“The Blues has always been totally American
As American as apple pie, as American as the Blues
As American as apple pie, the question is why?
Why should the Blues be so at home here
Well, America provided the atmosphere” – Bicentennial Blues by Gil Scott Heron.
What does the above quote have to do with all the spilled African American blood that fertilizes pavements, sidewalks and busy intersections from Oakland to Ferguson and now Baton Rouge? Everything!
The great, prolific and dynamic Gil Scott Heron pointed out the hypocrisy of what is considered “all American.” Simply put, something that is wholesome is no more or less “American” as something that is considered a tragedy.
America has created and continues to create the atmosphere for mass shootings and state sanctioned murders of African Americans on a daily basis.
Oddly enough what can now be considered “as American as apple pie” is feeling desensitized by news of the latest state sanctioned murder of an unarmed African American male, selling CD’s no less, doesn’t this scenario remind you of Eric Garner?
Maybe the desensitized and empty feeling is just me, I mean I refused to click on articles or the video of Alton Sterling’s murder early this morning because the guilt of feeling apathetic towards another senseless murder outweighed the rage that was not there.
And it’s not that I’m cold and emotionless and if you ask my friends they will tell you that I am no cynic, it’s just that with the current climate and the frequency in which state sanctioned murders of unarmed African Americans happen, I almost expect to hear about these things on a weekly if not daily basis.
As much as I want to get mad, kick over trash cans and beat imaginary crooked policemen senseless, I don’t have the energy to and that’s what scares me. I am sure at some point I am going to stop turning the proverbial and emotional cheek and probably tear some shit up, but right now its just not in me.
When I was growing up my father always told me to shoot for the stars and that I could become anything I put my mind to and while I am not a father I wonder what fathers teach their sons and daughters? Do they teach them not to provoke or look police officers in the eye, like they are some wild animal? Or do they teach them how to simply survive the day?
Questions like these weigh heavily on my mind, I mean I’d like to be able to pass on some jewels to my children when the Lord blesses me with some, but I don’t want them to see the uncertainty in my eyes as I try to be strong while giving them fatherly advice.
How are you feeling about the Alton Sterling murder? Have you become as desensitized as I have? What can we do?
Talk to me, I’ll talk back.
Breazy H. Woodsosn