[As I Read...]
…these posts about Troy Davis, I’m becoming increasingly annoyed. Non-people of color are absolutely shocked at the atrocities that played out last night. They’re posting pictures of themselves crying, they’re posting texts about faulty legal systems and are trying to comfort one another by offering solutions to make the current system better.
I’m not shocked by what happened to Troy Davis. People of color know all too well that being black and male in America is one of the worst identities to have. It is equivalent to painting a bright red target on your back. The system doesn’t care about us. We know racism is institutionalized and have been raised to be cautious of it. We know that being black makes everything harder. This is our daily experience. Our people are ALWAYS being wrongly persecuted, used as this country’s scapegoat.
Not one post made by a POC contained a tone of surprise. It is generally understood that if we get caught up in the “justice” system we most likely won’t get a great outcome. Many of us were disillusioned, angered, and disappointed, but not shocked.
This is where the disconnect comes in. Non-POCs don’t talk about race. They blame the process in itself, but they don’t attribute race to the problem. They don’t have to watch their brothers and friends get harassed on a daily basis by cops. They don’t feel the awkward stares if they walk into a store where the owner has already stereotyped them and has deemed them dangerous. They don’t have to live through any of this and so they’re shocked when they find out about people like Troy Davis. They’re sympathetic and recognize that the system is faulty, but they don’t even know the half of it because they don’t have to live this every single day. The true meaning behind all of this escapes them.
I don’t want to see another picture of a non-POC crying. What the hell do they have to shed tears for? In a few week’s time, most of them are going to forget all about Troy Davis and will go back to their lives, devoid of all prejudice. They’ll be free to do and say whatever the fuck they want without being challenged because they don’t have dark skin, whereas the rest of us will continue living through this. We will undoubtedly meet and hear about more Troy Davis’s whose stories most likely won’t make it to the major news stations. The ache will never leave our hearts. We will continue on in our lives in the quest for peace and success and whatever else one strives for, but the truth, the feeling of otherness that this society ingrains in us, will always be there. We will NEVER forget. They might, but we won’t. This is not an anomaly or some kind of accident. This is reality, our reality.