It was always Open Season.
It started in Africa, and spread across the world.
The Middle Passage was Open Season, as was the slave auction block, the noose, the burning crosses, the beatings, the framings, the looking away, the destruction of prosperous black towns.
It’s been Open Season.
It was Open Season on Dr. King. Dogs, hoses, jailing, beatings, and finally, a bullet.
It was Open Season on Malcolm X (well, his was ‘friendly’ fire, but he scared ya’ll for awhile, didn’t he?).
It was Open Season on the Black Panthers, but not on the Klan.
It was Open Season on Jackie Robinson, and Hank Aaron.
It’s been Open Season on our daughters and sisters and mothers and wives, bearing up under the indignity of laying in beds that weren’t their husbands’, and watching their children destroyed before their eyes.
Some walked to the edges of cliffs and rivers voluntarily, and some dropped in the master’s child; some dropped in themselves, and still others made it a package deal.
Black girls with white dolls, black women with bleached skin.
It’s been Open Season on the first black President: met a wave of incredible backlash and resistance. Desires for his death requested, hinted at, and plainly stated. His wife, just another angry black bitch with a big booty. His daughters called classless by a white reporter who boozed it up in her own ‘heyday.’ Oh wait. His daughters don’t drink. His crimes: Tan suits, Marines holding umbrellas, coffee cups. his feet on the desk…Oh, wait, there are pictures of other Presidents doing the same thing.
So what’s different this time? No, really. What?
Oh yeah, it’s Open Season.
It’s been Open Season on black neighborhoods: ‘gentrification’. A gentle sounding word to describe the economic herding of poor people out of established neighborhoods so the demographics can be more ‘attractive’ to tourists and businesses, and former suburbanites can save on property taxes by moving back into the city they abandoned decades ago to get away from ‘those people.’
It’s been Open Season on the streets: the police began shooting young black men and women like dogs, regardless of the severity of the crime, regardless of guilt or innocence. Yet white guys with multiple guns shooting children in movie theaters and schools get apprehended alive, unless they shoot themselves.
Obey and Respect the law? Let’s see…
Black men are just now getting out of prison because of DNA evidence overturning wrongful convictions, after losing decades of their lives. “We just need someone to take the fall. We don’t care who, as long as it’s a black guy.”
“You fit the description…”
“Why are you driving that kind of car, and what are you doing in this neighborhood?”
“A black man did it,” and a community gets rousted, but it’s the mother who drove the car into the water after all, it’s the husband, it’s the….well, it’s not a black guy (this time…)
All white juries. Peers?
Mobs breaking into jail cells while sheriffs and officers look the other way.
Those same officers and sheriffs taking pictures in Klan robes, smiling….
Heck, these days even community watchmen get a free pass after being told by the real cops to let them deal with the little Skittle-eatin’ n*r. (How many times did that community watchman, pillar of the community, get arrested since then? But you see, the kid was a criminal, an unarmed, walking home having a snack criminal… ok)
Cops and citizens who kill black thugs (which covers crimes from robberies to unpaid parking fines, and whether they reached for the gun or ran away, or knocked on a door at 3 in the morning, or played their music loud at a gas station) become network tv spokesmen and motivational speakers, overnight millionaires.
Whistle blowers are, let’s say, discouraged….
It’s been Open Season in the military: Black soldiers segregated, denied medals of honor for brave deeds done, now gathered posthumously, if at all.
It’s been Open Season on generational wealth building: Towns of black prosperity burned, their citizens murdered: men, women, children, to rise again from the ashes, until a new generation came.
The apartment is taken. Someone came by in the half hour since we spoke and gave a deposit.
The position is filled.
Keisha’s a ghetto name. How’d she attend Harvard with a name like Keisha? Toss it…
Code the applications with the letter N….Why do you people abuse food stamps? Why can’t you do better for yourselves?
It’s been Open Season in education: until Black history month, our history in the US began and ended with slavery. We learned nothing of the kings of Africa, of its wealth, of its culture. We did learn of it’s colonization, but not what it cost.
We learned nothing of black patriots who helped build this country; (not entirely true: we learned nothing of Crispus Attucks except he was the first to die) Did YOU know? Paul Revere did not ride alone…
Hallway conversation in an inner city middle school: “We pass the kids because they’re not going to be successful anyway…”
Keep. Moving. Forward.
One of us has gotta make it through