Tag Archives: PROTEST

SLAVERY DID A NUMBER ON US

It seems like the entire world has come together to show solidarity for the racial injustices that we face, and it breaks my heart to see so many black people still divided.   

From classism, to colorism, to LGBTQIA+ rights, this shit has got to stop. We will never get anywhere if we continue to fight the differences that exist between us. A unified black fist can do severe damage; but, if we remain separate and battle amongst ourselves, a weak ass slap is all we’re delivering to our oppressors. If we genuinely investigate the reasons, we remain divided, it all points back to slavery. And, Boy! Slavery did a number on us.   

Slavery not only stole us from our land, but it also robbed us of our knowledge, our wealth, and our beliefs. Captors of our ancestors pushed lies into their brains, by preaching, to once kings and queens, that they were heathens, and needed to be retrained. They couldn’t handle seeing a brown society living in harmony alone; so, they turned us against one another, made a sale on our lives, and forced us into servitude. The captors of our ancestors raped our men, women, and children; forced sons to mate with mothers; and forced fathers to mate with daughters on breeding farms. If you ever wonder where the phrase “mother fucker” or “put a paper bag over the head” came from, it came from forced incest rape during slavery.   

From field nigger to house nigger, light skin to dark skin, black men versus black women, wealthy black to poor black, and the strongest, the hatred within the black community against LGBTQ+ blacks; the mental fuckery of slavery still runs ripe within our community. Slavery did a number on us.   

Educated blacks can have a logical conversation about colorism and how that affects black people in society and the media. But those same people won’t acknowledge how that tool is still used against each other, by each other. It’s no longer the slave master driving the wedge. They simply planted the seed for hundreds of years, and we’re too brainwashed to stop watering the tree. Both light-skinned blacks and dark-skinned blacks are guilty of continuing to contribute to the division. Let’s be real; if the members of the KKK put on their robes and ran through our communities, neither one would be exempt from the lynch mob. It’s time we stop giving power to an oppressive system and fight the same fight.   

***  

Slavery did a number on us when it robbed us of our riches. We come from kings and queens, so why do we not support our own? Why do we continue to give all of our hard-earned dollars to a system that oppresses us? Why? Because we no longer associate success with ourselves from our lineage of kings and queens, we associate our progress, success, and status with theirs. That is why we give hundreds of dollars to various European designers but ask for discounts with our own. A white Gucci shirt for $200, take my money; but, that same white shirt for $50 from a black-owned company, it’s too much. We don’t take pride in our own, because many don’t see the value in our endeavors.  

I won’t stand on a soap-box and say that I’ve never given my money to a corporation that doesn’t care about my black life. But during these times, when faced with so many injustices, and with so many companies donating toward the fight for equality, we have to do our part. We may not be able to donate millions to the cause, but we can push our dollars back into our communities. So, for myself, I have been and will continue to support my local shops, my local restaurants, and buy black. Stop fighting with our fists, and start fighting with our dollars.   

***  

Slavery did a number on us when I ripped us from our beliefs and forced onto us a god of hate. I saw a meme that read, ‘black people hate everything about slavery, except for religion.’ I decided to attempt to explore that.  

Who were our ancestors, before Christianity came to their land? How did we worship? What did we believe was right and wrong? I’ve asked this question to many god-fearing-Christians, and none of them can ever answer me, because all that they know has been taught to them by their ancestor’s captors. Just think about it, the Bible is simply a collection of stories; but the power interpreted by those stories, by the reader, has caused more harm than good. Think of all the wars waged in the name of religion. Think of all the invasions of civilizations in the name of religious expansion. And when it comes to slavery, the stories in the Bible were used as tools by slave masters to teach blacks that slavery was where they belonged. Hell, the only reason blacks get dressed up for church on Sunday is the tradition of showing off your slaves. As a slave owner, how your slaves looked on Sunday showed your status. So, the better the slaves looked, the more high-class you seemed. And, despite being released from slavery, we held onto that slave mentality. If the Lord indeed said,” come as you are,” you don’t need a large-brimmed hat and new pastel suit to praise.   

