Dear White America,
I am absolutely certain that you have tired of the race problem that has plagued this nation from the moment that the initial stolen Africans were brought to the Jamestown colony. The greatest indicator was your exuberance when President Lyndon Baines Johnson signed the Voting Rights Act in 1965 and you danced in the streets thinking that this monster known as race, a monster that you created for your own self-serving purposes I must add, had finally been slayed. And wouldn’t you know it, the Watts rebellion occurred a week later.
I witnessed you enter into a similar state of euphoria, but only in regards to race I must emphasize, when Barack Hussein Obama assumed the Oval Office. Although it was not always articulated with a smile on your collective faces, you seemed proud to state once again that the nation had slayed race and entered into a post-racial America. Not even our vehement protests shook your resolve in regards to this matter. You took satisfaction in preventing W.E.B. Du Bois cryptic prophecy that “the problem of the twentieth-century is the problem of the color line” from taking hold in the new millennium.
As usual with you, there was a gaping Grand Canyon sized hole in your thinking. That being, you never asked the victims of your century’s long racial tyranny if they were no longer being persecuted and prosecuted at an alarming and unjustifiable rate. I, and the vast majority of my peers, realized that this was quite simply white folks way of navigating the world. You tend to create your own reality that cancels the experiences of those whom you regularly victimize when it suits you. History has taught us how hard-headed you are, so we simply sat back and allowed things that would drive home the point to you that this nation is far from entering into a post-racial period to unfold.
As is usual with our dealings with you, it is never a boring story as you are known to create unexpected twists-and-turns, often where we thought that it was impossible to do so. How could we have known that you would attempt to convince the victims of white brutality that they should believe neither the bumps, bruises, and coffins needed after interacting with officers, nor the cellphone footage that our lying eyes have watched repeatedly that clearly depict officers shooting, maiming, beating, and killing our loved ones.
Although I am certain that you will resist this truth, there are multiple America’s that American citizens simultaneously exist within. Andrew Hacker’s manuscript, Two Nations: Black and White, Separate, Hostile, Unequal, published in 2003, illuminated this issue. Despite the best efforts of the more privileged segments of this society to deny this reality, the truth remains that neither I, nor my eleven year old son, live in the same America as our white peers.
I am certain that you will be shocked to discover that this problem between African-Americans and white law enforcement officers is nothing new. The National Commission on the Cause and Prevention of Violence, published in 1968, shed light upon nationwide problems between African-Americans and law enforcement personnel.
“For the black citizen, the policeman has long since ceased to be a neutral symbol of law and order…blacks perceive the police as hostile, prejudiced, and corrupt…Many ghetto Blacks see the police as an occupying army…In view of these facts, the adoption of the idea of self-defense is not surprising.”
Unbeknownst to whites, police brutality has been an American tradition. So white America, please forgive us if we have no faith in the ability of any Grand Jury to offer a modicum of justice such as agreeing that there should be a trial for African-American victims of police brutality; we are used to it, not desensitized to it, just very familiar with grave miscarriages of justice.
However you should rest assured that God is not dead; however, there is a population of African-Americans no longer willing to wait on the Lord to have his vengeance. They are a breed of “New Negroes” that took to heart the admonishment that “faith without works is dead.” I can’t wait until they begin to put that work in. Because I am eagerly waiting for the opportunity to sit across from you and explain to you that what your lying eyes are seeing is not Black brutality against whites, it’s something else, something much different, something that this nation has never freely given to the downtrodden and oppressed; JUSTICE.
James Thomas Jones III, Ph.D., M.A., M.A., M.A.