Playing the Race Card – A Baltimore Story
As I attempt to begin my day, I am once again broken-hearted to learn that a beaten and broken #FreddyGray has succumbed to the injuries he sustained at the hands of several Baltimore Police officers earlier this week. And in mourning the loss of another unarmed, Black brother in America, I am instantly jarred by the continuous barrage of insensitive, judgmental, racial hate speech littering every timeline of every Social Media platform I can access, and I can only ask God, “When will it end?” There is an alarming pattern of cowardice and blame in the comment sections of the majority of Social Media posts I have seen regarding the senseless slayings of our Black men, women and children at the hands of those sworn to uphold the law and keep the citizens of this Country from harm. It sickens me. One of the most regurgitated statements I have heard is this:
I’m so tired of you people always playing the race card.
There’s literally a dissertation I could construct from this racially intolerant statement, but I would be getting off topic. So personal feelings aside, I’d like to concentrate on the proverbial “Race Card,” and why “you people are always” playing it, especially today, in the case of Mr. Freddy Gray.
According to Wikipedia, Playing the Race Card is an idiomatic phrase that refers to exploitation of either racist or anti-racist attitudes by accusing others of racism. Interestingly enough, when Blacks take pride in their race, it is often viewed as hatred toward every other race. Nothing could be further from the truth. Pride in one’s own race has nothing to do with anyone else and everything to do with self, but often, those accusing Blacks of hatred do so because their own pride has a history of hate, gentrification and enslavement. You will find, too, the ones screaming “Race Card” loudest are often the ones guilty of racism, themselves.
Let’s talk about Baltimore. I’ve seen reference made to some of the more mind-numbingly ridiculous assertions than I care to repeat. But one in particular seems to have risen to the top of the Google Search charts and is being spat into Black faces in an attempt to nullify the race card:
Police kill more Whites than Blacks in this country.
What does this mean? And if true, what changes? Let’s scratch the surface of this little factual gem to put things in proper perspective. How many Whites are there in this country as opposed to Blacks? We could leave this here, but it’s prudent to filter just a bit further. How many UNARMED Blacks have been killed by ARMED White police officers as opposed to UNARMED Whites being killed by ARMED Black police officers? Now go back and reread the statement quoted above. Does it have the same bearing?
While you sit in the comfort of your cozy home in front of your flat screen tv watching only what the media is showing you (not actually caring about all that is going on or even why), at what point did you get pissed off that a 25 y/o man was murdered and heckled while in the custody of the police? Were you pissed off when it was #mikebrown? How about #ericgarner? #ezellford? #dillontaylor? (Sadly, I can do this about 100 more times just from this past January.) I’d venture to say you were not pissed off. Instead, you looked for reasons to justify the slaying of these unarmed Americans just as the media led you to. Even more depressing is the fact that they didn’t have to lead you that far. You still saw Black faces in broken communities with possible priors and said they deserved it.
But even now, in the midst of such atrocity and flagrant oppression, my personal favorite “race card” may be this one:
But Blacks kill more Blacks than cops do.
Sigh. First, Blacks don’t have a sworn duty to protect and serve. Cops do. So comparing the murder of an unarmed Black man or woman (or child) by a police officer to Black-On-Black crime is as ignorant as pardoning priest-pedophilia because nonhispanic White men fondle their kids all the time. Statistical fact. Not a lot of relevance though, is there. Let’s move on.
Remember that? How about the Red Sox win in Boston? Which one? That’s right, there were three separate ocassions with three separate riots, one deadly with some 80,000 active rioters in 2004. However, the news labels White males who riot over nothing as “rambunctious revelers”. But when Blacks (who are usually pushed from protest to violence) riot over the murder of one of their children by a law enforcer, the news labels them as “thugs”, “demons” and “animals”, everything to avoid calling them “niggers” out loud. But there is no need. Facebook and Twitter does it for them. Right there in every comment section of every post about the senseless slaying of #insert unarmed Black man, woman or child here.
If You’re Going To Tell A Story, Tell the Whole Story…
It’s all entertainment anyway, right? Take a look at the two images below currently being circulated by the Associated Press as Black rioters attacking (White) locals:
Now let’s do a little bit of journalistic research — something news reporters used to do way back in the day — and visit the source of each (click to enlarge):
Many Americans know that you can’t believe everything you see on the News, but it seems a large majority would rather believe the propaganda centered around this seemingly new culture of violence. But it ain’t new. Racism is alive and well in this country, and it’s evident in the way the news pumps images of Black violence into your safe homes ensuring you stay glued to the television while spouting ignorant rhetoric on Social Media. Meanwhile, you’re watching commercials every 6 – 10 minutes and encouraging your friends to tune in and hate right along with you. And everyone wins but those being oppressed and exploited through the media. It’s the devil’s work, and we continue to do it for him.
Meanwhile, the peaceful efforts of 10,000 Baltimoreans remain largely uncovered.
What you won’t see regarding Baltimore (or any other mourning Black community) in the Media is the truth, the third side of the story that we know exists but don’t care to seek out. The truth leads to compassion and understanding, and possibly even healing. We are a country continually divided by the broadcasting of the worst reactions to countless murders of human beings in America. What would happen if we allowed the truth show us life through the eyes of those we are trained to fear, look down upon and hate? Jenelle Tillman, a peaceful Baltimore protester involved in the the onset of the violence shared this:
We were peaceful. We walked thru 3 miles of Baltimore’s worst neighborhood and nothing jumped off. Black non protesters were using their cars to block traffic. No police were there when we were in the hood, and no violence happened. Once we got downtown and the police were on every corner, the whites were calling us niggers, calling the white protesters nigger lovers, trying to plow us with their cars, and in turn they got drug out their cars and their cars were damaged. My son and I were pushed by white men. As I was about to taze em, a group of black men came up and handled them. Yet we are labeled as animals. Yes it did turn chaotic but only after outsiders instigated.
If you can sit idly by, spectating and condemning fellow citizens in Baltimore for having rage you will never understand having never endured what these broken communities are enduring, then you are not only part of the problem, but you ARE the problem. Remember Katrina? People of every race and ethnicity desperately searched for any provisions they could find after the storm hit. But in the media, while Whites “found” food, Blacks “looted”. Both stories, same papers, showed either race of man carrying loaves of bread.
But you’re tired of Blacks always playing the race card. Perhaps this is the only card being dealt. These so-called “animals” are mourning another life lost at the hands of those who took an oath to protect them. You don’t understand how the riots are helping [Baltimore]? They aren’t. But an entire community is willing to march and cry and lose their minds over the loss of even the least of them; this used to be called humanity. This is what men do when pushed beyond their breaking point. They fight. When White men do it, it is called Superbowl, a Tea Party or even discovering new territories. How do you think you came by all this Native American land?