Category Archives: Politics

A Letter to My Silent White Brothers & Sisters

A letter to my silent white brothers and sisters.
 
To my white brothers and sisters who have denied racial policing, racial profiling, and categorized the Black Lives Matter movement as a terrorist/fringe group: thank you for letting me know where you stand.
 
To my white brothers and sisters who have stayed silent, content with the status quo, and to those good, honest, men and women of integrity in blue who do not denounce their fellow officer’s transgressions while we’ve watched black- and brown-skinned people die at the hands of those sworn to uphold the law: shame on you.
 
I’m so tired of my silent white brothers and sisters who have remained silent while black lives have been ended at the hands of officers. Sure, they’ll express moral outrage about a lion shot in Zimbabwe or a gorilla shot in a zoo, but then I observe many of them as they try to justify another black life lost at the hand of an officer. “Well uh, he shouldn’t have moved his leg left!” Or “Well he shouldn’t have been selling CDs in front of the store!” It’s pathetic and insulting.
 
Then there are those who don’t want us to see race, those of my silent white brothers and sisters who want us all to “just get along.” The problem is “getting along” falls disproportionately on black- and brown-skinned peoples. It’s always OUR burden to “get along” when my silent white brothers and sisters, you hold all the keys and access to power! It’s always on us to be more like you. My silent white brothers and sisters, you don’t even try to consider our perspective.
 
And don’t dare mention privilege. That sends folks into a conniption. But in a moment of truth, ask yourself, “would I like to be treated like a Black American?” I doubt any of my silent white brothers and sisters would sign up for that life. And that speaks volumes.
 
I am so tired of having to plead MY humanness, MY basic right to not live in fear, MY right to equal treatment before the law. Silent white brothers and sisters, if you don’t get it by now, you are apart of the problem. Admit it, you just don’t care. And because you don’t care, what happened in Dallas last night is only a harbinger of things to come. Until you start to care, those disillusioned people whose lives are treated as less than will tragically combat violence with violence. Just watch.
 
The tragedy in Dallas yesterday was not unforeseeable. This is the result of much talk and little action. This is what happens when you have a group of disaffected and disenfranchised persons whose cries for help go unheeded. People lash out. Violently. And we slowly march down a path of violence & bloodshed and the destruction of already precarious communities. This path is unsustainable and we must not only denounce the violence against police, but also the brutality with which brown- and black-skinned persons are subjected to at said police hands.
 
But there’s a way we can bridge gaps, and heal communities: it starts with my silent white brothers and sisters.
 
When motivated, your silent majority can move mountains and change the arc of history:
 
We fought a Civil War because my silent white brothers and sisters opposed a policy of infinite servitude.
 
We said separate but equal is inherently unequal because my silent white brothers and sisters made it so.
 
We desegregated schools because my silent white brothers and sisters made it so.
 
We buried Jim Crow because my silent white brothers and sisters made it so.
 
We allowed interracial marriage because my silent white brothers and sisters made it so.
 
We ushered in a new area of civil rights acts (housing, voting, employment, and schools) to ensure that every brown- and black-skinned citizen of this country would enjoy all the promises guaranteed to him or her under the Constitution because my silent white brothers and sisters made it so.
 
My silent white brothers and sisters we are calling on you once more to help stem the tide of police violence against brown- and black-skinned Americans. We cannot do this without you.
 
If you have been silent thus far, consider this your official notice. This problem can only be solved when my silent white brothers and sisters decide to address it.
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Patrolling “Muslim neighborhoods” is not a strategy, it’s a proposition that alienates Muslim Americans

Last night, as I listened to Rafael “Ted” Cruz double down on his idea to “patrol Muslim neighborhoods,” I was, again, disappointed in the divisive rhetoric used to combat the war on terror. This is not about political correctness. This is not about “telling it like it is.” This is blatant bigotry, playing on our fears by creating an “other,” and cloaking words in easy-to-digest euphemisms. To support such a policy is to be an enemy of the Constitution.

Consider this, since September 11, 2001, the vast majority of domestic acts of terrorism in the United States have been perpetrated by White, Christian men. Imagine a world where a presidential candidate suggests that we “patrol Christian neighborhoods.” What discussions would result then?

It’s easy to identify Muslim Americans as the “other,” the ones that don’t “look” like the rest of us. You can identify Muslims by how they dress, eat, pray, and oftentimes by the color of their skin. Our country has a history of dividing people, conquering citizen’s hearts & minds by labeling a group of people as “others.” The Africans, Italians, Irish, Japanese, Homosexuals, Jews, Mormons, and now the Muslims can attest to this. It’s easy to fall into the trap of labeling anyone identifying with those groups as the “other.”

We must always be alert when our leaders talk about “others” along racial, religious, & ethnic lines, and we have to resist the temptation to turn Muslim Americans into the “other.” We must understand that by singling out a group for disparate treatment, we create the space, opportunity, and motive for that group to radicalize; in this instance, we become what the enemy has proselytized all along. The thing we seek to prevent will be created by our own failure to recognize that there are far more hard-working, patriotic Muslim Americans, than there are radicalized ones. In order to fight domestic terrorism we cannot alienate our Muslim communities.

 

Your civility and thoughts — in agreement or disagreement — are appreciated, your ignorance, is not.

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