White Folks, Listen Up and Let Me Tell You What Ferguson Is All About
Posted on August 24, 2014 | By Kathleen McKinley
Both sides lined up pretty much as expected over the death of Michael Brown in Ferguson. Social media is full of people on both sides making presumptions, and believing what they want to believe.
But it’s the white folks that don’t understand what this is all about. You see, Ferguson wasn’t about Michael Brown specifically, just like the outrage over Trayvon Martin’s death wasn’t about Trayvon Martin specifically. Let me put it as simply as I can for you.
I have three sons ages 17-27. I am a worry wart. I worry about everything every time they walk out the door, but the one thing I have never had to worry about is that they would be shot by a policeman, or even another teenager. If my sons were black, I would.
That’s it. Black moms across America have that pinprick of fear in the back of their hearts every time their sons leave the house. Every. Time. Because even if you’re black and live in a upper income area, and your son is a star basketball player and makes good grades, you know the cop doesn’t know that. The cop only knows what he deals with every day.
I know what many of you thinking. You are thinking, “Your sons probably don’t rob stores of cigars or beat up on a neighborhood watchman.” Well, I’ve been on this earth long enough to know that almost all boys between the ages of 14-21 do stupid things.
My boys just don’t get shot for doing them.
No matter how wrong you think Trayvon Martin or Michael Brown were, I think we can all agree they didn’t deserve to die over it. I want you white folks to understand that this is where the anger is coming from. You focused on the looting, but it was the mothers in the protests who they should have been shown on video over and over. Because their numbers are great, and their fear is greater.
We can talk all day about the problems in the poor black community, and the causes, and we might agree on some, and disagree on many. You all know where I stand on that. For all of you (and I include white liberals who pretend they don’t think the same) who ask why doesn’t the black community care about the hundreds and hundreds of murders of black boys in cities like Chicago that are killed by other black boys every year? They do. THEY DO. Maybe Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson can’t line their pockets with rallies in Chicago protesting black on black murders, but the people living in those communities ARE OUTRAGED. They are outraged every single day. They are trapped in these pockets of horror we call the inner city, and they have big birthday cake on their son’s 18th birthday because their son MADE it to 18.
The black community listens to men like Al Sharpton, because who else is standing up for them?? A leadership void is always filled, and if a leader doesn’t show up, a charlatan does.
So, In the Michael Brown shooting, both sides can just stop trying to make the cop the villain, or the hero. Stop making Michael Brown the innocent boy or the “thug.” You can blame the system, you can blame it on “white privilege,” you can blame it on gangs, you can blame it on the Democrats or the Republicans. I’m at a point where I don’t think we can have a discussion on the root causes, because no one wants to listen to the other side. In my humble opinion, those who care have it wrong, and the rest just don’t care.
Anyway, I just wanted you white folks to know what this was really about. The protests and the anger.
It’s about that pinprick of fear in a mother’s heart, and an 18th birthday.