My Violent Youth And The Systems That Made Me
***Content Warning: Violence, Killings, Child Abuse***
It was the fall of 2001. I had returned to Wilkes-Barre, Pa. to fulfill my student teaching requirements at a local elementary school after graduating from Kings College with a degree in elementary education that May.
My boys and I were at a local club kickin it when some dude we didn’t know approached and starting talking to a girl that one of my homies was connected to. My homie felt disrespected so he approached the other dude and had some words with him. Things got heated quickly!
We pulled my homie away and tried to cool him down so that we didn’t get kicked out of the club. That’s when I noticed that the other dude was with a crew of his boys as well. I’d been in situations like this many times before…I was ready for what was about to go down.
Why I Walked Away From White People
In 2007 I moved to the Metro Atlanta Ga. region from my home town Philadelphia, Pa. Shortly after that, I became an elementary school teacher at a school in East Point, Ga. where all of the students and over 95 percent of the staff were African American.
I’ll never forget a time when my colleagues and I were socializing and while I forget the exact context, at some point “white people” came up. One of my colleagues, who was born and raised in Mississippi, entire body language and attitude changed as she emotionally exclaimed her distrust and dislike for “white people”. Of course, I had heard many African American people in Pa. express a level of distrust or dislike for “white people” before…but this was different. She meant it with all of her soul and I believed that there was nothing that anyone could say that would ever change how she felt.
I could empathize with why she felt that way...
After The Protests...Organize.
A Radical Guide For Creating Sustainable Change.
I believe that it is time for more activists to embrace radical change. The type of radical change that breaks the patterns of oppression that occur predictably like winter, spring, summer & fall to rip off the scab of progress and re-expose the psychological wounds and trauma that mark the American experience for far too many.
Pick your oppression:
Police killings, sexual abuse, divisiveness, prejudice, classism, misogyny, sexism, homophobia, homelessness, violence, adultism, poverty, moral-judgment, systemic racism, trans-gender bias, pollution, climate change, bigotry, intolerance, LGBTQIA + erasure, gentrification, fatphobia, income inequality, Indigenous people erasure, child abuse, mass incarceration, war, etc.
Why do these oppressions keep happening?
Why Police Kill Black People “The Whole Story”
I Was Challenged To “Tell The Whole Story”
In the aftermath of 2 horrific viral videos that showed 2 African American men, Alton Sterling & Philando Castille, die after being shot and killed by police officers this past week I took to Facebook and Twitter with my disgust and outrage at a system that I believe hurts both people and police. In one of my posts I shared a picture of a statistic from a Washington Post article that said: “Although black men make up only 6 percent of the U.S. population, they account for 40 percent of the unarmed men shot to death by police this year”.
A woman replied to me with this comment: “What you’re also not telling people is what percentage of blacks kill blacks what percentage of blacks use guns what percentage of blacks commit what percent of the crime which explains why there is such a high percentage of black men under 30 that are incarcerated you have to tell the whole story”