Opinion: Question the Why, then Understand it

As a person that grew up in a modest middle-class home in Memphis, I was never short on anything I needed.

Whether it was support from my mom despite her working two jobs along with my grandmother or the fact that I had name brand clothes and shoes, I don’t ever recall a time in which I had to steal clothes out of a donation bin or live in public housing. I didn’t have to wear hand me downs passed down from older siblings or beat up sneakers to school.

Some of the kids I grew up with weren’t so lucky.

There were kids that I knew that wore hand-me-downs, beat up sneakers, went hungry at school (in fact for two years my mom paid for a kid’s lunch along with mine), and had dysfunctional home lives.

In some people’s eyes, I was the rich kid, which led to resentment from some kids as well as some teachers.

Years later, while living on Washington Avenue in Central City near the cemeteries white people were scared to go to, a lady that knew my landlord and I had a conversation on my steps.

“If I get off drugs,” she told me on this cold January morning, “I’m going to die. My sister died when she kicked her drug habit. So I have to keep doing drugs.”

Years ago, I was one of those people that failed to understand the correlation between looting a CVS and the state murder of an unarmed black man. I used to think, ok, the place that they’re burning down is someone’s workplace. It’s someone’s go-to place for medicine and other things.

Now, as I sit and watch the scenes unfold in cities across the United States, I now understand the looting.

When you’ve had countless obstacles stacked one by one and two by two on your plate, when you’ve stood in the middle of the street and screamed to the heavens that you matter just as much as Karen and Chad, you get tired.

If you’re not going to hear my voice, I have to show you my pain by all means necessary.

And if it means looting and burning down a building, so be it.

You failed to listen to my voice.

Help Keep Big Easy Magazine Alive

Hey guys!

Covid-19 is challenging the way we conduct business. As small businesses suffer economic losses, they aren’t able to spend money advertising.

Please donate today to help us sustain local independent journalism and allow us to continue to offer subscription-free coverage of progressive issues.

Thank you,
Scott Ploof
Big Easy Magazine

Share this Article

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *