“I wish somebody would look in our neighborhood knowing that it’s already a situation, mentally, where it’s f–ked up. What happened to [Michael Brown] should’ve never happened. Never. But when we don’t have respect for ourselves, how do we expect them to respect us? It starts from within. Don’t start with just a rally, don’t start from looting — it starts from within.”
– Kendrick Lamar on Ferguson, Billboard Magazine, January 8, 2015
Finger Pointing, Victimization and the Fear of Black Men
Yes, there are improvements we need to make, but we cannot ignore police brutality. The root cause of what we have witnessed in Ferguson, Cleveland, Dayton, New York, and Sanford is quite simply racism – but more specifically the fear of black men.
Why condemn protests? The judgment and ridicule should not constantly be directed towards the people brave enough to demand better from the men and women who are supposed to protect and serve our communities.
I do not disagree entirely with Kendrick Lamar’s statement because he is addressing two very different subjects. For example, If I go to a nice restaurant that is supposed to be trained in quality cuisine and customer service but serves me bad food and I complain. It would not be right for anyone to physically or verbally attack me by saying, “You should eat healthier.”
The police are here to protect and serve. I should be able to trust a 5-star restaurant just as much as I trust the police.
My only request for anyone that shares his point-of-view is to be driven by solutions. Develop a program or initiative that addresses some of the issues needing to be addressed. If spearheading an organization is too far out of reach, volunteer your time to help already existing efforts to strengthen and restore your community.
Photo Credit: Billboard Magazine