This is the Friday of the week beginning on June 1, 2020. Welcome to Free-thought Fridays!
We continue with GEMINI SEASON! My birthday was this week. America was in turmoil. Still is.
This week’s Musings is a special edition. Instead of a sporadic list of things, I’m sharing a thematic list to address George Floyd’s death and the protests, opinions, rhetoric, and more that has ensued in its aftermath. I reserved my randomness and maintained specificity as people are hurting and tired. I did not want to ignore that today. The regular edition will resume next week.
My top ten thoughts in this week’s SPECIAL EDITION of Miss Jae’s Musings:
1. City Curfews. The District of Columbia has been under curfew most of the week. For two days, the curfew was 7:00P! Interesting how we can instill strict curfews for (mostly) Black folk protesting, but not pandemics. It’s like the Government’s position is that Black people are more dangerous than a life-threatening disease. I had the lovely pleasure of driving through both Atlanta and Washington, D.C. this past weekend. I felt like I was living through a scene in a history book. #blackpeoplearenotinnatelydangerous
2. Be More Like Jesus. Are you all running into those whose position is to be more like Jesus? As if protesters who adopted that persona would realize that causing damage to property is something Jesus would never do. To the (evangelical) Christians who find the need to spew New Testament scriptures to cover property damage: please remember that both God and Jesus dabbled in (property) destruction when it was called for. You cannot use the Bible as your cover for social justice—when you do it screams of delusion, ignorance, and hatred. Try again. #jesusturnedtablesinafit
3. Often-Confused Synonyms. It’s important to know the difference between “kill” and “murder.” To kill is ‘to cause the death of.’ It is a “lawful” (I place in quotes because the law is different in various places and because some lawful killing could still be deemed murderous due to a flaw in the law.) To murder is ‘to kill someone unlawfully and with premeditation.’ We should practice using the right words to describe behavior and action. There is power in language, power in the tongue. To say that Derek Chauvin (Tou Thao, Thomas Lane, and J. Alexander Kueng) killed George Floyd leaves room to ponder if Chauvin et al. had lawful cause. Conversely, to say that Chauvin et al. murdered Floyd makes it clear that the fault was Chauvin’s with no just or lawful cause. Side Note: How is it that two officers (Chauvin and Thao) with violent incident histories are teamed together to “fight crime?” No one caught this? Admittedly, I am not a member of any law enforcement. But, I have taught school before; and I know not to send two students who are working through behavioral issues out of the room together. #thoushallnotmurder
4. The Hypocrisy of Whiteness. We are well-aware that history repeats itself. Some would claim that history repeats itself when we fail to interrupt the pattern. Here we stand in the middle of Two-Thousand and Twenty with an un-interrupted pattern. Civil disobedience, protests (peaceful or otherwise), and demonstrations are embedded in America’s foundation as a way to promote change, expose injustice, and demand rightful rulings. We are not new to this. However, white Americans have completely participated in violence including murdering innocent Black people, burning stakes in yards, destroying property owned by Black citizens, and many times they even burned down entire cities. In most cases it was just an expression of their hate; meaning that no Black person had actually committed a crime or came to town starting trouble. (Not to mention the countless instances of white-led property damage in just this century alone due to game losses in team sports.) Let’s pontificate on that for a few. This week, many white people complained about property damage as a response to murder; but just a little over fifty years ago they had no issues burning down entire cities in Oklahoma, North Carolina, Florida, New York, Ohio, and more in the name of hate? I am not excusing property damage, but rather I am searching for social consistency. I need to know. When is it okay to destroy property? When Jesus flipped tables? When God destroyed Egypt? When Black people are tired of being murdered by crooked police? Or is it only when white people want to? Is that when it’s okay? Make it make sense. #askingforafriend
5. Black Christianity. Police brutality may just make Black Christianity obsolete. Who in good faith could “love” this? As a good friend of mine, Yael, says, “Love is for your neighbor. Psalm 109 is for your enemies.” (Notice, I did not say that police brutality would cancel anyone’s faith. That is personal, and it is yours.) I have received a few calls this week from mamas asking how in the world do they look their Black manchild in the face and say, “You should still love Derek Chauvin.” Lawdamercee. Maybe the better question is: Are non-Black people teaching their children that they should still love George Floyd–that they should love Black people? #whatislove
