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The Stages of What Happens When There’s Injustice Against Black People

It’s another day and another way that America shows that it is not here for Black people even though this country was built on our backs and our blood fertilized the soil. Eric Garner was killed as he was in a chokehold by a cop who saw him selling loose cigarettes. His last words were “I can’t breathe” and all of it was caught on tape. ALL of it.

It was just last week that we learned that Darren Wilson will not be getting indicted for killing unarmed Black boy Mike Brown. JUST LAST WEEK so this is some twisted and tragic deja vu. It’s becoming all too common. And whenever one of these things happens, things go down like routine. There’s predictable stages and I am going to chart them here.

Stages of What Happens When There's Injustice Against Black People

Stage 1: Another Black person is beat up, arrested or killed senselessly

This is where we find out someone Black has been violated/abused/assaulted in a major way usually by a person of authority, a vigilante or a cop. There’s Trayvon Martin, killed by a neighborhood watchman as he walked home in the rain with a hoodie over his head. There’s Aiyana Stanley-Jones, a 7-year old who was laying in bed when police shot through her house. There’s Rekia Boyd, killed when a cop opened fire into an alley where she was standing. There’s Tamir Rice, the 12-year old who was shot by police as he was on a playground because they thought his BB gun was real. There’s _____ and _______ and oh yeah _______. Unfortunately, I could keep going endlessly.

Stage 2: People are enraged by the injustice

We hear about this, we amplify it and we rage. We RAGE for the lives that were lost for no reason. We mourn for the parents who have to bury their child, the people who lost their life partners, the young ones who were there to see their friends slain.

We rave about a system that gives no dambs about Black lives, Black bodies and Black humanity (or just HUMANITY AT ALL). We weep for battles fought that 50 years ago that we still haven’t won. We cry out for the grief we feel because Rekia, Trayvon, Mike, Aiyana, Amadou could have been any one of us. WE. RAGE, gahtdambit. Because America makes it clear that we’re on our own, and walking down the street is a crime when you’re Black. Our skins are considered deadly weapons so we die simply for being in them.

Stage 2.5: People are too tired to be outraged

There are some people who ask us all “why are you surprised?” or “What did you expect?” They are tired. Maybe they are protecting themselves from the bottomless pit of rage and hopelessness that could come when they let themselves feel. They have long given up on the broken system and every new event is their confirmation. So they wonder why we are still shocked.

We are still surprised because the day we stop getting outraged about this is the day we accept our fate as America’s chickens to be slaughtered at will. I will be surprised EVERY SINGLE TIME. And yes, it will happen again. Soon. And yes, we will RAGE then too.

Stage 3: Smear Campaign and victim blaming

Once we find out about the killing and violation of a Black person, we quickly get to the place where people ask what the person did to get killed. As if people walk out everyday looking for trouble to get into that will lead to them having a hole in their body and a heart with no beat.

Because to be considered a TRUE victim, you need to be a saint who never even raised your voice, cussed or put up any selfies that didn’t have you in a choir robe. Because to defame your character is to place the onus of death squarely on your shoulders. If you’re in a hoodie in any of your online pics, beware. That day when you felt like rocking some Timbs and a baggy shirt, they will find that pic and ask what you did as the “thug” you are.

They find out that Mike/Trayvon/Tamir’s stepdaddy’s first cousin twice removed didn’t file taxes in 2004, therefore they were a monster. And there’s no real correlation to the matter at hand but that doesn’t matter. Because victims cannot be VICTIMS unless they were angels on Earth. And when they can’t find anything to use on them, they find anything around them to use to drag their names through the mud.

Well, only if you’re Black. Because that is when you actually have to PROVE your humanity, instead of having it given to you. Because even in death, they won’t let your soul rest without smearing it with dirt. Even though, if you’re white, you can shoot up an entire movie theater, walk out with your life intact and get painted as someone who is “disturbed.”

Stage 3.25: Media asks “What did he/she do?”

This is when the media plants ideas on what the victim may have done to deserve being shot in the back, killed while in bed, choked til he could not breathe. They ask stupid questions about whether the cop was acting in self-defense. They also actively participate in the smear campaign against the deceased, posting the pics of him in the gold grill, frowning at the camera. As if every teenager doesn’t have a picture of them mean mugging.

Stage 3.5: FOX News confirms that it’s THE WORST

Because FOX News deserves its own sub-stage for their tone deaf coverage of EVERYTHING. Going to them for the truth is like going to WalMart to buy a Ferrari. You will not find one there and you should not look.

Tacky and I Hate You gif

Stage 3.75: The “None of us were there” people

People will chime up to tell us that none of us were there and we don’t really know what could have happened. They’ll play “Devil’s Advocate” and tell us we need to understand that there are two sides to every story. EXCEPT ONE SIDE IS DEAD AND THAT’S THE SIDE THAT MATTERS MOST, DINGBAT! Shut your devil’s advocate ass the fuck up. Why do you wanna be the devil’s advocate any damb way. Who told you that Satan needs a mouthpiece? Did he say he needed a chaperone? NOPE. Thank you. Not STCOMPLETEFU. The folks in this stage are usually mostly white and mostly conservative and mostly living in a bubble chockful of privilege.

In the case of Eric Garner, we WERE there, because we all saw the video. Now what?

Stage 4: What about Black on Black crime?

This HAS to happen in this cycle because people feel the need to point out to us that why are we worried about any crimes that other people commit on our Black bodies when Black people criminalize each other?

Black on Black crime is a DUMB ASS phrase. 94% of murders that Black people are victims of are committed by other Black people. 83% of murders that white people are victims of is committed by other white people. WHY? Because we interact with people who are in our racial groups most often. People victimize other people who look like them.

Also, ANY Black crime is HANDLED by the system. In fact, it’s OVERHANDLED. Our prisons are full of Black boys, girls, men and women who are in there for things as small as stealing candy bars. FULL. So please shut the entire hell up about this since even if it was a problem, it’s already being addressed. The system doesn’t like Black folks getting away with ANYTHING. So you ain’t gotta worry about that.

Meanwhile, white people can cuss out a cop, wave a gun in their face, assault them but walk away with probation. Because the complexion for protection is real, and when coupled with Affluenza, what you have is recipe for invincibility. Read tweets from the hashtag #CrimingWhileWhite for more examples on how breaking the law when you’re white might actually get you escorted home by a cop who wants to make sure you’re safe. But when you’re Black, you might end up dead and gone.

You want more stats? Check out these by Demos, a public policy org.

Racial Inequality in the Criminal Justice System Facts

* In the federal system Black offenders receive sentences that are 10%  longer than white offenders for the same crime.

* Five times as many Whites are using drugs as African Americans, yet African Americans are sent to prison for drug offenses at 10 times the rate of Whites.

* African Americans are incarcerated at nearly six times the rate of Whites.

African American juvenile youth are about 16% of the youth population, 37% of their cases are moved to criminal court & 58% of convicted African American youth are sent to adult prisons.

African American women are three times more likely than white women to be incarcerated.

In spite of ALL THESE FACTS, people will stand wrong and strong in your Facebook comments and Twitter mentions. It’s full of white folks spitting the tired rhetoric but the worst part is that this stage has a lot of vocal Black people too. They just have to remind the rest of us. And I just wanna dropkick them in the face for being simple as hell. And for being Don Lemon. Can we ex-communicate him? I’m asking. For everyone.

Stage 5: Reminding us that “Not All White People”

As we rage about the system, the inhumane treatment of Black people that has been allowed, encouraged and state-sanctioned because of white privilege that has soaked the very fabric of the system, people push back to let us know that not all white people are racist.

And we didn’t even say ALL white people are racist but racism is real, bigots are plenty and we’re not just making this up to make white folks feel bad. IT IS REAL. We said that white people benefit from privilege and the automatic position of power they’re in just because of their skin color. We didn’t call you RACIST, unless you feel like pointing out that FACT makes you a bigot. Then by all means, holler like hit dogs do.

Beyonce sips tea gif

This is also when we are all told that not all cops are bad. Nope. Not all. But the bad ones are really showing their asses and the good ones need to know that these are their coworkers. Again, hit dogs holler. But criticizing ONE group does not mean handing out personal judgments of everyone in that group.

Stage 5.5: #BlackLivesMatter? What About #AllLivesMatter?

We know that all lives matter. WE KNOW. But we have to say #BlackLivesMatter to remind people of our humanity, which is far too often forgotten. So for white people (or anyone who isn’t Black) to feel like this proclamation somehow diminishes THEIR humanity is to confirm that very self-centeredness that we’re fighting against.

BlackLivesMatter AllLivesMatter


Being pro-Black doesn’t make us anti-white. Stand down, Butthurt Bill. STAND DOWN.

Stage 5.75: And this is the part where folks let us know that they’re colorblind and they don’t really see race and “This is clearly not about race, YOU GUISE!” Nope. Not about race at all. Because sure a white man can be seen being KILLED on camera and the Black cop who killed him won’t even have to spend a day in court. YEAH OK. In Opposite Land!

We are all just playing the race card. If we WERE playing Spades, being Black would make you the 3 of clubs. That’s how much we can “win” with it.

Also, you’re not colorblind so stop saying that. STAHP. You see this melanin that covers me. Seeing color is not bad. Treating people like less than because of their color is the problem. Forced politeness and the fear of the “race card” trump actual work and progress.

Stage 6: Create a Twitter hashtag to unite the conversation

We create a hashtag around whatever happened, and it serves as a way for everyone to unite in anger, venting, next steps. Oftentimes, it is a way for us to really side-eye the hell out of the people who are missing the point of it all. We use the hashtag as a group effort to tell the people in stages 3-5 to shut the ENTIRE COMPLETE ABSOLUTE fuck up.

Like when the St. Louis Police Association asked the Rams to apologize publicly for 5 players who walked unto the field with their hands up. We created a #STLPDApologies hashtag so they could get an apology. It probably wasn’t the type they expected, though.

Stage 7: People protest and are told to be calm

The people of Ferguson have taken to the streets since August when Michael Brown got killed. They are the reason we still know his name. They are the reason we can’t rest. They are the fighters in front of this new movement, and for that, we have to thank them, They helped spark something important, and all around the world, people have joined them to say #HandsUpDontShoot. And to show that we will not take this lying down.

And since Darren Wilson, Mike’s killer, got off from even being charged last Tuesday, people everywhere have been protesting, and orgs like the Millennial Activists United, Black Youth Project 100 and the Dream Defenders help lead some of these protests. Folks of all colors and backgrounds have come together and that has been a beautiful thing. There have been die-ins that have disrupted the peace and even had a mall in St. Louis shut down on the biggest shopping day of the year (Black Friday).

Stage 7.5: Calling protesters rioters

One way to diminish the work of people who are protesting is by calling them looters, even though many people have peacefully assembled, which is their first amendment right. The way protesting has been framed by the media has been to show lawlessness and people damaging property. Not only does this ignore the folks who are peaceful with it, it also places the blame on people who feel like there’s nothing to even protect.


Stage 7.75: Quote MLK to call for peace

Because Martin Luther King Jr. has become the Patron Saint of Respectability and Pull Your Pants Up, folks are quick to quote his words on keeping peace and nonviolence and kumbaya. But they forget that MLK also said: “A riot is the language of the unheard.” In a country where our people are being killed with no consequence, not feeling heard is DEFINITELY a problem.

Being a “Good Black” hasn’t kept us safe so what incentive do people have to maintain composure? NADA. Because it doesn’t matter. And people think when you get rich enough, you shed some of the ills that come with Blackness (looking at you, Charles Barkley the Callous).

The parents of Mike Brown called for peace but I’d have a hard time not creating all types of chaos if you kill my son and let the man who did it walk and then rewarded him with 3 months paid vacation. I would play Usher’s “Let It Burn” as my theme music and I’d want to light the match myself. Michael Brown Sr. and Leslie McSpadden are THE CLASSIEST.

You can’t kill us and treat us like target practice for 400 years and then be all “hey guys. Relax.” because we’re sick and tired of the bullshit. SO SHUT UP WHEN YOU’RE TALKING TO ME. You got some nerve.

I’m petty. I’ll be that.

Stage 8: You learn how the people you know really feel

During these times, people show who they are, whether in their silence (which speaks volumes) or in their words. You will either unfollow and unfriend racists, lifelong friends and people you thought you respected. OR you actually fall deeper in love with the people you know because they are with you, and they are being loud about it.

