“The most dangerous place for black people is in white people’s imagination”.         D.L. Hughley

Black people, African-Americans, aren’t as scary or as dangerous as are other’s perception of them.  An example of the types of incidents where unarmed Black men have been approached, interrogated, arrested, shot and/or killed by police/law enforcement absent ‘probable cause’ in this country include this:

 

A black Colorado man was doing the suspicious work of cleaning his yard when he was confronted by police who wanted to know what the black man was doing on his own property.

A Boulder police officer saw the man sitting on a patio in an area that had a “private property” sign. The observant police officer reportedly sprung into action asking the man if he had a right to be there.

The man told the officer that he lived and worked in the building and provided the office with school identification card, but the officer wasn’t convinced and called for back up. He also wanted how the black man was able to print an identification card so quickly.

Needing more police officers, because clearly the black man was a magician, the officer claimed that the man who had already given the officer his name and his identification wasn’t being compliant when he was asked to drop his trash grabber and his bucket, which also had trash that could have been thrown at the officers direction creating a distraction giving the black magician an opportunity to flee.

“I live here,” the man can be heard saying in the a video of the incident which was posted to social media. “I am picking up garbage from my (expletive) porch.”
An officer can be heard asking the man to “put the object down,” while the man replies “don’t (expletive) tell me what to do,” and says, “I have a right to be doing this,” The Daily Camera reports.

A person can be heard saying that eight cops eventually showed up to take down the black magician whose trash grabber could have been confused for a staff and his trash can could’ve been a magical shield, so some of the officers had their guns drawn. Which totally makes sense if you think about what a magical staff can do!

Police spokeswoman Shannon Aulabaugh told the Daily Camera that they weren’t providing additional details but they did announce Monday that police are “launching an internal affairs investigation into the call and the response, which is expected to take 60 to 90 days,” which is totally above board considering that the police can absolutely be trusted to investigate the police.


According to author, James Baldwin, there is an ” ’emotional poverty’ in this country that affects us in a way that we fail to achieve a connection with one another. There is a conflict between their public stance and their private life. If Americans weren’t so terrified of its private self, then we wouldn’t have become so dependent on what they call ‘the negro problem’. This problem, to save their purity, reliant upon this conflict with the negro has made them criminals and monsters. And this, not from anything blacks may or may not be doing. Inner conflict has been destroying them.” *

He goes on to say that this “totally invented ‘negro problem’ is the role of the guilty constructed out of their imagination as assigned to blacks.” This fuels hatred between blacks and whites in this country.

The root of the black man’s hatred is rage. He is angry in that he wants the white man out of his way, and more than that, out of his children’s way. The root of the white man’s hatred is terror, a bottomless terror of this dread figure who lives only in his mind.” *

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It seems that it is more dangerous for black men to exist in  America than the danger they actually pose. Please do not continue to blame the victim and ask the tired question of,  “What about black on black crime?” That is a cop-out, a defense mechanism. This retort says either you are biased, do not care[no empathy] or you do however recognize the situational facts and the profound statements they make and refuse to acknowledge it. To relieve any guilt, remorse or empathy, it is less painful to defend wrongful deeds by way of finding reasons to blame the victim/suspect/perpetrator.

The solutions lie in public education- not just empathy, cultural sensitivity or proficiency. With an inclusive curriculum comes all of these qualities. It is far more proactive to teach with content that cultivates appreciation and tolerance-respect for all. This process is continuous and ongoing for both educators and learners, but starts with educators.

Learning opportunities mitigate ignorance and prevent situations in which we may demonstrate cultural ignorance. That ignorance is evidenced by hate crimes, wrongful deaths and injury, mass incarceration, discrimination, learning and economic gaps, and immaculate perceptions[implicit bias], which reflect subconscious guilt whereby you feel partially responsible for the actions taken by other whites.

It is dangerous to wear hoodies, walk in their own community, drive cars-either too ‘fancy’ or too much like a ‘hoopdie’. It is unsafe to travel outside of a black community. It is unsafe to make a living. Death follows if someone sells cigarettes, ‘loosies’.  God forbid they should be seen running or jogging at the wrong time. Those times are when the police are looking for a suspect. It is then that a black person’s actions are all suspicious, they fit the description[when everyone looks alike], and  any object that is black or shiny looks like a gun. The magical phrase, ‘probable cause’, justifies every action to follow.

It is because of incidents such as described above that one can understand why so many ‘suspects’ are seen fleeing from the police. I guess it is far better to run than get apprehended. This brings the possibility that they may not make it home that night ….alive and heathy.

Personally, I can not relate to incidents of what many say is the police ‘f…ing with you’, but I do feel so much empathy and disgust and disappointment in the men and women charged with protecting and serving ALL citizens. The answers to these problems can not be solved today. However, if we are honest and understand that the answer to ignorance is education, then we begin to be parts of the solution.

Teach about life. Teach with relevance, and if we continue to teach as though black people/children are irrelevant, we are parts of the problem. We can do better than that. It takes honest educators, and it takes more than 28 days in a 9-month academic school year. Until then….

“The most dangerous place for black people is in white people’s imagination”.         D.L. Hughley

This is not a complaint. This is reality, folks.

 

*Quotes taken from the unfinished book, “I Am Not Your Negro”, by author James Baldwin.

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Published by JaDonnia B.

An education and counseling professional, I focus my expertise on diversity, inclusion and family engagement/empowerment Of particular importance is the partnership between parents and the community schools that serve their children. Highlighting strategies, tips and evidence-based best practices for family engagement, my aim is to alter mindsets, broaden perspectives, foster empathy, and build capacity. Offering 'food for thought' and inviting discussion, I also tell truths rarely explored. A holistic culturally-responsive approach to teaching, learning and engaging others begins with respect. I promote respect and fully integrating curricular diversity in formal learning settings! Collaboration with families is necessary, because parents hold the master key that unlocks doors to child health and wellness, academic achievement, and believe it or not, teacher excellence and stronger school communities.

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