I know people who know people.
I know people doing a wide variety of different forms of community outreach with organizations as well as on their own accord. I know mentors and teachers, devout activists with their own Not-For-Profits and volunteers. Then there are those who march and protest when the time calls for it and who are active and influential in other areas in between. I also know people who are playing Pokemon. Folks who are on vacation, shopping at Wal-Mart, watching reality TV and folks who post a daily selfie.
ALL of us are hurting for the same reasons. It’s hard to be alive right now and not feel the mental anguish being black in america causes. Like I said, I know people who know people.
There are many forms of activism available at our fingertips. There is no reason that one person should feel like they cannot contribute something in this fight for what I have now dubbed “the right to be human in America.” For every person of color and our allies, there is a way to fight back against this racist and corrupted system. It is up to YOU as an individual to determine what is the best course of action YOU can take. What one person is doing doesn’t equate to what you need to be doing; some folks are better at other stuff. And that’s ok. Other folks are on break. And guess what: That’s fine too. Check out of this thing sometimes. Mental self-care is important and you can’t be of good assistance to anything if you haven’t assured your own well being.
Every time a black life is snuffed out, a march/protest/vigil is almost immediately put in place. Contrary to what some believe, this also happens when the murderer(s) are black, not just when a white person kills a black person. There just isn’t much attention going on in the hood in regards to those who fight the crime irresponsibly known as “black-on-black crime.” #ButIDigress
When people are killed, organizers get to work contacting speakers and performers who will help bring the message home that we will not stand for this treatment in a country we built and pay to be part of. A location, time and date are secured and invites create word of mouth which hopefully draws a heavy crowd in support of black lives. Sometimes it does and sometimes it doesn’t. Before anything else – before the bullhorns come out and the chants and the poetry and Precious Lord songs – the people are there to pay homage to a life gone too soon and there are times when very few show-up. Regardless, some folks are overwhelmed with sadness and sorrow and need to be in the presence of others who feel the same way. They need to walk alongside folks who also wonder what the answer is. They need to be among like-minds. We are starting to feel helpless and these marches reignite the diminishing fire in some of us. There are networking opportunities with a variety of allies. Although police are starting to treat #BLM protests like a terrorist threat (there is also a petition going around to have BLM classified as terrorist.), there is still strength in numbers. Protests and marches aren’t the ‘answer’ to fixing a system built on blood, but they do serve a purpose.
I know people who are playing Pokemon. I’m not one of them but I’ve seen the posts on Facebook. I still don’t quite get it but I think the allure of what it is, is actually drawing more people to the game. I’m personally not interested but I still know plenty of people who are playing it and race nor gender are factors.
But on social media, the trending topic is to take a hotep-status-piss on what other folks are doing. People are not distracted because they are playing Pokemon. They didn’t forget that Alton Sterling had to be buried and that Philando was getting buried the following day. They didn’t fall out of the fight or become useless good and wasted materials because they choose not to be in #BlackLivesMatter mode for 24 straight until change comes. If you are emotionally affected by what is happening to black people and if you are joined in on this fight for our lives, then disconnecting and going to a different headspace doesn’t automatically equal being distracted.
Also, who can tell anyone WHEN change is actually coming????
No damn body knows. When has this country ever love or truly respected black people? It’s always been like this, we are just fucking fed up with it now because it’s happening in our faces. This isn’t the resurfacing of an old practice; this is generations of racism being handed down from parents to children who turn into adults and get jobs as law officials, appoint themselves as watchers of the neighborhood and earn seats in Congress. I bet if I did the research, I could find at least one name for every year from 1930 (random year) until now of a black person killed without legit cause and without justice. Change is something we continue to seek but if we kept it 100 as we say, it’s something that many of us are starting to believe in as much as the Loch Ness Monster. With that said, why can’t a person (a human being) stop for second and reset their brain? Why can’t they tune out of looping videos and the racist online trolls and start watching Love & Hip Hop without being told they are an abomination of the black race? Why can’t I troll B.Scott’s site and see what all is going on in Hollywood to take my mind off of the reality we live in daily?
why can’t people march?
Why can’t they huddle up in front of the statehouse and scream and rally and cry together if that’s what they need right then or feel led to do? Do any of the keyboard pushers know what helplessness feels like? I’m sure you do because we are all being mentally fucked every single day. Justice misses the mark for us time and time again and here we are feeling like there is not enough we can do or say that will change things for all of us. We are explaining #BLM to people who are dead set on seeing it otherwise. And right now, we are all waiting on the next name to get dropped. It’s going to happen again. And with all the recent police killings (another one as of 7/20/16, Kansas City), I bet it’s already happened and just hasn’t made the popular report.
Sometimes this fight calls for you to download a goofy app and play it until your hands bleed. Or participate in organizing a march. Zoning out. Zoning in.
…..organizing what YOU think will work, on your own. Then we will all flock to your mission and help with it. Sticking together is about allowing folks the opportunity to be human – that same thing I said earlier is the fight black people are in (to be recognized as human). In our fight, we have to be careful not to alienate each other with accusations, finger pointing and all the shit that does nothing but create a bigger division. A public, bigger division.
There are 100s of ways to be an activist and if you don’t want to take on that title, there are still ways for you to be of assistance for the greater good of our race of people. Some are small baby steps and fashion statements. You can always do a personal financial boycott. You don’t have to march if you don’t want to but avoid down talking those who do. You may not want to boycott Wal-mart but take the time to find a way to be a valuable contribution to this nationwide cry for help. You don’t have to wait for someone else’s idea to be good in order to execute it. You don’t have to wait for someone to tell you to put your money in an XYZ black bank; just google and research your options and find what’s best for YOU.
There’s a statement in itself:
Research your options and find what’s best for you.
That’s what all of this is about at the end of the day. Finding what’s best for YOU as a way to help us as a community. If you are not good at being in the front speaking to the public, you shouldn’t be up there with the mic. Perhaps your best is marching and chanting. Maybe it’s organizing and planning. Maybe can use your connections and designs to make a statement. If you’re a performer, you can do or create a benefit show w/a true plan on who the money goes to and how to get it to them. The list is endless…..
I have fought the title of an activist for a long time because I feel it comes with so much responsibility and expectation that I don’t know that I always live up to. Beyond that, I just want to fight for what’s RIGHT. And that is still true, but I think that’s what makes me an activist. Yet and still, I am still in the process of finding where I belong in this fight.
I encourage all to do the same. You don’t have to do something because it’s what everyone is doing, but you do need to do something. That is if you believe that black lives matter. And when our ‘somethings’ are different, that doesn’t make either of us better than the other. It means we are working in our respective areas, doing what we do well and making a difference towards the better. That’s what matters. At the end of the day, we are all black-on-black crying together.
This may sound like a fluff blog to some. And who knows, maybe I live in the clouds. I know there are people who ain’t doing SHIT but sitting on their black asses. I don’t pretend they don’t exist, I just don’t put food on their plate. For what? There were plenty of people that did nothing in the sixties. There were plenty of slaves that were content and had made peace with living and dying as a slave. But the job still got done. The slaves still got free, the boycotts worked, as did the unity. A unified front doesn’t mean ALL; it means majority….well at least in my opinion.
I believe we need each other right now and we have too much to lose to …
…actually, make that we have lost too much already to alienate each other or spend time focusing on the folks that don’t want to be involved. Let them be. For those who are taking a break…let them take it. Let them check out. You can sit this one out loves. There are enough of us to keep the momentum going.
For those who are involved and those that want to be, I salute you. Your efforts and your dedication will never get the accolades deserved, but your time and your work will eventually snatch the edges off of the doors that have the audacity to still be closed.