Why Stand Down?
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"You don't wanna hear it, but imma talk about it"

The recent "McDonalds Incident" has a lot of people talking, and mainly, saying what I think is the wrong thing. Instinct says "FIGHT BACK!"
But instinct can't save you if you "Fight Black".
is it worth it?
We've had enough as a people. I get it... and though I'm not on location, as a member of the diaspora, I most definitely feel it.

As human beings there's a temptation whenever we are confronted, to fight back. Right or wrong, it's part of our nature. Yet, time and time again, we've seen that fighting back isn't always the wisest move. Sometimes, even running for your life can get your life taken from you. It can feel like "Damned if you do, damned if you don't. Just damned." You may think to yourself "What do I have to live for anyway?"

But please, before you throw yourself headlong into a rigged battle you can't win, think it through. Standing up for yourself can get you shot down.
know when to stand down. it doesn't make you weak.
The recent incident at a McDonalds outlet in the US has brought forth much of the same contrived rhetoric about "Black men don't stand up for black women!" except we do, and in this case, despite what the vast majority of screaming voices on the internet are saying, one of us did. Quite frankly, I think this "brotha" did the right thing.
  1. He got her away from the situation.
  2. He did not engage with her attacker directly, which, contrary to the dogmatic doctrines of arm-chair commentator theology, would have been precisely the wrong move!
  3. *ANY* further contact with her attacker, other than what she did in self-defence, could have been used as evidence of assault.
  4. Had someone not intervened and pulled her away, police likely would have charged *her* with a crime as well. It's messed up, it's wrong, but it's our reality in a world that doesn't value our humanity.
Sure, it sucks. Many people who watched the video would love to have seen him served as a happy meal to the floor. It certainly would seem like the right move. But if we've been paying attention to the lessons history keeps teaching us, we know full well what would have happened once police showed up to that scene.

We have to keep our heads on and let wisdom prevail, even when it feels like we're being weak or even foolish. Our ancestors knew this better than any of us alive today. Were it not for their tactful patience in the midst of unimaginable odds, we wouldn't be here today.

To finish this off, let me remind you of the story of Moses and the children of Israel. Although Moses wasn't raised among his people for most of his life, he never forgot who he was. When he saw an Egyptian beating an Israelite slave, he took it upon himself to intervene, and in doing so, killed the Egyptian. A surface-level analysis of the situation might say Moses was completely justified, and maybe, he was, but look at what it cost him. For the next 40 years, he had to live his life in fear; exiled in the land of Midian.

His one act of insobriety cost him a direct line of influence in the Egyptian Government, his special relationship with notable Egyptians, including his adoptive family, who may have likely given support to his fight for his people's freedom, and his connection to his people. His troubles didn't stop there, but for the sake of brevity, I'll save you the details. Suffice to say, sometimes, fighting back isn't worth it. The same people shouting "KNOCK HIM OUT!", would just as easily "SHUT YOU OUT!" ... after you get out of prison.

Never forget... even when you want to fight back, you're still in this racist world, and you're not quite free to "fight black." Temper your emotions in the moment. It's easier said than done, but you live to fight another day.

Never let a simple battle cost your place in the war.
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