Charlotte Riots 2016

charlotte-1We’re having race riots here in Charlotte. Frankly, I’m surprised it hadn’t happened sooner. Last year a Black man whose car had broken down on the side of the road approached police for help. His hands were in the air, he announced himself, tried to explain his situation, and was shot dead on the spot. There’s no way that’s the first or last time something like this has happened here. Black men really have no options: They get killed whether they cooperate with police or not, whether they are actually doing anything wrong or not, and whether or not there are other options than going straight to “shoot to kill.”
A couple observations: At one point one of the anchors on a local station tonight pleaded for better communication and understanding. I would point out that the criminal justice system (and practically every other institution in our nation) has always communicated to Blacks that they are disposable and invisible. I don’t know how much more clearly these systems could communicate that to minorities in general. Also, because of the clarity of that communication, it’s hard to see how anyone Black could misunderstand it. The issue here isn’t communication or understanding. The issue here is the sociopathic lack of empathy our culture has toward minorities in general and Blacks in particular. We really do need to stop being a nation of xenophobic bullies. Now.
Also, in closing, the gentleman on air suggested that we “love our neighbors like we love ourselves.” This is problematic, because most people seem to have terrible self esteem, don’t love themselves very well, and thus actually ALREADY love their neighbors like they love themselves (which is poorly). The Golden Rule says to do unto others as you would have others do unto you, but even that doesn’t work if you already expect people to be cruel or oppressive toward you. If you have ever experienced cruelty for your appearance, disposition, or beliefs, you are in a position to NOT propagate your wounds on others. And if you have ever hurt or intimidated others, you should look within to understand why you do/did that. That’s when you learn about yourself and how to be a better person. I prefer what I call The Platinum Rule: Do unto YOURSELF as you would have others do unto you. Do the hard work of examining your beliefs: Put them to the test to see if what you think actually makes any sense outside of your personal world. One test is this: If you have to hide behind a troll account online or behind a mask/sheet in person to feel safe expressing your beliefs, your beliefs are probably crap (and you know it). If you’re embarrassed to say aloud in mixed company what you think about people who aren’t like you, then that should be a warning to yourself that what you think is unacceptable for reasons that go beyond Political Correctness. When you’re wrong, acknowledge it, change, make reparations if needed, and move forward.

If everyone could actually love themselves and care for themselves in a nurturing way without fear of being called egotistical, I think we would have a great deal less of this happening. That isn’t possible when we break ourselves down into tribes and attack each other. Men, stop turning a blind eye to misogyny. Whites, interrupt racism when your friends tell jokes or make comments about people of color that aren’t true. Straights, leave LGBTQ people alone – what they do in private has nothing to do with your dysfunctional third marriage. Whether you’re a believer or not, stop being an asshole about God. And whether my fellow Whites want to hear it or not, you do not know what it’s like to worry about being confronted, arrested, or killed for shopping/walking/driving while White. If you wouldn’t want to be treated the way Blacks are treated, then you have just admitted that the way Blacks are treated is unacceptable. If you wouldn’t want it for yourself or your friends/family, then don’t assume it’s okay to happen to people you don’t know. #BlackLivesMatter

Author: Devon Hunter

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1 Comment

  1. Mr. Hunter,

    I am a fifty-one year old gay black and I have lived in the black neighborhoods of Boston, Massachusetts for all my life.
    Thank you and I hope you practice what you preach.

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