Wayback: Shades of Blackness


For those of you who haven’t tried the Wayback Machine, it allows you to see what websites once looked like. I found a bunch of my old rants – thought I might share them all with you. Please read them with a eye on when they were written – I regret nothing I’ve said, but they should be read in context.

This piece was written back in 1996, and is just a stream of consciousness brain dump that I post on my site as a response to the rioting in St Petersburg, FL. Its not the best conceived piece I’ve ever written, and probably should have been composed better to get its points across, but the passion shows through.


Shades of Blackness

I woke up as I always do, bleary eyed and wishing for that first cup of java, my morning manna. And turned on the TV to hear the morning news and was shocked to see my brothers and sisters once again rioting, only this time in St. Petersberg, Florida.

Now this may shock anyone who isn’t of color. White people will never understand this concept, and when they try they most often get it all wrong. But, my first instinct was that of sheer horror that once again blacks were burning their own neighborhood. You see, to those of you who are not “of color”, blacks are far more judgmental of their own than any outsider could ever be. We hold our brothers and sisters to a standard that I cannot simply explain, yet, when they fail, rather than cast them out as most other societies would do, we chastise them, find reasons for their failures, and then accept them back and attempt a change.

Then again, maybe my views of what it is to be black in america, are simply my impressions of what it is for ME to be black in America.

My second and stronger emotional reaction was to wonder what crime this so-called “civilized society” had perpetrated this time.

At this point all the non-blacks will write this off as:”Uh-oh, there goes another angry black man, over-reacting again.” Once again, you’ve no concept of the world the young black male lives in – .a world where even in a suit and tie, white women would rather cross the streets than walk past you. But, that’s another discussion altogether.

It all turned out, that the riot was spawned by the slaying of yet another black youth, by an all too powerful police force. During a routine traffic stop. Last time I checked, neither running a red light, not pausing long enough at a stop sign, speeding, nor any other traffic violation were punishable by death. Oh, yeah, unless of course you happen to be black.

The initial cause for the shooting that I heard was “the young man moved towards the side, the officer feared he was going for a weapon”, by the St. Pete’s Police Commissioner on Good Morning America. Then that night, on the NBC Nightly News, it was reported that the young man had “turned his wheels towards the curb, and ‘inched’ his car towards the officers”. So they shot him? Um – excuse me Massa Offisa Suh – .but every heard of moving out of the damn way?

The key term here is “inched”. He didn’t rev the engine and attempt to run the officer down. He didn’t even turn his car in the direction of the officer and make threatening motions. And, even if he had – .that’s no reason to kill him. He died because he was black. He died because our society has continued to perpetuate this myth that the black man will rob you blind and rape your “wimmen and chillun.”

How long will the “Officers of the Law” be allowed to declare hunting season on the minorities of America before someone other than those of US in the black community stands up and says “stop”?

When will we see Justice for All? It’s sort of like the old Richard Pryor joke – ..you go down there lookin’ for justice and that’s what you find – ..”just us”.

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