Three days ago, Stephen Paddock murdered nearly 60 people, and injured over 500 more from his hotel room overlooking a crowd enjoying a country music festival in Las Vegas, Nevada. Obviously, my thoughts and condolences go out to all the victims, both wounded and killed, and those traumatized by this act of terrorism.
I’m not here to debate whether or not this massacre was part of a false flag operation or any other conspiracy theory. Maybe we can save that for another post.
I only want to answer the question that continues to burn holes in my psyche. Why don’t we call these mass shootings what they are: Terrorist attacks?
Americans devote so much time, attention, and resources to fighting crime and terrorism in the country. When politicians talk about crime, they often talk about increasing police presence in “high crime areas” and tougher sentencing laws, which ALMOST ALWAYS include Black neighborhoods and other communities of color. When the focus shifts to acts of terrorism, the spotlight almost exclusively shines on people of Middle Eastern descent, and on people who profess to be followers of Islam or an extreme interpretation of the religion. The assumption is made that these groups of people are the biggest purveyors of crime and terrorism, so they demand more scrutiny.
However, when we talk about curbing mass shootings, all that logic and penchant toward hard-hitting, wallet-breaking action seems to go out of the window.
Yesterday, Mother Jones magazine posted a detailed spreadsheet consisting of 92 instances of mass shootings committed in the United States since 1982. You can sort the data to highlight such information as the number of killed and wounded, the type of guns used, and whether or not mental illness played a factor in the listed incidents. Guess what other two categories are available to sift through? Race and gender.
Of the 92 tragedies listed in the spreadsheet, 51 were perpetrated by White people. And of those 51 tragedies, 50 of them were committed by White males. 15 were committed by Black males. Let’s do some math:
Black Males – 15/92 = 0.163 = 16.3%
White Males – 50/92 = 0.543 = 54.3%
White males committed more than 50% of all the mass shootings compiled on this list! And that’s only since 1982. This list doesn’t include riots, lynchings, and other acts of terror committed against Black people during the Reconstruction Era or the Jim Crow/Segregation era, just to name a few time periods in our most recent history.
When we shoot and kill one another, everyone wants to talk about “Black-on-Black crime” as though it were some genetic phenomenon only inherent in Black DNA. When a follower of Islam commits a crime against anyone else, everyone wants to blame Islam and condemn the entire religion as one of violence and hate.
There are hundreds, if not thousands, of local, State, and federal laws, statutes, and codes regarding street gangs and Sharia law.
Why don’t White men get the same scrutiny as Black men? Why don’t we scrutinize Christianity with the same vigor as we do Islam? I mean, this is America, right? Lady Justice is blindfolded purposefully in order to show objectiv………
You’ve probably heard it a million times from those “extra pro-Black” folks that grab the mic and yell into it like it’s trying to talk over them. They tell you that America isn’t for the Black Man. They tell you that, no matter what you do, you’ll never get true justice, because you’re always going to be considered as someone not to be trusted, suspect, an enemy…A TERRORIST.
And who, in American history, has the most proven track record of spreading these lies, through both word and deed?
So why are we all considered dangerous and not them? Because they run America. And the laws they create will look out for them at the expense of nearly everyone else. You don’t have to look any further than the U.S. Constitution, the Declaration of Independence, and almost every law written for over 150 years of this country’s history.
I mean, it only took White women OVER 130 YEARS TO GAIN VOTING RIGHTS! So imagine where we fell in this line, assuming we were even allowed in it….
To many of us, that’s a “duhhhhh!” statement. But you’d be surprised at the number of us who truly believe we finally have a fair shot to get anything in this country. Before we, as a nation of Black people, can move forward with our own brand of progress, we have to collectively understand the extent to which we are still subjugated.
History shows us that justice isn’t guaranteed for us here, in its current mode of distribution. This is why we’re continually hunted down by law enforcement and killed at disproportionately high rates, and if we’re lucky enough to survive the encounter, we’re more harshly sentenced and warehoused in prisons as opposed to our White counterparts.
I don’t believe we’ll ever completely stop the terrorism levied against us, physically, economically, religiously, or in any other form. All I advocate is that we better prepare ourselves for it by working together to become a stronger family, through the pooling and sharing of our resources, our shared culture, and our will to survive.
I love you. #BlessedBeTheGrind