An AD report special; thoughts and lessons to peers on Dallas, Philando Castile, and Alton Sterling.
Welcome everybody. Welcome to the AD Report.
I’m going straight to the point with this. I hope by the end of this post, you the reader, can either appreciate, learn, reflect, agree, respect, and/or understand on how I feel or on what's going on upon reading this in full. In addition to that, help me spread this post to others so they too themselves can achieve the goals that I listed above. If you disagree and/or don’t see where I’m coming from then it does not mean you’re necessarily a bad person but just know I’m disappointed in you. No big deal though.
I want to discuss the events that happened the past few days involving the Alton Sterling, Philando Castile, and Dallas PD situations. I don’t need to explain what happened in those incidents because I am positive we all have seen/heard everything that has transpired in those three events. I want to say a few things based on some of the things I have observed. A matter of fact let me air my grievances out with the media.
My frustration with the media outlets
Many of the media pundits over the past few days have been really irresponsible on how the shootings have been discussed and covered. It had even gotten to the point where a lot of the information which was spread throughout during the Dallas shootings was toxically inaccurate. I don’t think people realized how alienated people can get from misinformation coming from the media. In addition to that, I see many reporters, writers, anchors, etc. like Ed Werder and Ric Bucher, who are involved with sports, foolishly tweet out strange nonsense. As someone who is a student of media and production, I’ve been really disappointed with how the media has/always handled events pertaining to police brutality.
The Black Lives Matter vs All Lives Matter debate
I feel like a broken record trying to explain this over and over again. However, noticing that I see people who I know still not understanding what they’re talking about, it has to be said again. The Black Lives Matter movement is not racist, anti-police, or anything along those lines. It is a movement to simply raise awareness and put focus on the fact that black people in many instances and circumstances are neglected. One of the circumstances includes the justice system ranging from the top all the way to its police force (I’ll get into that in a second). To counter BLM with All Lives Matter is rude, inconsiderate, and annoying. I’ll reiterate, BLM does not mean the things I said earlier in addition to black lives only mattering and nothing more. All the movement is designed to do is to ensure equality among one another. People claim that we should use ALM as a means that we’re “one race” or “why can’t every life matter?” I personally roll my eyes towards that. If every life did matter then we wouldn’t be having most of the problems we’re have today. For those who are who are so hell-bent on using ALM instead of BLM, I have two questions for you. 1. What is wrong with a group of people expressing pride, solidarity, and a push for change so that they can get the same type of equality as the next person can get? 2. If you’re all in on ALM, why not use that “movement” (because it seems like it’s only a hashtag at this point and nothing more) to fight alongside BLM so that we black folks can get those same equalities? I wish I could be more in depth on this topic but like I said, I feel like a broken record and it’s becoming draining to explain this over and over again.
“Why does everything have to be about race!?”
Because it is. Racism isn’t just name calling and anyone with at least a high school diploma should probably know this already. Racism comes in different shapes, forms, and sizes. Institutional Racism is the key here. Systematically speaking, white people can’t experience that. So before you go on Facebook and rant about “why does everyone have to make this about race!?” realize that this country throughout its history has had many issues that revolved around racism beyond name calling and such. The deaths of Sandra Bland and Mike Brown have everything to do with racism because of how police officers are trained to handle situations involving us as opposed to others in most cases. When a whole group of people are telling you something is a problem, chances are you should listen instead of trying to be heard first. Don’t excuse it with “the media is brainwashing you”, because if you think that is the case, then you my friend should have several seats and shut up.
Black on black crime and respectability politics
If you’re going to bring up black on black crime, gang violence, or anything of that nature then you need to be out there at gang prevention protest, meetings, and discussions fighting it. Don’t only bring it up when the Tamir Rice incident happens. Also, for the black people who think the solution to a lot of these issues is to respect ourselves first and foremost, you are being very dishonest and clueless. To quote my good friend Marcus, “If someone does not give a damn about you, they aren’t going to care whether you respect yourself or not.” Putting on a suit and tie instead of joggers and a pair of J’s aren’t going to prevent me from getting racially profiled at your local TD Bank. That’s not how it works. Respectability politics are flawed and is considered a farce.