Many of the comments and terrible things you’ll see will come from people who you’ve followed and friended. Some of them, you actually know in real life. And when that person you thought you respected comes on your Facebook status to drop the Black on Black thing or to say that we need to pull up our pants and maybe then we can prosper as a people, you will realize that you know idiots. And that you don’t want dummies in your newsfeeds. And even though it pains you to have to cut the cord on friend from high school/acquaintance you grab lunch with from time to time/wayward cousin, you will do it for your peace of mind. BECAUSE YOU WILL NOT STAND FOR THAT SHIT. NO, YOU WILL NOT.


Race derailment bingo

One good thing that comes out of these events is that it allows you to see who is clutter and who needs to be cut off. Although there is apparently an argument for keeping them as friends, and it could be you who changes their mind and lets them see the light. OR they might be so tied to their prejudice or respectability politics or wrongness that nothing can change it. It’s up to you.

And then, others will speak up about the injustice even though they are not skinfolk. My white friends have been very vocal about what has been happening, how wrong it’s been and how they recognize their privilege. They’ve written blog posts, statuses, tweets about it, and they’ve raged along with us. They are not being condescending, nor are they personally apologizing for what’s happening. They are standing up and being allies, and their anger matters to me too. Because to be silent is to consent.

Stage 9: The killer walks free

It is here that our broken hearts shatter into tiny little pieces. Every single time that a Grand Jury refuses to indict a cop in spite of witnesses, video tape evidence, word from coroner, 5 people with 20/20 vision and a sworn truthteller, it is a punch to the chest. EVERY SINGLE TIME someone is cleared of all charges, I feel like *I* can’t breathe. I am just left fighting the air and facepalming repeatedly. And cussing like a sailor and giving everything the middle finger.

Malcolm X Middle Finger

We weren’t there when Trayvon was killed but he was unarmed and he died because a man was threatened by his presence and shot him. Many people were there when Mike Brown was killed because a cop was threatened by his presence and shot him. Many people saw Eric Garner being put in the chokehold that killed him. One person got footage of the whole thing and we watched his taped final moments. All three men who killed these unarmed black boys and man are walking free.

George Zimmerman was at least tried. But he still walked away without serving a night in jail for killing Trayvon Martin. Darren Wilson is not only a free man, but he’s collected over $400,000 in donations and got married as he awaited the decision on indictment. The trial against Aiyana’s killer ended up as a mistrial because the jury deadlocked. So her killer is free, as well.

We have VIDEOTAPE of the killing of Eric Garner and we STILL can’t get the cop charged. My goodness. They can’t even humor us and let the thug in blue uniform stand trial.

If you’re comfortable about living in the land of the free and home of the brave right now and if you think justice exists for people who look like me, then please invite me to the rock in which your home must be under.

On top of everything that happens, this stage is the one that really cements the fact that we’re not considered fully human not just by individuals but by the government itself. It is past just “some racist cops” and it is systemic oppression. And THAT does feel personal. Intensely.

Stage 10: We get to work on dismantling the system brick-by-brick

We organize. We march. We find out what we need to do next to make change happen because we’re sick of this shit and we need it to stop. Because when stage 1 happens again, we’re left in the same rage cycle, left to figure out why the hell we’re still fighting for basic human rights.

But we’ve been fighting for a while. We’ve been fighting the same battles for so long.

And here we are. STILL fighting. Still having to take to the streets. Still marching. Just so we can walk down the street and a state-paid thug in blue will let us live past that block.

In 50 years, our grandchildren will read about Ferguson like we read about Selma. In 50 years, we will talk about America not loving Black people even as a Black man sat in its most valued house. And in 50 years, I hope that we are not just going to copy and paste the text from books that WE read about 50 years ago.

The house we need to build is huge and we’ve got to do it brick-by-brick. The road shall be long so we gotta put on some comfortable shoes. Because those who came before us fought for so much more with so much less. THAT is the hope I need to keep fighting.

Black Jesus is gonna come down for Judgment day and some cop will shoot him because his cloak looks like a hoodie. Then God is gonna have to blow up everything because He’s sick of all our shenanigans.


The Stages of What Happens When There's Injustice Against Black People

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  1. very sad in America
    December 4, 2014 at 8:54 am

    Well said

    Looking at places to immigrate…seriously

    • Flyy
      December 4, 2014 at 9:21 am

      Ditto. I can see now, had I been alive 65 years ago my descendants mighta been Liberian because I woulda been ALL about that movement. Amerikkka hasn’t been for us, and is proving that it likely never will be.

    • dasha
      December 4, 2014 at 2:24 pm

      You’ll find that it isn’t just an American problem. I lived in The Netherlands for five years – all of western Europe is pretty racist. Australia too, and South America… I guess Africa and Asia might be refreshing because they are racist against white people.

      But I’m not saying that as a defense of anything that happens here – because it’s what happens here that we’re responsible for and need to work on fixing. I’m just saying that trying to run away from it won’t help in the end.

      • Diya-Daha
        December 4, 2014 at 4:51 pm

        Racism is a system of oppression against a group of people, based on their race. Asians and Africans are not ‘racist against white people.” I am an African American woman who lived in an African nation for more than 10 years, and the biases/prejudices that I witnessed were directed at Africans by the former colonial masters. The racism that poisons America is prevalent in all ‘settler’ nations of the New World. The pattern is the same: exterminate the indigenous population, use African slave labor to create a new society, develop a military mentality to protect the stolen ‘goods.’

        • Marcus Greenly
          December 4, 2014 at 9:46 pm

          “Asians and Africans are not ‘racist against white people.”

          That’s retarded.

        • Tlynnsmith
          December 4, 2014 at 11:06 pm

          *Standing Ovation* Covered it all, and covered it well. Bravo!

        • Alex Y
          December 4, 2014 at 11:10 pm

          First, no need for the offensive language. Two, its truth. Racism is built on power structure. Prejudice and racism are two different things.

        • Zang
          December 15, 2014 at 6:22 am

          Many believe that Blacks can’t be racist because they do not understand the definition. Anyone who makes broad conclusions about an individual based on a notion of race is making conclusions due to perceptions of race(racist conclusions). Some will attempt to make distinctions between being a racist and prejudiced. Yes, they are two different definitions, but a racist bases his and her prejudices on notions of race. Therefore, anyone can be racist. However, not everyone has the power to implement their racist beliefs in a system powerful enough to affect millions. Many get caught up into this expression of the definition as if it is the only determining factor of being a racist. At the core of the term is the belief that race determines one’s worth, capabilities, mindset, beliefs, manner and so forth. It’s very simple..If you use race to determine such things, you are a racist. Some racists have power. Some don’t.

        • Steve L.
          December 24, 2014 at 11:04 pm

          Yes, this is true. Racism may be complex at times, but at it’s core, it boils down to four distinct types, all of them applied in a collective manner:

          1.)A belief that another “race” is inferior to one’s own, and that one’s race is superior to either some, or all others.
          2.)Hatred/distrust/etc. of an entire “race”.
          3.)Fear of an entire “race”
          4.) Aversion towards an entire “race”.

          So, if anyone engages in any of these four behaviors, then yes, they are a racist, regardless of whatever power dynamics may exist(i.e., Palestinians can be racist towards Israelis, and Koreans can be racist against Japanese, etc.) But if not, then no.

        • Annais
          January 21, 2015 at 3:04 am

          ..who doesn have power? anyone with a job and some money has power..regardless of Obama being pres..give me a break people! Sly Stone said, You’re free if you want to many blacks would never be in the situation that any of these poor lost souls on the streets got in! had nothing to do with race YOU make it about RACE…how come you don’t comment on all the other cases where the dead is white or hispanic or Asian? u concentrate on COLOR, what a mistake…concentrate on loving your babies not raise them & shush them on the street like Trayvon parents who BOTH kick HIM out! at 16! it’s sad u concentrate on the wrong thing, the superficial thing, not the spiritual OR LACK OF-thing..also libs talk about karma but it goes awry OH it’s INJUSTICE! this has nothing to do with the past or slavery or things tht happened in EVERY continent! wake up already

      • patricia
        December 4, 2014 at 6:26 pm

        I’m white and living in China. Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but my white privilege follows me here too. Every once in a while I run into some small prejudice against me, but it is rare. Mostly, I get treated better than everyone around me.

        • December 5, 2014 at 2:34 pm

          Ditto about me here in Brazil (even when this is supposed to be yet another “melting pot of blah”).
          I posted a *tome* right here last night on this exactly.

        • Ann Delicath
          December 6, 2014 at 1:21 pm

          Patricia, the same thing happened to me when I lived in Brazil. Even though there is much less racism in Brazil than here, there is classism which is almost as bad.

          However, as a white American, everywhere I went I was treated as a Rhodes Scholar. The most prevalent comment I heard was, “You don’t act like an American”.

        • Annais
          January 21, 2015 at 3:12 am

          boy what an idiot you are…white privilege is a MYTH cuz u know what? 56 MILLION abortions don’t spare ANYONE: white black Hispanic or red…but oh, THAT doesn bother any of you! thats dandy! promote it! sure!..and any and every video by black artists is pure SEX so teens think is cool and fun and well, pregnancy is a little annoyance no problem! either NEGLECT (like Trayvon) or ABORT! concentrate on color and that is NOT the problem..the problem is kids raised in a family wth a MAN at the front of table, and that can teach kids respect and decency..its not about color but behavior and bad habits, like running on the son never did that! i drove him and his friends, then i bought him a little car to not be walking around like a hobo, and we are poor..! but teach a kid responsibility not running on the streets this 7-11 mentality anytime, just borrowing trouble, not the boys color! who cares about the color u IDIOTS! ur embarrassing, i feel bad for you being so shallow and developing an inferiority complex from the PAST and films

        • Jen L
          April 29, 2015 at 4:29 am

          “white privilege is a MYTH cuz u know what? 56 MILLION abortions don’t spare ANYONE”

          Does not follow. Completely irrelevant. This issue is not about your pet cause of oppressing women, especially poor women, and forcing your religious values on people of other religious beliefs.

          And by the way, if you drove a car and bought a car for your kid, you only *feel* poor. Almost everyone feels poor. Seriously, you’re talking about people who can’t afford a single car and often can’t afford to eat and you’re all “I was poor and look at all these things I bought with my complete lack of money!”

          Now shoo. Informed and rational people have things to say.

      • Ryan
        December 4, 2014 at 6:27 pm

        I live in China. The prejudice here against blacks is actually pretty strong. Both against Africans and African-Americans. Due to parents’ fear/low exposure, it is significantly easier for a German to get a job teaching English here then a native English speaking African or African-American or Philipino, or Indian, or Hispanic, etc. The average Chinese has a pretty low exposure to other countries/cultures and is mostly informed by Hollywood movies, music entertainment, news media, and an tendency to rank ethnicities by the degree of development of their home nations. Many Chinese also have the view that people should shut up and toe the line for the betterment of the nation even if things are not fair so they don’t have much sympathy for the plight of the oppressed or sense of advocating for social justice . . . . . many of the same things would be true in Korea and Japan. Those are some of the realities on this side of the world.

      • December 4, 2014 at 8:52 pm

        Yes, dasha… very unfortunately there is A LOT of racism here in South America. I don’t recognise myself as a local sometimes, so shocked at what I see (the more, the more I look).
        All too sad about your plight, my beloved Black co-humans.

        • Annais
          January 21, 2015 at 3:16 am

          am i a beloved human too if im not black? you ppl are so ridiculous…”racism” IS HUMAN< and exists IN ANY COUNTRY and among any race!..if you'd stop to idealizing human being as Hollywood dictates you should do, you'd be better off..most people are nice, some people are traumatized…BIG DEAL! stop crying WAH WAH if you are nice, clean, not a THIEF, DRUG-ADDICT and dirty or rude, YOU WILL BE LIKED< any race… STOP IT FOOLS! you show YOU have an inferiority complex! a black person, nicely dressed, well mannered, and decent will be respected and loved, i was born in South America, lived in Europe and the USA, NO PROBLEM! grow up!

        • Kiki
          December 29, 2015 at 12:40 pm

          ^^^ OH, someone said something I don’t agree with? Let me challenge their opinion….Oh wait, I’m intellectually weak and cannot counter a logical argument. I will simply insult them and their opinion since I’m unable to provide an actual argument as to why I think they’re wrong!

