In the past 48 hours, the black community in America has been rocked yet again by lethal violence by police officers towards black men. People are frustrated and enraged. After a day of emotional reflection, my good friend, Anthony Brown, felt compelled to give us this opus. It’s the most personal, important article we have produced so far here at Champagne in The Locker Room. Be blessed everyone ~ Diego
Just wanted to share my thoughts…
I woke up at 3 am to yet another instance of a law enforcement officer killing a black man. I try to reserve judgment on a case-by-case basis until all the facts are provided. Therefore, this is not an article of any specific instance, yet an article about an overall problem within our country. As I spoke with my wife this morning who was in tears, fearful for me as a black man, her father, and her many cousins who are the same, I was prompted to detail how I feel.
I am a law-abiding citizen. I am a husband. I am a father. I am a son. I work a good, legal job. I coach the youth and hopefully I inspire them to be better. Yet, I am still a black man…in America. If I were to have an altercation with law enforcement where I felt my rights were violated and they murdered me, more than likely the perception would be that I did something that warranted my murder. Why? Because I am still a black man…in America, where the black man is perceived as a threat to society. It does not matter how much money you have or how many degrees you were able to obtain. What matters is your skin tone and that is sad and scary, at the same time.
The life of the black man has always been devalued in this country. In my opinion, the system has always been set up for the black man to not be in the home. From slavery to the war on drugs and now to black men losing their lives by law enforcement, the system is continuing to prove it does not value the black man. It affects the very justice system that we expect to enforce rules and regulations within our country. I recently watched the OJ Simpson 30 for 30 special and noticed that some jurors (African Americans) said that their verdict of “not guilty” was due to the injustice that blacks have received in America’s justice system and because OJ was black. This shows a flaw in the justice system. You have to wonder how often race plays a part in the decision process.
We as fathers, sons, and husbands have a responsibility to get home to our families every night and I get that. Problem is, you can still be “submissive” and be murdered. So the question is then what? What do we do? Do we tell our young black men to not value their rights? Well, fact is, whether we are breaking the law or not, our rights are being violated. He should not be resisting they say. Well, to that I say, how about those that do not resist and still end up murdered? What happened to due process? Why are other races disarmed and afforded their due process? The very same people that we expect to be able to call to “protect and serve” are some of the very same people that are unjustly murdering us…and with no ramification for their actions. They fear us, yet we are the ones being murdered.
Moreover, let me be clear, taking a stand against or feeling ill feelings towards ALL law enforcement officers is like saying that all black men are lawbreakers. It is all in the same. However, the fact is this; we have to find a way to beat a system that is designed to be against us. There is a perception already, which is media driven, that black men are a threat to society. Until that perception is changed and until we can get elected officials into positions of power that value us as black men and not just say they do, we do not stand a chance.
Use your anger to affect change. Racism is real. It is rampant. It is stupid…yet it exists. We all have a voice. Some of our voices reach millions of ears, while some of our voices only reach one set. Regardless of how many ears you reach, use your platform to affect change.