I write this as a response to all the protests and the meetings that the black community has been having as an attempt to get people to wake up and find that respect for us. I love all of these group mechanisms as they do provide awareness and more exposure to the public. It shows that we are not going to stand for the racism and brutality we have quietly been facing for centuries. But I feel that asking the government is not the way to go.
There are so many ways to hold a revolution, as I understand, and am definitely not knocking, because people have different communication styles, and some things may hit people more than they hit others. But I feel our goal in getting the government to formally respect us is useless, especially looking at history. I’m going to break this down.
One thing you have to understand is that the system we hate so much is actually not failing us. Surprised? You shouldn’t be. When this country was form, it was based on the back of people of color, especially African slaves and Native Americans. The founding fathers that we are forced to love so much in history class made the Declaration of Independence as bigots. Thomas Jefferson, the main penner, was a proclaimed racist, and spare me the whole “He was nice to his slaves.” The English considered a slave someone who had lost all their humanity, someone beneath them. They were originally prisoners of war, but it evolved into the American chattel slavery that we know today. The founding fathers did not have respect for us, because we were never seen as human. We were considered property.
When we were free, they hated that they had lost their free labor, and as a result created Black Codes, which led to JIm Crow, and the newer Jim Crow that we see today. The thirteenth amendment declares, “Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.” Which meant that slavery was legal if they were prisoners. Which led to the over-policing of black people that we see today, and the convict lease system, which didn’t end in the US until 1928.
Jim Crow may not have been formal law, but it was widely accepted in America, which is what made it so effective. People of color, back people especially were belittled and still seen as less than white people, and had to undergo torture and terrorism in the form of church and house bombing, people calling and harassing them, and the KKK displaying their privilege to openly hate black people.
So, as you can see, the system is not failing us because is was designed for us to fail. We were the people they wanted to establish their dominance against, even more so than England as time went on.The system was constructed around the hate for those who do not fit into the sphere of whiteness, and it is designed to make us look like the criminals to justify such injustices.
So, since we now know that the system is not failing, we have to understand that the rights that we are demanding for are never going to be completely recognized by the government. All we have ever been in their eyes were their moneymakers, the ghost writers and ghost thinkers and ghost entrepreneurs. As people of color, we are the people that mainstream white mass likes to go and take our culture and turn things that they once mocked into trendy and chic.
Will all that, we must finally understand that we cannot expect true and complete freedom from the government. That’s not to say our asking for our rights is not effective. But we need to understand that there are some things that we can do for ourselves, despite them telling us for so long that we have nothing and will never have anything. We are an educated, gifted community. Let’s do something with it. Let’s start our own all black channels that represent black people in true form and not just in stereotypes constructed to put us down. Let’s create our own police force, one designed for us and that will protect us. Let’s help our community, feed our children, clothe them, raise them up, educate them. We may not have a lot right now, but we can turn that around. We have the power to, which is why everyone tells us the opposite. We are the ones that could lift ourselves out of this whole. By recognizing our power as a collective, we give ourselves a way to get out of these situations we continue to fall into. We need to stop asking for things and start doing it for ourselves. That is how we are going to overcome our collective trauma.