dark mat·ter [noun]
1. (in some cosmological theories) Non-luminous or material that is void of light postulated to exist in space and that could take any of several forms including weakly interacting particles (cold dark matter) or high-energy randomly moving particles created soon after the Big Bang (hot dark matter).
I was very young when I first encountered it. I remember like it was yesterday. I was a child in K5 and I had a crush on a girl in my class that I played with everyday. I recall her being so nice and polite to me. We used to hug each other before one of us was getting picked up by our parents. One day while sitting on a swing set she came over and asked me to push her on the swings so I did. I pushed her on those swings and I didn’t mind because we were both having fun and being silly. After she got off and it was time to leave the playground our class walked back to the school. Now the way this school worked was we had to walk with the teachers a few blocks to the playground area because we were located in downtown Milwaukee so, we would walk two by two holding hands and this was the first time we ever got to hold hands. This wasn’t a major deal to us back then because we were so young back then. We had no knowledge of dating, relationships or, sex. As far as we knew, we were really great friends that enjoyed being around each other. So on this day, when it came time to for her to leave with her parents she ran up to hug me and kissed me on the cheek very close to the corner of my mouth. I was not shocked but not because of any arrogance but I didn’t think it was a bad thing between us. I just didn’t think much of it. Her mother on the other hand was not pleased. I remember her face changed in expression so fast that I thought I did something wrong. I never forgot that look she gave me and it lingered in my mind for the remainder of that evening. The next day when I tried to talk to her as I usually did, she seemed different. She looked sad and distant. I didn’t push it but it bothered me. When we went to recess I tried to play with her and she would ignore me and leave to Play on the other side of the park. It was odd and I remember not understanding what was happening. When we walked back she ran grabbed the hand of another girl in the class that she had been following around all day. It was like she was avoiding me. When it came time to leave I went to hug her and but she walked away and wouldn’t look in my direction. She just told me that she’s not supposed to be friends with “people like me”. It didn’t hurt at first mainly due to the fact I didn’t know what she meant by that. When her mother came to get her, she shot me a glance that I could never describe until I became older and started to see that same look more and more. For anyone that has ever been looked at with disgust for your lifestyle, religion or race, you should know this look all too well. If you don’t know this look, then you know someone that experienced this before. We were never friends again after that and to this day, I can’t remember her name but I never forgot that moment in my life. I never spoke on it until right now. Why am I pointing this way of thinking out then? It’s actually quite simple. There is a poison in the air. A specific kind of poison that’s been lingering around in this world for a very long time. It is an uncontrollable substance that flows below the surface of our psyche influencing our behaviors and attitudes towards others. From deep within our flesh and swimming along our bloodstreams all the way to our cerebral cortex, a venomous pollution that corrupts us from the inside while feeding off of our deepest and darkest fears and insecurities. It was my first encounter with it back then and it would surely not my last.
What does a human life mean to you?
When you see two people walking down the street together, what goes through your mind?
How many start to speculate what kind of people they are based on their skin tone?
Now what if they were same sex and dressed fashionable?
What if you seen them wearing religious affiliated attire?
Why does this change our mindset and cause us to trail from our thoughts of what we have already have on our agenda?
Now do you see how the human brain can unravel into different directions and corridors with just a simple suggestion?
There are a lot of you reading this right now and pretending that you are incapable of having a mind that revolves like this but I assure you I am not saying any of this to condemn you, just simply making an observation. If a person is shot in the middle of the street in broad daylight without probable cause do they deserve to die? Regardless of a history of violence in other cities and communities among their race, does that mean that an officer sworn to obey the law has the right to waive that sworn duty and execute a person just because? When Mike Brown’s death occurred the anger came from a place of resentment towards a person in power sworn to uphold the law. There was nothing lawful about that death. At the time he was no suspect in a crime, he was human being walking in the street with a friend. When Trayvon Martin was walking home in his hoodie, he was no Suspect. He was a human being walking home from the store. When Eric Garner was killed he was selling single cigarettes that belonged to him, he didn’t fight anybody for there to be 3 NYPD officers jumping on him the way they did and killing him with an illegal choke. Brown approached by an officer. Martin approached by a civilian on his own neighborhood watch. When both Brown and Martin were killed unnecessarily, immediately after blacks were outraged, a large amount of people went out of their way to justify it outside of what happened. “Well blacks kill each other every day so what’s one more.” “They dressed like thugs and they died like thugs.” It was the kind of perceptions that would make peaceful person to all races stop and stare in disgust. I watched friends of different races that never spoke such ill things against other races before become the most venomous individuals I had ever seen… It hurt. While people were upset at the way they died others turned it into a statement of “good riddance” against people they did not know anything about. It was like the same people that I grew up with, people that I considered friends regardless of their race and religion that used to be filled with such light and used to rise above such ignorance got older and became unrecognizable. Some became completely void of light and just lost all attachment to everything that once united us as people and now became more satisfied being separated from the rest of the people in this country just to debate over which side is better whether it was through race, religion, lifestyle or political beliefs.