***  

Slavery did a number on us when it took symbols and acts of love and procreation and used them to break us down. What is the reason why so many blacks have a problem with homosexuality? We didn’t have the language before slavery. So, why is there so much dislike and hate now? The answer is slavery.   

Simple research will inform you that are places that historically had buck-breaking camps, butt-breaking camps, have the highest level of hatred for homosexuals. Just think of the damage done to a black man, when the white slave owners, or overseers, would rape the men in front of the entire black population. And despite all their resistance, they were forced into submission. Think of how that mentally impacted them for generations. Then, consider how the women and children had to stand by and see their once strong protective man forced into submission. These heinous acts, put on full display for all to see, is why there is such hatred within the black community against homosexuals. And despite finally getting our freedom, our minds remained enslaved.  

For as long as I can remember, I’ve been a proud supporter of the LGBTQ+ community. I was finally able to acknowledge my own (B)Bisexuality in my 30s, despite the fact that I have a very liberal family. I can only imagine the struggles for those whose family is religious and conservative to live their truth. 

Being a member of many Facebook groups, I often find myself in a thumb battle trying to break down the nuances on Black LGBTQ+ rights, and how if Black Lives really do matter, then All Black Lives should matter too (not just the straight black lives). I find myself arguing against comments like; gays have more rights than we do, or they’re forcing their lifestyle on us.  

I tell them that the civil rights for black people and other religions, etc. have been in the constitution since the 60s. Decades later, under Obama, there was an extension to include the LGBTQ+ community at large; but that is not MORE, that’s EQUAL. I tell them that, just because a bill is signed into office does not mean justice will always be served. If that were the case, the country wouldn’t be protesting for black rights 50 years later. I remind them not to conflate the more significant LGBTQ+ movement to be inclusive of the blacks and POCs within the movement. The first gay pride can be credited to two trans-women of color (Marsha P Johnson & Sylvia Rivera). But, the movement of then did not acknowledge trans rights along with gay rights. Sadly enough, the movement today has all but white-washed that history from its beginnings.   

Merely wanting to be free to exist is not a force. Wanting to see like representation in the media, is not a force. Wanting to walk down the street without being harassed or assaulted, is not a force; it is a fundamental human right. And the same goes for being black. You don’t have to like me, but I’m here, so you should respect me.   

***  

Again, black people, slavery did a number on us. But we have to stop giving it power today. We have to stop watering the trees planted by racists. We have to come together and march for every injustice thrown our way; because that’s the only way, we’ll make and see change. 

DEAR AMERICA, SOMETHING HAS TO CHANGE

Dear America,   

I am a black woman, and I am tired.   

I am tired of seeing people that look like me choked, beaten, gunned-down, stop and frisked, over-policed, racially profiled, and murdered. I’m tired of seeing people that look like me receive harsher prison sentences, and I’m tired of seeing people that look like me presumed guilty before they get a chance to prove their innocence.   

Last week the world watched George Floyd die slowly for 8 minutes. One cop held his knee to George’s neck, two others held his body down, and the last one stood by to make sure bystanders didn’t stop the MURDER that was in progress. The cops were called in the first place because a store owner accused him of using a counterfeit $20 bill. I don’t know about you, but that’s definitely not worth an execution by suffocation. George didn’t die because he was hurting anyone, he didn’t die because he killed anyone, he didn’t even die because he used a bill that he may, or may not have known, was counterfeit. He died because the officers of the law that were supposed to protect and serve (whose salaries are paid by the very citizens the abuse) took it upon themselves to be the judge, jury, and executioners. George simply didn’t die; he was murdered because they didn’t give him the benefit of the doubt. He was murdered because, to them, his life, freedom, and rights didn’t matter.   