          #Keyboardwarriors #Blessyourheart

      • balitwilight
        December 8, 2014 at 7:37 pm

        Africans and Asians are not “racist against white people”. That statement is an example of the propagandistic “both-sides-do-it” meme.
        First, remember that there are 55 nations in Africa: it is not one place or one culture, Africa is thousands of distinct cultures. Asia is 48 countries – including places like Turkey and Russia. So – even the generic classification implied by your statement has a tinge of a false “race” world view.
        Second, I have been to many African and Asian countries. What I see there is a residual bias IN FAVOUR of “white-ness” from the colonial settler-culture.

      • Travelingprof
        December 25, 2014 at 3:13 am

        I’ve got to agree with the other white Americans living in Asia who’ve already posted a response to that “racist against whites” thing. In the past two years, I’ve traveled in Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Thailand, Malaysia, and China, and the only place I’ve experienced anything remotely resembling racism is in eastern India, although it’s my understanding that you get that treatment there if you’re from anywhere other than India. In all of the other places I’ve traveled, I get treated differently because I have white skin, but as others have pointed out, I get treated better.

    • December 4, 2014 at 5:55 pm

      Here are the answers! Please read! Now More Than Ever!!! #WakeUp2TrueChange

    • TJ
      December 4, 2014 at 7:50 pm

      I think you mean “emigrate”.

      leave one’s own country in order to settle permanently in another.
      “Rosa’s parents emigrated from Argentina”
      synonyms: move abroad, move overseas, leave one’s country, migrate;

    • gtfo
      December 4, 2014 at 8:56 pm

      Try Africa!

    • David
      December 5, 2014 at 5:23 pm

      I encourage you to go, live overseas for a time. you’ll actually find that racism, lawlessness, corruption, etc. is much worse in most other places.

  2. Michele
    December 4, 2014 at 8:57 am

    I can’t thank you enough for this. To express the anger we are all feeling and to do it in such a calm and clear headed way, I needed this.

    That said, I’m already bracing myself for Stage 9 when the Tamir Rice grand jury is done. It would make me so relieved this one time to be proven wrong though.

  3. Madison
    December 4, 2014 at 9:04 am

    ALL. OF. THIS.
    After reading this, I finally feel like I can catch a breath, so I can rage some more. Thank you!!!

  4. Shoni
    December 4, 2014 at 9:39 am

    Waiting for someone to come in shouting “It’s not race, it’s class!” and “white privilege doesn’t exist because there are poor white people!”

    • MissTish
      December 4, 2014 at 10:50 am

      …Yet not ONE of them would trade in that white skin, I bet. Not even for a day.

      • Lindsay
        December 4, 2014 at 6:01 pm

        I would. I am ashamed to be white.

      • Mandy
        December 4, 2014 at 10:00 pm

        Trust me i would!!!

      • erin
        December 5, 2014 at 10:17 pm

        I would, but not because I’m ashamed. Love can fix this in a generation. Start marrying people who don’t look like you and have kids with them.

        • Terminusbound
          December 6, 2014 at 2:13 am

          Everyone who says this isn’t the answer is scared because they know this is. :0

        • Idisagreewiththis
          December 6, 2014 at 8:46 pm

          This is def NOT the answer. Look at Brazil (White, Black, Native). Look at the Dominican Republic (White, Black, Native). Lots of race mixing and mixed race individuals and even more racism. I’m not against it at all, but its definitely not a solution and if anything creates even more issues. The root of the problem, to put it bluntly, is the idea of White supremacy. It literally permeates the world’s collective subconscious… in that the “Whiter” you appear the more humanely you will be viewed. In those countries mulattos are often used to perpetuate the ideals of white supremacy and undermine efforts for equality because they themselves are scared to lose their own slightly better off status. The real solution does not involve destroying diversity because that would imply that its indeed a bad thing.

    • December 5, 2014 at 10:15 am

      I’m not so sure, Shoni. Even poor whites are treated with more dignity than most blacks (even of so-called ‘higher classes’). I have to agree with the others—a white person would be foolish (albeit noble) to trade his/her white skin for any other….

    • Jason
      December 5, 2014 at 1:42 pm

      The deeper issue, especially at this point in America, is class. The class system is what has positioned blacks at the bottom of society when it comes to resources, access, money etc. Sadly, the staggering majority of poor people, disenfranchised people are black. And high society knows this. It was intentionally made this way. And the system was created to work in alignment with this. White privilege is the example of how the class system works. Privilege aka entitlement and advantage over other races. White privilege definitely exists, so does racism, but if you neutralized all races at this point, and made them “equal”, class would still dictate value of life in America.

      • Troofy
        December 5, 2014 at 3:29 pm

        Oh please stop with this class system bullcrap! Why is it that a guy from Pakistan with little to no English skills, no money, and happens to be just as dark skinned, can come to America and work to better himself and eventually own his own businesses within 10 years? You want to get down to it? You whiners are all damn lazy and want entitlements.

        • Bob Klahn
          December 8, 2014 at 2:23 am

          That guy from Pakistan came here with a degree, years of experience, and probably people who will help him.

      • David
        December 5, 2014 at 5:30 pm

        It’s not class — there are poor people who are upstanding people (black, white, brown, etc.) If you call it class, then it assumes that all poor people are criminals, which is a silly discussion. Don’t get into a class or race warfare discussion.

        To me, the real issue is culture — and I’m not talking about skin color. There is a distinct difference between culture and race. Culture is what we all learn and how we are taught to act. If you are raised (or surround yourself with people) assuming that all black people are inferior, that is your culture. If you are raised to think that all white people are out to get you, that is your culture. if you are raised to think that all cops are evil, then that is your culture. if you are raised to think that it is OK to steal things, then that is your culture. If you are raised to think that noone (including yourself) has any value, then that is your culture. Culture perpetuates actions, and leads to all this crap we are seeing.

        Culture transcends race. Culture can be taught, and culture can be changed. It is difficult to change, but it is possible. That’s why I have hope that the white who dismiss black violence can change. That’s why I have hope that people who rush to condemn law enforcement can change. That’s why I have hope that the lawless inner-cities (regardless of color) can change.

        Culture change takes leadership — and there are few on either side of the issue that are providing any leadership — only directionless judgement.

        • Erick
          December 6, 2014 at 7:37 am

          Although an interesting narrative, you are aware that you are commenting on the wrong definition of “class”. Class: as in social class or standing. Not Class: as in social behavior.

  5. December 4, 2014 at 9:40 am

    We live in an upside-down system… #ICantBreathe #EricGarner

    • Stan
      December 6, 2014 at 8:08 pm

      Garner did not die of suffocation, but of a heart attack in the ambulance. He was not choked out; the neck hold was done to control him but obviously not to choke him, since he could speak quite well. “I can’t breathe” is a common technique to get police to desist.

      • Jubilee
        December 6, 2014 at 8:53 pm

        Yeah, I can see why it would be common, because it’s so effective.

      • kim
        December 7, 2014 at 2:22 pm

        actually, you’re mistaken. “The city medical examiner has ruled the death of Eric Garner, the 43-year-old father whose death in police custody sparked national outrage, a homicide, saying a chokehold killed him.” – msnbc. and garner was a sufferer of asthma; his condition was exacerbated by the chokehold.

        • Bob Klahn
          December 8, 2014 at 2:25 am

          Any time a person is killed it’s a homicide.

          If you kill someone in self defense it’s justifiable homicide.

          If you kill someone by accident it’s an accidental homicide.

          None of which means anyone gets punished.

  6. December 4, 2014 at 9:42 am

    *drops the mic and exits left*

    Well said!

  7. Stace
    December 4, 2014 at 9:47 am

    And THIS is why I come here when things happen, cause you say what I feel. Im stuck in Stage 2…I wanted accountability so badly this time, my heart can’t take.

    And yes to excommunicating Don Lemon, him and Charles Barkley…UGH!

  8. December 4, 2014 at 9:48 am

    Luvvie, you have articulated everything I was too frustrated, hurt and angry to say. Thank you.

  9. Paula B
    December 4, 2014 at 10:00 am

    Thank you Luvvie for this commentary. Your thoughts are my thoughts!! We better stay woke because it’s not scary out here, it’s BEEN scary out here–only in Amerikkka!!

  10. December 4, 2014 at 10:02 am

    Breath.Just breathe. This is my note to self as I sit here in a Fortune 500 cubicle (marching in spirit, does that even count?) – relating to EVERY SINGLE WORD you have so wondrously taken the time to write. Oh, how I needed these words right now. Disbelief, depressed, despondent …I’m all that this morning. THERE. ARE. NO. WORDS…except the ones I’ve just read and felt. Thank you, Luvvie Ajayi.

  11. very sad in America
    December 4, 2014 at 10:03 am

    One more thing….

    The police do not get charged because there are no laws to protect us from them.
    No matter how many grand juries are called no matter what color they are they must examine the evidence against applicable laws.

    There aren’t any….#inaboatwithoutapaddle

    • MissTish
      December 4, 2014 at 10:54 am

      And let’s not forget, the ONLY person indicted was the brother who filmed the arrest. The cops got him on “weapons possession”. Mind you, he’s no angel, but he says the cops planted the gun AND I BELIEVE HIM 100% because #Florida/StLouis/StatenIsland.

    • December 4, 2014 at 4:45 pm

      African Americans never understood the need to protect ourselves from hate filled groups within the white race. Its always been active from slavery, reconstruction, jim crow, the resistance during civil rights. The klan and / or white hate groups now hide as police, judges, politicians, teachers, legislators, city workers, government workers and on. And they work with one another and became very sophisticated. This structure has always existed except now, they seldom say the n word out loud. Their racism is veiled. Until we as blacks work toward being a free people this will continue to happen. Also, the fact they we haven’t acquired freedom and don’t concern ourselves with the matter is very telling. Sadly, there really isn’t a place to run to, black people across the world is dealing with white supremacy in some shape or form.

      • Stan
        December 6, 2014 at 9:00 pm

        This is so KKK. The white boogie man is out to get you. Do you realize how stupid that sounds? And is? This is the kind of foolishness that makes the slaves and lackeys of Farrahkan.

        • Vee
          December 8, 2014 at 6:34 pm

          Oh, shut up, Stan. The only stupid-sounding idiot is YOU. Typical arrogance & idiocy of your type–proclaiming the non-existence of something simply because you haven’t experienced it. Now go stick your head back up your arse–it’s obviously quite comfortable there.

          And no, it’s not “white boogie man”–we prefer “white devil,” thank you.

  12. MissTish
    December 4, 2014 at 10:13 am

    I’m not a conspiracy theorist, BUT: After we lost two young men in Florida, followed by one in St. Louis (and God knows how many others) to cops, wanna-be cops, and folks who are offended by rap music, I told my mom: “I feel like all the police departments in America (along with the D.A.s) had a secret meeting and decided to systematically kill young Black men, and terrorize the community with a blatant denial of justice.” I was joking when I said it, but right now it doesn’t seem so farfetched…

    Whitefolks are angry. There’s hair grease, satin headscarves, and wave pomade in the bathrooms of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, and Stevie, Al, and Jigga on the stereo. Unemployment is down, and college attendance among Blacks is up. Congress failed to shut down the HNIC with their government shutdown, AND he licked some Executive Powers on their behinds. Even when they were inviting deranged people on Craiglist to try to kill the first family in residence (seriously, what other President has had the White House shot up on one occasion, and had someone make it INTO THE HOUSE on another occasion, past SS AND attack dogs?!?!) Blacks were daring to walk with their heads a little higher…”Sir, is that HOPE is smell on your breath?” Obama had already won two (((TWO!!!))) elections, Obamacare is in place and working (Imma witness)…Something had to be done! They had to get at Us, and when they failed with POTUS, they took it to the streets and began to systematically, BOLDLY, PURPOSEFULLY take down our babies. Yes, BABIES, because each of them was someone’s child. Meanwhile, they were busy installing their New-Millenium “I-Pulled-Myself-Up-By-My-Bootstraps-It’s-Not-About-Race” candidates in Congress so that the next Black presidential candidate you see will probably be a proper house negro with Uncle Clarence delivering the oath and Darrin Wilson holding the Bible.

    Imma climb off my soapbox now, but you know it’s hella bad when Nancy Grace sides with the victim against a cop.

