blacks

We Will Not Forget – Black Pain and White Racism

black-lives Last night, nine Black people were murdered, including state senator Clementa Pinckney, were killed in an act of domestic terrorism while attending Wednesday night prayer services at their church in Charleston, South Carolina. State senator Pinckney was the senior pastor at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church, the oldest church in the South and it was established in 1816 by Denmark Vesey, who was later implicated in a slave revolt and was subsequently hanged. These murders also took place on the anniversary of this same slave revolt dated June 17, 1822.

If I closed my eyes, I would swear I was in some kind of twisted time warp. It is 2015 and black children are being beaten and arrested for swimming in pools designated allegedly for white people, black churches are being targeted by racist psychotics and black people are being hunted down like prey by the police. The more things change, the more they stay the same.

Although black people have opportunities now that our ancestors could not imagine, we are still not free in the true sense of the word. True freedom means being able to live a life without constant worrying about whether you or your children will become a victim of police violence because of your skin color. True freedom means being able to worship freely at your church without worrying about whether a lone, white male will come in and start shooting O.K. Corral style because his ass is deranged and filled with hate. True freedom means being able to live your life according to your standard without worrying about white retaliation. For as long as American society continues to bury its head about the sins of the past and acknowledge black pain, black people will never be free.

Although American society would like to pretend that racism is an antique of the past and that black people just need to get over it, we cannot. The reality is that a black life don’t mean shit. As long as black lives are not valued and a 12-year-old girl’s jaw is fractured and her ribs are broken by a white male police officer, we will not get over it. Until there is justice for Tamir, Rekia, Trayvon, Tanisha, and the thousands of other black people who were murdered for the sin of blackness, we will never get over institutionalized racism. This country was built on the blood, sweat, tears, and grit of Black slaves who were brought here against their will, never received any type of compensation after they were freed and whose descendants are still getting treated like shit because they are black. We will never forget so just get used to it.

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blacks, education, school

Generation Lost

Two days ago, I was minding my business, stressed as usual from not having a job when my eldest daughter called me and announced that she would be dropping out of college after the spring semester ended. Her reasons? She was tired of school and an an education does not mean shit. She also stated that having a degree does not guarantee automatic job placement and I had a degree but no job. Those words cut me to the core for many reasons. Number one: she saw me struggle against all odds to get a degree while raising three children while receiving welfare and never once did I consider dropping out. Number two: after everything African Americans have gone through to hear a young black talk so stupidly and carelessly about an education not meaning anything sickened me. My children have been surrounded by books from the time they were born because I am an avid reader and made sure to buy them books. Number three: she’s twenty-one, no children and endless opportunities. Why not go to school and finish? Thank goodness she’s come to her senses and is now contemplating graduate school. But there are a lot of young adults with that same gutter mentality and something needs to be done about it.

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black men, black women, blacks, Editorial, History, Race, Uncategorized

Unfinished Business – Race Relations between Blacks and Whites in America

One of the least known facts about the concept of race is that that it is a socially constructed ideology. Race and subsequent racism was created by Europeans and Americans (white people) in order to justify the enslavement of millions of people (black people) for profit. When people feel guilty about an action they committed, they will often try to find ways of justifying their actions. This is what Europeans and Americans did when they decided to explain away the actions of human bondage by declaring Africans subhuman. In doing this, they changed the interpretation of history itself. A land where complex civilizations had existed for centuries was reduced to the “Dark Continent” and its people declared savages. All in the name of profit for the status quo and converting the “natives” to Christianity. The history of Africa was rewritten to make whites the conquerors who ‘civilized’ the natives. Just like in the movies.

Although ‘race’ as a description of the physical condition probably dates back to the dawn of the human species, most scholars agree that it was primarily through European expansion in the 16th to the 19th century that ‘race’ as a physical description emerged. It was when European colonizers, whose aim was mainly to seek out valuable primary products such as sugar, tin, rubber and human labor, came into contact with ‘native’ populations who were ‘people of color’ that racism became a dominant force in Western society. In order to maintain control of these populations, they were defined as inferior human beings primarily because of their different cultural practices as well as not being white, the desired and ‘normal’ skin color. However, pushing such people to the margins of society did not stop European and American men from sexually mixing with African women, producing an entire group of people cannot trace their ancestry and have no history as a result. In order to make money and conquer, race as a biological factor was constructed and became a major factor in discrimination against people who who taken against their will and stripped of their culture. This ideology rapidly spread throughout Europe and the Americas, spreading the doctrines of alleged black inferiority and white supremacy that still exist to this day. Just turn on the television.

The ideology of racial dictatorship and hierarchy quickly took root in American society by the signing of a famous document, “The United States Constitution.” This document states emphatically, ‘We the People of the United States.’ The question proposed from this statement is, who exactly are “the People?” It certainly was not the enslaved Africans because they were considered to be three fifths of a human being. In addition to the Constitution, the Declaration of Independence also posed many questions of racism. The Declaration of Independence was written to sever ties in which people were denied their unalienable rights. However, the Constitution was still denying several people of their life, liberty, and or the pursuit of happiness on the basis of the some as mundane as skin color. It is obvious to see that the Constitution laid the framework for a segregated, racial society in America.

Enslaved Africans were just as human as the white men whose rights were secured through the signing of the Constitution, but their rights did not matter. Because they did not have any rights, they were forced to live in a society in which the government officials did not represent them. Equality and justice was not for all, just for wealthy, land-owning white men. Almost like today. The practice of discriminating on the basis of skin color was born and would be legal until the six decade of the twentieth century. Even in the new millennium, racial inequalities still plague America and until this country can admit the wrongs done to enslaved Africans and their ancestors, this country will be plagued.

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