Well, It’s been quite a week.
I was going to start off with something like: ‘What is going on here? Why is this sudden explosion of racism all over the place?” But then I read a post online that quoted Will Smith saying “This isn’t anything new, it’s just being recorded now.”
I have to realize and so do you that he is right. This isn’t new news.
Why then is it so powerful at this point in time?
Because we as a nation don’t have any other distractions right now. We are home. We are bored. We are watching the news. We are spending more time on social media. This is the reality. So thank you social media. I mean that sincerely.
That’s no excuse for not paying as close attention up to this point. But it’s true. We see a story, we say ‘oh that’s horrible’ then an instagram notification pops up letting you know our #10pushup challenge got 50 likes and our minds follow that squirrel. Think about it. That’s just how it goes. I'm guilty of that. And that bothers me.
Because we need to be paying attention. Close attention. And in case you have been under a rock all quarantine here’s whats been happening:
-Ahmaud Arbery goes out for a run and gets shot by two white men for no reason.
-Amy Cooper calls 911 and tells them "an African-American man is threatening her life" after a black passerby reminds her that her dog needs to be on a leash.
-Four cops in Minneapolis stop a black man on suspicion of forgery and is killed when one of them pins him down with a knee to the neck choking him as he cries out.
-A black CNN reporter is arrested live on camera in Louisville, Kentucky for absolutely no reason.
-A youth pastor in Florida claimed ‘two black men kidnapped me’ as an excuse for being in the motel where was caught having sex with a male.
-A Florida woman drowns her autistic son and claims ‘two black men abducted him’.
That’s not everything that's just a snapshot of what…a few weeks.
So there is outrage. There is protesting. There is rioting. There is looting.
Speaking of looting, one of these such looters was identified by his ex-wife as a Minneapolis police officer. How about that? The police claim he has an alibi. I’m sure it’s legit.
Why do we loot? This is a race issue yet someone’s gotta throw some rocks through the window of Target and suddenly this makes it okay for anyone and everyone to run in and grab a free TV, diapers, clothes and what not? This part I don’t get really except that it does put even more of an extreme look at the whole absurd situation. I didn’t get it before but it’s like “these are the lengths we’ll go to so you might f@#%*&g listen!”
And it is absurd. And that is putting it mildly.
'Self-entitled' white people like Karen, in this case the ‘Karen’ is Amy Cooper, think all they have to do is cry ‘black man’ and they’ll choose her story over his. The problem is she’s right! If he didn’t get this on video he’d likely be in jail and she’d still have a job and a dog and go about her entitled white Karen life. Even worse did she learn a lesson here? NO! She was quoted saying ‘my life is being destroyed…’. Honey you destroyed your own life with your belief that you were above everyone else and your dog could traipse unleashed where signs indicated it couldn’t. And that all you had to do was scream ‘black man’ and you would be all good.
THIS IS THE PROBLEM!
If it wasn’t on video they would have believed her. That’s pathetic.
I’m honestly embarrassed for my race.
I’m a 54 year old white man and I like to think I’m not racist. But I didn’t really think I was all that entitled. I’m wrong. I’m white, therefor I am entitled. I didn’t have to face any crap growing up. I didn’t have to struggle. I didn’t have to play sports to get into college. I didn’t have people crossing the street to avoid passing me. Hell I wasn’t even bullied. How can I possibly relate?
My partner can though. He is black.
How is it okay that when I drive through the center of my town I can go anywhere freely and stop and get coffee or go to the post office or market, as I often do. I’ve never given a second thought about this alone making me entitled. The fact that I can do this without worry does make me entitled. My guy can’t do this the same way. He’s a black man in a Range Rover. He has to drive around the center of town lest he be followed and his plates ran and worry that he’ll get pulled over for absolutely no reason. And it’s happened several times. I don’t have to fear this. I don’t have to skirt around the center of town. I don’t understand this at all.
We as white people just don’t get it.
I have to admit though, at the start of the #blacklivesmatter movement I really jumped on the #alllivesmatter bandwagon. And yes, all lives do matter. I’m equally as horrified as another Karen’s behavior. A white-trash clearly inebriated Karen who last weekend berating a Hispanic family with a tirade of expletives for playing ‘non-American’ music in a park on Memorial Day as her husband tries repeatedly to get her to ‘go home’.
Also bad (to say the very least).
But let’s face it #alllivesmatter is racist really because again we are downplaying their, and their alone, struggles that no one else can relate to.
We elected a leader that is, well, many things but also racist.
His tweets describing two recent protests are pretty indicative of where he stands.
When whites protest wearing masks, social distancing and wanting their gun shops open. He calls them nice folk and urges the state to make a deal. But when black and whites protest the murder of a black man by a racist cop he calls them THUGS and is quoted as saying “When the looting starts, the shooting starts”.
That’s seems fair right?
So what are we to do? Can we even relate? Is there a way to really empathize?
Start by educating yourself. Here’s a link to a site that has a vast amount of reference links regarding, racism,
White privilege, police violence and Black Lives Matter:
We indeed are all to blame for this.
WE ALL ARE.
For many reasons including the fact that we elected a racist. I was going to jazz that line up with my usual injection of humor and use the movie 9-5 again calling him a sexist-egotistical lying-hypocritical bigot. He is all of these things but this is no time for laughs.
But this is a blog about masculinity. How does this relate?
Again, masculinity, being a man, is far from black and white. Hence the ‘50 shades’ bit.
Being a man means being a gentleman. And a gentleman is kind, courteous, empathetic, polite, and exhibits humanity, as well as strength and sensitivity. That’s a real man.
This definition does not include bigotry, supremacy, intolerance and ignorance. This is the toxic shit we keep talking about that has plagues our country.
So what kind of man are you? How are you going to help put an end to all of this?
No seriously, I want to know. I dare you again to comment back and let me know how you are going to help fix this. We all have to play a part. Stand up for humanity and say you’re with me and comment “I’m with 50SoM #blacklivesmatter”
And the next step, put your vote where your mouth is by getting to the polls in November.