Most people would assume that since I’m a writer, I’m automatically a journalist who just LIVES for reading and watching the news. I remember this one person I met during a business trip kept referring to me as a journalist, and basically cornered me into making small talk about the latest big news in Detroit.
A few things about me:
- I do NOT like discussing news about Detroit with people who are not from Detroit. Especially if they are not from Michigan. Mainly because most of the people I have conversations with have a one-sided perspective based on what they hear/see in the media, which is basically one, big cesspool of political bigotry and propaganda.
- I don’t consider myself to be a journalist. I am a writer – a pretty good one – who happens to possess the basic, fundamental skill sets of a journalist (i.e. fact checking, proofing, editing, transcribing, etc.). There is a difference. I did not study journalism in college; I actually got my degree in marketing (#funfact). However, I’ve been a writer since the first day I learned how to put pencil to paper (#anotherfunfact).
- Anyone who really knows me knows that I dislike reading and watching the news. Not that I don’t enjoy reading – I actually love to read (although I’ve been slipping on my reading list as of late). But more so because the media has an agenda as far as what it chooses to portray to the masses, which is generally crimes, breaking news about Bruce Jenner becoming a grandma, commentary about celebrities at the Met Gala, (Rihanna slayed in that Beauty & the Beast costume, and you will deal), crimes, crimes and more crimes. Generally, crimes committed by the inhabitants of the urban communities. Translation, Black people. Excuse me — “thugs.”
By now, I’m guesstimating that the majority of the people reading this post – roughly 99.5% — possess a general knowledge regarding the Freddie Gray case. If you’re of the .5% who is still unaware, my girl Google will give you all the tea, honey. But to make a long story short, yet another – unarmed – innocent Black man, Freddie Gray, has died at the hands of law enforcement. The incident occurred in Baltimore and has spurred a number of reactions from the Black community – or “thugs,” according to Fox and CNN – ranging from peaceful protesting to rioting. Of course, the media outlets chose to focus on the latter – so much so, that little to nothing was covered on Freddie Gray’s actual death, the police officers who detained him, or even the man’s funeral.
Cue in Marilyn Mosby. The Baltimore State’s Attorney who has been investigating the case independently with her team. MM also happens to be very beautiful, very intelligent and very much Black. She made a statement during a press conference last week, in which criminal charges were brought up against the six police officers that arrested and detained Freddie Gray before his mysterious, untimely death. Of course, the press and police force have been up in arms about MM’s bold move, and now the attorney representing the six police officers has filed a motion for her to rescue, I’m sorry, recuse herself due to “conflicts of interest.” So in other words, Freddie Gray was Black, the prosecuting attorney is Black, and that is utterly and remotely unacceptable. The end.
What really irritates me is how oblivious certain people are – or at least pretend to be – about racial injustice, when it’s constantly being plastered all over the media. And how every national news outlet has to have at least one Black person serving as Devil’s Advocate to make this look like a “moral issue” instead of a “race issue.” Or the fact that the government and media are trying to play the role of the naïve victim who never realized how bad the economic and educational conditions of Baltimore — and every other major urban city in America — were until now.
But what’s even more frustrating is the plethora of ignorant comments I’ve been witnessing regarding this and the numerous other cases of justified injustice against Black people. Comments like “Rioting is not going to bring Freddy Gray back” really grind my gears. Not because I agree with violence, but because: a) no one is actually looking at the REAL issue here, which is that innocent people are continuously being brutalized and killed by the police, hence the rioting AND peaceful protesting (in case y’all forgot); and b) some of the very people gasping and pointing the morality finger at these “thugs” are the same ones breaking windows, blowing up cars and ransacking the streets after their college sports team has either lost or won a game, or just because pumpkins are cool – and potentially flammable. Which also — if my lack of memory serves me correctly — has never turned into a national breaking news alert. But I digress.
I have so much more to say right now, but I’m just gonna wrap this on up before my frustrated fingers catch a case of carpel tunnel.
So here are a few more things I’m going to leave you with before I go pray to my God and do some yoga:
- Racism still exists. And no, the fact that we have a Black president in office does not count. If anything, having a Black president has brought the deep-rooted, prolonged passive-aggressiveness of racism to the forefront. Don’t believe me, read all the racist comments under just about every news story involving the current President and First Lady of the United States of America. Next.
- All police officers aren’t “bad,” and all Black people aren’t “thugs.” Or uneducated. Or ghetto. Or dumb. Or angry. Or savages. Or robbers. Or murderers. Or weak. That is all.
- The phrase “Black Lives Matter” does not mean the lives of all other people don’t. It is a public service announcement to this nation’s corrupt law enforcement and judicial system that continues to blamelessly kill and incarcerate our people that our lives are just as valuable as anyone else’s. So to all the folks pushing these “All Lives Matter” hashtags, remain calm. You’re already covered.
- This land was founded on the bloodshed of its true native people, by the “thugs” who rioted and killed to steal it from them. The same “thugs” who traveled overseas to snatch my African ancestors from their native land, strip them of their names, culture and identity and classify them as property for three centuries. So if this very nation was birthed and built from the plights and oppression of innocent people, what leads us to believe that the spirit of injustice does not exist and will not be justified for the betterment of the privileged? I’ll wait.
In the mean time, I charge all of us to wake up, smell the political and social malarkey, and seek some wisdom. Open up a history book, the Bible, or hit up my girl Google. ‘Cause ignorance is only blissful for the privileged folk who can afford it.