Time For Peace: Milwaukee Riots and The Black Condition In America Today

I am not a member of the Black Lives Matter movement. I don’t know much about them and as a young black male I guess that’s cause for revocation of my “blackness” card, membership and secret parking space. As a black male in America I have come to understand certain realities: Black folks are angry, feel stepped on, we’re literally being hunted by law enforcement, or so it seems to those in our community, and within our communities there are very limited opportunity to strive for some kind of future.

It’s easy for a white conservative on here to say “well, get a job, pull your bootstraps up like I did” And yes there are a lot of poor white people in this country but still, many blacks feel as though the American system was not created for them to succeed on their own terms. You know I always talk about how black people need to accept America for what it is and not try to run up behind the very people whom your anger is directed. Don’t run up behind them and don’t allow the reality to dictate your’s. In other words here I am a black male from the gutter, a child of a single mom at the age of fifteen when my father died of lung cancer in 2002. I grew up in a neighborhood riddled with drugs and gangs. My neighborhood was a unique one in that I lived on a street smack in the middle of two known gang territories. On one side across the street from my house was a known Rollin’ 60s Crip neighborhood and behind my backyard was a street called Hancock which was claimed by Hancock bloods or Hancock family bloods. I know the exact same experience that those in Milwaukee and countless other communities live every single day.

I know what it’s like to fall asleep to the sound of gunshots ringing out in the air at night. The police helicopters whirling around, cops with flashlights roaming through my front yard and behind our house because they’re looking for someone. Despite my environment and being a crip myself I ultimately made a conscience effort to not allow myself to fall victim of what was around me.

My message to black America is to never accept whatever injustice we believe is trying to hold us back. At the end of the day the more united and more focus on winning we are the less we lose in the end. Do white police officers target us, absolutely and for different reasons. Some white cops have it in their head that blacks are more hostile and require aggressive treatment, some cops just plain hate me cause I’m free. I see it often at night when I’m coming from work the looks I get, the fact that on one occasion four cops got out an SUV and circled me like I’m 6’6 270 when I’m only 5’10 165. Thank the Lord nothing happened and they weren’t disrespectful or anything like that. Apparently they were looking for someone who ran in the same direction I was coming from and they just wanted to make sure I hadn’t seen anything. They knew where I worked so they weren’t really tripping.

Not all interactions with police are the same but the Lord saw to it that mine didn’t end tragic like the others we’ve heard about. My view on law enforcement has two sides in that I know full well that not all cops are bad, but I know a lot of them mean to harm black people because they have a particular mindset from the jump. But that doesn’t keep me from praying for cops and being respectful.

So in closing I ask my brothers and sisters this: What exactly does it do you to riot? No, what does it accomplish to riot and pillage your own community? So if a cop kills my brother I burn my house down and kill the rest of my family? I can’t count on my hand the number of riots because a black man murdered another brother over his set or some beef in the dope game. In Chicago you got gangs going to war like Armageddon and all they can do is pay it lip service on nationally syndicated hip hop radio or in a Spike Lee joint.

Where’s black anger to the point of riot when it comes to our kids out here dying for some b*lls**t? We’ve had for years bloods and crips killing each other because one likes red and the other likes blue. I’m ex-black tre deuce crip, I got friends that are bloods, I can go to any blood neighborhood and it not be threat to my life because I rose above all of that.

Black folks rioted in Milwaukee because they want rich white folks to give them money? You really think white folks gonna give us anything when for the most part they barely want us to prosper within the system as it is? And if we express our demands in the form of hostility and destructive behavior all that does is give credence to the idea that has long festered in American culture that the black man is violent, uncivilized, aggressive, and needs to be contained. I quote Ice Cube “why’s more N-words in the pen than in college?” 

Let’s do something the media and America doesn’t expect we’re capable of doing and instead of destroying our communities which they could care less if we do because it’s not like people who riot in Milwaukee are going to ever sniff the chance of destroying the neighborhoods inhabited by white people so as long as we’re putting ourselves further behind they don’t care how much we burn down the ghetto. We need to unite because that’s not expected, we need to build our communities instead of exploiting them because that’s not expected, and we need to value each other’s lives because that certainly isn’t expected. White people expect us to kill each other and sell dope to our kin because sadly it’s all we’ve known since the 1970s. But what if we stopped being our own worst enemy?

Are we ever going to change the American system which is racial and does function based on racial bias and preference? No, but the world isn’t perfect. But that doesn’t mean we should live by low standards and rob from ourselves the little that we’ve got. Here are my demands: Let’s stop destroying our community and unite for a time of peace among brothers, let’s forge a plan to fix black America before we seek to change America.

I’m not an N-word, my sisters aren’t thots and b’s, I don’t sell dope to my brother, I won’t kill my brother for my set because I disavowed my set and got saved so I can save my people. White people can’t help us because they can’t relate to the black experience so let’s get that out there. I can do more good as a young black man reach out than any president or politician because they don’t know the world in which they have an opinion of. Same goes which white conservatives who spout data and use the same old throwaway talking point. Your bridge doesn’t reach that far because you aren’t native to the world of a 17 year old black boy in Chicago who might get shot on the way home from school because he walked on the wrong side of the street.

This problem of contempt is a black owned one, despite police murdering us, if life is valued at the mark of pricelessness then no bullet from the gun of a white cop can penetrate that.