…life from my perspective
“what God has built you never can break, what God has loved you never can hate…”
I remember when Biggie was murdered. There were so many people who were deeply saddened by the circumstances surrounding our dear brother’s death but for every person who felt sorrow because his life was taken so violently and senselessly, there was someone who showed little emotion because they believed “he lived by the gun so he died by the gun.” I hated that shit. Especially since there was no indication at the time of his death that he was “living by the gun.” In all fairness, there’s really no way to know how BIG was carrying it unless you were there, though his lyrics did center around drugs, crime and violence; not a glorification of the life but a play by play description of his time as a hustler. But wait. In Juicy didn’t he say “I went from negative to positive and it’s all good…”? So maybe BIG WAS turning his life around and attempting to make a bad situation good. The public at large may have missed that but I didn’t. In any case, the point I’m trying to make is, if we have little empathy for the demise of slain rappers, druglords and gang members, why in the fuck are we praying for George Zimmerman? To live by the sword and die by the sword essentially means to live with the consequences of the choices you’ve made. If you choose a life of crime and prison or death is a possible consequence, then you sleep in the bed you’ve made. If you willingly and intentionally, WITHOUT JUST CAUSE, take the life of another human being, then you MUST be ready to face your fate. For actions such as this, justice should come in equal measure. An eye for an eye. Prepare to give up what you took away. No Kumbaya My Lord words with an understanding ear for the perpetrator and their family or a soft heart for other criminals who’ve committed similar offenses. And while vigilante justice “isn’t justice in the eyes of the law”, sometimes it’s the only justice.
“deep inside the ghetto, there’s a unity….”
By now we are all familiar with the details of the Trayvon Martin case. Trayvon, was a 17yr old black male who was gunned down by George Zimmerman, a 28 yr old white male, inside a gated community in south Florida. The nation is in an uproar because Trayvon was intentionally targeted by Zimmerman, a neighborhood watch captain licensed to carry a gun but who had no probable cause to shoot the unarmed teen who was NOT believed to have posed any threat; by the time it was all over, our young brother, our teenage son, our childhood friend, Trayvon Martin lay bloody dead on the streets of Dade County with a bag of Skittles and an Arizona juice drink in his pocket. And while black people aren’t new to inner city violence or black-on-black crime, this is different. Why? Because this was Adult vs. child. White vs. black. Big, fat, responsible for exercising better judgment grown man vs. vulnerable, unaware of the danger that lay ahead, scrawny teen. Armed vs. unarmed. Prejudice vs. fear. Targeting a black youth as evidenced by the comment “those assholes always get away” vs. minding my own business, going to the store to get some hot flamings and something to drink. And while I STRONGLY believe that society at large WILL NOT regard the lives of black folk with care and concern until WE demonstrate better care for ourselves and our communities, Zimmerman’s absence of judgement and barbaric acts of malice involved in the commission of this horrific crime SHALL NOT be diverted, overlooked, diminished or ignored. So, when you in church and the pastor tells you to pray for Trayvon AND Zimmerman, or when your white co-worker wants to figure out why you’re so up in arms about THIS case because when black boys murder one another you’re desensitized, or when you have to explain to your children why this happened in an attempt to calm their fears – don’t mix apples and oranges. Examine THIS case based upon the facts of THIS case and God willing, justice WILL be handed down accordingly.
We all know our children are victims of senseless acts of violence on a daily basis, most of the time at the hands of their peers. The majority are caught up in a lifestyle they’ve chosen or have been forced into because they don’t know any other way or because they don’t have the heart to go another route. It’s one thing to be involved in gang warfare (that you volunteered to be a part of) where you and your fellow gang members “strap up” and are willing to confront your rivals who also possess the weaponry to defend themselves, it’s another thing to be an innocent victim caught in gangland crossfire and quite another thing to be intentionally targeted without just cause. Another reason THIS case is different. I don’t stand behind my typing fingers to justify the savage behavior of our people when ungodly acts committed upon us by the hands of one another is commonplace – I’m not on that. For the most part I call a spade a spade. But I DO KNOW that black boys and black men are targeted by society at large and considered a national threat. And thanks to the good ole Patriot Act, our sons and fathers will be labeled “terrorists” very soon if they haven’t been already. Don’t believe me? See Michelle Alexander’s The New Jim Crow. All I’m saying is, don’t bring that “this happens everyday in the hood” shit to me. Zimmerman snuffed out the life of a child, my child, your child, the hood’s child, the nation’s child, for no reason whatsoever. Memories of Emmitt Till, Rodney King, Amadou Diallo, Fred Hampton, Sean Bell, and Oscar Grant flood my mind. My soul is uneasy and my heart is hurting.
If there was ever a time to be emotional, this is it. Black folk get emotional about BBQ, weed and drank but when it’s time to exhibit some passion or speak out vehemently about that worth speaking out about, we just “leave it in the hands of the Lord.” Nah….this requires action. What action? Raise your kids while mentoring someone else’s. Turn the idiot box OFF! Sign petitions and make yourself visible at the local town hall meetings and organized rallies. Have a long hard talk with your local elected officials, if you have faith in the political scheme. Take kids to church and don’t be afraid to whip they ass when they out of line – “spare the rod….”. Stop buying Gucci bags and CLBs, tricking dough you can’t afford. Stop feeding your kids shit and take the time to talk to them about their day over a home cooked meal. STOP DEPENDING ON OBAMA. HE AIN’T GONE DO SHIT for you on a personal level. The God within is in charge of ALL THAT! Start by changing YOU in order to change your environment and pretty soon you’ll begin to see the change our communities so desperately need. And for the love of God and all that’s right in the world, STOP praying for Zimmerman. PLEASE! On the real though, I don’t even understand THAT one. And here’s why. When a man cheats on his wife and the mistress gets pregnant and the wife finds out and leaves her husband, I rarely hear people say, “I’m gonna pray for that man.” I usually hear, ” he got what he deserved but my prayers go out to his wife and bastard child.” Or when a college student receives a failing grade for plagiarism or cheating on an exam, people don’t lament and say, “that poor student was obviously under tremendous pressure, I’m going to pray for them.” Instead they say, “that’s they fault. They signed a code of ethics contract with their enrollment application so they knew better; they shouldn’t have been cheating.” In scenarios like these, I find people rush to stand in judgment of the individuals instead of making judgment calls regarding the situation. In a crime of this magnitude why doesn’t the same apply? Why are people choosing to pray for Zimmerman but rarely pray for the adulterer and the cheater? I don’t know if there are specific conditions for sending prayers but this don’t gel with me. You don’t pray for the cheater and the adulterer because they CHOOSE to cheat and adulterate. Whether intentionally or not, there is ALWAYS a moment when the cheater and adulterer thinks twice and can decide to walk away BUT THEY DON’T and THAT’s why you REFUSE TO EMPATHIZE with them. As you see it, personal responsibility is the order of the day and people MUST deal with the choices they make – you make your bed you lay in it. SAME THING APPLIES HERE. You intentionally take someone’s life, WITHOUT JUST CAUSE, ain’t gone be no prayer line on your behalf, may you get what’s coming to you. The spirits of Trayvon Martin, Emmitt Till, Amadou Diallo, Fred Hampton, Sean Bell, Oscar Grant and other fallen soldiers WILL FOREVER haunt Zimmerman. Like my mama always say, EVERY DOG HAS ITS DAY. Until tomorrow young’ns.