UNITED STATES─I don’t know how to say this, but I have been disgusted with the level of violence and hate that has seemed to take over our country in recent weeks. It just feels like people’s propensity for violence, being vile and just despicable human beings have reached an all-time high. I don’t get it, I’m trying to get it, but I still cannot get it and it baffles me. I live in the Midwest and the level of violence I’ve seen in recent weeks has concerned me to a point, where it makes me question if people will open their eyes and see that as African-Americans, we’re killing our own race.

I always go back to the movie “Boyz N’ The Hood” because that movie gave America a slice of life from the African-American perspective that I don’t think had ever been seen on the big screen before and till this day no such movie has captured the life of what it’s like to be an African-American in this country, especially as a Black man. The likelihood of dying as Black man growing up in the inner city is more accurate to reality than someone going up in the suburbs. It’s not just the Black-on-Black crime element you have to worry about is the notion of being profiled before people even get the opportunity to know you.

I know what it’s like to be racially profiled while shopping, and then to have the sales associate be surprised you’re not there to steal something, and in some cases you have more money in their pocket than they do. I know what it’s like to play a dual character where you present the tough as nails image in your neighborhood, but you wear a mask at the elite or prestigious private school your parents worked so hard for you to attend. It’s not easy, it’s not fun, but its life America. I mean just watching the national news this weekend I was baffled by the number of murders and shootings in various cities over the Fourth of July holiday weekend.

We need more peace and less hate in our country.
Photo courtesy by Brandi Ibrao.

It was not just alarming it was hard to fathom the WHY element of it all. Has the quarantine seriously made people go stir crazy? Cause if I’m being honest that is exactly what it feels like people. You look at someone wrong, you bump them by accident, just one’s mere presence can lead to a verbal altercation that leads to people ready to fight or worst shoot to kill.

It’s not just the violence element that is annoying me it’s the level of hate I’m seeing across our country. I’m so sick of seeing videos posted all over social media with encounters between Blacks and Whites that have turned violent or just put a larger spotlight on the issue of race. Let’s be clear not all the incidents are racist, even though some videos would like to push that agenda, especially like the Chipotle incident in Michigan. However, some are blatant signs of racism.

The woman calling the cops on the guy in Central Park because he asked her to put a leash on her dog as required by law, the woman who accused a woman of needing to go back to her country before being slapped after shoving her, the lady spitting on the counter because she was asked to wear a mask and she didn’t want to, the White woman using the N-word at a beach, I mean I can go on and on with these incidents. The key is this should NOT be the norm in 2020, we’re better than that right America or at least I thought that? It just sickened me to see that video of that kid in Missouri get punched by a grown man and for no reason whatsoever. Like why, what the hell was the purpose for doing that to a kid?

Either people are looking for their 15 minutes of fame via social media or the level of decency in this country has just been blown to smithereens. Do I believe a lot of people just post things on social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and so many others in hopes of becoming famous overnight, no matter how stupid or insensitive it is? Of course! This is why I don’t have social media, I don’t indulge in it and never will. I’m not looking to be famous or to document every single moment of my life to the rest of the world, and if people don’t get it, oh well, that’s your problem not mine. We live centuries without social media, it is NOT a need to live a normal life.

How can you enjoy life when you’re so worried about whatever else thinks you’re doing? Dismissing the minor discussion on social media, why is the propensity for hate so strong in the midst of what many is calling the next Civil Rights movement? The destruction of historical figures, protests, police brutality, gang violence, assaults, tirades, what is it about 2020 that has elevated these things to a new level? I am trying to make sense of things, but I can’t. We need to spread more love and a lot less hate, no one in this country looks like another (unless you’re identical twins), how about we embrace differences more and not be so quick to judge based on what we ‘see’ instead of what we ‘know.’

Written By Jason Jones