Year after year and decade after decade, black people are murdered by the very people that are in place to protect us.  

Something has to change.   

***  

Dear America,   

You stole our ancestors from their native land, raped and beat our men, women, and children. You ripped apart our families and made postcards of our dead and burning bodies hanging from trees. You manipulated the words of The Bible to keep us enslaved. You offered us a glance at freedom, then changed laws to re-enslave us all over again, under the 13th amendment. You bombed our homes (Tulsa, Oklahoma; Black Wall Street). You hosed us, burned down our churches, murdered our leaders, and you released dogs on us (Civil Rights Era). You sent us to the front lines of many wars to be killed, for a country that hates us. You ran experiments on us and stole our DNA (Tuskeegee and Henrietta Lacks). You allowed your racist leaders to take off their white robes, put on uniforms and suits, and infiltrate all government levels (google that yourself). You wrote laws that were supposed to be fair and just, but black and brown people often get the short end of the stick compared to their white counterparts.   

This country was built on the backs of slaves. The contributions of African-Americans to this country are immeasurable. From gardening, science, to technology, much of what we all use today is due to an ancestor that looked like me; but you don’t care. 

When we didn’t know the language to speak, you killed us. When we learned to read, you killed us. When we marched peacefully, you killed us. When we fought back, you killed us. When we took a knee, you hated us; and you’re still killing us.   

Something has to change.  

***  

Dear America,  

It’s time for the police and elected officials to be called out and held accountable for sitting on the sidelines and allowing so many injustices to happen. As a tax-paying citizen, I have a right to walk down the street and feel safe knowing that my skin color will not be a reason I may not make it home.   

Well, what about black on black crime? You ask. — Here’s the deal. — If Pookie from across the street murders Ray-Ray, Pookie is getting arrested, tried, and convicted. Pookie will not be able to say, “I thought I saw a gun” or “I feared for my life,” then go home to a meal with his family.   

There is a lack of justice when the murder is committed by a person who wears a badge. And in more recent cases, had a badge, or is a friend of someone with a badge.   

Ahmaud Arbrey was going for a run, minding his own business, when three racists (retired officers) took it upon themselves to consider him a criminal worthy of being shot; because they claimed, he fit a description. This murder happened in February, but the local department and the elected officials felt no need to question their motives. Only after the video was leaked, and social media rained down a fiery hell-storm, were the men arrested. It later surfaced that there was no report out or description.  

A coward of a man murdered Trayvon Martin. That man left the safety of his vehicle, pursued Martin on foot, called 911 (and the dispatcher told him, he didn’t need to pursue him). He continued to follow Trayvon and started an altercation that ended with him shooting and murdering Trayvon. And despite his prior history of being prejudice, despite the fact that he initiated the entire incident, despite the fact that Trayvon Martin was defending his own life (with his bare hands), his murderer was found not guilty. Because the law said that, all that matters was a few lost minutes of a fight. And because the murderer may have experienced fear (during a fight he caused), he walked away, a free man.    

Something has to change. 

***  

Dear America,   

Officers and people with badges have to stop using fear as an excuse when they take an innocent life. The fact that cop after cop fears for their life, over a gun that is, often, never there means one of two things. Officers need to get their eyes examined, so they can be sure that what they see is a gun, or they should go back to school to pursue a different line of work. If defending a community of people is too scary for you, go back to school and become an accountant or a dentist. I’m tired of people in uniforms that carry badges, are armed with a taser, a baton, and a gun using fear as an excuse for the murder of an unarmed black or brown person. I’m tired of these same people in uniforms, having little to no fear when the perpetrator is white. They could’ve just shot up a school, a church, or a synagogue, but, for some reason, the fear the officers had when the perpetrator was black, disappears into thin air.    

Why are cops able to apprehend a white mass-shooter, for them to have their day in court. But a black man coming out of a night club (Sean Bell), a kid playing in the park (Tamir Rice), a black man selling a cigarette on the street (Eric Garner), and so many more, are not worthy of the same due-process?  

