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I Want to Write About Trayvon

I want to write about what happened to Trayvon Martin and what didn’t happen to George Zimmerman. I want to write a thoughtful analysis on how bigger issues are at the core of outrage, how black life is still undervalued, and how that plays into the violence we see among youth and gangs. I want to write.

But I can’t.

I’m stuck. Emotionally. I’m stuck vacillating between anger at a justice system that failed, sadness for my young black nephews, hope for creating something positive out of the situation, and despondency at all of it.

I keep having emotional overload. The great tool of procrastination, Facebook, is so inundated with posts about the situation that I feel bombarded. Twitter isn’t much better. I tried to refrain from adding to the chorus, but I could not. I have posted and shared numerous articles, links, and other posts about the situation.

There are so many questions. Not only my own questions, but questions from my white friends about the situation. Like a sensitive tooth touching ice cream, anger shoots up. I have learned (been trained?) to quell the black rage that bubbles inside of me like the magma ¬†beneath a volcano. I tell myself that uncontrolled outward anger is not productive. More questions come.¬†Questions from young black males on what value their life really has in society.¬†Questions from my nephews who don’t understand how it’s seemingly okay to kill someone a few years older than them. One asked if George Zimmerman was going to hunt him and his brothers too. Another nephew won’t release his feelings because he doesn’t want to express “hateful words”. So despite my efforts to talk with him, he imprisons his nascent black rage within him, unable to set it free.


Maybe I will still write the article. My friend Petra Lewis has done a fine job expressing some of what I want to say. Writing about one’s feelings means processing them. Processing them means acknowledging them. Acknowledging them means they’re real.

My rage is real. My sadness is real. And yet it almost seems inconsequential. I can’t bring Trayvon back. I can’t put Zimmerman in jail. At some point all of these protesters will go home. But the rage will be there. The sadness will be there. The nihilism will be there. A kid will pick up a gun, and shoot another kid. There will be no rallies in Union Square. No mass shut down of traffic. Nothing.

And the band will play on.


Flowback Friday: I Can’t Live My Life This Way

Dilated Peoples and Kanye West team up for a slept-on conscious classic:

Flowback Friday: The Manifesto

I wonder if my favorite emcee, Talib Kweli, still agrees with his 10 point plan:

“Every emcee grab a pen, and write some conscious lyrics to tell the children.” – Talib Kweli

Flowback Friday: Keep Ya Head Up

I had to post the Tupac version after last week:

Flowback Friday: Keep Ya Head Up

Hip-hop at it’s finest. Jadakiss:

Flowback Friday: No Guns, No Murder

Here’s some reggae for y’all. Rayvon is telling y’all what kind of summer we want to have – no guns, no murder. You and I must stick together.

Flowback Friday: Hip-Hop

I still remember seeing this video for the first time and absolutely loving it:

Flowback Friday: Black Zombies

This is one my favorite Nas songs. It really speaks the conditions that we as black people find ourselves in today. We do walk about like black zombies. The question is, how do we wake up?

Flowback Friday: You Must Learn

Today is the commencement ceremony for the New School, were I’m getting my masters degree in urban policy. Since I’m graduating I thought it would be appropriate to hit you with “You Must Learn” from Boogie Down Productions:

I think this is the album version:

Conservatives vs. Liberals

I’ve been following politics for a number of years. I examine viewpoints from both the left and right side of the political spectrum. I’ve witnessed our country grow increasingly polarized, not only in national politics, but on an interpersonal level as well.

Democrats vs. Republicans. Conservatives vs. Liberals (or Progressives depending on the nomenclature).

It seems increasingly more difficult not to be on either the extreme left or the extreme right. Either you’re a gun-toting, bible-thumping, gay-hating conservative; or a tree-hugging, socialist-communist, gender-neutral liberal.

Those seem to be the differences on the surface, but I think the chasm is deeper. There are two huge gaps between conservatives & liberals that I feel need further examination:

1) philosophy vs. security
2) me vs. we

Read more…

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