**REAL TALK DISCLAIMER: The following article is strictly a think-piece. Any attempts from intolerant trolls to disparage the following analysis as hate speech or otherwise will not be entertained. This space is for critical thinking and uncomfortable topics will be indulged.
I’ve been witnessing a major split of reactions amongst the liberal-minded over the death of Fidel Castro.
On one side I’m seeing celebrations because to them a totalitarian* dictator has finally died (peacefully in his home at age 90), and their argument is that he was evil because many Cubans died, were exiled, and were denied basic freedoms under his regime. Other tamer arguments are that he was a poor leader because his economy fluctuated from ruin to stabilization.
I taught myself to focus on people’s noses and to only regain eye contact on occasion. My conversations are never long.
But I look at myself in mirrors more than what someone may consider usual to save mental hard copies of how I am in that space in time. I wonder who I am and how I’m perceived and if I’d ever look at myself and understand the reflection that looked back at me with identical wonder. Could I ever crack the code.
Man. What I’ve witnessed on Twitter these past two days have been juicy at best, but disappointing at worst. I love everything about the #BlackLivesMatter movement because I’ve longed for a movement like this for some time. It felt like we sat idly while injustice took root in this country’s psyche and I found it infuriating. But like so many people, I thought that little ole me couldn’t do shit about it. But here comes the birth of this movement simply called Black Lives Matter, made up of several activists (regular people) tired of the mistreatment of black Americans. The most visible workers in the movement to me are Deray Mckesson and Johnetta “Netta” Elzie, along with the help of a myriad of activists on the ground. Following these two on Twitter and seeing them actually do the work and really risk their lives is nothing short of inspiring. For the first time, I feel like we can be free because of people like Brittany Packyetti, Brittany Ferrell, Patrice Cullors – anybody committed to black liberation. But this is not a perfect struggle, hence: struggle.
South Carolina lawmakers have finally voted to remove the confederate flag from their capital. This is great news, but I can’t help but feel underwhelmed because it is just common sense to me. To be honest, I am trying to understand why the confederate flag hasn’t been banned nationally altogether. This is not a states’ issue; it is an issue that permeates across this nation. Why hasn’t a treacherous battle flag that evokes trauma for black people been banned ages ago? I guess that’s a dumb question with a simple answer: because racism. It is an American tradition. The fact that we have to even discuss what this flag represents disgusts me and I do not have time for it. If people refuse to even get past the simple truth that the confederate flag represents concentrated white supremacy, then how are we going to discuss the foundational errors of this country? How will we reach that point reasonably? But kudos, to South Carolina for taking the flag down – but only to an extent. That damned flag would have waved on with no remorse had Bree Newsome not taken matters into her own hands. And that brings me to another point…