Loving all things that are black but being as quiet as Jerry the Mouse when it’s time to be black.
I have a good amount of friends. Some of them are white. Some of which love things that involve black people. Some love the music, attire, movies, shows, and culture. Some of their favorite entertainers, politicians, and athletes are black. Some have black men or black women as their preference when dating. There are even some white people I know who use “nigga” in their vocabulary (1. This is not okay 2. To my black friends, don’t enable people to say that). This is the part where I call those friends and acquaintances out. There are white people who I only know through social media that I’ve had great talks with on racial issues and everything in between. I don’t even personally know them either and I feel like there has been better dialog with them than with those who I know in real life. Now I know racism and police brutality might be “uncomfortable” to talk about but at some point with the way things are going it needs to be talked about or you need to show that you know what’s going on in the right sense. If I don’t see you showing an ounce of attention, but you’re all over when Travis Scott drops an album or when a movie trailer involving Marvel; Black Panther drops, then I will my distance from you.
Police deaths and riots
When I saw what was going on in Dallas and how someone was shooting at any police officer they/he can find, it was awful. I send out my condolences to the family and friends of those officers. This is obviously not how things should be going down and won’t solve anything ultimately. With that said, this is what happens when frustration hits its peak. People get tired of being unheard through peaceful protest and decide to take matters into their own hands. It’s like riots that happen. Do we really want to start riots in order to spark some sort of change? Not really. However, it’s like when you’re trying to get your younger sibling to share food with you when you’re hungry. You ask politely several times and you get the same result which is no. Then when you decide to pull a prank or fight, most of the time they come into some compromise. Ideally, you would not want to do that but it’s all you can do to get them to change their mind. Look at how the riots in Ferguson happened and all of the sudden people started to listen to the concerns many had. Nobody wants to listen until A. It compromises with their money. B. Somebody gets hurt/things are burning. And please save the “why destroy your own community?” talk. I understand that frustration but remember that those same communities that they live in are already burning in terms of their economics, politics, and education, among other things. Side note; whenever police are being slain or riots are happening where bad people are involved, BLM is not to blame for those incidents and aren’t obligated to apologize for any of those fools.
Conclusion, keep on the faith!
To conclude things, I want to show my appreciation for those who have been in solidarity and shown compassion during times like this. Those that care and take the time to speak out against the injustices that black people and POC face on a daily basis. To the Black Lives Matter movement I salute you for the countless hours of protest, discussions, and educating that has been done to crack the code into making sure change gets done. Black people are some of the bravest, hardworking, creative, benevolent, and optimistic people around. No matter where we’re from or what our ancestry entails. We as young black men and black women must make sure to uplift those around us so that we can tackle things such as institutional racism accurately and efficiently. I believe in the work we can put in to stop it. We have to continue to push forward and make sure what some of the old pioneers did for us does not go in vain.
Also, shout out to those who aren’t black or a POC who stand in solidarity with us too. I appreciate those who do a multitude of things from protesting alongside black people, trying and succeeding to understand both sides of racism in the past and present day, and having positive statuses, posts, and tweets which help advance conversations in which they also check the people they know who have bad takes. Again, thank you for having the basic human decency and being of an assistance. You guys realize that in this world, things are not seen as equal and you guys put forth an effort to help correct it. I see you! Again, I really appreciate that.
It has been a rough week and all I can do is to try my best to educate, uplift, and let people know that I care no matter who it is. To the black men I know, continue to work hard and speak your minds. To the black women I know, continue to stay dope, beautiful, outspoken, and creative. The world wouldn’t be a better place without you guys.
All in all, rest in peace to Philando Castile, Alton Sterling, prayers to their families and friends, and I hope Dallas continues to recover. Stay golden!
Welcome to the AD report.