    • Yottakim
      December 4, 2014 at 10:42 am

      POTUS isn’t responsible but he IS the catalyst, the last straw, the line not to be crossed and when he did? The latent, structural, unspoken white supremacist backbone of Amerikkka was exposed.

    • Autumn Grey Midhir
      December 4, 2014 at 11:01 am

      At this point, I think your theory is less “tin-foil hat” and more “completely reasonable observation.”

      You know, I remember a time back before the ubiquity of social media when I’d hear a story here and there about a cop shooting someone, almost always black, because he (almost always he) was high on PCP or something and “came at them”… with a spatula, a kitchen fork, a rubber chicken (to name a few I remember)…

      And I used to think “Wow, high people are crazy.”

      Now I realize what was probably happening and as embarrassing as this is for white people, I’m glad it’s in the light. Those of us capable of wising up really need to.

    • Crissy
      December 4, 2014 at 1:02 pm

      I literally JUST told my sister the same thing! You put it better than me but something’s up. My Spidy senses been a tinglin’ for a while now.

  13. Kenzie
    December 4, 2014 at 10:28 am

    im sad to admit but I’m stuck in stage 2.5… I’m just tired…my body and mind is the equivalent of Jon Stewart, just sitting there not knowing what to say or do…just tired

    • Jabria
      December 4, 2014 at 11:09 am

      I’m the same way, Kenzie. I’m 19; this is my generation they’re killing off. Young lives getting snuffed out for next to no reason. And I just can’t make myself be outraged anymore.

      • Stan
        December 6, 2014 at 9:08 pm

        There’s not ‘no reason’. Each individual case has a reason, a history and an explanation. You’re being asked, when you read a story about ‘cop kills black person’ to automatically blame racism/whitepowerstructure/evilcops, and never ever inform yourself about the details of what happened, who was involved and what was the context. Stop seeing the color and learn the story.

        • Vee
          December 8, 2014 at 6:37 pm

          Why SHOULD we “stop seeing the color,” Stan? Apparently that’s ALL you see.

          Like Luvvie said, “Hit dogs holla.”

    • Bukky
      December 5, 2014 at 1:17 pm

      I’m so emotionally drained from I can no longer process a coherent thoughts or articulate a statement not riddled with curse words. #ICantBreathe

  14. a
    December 4, 2014 at 10:38 am

    luvvie.please write the book. please.

    • December 4, 2014 at 11:16 am

      Whatcha want my book to be on?

      • Gingersnap
        December 5, 2014 at 10:37 pm

        A book of essays. Your blogs in print. PLEASE. I’ll buy 10 copies..

  15. Autumn Grey Midhir
    December 4, 2014 at 10:55 am

    One of my best friends from high school told us last night she misses her brother, but she’d almost prefer for him to stay overseas. Because they are black and she’s afraid for him. It is the most heartbreaking thing I’ve ever witnessed.

  16. December 4, 2014 at 11:03 am

    Being a “good black” didn’t even save Martin Luther King, Jr.

  17. Yvette
    December 4, 2014 at 11:20 am

    Thank you. I suggest a new item or addition to #4 having to respond to folks who say “Why don’t Black people [or Al Sharpton or Jessee Jackson] ever protest Black on Black crime?” Of course we do–we march we develop initiatives we hold community meetings and candlelight vigils and record star-studded rap songs and on and on.

    • Erica
      December 4, 2014 at 2:48 pm

      I’d also add in (this stage) that this is when folks feel entitled to call Al Sharpton and Jessie Jackson race hustlers, race baiters, ambulance chasers etc. Astonishingly brazen enough to ask why these two are there with the families, or how dare they be on the news holding a press conferences. Um, NEWSFLASH, most often it is the victim’s family who reaches out to the Rev Sharpton when grave injustices occur against our people….what other options do disenfranchised, unheard people have? Are there a plethora of OTHER activists that are leading the charge against the inhumanity black folks are subjected to that I’m aware of? Ones that have the resources to make sure the rest of America knows what injustice has occurred?
      I call Shenanigans…You don’t get to tell black people what other black people should or should not be raging alongside with us! GTFOHWTBS

      • Erica
        December 4, 2014 at 2:57 pm

        **that I’m UNAWARE of

  18. Lynn
    December 4, 2014 at 11:28 am

    “… I’d have a hard time not creating all types of chaos if you kill my son and let the man who did it walk and then rewarded him with 3 months paid vacation. I would play Usher’s “Let It Burn” as my theme music and I’d want to light the match myself. Michael Brown Sr. and Leslie McSpadden are THE CLASSIEST.”

    Luvvie, you get the standing ovation slow clap for this one. I have a two year old son, and …. I just can’t even imagine.

  19. Courtney H
    December 4, 2014 at 11:30 am

    Thank you for this.

    I think Stage 4 hits me the hardest, primarily because it focuses on the role of the media.

    Black on black crime is not a thing, but at the same time we care about the killings amongst our youth. There are rallies, church meetings, events, centers, all kinds of things to give the youth a safe alternative. None of that is ever covered by the media. They cover the killings, but not the efforts to derail the killings. Then when people say that we don’t care, they are really saying that they didn’t see it. The blame for that is the news media for finding one narrative and sticking to it.

    Same thing with Ferguson. Protesters have been on the ground daily since Mike Brown’s death, and most of those days have been free of violence, free of looting. Those days were not covered by any national news organization (not even the crowd funded HuffPost hire). Whenever there is violence, it is covered and it gives the impression that the entire protest is violence filled. That way, they can diminish it as a “riot” and dismiss us.

    Just wanted to rant.

    • December 4, 2014 at 11:32 am

      Rant on, sisthren!

  20. eliza
    December 4, 2014 at 11:36 am

    brilliant. fucks and all. write a book if you want but don’t stop writing here. people are listening.

  21. Heather
    December 4, 2014 at 12:00 pm

    If comedy is tragedy plus time, Luvvie, you are working with warp speed. You are one of the only people that can make me smile a little through my outrage and fear, and I am so thankful for you and your voice.

  22. Jiffy
    December 4, 2014 at 12:07 pm

    Well written, please don’t forget there are many white people who are vulnerable and quietly relate to everything you say. It’s a social issue first, an arrogant black cop is no better than an arrogant judgmental white one. They are bullied like the criminals they often go after. It’s all power and a need to dominate. Please look at how many poor whites are treated by the powers that be. How women are treated, how the mentally ill and infirm are treated. It’s deeper than race and sex.

    • Emily
      December 6, 2014 at 11:26 am

      White people still have privilege. Someone can have privilege in one area and not another. I’m white, therefor I’m privileged. I’m a poor white, so I have less privilege than one with money. My child is transgender so she has white privilege, but lacks societal privilege due to that.
      Even in areas, where I lack privilege, I start everyday with a certain level of privilege. That would not be true if I were black and all other things were equal.
      This particular issue sure is a race issue. Black boys and men are dying at the hands of police officers and no one is being held accountable.
      The other issues have nothing to do with this.

  23. Marki
    December 4, 2014 at 12:19 pm

    In ranting and raging and contemplating LIFE for the living I am saddened by those who avert their eyes to what the HELL is going on. Barkley (bless his heart), Chuck Norris (complete and utter fucktard), and all of the Trolls that I’ve had to remove not only from my feeds but in real life have no sense of humanity. It takes all I have not to rip someone theFUK up when they say something asinine; Why riot, Why loot, Why not teach your kids to respect and comply with the police.. c’mon bish. If you are not a Black mother/father you DO NOT come for me and give me advice about raising my Black children as I don’t give you advice on how to raise your white ones. Stay in your lane.
    And if I hear one more mofo say ‘if you don’t like it here go to (insert any nation on the continent of Africa here_____________)’ I’mma show up at their door. FukkouttaherewiththatBoolshit. I’ve traced my lineage and I BELONG HERE. Why don’t I stay and YOU leave and go back to the Caucus mountains you asswig.
    As collateral damage and ‘survivor’ (I have no other words..) of my own brother being murdered by those in blue, and the same dayum thing happening over and over and over? I am sick.. I am tired.. and I am afraid.. Afraid for my son.. afraid for my lover.. afraid for my brothers.. and afraid for any child of God with a drop of melanin running through their skin as they seemed dayumed. Dayumed by the very soil that their ancestors have literally SLAVED to plant seeds and build upon. This is a cyclical beast that we are called upon to play ball with and we’re up at bat with 2 men on, 2 outs, and 2 strikes. I doubt that the killers of baby Tamir will be called to answer for their crime… though I still hope. Because if they’re not, may the gods be ever in their favour because Cleveland will riot too.

    • dasha
      December 4, 2014 at 3:41 pm

      I hope they riot, because it’s the only response that makes any sense.

  24. December 4, 2014 at 12:22 pm

    This is the best post I’ve seen on the subject to date. Great job Luvvie

  25. Paula B.
    December 4, 2014 at 12:36 pm

    I found this to be interesting and oh so true on (black “white” celebrities silence)
    I’ve been in my feelings for a while now and I’m trying really hard not to fill my heart with hate, but some foolishery I just will not stand for. If you don’t stand for something, you will fall for anything!

  26. December 4, 2014 at 12:44 pm

    This is one of the best pieces I’ve seen written. I’m stuck in the hopeless/nearly speechless/what-can-I-possibly-do stage…

  27. December 4, 2014 at 12:58 pm

    I’m still in Stage 2.5 (maybe 2.75). I’m exhausted from being so enraged. It’s tiring to maintain this level of pissedtivity. To constantly feel like you’re being punched in the gut because human beings are being killed and there’s no justice for the lives what were lost. I wrote a blog post about it today, basically saying Fannie Lou Hamer’s words are speaking my life right now: I’m sick and tired of being sick and tired.

  28. natashs
    December 4, 2014 at 1:00 pm

    Let’s not forget on the bingo card: “You can’t resist arrest” and “Well if he wasn’t committing a crime…” Smdh

  29. blackprofessor
    December 4, 2014 at 1:01 pm

    Well said Luvvie!

    Stage 11 for BP: Wishing for a lack of conscience. BP would become like the assassins in Kill Bill Vol. 1 and execute street justice on these cops with nary a thought of remorse or guilt.

  30. Pam
    December 4, 2014 at 1:02 pm

    This is some powerful ish….I don’t know if there is a such thing as a Blogger Emmy’s but you my dear deserve one- from Scandal to Social Justice “You The REAL MVP”….slow claps.

  31. December 4, 2014 at 1:20 pm

    This is so true and energizing,actually, so thank you. I needed that.

  32. me3
    December 4, 2014 at 1:29 pm

    Everything I’ve been saying and feeling for sometime now. Thank you.

  33. Alicia
    December 4, 2014 at 1:32 pm

    Thank you for your perfect words to how I’m feeling.

  34. Raising ABlackMAN
    December 4, 2014 at 1:45 pm

    I’m just scared different my son. He’s only 5 and at that tender age I have to instill in him that he is GREAT because of what others before him went through. It’s a shame that a man can be 80 yrs old and still be a “boy” to some bigot ass white man who could care less that you’re college escalated, own your own property, and put you children through college w/ only your hard work to be credited….you’re still a “boy”. Where do we go from here???? How will I explain to my son why people are racist when he experiences it for the first time??? What do you say to young royalty when people treat them like peasants for no apparent reason?

  35. Dionne O
    December 4, 2014 at 1:46 pm

    Luvvie, thank you sooo much for writing this. It really spoke to everything I have been feeling. I’m walking around work just angry..and honestly paranoid. These folks you see everyday could be the very ones who call you a thug etc when you are violated. The black on black crime part was perfection. I’m utterly tired of hearing that bullshit. Stop it already, and when black people do it, I just want to reach through my computer screen and slap some sense into them. Literally smack them upside the head. Crimes are committed by people who look like you the most no matter what race you are. The media has demonized us so much so that black on black crime is being highlighted and sensationalized. How about White on white, asian on asian….the list goes on. Stop it!!! In addition you beautifully stated the one fact that gets ignored when people spit that nonsense which is that black people get punished!!! They love throwing us in jail. Black on black, black on white, shit black on dog crime, it does no matter…off to jail you go and with a harsher punishment. When these thugs in blue..and now in military gear..shoot you, choke you, abuse you…they become the victims, get a slap on the wrist, and a paid vacation. That is the fucking difference! So stop it with the black on black crime and focus on the fact that we are not considered human beings who deserve justice and simple human rights. Thanks again for the article, it was great!

