Author's Note: This was written prior to the deaths of Walter Scott and Phillip White. Despite what you are about to read, I'm speechless.
Do you cringe every week while bracing for the next overtly racial incident? Please take a deep breath, think of something that makes you smile and repeat. I'm not sure if reading this will reduce tension at the water cooler, but it's intended to help reinforce sanity in a crazy world.
The first quarter of 2015 has been an onslaught of blood-boiling issues regarding race. The same-day equinox, eclipse and super moon must have galvanized the lunacy by the numbers. All these "isolated incidents" have caused a racial climate change that is convincingly making the earth hotter.
There's a palpable tug of war on the ideologies of freedom. A progressive society should actively increase levels of tolerance and respect for differences. Unfortunately, this progress is constantly being undermined by law and order agendas that seem backwards and unfair in punishment. Now once you add the factor of race, all hell breaks loose.
Here is the machinery of racism -- the privilege of being oblivious to questions, of never having to grapple with the everywhere; the right of false naming; the right to claim that the lakes, trees and mountains of our world do not exist; the right to insult our intelligence with your ignorance.
-- Ta-Nehisi Coates
This may sound crass, but instead of being appalled by people urinating out the window, we must learn to carry umbrellas. The hardest part is knowing these "golden precipitators" will either deny their action or dismiss it as rain. To evolve, requires honesty with historical perspective.
Denial is strong when it comes to race because it is a construct not a crime. Therefore, we must be careful not to misuse positive energy trying to prove a negative intangible. If someone cuts through a gas station to make a right turn -- which is illegal -- they can technically argue they intended to get gas, but simply changed their mind for whatever reason. The argument of racism has been reduced to "You can't prove what I was thinking," or "Just because this, doesn't mean that." For obvious example, I can't prove that any Republican's hatred for President Obama is fueled by racism, since they have the right to dislike him simply as a Democrat.
Instead of confiscating the bunch of white kids with beers in their hands, the cops headed directly for the only black person in sight.
-- Jenna Bush (source )
I was going to follow that quote with a clip of the Martese Johnson UVa incident, but this is more entertaining:
This right of elusion causes a paradox of agitation. One side becomes obsessed with proving race motivation by making the case of excessive force, while the other side emphatically frames any unarmed victim a super-thug that "lunged," and couldn't be subdued or wounded. The obsession becomes neurosis when compounded by bias news narratives where we itch to counter punch with same crime different color "gotcha" hypocrisy.
Each incident is supporting evidence of our gut theories, which usually just pollutes the air with convoluted false equivalencies. It's gotten to the point where we fuel projection just so we can say "see." You see the disparity of how the media uses mugshots or you see what happens when you give heart transplant to a black juvenile delinquent. Then we truncate our argument in cynical question form for social media focus groups:
The police killed 111 people in the month of March, how many were unarmed white males?
The racial way I framed it shouldn't take away from that sickening statistic but in some ways it... Look, part of me doesn't totally agree with the pacifist in me. I'm a true supporter of righteous indignation of any civil rights, so keep your fire -- just put it on simmer, so you don't burn yourself out.
Any overqualified black person who either didn't get a job or was forced to jump through hoops to be hired is well aware of the underlying racial components regarding Loretta Lynch's confirmation delay. However, for the sake of personal mental health and wellness, you can't let it get the best of you (I'm writing this just to remind myself to take heed). Try lightening your load by reacting with aplomb -- duly noted techniques, especially if there were no arrests or physical harm. For example, a noose was found on campus at Duke University; duly note with an asterisk on your NCAA bracket. Recently, a man was arrested for throwing a banana peel at Dave Chappelle during a show. It should be duly noted that the venue doesn't sell bananas.
The countdown to Chris Rock's top five police encounters and other sideshows with polarizing media ringmasters can easily lure you to join the circus. Hence, we have to be careful how we choose to participate in the dialogue. In the wake of the University of Oklahoma SAE debacle, I started penning something that both commended rapper Waka Flocka Flame for his show cancellation, and defended of the validity of Mika Brzezinski's journalistic argument as it related to the fraternity Grandma singing along to a rap song under pressured influence. Then I saw the race hunt stampede, and realized it was moving at too high a wireless speed to process the duality of my logic. Hashtags tend to win over thought-provoking op-eds. #DulyNoted