This is America Buddy; Black Folks Don’t Smile When in Handcuffs

I woke up this morning turned on CNN as always and the first thing I see is the Somali brother coming to America in chains, and smiling. My wife was the one who pointed out that he was smiling. I told her that clearly he was happy as were all African slaves who were drug to this country in chains. OK, so I was joking when I said that, but in reality, that brother could have been nervous as hell for all we know. I mean, the last boat-ride Africans took to get to America didn’t turn out so well. I suspect his story wouldn’t have a happy ending either.

So why is this brother smiling unlike Americans of African descent who are often subjected to the now infamous perp-walk? I mean some people as I’ve seen all over the Internet are suggesting that his smile was one of arrogance. You know, as if he didn’t give a fuck about what he “allegedly” did. Some people even have jokes about it and likened him to Eddie Murphy in the movie Coming to America. I am not going to lie, that shit was going around Twitter and made me laugh this morning. One person said he was smiling because he knew he was going to move to Queens New York, get a job at McDonald’s and meet a fine sister and live happily ever after. Him being 16yrs old, hopefully James Earl Jones shows up only to rescue him from the terrible evil empire that is America. Yes, and lets hope he shows up dressed like the King of Zamunda and not Darth Vader. Either that or he gets proper representation at his trial.

Yup, even I laughed at the thought. After which, I couldn’t help but to think of the enjoyment so many are getting from seeing the image of this guy coming to this country in shackles. I mean, all he did was hang out with the wrong crowd, right? Just like any impressionable 16yr old teenager who is easily influenced in this “get money” society, he went along with some guys intent on getting paid, right? So why should he be any different? Of course you know me, all I saw was just another Black man chains who in this case was a victim of circumstances. Let’s be honest, Somalia isn’t quite the vacation spot like San Trope, now is it?

That said, yeah, maybe time in jail for now, though separated from his family may be almost like a night at the Ritz Carlton considering the current state of Somalia. Maybe that’s why it is easy for his smile to be questioned, and maybe that’s the tragicomedy of it all. However, maybe things would be different, or we may view him and his smile differently, had he swindled, oh say a few folks out of $50 billion and allowed to stay in a Manhattan penthouse pending trial. I can’t help but to think that we’re so used to this perp-walk that it makes it so easy for us to pass judgment just based on a smile. Oh well, in the end, I guess we’ve gotten used to seeing Black men go to prison, or paraded on television as criminals that it really doesn’t matter where he lived, what or why he did what he did.

Welcome to America my brother.