When the verdicts came in for Both cases I could see the fuse being lit on that racial powder keg all over again and there was nothing anyone could do about it. VH1 aired a documentary about the LA riots during that time like it was an instructional guide to survive in case it really got out of hand. The worst part about it all, is that we fed into it… Not that it wasn’t easy to. Speaking as a proud black man, I can’t help but state the obvious, we have allowed our people to venture off of the path that we once used to march on and chant “we shall not be moved from”. We have become a close mirror image of what vintage Disney, Tom & Jerry and, Merry Melodies cartoons used to portray us as. We started confusing our own mockery and degradation as pride in ourselves. Honest criticism and educating more knowledge of self became “hater-isms” among the majority of our black community. We allow our people that represent us in public to get away with not being held responsible for having any dignity in their past and what we as a people come from. When did such ignorance become so acceptable? Our role models think it is wise to wear chicken wings around their necks and use Malcolm X to promote a song called “Looking Ass N*ggas”. Our celebrities find it more beneficial to dump buckets of ice water on themselves for an increase in popularity instead of dumping water into places with no clean water source or even dumping money into the actual charities that fought the ALS disease for those diagnosed with it. The time of the LA Riots were nothing compared to today. Back then if you look at the awareness of culture at the time, most of our people in the media, whether they were entertainers or civil activists took pride in educating our people to become better. Now we’re more concerned over who is throwing shade at who and when you should “Turn Up” or “Turn Down”. Yet, we wonder why the news outlets refused to take us as seriously as they did back during the days of the Rodney King beatings. For the last decade we’ve wasted our time in the public light to speak on anything worthy of merit so when an actual issue of injustice occurs, it’s not hard to imagine nobody in the media cared about the message because the riots are what people wanted to watch on both sides. Whether it was for entertainment for those that love drama or for validation for those that feel our people as being as ignorant as the stereotypes we are known for. When off duty cops were continuously busted posing as protesters trying to cause an outbreak of violence, people focused on judging an entire race, we finally woke up for a moment began trying to campaign that “Black Lives Matter“. However, (as usual) it seemed like every time I saw my people try to regroup themselves to spark change among each other and other races it was met with confrontation. If you say we kill each other more than the cops do then okay we will march against both then because they both affect us. Black Lives Matter when they kill us and when we kill us. But right away, we’re antagonized immediately. Nope, “All Lives Matter”. You want to be equal? Then you should change your stance to include everyone. Nobody acknowledged that there were people of various races marching together in unity saying that Black lives are equal to the lives of all other races and they had no problem with that. But the same ones that live to spread hate among the cultures kept feeding that divide instead of letting the peaceful attempts to demonstrate continue. They kept feeding and feeding until others started to feel that change in them. It started to spread into the people frustrated with the tension until they finally snapped. When the cops were murdered I wasn’t shocked but at the same time it left me disgusted with my society. I am constantly reminded to either love or leave my country because whenever myself or anyone else wants to make it better for the majority to live in it, the debate becomes more like a competition of which minority should get to be on top. At this point in my life, I feel like every single race in this country is a minority except for the 1% that controls the worlds wealth because they are everywhere the rest of us can’t be. Is it me or was the occupy Wall Street movement the most unorganized protest simply because rich companies and rich people had no stake in supporting it? The ones that tried were turned away and cursed out simply because they were… Well, among 1%. I thought we wanted to change the world and level the playing field? We keep being told to fight this instead and argue over that instead of fighting the ones that really robs and kills us. Like these healthcare companies that are paid top dollars in bonuses to deny us life saving procedures and quality care here in America. Yet these same politicians approve this type of abuse of power by making it legal and have the nerve to encourage folks to say All Lives Matter. When?
Imagine if this country was a huge charter bus, and the citizens were the all of the passengers in this car while the President was the driver as the other members of our government represent pieces of the engine and bus that makes the bus run. When something is wrong with the bus and it begins to affect a good chunk of passengers on that bus it hinders the travel towards our destination. But you have another good chunk of the bus demanding that we let the issue be and continue moving forward. Even as pieces of the bus are being corroded and not serving their purposes, people are still pushing to move forward anyone without really addressing what’s wrong and taking the time to fix the problem so that for once we can all enjoy the ride to where we all want to go. Instead we are fighting over who should drive the bus and trolling for which portion of the bus gets to have authority over the other passengers. So we remain riding slowly making our way down the road confused as to how we got in this situation to begin with. Now, I know there are some people wondering to themselves: Who am I to question anyone on any of this? You have a god given right to question my opinions as much as the next person. The more important question is: Who are we today and why? I love this world for the sheer beauty of its existence as much my country. That is why I will never be the type to lie to my fellow countrymen and women because I know we can be better. America has become a cruel and vicious place compared to what our elders worked hard for and fought for. We are a society that rewards and praises the shallowest, the dumbest, the meanest and the loudest with no intention of striving for the absolute best of each other. We no longer have any common sense of decency. No sense of shame. There is deteriorating sense of right and wrong. The worst qualities in people are looked up to and celebrated. Lying and spreading fear is fine as long as you can make money doing it. We’ve become a nation of slogan-saying, bile-spewing hatemongers. We’ve lost our kindness. We’ve lost our humanity. We lost the hunger to evolve without giving in to commercialism. We’ve lost our soul. We’ve lost our light. We used to hold ourselves responsible for our nations shortcomings. Now when any of us try to point out something wrong with our bus, we’re called unpatriotic instead being able to talk out why they feel that way. Now we have no problem feeding these people to the lions for slaughter just for the sake to feel as if we keep moving forward, rushing to go nowhere anytime soon and solving nothing in the process. What have we become? We take the weakest in our society, we hold them up to be ridiculed, laughed at for our sport and our entertainment. Laughed at to the point, where they would literally rather kill themselves than live with us anymore. The harsh reality is that we’ve evolved into a people that have children desensitized to the ways of the world before they are even old enough either spell it or live on their own it. The very light our children are born with is systematically being snuffed out by each and every one of us before it can even flicker to its full potential until there is nothing left in the world but pure darkness. Like DARK MATTER itself, but far worse.
“Darkness cannot drive out darkness, only light can do that.
Hate cannot drive out hate, only love can do that.”
– Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. –
Light Up The Dark