“This is now war. Watch out Obama. Watch out black lives matter punks.
Real America is coming after you!”
Former Illinois Representative Joe Walsh, Tea Party
The nation is sick with a blood thirst for violence against the “enemy,” depending on which side you are on, racially, nationally, or politically the “enemy” takes a different classification. Either way, we need an enemy. There must be an enemy. Racists of different shades are sick with hatred and ignorance. We all accept this sick thirst for violence as normality or the human condition. Innocent people are dying from cold-blooded murder that is being broadcasted through social media and going viral.
The country is divided among racial lines of frustration, anger, ignorance, and hatred. White racists celebrate the murder of Black men by adrenaline pumped, trigger happy, police officers. Blacks celebrate the murder of innocent police officers who didn’t shoot anyone, ever, beyond a paper target at the gun range – and some argue that Blacks cannot be racist! What escalated this sickness?
The government, the politicians, the law enforcement, the pundits, all of us, we should have seen the writings on the wall. Unjustifiable murder followed by marches and frustration – followed by more unjustifiable murder, marches and frustration, and the cycle keeps repeating itself, over and over. 17 year old Trayvon Martin was shot and killed by George Zimmerman with skittles and iced tea in his possession. Eric Garner, a father of six children, pleaded desperately while gasping for air “I CAN’T BREATH!” while he was choked to death by NYPD officers and it was recorded and went viral. Sandra Bland left a voicemail for a friend from a jail cell where she was placed for switching lanes with no signal. She is thereafter found hanging in her cell with her feet on the ground. 12 year old Tamir Rice was playing with a toy gun like millions of little boys throughout the country, except cops pulled up, one jumped out, and this boy was executed before the wheels on the car stopped. Michael Brown was shot in cold blood with his hands up fearing for his life. In fact, autopsy confirmed that his hands were up. These are only a few of the dozens and dozens and dozens of unjustified murders (lynchings!) that sent the country more backwards than what it was already.
Then came the social media viral murders (lynchings!) of Alton Sterlings (#altonsterlings) and Philado Castile (#philandocastile). Alton was executed with no gun in hand while in a subdued position by two officers. Philando was murdered with a child in the back seat while going for his ID after the officer was told he had a license to carry. Enters a decorated combat veteran dismissed from services who didn’t leave the war overseas in Afghanistan. With no criminal history and obviously not properly treated for PTSD, Micah Xavier Johnson with body armor and semi-automatic assault rifle began picking off innocent police officers in a Dallas protest organized by #BlackLivesMatter against violence. Johnson was part of many Facebook groups, some of whom that openly called for the murder of cops. However, Johnson was not made in a social media vacuum. He’s a product of sick American violence overseas and racism’s sickness at home. He’s also a product of his own PTSD sickness. Yet still, Johnson is not the only one sick. We are all sick.
The country is sick with violence. The US drops drone bombs overseas and the government makes a civilian count of babies, children, and innocent people only to then go on to the next order of cabinet business. We all pray for safety at parades and in airports but our government has a civilian count. ISIS and the US government both have a civilian count. Diplomacy is out on both sides, US drones and ISIS beheadings are in, but we call the “other people” terrorists! The presidents give strike orders overseas, kill orders, but these same presidents (Bush, Obama, and others) make Oval Office statements to keep peace in the US.
Political pundits, these very educated opinion makers who think they are not part of the problem, make reports of racist police officers who kill innocent people and they use talking points to divert the conversation to Black male criminality. Black criminality which is disproportionate is driven by Black impoverishment and unemployment, which are also disproportionate. Meanwhile, the country ignores the gang crisis in the inner-city with an attitude of “as long as it’s not at my front door”. The nation also ignores the poor, underfunded inner-city schools that manufacture student failure.
Poverty, poor education, talking points, and opportunistic leaders breed frustration and sickness. Racism is a sickness. America is sick. For decades, the nation allowed sadistically violent gangster rap to flood the brains of millions of children. Generations have been criminalized and imprisoned for profit. Racism and hatred has been allowed to flourish. Trigger happy officers were not held accountable. Activists, Blacks, Whites, and others all took to the streets and protested in what looked like a second Civil Rights Movement. Their cries were ignored. Now, among the dead, lay five innocent police officers with threats being made to police districts and politicians alike across the country, even to the President. Michah Xavier Johnson was wrong.
The officers who have killed innocent Blacks for years were wrong. The political and legislative bodies are wrong. They have not held the officers accountable. At the end of the day, sickness reigns, not solutions. Racism reigns, not understanding. Violence and war reigns, not peace.
Here is the difficult reality. Sickness will create more Micah Xavier Johnsons. Racism will drive more trigger happy officers to murder. More Joe Walsh Tea Party politicians will inspire more hate groups. More drone bombs will fall on the heads of innocent people overseas. More War Presidents will make speeches from the Oval Office about domestic peace. The nation and all of the diverse people that make it up must learn that our words and our hatred can lead to the murder of many innocent people. We can wish and pray for the murder of the “enemy,” but when bloodshed is at our doorsteps, in our families, or among of friends, that tone changes. Let us all heal the sickness that is rampant today or suffer more from it tomorrow. #AllLivesMatterandBlackLivesMatter
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Mukasa Afrika Ma’at holds a Bachelor of Arts in Black Studies from CSU. He earned a Master of Science in Education Administration from GMU and a Master of Arts in Inner-City Studies Educational Leadership from NEIU. He is an historian, author, blogger, and poet. He has done critical essays on Black Leadership, politics, and culture along with extensive research and essays on Afrikan-Centered education. Mukasa Ma’at is a Black Belt martial arts instructor who developed and founded Ma’at-Sumu, a full mixed-martial arts combat system. He has been a teacher and education administrator of Afrikan-Centered schools. He has supported Afrikan-Centered schools and CIBI. Recently, he founded the National Black Independent School Fund to create scholarships. He is an education advocate for poor children and blogs on funding equity and access. He is presently working on his doctoral studies in education at GMU with his dissertation on rites of passage.