I feel the immense, frightening pain of political events. I also lived in in a neighborhood that went through so much in regards to gang violence, and had political leaders more interested in shaming Jews, chasing girls, and protesting Mark Twain. I had friends who-through suicide and drug addiction who died of neighborhood trauma, and no activist protested for them the way that activist rioted for Tookie Williams when he was executed in 2005. Corey Pittman was a College kid in my neighborhood who- while not my friend-was kind enough to tell me to stop doing pills, get my life together and go back to school, and he was executed by Kimonti Carter. In the last 10 years, social justice fringes have made carter an agit prop jail activist star.
When Richard Sherman talks about no civil rights networks being there for his best friend being shot dead; he’s speaking to a pain so many of us who have gotten out of fucked up situations feel. There is a part of me that isn’t intolerant of Kimonti having opportunities is jail. I just wish that Corey and so many people who “died of hilltop” were granted the same opportunities. I wish there were networks that were as protective of the sisters I knew and loved as there are of the rights of men like Kimonti who are locked up. I wish there were video crews as concerned that so many young kids had to age before their time to survive, as they are about a telegenic brother who has a hard time getting his story straight or feeling remorse about what 3 people fingered him for.
So as somebody who saw too much trauma and went up more than a few share of hurdles to get to where I am, I have a lot of feeling for what Richard is going through. But he’s myopic about the cancerous, gas-lighting dynamics of the All Lives Matter movement, and he’s wrong about Black Lives Matter. http://blacklivesmatter.com/11-major-misconceptions-about-the-black-lives-matter-movement/ His accusations about the movement’s inability to talk about black crime, and hatred of cops are grounded and fear.
But they are also grounded in pain. If the Black Lives Matter movement is going to make more inroads in the black community, they need to realize that pain is real and can’t be easily explained away by making every black person society’s child. I feel the weight of being black viscerally in my bones and in my soul. That doesn’t mean that I’m on a fucking team. That doesn’t mean that everybody with my skin color is unassailable.
If you are reading this, unfamiliar with me, and happen to think I’m one of the “good blacks”, I will probably write something about race, culture, and/or police brutality that will disabuse you of that notion. White liberal counter movements to black lives matter and modern civil rights movements have already proven to full of garbage fires. Jon Ronson book on shaming poisoned discussions on the subject when he refused to see it as part of flawed human nature and fixated on race. Lionel Shriver’s obsession with calling every person who disagree with her a totalitarian fascist is a even more vicious extension of the “political correctness” she so despises.
I also understand the trepidation people have with respectability politics. Black men can get away with almost every crime under the sun if they have a good shtick criticizing rappers and single mothers. But there is a difference between respectability politics and having an examined life. Richard Sherman is a very good, very honorable brother who-by his recent press conferences-is working on understanding that. He needs to keep working. So do his critics. So do I. So do we all.