When a people mourn – a time to be heard
SUSAN K. SMITH | 10/31/2016, 6 p.m.
Crazy Faith Ministries
It has been rough these last few weeks for African Americans.
In Columbus, Ohio, a 13-year old boy, allegedly involved in an armed robbery but found to be carrying a BB gun, was shot and killed by police. Last week, a man whose car broke down and who looked to be following orders of police who came upon him, walking with his hands up, was shot dead by police. And then, the day after, yet another man was shot and killed by police.
All three victims were African American. Two of the three officers who fired the fatal shots were White – one, a White female. The 13-year old, Tyre King, and the Oklahoma man whose car broke down, Terence Crutcher, were unarmed, BB gun notwithstanding. As of this writing, it is unclear if the third victim, Keith Lamont Scott, was armed or not.
What is clear, however, is that this nation, or at least a sizeable portion of this nation, is in mourning – painful, anguished mourning. Ironically happening at the same time as the historic National African American Museum is opening, African Americans are coming face to face with the type of pain and feelings of hopelessness that Black people in our history had to have felt as they pushed against the evil called White supremacy.
While White news reporters, some of them, seem confused and troubled by “the violence,” the anguish of some is exacerbated, as it appears that many of them do not have a clue as to why African Americans are hurting and how deep is their pain. There are politicians saying insensitive bordering on asinine things in talking about the outbreak of violence in Charlotte, like the GOP candidate saying that the solution to this kind of violence is “stop and frisk” policies in African American communities, and saying that the violence is “because of drugs,” and North Carolina Congressman Robert Pittenger saying that Blacks are protesting because “they hate White people.” He said, “The grievance in their mind is … the animus, the anger – they hate White people because White people are successful and they’re not.”
The insensitivity and the ignorance is of behemoth proportions. Trump feeds into the widespread fear, racism and bigotry of much of America, as does Pittenger, and the media does little to correct the ongoing prevailing belief among too many Americans – White and Black – that Black people complain too much and that of which they complain, they ought not to.
They believe that racism is a thing of the past and that Black people should just get over it and not talk about it.
They haven’t caught on that silence about racism, and denial of its existence, is what has fed much of the hatred that the GOP candidate for president is feeding Americans. They refuse to believe that the experiences of African Americans are real, that it has caused serious emotional and spiritual trauma and that the lives of African Americans are fraught with the effort to tread the waters of White supremacy, which have a dangerous undertow. They shake their heads and blame African Americans for their own pain, like a rapist blames his victim, insisting that, “She wanted it.”