(AllHipHop Opinion) Once upon a time, in Delaware, I was driving alone in my cherry red Ford Escort GT in a rural area just outside of Glasgow. I was driving and somehow got into a confrontation with a pick-up truck-driving redneck, who decided calling me "n-gger" was a good idea. Also, we were a strone's throw from Klan country to give you some context. This was the 90's and Hip-Hop was still aggressive, political and raged against injustices. Him calling me a n-gger meant it was time to fight. I stopped my car in the distance and so did he. The very moment I got out of my car, he quickly yelled to his wife to get his gun. Immediately. At that point, I decided it was in my best interest to leave. I was unarmed.
My Sunday morning was ruined for me. After a vacation, I was able to see what I had heard: another unarmed man was shot in Florida. This time, it was over a parking space. A handicap parking space. The matter resulted in Markeis McGlockton, 29, being shot dead by Michael Drejka, 47, after a shove put him on his butt. Mind you, Drejka was raging at McGlockton's family - his girlfriend and their children - as they sat in a mini van. Drejka's angst was such that somebody eventually summoned McGlockton, who came running to defend his family.
He did what I would have done.
Michael Drejka is a coward. Straight up and he is indicative of a lot of people in America.
But, there is a clear distinction. Drejka is Caucasian and McGlockton is Black. This Florida and Drejka is protected under the "Stand Your Ground" law that says "individuals have the right to use reasonable force, including deadly force, to protect themselves." In the 1980's they were called "make my day" laws, a nod to Dirty Harry movies about a vigilante cop. People like Drejka get guns - not for defense - but because it allows them to be aggressive and tough like in the movies. And they get off, scott-free in real life.
A judge essentially told Drejka he was free to carry on with his life, while McGlockton's family is in shambles. Racism - a human-created systemic construct - has been supported in the United States since the earliest settlers stole the land from the indigenous people. Slavery wasn't the only racial injustice perpetrated against Black people - its just the baddest. It lives and thrives like a tumor with a host that refuses to die. One study says "SYG (Stand Your Ground) legislation in Florida has a quantifiable racial bias that reveals a leniency in convictions if the victim is non-White." Basically, numerically a Caucasian person will beat the case, whereas a Black person is over twice as likely to go to jail in the same scenario.
Lets go back to my Sunday morning.
With one eye open, I cautiously peered at the comments under a Facebook post about the whole matter. The ignorance was deplorable. The lack of compassion for McGlockton's life was non-existent in the remarks I saw. I could not take it. I had to unplug again like I had done on vacation. We know that America largely does not give a damn about Black lives or the lives of People of Color in general. There is a particular hatred for Black people though and it all shows up in the laws, lack of restitution for heinous crimes, media and now open "social" places like Facebook.
If McGlockton had acted like Drejka - murdered Drejka within seconds of being shoved - he would be under a jail somewhere and the media would support a narrative that would say a "tragedy" had occured. McGlockton would be a thug and Americans would not in agreement. Again, visualize a 47-year old Black man with a gun yelling at a van full of a 25-year old white woman and her three children. A father of three, McGlockton was buying his child some candy at the time of his untimely murder. Imagine, McGlockton blasting Drejka after running to danger for 5-year old to witness with his growing eyes.
When I was young, defeating racism and racists was a priority.
Nowadays, not so much. Racism is in the DNA of the United States of America like a blood stain that refuses to come out in the wash. Bullying is chided when it comes to kids, but perfectly ok when an armed man can openly menace a woman and children in a van then brandish his concealed weapon the second he's confronted. Most bullies are cowards. They fear a fair fight. They fear equality. They fear that they are unable to fend for themselves if the playing field is level. And they are emboldened by other bullies. Together, they seem strong, but they are just a nation of cowards vehemently clinging to old, racist virtues in new ways.
Slavery was once perfectly legal. Moral even. Think about it.
Now that I'm older, I see it for what it is and what we may have to contend with forever: a cold-hearted degenerate nation of cowards acting, reacting and supporting each other out of an irrational, fear and loathing of people of color and anybody else that simply asks to be treated like human beings. But, you see what's happening, as you kill men, women and children indiscriminately. You attempt to instill the very fear that shreds your rotting insides. But, you know, we know...your time is coming.
Anyway, my Sunday ended up fine, with quality time alone in the gym and Markeis McGlockton in the back of my mind. It actually made me think about that redneck coward that might have taken my life rather than square up with a kid.
As if you care.