I'm pretty over being told to put my hands up in the air...
Brandon O'Brien is a writer and poet from Trinidad. This is his other brain.
Caution: May contain intense critical analysis, long rants, and uncomfortable (but necessary) subject matter.
It’s finally happening.
Donald Glover is Miles Morales as Spider-Man.
Each week, we showcase an emerging artist from around the world who is already garnering attention for their work. Taking inspiration from the Saatchi Gallery’s 25-year history of discovering new talent, One-to-Watch presents some of the most exciting artists on Saatchi Art, helping collectors to identify strong emerging talent. Check out our exclusive look at artist Edwin Ushiro.
Every once in a while, saying someone nice to someone I don’t know on Tumblr is the thing that cheers me up.
Not a whole lot, but it does something, and something is always a pleasant change of pace.
Physics prints by Justin VanGenderen
And if Michael Brown was not angelic, I was practically demonic. I had my first drink when I was 11. I once brawled in the cafeteria after getting hit in the head with a steel trash can. In my junior year I failed five out of seven classes. By the time I graduated from high school, I had been arrested for assaulting a teacher and been kicked out of school (twice.) And yet no one who knew me thought I had the least bit of thug in me. That is because I also read a lot of books, loved my Commodore 64, and ghostwrote love notes for my friends. In other words, I was a human being. A large number of American teenagers live exactly like Michael Brown. Very few of them are shot in the head and left to bake on the pavement.
The “angelic” standard was not one created by the reporter. It was created by a society that cannot face itself, and thus must employ a dubious “morality” to hide its sins. It is reinforced by people who have embraced the notion of “twice as good” while avoiding the circumstances which gave that notion birth. Consider how easily living in a community “with rough patches” becomes part of a list of ostensible sins. Consider how easily “black-on-black crime” becomes not a marker of a shameful legacy of segregation but a moral failing.
Every POC got this lesson.
Got this drilled into my brain as a kid. This reminds me of that Chris Rock quote:
"I will give you an example of how race affects my life. I live in a place called Alpine, New Jersey. Live in Alpine, New Jersey, right? My house costs millions of dollars…In my neighborhood, there are four black people. Hundreds of houses, four black people. Who are these black people? Well, there’s me, Mary J. Blige, Jay-Z and Eddie Murphy. Only black people in the whole neighborhood. So let’s break it down…Mary J. Blige, one of the greatest R&B singers to ever walk the Earth. Jay-Z, one of the greatest rappers to ever live. Eddie Murphy, one of the funniest actors to ever, ever do it. Do you know what the white man who lives next door to me does for a living? He’s a fucking dentist. He ain’t the best dentist in the world. He ain’t going to the dental hall of fame. He don’t get plaques for getting rid of plaque. He’s just a yank-your-tooth-out dentist. See, the black man gotta fly to get to something the white man can walk to."