Why are you people so angry?

One of the greatest things about social media is that it allows cross cultural dialogues and exchanges to happen, the downside though is that sometimes people in a place of privilege get tired of hearing the unprivileged folks vent. This point was brought home a few days ago as a fellow tweep on Twitter mentioned terms he was adding to his filter as he was sick and tired of hearing the talk about said topics. The terms included Zimmerman and Martin. While there plenty of white folks that care as deeply about the Trayvon Martin case as Black folks, there are many more who think that sucks, but oh well. Let’s be honest for many if it’s not their kids or family members that live with a potential bull’s-eye on their back, it can be hard to be vested in these cases. Of course that’s part of why true change never happens, it’s why despite being 2012 and all the so-called progress with regards to race the sad fact is we are going backwards.

That point was made clear to me today as I dealt with life and the tax man, when a few stories ran across my radar. To be honest, I had no intention of blogging, but after watching this first story, I knew I had to vent in this space. Frankly fellow blogger Renee over at Womanist Musings wrote a great piece that demands that you read it. However knowing that people hate clicking links, I am adding the video at the end of this post and will give you the quick and dirty version. Over in Sweden, as part of World Art Day celebrations, a cake was made shaped to look like an African woman and representing female genital mutilation and to really just be offensive as shit we had the artist in Black face at the head of the cake as the head of the woman moaning and yelling as party goers including Sweden’s Minister of Culture and others delightfully cut into the cake and enjoyed themselves. Um….you didn’t think that shit was offensive on any levels. Just cut into a cake representing a woman being hurt, a Black woman complete with someone in Black face moaning and yelling and no one has the good sense to be offended or disturbed. Alright now.

Closer to home, a six year old child who happens to be Black threw a temper tantrum at school and apparently little Salecia Johnson was so scary that the cops had to be called. Well the cops decided this girl was so scary that she deserved to be handcuffed. Just another day in Black America, our kids get shot and killed when all they are trying to do is get home with the Skittles and iced tea to catch a basketball game. They go to school and have behavioral issues but rather than seeking help, we think it’s alright to handcuff em.

It’s stories like this that make me feel helpless, so helpless that from my cozy perch here in Maine, all I can do is bring awareness to these incidents. Thankfully social media makes that possible and yes, I do get angry and yeah, I probably do bring down your mood, but until we live in a world where all people get the respect they deserve as human beings, I will not stop being mad. Instead I hope as you look at your loved ones you will join me in getting mad so we can create that world where all our friends and loved ones are safe. Where angry white men (or that’s what they call themselves) won’t decide to take out their anger on any old Black person and shoot and kill people just trying to live life.

4 thoughts on “Why are you people so angry?

  1. Thank you for writing this piece. It is a painful legacy that continues on. I’m glad there are those speaking up about these issues. Thank you for your piece.

  2. My immediate response to that video was total disgust. Disgust at violence and the people’s response to it….laughing?! really? It is not funny. At all. I thought; we really don’t need to keep this sort of hateful imagery alive in order to learn from our mistakes….or do we?

    I don’t know the answer to that. It is sad to think that we might need something as offensive and horrible as this to get people talking intelligently about the topics involved (fetishization of the black female form by way of Sarah Baartman etc, FGM, Blackface….) I feel like the point at which the artist fails here is that most of the online conversation I have seen regarding this “art” is about what the artist meant to say, whether or not he “should” be using this sort of imagery, whether or not it is actually racist…Little of the conversation was actually about FGM or any of the issues I *think* the artist was aiming to bring attention to.

    The artist in me wants to fight against any sort of censorship as far as artistic expression is concerned but the woman and human being in me feels like something here is innately wrong. We never want to forget that these things happened in our collective history, we don’t want to ignore it but I think we also have to be very careful about how sensationalist we get with it. At a certain point I feel that the sensationalism and shocking imagery becomes a fetishization in its self. At a certain point does it all becomes part of desensitizing us to violence against human rights rather than bringing attention to important issues?…

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