TOP OF THE TOWN – It’s been 401 years since the first Africans were captured and shipped to Jamestown, Virginia where they were enslaved. That started a lucrative slave trade that transformed the economy in the South and with it came a multitude of problems that still linger today. Those lingering problems have led to an explosion of rioting and violence all across America today, started as a protest against the killing by four Minneapolis policeman of an unarmed and handcuffed black man, George Floyd. The primary problem that arose from slavery is racism stemming from the white man’s belief that the blacks are inferior and not worthy of equal status and justice within the American system. While inroads have been made into the belief that people of color including browns and Asians are somehow inferior the inherent racism that is built into each generation continues to exist. Academic, preacher, author and radio host Dr. Michael Eric Dyson was on the sports TV show Skip and Shannon: Undisputed this morning (June 1) and his take on the black situation in our country was spot on. He didn’t hold back any punches. He basically said blacks are not heard. Nobody listens. The riots are their voices being lifted up and asking, “Do you hear us now?”  My answer is no. The response from the powerful is to fight fire with fire. Trump this morning attacked the governors as weak and wants them to get tough. Sure, what else did you expect from a guy who always attacks and doubles up on his attacks when pushed? That is what Trump does all the time. He’s not a leader. He can’t lead a dog. He can use a “Dog Whistle” though when he recently said, “When looting starts the shooting starts.” That’s a white supremacy line from the 1960s from a Miami police chief who routinely cracked down on people of color. The solution to the riots is fairly simple. Arrest the other three police officers. What on God’s Earth are they waiting for? They are at least accomplices to murder. They could have stopped. Go get them and hold them in jail until trial. Secondly, we have to be open about the racism that has always simmered beneath the surface. Blacks learn early that they must act different than their white friends because racism rears its ugly head at the drop of a pin simply because of color. A black browsing in a store attracts more attention than a white, a black driving an expensive car gets a suspicion stop by a cop and so on and on. Why do you suppose we have not heard a pin drop from a white lawmaker on either side of the aisle? I will tell you why. They are inherently racist. They may not look it, may not act like it, but their silence is telling. That is all you need to know to know they are racist. In all honestly, there is a tinge of racism in all of us. Maybe we don’t act on it, or do it subtly. Some of us are up front with it. My grandparents on my father’s side were racist. At least my grandmother was. I never got that impression from my father, although I would think some of his mother’s attitude would have rubbed off on him. We need a national conversation about racism, and not just from black leaders and star black athletes. We need our white leaders, our lawmakers, our President to step forward and not just have conversations but enact tougher laws that tackle it head on. I don’t expect Trump or his stooges to do anything positive. In fact, I fear the worse from them. Trump is capable of breaking all norms, all laws and even our constitution and until we vote his butt out of office we are in danger. But we can start the process of healing without him. The silence from our white lawmakers is deafening. They must awake. They must be better than this. Politics must be kicked aside. America is burning and Trump and his allies will no doubt add fuel to the fires, but we can extinguish the flames by admitting to the racism that subjugates blacks in small to big ways. When parents of color have to at some point explain to their kids that they will be treated differently, that they have to act differently, have to be careful when they are out in public and never resist the command to sop, you know something is wrong within our system. We should never judge people by their color and until we realize that, until we rid ourselves of those who will not quit doing it, we are going to continue to have our buildings burnt.  I realize it’s tough when you have the President on TV encouraging looters to be shot and hurling hateful things at half of our society, but we can overcome him. We can overcome our biases, we can overcome our hate, we can overcome our racism, and we shall by uniting as one and throwing off our cloth of color and blend together in love.

Be well pal.

Be careful out there.

Have a great day.

You are loved.