Dear Rev. Al: The Mad Preacher’s Post-Zimmerman Trial Rant Pt. 1

Dear Al Sharpton,

A few days before the Zimmerman verdict came down, many of my Facebook friends began sharing the statement you made on MSNBC. You urged us to remain peaceful, not resort to violence, not resort to “throwing bricks or bottles”.

So far very few bricks or bottles have been thrown. And a grand majority of marches and demonstrations have been peaceful. And I guess you and Jesse Jackson and others are somewhere patting yourself on your backs because you proved Fox Commentators and Zimmerman defense attorneys wrong. And while I am (in most contexts)a proponent of non-violence, I can’t help but get frustrated with when someone like you, Al “no justice, no peace” Sharpton urge the black community to remain calm in the face of injustice. I get frustrated when we as a black community are asked to remain calm and never be violence in society that has said over and over that there is no consequence for perpetuating violence against our bodies. I’m frustrated that once again the victims of the violence are being held to higher standard than the one creating the violence.

I am not someone who condones violence or destruction. Many times riots end up hurting the black community more than it helps. At the same time, I AM angry, Al! And I want you to affirm that and to affirm the anger of the young men who are as angry as you were when you were their age. I want you to care more about what the still-living “Trayvons” worry about than what the people at Fox news worry about.

Contrary to Mark O’Mara’s implications, I’m not angry because I am a part of a “segment” of society that is just inherently angry. I’m angry because something happened that defies logic. Something happened that only makes sense in the context of white supremacist normativity. I’m angry because we deny that American culture is built on white supremacist normativity, while perpetuating it over and over again in our “justice” system.

I’m not going to riot, Al. I promise. But I’m not mad at those who do. I’m happy that even momentarily, the spirit of apathy that has just washed over my community and many like mine, has gone away. I’m happy that the people who took their anger to the streets are not somewhere in their house shrugging their shoulders and shaking their heads saying “that’s just the way it is. Black men get kill. No one goes to jail. I can’t do anything about that.” I think someone like you should be happy too.

Bless you Rev. Al,

Love,

The Mad Preacher.

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