  36. Raising ABlackMan
    December 4, 2014 at 1:48 pm

    I couldn’t even type into comment the way I wanted to b/c my hands were shaking

  37. Raising ABlackMan
    December 4, 2014 at 2:00 pm

    Couldn’t even type my comment w/out my hands shaking….a zillion typos

  38. dasha
    December 4, 2014 at 2:47 pm

    Okay, so what do we have to do to stay at stage 10 long enough to get something done? Because as long as people get tired and back down, nothing will happen and the cycle will be happy to repeat itself.

    I’m white, and I’ve had enough. It’s far past time for us all to be as angry as Michael Brown’s stepfather and burn this bitch down – if only in a metaphorical sense. Because the changes that need to be made are not surface features – we’re not talking about a few laws that need to be enacted. It’s the reason the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s didn’t achieve King’s dream – because they thought they could fix it by adding some protections on top of a system that was originally designed to keep dark-skinned people in their place and is wrong and discriminatory to its foundations. It has to be torn down, and it’ll take even more pain and more sacrifice than anybody (except maybe Malcolm X) ever envisioned.

    But come on, let’s go. Let’s pull on those bricks and not stop until the job is done.

  39. December 4, 2014 at 2:55 pm

    That tweet from Vivrant Thang has me sitting at my damn desk crying, because its so damn true. Lord help us.

  40. Crystal
    December 4, 2014 at 3:10 pm

    Beautifully and powerfully said. Thank you for voicing the thoughts and feelings of so many.

  41. David L. Frank Sr.
    December 4, 2014 at 3:14 pm

    The direct route to making America pay attention is to disrupt the flow of money legally!
    Purchasing gadgets and materials that are not essential to surviving only makes the system have more resources to continue in the direction it is headed in.
    Hands up and dollars back from cash registers that only profit and fund the problem!
    No one wants to go without enjoying life’s pleasures no matter how small, but at this point no one who has color in their skin is guaranteed to out live their cell phone if other amenities!
    We can buy them, but we can’t live long enough to enjoy them?
    We don’t want to see our children deprived of gifts, but they are our gifts who law enforcement continually is taking from us!
    They may shed some tears in sadness, but as long as they are alive to shed them is what should matter most!
    Later, we want them to smile because they will have a better world that we are going to sacrifice now for them!
    I can live with that and most importantly they will too!

    • notconvincedgranny
      December 4, 2014 at 4:00 pm

      Yes to this. And stay strong, because the temptation is ALWAYS there.

  42. Karen B
    December 4, 2014 at 3:17 pm

    Amen. Because I am horrified and embarrassed and outraged that I found myself thinking as I look at my teenage son walking down the street in his hoodie sweatshirt, “thank God he’s white.” I hate that I could even think that and yet, how can I not when I see so many black boys killed while being black?

  43. notconvincedgranny
    December 4, 2014 at 3:55 pm

    As a mother, grandmother, aunt and sister of several black men I fear everyday – for that phone call, for that knock on the door, and I know they fear the same for me.

    And why the hell is it those white people who respond with “well, black people kill black people and where’s the protest?” it’s really quite simple: why are you so hell bent on finding a reason to justify your own bullshit? Of all the ignorant crap to base an aspiration; black people love other black people too, but I don’t see you copying that.

    And I swear ‘fo swillie, I can tolerate a KKK member better than I can a “but I have black friends” liberal. With the former, you see the sheet you know what you’re dealing with; but with the latter, they do more damage under the guise of being liberal than any Grand Master ever could.

    December 4, 2014 at 3:55 pm

    Well said.
    Two points….
    1) The lack of outcry from most black celebrities is sad!

    2) In retrospect, I think we made a mistake with this integration thing. I live in Crown Heights Brooklyn where the Hasidic Jewish community live separate lives fitting into the larger society when it benefits them. In light of that, Blacks are so creative. Let’s keep and profit from our own gifts and talents. I would like to see this paradigm shift begin before I leave this earth. We either come together now or perish.

    • MissTish
      December 4, 2014 at 8:31 pm

      I think the purpose of integration was SUPPOSED to be that we weren’t PROHIBITED from shopping in Downtown,USA if we chose to. The problem is that people got all geeked about downtown and forgot about the mom an’ pop stores that had sustained us all through segregation. White folks for the win – They got to profile Black folks AND take their money.

  45. December 4, 2014 at 4:10 pm

    […] predictable stages of what happens whenever there’s injustice against black […]

  46. Negritude79
    December 4, 2014 at 4:12 pm

    Girl!!! You need to get outta my head. One of the most insightful articles on race relations I’ve ever read. Period.

  47. Chickenpig
    December 4, 2014 at 4:14 pm

    In my white as white whitebread town, everyone with any sense hates the cops. They are the same punk bigoted asshole rapey jerks we hated in High School, only grown up with a gun and a badge. I don’t have the space here to write all the nasty stuff that has been done by cops, and correctional officers posing as cops, to my friends and family. BUT, when those same assholes in authority got caught, they paid, because they were pulling this shit on white people. If they pulled the shit on black people, there would have been no justice, and I feel this in my bones. This system is beyond broken. It has to be broken and set again like a twisted leg.

    The protests, violence, and looting taking place right now have as much to do with race as the fighting in Ireland was about religion. In this I mean it isn’t JUST about race. It’s about class, and injustice, and about powerlessness. It’s about equal rights, and centuries of hate, poverty, and freedom. When the system lets those with authority take down an innocent man in broad daylight for selling cigarettes, and there is no justice, we all lose.
    I want to walk down the street using my white privilege as a shield. If we don’t all stand together, we will fall together.

  48. NPH
    December 4, 2014 at 4:26 pm

    You betta PREACH Luvie!!!!!!

  49. December 4, 2014 at 4:40 pm

    I would add to #5 that even the supposed “good cops” perpetuate this because they are silent. The code of conduct in the police culture says that you never ever publicly come out against one of your own. On the very rare occasion that a cop does speak out against another cop, they leave the department because they know that their career is effectively over.

  50. December 4, 2014 at 5:01 pm

    Wow. You nailed every single step.

    But please, tell me more about that last one. My daughter said to me last night, “but isn’t racism illegal?” And I had to tell her no, and that I didn’t know how to make it illegal, not really.

    She asked me what would happen after I protested, if I had fixed things. And I told her no.

    I don’t know what to do. I want someone to tell me.

  51. December 4, 2014 at 5:50 pm

    Here are the answers! Please read! Now More Than Ever!!! #WakeUp2TrueChange

  52. Sabrina
    December 4, 2014 at 5:54 pm

    You articulated so much of how I’m feeling. I’m hurt, sad, angry, frustrated. My heart just hurts…just hurts so much…

  53. December 4, 2014 at 6:24 pm

    Spot on! Thanks.
    Here’s a poem born of stage 2.

  54. Alana
    December 4, 2014 at 6:49 pm

    Maybe your best writing I’ve ever read.

  55. Caroline
    December 4, 2014 at 7:08 pm

    Been staring at this little comment box for 30 minutes. Because I am so heartbroken, angry, exhausted, horrified, and embarrassed by my race I need to vent somewhere/somehow. Your blog captures so much of what is bouncing around my brain that it feels like the place, but – no words. I have no words….40 minutes later and still no words just a promise from this white woman of a certain age – I will look for every opportunity I can to work on stage 10. EVERY opportunity, large or small. Now I need to go cry.

  56. December 4, 2014 at 7:27 pm

    I think this is the source of the illustration:

  57. Mary Burrell
    December 4, 2014 at 7:31 pm

    Excellent, and Brilliant post. You are very good at what you do. i am just angry, tired, and numb.

  58. Bill
    December 4, 2014 at 8:12 pm

    Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahhahahah….hahahahahaahhah…snort/giggle /snort snort..

    Hahahahahahahahahhahahahahahahh….. Is this a joke? Hahahahahaahhah…I can’t stop laughing…..still justifying the problems in YOUR communities????? Still playing victim???

    Hahahaha hahahahahaahhah…good one!

    • Vee
      December 8, 2014 at 6:44 pm

      You know what SHOULD have been a joke, Bill?

      Your mom finding out she was pregnant with YOU.

      *drops mic & leaves you standing there, dripping in your ignorance*

    • Jen L
      April 29, 2015 at 5:05 am

      HAHAHAHA AHAhohohoheeheehee are you still justifying your racism while proving your complete lack of reading comprehension?

      BAHAHAHAHAHAHA. Shut it.

  59. December 4, 2014 at 9:37 pm

    I read the post. In pain. I then started going over the comments, but I could not take it.
    From the bottom of my heart, I would like to give all American Blacks my condolences for this horror. I am awestruck.
    This is no alien to me, however, as I live in a country where the life of a Black/mixed race is worth a fraction of a white man’s life -deniers can say what they may. Statistics over here do not make your kinfolk’s killing any less brutal and nonsensical, though.
    I would like to share a thought with you all, which I tell everyone here as often as I get the chance:
    Here in Brazil I am “the right colour” and look “the right way” (i.e. I’m white and I’m pretty); I speak nicely, which makes folk confuse me for one so-called “middle-class Brazilian” among the crowd (most won’t tell I’m not even Brazilian). I don’t stand out. I am well-educated and smart. I am gay and yet “I don’t look it” (for Zeus’ sake please understand the irony!).
    I have learned to despise the white supremacy all around me, still they won’t know. Because they are not looking. And that’s the tragedy: I don’t stand out in the crowd. I am not the wrong colour/look in the wrong place. I am even allowed to vent my feelings and get away with it. But this (mostly) male-chauvinistic, mysoginistic, homophobic, racist society scares the shit out of me. Every. Fucking. Day.
    Now I’m a member of too many minorities, which by no means aggregate to make me a member of the “majority” they swear to be. That alone is bloody nonsense, as “whites” are a minority over here,but that’s another story. I advocate each day against colour and class lines, usually to no avail. Some think me OTT, so be it. I won’t give up.
    It pains me to still have to call myself a white working-middle-class gay male, for I honestly believe those tags should no longer be necessary OR meaningful. But I use them, for a reason. We are not safe from harm.

    As for you, fuck whoever thinks you Black Americans need not call yourselves Black Americans. Fuck whoever flies the bloody fallacious flag of inexistent equality as if that horrendous lie would shut you up. Fuck whoever wants you to stay put, quiet and mourning all alone at home. Fuck the bigots and the idiots alike. You *must* stand up. You *need* to keep cleansing your contact lists, AND your real-life circles, from the scum, whatever colour. You *are* entitled to yell and grieve and demand.

    My heart goes out to you.

  60. Don Hall
    December 4, 2014 at 9:58 pm

    If air is belief, Then I can’t breathe.

    What I believed was slightly polluted yet my lungs drew in perceived progress.

    The winds of change that I’ve been exhaling have been clouding the truth with blindness.
    The air has thickened, the law has slickened, what’s right has been trickened, the air has now sickened, all that I believed.

    If air is truth, Then I can’t breathe
    My air, my truth were far from clean just slightly unjust unfair and partly unseen but…

    My air, my truth Said love & respect with tolerance to acceptance these filters would correct but…

    Ferguson’s air started smoking
    While New York’s was choking.
    It’s “burn this Mother down” provoking. Even comedians don’t be joking, about this air we breathe.

    If air is a lie, then I can’t breathe
    The air of belief, of truth I can’t breathe. If air is reality, then I can’t breathe. I can’t breathe

    The air is too hot to breathe the status quo needs to leave.
    The air must change or my “I have a dream” nation
    will die from polarization asphyxiation!

    People please clear my lungs don’t shoot kids with toy guns. Don’t burn down your own freaking town. Protest, boycott, march and vote. Reveal, speak up, do more than just take note.

    Americans all, near and far it’s time to give our country CPR. Let’s get to work, roll up our sleeves, let’s clear the air so we all can Breathe!

  61. mary el
    December 4, 2014 at 10:09 pm

    Only when Indigenous peoples of America wake up from “the land of nod” and learn their true heritage will this change. They are a conquered people who were colonized as were others, but they are the only group that do not know their nationality. Black, negro, colored, African American, niggers and any other name they have been called does not allow them a place in the book of Nations.

