My brother posted a comment about racial profiling, and it brought up a thought that has been running in my mind for some time: How many “lone wolfs” does it take for the pack to be recognized?
When I was growing up – whether consciously or unconsciously – this mantra of “representing the race” was instilled in me. As if every action, deed or misdeed represented something bigger than the actions of a mere individual. My actions represented every other black person across the nation. That is a heavy burden to carry.
It seems like black people (people of color in general) are not allowed individuality. Everything we do is weighed, measured and balanced as part of the reflection of the whole. This is why this constant “lone wolf” brush or diagnosis of “mental illness” has always troubled (for lack of a better word) me. How many white males with clear white supremacy radicalization will be given a pass without ever acknowledging the pack of wolves?
If a black person does a crime, they are thugs and criminals. If a brown person does a crime, build the wall or they are terrorists. Yet this individual – and I will be curious to see how Dayton, Ohio, pans out, gets to be a lone wolf or mentally ill.
I can begin to name the many black and brown people who have been unarmed yet killed by police. Yet how many white male gunmen been captured without incident. As I read comments – and I really do need to stop reading comments on articles for my own piece of mind – there is always justification. This justification is appalling and never addressed the real address. This fear of other. This fear of the “browning of America.” This fear of a shift in power structure.
Until being black or brown is “un-criminalized,” there will always be a reason to fear me. There will be a reason to follow me in stores (I wish I were being paranoid). There will be a reason to clutch your purses, wallets and phones as I walk by you. There will be a reason to teach your children that I am 3/5 of a person, a monkey and subhuman. There is absolutely nothing I can do with your fear of me – whether consciously or unconsciously – that is something you have reconcile within yourself.
As for the current administration, I think of the book of Hosea. Sowing the wind and reaping the whirlwind. How does one expect to sow so much hate and expect to not see results? And for the “Christian right” who support the administration, I leave you into the hands of God. In your silence, you are culpable.
And my brother is right, we need more healers. The wounds are festering and raging. We need a healing balm to flood the world to heal the rage, anger and fear that wants to overtake and consume us.
This is me unedited, literally. I will edit and add more later. But these are the thoughts that have me up at 2:00 in the morning.