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Thread: Can you Feel our Pain and our Pride?

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    Default Can you Feel our Pain and our Pride?

    By Kasi Lemmons
    June 1, 2020 at 10:18 a.m. PDT

    Kasi Lemmons is the director of “Harriet,” “Talk to Me” and “Eve’s Bayou.”



    "Can you feel not just our pain but also our pride?

    Now imagine that even now, after everything we’ve survived and accomplished, after we’ve built this country with our sweat and blood, our backs and brains, after we’ve sacrificed our lives in every war that has ever been fought for America, this country is still not safe for us. It’s still not safe to go jogging while black; to listen to loud music while black; to drive while black; to birdwatch while black; to shop at Barneys while black; to be a 13-year-old boy while black.

    It’s not safe to lie on the ground, not resisting arrest, while black.

    Maybe that explains this lack of white imagination: The price of truly understanding black life in America is just too high. That understanding demands too much. If you felt this rage yourself, you would have to acknowledge what caused it, and what it makes you want to do."


    https://www.washingtonpost.com/opini...pisrc=nl_popns

    If you can't download the link I will copy and paste the whole thing.

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    Default Re: Can you Feel our Pain and our Pride?

    White Americans, your lack of imagination is killing us



    Protesters demonstrating against the death of George Floyd are cornered at a gas station by police officers after being pepper-sprayed on Sunday in Minneapolis. (Joshua Lott/For The Washington Post)

    Kasi Lemmons is the director of “Harriet,” “Talk to Me” and “Eveʼs Bayou.”

    Imagine being an unarmed man, three officers holding you down, one with a knee on your neck.

    Imagine that they relentlessly apply force while you plead for your life, while you call for your mother.

    Imagine them choking the life from you, checking your pulse to make sure you donʼt have one, then choking you three more minutes for good measure, then waiting three more minutes before calling an ambulance.

    Imagine being a 17-year-old bystander on the street, watching this unfold. Imagine youʼre a witness to murder.

    As a filmmaker, I help people imagine whatʼs itʼs like to be someone else, to experience things from a characterʼs point of view — things they never will experience outside the theater. But when it comes to black life in America, thereʼs only one conclusion I can reach about some white people: You donʼt care to put yourself in our shoes. The consequences of this lack of imagination for black Americans are deadly.

    Itʼs no secret that you like our music, our style, our swagger. You admire our athleticism, our beauty. Things you can sample without diving too deep, without knowing too much. Without fear of being scarred. You would rather be a tourist; you prefer to dip your toes in our culture without really understanding it.

    That, or youʼre addicted to the pornography of our pain. When I made my first movie, “Eveʼs Bayou,” I got questions about why I didnʼt include incidents of white racism in a movie about a Creole family. The answer: The movie isnʼt about white people, or racism. Itʼs about a black family, which could be any family. Twenty-two years later, some critics said that the racist violence in “Harriet,” my film about Harriet Tubman, wasnʼt vicious enough. Apparently, they couldnʼt understand that I wanted to tell a story about a black womanʼs triumph, rather than make a movie that reveled in pain and degradation. I wondered why they craved seeing black bodies get beaten.

    If you see us only when weʼre a source of diversion, or only when we are victims who satisfy your taste for violence or death, then you donʼt see us as fully human. If you donʼt have much interest in how we live and love, youʼll never understand what weʼre fighting to preserve. If you ignore the cost of our survival and achievements — paid in the stinking bowels of slave ships and on plantations where we were beaten, raped and separated from our children, in the prison-industrial complex and in neighborhoods abandoned by politicians and ravaged by police — youʼll never understand the true measure of what weʼve accomplished.

    White people have never needed to exercise that kind of curiosity. Youʼve never had to. You can live your whole lives without really considering how we live ours.

    We, on the other hand, know you very well. Weʼve had to. We had no choice. We worked in your houses, did your dirty laundry, nursed your children, read about you in books and watched you on TV. We had to know you to survive you. The knowledge we gleaned from this watchfulness made us stronger, made us devise ingenious ways of communicating, made us bilingual, nimble, resilient.

    Can you imagine what it has taken for us to come so far? To survive a historical journey this arduous, and to not merely be standing, but to turn the pain of that voyage into a culture that defines style, music and art around the world? To have used our ingenuity to invent, or contribute to the invention of everything from the cotton gin to the cellphone?

    Can you feel not just our pain but also our pride?

    Now imagine that even now, after everything weʼve survived and accomplished, after weʼve built this country with our sweat and blood, our backs and brains, after weʼve sacrificed our lives in every war that has ever been fought for America, this country is still not safe for us. Itʼs still not safe to go jogging while black; to listen to loud music while black; to drive while black; to birdwatch while black; to shop at Barneys while black; to be a 13- year-old boy while black.

    Itʼs not safe to lie on the ground, not resisting arrest, while black.

    Maybe that explains this lack of white imagination: The price of truly understanding black life in America is just too high. That understanding demands too much. If you felt this rage yourself, you would have to
    acknowledge what caused it, and what it makes you want to do.

    But while rage can lead to tragedy, it is also a terrible thing to waste. Rage can be useful, necessary even. It fuels our pride and lubricates our resilience. With discipline and unity, rage can change the world. So be enraged with us and for us. If youʼre unwilling to do that, know this: You can look away all you want. But we see you.

    [click here for links]
    • Michael B. Curry: As a black man, I understand the anger in our streets. But we must still choose love.
    • The Postʼs View: This rage isnʼt just for George Floyd. Itʼs for every victim of the police like him.
    • Kathleen Parker: We are tipping into chaos
    • Karen Tumulty: Trump said not a word to soothe a smoldering country. Itʼs time for Biden to step up.
    • Eugene Robinson: Black lives remain expendable
    • Marilyn Mosby: I was the prosecutor in the Freddie Gray case. Hereʼs what Minneapolis should know.

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    Default Re: Can you Feel our Pain and our Pride?

    Thanks, Running Deer!

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