Don’t get me wrong. I couldn’t stomach watching George Floyd’s death on video. It was horrendous to say the least but, the videos don’t show what happened BEFORE these videos started. While some people will say that other videos got time and will get time in court, all that people saw was the video shot on cell phones and were disgusted, me included. Before everyone goes leaping onto the soap box or protests though, not making what Chauvin did right by any means, think about what Black people have done for you, personally.
There may be some people who can say that they have had things done for them by Black peoples. To that, I say, “Kudos! You have a friendship going. Keep it up and do for them as they’ve done for you.”
If you’ve been like many though, again, not that it justifies actions by cops in certain cases but, on the whole, there are less Black people who haven’t used other races for what they’ve wanted or needed. If you believe that to be wrong, think about Black people who are far better off financially than you are and still, cry “poverty”. It’s also a trend for young black men, stereos blaring, tinted windows, gold coloured jewelry or a certain type of clothing, swag and clothing to say something like, “I have been pulled over just because I’m Black”. While some of that is true and there are dirty cops out there for sure, there are a few things that also need to be taken into consideration first as well.
Not only have I had extensive experiences with Black Folk but, I’ve done business with them as well both as a merchant and as a person who hired people. What I can tell you is that racism exists in every race in Life. If anyone were to think that racism only goes one way, think again. The “downtrodden” of Life are as racist as any other race of peoples. Have you ever been called a “Mangia Cake” by an Italian person? What about thinking that all people of a certain ethnic or religious background have problems in the kitchen, cleaning or rearing their children? How is that every “Canadian” for example except of course from that particular background, spends their entire pay on beer and Kraft Dinner? How about Catholics who believe that all non-Catholics are somehow flawed, wrong and not at all religious because they don’t attend “mass” once or twice or several times a week nor, have they seen the inside of a “confessional”? Let’s not even get into “Born Again Christians” types who seem to believe that caffeine is wrong so they won’t even look at anyone who goes in to grab a coffee or regular tea? We also have people who are of the “Jehovah’s Witnesses” who will come to your front door, try to indoctrinate you but, if you say, “no” they will turn on you, damning you to Hell because theirs in the only way to “God”? The list is endless and we haven’t even talked about weight, finances or anything else. Heaven forbid that you’re above a certain weight, not Vegan or Vegetarian!
My father married a Black Jamaican Woman several years after my mother passed away when I was 29 years of age and my mother only 54 years old. This woman was onto Husband #3 with my father. She had 2 previous marriages with 4 children. Two were from the first husband who was Black and the second 2 were from a White man. One of her daughters was ousted by her own mother because her mother claimed that she was using the second husband for sex. Nothing could have been further from the truth as it was later proven. Guess what? She also had a “Black Maid” even though my father didn’t have a pot to pee in. I used to be there and let that poor woman who was in her 60’s at that point, take a break with a tea or whatever she wished while I got down on my hands and knees and scrubbed the oven or floor or whatever so that she could have a rest. Guess why this Black Woman that my father married, had a Black Maid? Can you think of a reason? It was STATUS to be Black and have a Black Maid…especially, if she was an older woman. My father was a “Token White Man” to have on her arm at gatherings with other Black Peoples. When my father died of cancer at the ripe old age of 66 years of age, this woman did NOT show up for his funeral. The day AFTER my father’s burial, she moved into the house that my father and 2 brothers built for her with Husband #4. I also heard a lot from her and about her before and after my father’s death. Let’s just say that she was as racist as they get or come.
Fast forward to me having a shop where Blacks were wearing the exact same merchandise that my business partner had in her section of the store (I took photos, manipulating them and pressing them onto t-shirts while my partner sold Hip Hop jewelry and other things that were Black wanted). They had paid anywhere from $5 to $10 MORE for it. When asked why they’d do that so that we could advertise more or change something, we were told outright…”it’s because you’re White”. Yet, we had our windows broken, frames of windows busted out and we’re unsure how they did it to this day, thefts and yes, I was even held at gun and knife points while they stole from us. I got out. I valued my life. Drugs were being sold everywhere else along that strip and even up alley ways by Black store owners and dealers. That, again is just the tip of the iceberg. Lots like spitting into our store without us even knowing them and protesting that we were White was done around us.
In between that, I was in charge of hiring people to fill positions. Please tell me what you would have done in these circumstances.
I had Whites with both experience and the training apply. There were Asians with and without training and experience. We had Native or Indigenous peoples as well as every race under the sun. Then, we had Blacks who walked in with no experience, no training, no enthusiasm and sat slumped in the chairs, filing nails or asking to use the phone to let their friends know that they’d be later than expected for their meals. Who do you think that you’d hire? I chose people with at least some enthusiasm for learning and who tried. When people didn’t get the job, especially those who were Black, I was called a “racist”. I didn’t even see colour. What I did see was who fit the job better and that’s who I chose. They were all sorts of races by the way.
So, before we go believing everything that there is out there about Blacks, change up street names or towns or cities etc., let’s take a moment to reflect that while a smaller population of N. America and there is racism amongst institutions such as police, there are both good and bad apples in every single faction of the world’s jobs. Even a hairstylist can be bad. We all know mechanics or vets or grocery store clerks aren’t wonderful at their jobs. So, does it stand to reason that every cop is going to be great too? Why would anyone expect that of them? More key here is why would anyone believe that there wouldn’t be “bad apples” in the police force too?
If you think about it, how many people of any race want to put their lives on the line every single day, be lied to and so much more? Not as many as what one thinks, especially the Black population who have less want to do anything of authority and have racism within that portion of race as well towards Latinos, Chinese and everything in between. That’s not surprising either when the pay is low but, it’s akin in a sense to boycotting these professions. Why not have more Black people representing that race amongst those professions that they are against or cry out racism against. Lest you believe that it’s because of racism that they don’t try or don’t get in, think again. Speak to anyone in both the police academy as well as other professions such as fire fighters or paramedics. You’ll find that a lot of them never have or will apply for such positions and it has NOTHING to do with economics. It’s all about the fact that they simply don’t want to do it more than anything else you could come up with. Don’t believe me, try asking a profession’s members and while you’re at it, the schools. They will tell you.
From my little corner of life to yours, I see what that police officer and his cronies did to George Floyd as horrific. It never should have happened but, like a friend of mine who was a Criminal Attorney said, “they’re all innocent”. Yes, they’re all choir boys and women. None of them, in spite of lengthy criminal records, having just committed a crime or about to (ie: driving while high) do, they’re “good people”. They all have halos painted on top of their heads. Every life matters so, being high, drunk or whatever doesn’t stop other lives from going or being lost.
So, while I know that this piece is not going to be taken without anger, I wish to know, what has a person of colour done for you that you haven’t paid back in some way or another or perhaps, many times over. Not all are bad but, how many Black males and females who tow the law, do you believe really are stopped just because they are Black? By the way, as one last point before this turns into a novel, what would anyone of any race think when they see someone of any colour coming down the street, eyeing your home or car think when they’re wearing hoodies, hood up and puffy vests, walking with a swag or driving around with tinted windows and stereos blaring in 90 degree F weather think? It’s ok? It’s just the way that they dress? It’s their economic situation? What? What do you think when that happens and we’ve all had it happen to us if we’ve watched and paid any attention to others.
On that negative note at this time, be well, stay well, social distance and….
Love and Light!