"We didn't address the problems when they were only issues of morality and justice. Maybe we'll address them now that they've become issues of self-preservation."

The Discounting of African American Humanity

June 22nd, 2015

These are times of confusion, misunderstanding and worse a time of constant violence.  The consecutive blood letting has hit many places in this world.  The outrageous slaughter in the middle east has connected to the kidnapping of innocent young African females along with the thousands of children, youth and families fleeing the rages of brutality internationally.  Some blame religion, race, class and gender as the variables of reasons.  The African American community has found recent years filled with amazingly disproportion of internal and external forces violently oppressing its members daily.  The politics of blame have emerged in the latest carnage in South Carolina.  The gun movement has found itself both offensively explaining its position and defensively repelling any suggestions of cause and effect with its prize jewel of gun ownership.  This essay is not about second amendments rights or any weapon discussion.  The young assassin who shot, killed nine innocent people did use a firearm.  The rhetorical theme is the not about guns.  Hardly, America gun movement is a well rehearsed machine with all sorts of excuses, defenses some that are sensible and some outrageous claims like arm everyone in church with guns to prevent such outcomes as the recent church shooting.  No, not even going there, nope not my theme today.  This is bifocal about American society failure to see the humanity of the African American society and worse, the evilness, hateful half century of having to continue to hate an entire people, race to the point of shameless denial into the 21st Century.

I agree that the gun is moot point  because I can remember all to well the last century with the shameful, ugliness of brutality hurled against the 16TH Street Baptist church in Birmingham, Alabama.  September 23, 1963 was the horrendous bombing, using 15 sticks of dynamite to bomb the Sunday services killing four young girls, leaving the fifth young girl blind forever.  That is the mindset, the racial hatred that is not addressed by our society.  Take away guns, the haters will use other means to brutalize those they hate.  This is where all leaders in world, American society must take a moral stand.  Indeed, a stand that says innocent people regardless of their gender, race or religion should not become part of this violence.  The cease and desist must come from all sorts of human beings even those who have difference of opinions.  The debate of this young man mental state is real.  It is understandable that his mental state demands review.  It is just that the actual mental state of this society that has allowed consistently allowed rigged decisions, lopsided, shakey justitications for killing unarmed civilians including the feeble excuses for consistently denying black folks their humanity in this scheme of killing unarmed civilians.

Suddenly, the whole court system with weak, poor excuses of both prosecutors and some judges manage to offer such feeble nonsense rationalization for their poor professional showings.  A judge who admonishes the public to remember the killers family is struggling with his deeds.  This unprofessional insensitive jurist paints a concerned consideration for the killer’s family as the victims families are declaring their strong moral point of forgiveness in the court days after the massacre.  Consider that even when police, or white assassins are challenging society that  many media stars, lopsided political media networks are spinning the story.  Images of a young blond killer is presented as the boy next door as if Norman Rockwell is painting a portrait of ‘Innocence Loss” in the strings of consistent death of black men.  A big city police commissioner has the audacity to declare the negative aspects of being a black male in America.  Refusing to apologize for the live and in color choking to death as the last words of Eric Gardner is actually a depiction of Wild Wild Kingdom urban street style.  Like a pack of hyena’s on the back of a wild caribou the police continued as the poor human being was being choked to death with pleas of can’t breath uttering his last words ever.  Later, the well rehearsed police commissioner offered no humility, no regrets, no shame for his police taking this black man life for selling single cigarettes.  Not marijuana, crack cocaine, or deadly heroin.  Later, the hubris of police union leadership harshly  defended its membership again, without any apology for choking a human being to death for a rolled up cigarette of tobacco.  Not one offer to the family, community of the dead man.  Then the same community of blacks are watching  Trayvon Martin death by an armed private citizen acquitted for again killing an unarmed teenager.  We now learn this is one of the sad reasons the young man executed on sacred church grounds the minister, an 87 years old unarmed woman, along with seven other church goers due to his anger of the murder of teenager Trayvon?  The black president of this nation has hardly ushered in a color blind era.  The discounting of African American humanity is documented with historical moments when a state representative during President Obama state of the union hollers out like an elementary student “Liar’.  The total disrespect is ongoing as is the campaign of violence against black men.

In my native home of Detroit the death of blacks by street conflict is like other urban centers.  Media is touchy how they decide to run with such stories.  The charges of black corruption are constant, crime in segments of the urban underclass is well known,  Is this black pathology?  Perhaps, just human pathology?  When whites are caught in criminal acts the charges are not leveled in the same tenacity, flaming indictments of blacks.  The distressed cities are not just black or are they?  Public schools are falling in many poor communities.  Detroit has the largest black population in a big city in America along with being noted as the poorest city.  Last, NBC Meet The Press shows a bizarre segment in parallel to the South Carolina massacre.  Some compared to what moment of black murderers, mostly teens, sharing their regret over their transgressions.  Was this meant to soothe the nation over the massacre?  It was a poorly executed moment of confusion as to the relevance of  crimes with guns.  No consideration of contributing factors to South Carolina.  No connecting  mental health, hate crimes, white supremacy, related to the shootings just a few young black guys being displayed in reflections about the white young shooter in the recent rampage.  The reality of being cast as the boogeyman in this society is not new.  It is tiring and counterproductive in addressing the more serious challenge of class and race in America.  Discounting the humanity of any group can not address the serious issue of racial divide in an economy that has forsaken the middle and lower class of this nation.  Not speaking about race remains the 300 pound elephant in the room.

Humanizing the South Carolina shooter and dehumanizing the black criminals is not quite the equal treatment called for by many. Equal justice, fair punishment of all transgressions allows American democracy to be more than theory.  Discount no one individually or collectively in these serious times.