Early in May, a white man (Joshua Kelsey), who had multiple run-ins with the law since 2007, and had been in front of numerous judges, went on a killing spree and murdered three individuals. The details on how they apprehended him are still unclear. But you know what didn’t happen, they didn’t murder him. Despite killing three people, he’s still alive to see his day in court.   

And here are just a few more that fit the same profile.  

Marjory Stoneman Douglas HS in Parkland, Florida; 17 dead, suspect arrested and charged with premeditated murder.  

Walmart in El Paso, Texas; 22 dead, suspect arrested and charged with capital murder  

Tree of Life Synagogue, Pittsburgh, 11 dead, suspect arrested and faces multiple charges  

Santa Fe High School, Texas; 10 dead, suspect arrested and faces capital murder charges  

Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church, South Carolina; 9 dead, suspect arrested, tried, and sentenced to death.  

These above, white murderers, were led away from the incident with their lives intact, despite the lives they had just stolen. Where is the fear when the threat is undeniable? And why are officers so scared when the only danger of a weapon is all in their heads?  

Something has to change.  

***  

Dear America,  

Like I said in the beginning, I’m tired of seeing the gross amount of injustice. I know that it is not all cops, but if you’re silent and complacent with the officers that are corrupt and go too far, you’re guilty by association. I know that not every elected official and politician is corrupt. If you don’t address the issues of all people within your jurisdiction, or don’t do your part to set right the wrongs that happen, you’re guilty by association. Lastly, I know that not every white person is prejudice or racist. From my work to school, to my extracurricular groups, and in my dating life, the white people that I know empathize with the difficulties we face while being black; they also want to see a change.   

But, here’s the problem, if you don’t acknowledge the terrible things done to our people, and you don’t want to learn, your complacency is a problem. If video surfaces of an unarmed black person being held down and beaten by cops, and your first response is, “We don’t know the whole story,” you’re willful and blind arrogance is a problem. If you commented on riots and looting, but said nothing about George Floyd’s death, that the world is outraged by, that’s a problem. If, after everything, you still don’t understand why Colin Kapernick took the knee. You’re a problem, and I don’t know what else to say.  

It’s up to lawmakers and elected officials to make changes and hold others accountable for their actions and poor judgment. It’s time for all of us to ban together and put our collective knee on the neck of the government to push for change. We pay their salaries, so we have the power; we just have to learn to wield it. Here are a few suggestions.  

  • Let’s work to rebuild trust between the community and the officers within the community.   
  • Let’s stop trying to find excuses, and start prosecuting killer cops.   
  • Mandate periodical psychological evaluations and drug tests.   
  • Perform thorough background checks on all officers.  
  • Make it illegal for an officer not to have a body-cam and a dash-cam (on and functioning) in all 50 states.  
  • Re-train and remind officers that they work for the people, and they’re paid to serve the people.   
  • Train all officers in all 50 states, to respond with the least amount of force.  
  • Start making the officer and their precincts responsible for the crimes they commit against unarmed and innocent civilians. If officers know they’ll be liable and they can’t hide behind a badge and a lie, they’ll start thinking before they shoot.    

The change doesn’t stop there. Beyond the officer, above the precinct, sits the elected officials. It’s time for them to be responsible for their lack of action as well. Your mayor, governor, senator, congressperson, etc.. Again, your tax dollars pay for their salaries, so they work for you. When the headlines shift, the work must continue. Organize a petition, write, call, show up at your elected official’s office, and push for a change. If they appear complacent with the tragedies you and your community face, vote them out and elect someone else. Do not sit by silently and wait for the next headline or election to get in the fight. For too long, the oppressed have been playing defense and losing. Now, it’s time to ban together, execute a plan, and play offense; because I’m tired of being on the losing team.   

Something has to change.  

Sincerely,   

A tired black woman.