By Lavern Merriweather
While on Brotha’s website recently, I clicked a link to another great blog by Kushite Prince who is a frequent commenter [and one of my favorites] named Kushite Kingdom. There, he reprinted a post by Boyce Watkins where Watkins praised black athletes like LeBron James and Derrick Rose who are using tee shirts to protest the current violence and evil perpetrated by white cops against black people. Watkins also called out other black athletes such as Charles Barkley and Michael Jordan for not speaking out.
I have a major issue with Watkins’ attitude, because I often wonder why is it that black people are expected to fight everyone else’s battles but nobody has to be there for us. Many black folks are quick with the quickness to criticize other black folks. Yet, when any other racial group has a problem, we are supposed to be there for them too? So black people are so incredible that we can solve our own problems as well as other folks, but nobody should come to our rescue?
I feel that it’s more about the notion that we aren’t good enough for other people of color (POC) to worry about. That mindset always gets me to thinking; okay then, why the fuck do you keep demanding our help? You can’t believe that we should drop everything in our lives for you, but you don’t have to return the favor? FUCK THAT!
Dr. Boyce Watkins, like many other high minded Negroes, could just as easily complain about athletes of other races that play for baseball, the NBA, hockey and soccer. Not one comment ever is made that the same people of color who are forever bitching about “If this were the blacks” seem to think that we should be on our own. And even if they didn’t feel that way, it’s still fucking common decency to give a damn about your fellow man. Obviously, they really do appreciate their spot on the unspoken race ranking system of white people. You know, the one that says Asians are the model minority and that black folks are at the bottom of the totem pole.
We supposedly are the worst of the worst, which must be why other folks of color don’t have to worry their pretty little heads about our troubles. It doesn’t matter if they aren’t actually going to get treated that much better by white people. They still aren’t us, which is good enough apparently. It certainly seems to justify why it is they think we should play Zena warrior princess for their benefit as they sit silent when black lives are annihilated time and time again by the police departments of America.
It’s somehow become the responsibility of black people to protect everybody else. Yet, when it comes to us it’s our trouble, we have to fix it our damn selves. The people who don’t imagine that they need to have our backs while they scream that we should have theirs seem to be forgetting that maybe we are too damn busy. They refuse to do for us while crying how if it were black people, it would be a lot different and bitching about how they don’t have organizations like the NAACP.
I have no problem with sympathy or empathy for others. That’s why I get so pissed when I hear high minded black folks attack other black people. We shouldn’t be the only ones outraged about brutal, cruel and horrific acts against innocent citizens. And we also shouldn’t be anticipated to forgo our own trauma while other folks are allowed to ignore ours. Anybody who has an ounce of decency and humanity should be outraged.
I was very grateful seeing non-black people walking the streets of New York and elsewhere protesting particularly the death of Eric Garner. However, those people aren’t famous. So their voice, wonderful as it is, won’t be as respected.
Many famous white comedians and white folks in the media have no qualms giving black people their undivided attention when they can make snide comments about a black celebrity in trouble with the law. But when it’s the law giving US a problem, they are nowhere to be found. That means we are okay for their entertainment or to point fingers at and make fun of. Yet, when it comes to seeing us as people just like them well that’s too damn heavy a burden for those assholes. I have seen this scenario play out quite a lot before.
Obviously, other people of color feel that we are strong enough to face discrimination by ourselves. I got news for them; the only reason why black people come across as strong is because, we had to be. It’s because we knew very few people outside of our own private circle who would stand up for us as well as by us. We have had to face many a daunting sadistic situation all on our own.
Now, once again the same folks bellyaching for us to come and save them from white folks could care less about what is happening to black people. Police brutality and authority run amok is everybody’s issue and if not then it should be. Just because I’m not Jewish doesn’t mean I can’t hate on the Nazis, but when it’s a group of black people, we are continually stand alone. There is no support system from the people that whine about our lack of support for them. You don’t even hear us complaining. No, we just got out and do like we have done for countless years.
It’s very interesting that many marginalized groups like to use black people as an example. Yet when what they say comes true they can’t be bothered. I applaud my man Lebron as well as Derrick Rose. However, there should be outcry and outrage from every corner, not just the ones affected most. There has been a lot of talk about humanity from the police lately, but I guess ours is still on hold. It’s like that song says, Don’t take it personally, because you are not a person. Perhaps to ourselves, still, we can’t let the idea that defending our rights is only our fight. Not when there are so many others riding the backs of blacks to get respect as they deny us ours. You don’t have to share my skin to share my pain or experience, especially when the stakes have never been higher. Those people who speak of there only being one race the human race need to start acting like everyone actually is human. That means it should be more than just us concerned with our injustice.