Black Lives

After another death of a black male at the hands of a police office in Ferguson, MO., African Americans everywhere reacted with mixed feelings. Peace, rage, protests and riots ensued because of Brown’s death and soon the hashtag came on the Internet.

Black lives matter.

People showed support and hate using the hashtag but the message was portrayed as it needed to be. Our lives are as important as any other race yet it doesn’t always seem that way. Senseless deaths and wrongful incarcerations occur far too often and we’re often the victims. So when will the neglect and hate end? Better yet, when will we, African Americans, put an end to it?

The deaths of Tamir Rice, Eric Garner, Brown, Trayvon Martin were unjust, ridiculous and those individuals were not given the justice they deserve. But why the public uproar over just those four?

Thousands of African American kids, teens and adults are killed each year and nothing is made of it. No protests, no rallies, no Facebook or Twitter post, no big media ordeal. Just families lowering a loved one six-feet under with no afterthought by anyone on the outside.

The aforementioned victims deserve their attention in the media. But how come the stories of thousands of others go unheard? Because we let it.

Social media can be used as a tool to help stop the slayings of black-on-black crimes, gang related violence and other issues we face. Various opportunities per year are squandered because we fail to utilize social media properly.  It’s used to spread hate, ignorance and misinformation during the times of importance.

The perception of our race is what is online, unfortunately. World Star Hip Hop and random fan pages showing fights, violence and us degrading ourselves is how society see us. And that blame goes to whomever hits share or continues the trend of diminishing our image.

Illustrating our achievements – graduation from college, starting a career with a prestigious company, paying off student debts – should matter more than sitting in line for a pair of Jordan’s.

Our perspective of what’s significant in our culture must change. Too much stock goes toward material and not concrete items. Shoes, clothing and popularity on Instagram and Twitter all hold more value than actual vital information. We need to focus on educating ourselves and quit tearing down those in our culture who chose to do so.

The discouraging thing about being black nowadays is that even if we are intelligent or have some sort of unique talent it is rare that it’ll be seen.

Often times we are criticize and castrated(def check) for liking things that aren’t “typical” of our culture. If an African-American has the potential to be magnificent with an instrument will often say discouraging things. “Man nobody plays that, no one will listen to your music. What’s type of black person does things like that?”

We hold ourselves back so much that we cocoon ourselves in a ball just to make others happy not realizing what harm were doing to our own culture. It’s terrifying how much we put each other down and make it a bad thing to deviate from the norm.

And the “norm” perceived by our culture is one ravaged  with violence, inappropriate behavior and appearance, (portrayed by social media.) not by the media as is constantly claimed.

So even if these for black victims were slain in the ways that they were, would we have given them the chance to flourish? Would we have blame society if they struggle to do what they want to do in life?

The discouraging thing about being black nowadays is that even if we are intelligent or have some sort of unique talent it is rare that it’ll be seen.

It may be something that irritates people, but it’s unfortunately a truth we think. Thousands of souls are lost in Chicago, Oakland and various other known bad neighborhoods and no bats an eye. We don’t talk about the futures they could have led because we assume they we’re destined for a life of misfortune.

When it’s national news, then we view their lives as lost potential.

And that’s why education and utilizing everyday tools need a better place in our culture and our lives. So we can better our lives and change how the world views us and how we view each other.

Seattle Seahawks star cornerback Richard Sherman encapsulates(def. check) this concept. His infamous rant after a game-saving play he made in 2014 against the San Francisco 49ers made many football fans loathe him and his team.

Sherman was the salutatorian at Dominguez High School in Compton, Calif., graduated with a 4.2 gpa, went to Stanford, earned a degree in communications (if you couldn’t already tell) and went back to school for a fifth year to obtain a master’s degree. He’s excelled in a brief period in the NFL to sugarcoat the rest of his success’.

Too many people fail to realize that he made it out of Compton, when he could have easily succumb to the environment and lifestyle of those around him.

Instead we chose a few periods in his life to diminish his accomplishments.

It’s hard to want to succeed when it seems like no matter what you do people judge you. It’s much more comfortable to want to mix with the norm than stick out and be judged.

Sherman can be arrogant, but has no one else ever had a moment where they’ve bragged of their accomplishments on Facebook? Twitter? Instagram?

Rebuilding what the world sees of us starts from within. If we don’t love ourselves, how can we expect the rest of the world?

[laterpay_subscription_purchase id="5" button_text="Join! Only $5 monthly" button_text_color="#ffffff" ]
[laterpay_subscription_purchase id="4" button_text="Join! $50 the full year" button_text_color="#ffffff" ]

[laterpay_contribution name="Support PULP Storytellers" thank_you="" type="multiple" custom_amount="0" all_amounts="300,500,700,1000,2500" all_revenues="sis,sis,sis,sis,sis" selected_amount="1" dialog_header="Support the Storytellers" dialog_description="support = voice"]