“To be a Negro in this country and to be relatively conscious is to be in a rage almost all the time.” – James Baldwin.
The penultimate quote which perfectly captures the surreal rage that it is to be Black in America. Consider now that people are passionately defending( again) their right to honor people that fought for the right to enslave Black people. Taking down that garbage flag or the statues of garbage people is some big deal, a psychic wound. We’re expected to debate this, to see things from their perspective: symbols of violence, declarations of allegiance to a cause that would have us in bondage. Smashing them is not just a basic, somewhat banal act of decency. Apparently, there is something serious and sacrosanct to discuss here.As it is, with Black Lives Matter. A declaration of our basic humanity which is somehow, reinterpreted and experienced as a threat. Which really tells you all you need to know.
Edit to add (6-14-2020):
Dave Chappele’s 8:46 says better than I ever could all I want to say on this subject. Watch it. Of particular interest are the bits concerning who made George Floyd a hero, the impunity assumed by police in general ( which is better seen/understood, as Dave explains, through the lens of the officers not involved directly but who are just standing there, hands in pocket, watching a murder happen) and the extended riff on Chris Donner ( a masterclass in storytelling with a gut punch at the end for those that still don’t get it).
Another great article is at The Root, by Michael Harriot. The Root’s Clapback Mailbag: The Evidence of Things Not Seen. All the better because it’s a mail bag, i.e he’s responding to the typical nonsense that is spewed on this subject from actual people who emailed him. The nonsense runs the usual gamut of victim blaming ( we’re responsible for racist violence) serious concern for property over Black lives, and the all too familiar background assumption that racism is only individual, not systemic. I applaud the man for even responding to it. You can read the originating article here for full context (great in it’s own right).