How does anybody do it these days?

Hello, Friend.

There is one question on my mind this cloudy Monday morning. One baobab question with many branches…

Tell me, how do you get out of bed every morning, give your soul some chicken soup, and head out into the unknown? How do you step out the door every time, knowing even without reading the news, of yet another act of violence some kilometres away? And if it’s 10,000 kilometres away, knowing your Auntie May, or Cousin Edem, or Daddy dearest is “up” there, striving to send “down” some of the famed milk and honey? And if you’ve got all those you love safe and sound just a drive away from you, knowing Abu and Issah – only a couple of the loan sharks you owe – will be visiting your workplace today? And if you are free from all debt, all student loans, all utility bills, all social security taxes, knowing you can count your bank balance on the fingers of your 2 hands? And if it’s more than your 2 hands, knowing you have to go and face that horrible boss who makes you want to pull a Motherfuckah Jones? And if the boss is rather as benign as The Office’ Michael Scott, knowing you have to sit for 8 hours listening to airhead Ani endlessly talk about who is going to fund her next weave? And if all of work is sugar n spice n everything nice, knowing you have to go back home to face four walls and talk about your day to fluffy four-legged Koko, because you’re either alone, or there’s nobody who’ll understand? And if there’s actually someone who’ll understand, you can’t begin to express all the feelings, can’t unload all the weight, because you fought bitterly with her this morning over the lumpy porridge she made for you?
I’m genuinely curious. Take a minute to let me know.

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P.S. I hate to sound cheesy, but first, just breathe. And realize – If You’re Reading this, You’re Alive, And It’s Not Too Late.

Peace,

Zara.

No title really suitably describes all that the human race is going through right now

I am no journalist. I am no expert. I am no criminologist…

I am in no way qualified to give a professional analysis on the current state of the United States (concerning police brutality and race) from my squeaky office chair in Accra.

I just have a head and two hands. And the Internet. And common DNA with any other organism identified as “human” (as well as organisms identified as bananas – but we can talk about that another time).

So it is only natural to care and talk about important things happening to other human beings, even if they are 10,000km away.

Yesterday, after waking up to the news of yet another innocent black life senselessly taken by the Police – barely a day after a similar incident – I texted my best friend in outrage:
If only there could be a new law like only non-whites can join the US Police!

Of course, I was merely venting like a wronged child, and the irony was not lost on me. But his answer unsettled me even more:
The black Policemen are just as bad.

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Ok, ok, before you rush to any conclusions or name-calling (yes, not every dissenter on a number of black issues is racist), I will have to do something the media and virtually anybody with an opinion rarely does – put the subject at hand in context:

First off, after a long debate with the bestie about how he had no right to say such a thing without adding facts and figures, I realized I had not correctly provided a setting or even a premise to justify my venting. Allow me to break it down properly:

Had I started with something like, “$£*%! Another black man killed by white police!” (because he had actually not learnt about it yet), then followed it up with my vent, his wildly intelligent self would most likely have answered differently.

Had he however maintained that “the black Policemen are just as bad” after that background story, then I am confident I would be justified in the questions I came back at him with:

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Because I AM aware that a large number of policemen in the United States – whether Black, White or other – tend to be particularly rougher and tougher when dealing with minorities, especially black people.
BUT do the black policemen SHOOT AND KILL whites or their own people at just the same rate? For me, that is one big question!

Anyway, the debate went on for a while, and I kept feeling a restless hunger to be better informed. So I put the office WiFi to good use when I got some free time, and discovered a few things, some of which are in the screenshots below:

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I DO ADMIT THOUGH –
The screenshots above are taken off the Daily Wire, which is described on Wikipedia as a conservative news & opinion website. For all I know, some of the information may be biased, although they cite data from the better regarded Washington Post.
Unfortunately, I could not find a more liberal or ideally neutral source to answer my “killings by black cops” question, though I certainly  don’t plan to stop here.
(NB: Every body who would like to be considered not stupid should know and do this – Research on your Sources of research and news.
OR be like the people who first hailed this guy :

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So I challenge you: If you are touched by this topic or simply want to know more, please dig further.

For comprehensive statistics on all civilians killed by the police in the US, please go here:
https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/series/counted-us-police-killings
(The Guardian is a well respected British news outlet – their compilation in the site above has actually been recognized by the FBI chief in the US.)

I strongly wish that this did not have to be the subject of my first blog post. I wish I could be writing about everyone on the planet gathering to celebrate the completion of the biggest radio telescope ever, with its 1,650-foot-wide dish set to scan the heavens for alien life among other things, from China. Or maybe something about the #Dab dance…

I also wish it will be clear to intelligent people that some of us – no matter our race, nationality, experience and exposure, or lack thereof – will talk about important issues when we feel the drive. And we will not merely jump on the train for any relevance or popularity, but will simply say what is on our hearts because we just can no longer keep silent.

I know that I do not have a black or white (figuratively speaking) answer to the questions I begun with, but at least, I know I have gained more knowledge than I had yesterday – even if 0.9% more.
This post does not promise any answers – only a provocation of your thoughts 🙂

AND NOW…

If anybody reading this is one of those walking around with a mindset that mindlessly subscribes to statements like “all lives matter” (BUT THE ISSUE NOW IS THE DISREGARD OF BLACKS, WHOSE LIVES ALSO MATTER) “black people kill more of their own people” (BUT THE ISSUE NOW IS THE MURDER OF BLACKS BY THOSE SWORN TO PROTECT) “the Dallas cops deserved it” (NOBODY DESERVES TO BE SHOT AND KILLED), then by all means, please, close the page and remain in your hole, or follow Mr. Williams’ advice:

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There is nothing wrong with having an opinion. There is nothing wrong with voicing it out, even in the midst of controversy. In fact, these are wonderful and good and NECESSARY – most of the time.
WHAT IS WRONG IS SPREADING MISINFORMATION, NON SEQUITURS AND PROPAGANDA, ALL OF WHICH LEAD TO HATE.

Do your research, people. If something really matters to you, DO NOT keep silent. But voice things out – AS LOGICALLY AND CONSTRUCTIVELY as the brain in your head was optimally designed to allow you to.