Friday, September 26, 2014

A white man's apology and a black man's resignation?

What happens when you take a white man’s apology and cross it with a black man’s resignation?
A heap of speculation.

When Ferguson Police Chief Tom Jackson apologized to Michael Brown’s family for taking four hours to move their son’s dead body from the hot pavement, you could hear a thunderous roar – what took you so long? Why now? What up with that? Keep your apology to yourself, and, while at it, put it where the sun don’t shine.
Did you feel the rage coming? Why did it take you 48 days? Why release it on video? Reach out to the family. Take it like a man and face the expressions on their faces as you feed them that lame “I’m sorry dude”. While at it, there’s a long list of things to apologize.  How about showing regret for tear-gas, rubber bullets and police pointing guns at protestors.

You got some nerve.
As Jackson released his video public relations maneuver, Eric Holder was preparing to resign his post as US Attorney General. It would be presumptuous to suggest a correlation between the two, but Holders resignation felt like one of those kiss my black caboose moments. It felt like that moment when you’re fed up, sick and tired and unwilling to take any more of the mess.  It felt like that second you want to slap the collective face of all who stood in your way by screaming “I’m out!”

We don’t know the reasons behind Holder’s decision.  It could be health related.  I could be he wants to spend more time with family.  As much as inquisitive minds want to know, it’s none of our business.  With that being said, can we blame Holder if he’s fed up with dealing with lunatics incapable of seeing life beyond their hillbilly privilege?
It has to be grim contending with gun pushers after the death of elementary students. Instead of rallying for gun legislation, many sought more gun freedom in response to mass murder. Yes, take this job and shove it.  It doesn’t stop there. Holder was engaged in a battle to overcome mindsets and ways that refuses to concede the implications related to assumptions involving race, racism and privilege.

That stuff shows up in the way the judicial system enforces laws.  It pops up in the way lines are drawn in disparate ways in the handling of crimes.  Holder attempted to attack how race decides punishment. He tried, the best he could, to undo decades of policies that adds to black incarceration and unfair treatment.
The brother could not do it alone. There are layers of abuse that shows up with racial profiling, assumptions of judges, prosecutors who bury evidence, and citizens unwilling to assume innocence until proven guilty.

Could it be Ferguson was the last straw?  Could it be it was enough to convince the nation’s top-cop it’s too much to undo?
To his credit, Holder did his best in keeping it real.  He attempted to tell his personal story in a way that helps people understand the burdens associated with being a black man in America.  Yes, it is common to get stopped for no other reason than walking while black. 

Being real, while serving in high places, isn’t met well by those who prefer it when black folks keep their feelings private, act in a way that reflects appreciation for the hard work white people have done to understand. The proper political position is to talk about Dr. King’s dream versus our nation’s continued nightmare.
Holder showed up in Ferguson, MO to show he understands.  Those who needed his presence felt the force of the White House.  They wanted Obama to show up, but knew it’s hard for a brother due to the constant criticism for talking about being black in America.

Maybe Holder is fed up with pretending?  Maybe he needs space to say what’s really on his mind.  Maybe politics took a massive toil and he’s sick of mending wounds he didn’t create.
Maybe he’s fed up with dealing with police officers killing black men like its hunting season.  Maybe it’s too much pain to carry while knowing there isn’t much one man, especially a black man, can say or do.

That’s a bunch of speculation. We may never know why Holder quit. 
As much as many of us hate it, we understand.  I can’t blame him if he’s sick of carrying the burden of America’s mess.

Many of us feel like quitting. We get it.
So, chill brother.

No comments:

Post a Comment