As I walk down the street with my brothers, I notice a group walking toward us that crosses the street. When I get on the elevator, I see out of the corner of my eye the lady switch her purse to the opposite side and clutch it. When I go into the department store, I feel the eyes of the workers watching me down every aisle. When I meet people, I speak softly to make people comfortable with my size. Why? It’s simple. Because I am a six-foot four inch three-hundred-and-fifty-pound large Black male.
None of these things should happen but they do. They happen because Black people always have to prove we are normal people, we aren’t “the average Black person” that white people fear. Black people should not have to code switch. (If you are not aware of this term Aundea Sayrie wrote a column on it last week for Watershed Voice) Black people should no longer have to change who we are and what we do to make everyone else comfortable.
Black Lives Matter is the new buzz word that Black people are being asked to change. “BLM is a hate group,” “Why not say all lives matter?”, “Why don’t you say Black lives matter also?”, etc. The real question is why does our oppression have to be handled in a way that makes you comfortable, and why are you not as upset with what is happening to us as a People as you are with the removal of statues and racist flags?
To a lot of people, myself included, BLM is a movement not associated with the organization, so why does it matter to you what the name is? You are not entitled to play the victim to the victim. What i mean by this statement is, you cannot tell a People that has been served social, racial, and economical injustices for over 400 years how to fight these injustices just because you do not like the way that we do it.
You bring up the fact that MLK marched peacefully in Selma but fail to mention that the peaceful protesters were beaten with clubs and tear gassed and chased. You also bring up the fact that looting and rioting is not the way to get your point across but you don’t mention that 93 percent of the protests were peaceful. From John Carlos and Tommy Smith to Colin Kaepernick and Eric Reed, we have been protesting peacefully and you say that it is disrespecting the flag and soldiers. So on opening night of the NFL, the Chiefs and the Texans locked arms in solidarity before the game with no anthem being played and no flag in the vicinity, and they still were booed, and there was a social media uproar.
So what is the real problem? I think the real problem is that, in your eyes, us as Black people do not have the right to demand equality. How dare us? Who do we think we are to want an equal playing field? We should be satisfied with the fact that we were allowed to live in the Great US of A. Shut up and dribble, right?
Torrey Brown is a loving husband, father, and son, and also an outspoken champion for the black cause and all social injustices.
Any views or opinions expressed in “Tuesdays with Torrey” are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of the Watershed Voice staff or its board of directors.