Demonstrations within the Black/African American Community
May 25, 2020, was the tragic death of George Floyd after a Minneapolis policeman kneeled on his neck and back while detaining him. July 17, 2014, was the tragic death of New Yorker Eric Garner after he was being arrested by the police, choked to death in a headlock. November 22, 2014, was the tragic end of 12-year-old Tamir Rice after he was playing in the park with his “lifelike” airsoft-style gun and was fatally shot by the police. August 9, 2014, was the tragic death of Micheal Brown after being fatally shot by the police in Ferguson, Missouri. Travon Martin in 2012, Kimani Gray in 2013, Ousmane Zongo in 2003, Ramarley Graham in 2012, James Brissette in 2005, Malcolm Ferguson in 2000, Rekia Boyd in 2012, Tyisha Miller in 1998, Dakota Bright in 2012. Are you asking yourself, when do the names stop? When does this list end? I ask the same thing. I questioned why there even is a list. Thousands of African American people murdered by the police nationwide. Thousands of people murdered by the people sworn in to protect us and serve us. With the numbers presented and the events that take place, this list will never end. The list is in every white racist hand. The list has your name on it; it has my name on it; it has George Floyd's name on it. This list is real, and it bestows us with a target. Blacks have a target on their backs like a video game, and White racist goal is to kill as many off their list as possible. “NEW HIGH SCORE” is what they love to hear. “NEW HIGH SCORE” is a nightmare for us, we hear that, and we toss and turn, we can't sleep, we see mothers crying, we hear grown men beg and plead for the ability to breathe. “NEW HIGH SCORE” and we riot. Riot? Yes, we riot because that solves everything. As soon as we riot, nothing hurts us anymore. The crying of the mother is silenced; the pain that George Floyd felt not being able to breathe is gone; the police officer did not reach his high score. Wait, it is gone, right? No, not the family-owned business you burnt down, the pain. No, not the Target store you looted, the suffering. No, not the damage black-owned property, the oppression. Wait, wait, wait, let me get this right; we looted and rioted, but we still are dying. I’m just confused now. Rioting can be defined as the violent disturbance of the peace by a crowd. So, I guess we can use this method to disturb a mother's grieving period. Actually no. No, we cannot use this method to try to solve a bigger problem in this country that has been going on for hundreds of years. Let’s do the math, 400 years of slavery in this country plus about another 100 years of segregation and all years of oppression being solved and fixed with five years of rioting. Or ten years of rioting, maybe 15. How valid would this short term or interim solution be in changing the thoughts and laws of government officials and the justice system? Let's look at the effect of rioting in history—the H St. riots. I’ve talked to my mother who works on H St., I’ve spoken to my aunt, who grew up on H St., and I’ve expressed to my grandfather, who was alive when the H St. riots happened. H St. being a historical staple in the Black community, there were a lot of family-owned and black businesses that were developed down H St. The story goes that the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. ignited the riots. They were troubled and angry that a historical figure of his caliber could just leave them without justice being served. They decided to take justice into their own hands and destroy the community: the wrong community. They tore their own house down and had nowhere to lay their head. They burned down their stores and had nowhere to shop. Productive much? Let's give you an example, you’ve been living on the street for 20 years, and you always go to Mr. Joe's stores on the corner for all your needs. You decided to riot, and Mr. Joe's store is now gone. He was barely meeting needs, and he doesn’t have the money to rebuild. First, how is it fair that he now must suffer at the hands of your violent disturbances. Second, does this not give a chance for the “white man” to come in and buy that property from Mr. Joe and develop his store. The man you were rioting against is the same person you are now buying from or paying rent to. What if that same white man is putting up overpriced apartments that you can’t afford and starting a form indirect of gentrification. Make sense now? No, okay, think about the Baltimore riot and how that affected the community. Over 450 arrests, two people shot, one fire victim in critical condition during the violent protest.How does this keep a mother from crying about her child being killed? How does this form of protest establish a law or change a law? This only gives racist and fascist groups the fuel to initiate more narratives and dominant stories that have been developed throughout years of oppression. They look at blacks as animals and creatures among the sophisticated . They put us in “Coolest monkey in the jungle” sweatshirts. They hunt us down with shotguns as we’re exercising like we're animals trying to get away from danger. The only risk in that situation is the danger of you killing me. I’m not going to give you any fuel to call me an untamed, no home training animal or wildebeest. I can assure you Wakiesha Madeline Jefferson never raised me to be an animal. I didn’t step on furniture and tried not to break anything, and I didn't talk back. Many households were raised like me, and their mother most likely wouldn't wish for her children to destroy his or her neighborhood. Violent protests have underlying issues with the solutions––Issues that feed to a