6. Black Lives Matter. Every single Black person. Black women and Black children too. While American racism is not lost on us, let us recall American patriarchy. While being Black can be a painful existence in America, let us remember that men often have an advantage that women do not. The Black woman. Whew! We have endured the racism AND the sexism. It’s a different battle that I do not expect anyone to truly grasp outside of my Sistahs, but in the name of Blackness—Brothas I need you to keep this same energy when Black women experience the same racial injustices. Because BLACK lives matter. Every single Black person. #sayHERname
7. All Lives Matter. If you are dying in the street by law enforcement with no justice for their unlawful behavior that results in heartbreak and loss of your people, you would understand why this statement is pointless. Maybe we need a lesson in elementary fractions to fathom such pointlessness. Humanity represents the whole, all of people. Any one group of people (let’s use Black people for example’s sake) represents a part of that whole. All Lives Matter mathematically includes Black people; however socially (at least in America) it does not; as it is declared to overshadow our singularity as a People and to diminish the unique woes that we experience. If all lives actually mattered, particularly in this specific racial, social context, it would automatically include Black people and there wouldn’t be a need for us to proclaim our part in the whole. But since our lives do not seem to matter, we are left to declare that Black Lives Matter. If you have an issue with that, you should confront the powers that be on why Black people were not included and refrain from stating that Black people are wrong for defending our place in humanity. #blacklivesmatter
8. Martin Luther King, Jr. All this week we have heard groups of white people shouting “Dr. King” because it is their example of a “peaceful protester.” Even further, his name is invoked to suggest that we would not experience violence if protesters could be more like him. But, we have a problem. Dr. King in all his “peaceful” glory was murdered at the hand of a white man. Please stop shouting this leader’s name to us as if practicing his preachings will gain us justice, or even safety. Racist whites will murder (and have murdered) Black people—periodT. #ihavedreamforBlackpeopletonotdie
9. Vote. Black people, I get it. Even this system is “rigged” (against us). But so are so many other systems that we actively participate in. Rigged, untrusting systems cannot be the reason we do not move. It’s simply not in our People’s history. Please, vote. I have read many posts authored by Black voices where Malcolm is revered over Martin. Fifty-six years ago, Malcolm orated a speech encouraging Black militants to vote. If you are pro-Malcolm, vote. #bulletorballot
10. Dear, Mama. Matriarchs are revered people in the Black community. We love our mamas, aunties, and nanas. All other family may care for you, but these three catch you. It is not enough for matriarchs to just care for you or about you; they go over and beyond to make sure you do not fall in between the cracks. They teach you things about life and about yourself that no one else does or can. They show up for you even if they have to show up alone. In fact, they’re glad to. Their meals are served with tough love, wisdom, and nurture. Their voices are familiar and soothing. Their presence is calm and comforting. Their names are sweet and stately. We love them. We love our matriarchs. Of them all, we love our mothers. It is true that we all come out of our fathers, yet we are planted in our mothers. We pass through her matrix to exist earth-side. It is not just a bond, as we can bond intensely and intimately with others. It is a birth. Where the only ones who are biologically required to be present are you and her. This is why it is special. She carries that energy not until her death, but until yours. Dead mothers are still present, felt, and invoked by her living children. Though our matriarchal attachments date back much further than rapper Tupac’s beloved hit “Dear Mama” (1995), he is credited with personifying the Black love from mother-to-child to child-to-mother in this lyrical beat. In one line he proclaims “ain’t no woman alive that could take my mama’s place.” The message is so heartfelt that even those who do not have a “good” mama can resonate. This week, George Floyd screamed “MAMA” as he fought for his life in the final minutes of what would be the end of it. I try not to generalize much, but I’ll step out on the limb and say we all felt that one. As your mother’s child, you felt it. As your child(ren)’s mama, you felt it. So, some of us felt it twice. The circle of life. In death, we call out to our birth. Mama. #restinpeaceGeorge
Love, Light, & Black Lives