Alton Sterling had children. A reminder for all who prefer to argue into eternity and point fingers. It is the CHILDREN who suffer when people choose to be violent. At the risk of having people peg me as naive: there is too much violence everywhere. It is not only in the hair trigger fingers of too many police officers. Why do we have so much violence in their ranks? Could it be because there is violence pervading the larger society? Yesterday on the bus ride home I was standing near a young man, no more than 20, black, who was watching videos with headphones on. Since I was standing over him, I could see the screen. He was watching video after video of people fighting. Every person in the videos was black, with few exceptions. When I got home, I talked about it with my partner. He said these kinds of videos are pervasive on the internet and are rarely removed, accessible to anyone. I proceded to be REVOLTED, simply revolted, when he showed me videos of people fighting. There were DOZENS of videos, one after the other, posted by seemingly ordinary people. Most of the people in these videos were young black women, some older, beating the living crap out of each other in apparent street fights. These were not trained fighters. The slapping, punching and hair pulling were preceded by slurs at each other that I won’t repeat here. There were some that were assaulted by more than one person. You’ll recall that one young black girl accidentally killed a classmate in Delaware while beating her up in a bathroom (there were other students there and they didn’t stop the fight, they filmed it). Forget the lack of human compassion for a minute: where is the fruit of the teachings of great black Americans who taught blacks to stand together in peace and justice? Is anyone teaching our children anything? Oh yeah, now I remember: this is a nation that thinks that nothing, not even children, are more important than sending every adult to toil all day in a waged job, even if the parent is single. So what if children have no one to guide them but whatever is on the internet?
This is downright disturbing.
Great black women through the ages who have spread messages of empowerment and unity to black women–Shirley Chisholm and so many other great women come to mind–would be spinning in their graves to see this chaos. We should rightfully question and eliminate violence motivated by race discrimination–but how do we account for, and what do we do about, rampant physical and verbal violence and its glorification in young people generally and in young black people specifically? I have my own theories about why fighting, indeed total humiliation of others has become normal. I wonder what others think. We have to do something besides point fingers while children are left fatherless, and violence is glorified. What do the same people who are criticizing the police for their role in the disgusting violence we have seen say about the filming and posting of physical assaults I am talking about? There is something being missed in the national conversation, and with even more cops murdered in LA now, we are getting nowhere fast.