Asinine, Asi-10 and Asi-11
ESPN sports commentator Stephen A. Smith has many detractors.
But even his biggest critics cannot take away the impact of his slogans or sound bites like when he calls something that is idiotic, “asinine, asi-10 and asi-11.”
There are not enough asinine descriptors to describe people who compare violent protests that erupt after innocent African-Americans get killed by overzealous police officers to the violent insurrectionists who stormed the United States Capitol on Jan. 6 in an attempt to overthrow American democracy.
After Kim Potter, a former police officer in Brooklyn Center, Minn. shot and killed Daunte Wright, 20, violent protests erupted in the town not far away from Minneapolis, where Derek Chauvin killed George Floyd in 2020.
Professional sports teams in Minneapolis like the Minnesota Twins, Minnesota Timberwolves and Minnesota Wild postponed their games, as players decided that taking a break from another senseless killing was better than entertaining the masses.
Like many outspoken people in the African-American community like activists and media personalities, I received angry comments from White conservatives who criticized me for speaking out against the insurrectionists and apparently not speaking out against Black Lives Matter protests that took a violent turn.
However, comparing those two camps is like comparing apples and watermelons, not oranges.
For decades and centuries, many African-Americans boycotted racial injustice in nonviolent, peaceful ways.
Many African-American leaders like Martin Luther King, Jr. and Medgar Evers lost their lives violently even though they practiced and preached nonviolence.
African-Americans consistently turned the other cheek even though police commissioners like Eugene “Bull” Connor of Birmingham, Ala. unleashed violence on those protestors via water hoses and attack dogs, despite the fact that many of the protestors were children.
Law enforcement officials often locked up children for peacefully protesting, housing them at old amusement parks when jail cells could not accommodate the minors.
Throughout all of that injustice, many African-Americans remained nonviolent.
African-Americans remained nonviolent on Bloody Sunday, although some like future Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.) suffered severe injuries, which could have resulted in his death.
Leaders like Lewis opened themselves up to violent retribution because they were willing to lose their lives for voting rights.
Almost sixty years later, African-Americans still are fighting the same battles that our forefathers fought when it comes to voting rights, systemic racism and police brutality.
While violence and looting is always wrong, who could blame Black Lives Matter activists for resorting to violence out of frustration?
African-Americans had remained nonviolent for centuries and where has it gotten us?
Children in school are often taught to not bully other children.
First and foremost, taking advantage of another person is wrong.
But often if bullying victims cannot rid themselves of mistreatment in a nonviolent way, they often resort to violence to solve their problems.
That is why people who get bullied sometimes lash out in very violent ways against those who have abused them.
It is very wrong.
But it is also human nature and very predictable.
People who cannot understand how a victim of bullying can turn violent are just asinine in their thought process.
The same can be said about critics of Black Lives Matter protests that turn violent.
First of all, most Black Lives Matter protests remain peaceful.
But when they do turn violent, it should not come as a surprise because mainstream White America has bullied African-Americans since 1619.
So how can mainstream White America complain that some African-Americans finally lashed out after 402 years of abuse and oppression?
King said the riot is the language of the unheard and mainstream America still has not heard us even though we have preached the same sermon about racism in this country for 402 years.
On the contrary, what do conservative White Americans have to be angry about?
What reason do they have to act out in violence and ignorance?
Former President Donald Trump losing a presidential election is not an excuse to get violent, kill a police officer and attempt to overthrow American democracy.
Former President Trump losing an election is not a reason to say that you want to assassinate former Vice President Mike Pence and Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.).
Trump losing an election is in no way, shape or form equivalent to 402 years of systemic racism and oppression.
While both groups are beyond wrong for resorting to violence, one group simply had a temper tantrum because things did not go their way.
The other group has lived through 402 years of things not going their way, and their frustration with the system led to them lashing out against that racist system and oppressive status quo.
Whatever frustrates White America fails miserably in comparison to what frustrates Black America.
Conservative White America got upset that they lost a presidential election.
Black America is getting upset when our brothers and sisters lose their lives because of someone else’s ignorance and/or because of skin color.
Black America gets upset when we walk through our own neighborhood, or the neighborhoods of family members and friends, and a White person physically assaults us because they say we are in the wrong neighborhood.
Black America gets upset when we walk into a bank for a home loan or a loan to expand our business and points are deducted from our credit report simply because of the color of our skin.
That makes it more difficult to take our lives and careers to the next level and buy homes in neighborhoods where we supposedly do not belong.
After so many instances of turning the other cheek and staying nonviolent, forgive us if we have come to the assumption that nonviolence does not always get us our desired result of equality.
We are not saying that violence is the answer to end racism and oppression.
But violence in the face of 402 years of oppression is much more justified than violence because your preferred political candidate lost an election.