scream, "dude it's not about you! It has nothing to do with how nice or empathetic or non-racist you try to live your life! The fact that you've benefited from being white is not a consious choice on your behalf, it's a product of an unjust system that is complex and rooted in a long, ugly history and evil third party interests. Settle down! Let go of the ego for a minute to look at the full picture."

On the plus side I watched a person go through the whole spectrum to arrive at the conclusion that wite privlige does indeed exist. In the begining he had never heard of the term and started the conversation on FB victim blaming and even victim blaming the parents on the issue. He got defensive at the suggestion about white privilige. In his case he was gay so he has seen his fair share of descrimination, fair duce, but he had to be convinced that the discrimination is not the same as what black males face daily. He eventually came around to seeing that his opinion was probably driven by his own circomstances in life and that there is an unjust difference between how he experiences the world vs. how black americans do. If nothing else after all my anger and ranting at least that one thing today I saw turned out really positive.

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