As civil unrest continue to rise throughout the U.S., people kneel, they march, they protest, then resort to social media. They rant and rave until violence erupts; properties get destroyed and people get carted off to jail. Then, the police take sides, the National Guard get sent in, politicians speak (and lie,) preachers speak (and lie,) celebrities kneel, statues fall and I ask this: “When will it end?”
How many more marches will people need to march in? How many more protests will it take? How many more memes, social media post and #hashtags will display our outrage? How many more times will people debate over Black Lives, Blue Lives and All Lives? When will it end?
If insanity is defined as doing the same thing over and over again, expecting a different result, why do people bother to continue marching, protesting or ranting about the injustices against the loss of Black lives? Are we insane?
I continue to be baffled by the people’s shock and awe after another corrupt cop or vigilante Black killer goes free. I am baffled because we the people are expecting or perhaps hoping for justice from an insane action. “ We take a Knee,” “They” kill “Us,” and “We,” protest, rant, kneel and rave about how much our “Black Lives Matter.” As if somehow “They” didn’t get the message the last time we marched, protested or ranted online about our outrage over the death of another one of our Black men, women or children. They got it, they get it, but they don’t give a dam! Get it?!
Well, I am over this! I stand with Brother Malcolm who no longer stands, but whose words still stand when he said, “we don’t ask for our freedom, we take it.” Therefore we cannot ask for our Black lives to matter; we demonstrate it. And we do this not to be construed as “model minorities,” in their eyes, but more so to bring forth unity, strength, and justice for our cause.
Clean Up Our Community
If you want people to validate your Black life, then help get rid of the drugs, prostitution, violence, and crime in your community and neighborhoods.
Most of us know who the dealers, wife beaters, child molesters, drug traffickers, pimps, and thieves are in our own communities. If we want others to stand behind the Black Lives Matter movement, then let us get rid of anyone and anything that stands in the way of supporting that, even if that includes the people in your own backyard.
If you do not know how to get rid of said people because you are afraid, form a neighborhood committee with a board of elders that people can talk to. And do not go to the politicians or preachers because in many cases these individuals are corrupt. Instead, form a board of individuals that everyone in the community votes on and trusts, and then hire the bravest and strongest individuals in your neighborhood to patrol and secure your streets. Of course, the people we elect will need our help so that means that we back them up if and when they need us.
If someone causes trouble or some B.S. in your neighborhood warrants the police, do not call on law enforcers. Instead, go to the people you elected in your community, gather them together and take a stance against any and all criminal activity in your neighborhood – neighborhood watch and enforce. The gangs, criminals, and troublemakers are usually the bullies on our streets. However, we outnumber them and therefore if we tell them they have to go and we stand up to them, they will leave. Yes, most of them have guns and weapons, however, if we stand together we have what’s called strength in numbers. Remember “They Cannot Kill Us All!”
Monitor Where You Spend Your Black Dollars
Boycott products, businesses, and services that do not support or stand for your Black life. Do not support banks, corporations or organizations in your community that do not circulate money back into your community. Go to the businesses that open in your neighborhood and let them know that if they do not hire Black people from your neighborhoods that their business will be “Whitelisted” i.e., —boycotted.
I know you are wondering about where you will go to shop, eat or perhaps even live if you start boycotting everything in your neighborhood. Well, think of it this way: If someone broke into your home killed your family, robbed you of everything and then told you that you could buy everything back from them for a higher rate, would you buy it?
One of the most revolutionary things you can do is to build your own home or window garden. Grow your own medicinal plants, vegetables or anything you want to eat. If you don’t have the land to do this in your community, buy or build your own planters, then teach others in your community how to do this. Trade your homegrown produce. Form social-sharing enterprises in your own communities.
Be Proactive, Productive and Protective
One of the biggest things that keeps feeding into the notion that Black lives do not matter, aside from the obvious, is social media. Every time we log onto a social platform or a media outlet we see more Black deaths, Black crimes, and discrimination of Blacks. Do you really think that is an accident?
Let’s think about this for a minute… How many of you have tried to share an event or a picture of you doing something good or share a positive quote that goes unnoticed? But, somehow social platforms can share a post of a Black man shooting another Black man in the head or we can witness the killing of Philando Castile on Facebook! Or we can see Black looters and White Supremists and Neo-Nazi terrorizing the streets and killing or maiming innocent Black protestors and allies and getting away with it. Why do you think social media platforms and media channels allow you to witness these things? Could it be that by displaying this kind of media they are also perpetuating a message? Are we feeding “their story” (and agenda) by engaging in this madness?
Also, how can we really be down for the Black Lives Matter movement if we continue watching and engaging in NFL, NBA or any of these racist corporate sports organizations? How can we “be down” if we keep logging onto a social media platform that perpetuates that our lives do not matter? How can we really be down if we are tuned into programs, shows or network programs that do not pay Black people or circulate black dollars into Black communities? How can we really be down if we buy our sons or daughters tennis shoes that cost more than our phone bills and light bills —and is made by “neo-slave” prison labor of our incarcerated men working for pennies!
Again, a reality check: How can we really be down if we buy designer bags, clothes, and shoes from designers that do not hire Black models who live within and spend their dollars in Black communities? How can we really be down if we purchase Black hair care products, alcohol or corporate products that make billions of dollars off of our Blackness and then degrade us over our Blackness. If we really want to be down for the Black Lives matter movement then how many of us are willing to log off, tune out and plug into the real sources that feed our FREEDOM?
We cannot keep saying that our Black Lives Matter, we must model it! We say that Black Lives Matter when one of us is gunned down and receives no justice from “The Other,” however the injustices we see today is nothing new. The only thing new about a Black man, woman or child being gunned down is that we now have cameras on our smartphones to capture it. It’s just a modern form of lynching.
We cannot go another five hundred years of the same insane actions expecting a different result. “They” are not going to suddenly wake up one day and decide that your Black Life Matters! If you want your life to truly matter then you have to do something different, something uncomfortable and be willing to stand up and die for your rights. Martin believed this, Malcolm believed this, Edgars believed this, Jesus believed this, Trayvon Martin believed this, Sandra Bland believed this, Mike Brown believed this, Philando Castile believed this. Now, the question is: “Do you believe this?”
They cannot kill us all. If we stand united: brothers and sisters, mothers and fathers, friends and allies, “They” are outnumbered. However, if we continue to protest, march, rant, rave and kneel about our Black Lives, all they will do is what they always do because that is what insane people do. Actions speak louder than words. If we do not ACT in these critical times, our descendants will curse our lack of courage.
Photo credit: Getty Images