more significant issue. Problems after problems after problems, just a never-ending cycle until everyone is delivered to their god. An eye for an eye would make the world blind. Solutions you might ask, I can tell you it's not a violent revolt or protest, but it's a peaceful protest. I don’t mean the traditional marches on Washington, and sign on a pole, but I’m proposing we become intelligent. Intelligent and educated. Intelligent, educated, and bosses. Holding positions of power like political offices, business owners, organization leaders, and productive American citizens. After a killing, we should not dance around in the streets with torches and bricks thrown in the windows. Let God forbid, but if someone racist kills me, I don’t want people storming the streets. I don't want people looting for their benefit. I don’t want them killed either, because that's the easy way out. I want everyone to pray for them. I want them to be prayed for and Hope they can’t sleep at night. They turn and toss in their bed, not being able to get comfortable just because the guilt is eating at their soul. Self-torture is the worst form of torture that cannot compare to anything I can ever give to him. They became miserable and couldn't look their wives in the eye. Their children cannot view them in the eyes because of how disappointed they are with their father or mother. Human guilt will haunt someone worse than anything we could ever do. If they go to sleep without being bothered and sleep like a baby at night, well, let's say they are psychotic. They are considered a psychopath, and we do not entertain psychopaths. They belong in straitjackets, within a padded room. I will not treat someone that cannot fully understand what they have done. We shall not entertain someone that does not fully understand the consequences of their behavior. It will be like talking to a brick wall. Why keep repeating yourself, why keep trying to explain yourself? I proposed this to some fellow citizens of my generation, and the idea was immediately shut down. I was perplexed. I got feedback stating and I quote, “We can’t do that … If we could, we would.” Furthermore, they explained I was “ignorant and dumb” because this being self-defense deceive for people that don't have any more factual evidence; they will insult you. I was told with this view I was optimistic. I’m confident if you only defined it as satisfied about the future, but I’m not hopeful that things will change without any actions from anyone. I was told that I seemed “like the type to not fight for what I want” because I won’t act violently. That’s a different one. I never heard that before, and I wonder why. I might think I was never asked that because it is wildly inaccurate. That statement coming from a person they have only seen the surface of your personality is a wild hypothesis. Assumptions are more of what it is because they used the word seem. It seems to mean I’m not sure, but I'm sure you're not going to fight. I will fight. I will fight against systematic oppression and deliberate racist, just not with riots and violence. What we as a collective must understand is that us fighting by fighting is not the answer. A riot is the language of the unheard. How can they hear our message specifically if you blur it with a different language other than English? Talk to each other in English, express our thoughts with words, and develop our ideas with a pen and a piece of paper. You cannot change anything with that kind of behavior. You have never seen a law passed because of a riot. Need a prime explanation of how this form of intelligence works? President Obama had to use his knowledge in order to make a change. He didn’t burn down housing; he built them up. He didn’t loot Target stores for his gain; he made jobs. I fully don't understand how people can see the right way to do something or another more productive way and be as crazy as to repeat events that don't work. Well, I guess that is how the saying works. “History repeats itself.” Why does it have too? Why are we allowing it too? Yes, it would be challenging to change this effect, and there are so many steps to do this. Just because something is complicated, confusing, or hard doesn’t mean don’t it. Just because something takes a long time doesn’t mean don’t start it. If our parents and grandparents began this long process in their days, our lives would be better now. I know that things might not get better for me instantly, but I am positive that I want my children to live in a better world than I did. I’m starting this long process, and we are starting this long process, the world should be starting a long process, the process of not letting history repeat itself. We shall outsmart them at their own game. I walk into a room, and a white man is disgusted and bothered by my existence. I ask why because you hate that I’m intelligent. You don't like how my melanated skin protects me from the sun. You don't want my hair because the texture protects me from lice. I was made this way, and I can’t help it if I’m black and blessed. You know how I and my people are going to make you upset and hate me. Okay, stay right here miserable, and I will come back with my master's in athletic training and become your son's football team, athletic trainer. So, when you need help with his injury, I hope I make you mad that I know how to help your son, and you don’t. Misery loves company, let's not allow a set of miserable people to make us sad. I leave you with the ability to think about this and fully understand the consequences of our actions. I leave you with the words that should change the atmosphere of this entire set of protests. I leave you with love and peace.