2017 - 1957 = 60

I was talking to an acquaintance who is "so tired of reading and talking about racism on Facebook."

I told her that I suffered from racial fatigue too, but, unlike her, I can't stop making sure I remain focused on seeing something and saying something when something needs to be said. She went on to say she doubts that I deal with any racism and I let her know that if any Black person is still dealing with racism...then I'm still dealing with it. I might have more microaggressions that just a look or a quick snap could deal with...but it is still there.

See...just because she can identify with me because we have so many things in common, she thinks I'm "not like the other Blacks" who encounter racist crap. She didn't say THAT...but that's essentially what she said. I have no doubt that should something racist ever happen to me, she'd be on the forefront demanding justice, but she might not consider it worth her time to demand the same justice for a poor Black person she doesn't have as much in common with whom she has never met.

I don't have that luxury to not care or not WANT to care.

Just this morning my husband and I were talking about how the conviction and level of hate among some of these people we've seen in pictures is the same level of conviction and hate seen in the pictures from 1957 surrounding the Little Rock Nine.

That was just 60 years ago. Your parents and grandparents are older than 60 years old.  That's not that long ago.

Keep talking.

What I'm Not Gon' Do #TakeTheKnee

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Remember these riding horses that used to be outside the grocery stores?  Remember begging your mother for a dime or a quarter so you could be entertained by riding a horsey for a few minutes?  I do.  It was the life.  For a few minutes, I was entertained and imagined I was riding in the great Wild West with a big badge on my chest looking for outlaws.  

Hey...I read a lot as a kid.  I had an awesome imagination and my dad had stacks and stacks of Louis L'amore westerns.

Yesterday, across the country, and across the pond, NFL athletes used their American right to protest peacefully against injustice and continued racism in the United States of America. One of the players was someone near and dear to me and my chest swelled with pride as he knelt knowing his kneeling was taking a stand for those who sometimes feel they don't have a voice to help them.  On his Facebook page the comments came rolling in and it was indeed a sight to see the same people who'd love him at the start of the game now all with the same mantra of basically...since he's a multi-millionaire who plays football, he needs to stand for the anthem and shut up or be fired. AND HE NEEDS TO DO WHAT THEY SAY NOW, RIGHT NOW.

Oh.

I looked up other players who'd participated in the peaceful protest against injustice and continued racism in the United States of America and the same rhetoric was there for all the world to see.  Like...these people took the masks off.  The players were called ignorant n-words, monkeys who play a child's game, uneducated gorillas who don't deserve to live in this country, etc.  They equated their peaceful protest against injustice and continued racism in the United States of America to these players disrespecting fallen soldiers who died for their right to protest peacefully.

Oh.

These people made their peaceful protest against injustice and continued racism in the United States of America about what THEY wanted to make it about with an arrogance disregarding the truth that is astonishing in how fast it spread.  Like wildfire.

Just burned through all in its path.

All of this was par for course until I noticed a comment from someone I knew on his page.  Two comments from the same person.  I sat back and processed it.  Then I took a screengrab and sent it to her via messenger.  I let her know how surprising it was to see her comments and even more surprising that she felt it was something she couldn't discuss with me directly since her comments showed she was wrong about what the protest was about.

So apparently, the peaceful protest against injustice and continued racism in the United States of America has "taken away football" for many Americans because a player needs to just shut up and play football.  They think the players are like that horse.  Like they aren't even human. They drop in a coin and get entertained and when the players aren't entertaining them, they should just sit still and say nothing until the button is depressed again that allows them to get to entertaining. Like they don't have family and friends who aren't dealing with injustice and unfairness daily.  Like they aren't educated.  Like they aren't working in their communities attempting to affect change with programs, their voice, events, etc.

Like they are inanimate objects without feeling no matter the size of their bank accounts.

The opposite of a peaceful protest is civil war right?  I mean...do these people want folks to get their Boston Tea Party on again?  Should we start dropping our tax dollars into the middle of the ocean or something instead of paying our taxes?  What do you suggest be done?  And who do you think you are even thinking that you should be able to tell someone that their time and place is not the right time or place?  

I mean really.

So...the person I knew doubled down and I said what I had to say and then told her goodbye.  And I meant that.  Cuz what you NOT gon' do is disrespect someone near and dear to me for exercising their rights as an American.

And...

WHAT I'M NOT GON' DO is let you think, for a second, that our country doesn't have some serious work to do in areas of race. 

WHAT I'M NOT GON' DO is let you think you can skin and grin in my face while you are supporting a man who called violent Nazi protesters, in 2017, very fine people but peacefully protesting men, sons of bitches. 

WHAT I'M NOT GON' DO is let you railroad a movement by swearing you know what it's "really" about when it has been spelled out for you what it is actually about time and time again.  You don't want equality for all because it makes you feel oppressed.  

Oh.

Let the peaceful protests continue.  As Americans.  It is their right.

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