  62. Dionne (QueenD)
    December 4, 2014 at 10:11 pm

    ALLADIS!!! All. Of. This. This is why we go together in my head. Thank you for articulating the broad spectrum of scenarios and emotions that we face regularly. #blacklivesmatter

  63. sicsempertyrannis
    December 4, 2014 at 10:34 pm

    The reason nothing is ever going to happen about this is twofold.

    First, outside of a small group of “nutjobs”, nobody – not even the most hardcore activist – is going to entertain the only real solution, which is the abolition of the constabulary. These men are doing their jobs. This is what they get paid for. It had never not been exactly what they get paid for. But society can’t make the connection that if you don’t want a professional caste of murderers to target black people, well, maybe we should get rid of it, duh.

    Second, nothing is going to move anywhere as long as Trayvon’s lawful killing continues to be upheld as some sort of moral travesty. If someone has me on the ground and is beating me senseless, I’m shooting him and I’m not losing sleep over it because that’s textbook self defense. The fact is you can have all the valid arguments in the world, but the moment you invoke St Trayvon, you lose. Stop glorifying gang banging thugs!

    • Peace Sign
      December 5, 2014 at 6:03 pm

      Like you just did with St.George???

  64. hannahgulabo
    December 4, 2014 at 11:31 pm

    Luvvie, I so appreciate this very articulate breakdown of the stages, and the ways in which your article points out problems in our societal thinking–I was especially struck by Stage 3. One of the things I would love your perspective on is, how can I be a really supportive ally of the black community? I’m white, I try to be aware of my privilege in society as a white person, and I’d really like to know how I can better support the black community in the way that you guys would like to be supported, rather than just how as a white person I think it might be a good idea to support. You know what I mean? #blacklivesmatter #blacklivesmatterALOT

    • Rachael
      December 5, 2014 at 10:20 am

      I think you just point of injustice. You don’t have to be specifically an ally of black people, just don’t keep silent about injustice.

  65. Anthony
    December 5, 2014 at 1:04 am

    Alright I’m just going to come out and admit that I stopped reading after the out of context MLK quote

    The Furgeson police response was a warning that police militarization is way out of hand but on the other side of the coin they were getting moltoves thrown at them, the moltoves didn’t work because they were poorly made but they were still thrown. The protestors had every right to do what they did and the reporters had every right to report, but the police went against the constitution, hid their ID and held guns to civilians who posed them no threat.

    The stuff going on today is bad and you do have some valid points, but this should be an argument of unity and what limits should be placed on police and civilians.

    The Eric Garner case should of been a slam dunk for prosecution it was on camera, it was at least negligence or manslaughter, Grand jury was complete bullshit.
    That being said the evidence in the Mike Brown case support the narrative that the cop was charged at by Brown, what happened before that and what was said before that we will probably never know.

    Every Circumstance is different and I don’t think that blanketing every black person killed as the same. Some people are assholes and put themselves in situations that make get themselves killed.

    • Lynn Green
      December 5, 2014 at 10:52 am

      Thank you. Color does not make every case the same. It does not make every person the same. There are more differences within the races than there are between them. God help us to eventually realize that.

  66. Rachael
    December 5, 2014 at 10:17 am

    Thank you for this. As far as the friends on your news feed, I have been more upset over those that have said nothing. Not. One. Damn. Thing. They continue to post about what they ate and pictures of their kids, like its just another day. I am not asking that this consume you, but dammit acknowledge that this is happening! I’ve been really torn, but now I am just going to start removing people. I no longer feel obligated to provide an explanation for my pain.

  67. […] “The Stages of What Happens When There’s Injustice Against Black People” Luvvie, Awesomely Luvvie […]

  68. Non
    December 5, 2014 at 10:59 am

    So what’s the view on black culture such as hip-hop, gang bangers and the heavy amount of black on black gun crime? Black americans have made music about killing, robbing, disrespecting women and greed WORLD famous. Also look at the crime rates, black areas have higher crime rates. It’s fact, not a racist remark, but a fact. Therefore why would people in these areas not get stopped more by police? Should blacks not be looking at themselves more and changing within their own community?

  69. B H
    December 5, 2014 at 11:05 am

    OK, So looking at the same source they sourced:
    Most murders were intraracial.
    From 1980 through 2008, 84 percent of white homicide victims were murdered by whites and 93 percent of black victims were murdered by blacks. During this same period, blacks were
    disproportionately represented among homicide victims and offenders.
    Blacks were six times more likely than whites to be homicide victims and seven times more likely than whites to commit homicide.”

    I have ready quite a few articles, and when I see snippets, I always look to dig deeper..

    Yes, the perpetrators are generally “of their same color”, which again I contend is socially created, this concept of “race”

    However… The fact that black on black crime IS something that is important to point out.. 6 times more likely to be a victim and 7 times more likely to commit.. Just to go by the percents is HIGHLY misleading.

    So, I would be on the stage, and based upon facts, asking, what can all of us do to fix the issues there ALSO.. And to fix other injustices.. However, not more can this violence of American killing American continue. Faces the injustices, yes, but also the “dirty laundry” as people have called it, and address WHY this is happening..

    We should not just care when it happens from interracial events..…/homicides-fall-to-lowest…

  70. Voice
    December 5, 2014 at 12:02 pm

    I wholeheartedly agree Non and BH! I am sick of the expectation that as a Black person, I am to blindly support some Blacks in their self-degradation, and steer clear of any meaningful conversation about how we can change.

  71. James
    December 5, 2014 at 12:05 pm

    You’re correct in stage 2 in saying that the system doesn’t care about humanity. It cares about order. For a government or any kind of system to be sustainable, it has to avoid wild fluctuations that it can’t handle, or it collapses. Things like equality and justice are secondary to order in importance to a system of control. Giving the police freedom to make mistakes without strong consequences bolsters the strength of the government’s domestic martial power which promotes order and the safety of the government’s power from unrest.

    There appears to be racism in everyday police and judicial practices such as unequal arrest rates and sentencing in drug possession cases. However, improper deaths at the hands of law enforcement and the repercussions in these cases (or lack thereof) are almost never racially driven. They’re 2 separate problems that should be addressed separately. If you want to talk about the former as a race problem, don’t use these types of cases to spark the discussion or protests.

    Go to a website like and I bet you’ll be shocked at how even the mix is of black, white, and hispanic victims of police violence.

    If you think what happened to Eric Garner couldn’t happen to a white guy, google Robert Ethan Saylor. You never hear about cases like that in the national news, so you’re led to believe this type of situation is a race issue, but it’s not.

    5.5 occurs because despite the fact that at least part of you knows that the real problem is that the system doesn’t care about “humanity,” you outwardly phrase the problem as a racial one.

    The point of a vigil is catharsis. If you want to get together as a community and mourn the loss of an individual, phrases like “black lives matter” work. I’ll keep my mouth shut and let people mourn how they want. That changes when you start protesting. That’s when I’ll call you out for getting distracted by race.

    The first step in solving any problem is properly identifying the problem. This is an issue of government control. You can’t just focus on one race. It’s not a racial problem at its core, and if you treat it like it is, you’ll never affect the change you want. You’ll keep fighting the same battle if you don’t recognize the real problem and pivot before stage 4. Start addressing it as an issue of government control and recruit allies from the center and right instead of driving them away simply because they’re not black.

  72. Jack
    December 5, 2014 at 12:08 pm

    If you don’t have what you want to have, if you aren’t doing what you want to be doing, if you aren’t where you want to be — it has nothing to do with the system and everything to do with that fact that you’re not willing to make the sacrifice.

    It’s not a black thing, not a white thing, its a human thing on a person by person basis.

    Take responsibility for the role you play in your own life.

  73. December 5, 2014 at 1:52 pm

    Thank you for writing this. I have found my answer to the hopelessness I felt in search for change. We must continue to fight until we get the justice we deserve.

  74. […] The stages of what happens when there’s injustice against black people (Luvvie, Awesomely Luvvie) […]

  75. John
    December 5, 2014 at 2:29 pm

    Brown wasn’t shot in the back. You can try covering factual details next time, it will garner more sympathy from readers who are actually aware of the circumstances surrounding the cases you have so easily waved off.

  76. Jamal Jones
    December 5, 2014 at 2:46 pm

    This makes me feel really sad.

    Black lives will matter less now, that the President has given amnesty to millions of more hispanics.

    • December 6, 2014 at 10:29 am

      I’m sorry, Jamal, but I don’t quite grasp your thinking. Would you be so kind to elaborate on the issue of Hispanics and the impact on the Black population/law enforcement system?

  77. Sam
    December 5, 2014 at 3:11 pm

    I don’t understand why white privileged America feels the need to do “put down” issues when people of color protest injustice. Why so quick to play the “black on black” crime card or comment about how protest hinder them getting to work on time. The last time people I think were similarly inconvenienced was when Rosa Parks broke the law taking a white man’s seat preventing people from going to work. As history shows, she did the right thing.

    Eric Frein, a white cop killer led authorities on a 48 day dragnet that costs $10 million while cops waiting for him to surrender. James Holmes, white college student shoots up a movie theatre, is able to get apprehended without resistance by police. Eric Garner, a black man selling .50 cent cigarettes gets choked out and killed by police. And people are wondering why the black community is pissed? All this tells me is that excessive force is the best response to people of color regardless of the crime.

  78. […] York City following the death of Eric Garner at the hands of police officers, Luvvie Ajayi wrote The stages of what happens when there is injustice to black people. She also shared this illustration, The New Age of Slavery, by artist Patrick Campbell. He has […]

  79. December 5, 2014 at 4:53 pm

    Thank you for this. Thorough, insightful, and shareable. I have shared this to my social media and invited all of my social media connections to read it – and if they still want to deny it all, or say shit like “race card,” or “it’s not about race” or any one of the other things I keep hearing, they can feel free to unfriend me. Even if they’re family.

    As a person who understands that I do have White Privilege…EVEN on the campus where I’m attending graduate school – a Historically Black University, no less – I am so sick of trying to educate others who want to deny they have privilege. But I’ll keep trying.

  80. kim
    December 5, 2014 at 9:40 pm

    you know, i’m a white woman, and i posted that “all lives matter.” where i was going, though, was in the direction of “damned straight black lives matter — and why should that even have to be said? of course they matter. ALL lives matter.” but you’re right, and i was wrong. it has to be said that way because there are too many of us who still don’t get it. who still make that distinction. and until we learn to understand what privilege means, we have to call it out. black lives matter. your lives matter. for what it’s worth, i have kids of many colors, and they all know that their lives matter — my white children as much as my black son, or my latino son. maybe?the next generation will get this right.

  81. […] The Stages of What Happens When There’s Injustice Against Black People by Luvvie […]

  82. […] The Stages of What Happens When There’s Injustice Against Black People [Luvvie] […]

  83. Hispanic woman
    December 6, 2014 at 4:07 am

    Some of this is so disrespectful that even if I had agreed with the post I would have been unhappy. I am a Hispanic woman and my race is almost more discriminated against than lots of others and NO ONE cares about us. But running around and burning down buildings only justifies stereotypes. And my father was a cop. He wasn’t a “thug in a blue uniform” and he sure as hell didn’t go out every day hoping to shoot anyone. Period. The thing we forget here is RANDOM juries find not enough evidence to do anything about it. So we can’t do anything about it. I live every day of my life being treated differently because I am Hispanic and rather than throw a fit and riot I try to change the stereotype I get treated like. Because running around rioting and only furthers the stereotype that people are trying to get rid of.

    • December 6, 2014 at 11:00 am

      Madam, I am a Hispanic from Argentina who lives in Brazil. *I* can tell you about the horrendous colour- and class lines in this country, which is supposed to be a “melting pot” and “a country of immigrants” (in many a way, just like the US; similar immigration waves, a history of slavery, etc.). I can tell you you how I was welcome here and everyone befriended me from the start (however fake and shallow that was, I then learned to notice the hard way) as I am perfectly white and look, sound and act educated middle-class. I can tell you also how I have become wary of whites and how several proto-friendships have not prospered as I insist on talking about the appalling inequities in this society. I can tell you how I will never, ever be stopped in the street by the police, looked down on or suspiciously at a mall (whenever I happen to be at one, that is), and the list goes on. I can tell you about the police going for Blacks/mixed-race citizens before, above and beyond.
      A few years back I was group leader for a summer study trip to the US. We stayed a few weeks on campus at a college near Tampa. I can tell you what I saw there, from what I can remember off the top of my head: all janitors were Black (overwhelming majority) and Hispanic. Many security staff were Black also, and most showed reactionary distrust and bias. The foreign students from Argentina were usually left alone, as they were mostly white, many of them blonde and looking “decent” (though half of them were a pain in the ass); the rest of the Hispanics, many from Mexico, Venezuela and other more mixed-race countries, were constantly watched more closely.
      I am glad you have such good memories of your father (may he rest in peace if he is gone) and that should be just so. However, when you live in a country where the forces of law and order, the State-trained institutions somehow learn to be biased and suspicious of people with certain physical features over the rest, something is not right. And this happens in an awful lot of countries, out of which America is no exception as I am given to understand. When you live in a society which abides by this sort of unwritten rules, at this particular historical juncture, I must say I can only understand popular outrage on the part of the minorities that mobilize and claim for change.
      Yes, all lives matter, no doubt about it; but when you walk around a place where you have to be blind not to see the lines of oppression, freedom is painful.

