"Why does he have an ice cream sandwich in his pocket," I asked myself.
The kid's shirt should read, "Hands up - don't shoot."
i am a middle-aged white man with two biracial grandsons, 14 and 11, who resemble trayvon martin and michael brown much more than they do ethan couch. as they have grown my fears for their safety have grown as well. my son has had to teach them to be extra-cautious around the predominately white authority figures from teachers and principals to police. he has had to teach them to be meek and submissive in ways he and i have never had to. many, if not most, of my white colleagues at my school seem to believe i am greatly overstating the dangers from authorities my grandsons face in life. if i point to trayvon martin they change the subject to the 2nd amandment and the importance of the "stand your ground" principle. if i point to michael brown they want to talk about pot smoking and shoplifting. if i mention eric garner they say it could have happened to anyone who resisted.
i have spent most of my life since i was capable of rational thought as a proponent of racial harmony and tolerance both by example and in discussion. i regret to say that i am no longer an optimist. indeed, i have almost come to believe that there is no way to generate empathy for african-americans among the majority of the white population of texas. i have come to believe that our long dark history of slavery drove us as a society mad and we have never recovered.
Hey that was a political cartoon from Mad Magazine a few days ago. Less realistic, but the emotions in it are more to the point:
(edited with better link)
I completely empathize with your concern for your grandsons. My two youngest sons were born along the Banks of the Amazon River in Peru. They are of deep copper complexion and even in parts of Peru they faced discrimination for being Indios, for being too dark. They were quite young when I came into their lives, somewhat older by the time I could adopt them and we could come back to the states. They have pride in their roots and we have always had an open conversation about racism and hatred. They are warm and respectful when dealing with people of any race but they question anyone who displays racism either to themselves or others.They are aware that this puts them at risk with certain people and accept it. They view it in the same way they realized the danger of snake bite, Caimans or Piranhas. Life is dangerous, have appropriate concern but live life to the fullest. I fear for them and admire them. As strange as racism is it seems that life is harder for black people than for brown...I cannot tell because I see the world through my white eyes.
It is all the more maddening because when I look at them I simply see two little boys who placed their lives in my care. How could anyone not love these two. Like you I have encountered the haters, Like you I accept the fact that some people seem incapable of open minds. I wish the best for your grandsons and my own sons. Thanks for sharing your story.
Do you work at the NRA or are they just regular Texans?
i do not work for the nra, or ALEC for that matter. i'm a school teacher and the folks i work with are fairly representative of the community if, perhaps, somewhat better educated on average. i think it's that last part which disappoints me the most.
School teachers? Damn, Texas is scary. Good to know there are people like you there as well though.
I've always really liked this painting. The one thing that felt odd to me though is how all of the guys around her have the same sort of stance with their arms. Are they marching? Why are their hands a sort of half fist? It just sort of seems odd, like you might capture that one moment it all lined up on a photo, but why paint it that way?
Oof... yeah. It's hard to live here sometimes. I've retreated deeply into South Austin and still encounter this. What the everloving fuck is wrong with people?
I'm not sure I would want to eat any food served up by that guy behind the counter.
Why is the policeman carrying an AKS-74U? No US government entity would ever be issued or use that gun.
They might. I've seen po-dunk "SWAT" teams where the weapons were private bought by the officers and they had things like Ruger Mini 14s.
But yeah, I guess that would be unlikely.
Try this one on them: John Crawford
Thank you for sharing this. Racism, hate, cruelty are still alive and actively used to divide and conquer.
When a majority of white people in power think and behave like unstable hateful adolescents, it seems that people of color are served with the responsibility to be mature, to de-escalate, to bring more awareness and balance to each situation, all of this while at the mercy of the crazy kids.
The double-speak, hypocricy and cruelty peddled out by U.S. media are staggering. I am grateful for the internet and social media allowing more of us to see what is actually going on and to see the truth and hurt of the ones who are suffering through this.
I truly hope that the intensity of these events will help enough people to wake up so that we can collectively stop the madness.
i appreciate the link to that story. that case is really on point and might even leave a couple of the most extreme nra types at my school who deny any trace of racism gasping for air.
i live in the middle of joe barton country and, yeah, it does get hard to take sometimes. still, i hang in there because i'm an 8th generation native of texas. my ancestors have been dying here since before texas was a state and i refuse to be driven off.