1. Not enough Black folks were there, but they should have been. Folks have done an amazing job, since long before I came into this world, of making “their problems” their problems. What’s happening to the Black folks in the south is not happening to the Black folks in the north, therefore it’s their problem. What happening to the Black folks everywhere isn’t happening to white folks anywhere, therefore it’s their problem. This is what “they’ve created.”
Mamie Bradley said, “Two months ago I had a nice apartment in Chicago. I had a good job. I had a son. When something happened to the Negroes in the South I said, `That’s their business, not mine.’ Now I know how wrong. I was. The murder of my son has shown me that what happens to any of us, anywhere in the world, had better be the business of us all.”
Injustice in the world against any marginalized people should be fought by all other marginalized people. At least those marginalized people who find living out there on the edge uncomfortable and their spaces uninhabitable.
“That was a rally for gay people,” he said. No, it’s was a rally for all people who are tired of being unjustly murdered, and who were told they had rights but find themselves fighting for those rights,” I said.
One speaker at the rally said, “Prayer is welcome. But if you perpetuate violence and inequality against the LGBT community, we don’t want your prayers. If you’re not prepared to shout ‘Black Lives Matter,’ we don’t want your prayers.” She gets it.
I was just hoping for more Black folks.
2. A gay white man (yes, his sexual orientation and race are important for the story), looked over to me and said, “My god. This tragedy really makes you think. Thank God I don’t have kids. I’d be broken by now.” I nodded, but all I could think about was if this was the first tragedy that made him thankful for not having children; that made him feel sorry for those with kids. Surely he had a television, or newspaper subscription, or wifi, or a smart phone, or a friend with one of the aforementioned things. Had he not heard about Tamir Rice or Jordan Davis (the list goes deep)?
Those things happened and made me wonder:
Most people are only able to recognize the humanity in the people who look, talk, and think like them. Those whose values closely resemble their own. But why?
Why did it take Martese Johnson’s victimization for upper middle class, college-educated, Black folks to show up to the front lines? How can white folks worldwide understand the desire of the Jews to find their own lands while simultaneously fighting against a system that supported the execution and enslavement of their people, but can’t understand when American black folks want to do the same for those same reasons?
Unity is beginning to take on a new look.