Earlier this year, I posted an article asking “Why Are We Really Mad?” Now I know why. Joe’tavious Stafford. Ariston Waiters. Dawntree Ta’Shawn Williams. Trayvon Martin. Bo Morrison. Trevion Davis. Milton Hall. Chavis Carter. Jordan Davis. Kendrick Johnson. Jonathan Ferrell. Jack Lamar Robinson. Eric Garner. Ezell Ford. John Crawford. Michael Brown. And countless others, many whose names never make it into media outlets.
Is there any reason why the black community of Ferguson, Missouri is rioting, protesting and clashing with the virtually all-white police force? The black community is beyond fed up with the double standards of laws and law enforcement when dealing with black people. We are beyond fed up with our young people being callously murdered and no one pays the loss of life. We are mad that a white boy can walk around freely with a fully-loaded weapon in a state where another white man slaughtered innocent moviegoers – and no one questions it – which makes us madder at a black man holding a toy gun in Walmart (a product they sell) being brutally gunned down without the officer so much as questioning or seriously assessing the situation. All he saw was a black face with a ‘weapon’ and that was enough justification to murder him.
And it’s maddening because we see all of this injustice and nothing really ever changes. No resolution to the problem of racial profiling. No reevaluation of law enforcement. No serious attempts or care by the white community or the government to heal the wounds caused by these actions and laws. No true discussion about race relations and why blacks are perceived as threats despite white people committing more heinous acts against humanity. It’s just business as usual. See a black, kill a black. And that’s why we’re mad.
We’re mad because we are running out of options and patience for a system that for over 50 years has stalled on delivering its promises of equality; a system that for 500 years has oppressed everyone of African descent; a system built on cowardice, fear and greed. We’re mad because America wants us to never forget September 11, but refuses to acknowledge their attacks on people domestically. We’re mad because we live in a society where black people cannot organize peacefully without an armed police response. We’re mad because we’re told that ‘racism doesn’t exist anymore’ or ‘to get over slavery.’ We’re mad because whenever police or someone white kills a black person, white people feel it’s necessary and appropriate to spout statistics about black-on-black crime. We’re mad because no matter how much we are victimized, we’re told that we’re not victims. We’re mad because the fights for our freedom didn’t result in our freedom. We’re mad because America can admit, apologize and recompense for its transgressions against every ethnic group except blacks.
We’re mad because we have a right to be.