“Violence is as American as cherry pie”

H. Rap Brown, now known as Jamil Abdullah Al-Amin, famously proclaimed in the ’60s that “violence is as American as cherry pie.”  Little wonder, in the aftermath of the no indictment of the Ferguson, Missouri white police officer who killed an unarmed black teen, Michael Brown, that protestors took to the streets and there was some violence.  Note, most violence by people of color almost allways follows violence by whites, that is, black violence is reacting to white violence, which is almost always justified if not legitimized….

Dropping my wife off at the train station, she was reading a post on Facebook, posted by a white woman, that said that Michael Brown got what he deserved, and that Black people are only destroying their neighborhoods with their violence.

When it somes to violence in America, many white people have amnesia.  When you look at the history of violence in America, from the founding of this nation to the present day, most violence, and the most brutal forms of it, lynching, after castrating and burning, have been perpetrated by white people against Black people.

In East St. Louis in 1919, a rumor that a white woman had been raped by a Black man spread like wild fire and mostly white men took to the streets perpetrating violence against mostly Black men.  (Read Claude McKay’s famous sonnet, “If We Must Die,” about those white race riots that spread across the country.)  In 1955, a Black teen, 14-year-old Emmett Till, “sassed” a White woman in Mississippi and was brutally beaten and killed by white men.  In 1999, 23-year-old Amadou Dialllo, an African immigrant, reached for his wallet was shot at 41 times, 19 striking him, by New York’s Finest.  The list goes on and on….  And of course, in the warped white imagination, they got what they deserved.

Michael Brown got what he deserved….  Emmett Till got what he deserved….  Amadou Diallo Got what he deserved.  Rodney King got what he deserved….


About William Eric Waters, aka Easy Waters

Award-winning poet, playwright and writer. Author of three books of poetry, "Black Shadows and Through the White Looking Glass: Remembrance of Things Past and Present"; "Sometimes Blue Knights Wear Black Hats"; "The Black Feminine Mystique," and a novel, "Streets of Rage." All four books are available on Amazon.com.
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