White police officer shoots unarmed black man. What does the media say? ‘Thugs’, ‘criminals’, ‘gang related’.
Black men being stopped and searched. What does the media say? ‘Thugs’, ‘criminals, ‘gang related.’
Asian, Arab and Muslim men being stopped and searched. What does the media say? Terrorist.
White man shoots dead 9 black people. What does the media say? Mental illness.
See the difference?
Why is it that the police and the media are able to paint a story with a different brush? Why are people so blind to what has been happening in what is supposed to be ‘the United States of America?’ United? I think not.
Why are some black people just as blind? It’s like we choose to be blind as we’re told to shy away from talking about racism because it’s ‘too sensitive’. Or it’s because we’re too scared of being seen as the racist instead. I posted the following images on Facebook, in response to the Charleston shootings, and as I expected, people reacted.
One of my black friends sent me a long message expressing how she didn’t like what I posted and why. Now she’s entitled to her opinion as everybody is, but what got to me the most, is how she was so fast to accuse me of ‘attacking white people’. She didn’t even bother to ask me what my intentions were.
Why are we as black people so quick to judge each other, yet when a white person says something we agree instantly? Take this video for example, another black friend posted this and lo and behold, other black facebookers (myself included), posted.
It’s like some of us need a white person to acknowledge the problem before its ok for us to make a racial statement on social media. This time, I didn’t do this. I posted this video a day after telling my audience exactly what I thought about Obama, followed hours later, by those pictures – all to demonstrate the imbalance of the representation and treatment of ‘coloured’ people, compared to Caucasian people. Is this really so bad that I should be accused of attacking?
Let me make this clear, I do not hate white people. I dislike the fact that we are living in a world where a white supremacist system uses the social construct of race to divide us, which is then perpetuated by the police and by the media. I have not heard one news reporter question this. Think about what you see on TV. Sometimes I feel like we’re living in 1984 – and I don’t mean the time era, I mean the novel. For those who aren’t familiar with this dystopian novel, it’s set in a society where freedom does not exist. The political party ‘Big Brother’ controls everything, and I mean everything. Telly screens in the workplace, in public places – even in your own home, watching you like hawks to ensure you turn a blind eye to oppression. Yes the society we live in now isn’t as extreme as this, but it’s not a million miles off.
It has got to a point where we have to ask ourselves why? Why are we living in a society where a system works to divide us based on race? Why is the media perpetuating rather than challenging this? Why does the media choose to label Muslims as terrorists and black people as criminal gang members, yet when a white person commits mass murder the media glosses over it and says ‘mental illness’. Really? Ok. Are we supposed to just sit there and nod in front of the TV box?
It seems there are still some black people within our communities who have the ‘post-slave master syndrome’ and this is why we continue to blame each other or accuse each other of making the issue worse. My friend perceived my actions as ‘adding to the problem’, yet she had no solution to offer apart from calling for ‘black and white people to unify’.
I’m sorry but what? Black people can barely unite with each other let alone with other races, so to say that is just laughable. A lot of us still need to learn to love ourselves first. How can all Americans unite when American society doesn’t even love, respect and most importantly, acknowledge ‘coloured people’? I’ve been told to stop living in the past but why does no-one say this to Holocaust victims, or to British people who continue to commemorate both world wars which may I remind you, broke out because Britain couldn’t keep itself out of political tensions and alliances – hmmm sound familiar today? I bet so.
Yet, when it comes to slavery and colonisation we’re told to forget these historical events. Excuse me? You want us to forget what white supremacy has done to our people? Why? Because there’s no minute silence to encourage us to remember, no national recognition to make us reflect? Because there’s none of that we think it’s ok to tell each other to forget? Or do we want to kid ourselves into thinking that we’re living in a post-racial world? Sorry but this is not a post-racial world we’re living in. We are not accepted in the way we like to think. We wear suits to look ‘presentable’ or put chemicals in our hair and skin to conform to European beauty standards, or we get the highest education possible to prove our intelligence, but this is not enough – the same way Muslims are seen as terrorists regardless of their character.
I was told that by posting those pictures that I’m ‘segregating’. So am I not supposed to say anything and just stay ignorant? I was told that ‘black people need to stop playing the victim’. So, if your family member was gunned down by the police, you’re just going to ignore it and say I’m not playing the victim here? Whether we like it or not we are the victims – victims of a system that refuses to even acknowledge that America was built on the blood of Africans – and not to forget the native Indians who were slaughtered to make way for this.
The black community carries deep and painful wounds only black people can truly understand. Telling me to stay silent is like me putting TCP on my wounds every day – and we know what that feels like. Excruciating . So what will we do? Talk to each other, or let the silence scream louder than our internal pains…
– Eunice –