I made a comment on Facebook yesterday that went nuts over fact that the police went Dog the Bounty Hunter nuts over catching Philip Seymour Hoffman’s drug dealers and I didn’t understand why… below you will find my thoughts on this tragedy, his death, The System and culture we live in.
If you’re like me, you didn’t personally know Philip Seymour Hoffman. Also, if you’re like me you probably recognized his face, maybe his name and some of the movies you may have seen him in when the news erupted of his death. The Internet, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram went RIP and into a frantic frenzy over Mr. Hoffman; and rightly so, because they FELT connected with him through his work but interestingly enough had never met him.
This man could act – hands down! He was an electrifying talent onscreen and appeared to be a good guy offscreen! I have had a few conversations with my close friends about the depth & goodness of his body of work as an actor because I love acting (and I went to college for it). In addition, this read is not a rant on his addiction or lifestyle but on the System (The Judiciary System) which I’ll explain later in this post.
I am saddened by his death because you don’t want to see people go down like that. I am also alarmed by his death because it set off something in me that pissed me off. Yesterday I read in The Huffington Post a headline that stated, “Cops Make Arrests In Connection With Philip Seymour Hoffman’s Death (UPDATE)”. Now, don’t get me wrong; I don’t endorse or support the drug dealing vocation. Therefore, I am not angry that people who sell drugs get busted and thrown into jail (that’s another post). And I’m also thankful for all of the work our law enforcement officials do knowingly and unknowingly to protect the communities they serve, love and live in.
However, I am concerned with the idea that cops are bending over hand over foot to catch the drug dealers of a white affluent male with influence when the death of a poor black men, addicted to the same crack, in suburban and urban America go unnoticed. This idea cements into my mind that “White Privilege” is still alive and thriving more than ever. Let’s not kid ourselves it’s not a thing of the past as some think. Until you are racially profiled, looked at as a thief or thug, talked to in a condescending tone and looked at as a NIGGER by some in society shut up and listen… It’s real and tangible.
So, why am I shocked about The System that is set up to incarcerate African Americans who make up 13% of America’s population and own 40+% of the America’s prison population? The tragedy of his death raises more concerns than actually putting his soul to rest in my eyes. Lord, and I hope he rest well. But it yells in a very subtle way that racial and classist undertones still permeate through our thinking and culture. More, many are unaware and or overlook these issues because of a multitude of reasons I don’t have the energy to go into [Read my article on Beyonce and Miley Cyrus]. The System is broken, has been broken and will continue to be broken regardless of who’s in office, what your pastor preaches and what programs community organizations put in place.
Granted, hearts and minds will slowly change as they are exposed to new ideas that will better their future and communities. Nevertheless, don’t expect a flood of people in a country rooted in diversity, racism, capitalism, religious intolerance, indifference, cultural traditions, idiosyncrasies & ideologies, freedom of speech and ignorance to change overnight. It takes time, prayer and action.
How do we move forward? Where does reconciliation and equality begin? What do we teach and show our children about the other side of the coin (righteousness, justice, peace, mercy, love and equality). Are African Americans brought into this world with a target on their backs because of the color of their skin (60 years removed from the Civil Rights)? Are all white people racists? Does reverse racism and classism exist? What spiritual legacy do we pass down? The System is meant to serve and protect… but who does it really cater to?
You can teach an old dog new tricks but at what expense?
Addiction and enabling an addiction is selfish and there are many routes to it. It’s no laughing matter. If you know someone stuck in an addiction here are some resources to help you or a loved kick an addiction in the ARSE:
Alcohol – http://www.aa.org/en_pdfs/smf-121_en.pdf
Porn – http://www.xxxchurch.com/
Celebrate Recovery – http://www.celebraterecovery.com/
Crack and other Drugs – http://drugabuse.com/
PEACE AND BLESSINGS in the name of Jesus Christ to Philip Semour Hoffman’s family and friends and may the God of peace give them comfort. PSH, you will be deeply missed by those you impacted.