2Pac, in an interview over his ‘THUG LIFE’ tattoo, explained: “The hate you give little infants destroys everyone.”
How true this is because just as an African proverb puts it, ‘A war erupts when the children remember that certain warriors killed their parents’. Hate can only attract hate.
Such was the case for Lil Joe, who stood at 5’9 towering to the sky. A slender figure in confusion, with beads of sweat and blood sitting on his face, a pistol in his hand, and a dead white cop lying in front of him whose fresh blood was trailing down the black tar road.
Silence shook the crowd. A mist of unanswered questions was hovering in the horizon of everyone’s mind. A boy walked up to him and said,
“It was meant to be a peaceful protest, man what was you doing with a gun around here?”
He raised his sights as if seeking for remission from the bewildered crowd, and without prayer, a brief answer came as an older man said,
“I know this kid’s story. We all do. Nobody in his deposition won’t have been affected mentally with the trauma he’s been through. We gon’ stand for our people as they do theirs. No Black Man will be shut behind bars today unless it is all of us.”
Another man concurred.
“You shall fight for these people or fight against it. You can only stand for this race or stand against it. Enough is enough. There is no Justice out there because the people in power don’t look like us.”
“If we don’t die fighting, we gon’ die quietly. Either way, we still gon’ die. We better die fighting, because somehow we may win it.” Another voice echoed.
Lil Joe felt a little more relieved, but he could picture the outcome of what was not intentional outgrowing the sleeves of his arms into a towering crisis. They all knew the consequences, but they stood their ground because sometimes an error occurs when it is too late to be corrected. When a person feels they have been pushed to the extreme, reason becomes very scarce in the setting of their thoughts. Besides, at that point, there was no need for crying over spilled milk.
According to Ron (Lil Joe’s elder brother), their father died when Joe was eight, and their Caucasian stepmother consequently kicked them out of the house. She had no right to, but everything was easier because she was white, and she had the papers. They, therefore, had to settle with an aunt. His eldest brother who graduated from college, could not get a job, because according to him,
“This system is set up against us. It is run by the Whites to halt Black people from progressing. So, for a Black man in this country, it is either you rap, sell drugs, or you go to the NBA. And if you don’t know how to sing, rap, or play ball, you gotta stand on your feet by yourself and defend this family, brother.”
Those were his projections when he gave up the suits and ties and moved to push drugs. And so, he died in the streets shot by a white cop.
A week ago, his other older brother Sam was also killed by a white cop even though Sam was unarmed. The news had it that the officer in question killed a criminal in self-defense and was, therefore, lauded for his heroics and never charged. So, all the Black people in the neighbourhood protested. The two previous protests fell onto deaf ears and on that very day, they were marching to the Police Station in a peaceful protest again due to the unfortunate incident.
Police vans approached with loud sirens. Seeing a white officer down, they shot gas into the crowds and the disagreements erupted into violence. Stones and bullets flew from all directions. It was the authority against rebellious citizens. Many police were killed and injured. Many Black citizens died.
For days it was a state of anarchy in Queensland. What started as a peaceful protest metamorphosed into a racial war. A racial war that took countless lives and sabotaged many properties. It created new widows, provided more inmates for the prisons, and fuelled the fire of everlasting feud and hatred which would eventually be passed down to the next generation.
That evening on TV, an African American teenager said,
“I might not have stood under the scourging summer sun, or in the frost of winter on plantations picking cotton and tea, but it does not mean I’ve not been affected by history. It’s a fact that my grandmomma was a slave and that really gets to me. Back when I was in Beverly Hills High School, white teachers treated black people like they were thieves. There is a disconnection between my culture and yours. If you never wanted us in this country, why bring us here in the first place?”
A Caucasian interviewer responded, “I can’t deny that you are at a little more advantage in this country if your skin color is lighter, or that four hundred years of slavery doesn’t have its impact. But on the whole, not all white people are racist. And I know many successful black people as well as many wretched whites. My sister’s husband is black. I know a lot of awesome black people and we respect each other. Sometimes it is not about white people or racism – it is a deficiency, an inferiority complex, a question of self-worth. For Christ’s sake, Abe Lincoln was white.”
The war never ends. We still fight this war in the light of White Privilege. The war can never end because Black people are beginning to look down on each other when they believe the system is set up against them. The war thrives when the Black people reconcile and excuse their own failures and setbacks on white excuses.
We fuel the war every day with racial favouritism; with tags such as ‘Black’, ‘White’, ‘Asian’, and ‘Russian’. And until we all can accept the fact that we all are responsible, we must stop pointing fingers and act like humans. We must place humanity above all else otherwise this war will never be won but instead it will be repeated.
This war needs thinkers, not fighters. Hatred can only breed hatred. Just as the French adage puts it, ‘La Haine Attire La Haine!’