Dance of the Seasons

rodney king

I have a lot to say about the events in Ferguson, Missouri, but I’m not going to say it all now. Because you’ve already heard most of it, and tempers are so inflamed right now that I’m surprised the rioting is, at the moment, contained to one area. But we need to have the conversation. If you are a black male, you could have been Michael Brown. That’s all there is to it. I’ve been stopped by cops before, and while they did seem a little worried about me in one incident, they’ve never accused me of shit. I’m lucky that way. You can tell yourself that what happened to Michael Brown was an unfortunate misunderstanding if you insist on lying to yourself, but a lie is all it ever will be, and fuck you if you say otherwise. You can deny the fact that the spirit of slavery and Jim Crow lives on in our national consciousness, but then you’re part of the problem, and as far as I’m concerned, you can fucking kill yourself if that’s how you feel. Better you than the next Michael Brown. And there will be another.

We need to have a conversation about race in this country. More importantly, we need to prevent it from being sidetracked. I’ve seen it happen where somebody will start off talking about homophobia or sexism or racism and people will divert it because we should be talking about socioeconomic status instead, and isn’t that just as big of a deal for some people. Well, no, it isn’t. Your socioeconomic status is something that you are born into; your race, gender, and sexual orientation are things that you are born with. I do not accept that the real problem here is the militarization of the police force. That’s a problem, but even that is heavily tinted by race. Spare me your rationalizations about how some white dude somewhere was harassed by a cop and therefore the hundreds or thousands of cases of black men being arrested and beaten for no goddamn reason are meaningless. Seriously, if you have a comment about that, don’t even submit it. I’ll shitcan it.

The real problem here is race. No ifs, ands, or buts. Racism is a problem in this country. Cases like the one involving Michael Brown (not even the only recent case of an unarmed black man being shot by a cop in the South) are not isolated incidents; they are symptomatic of a deep sickness that has persisted in this country for a long time. And I’ve had it up to here with this bullshit. So if you want to join the conversation, admit up front that the police officers in Ferguson are racists. Admit that it is not uncommon for police officers to detain, charge, and even assault black people for no reason other than a desire to keep darkie down. They may not admit it to themselves (how often do you hear a racist admit to being a racist?), but that’s what they’re doing. And I’m through arguing about it.

Nobody wants to have a conversation about race. If you turn to Fox News, you will see people insisting over and over that not everything is about race. Funny thing is, I don’t think I’ve ever seen Sean Hannity or any of those other assholes admit that something is about race. The only reason my fellow liberals and I keep insisting that stuff is about race is because nobody will ever acknowledge an instance of racism when it’s staring them in the face. To hear the fuckheads over at Breitbart or WND tell it, the only racism that still exists is the “reverse racism” of affirmative action and the like. But the reason that we still need affirmative action is because of all that bullshit that conservatives won’t admit is about race. It’s some deeply torturous and convoluted logic, all so that nobody has to actually do anything about anything.

It’s not a conversation if you insist upfront that nobody is allowed to get offended. I insist that we all admit that racism is a potent force because it is, and if you can’t see it, then I can’t make you, and anyway, you can see it, you just don’t want to. I don’t have the patience to be nice here. I’m not very nice to begin with. This is one thing that makes me even less so. Because periodically, something awful happens. This goes all the way back to the Rodney King trial. King may have been a criminal, but the real question is whether something like that would have happened to a white person who did what he did. To save you the trouble of puzzling that one out, let me answer it for you: No. If Rodney King were white, he would not have been beaten, even after getting pulled over for driving like a maniac while intoxicated and resisting arrest. Glad we got that cleared up.

Some of you may remember the incident in which Jonah Hill called a TMZ “reporter” a “fag”. Being from TMZ, the “reporter” immediately posted the video online as evidence of Hill’s homophobia, and Hill, being an apparently decent human being, apologized. Amazing how much impact a simple “I’m sorry” can have. I don’t think an “I’m sorry” from the police force in Ferguson would set things right, but it wouldn’t be a bad start. I’ve read countless cases of people (usually young black men) being harassed by the cops, and in almost every case, when the police realized their error, they simply let the person go without even so much as a “Whoops”. That’s shitty, and it cannot be allowed to continue. We’ve been building towards this point for a long, long time now, and it’s not all going to be solved overnight. Let us hope that the next time it comes around, we are at least a little bit more prepared.

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