Literary Fiction by People of Color discussion

Ray Hollar-Gregory
This topic is about Ray Hollar-Gregory
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Group Business > Black Lives Matter

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message 1: by Ray (last edited Jul 10, 2016 01:56PM) (new)

Ray Hollar-Gregory | 12 comments I apologize for taking liberty to post my emotions given the recent events this week. Everything seems so incidental after seeing the heartbreaking Facebook video posted by Diamond Reynolds as her boyfriend Philandro Castile, is dying after execution by a Minneapolis police officer because of a broken taillight. Compounding the tragedy is the sympathetic voice of their four-year-old daughter who witnessed his brutal slaying. Day’s prior a similar horrific depiction in New Orleans ((Alton Sterling). The pattern is statistically unavoidable---minor traffic infractions, selling looseys or CDs, wearing a hoodie, are a pretext to stop, frisk, search and shoot black people, see http://mappingpoliceviolence.org/unar.... Profiling of African Americans is sanctioned for government control, historical/contemporary oppression and revenue. We must candidly face the systematic devaluation of black lives in all our institutions, not just criminal justice system. When all else has failed the courts and prison become societies response to racism, disparities, poverty, unemployment and hopelessness. The prison removes the reality from view and is the least capable institution to resolve the racial chasm. Maybe the visual of Philandro’s death at the hands of state action will awaken the self-denial of the majority. I have to assume humanity, empathy and truth will prevail. But I recall saying the same thing after witnessing Rodney King’s brutal beating, Trayvon Martin, Walter Scott, Michael Brown, Eric Garner, Freddie Gray, Tamir Rice and seeing in Jet magazine the open casket of Emmet Till. To the African American spirit that has suffered for so long, this must end. Hearts and minds, in a just society, can no longer accept the inhumanity and ugliness including the police assassinations in Dallas that we all witnessed this week.


message 2: by lark (new)

lark benobi (larkbenobi) | 338 comments thanks for posting Ray. Even though I usually feel glad there is a space online like GR where I never need to worry about political discussions ramping up, and where I can surely take a break from horrific headlines, I'm glad about what you wrote, glad to have read it, glad to acknowledge I'm also feeling overwhelmed and sad.


message 3: by Louise (last edited Jul 10, 2016 02:32PM) (new)

Louise | 138 comments There is far too much hate and far too much fear in our world. I wish this could be fixed. If you kill someone it's murder whether you have a badge or not....


message 4: by Michelle (new)

Michelle | 73 comments Ray you say so eloquently what so many others are feeling right now. For many the fear, frustration and anger get in the way of the words. I don't know what the solution is but until the entire nation can admit that we have a problem that stems from the devaluation of African American lives then we are doomed to remain in this vicious cycle. I pray for my sons and other black men in America.


message 5: by Carol (new)

Carol (carolfromnc) | 563 comments Michelle wrote: "Ray you say so eloquently what so many others are feeling right now. For many the fear, frustration and anger get in the way of the words. I don't know what the solution is but until the entire nat..."

This.


message 6: by Bonnie (new)

Bonnie Brandt (sparkgirl) | 1 comments I am heartbroken and sickened by another acquittal in the homicide of another person of color who was killed while attempting just to live in this country. To then hear that the judge in the case sent an apology note to the JURORS to apologize for how difficult these circumstances were for them and how the general public just doesn't understand?!?! When will it stop, or at least get better?

I don't pretend to have any answers. I truly hope that more people are at least recognizing some of the bias that exists for people of color. I am white, well I am part Native American, but am perceived as white in society. I have grown up and lived mainly in two different, nearly all white, communities. My experience is mainly with other white people who have not had a lot of contact with people of color.

It's so hard to say if people's perceptions are changing. I know that with the exception of one of the dozen people I work with, all of my coworkers believe that George Martin did nothing wrong when he murdered Trayvon Martin. In fact, they truly couldn't even understand how there could be a question of him only wanting to defend himself. How do I even discuss the topic with them when I have no understanding of how they could think this? Their opinion and interpretation of the facts makes as little sense to me as mine does to them. The one coworker whose opinion really surprised me and I tried to discuss the topic with, said "but he was a bad kid" when I tried ask what she thinks one of her children's reactions would be if they went to the grocery store to get snacks and then was followed by a stranger asking them questions and harassing them. At this point another coworker interrupted our conversation and started yelling at me.

When we are so far apart in our opinions that we can't even understand the other side, can't even fathom how they could come to their different conclusion, I don't even know how we discuss this.

I apologize for rambling. This feels like a safe space and I don't have a lot of that in my wider community.


message 7: by Ray (new)

Ray Hollar-Gregory | 12 comments Bonnie wrote: "I am heartbroken and sickened by another acquittal in the homicide of another person of color who was killed while attempting just to live in this country. To then hear that the judge in the case s..."

Bonnie;
Do not apologize for your emotions--they are heartfelt and humane. The country's divide exacerbated by lack of cultural and political leadership requires us to speak out. Thank you.
Ray


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