  84. December 6, 2014 at 6:33 am

    I just did a huge FB purge of high school and home town friends. I grew up in New England… it’s a special sort of racism where they are indoctrinated with the language of hate by Fox News but don’t have any actual black people to use it against (Vermont is just 1% black — if you have 100 friends, MAYBE 1 will be black — but most likely that one black kid in your school isn’t even one of your friends). So they are more vicious in a way, because they have never had their point of view challenged — ever.

    My feeling after all of this is: WE HIRE THE COPS. They serve at our pleasure. I feel like the next phase is to say: “Not on my behalf!” They have no authority except the one we give them. There should be zero tolerance. If a cop shoots someone who is unarmed and kills them, AUTOMATIC trial. Period. Racial profiling should be looked at by a third party with the authority to fire cops. Clean up the entire system. Make it the standard. Enforce it. We don’t need cops with cameras on them, we need cops who are trained to recognize racial bias (which will exist for everyone) and how to not let it impact the work they do. If they mess up, they don’t get “re-trained” they get fired. That simple. It’s too important — these are armed men and women with the authority to take lives — they should absolutely be held to the highest possible standard.

  85. Tammie
    December 6, 2014 at 10:28 am

    I’m black and I don’t think I’ve ever heard so much bullshit in one place before. Oh, they all out to get me! Oh, whitey don’t like blackie! Oh, they was just standing there in their angel halo and white cop shot him for no reason! My God people, take some personal responsibility and if you’re not breaking the law you don’t have anything to worry about!! Why do you think the cops are so scared of you? You’ve proven to everyone they have good reason to be!! Out there acting like fools instead of doing something constructive like teaching kids about character and morals. I’m so sick of hearing all this “It’s not my fault” victim shit. Start the change with the man in the mirror!!!!

    • You're Lying
      December 12, 2014 at 1:06 pm

      *HUGE side-eye* @ “I’m black and…”

      Bit*h, please.

  86. December 6, 2014 at 10:35 am

    Racism is definitely real. I am a Latina living in New York City and I have experienced it too, and I am terrified for my younger nephews. My heart is bleeding for the families, for my city and for this country. When we don’t learn from history, we are doomed to repeat it. And we are doing just that. I have stopped cops for directions and then had them ask to search me, ain’t that about a bitch?

    As for the protests, I just wish they were kept where policy makers and government decision makers are, blocking highways when emergency vehicles need to get through is not the way to go.

    I also don’t agree with threatening cops families. In my opinion an eye for an eye justs leads to the blind leading the blind.

  87. Bryan
    December 6, 2014 at 12:08 pm

    The cop who choked Eric Garner should have been indicted.

    But you totally mischaracterize Michael Brown and Trayvon Martin shootings. People aren’t looking for minor things to criticize the victim. Someone accused of murder is allowed to show why they were justified. We as a society want people to be able to defend themselves if they are acting reasonably.

    The main thing the jury looked at with Zimmerman trial is that Martin was on top of him smashing his head into the ground according to witness testimony. If Zimmerman reasonable fears for his life, which most people would given that situation, he can use deadly force.

    The Michael Brown shooting involved a cop investigating a suspect who had just assaulted a shop owner. An altercation occurred. Evidence strongly supports the police officers claim that Brown was charging him.

    Neither of these 2 were killed for merely existing.

    • You're Wrong
      December 12, 2014 at 1:11 pm

      Michael Brown being *murdered* by a cop had zero to do with said cop investigating anything. In FACT, he had no idea about anything that may or may not have happened in that store.

      And there is NO evidence, strong or otherwise that backs up that horse crap you posted.

  88. […] crying for the lives of Black men, women and children lost. I was driven to write a post called “The Stages of What Happens When There’s Injustice Against Black People” and I felt like this piece of art needed to be in it. And I needed to know who created […]

  89. Joseph P
    December 6, 2014 at 12:29 pm

    Your 10 stages are as ridiculous as you are. Just another person blaming everyone else for their troubles in life. GET REAL!!! Learn your history first of all. This country was built on many others backs and blood. Do rogue cops who take the kinds of actions they do need to be disciplined and incarcerated, absolutely……..but to characterize everyone with the same broad stroke is downright ignorant. You probably didn’t know that in 2012, 123 Blacks were gunned down by Police Officers. Here’s a surprise for you…..326 Whites were gunned down by Police Officers, and NOT ONE was indicted. Did you know that, were there burning of neighborhoods and businesses…NO. Protests, Demonstrations, Die-ins…..NO. We are all in this together Ms. Bias. You talk about this country is not here for Black People. What planet are you from? Their majority of professional athletes are Black making millions and millions of dollars; there are Black Talk show hosts, Black shows on TV, BET and Miss Black America Contests that are for Blacks ONLY. What would you say if there were White ONLY contests, or TV stations? No, I’m sorry, you’re just another biased person screaming that it’s everyone else’s fault and instead of trying to make things more harmonious, you feed into the divide of society. Go on You Tube and check out Jonathan Gentry…he sums it up very nicely. You are the problem and not the solution. There is nothing I wan more in my lifetime than to have racial and religious harmony. Unfortunately I will never see it cause YOU AIN’T HELPING!!!

    • December 6, 2014 at 1:25 pm

      @ Joseph
      While it does seem from your argumentation that Black-only events et al are biased, please open your mind and try to look at them as any other monirity/ethnic example: Is it biased to have an all-Hungarian bake-off event? Chinese New Year celebrations in America? Just an adjustment of perspective.
      I won’t ask you to “have a seat”, or even “relax, sir”, for I don’t mean to make sarcastic attacks. But you get the idea, I expect/hope.
      I am white. Pure white. Pearly white. If I lived in a country/area where whites are a minority, I would expect the sort of events I mentioned above. To be correct, rather, as white is too broad a label I’d expect perhaps all-Argentine events, Italian Day, a Lebanese Dish Fair, which may represent people like me (a white male with a 25% Lebanese, 25% Syrian, 25% Italian, 25% Basque, 50% Jewish, 50% Catholic descent… oh, how tiring). Oh, wait, there are things like those already? Crazy world.
      Furthermore, a FACT we should not forget is that Blacks who descend from slaves have usually lost their specific ethnicity bonds/identification (a tiny little reading may help you here) and thus they have “cuddled together” as simply BLACK. And they are, at least as of the last time I checked, a minority in the United States of America. Please let me know if I am mistaken here.
      So… I see no harm, much less a *dark agenda* in Black Americans’ identification. And struggle.
      The rest,or most of it, seems conjecture to me. Your conjecture.

  90. […] The Stages of What Happens When There’s Injustice Against Black People […]

  91. […] crying for the lives of Black men, women and children lost. I was driven to write a post called “The Stages of What Happens When There’s Injustice Against Black People” and I felt like this piece of art needed to be in it. And I needed to know who created […]

    • Stan
      December 6, 2014 at 8:56 pm

      If this art captures a movement, then the movement is dead already. How can you win people’s hearts with death and anger, not to mention the idea that America is based on black death, as though no other lives mattered? I’m gay and would want to slap silly the idiot who made a piece of art with Matthew Shepard’s dead body against an American flag. If this is inspiration, it will not inspire anything constructive.

  92. December 6, 2014 at 8:19 pm

    Thank you for this piece, which I will be sharing. So very well said.

  93. December 6, 2014 at 8:20 pm

    Funny, why aren’t all these white bigots telling us that the experience we live every damn day is imaginary, victim-hood or a product of our own criminality and immorality are never here for the Scandal recaps?

    To add salt to an already puss filled wound, two black women were killed by the police in the last three weeks.
    Tanisha Anderson, 37, Cleveland, Ohio
    Aura Rosser, 40, Ann Harbor, Michigan
    The number was black women that Utah policeman, Daniel Holtzclaw will be on trial for raping is now up to thirteen.
    But yeah, tell me this isn’t about race for the billionth time.

  94. Stan
    December 6, 2014 at 8:30 pm

    Luvvie’s anger is way misplaced. Try admitting, first, that black people CAN do wrong things, CAN do stupid things, without white people being the cause, and that white people are no more racist than blacks (or anyone). (Want to trade in your black skin in Detroit?) Personal responsibility. How much of that did Michael Brown have when he robbed a store, roughed up the owner, and attacked a cop? How much of that did the Ferguson looters have? This is not about groups, this is about how people treat each other one on one. You can’t excuse violence because your group has been allegedly offended. ‘The system’ is built to oppress blacks? Honey, in cities like Chicago and Detroit, the system IS black, so tell us how that computes. And about Mr. Garner; the sergeant commanding those cops was a black woman. Is she now somehow ‘not black’? A discussion about police behavior — and the stupid laws like the one against selling loosies that are BEHIND it — is very appropriate, but putting black people at dead center of the discussion is WAY wrong, because it’s a much wider problem, so get the hell over your damn color!

  95. December 6, 2014 at 8:34 pm

    I’m actually asking a question and I’d like to hear your feedback on the question. You can rant and rave in response if you like, that will still be an answer. Stage 5: “Not all white people are ractist”. How can this statement belong in an article that condemns police racially profiling black people? If what you want is an individual is for police and society as a whole to not view all black people as a Michael Brown who just robbed a store, or any of the more serious crimes. How can you ask that of another nationality and in the same story say “but, I’m still going to label you as racist as a whole”. This seems like a very give and take situation. You can not ask someone not to racially profile you, but it’s okay if you do it. I’ll keep my other thoughts to myself as they will not hurt or help this article, I just had to ask that question.

    • notconvincedgranny
      December 6, 2014 at 11:35 pm

      Are all police officers white? What other nationality are you talking about? You’re asking the age old “if you can do it why can’t I?” question and it makes no sense. That falls into line with people who ask “why can’t I call a black person nigger (in a good way) when you can do it?” The real question is: why do you so desperately want a pass so you can use the term with impunity?

      So yeah, black people can profile – because every damn day of every damn life we confront diametrically opposed realities. And another thing that makes my ass itch is if we talk about black economic power, we are being separatist; BLACK people are always lumped in with someone else with whom we need to “get along.” But check this out: anywhere that is predominantly black is automatically a ghetto (that’s a Jewish term, so I don’t know how we got it); and Japantown, Chinatown, Little Havana, Little Saigon and the Barrio are just fine.

      Don’t talk fairness and equality when the game is rigged and you’re not the house. Take that attitude to Vegas and come home with your waist and thighs connected because you. will. lose. your. ass.

      And by the way – when Mr. Wilson shot Mr. Brown, he had no idea the robbery had taken place.

  96. kenny
    December 6, 2014 at 10:56 pm

    I think its funny how blacks think everyone is out to get them and how they are always throwing up the color card when ever something happens to one of them .im white and I don’t feel like I have any better odds of being ok when it comes to law and order in this country we need to get past the color card and start dealing with the real problems that are going on in this country starting with the government .we the people need to join together and take back what is rightfully ours before we are all slaves to the government. black and white and everything in between

    • notconvincedgranny
      December 6, 2014 at 11:22 pm

      That’s funny – a white guy who doesn’t get it.

      • December 7, 2014 at 9:43 am

        Granny, please don’t let’s play black on white or white on black. Please! I’m white (hate to keep stating it btw) and have commented and posted profusely on this here issue, and as a matter if fact the questions I’ve asked are still unanswered. People are angered, for a number of reasons. You know? Probably we are all right.
        This is all beyond painful, and I do agree it is not *only* a matter of black people’s deaths, but everyithing that’s not working. But then again, in this particular respect, I will continue to endorse the black cause, for all the reasons I endeavoured to explain above. If you are willing, please read them and tell me what you think of my own humble view.

