Tell Me, What Does It Feel Like To [Not] Be A Problem?

TreyvonEarlier this week I posted my thoughts on the results of the Zimmerman Trial, I suggest if you haven’t already, check it out. Since then, I’ve received a  range of responses–either via blog, Facebook, twitter, or even face to face–of people questioning how useful it is to even have a dialogue on the injustices that occurred. With all the other conflicts going on–The Arab Spring, the Newtown Shooting, and the Boston Bombings–it becomes clear that, according to some, the Zimmerman Trial, in its singular moment, may not hold as much urgency as a mass revolution against dictatorial rule, civil wars, or genocides. Yes, to an extent that is true, but that does not mean the events leading up to and after this trial do not hold as much significance or that they don’t produce any dangerous outcomes.

To those who do not see this case as one of significance: Perhaps you forgot it took one court case to reinforce the racialization of American slavery, to establish Jim Crow, and to turn the other cheek on mass incarceration. Each of these injustices took only one case, one case each to establish racial dominance.

In the words of black scholar, W.E.B Du Bois:

“To the real question, How does it feel to be a problem? I answer seldom a word.”

In the scholarly work, The Souls Of Black Folk, W.E.B. Du Bois refers to being black to being a problem. One has to realize the history of the African-American was one where they we’re always acknowledged as an inconvenient truth. Even when it was the African American’s equality being discussed, the name others used to label said discourse was “The Negro Problem.” It wasn’t a problem keeping them as slaves, or separated under Jim Crow; the problem was debating whether or not to free them and give them a sense of person-hood. The Trayvon Martin case was just another reminder that blacks are still seen as “The Problem”, only this time, many have given up and the post-Zimmerman trial responses are proof of this betrayal.

If you feel that people should not bring up the injustices of the Zimmerman verdict, you must not know what it means to be a problem. It must be easy being privileged, to conveniently pick what you choose to advocate and to decide what issues you give more importance to than others. I wish I knew what that felt like–to not be a problem, that is. But actually, I also wish you knew what it felt like–to be the problem.

It’s easy for you to tell African-Americans to remain calm. It is not you whose worth is being constantly redefined through different definitions of worthlessness. It is not you who, from birth, had a greater chance of ending in a prison than a college–all because of a trait you had no control over.

If you only see this case, and not its role in the bigger picture of society, than you haven’t opened your eyes. But it’s not your fault, because it is not you who can be hunted down, who is granted no humanity in the court of law, or who can’t wear a hoodie without being attacked based off the decision of one case. Remember: Black America is allowed to be upset. This bleak reality may not be your future, but it is theirs. So remember your privilege and how that alters your perception of what issues matter and which ones don’t–to you. Remember that you’re watching from the sideline, while others are actively living it.

We don’t choose when to bring up race, it already exists. We can’t choose to avoid reality–because it’s already around us.

Sure, you may be progressive. You may care about the issues occurring around the globe, but with your position, your argument values people of color as being just as worthless as the other side does. You see their struggles as something to wipe under the rug, even though their happening in your backyard.

It’s important to know that when you remain complacent, you’re not remaining on the outside, you are one of the main contributors . Through not standing up to the problem, you become the problem.

Remember that.

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5 thoughts on “Tell Me, What Does It Feel Like To [Not] Be A Problem?”

  1. You put your words well and you are to be congratulated that its pen in hand and not gun / what I mean by that is you have taken youeself to the limit of foregivness one can’t give more that that.

    However I must tell you it’s not in chanbing people thoughts via
    mind that will make the real change /it’s in opening their hearts
    that the real change being made that breaks all barriers / and
    humamity has made some very high barriers that will take some
    removing it t’will take a great amount of love /as understanding.

    How can such understanding be achieved that will unite people
    in removing the bitterness / removing the ignorance arrogance.

    My experience the answer in people’s growing understanding
    as in knowing the true self / the power that sustaining their life
    & such experience is via meditation in one turning the senses inward / in doing so having practical experience of the creator.

    Throuhout history of humanity there alway’s an Teacher of Teachers / the teacher of teachers is aid as guide when one
    reaches the stage that meditation be required in furthering
    their experience furthering understanding of life of creation.

    Present teacher of teachers is Prem Rawat Prem in having
    dedicated his life as aid guide to all in reaching such stage
    where meditation then required in the further development.

    On PC search put (words of peace) or (words of peace global)
    on site a selection of videos in which Prem explains meditation
    as a open invitation he will guide & aid all ready for meditation.

    What all people have in common is the hurdle / getting over
    in leaving their past leaving the bitterness / in opening their
    heart to love. One can become intwinned with the pain that
    it difficult to let go / one having become accustomed to pain.

    Thus the focus diverted from darkness to the light diverted
    from the hate unto love / that the mind being brought under
    control as the brain being actived by the hearts greater joy.

  2. Your article was awesome! I will share it! The colors made it a little difficult to read. My eyes were shocked when I went back to an all white screen (constructive criticism only) Great site! Great cause! Great article! Hopefully, one day, they will understand, or at least respect, our perspective.

  3. It is the best time to make a few plans for the long run and it’s time to be happy.
    I’ve learn this submit and if I could I want to suggest
    you few fascinating things or advice. Maybe you can write next articles relating to this article.

    I wish to read more issues about it!

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