To Raise, Love, and Lose a Black Child
October 8, 2014 8:44 AM   Subscribe

as so often happens with coates, i held it together until the last paragraph and then i began to cry.
posted by nadawi at 8:55 AM on October 8, 2014 [10 favorites]

Relevant, I think: Eighteen-year-old DeShawn Currie was walking into his foster parents’ unlocked side door after school Monday afternoon, when a neighbor called 911 to report what they perceived to be a burglary on the residential block in Fuquay-Varina, North Carolina. When cops arrived, they walked inside the house and ordered Currie to put his hands up, as Currie, confused, questioned what he had done wrong. Cops responded by pointing to a picture on the wall that showed several white children together, implying that Currie, black, did not belong.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 8:59 AM on October 8, 2014 [3 favorites]

How are we supposed to live in this world?
posted by allthinky at 9:12 AM on October 8, 2014

How are we supposed to live in this world?

We can't. We can only struggle to make it better before we die in it.
posted by Doktor Zed at 9:15 AM on October 8, 2014 [6 favorites]

How are we supposed to live in this world?

Be aware of its rules, especially the unfair ones and then live your life as best you can. To do anything less is condemn yourself to a life of despair.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 9:21 AM on October 8, 2014 [1 favorite]

"E Pluribus Unum" ---> "Shoot first, ask questions later"
posted by GrammarMoses at 9:40 AM on October 8, 2014 [1 favorite]

How are we supposed to live in this world?

A world in which people are witnessing, recording, reporting, discussing, and reacting against racially motivated crimes and police brutality is a better world to live in that one where such acts went unnoticed, unremarked, and unchallenged.
posted by drlith at 9:50 AM on October 8, 2014 [18 favorites]

Like a lot of people, my joy in the guilty verdict was quickly muted by at least three similar acts of injustice that happened that day or right after.

People don't want to talk about it or will say "Well, things are going downhill." But the thing that I believe is that it's not because things are escalating; this stuff has been going on all around me invisibly my whole life. It's just that more of us are paying attention. And when you've lived in your comfortable white liberal bubble, it sort of splits your brain in two to even begin to face the reality of how we treat people of color in this country.

Coates is invaluable, but so are the black people using Twitter, and the kids of all races taking no shit on Tumblr, and the brave and dogged protesters in Ferguson. Who are still going and still demanding justice.
posted by emjaybee at 10:38 AM on October 8, 2014 [14 favorites]

C'mon guys, there's an easy solution to all this:

White woman defends black man from US police

"She grabbed the detained man's hand and said she was leaving, telling the police to "please leave our neighbourhood".

The officer reluctantly let Ms Westby and the man go.

As she walked away, Ms Westby said: "Just because he's black doesn't mean he's here to rob a house. He works for us. He's been in this neighbourhood for 30 years."

Yates writes that the situation likely would have been much different if the incident had occurred in a less affluent neighbourhood or Ms Westby hadn't been white.

The solution is quite obvious. Every black person in the U.S. should have a wealthy connected lawyer white guardian follow them at all times, and when the police appear, they just join hands and walk safely away!
posted by VikingSword at 10:53 AM on October 8, 2014 [10 favorites]

Are you saying that privileged people shouldn't stand up against institutionalized injustice against the unprivileged? Sure, the situation shouldn't have happened in the first place, but I am confused as to what you are saying.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 11:01 AM on October 8, 2014 [1 favorite]

fffm - Viking Sword made me laugh. I'm assuming that was the intention.
posted by Lesser Shrew at 11:05 AM on October 8, 2014 [1 favorite]

Yeah, it was funny; I'm not trying to start a fight. But VikingSword has a history of being really perceptive and I'm confused, that's all.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 11:09 AM on October 8, 2014

Well, yes, it is funny, but I had another point to all this. If you read that story carefully, it's really a depressing thing - most people, and that's how the BBC presented it - would at take it at least partially as being also (in addition) about a "good deed" by the white woman. But think about how incredibly infantilizing it is - the black man in question is an older man - 64, older than the woman. Why does this full human being require that woman - however well meaning - to take his hand, like a child? And how does this look - she says to the black (no less) cops "he works for us" - back in the old days, if you read a lot of the anti-abolitionist literature, slavery was condemned, but black people often not given full worth and dignity equal to the white people - they were seen as in a lower often service function, rather than judges and directors and people in charge of white folks. And the woman "instructs he housekeeper to record the events". Her housekeeper. This is a woman of privilege. It's nice that she defends "her" worker, and orders "her housekeeper" to record the events. But if ever there was a depressing picture of the kinds of systemic problems we have, then this qualifies - the privileged white person of course is on top of the economic and social stack, and the black person of course is at the bottom whatever the feel good noblesse oblige aspects. And the police. They get the street wrong, the person wrong, and of course they immediately presume the black person on the bottom of the stack is the guilty one, so they attack. But then, the police are the guardians of the system. And since the white person is on top, they obey - they, black people who also buy into this mess (being black officers who profile a black person) - and they obey based on nothing more than the position of that white woman. Imagine what would happen if she were not white? So she claims she's a lawyer - oh well - meanwhile we've had a senior black judge harassed by campus rent-a-cops, at UCLA, when he was guilty of nothing more than driving while black. It's all fucked up six ways to Sunday.
posted by VikingSword at 11:27 AM on October 8, 2014 [15 favorites]

I am now not confused. Thank you. (I mean that in a good way.)
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 11:37 AM on October 8, 2014

By the way, THIS is great if you haven't read it yet.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 12:05 PM on October 8, 2014 [1 favorite]

i held it together until the last paragraph and then i began to cry.

Shit, this line alone slayed me: "The second time she stood before my son and insisted that he mattered, though all the powers of the world might tell him different."

She has more grace than anyone should have to find within themselves.
posted by Phire at 1:19 AM on October 9, 2014 [2 favorites]

The sentence was just announced. Jordan's killer "Michael Dunn sentenced to life in ‘loud music’ trial"
posted by introp at 11:43 AM on October 17, 2014

Note: "life in prison without the chance of parole"
posted by introp at 11:44 AM on October 17, 2014

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