        • notconvincedgranny
          December 7, 2014 at 1:56 pm

          Look I’m a woman – so there are things that a man goes through that I don’t understand but I must respect because they are his experience. You are white – you are well meaning, but the second you said “support black causes” you let me know you don’t truly get it. And you can’t – it really is a black thing and you will not, you cannot understand; but you need to respect it as such. It is not a post-racial society Marcelo, but keep your eyes, ears, and most of all, your heart, open. I thought there would never be a black president in my lifetime, but miracles do happen.

        • December 7, 2014 at 4:39 pm

          My bad. Maybe I should not have worded it the way I did; I just wanted to show sympathy. But it is not sympathy, for that is only a word. I am outraged at this kind of thing. I am!
          Other than that, I think I get your point when you say I won’t get it, “as if from within”. I do. But please believe many non-blacks try. Hard. I’m one of them. By the same token, I’m a man and I try to understand a woman. Really.
          Do you really want to know what I feel and think? I mean, the way I actually word it here where I live. Here’s a bit of what I usually say down here in São Paulo:
          “Colour lines are so evident you can’t even pretend or imagine I will believe otherwise. Just don’t.”
          “There is such class bias in this society that I don’t know who to trust anymore.”
          “Homosexuals [I am gay btw], or rather LGBT, simply CAN’T go on living in fear.”
          You know what makes this scandalous? And why I even keep uttering “black”, “gay”, etc., when actually I *don’t even care who is what*? Because it still matters to most, and pretending we’re all the same for the whole of society amounts to denial of the inveterate “rules” and “differences”. One simply must become verbal about it.
          And, mind you (as it is likely you don’t know), Brazil’s population is o.v.e.r.w.h.e.l.m.i.n.g.l.y “mixed-race”, and I’d even call it a “black/mulatto” country (for lack of better terms, please understand) if there has ever been one outside of African countries. And the official breakup of society into “classes” could hardly be more mistaken/deceitful. And, by rule of thumb, I’d say more than 20% of society is “gay/bisexual”.
          How about that for outrage when you know and SEE discrimination every day? There are 2 LGBT deaths *a day* which can be connected to anti-LGBT behaviours. More than 10 women (that’s right, ten) die every single day here, only considering deaths related to domestic violence (I’m reading official stats this very moment just to check). BlackS (in the plural) are killed by the police -many, many, *many* of those killings proven or suspected to be… well, you know, It’s all too painful.
          Please. I beg you would be kind to not think I don’t try to understand. It hurts badly.
          You state it clearly: “It’s not a post-racial society”. Although I don’t agree with the term “race” (or the idea behind it, rather) for it is not accurate, I do get the point. And please don’t get me wrong but I seriously think America also is ill.
          But again, in the same way I know we are all going to die but I still refuse to be killed, there’s my idea that it is not good to reduce it to blacks against whites, crooks against “good people”, younameit. Allow me to hold on to the hope that some things will change. It is in all honesty one of the few great hopes left in me.

  97. […] crying for the lives of Black men, women and children lost. I was driven to write a post called “The Stages of What Happens When There’s Injustice Against Black People” and I felt like this piece of art needed to be in it. And I needed to know who created […]

  98. Christina Nordlander
    December 7, 2014 at 6:38 am

    Thank you for this post.

    Perhaps if enough people say this, it will eventually sink in.

  99. December 7, 2014 at 7:07 am

    […] great writing about Eric Garner’s murder and the ensuing lack of indictment. But this list of The Stages of What Happens When There’s Injustice Against Black People covers most of […]

  100. […] one thing this week, if you only click one link-make it this one. Awesomely Luvvie share “The Stages of What Happens When There’s Injustice Against Black People.” It’s a must-read. Go read it […]

  101. December 7, 2014 at 10:15 am

    […] is painfully true, and be forewarned that the painting at the end of the post might make you cry: The 10 stages of what happens when there’s injustice against black people. -Katherine Cross writes about why she was not surprised by the Eric Garner decision, as a trans […]

  102. […] The Stages of What Happens When There’s Injustice Against Black People – Awesomely Luvvie […]

  103. Luke Basile
    December 8, 2014 at 1:15 am

    You know, with everything that was going on; the lack of indictment on Wilson, Zimmerman, and many others, I thought the Eric Garner case would be the one. The one where no one could deny that an innocent man was killed by a cop for no good reason. I hoped the cop would finally get indicted. But I watched that report just one week ago, and nearly felt like punching something. I just couldn’t grasp the concept. Was DIRECT VIDEO FOOTAGE not enough for even some sort of charge? Was the MOST OBVIOUS PIECE OF EVIDENCE POSSIBLE just not clear enough? Why do I find myself continually asking these questions? Now, I’m white, and I can’t say I’ve experienced anything like this on a personal level, and therefore can’t completely connect with the families that have lost their children, husbands, wives, etc. But why does it never end? I swear I’m discovering a new case like this every couple of days, and every time, the evidence becomes more and more obvious towards the cop being guilty. So why has nothing changed?

    • Luke Basile
      December 8, 2014 at 1:17 am

      Also, Awesomely Luvvie, one thing.
      Is it just me, or are you kind of…..awesome?

  104. Bob Klahn
    December 8, 2014 at 2:34 am

    The prosecutor in the Trayvon Martin case ran a case so bad it looks to me like he deliberately sabotaged his own case. Now Zimmerman walks free and he cannot be tried again.

    The Grand Jury in Ferguson and NYC did not indict. The grand jury in the Beavercreek Ohio Walmart shooting did not indict. There was no trial. Not indicting is NOT an acquittal.

    A new DA can come in, reopen the case, and the officer involved can be tried, because a grand jury does not invoke protection against being tried twice. Twenty years from now any one of them can hear a knock on the door, and face another cop, with a warrant for his arrest.

    I’m betting the prosecutors didn’t see it that way, but it is quite possible they will regret not bringing it to trial. Just keep someone looking at it. Get some lawyers with ability and interest to keep it on the back burner. There is no statute of limitations here. It can come back.

  105. […] you’re only going to read one link from this post, read this one by the excellent Luvvie. It’s smart and comprehensive but succinct, and she […]

  106. December 8, 2014 at 8:07 am

    […] people’s perspectives emerge, friends, family, acquaintances and strangers… Here and here (see […]

  107. […] is there to say, that hasn’t already been said, in equal anger, in equal mourning, in equal frustration and exhaustion and anguish? Cops make bad decisions, Black […]

  108. December 9, 2014 at 11:40 am

    […] Stages of What Happens when there’s Injustice Against Black People Dear White People: […]

  109. Alex
    December 9, 2014 at 11:41 am

    Thank you honesty. And for moving, powerful, important words.
    I am outraged. I will continue to be outraged. And because I am white I acknowledge that I while I can listen, and speak out, I cannot understand what it means to walk through the streets as a black person. But I am listening. And striving to communicate respect and solidarity. I am marching, protesting, posting, reading, talking with my communities. What else can I do to show respect, to be an effective ally?

  110. Alex
    December 9, 2014 at 11:43 am

    sorry- Thank you for your honesty. Was what I meant to say.

  111. December 9, 2014 at 1:49 pm

    As has been stated here earlier, because I (as other readers) am white I cannot fully comprehend -or feel.
    Anyway, as my fighting for the cause is relevant, here you are a link for all readers of all colours to read and understand an example of what blacks go through in the so-called “colour-blind” (my ass) countries:

    I won’t cease to be appalled (and vocal)!

  112. […] There are many recent articles on the subject on Blacks and injustice, but one of the best I’ve read can be found at Awesomely Luvvie. It is indeed awesome. Check it out here. […]

  113. December 10, 2014 at 11:54 am

    […] The Stages of What Happens When There’s Injustice Against Black People […]

  114. […] Stages of Injustice Against Black People – Biting commentary, but well done. […]

  115. […] Awesomely Luvvie-The Stages of What Happens When There’s Injustice Against Black People […]

  116. […] The Stages of What Happens When There’s Injustice Against Black People [Luvvie] […]

  117. December 26, 2014 at 12:33 pm

    Brothers and Sisters, use the buddy system and walk in pairs whenever possible!

  118. […] white men who were killed by police in the past five years. By now we should be familiar with the stages of what happens when there is injustice to black people. Garner’s incident is unique because video captured the […]

  119. […] crying for the lives of Black men, women and children lost. I was driven to write a post called “The Stages of What Happens When There’s Injustice Against Black People” and I felt like this piece of art needed to be in it. And I needed to know who created […]

  120. […] when I ruin the moment: To quote activist and writer Awesomely Luvvie from her must-read piece “The Stages of What Happens When There’s Injustice Against Black People,” adoptive parents everywhere need to “shut the ENTIRE COMPLETE ABSOLUTE fuck up” when it […]

  121. Meg Boesch
    April 13, 2015 at 9:36 am
  122. April 14, 2015 at 7:22 pm

    […] Related:  Awesomely Luvvie | The Stages of What Happens When There’s Injustice Against Black People […]

  123. April 27, 2015 at 11:30 pm

    SOOOO much YES in this post! I could never have summed it up as perfect and concise.

  124. […] The Stages of What Happens When There’s Injustice Against Black People | Awesomely Luvvie. […]

  125. […] The Stages of What Happens When There’s Injustice Against Black People […]

  126. April 30, 2015 at 9:48 pm

    Had to repost this one more time to help some folks. You may want to position this near the top, just until all the racists, classists and other ists in Sanford/New York/Charlotte/ Detroit/Baltimore/Philadelphia/and the rest of the country take their collective seats. Or forever, whichever comes first.

  127. June 18, 2015 at 2:22 pm

    What RC Green said. Luvvie, thanks for posting what I consider mandatory reading. Brilliant. Thanks.

  128. Prof K.
    July 18, 2015 at 8:16 am

    This don’t get old, do it? I’m both sad and grateful to be able to reference it after yet another atrocity. We are now at stage 3 for Sandra Bland. Thank you for writing this so we can inform those who want to pretend there’s a new wheel being invented all the time.

  129. July 21, 2015 at 11:32 am

    […] Awesomely Luvvie’s The Stages of What Happens When There’s Injustice Against Black People […]

  130. […] MUSLIM PARENTS ON HOW THEY TALK TO THEIR CHILDREN ABOUT HATRED AND EXTREMISM | After a wave of anti-Muslim rhetoric in the wake of the Paris attacks and San Bernardino shooting, the New York Times editors have asked their Muslim readers how they talk to their children about this time in our history…”Since we are a family that focuses education on global citizenship, and I myself am a human rights historian, I tend to give her a more worldly view and expose her to different types of literature. So, I read her one of my favorite “Little Prince” excerpts, then talked about what it means….’There were terrible seeds on the little prince’s planet… they were baobab seeds. The planet’s soil was infested with them. Now, a baobab, if you set about it too late, you can never get rid of it. It takes up the whole planet. It pierces it with its roots. And if the planet is too small, and if there are too many baobabs, they will make it burst.’ “ THE STAGES OF WHAT HAPPENS WHEN THERE’S INJUSTICE AGAINST BLACK PEOPLE | […]

  131. […] There are many recent articles on the subject on Blacks and injustice, but one of the best I’ve read can be found at Awesomely Luvvie. It is indeed awesome. Check it out here. […]

  132. […] York City following the death of Eric Garner at the hands of police officers, Luvvie Ajayi wrote The stages of what happens when there is injustice to black people. She also shared this illustration, The New Age of Slavery, by artist Patrick Campbell. He has […]

  133. […] And the bad part is that we know how it will end. We know that the police officer will be on paid leave and eventually walk free. We’ve seen this movie before. (Read: Stages of What Happens When There’s Injustice Against Black People) […]

  134. […] kill more people in a day than most nations have killed by police in an entire year – I am newly distraught and feel […]

  135. […] Stages of Reactions to Injustice against Black People […]

  136. […] summary, but this is the cycle Ida B. Wells reported on at the turn of the 20th century. It’s the same cycleof our contemporary moment. Same basic ingredients, and while there’s variation and nuance, the […]

  137. February 18, 2017 at 7:36 pm

    […] • Awesomely Luvvie – “The Stages of What Happens when there’s Injustice against Black People”: […]