I came across this image last week and it became another stunning reminder of the struggle that the Black man faces just about every day. Whether it’s the increased visibility thanks to tragic events like the death of Trayvon Martin and Mike Brown or the anniversary of Bloody Sunday or even an episode of Scandal that touched on the hot button issue, it just seems like the Black man’s struggle is at the center of everyone’s mind.
This past weekend another young Black man was shot and killed by police officers in Madison, WI. That’s another young Black man that won’t be able to change the opinions of folks who think Black Man are the things described in this image. Sadly, this is becoming a norm just about every weekend. A vicious cycle that is unfortunately perpetuated because of the thought process behind individuals who believe that Black men are truly “failures” or “criminals” or “losers.”
Ferguson County has been posterized for their racism and the obvious inconsistencies in their legal and justice system. However like our President has pointed out, Ferguson, MO is just the tip of the iceberg as far as this issue goes. Black men are being abused, harassed and bullied every day, physically and mentally. But the time for change is now.
This image says it all. But will people react? In reality we have to be part of the change as well. Black men need to help change the minds of those on the outside looking in as well. Our eyes must be open to the realities we face and have to be twice as careful, twice as wise about our choices and decisions and twice as precise at redirecting the stories about us and the perception people have about us. It may not be fair, but that is the Black man’s struggle. It’s not enough to say that change will come if we aren’t also doing out part.
written by Keith Washington