Yours truly has learned something these past few months watching and reading up on current events, especially those affecting black Americans:
- The value of a black life in the United States remains marginal, at best. At worst, that value is nonexistent.
- At any given moment, said life can be put to an end at the whim of a white American, whether under color of law or as a concerned citizen who "feared" for their safety and well-being.
- The value of a black life in the United States is determined and enshrined by mainstream America's view of the black community, and then verified and validated in its treatment at the hands of law enforcement and other institutions throughout the nation.
- Said law enforcement members have been given card blanche to respond to the black community and other ethnic and social minority groups as aggressively as possible.
- Respectability politics has long since proven to be absolutely ineffective in improving the black community's image in mainstream America's eyes or preventing further life-ending incidents at the hands of law enforcement and concerned citizens.
- When confronted with the above, many mainstream Americans will resort to blaming the black community for these problems based on a strict adherence to the Just World fallacy and their belief of black Americans as a morally bankrupt people. They'll also support law enforcement officials and concerned citizens who've put black lives to rest, at least as far as polite society will allow.
- Overt racism is still taboo and a serious faux pas in polite discussion. However, coded talk remains perfectly acceptable and preferred among many.
The entire black blogosphere has undergone an airing out of grievances and a sharing of thoughts, feelings, experiences and the pain suffered by many within the black community. There have been protests, marches, demonstrations, the works. There have been a few indictments and even a few cases where authorities have quickly acted, if only out of self-interest and self-preservation.
Still, the killings and the beatings continue.
Michael Brown, Tamir Rice, Oscar Grant, Eric Garner, Rekia Boyd, Aiyana Stanley-Jones - the list goes on. And it's one that grows longer with each passing day.