How It Feels

The Army Corp of Engineers announced the decision to look for another route for the Dakota Access Pipeline.

To be honest, I was shocked. We live in a nation that loves money. That’s the absolute number one priority for a lot of powerful people. The lower and middle classes often suffer from this mindset while looking for change. To hear a pipeline that stands to make in the multi-millions of dollars is going to be rerouted because people stood up for themselves? That’s priceless.

It goes without saying people are upset about the decision. It wouldn’t be America if someone wasn’t mad about another being concerned for their own well-being. One particular person was upset with the message this decision sends. They believe violence of protestors is being rewarded.  Another was frustrated that local law enforcement have endured some trying times. And that’s true. This situation hasn’t been all roses from either side. Another person was upset because his knowledge as an engineer is dismissed in conversation. He knows what he’s talking about.

Myself? I was joyous. It’s not every day you see the little guy go up against big oil and win. I fully expected this pipeline to be built in the location they scouted. Things can change when President-elect Trump takes office. However, I will enjoy this victory for now.

Others are sulking in defeat.

I thought about those who are unhappy with the decision. I read their frustrations. Their anger (Of course anything that doesn’t go their way is President Obama’s fault). I saw their high hopes for President-elect Trump to take office. Surely, he will make things right (i.e. make sure the loud Native Americans are silenced because ‘Murica). I read all of this, and one thought occurred.

Now you know how it feels.

If you know me, then you know I’m often upset with the shooting of unarmed black men by the police. I try to be nonpartisan about it, but most times I end up inserting myself into the situation. I also have a healthy understanding of the fear black males encounter (unless, of course, the fearful know you’re a Republican. That means you’re a “black man that knows how to think for himself“). When these cases happen, the “investigation” usually finds the police officer innocent. Then, they tell the black community everything they did wrong because, again, America. The aftermath of the decision leaves black people to pick up the pieces and move on which is the story of our lives. Let me tell you.

It hurts.

It stings. It’s angering. It’s frustrating. It makes you want to cry. Sometimes you don’t know whether to scream or move about in silence.

You want to talk about messages sent? How about the message that black lives are dispensable. That message has been repeatedly relayed since the advent of slavery. And yes, it resonates today. Or, the message that the masses only “care” about a black life being lost if it was at the hands of another black person.

You’re mad because no one listens to you in conversation? Welcome to the club. Black people are standing in the street screaming about their experiences and you ignore them. You dismiss them. You tell them why they’re wrong. You tell them what they need to do before you’ll hear them.

All of the same stuff you’re going through right now.

It doesn’t feel good, huh? No, it certainly doesn’t. Because I know that, I’m not going to gloat. Why? I don’t want to be you. I don’t want to be the person that can’t understand or empathize with another. Even if I don’t agree, I can still understand your frustration. I don’t want to discount your experience in this. You know what I mean?

Bear this in mind, I already know how you feel. And it’s trash.

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