First of all, Happy Juneteenth!! For those who don’t know, Juneteenth is the celebration every June 19th commemorating the end of slavery in the United States. Now, this happened in 1865, however, slaves had already been freed two and a half years earlier due to the Emancipation Proclamation in 1863. Texas, of course, was holding out on informing the slaves of the new proclamation created by the President. If you want to know more about Juneteenth, check the sources listed at the bottom of this post!
I know the past few weeks have felt like absolute hell. As Black people, not only do we have to deal with the pandemic that disproportionately affects us, but also the virus that is racism. Honestly, I don’t even really have words for everything that has happened. I can say that I remember the first time that I recognized that Black people would never get justice. It was 6th grade and I was 12. Trayvon Martin was murdered for wearing a hood and carrying skittles. His murderer got off on claims of self-defense, which is B.S. by the way. And just last year, that same man filed a lawsuit against Trayvon Martin’s family, attorneys, prosecutors, etc. of $100 million in damages. He murdered their child in cold blood and has the nerve to sue them…
This is why we march. Why we protest. Why we scream until everyone hears our cries for justice. I’ve never understood how people don’t see this in everyday problems. It’s the little microaggressions and hurtful/ignorant comments, “you’re pretty for a black girl,” “you know you’re only here because of affirmative action,” “you are so articulate,” “I’m not racist, I have Black friends,” “Miles Morales is the hood version of spider-man.” And much, much more. I’ve heard a few of those comments, but is it a surprise?
This country is rooted in hatred, soaked in the blood of Indigenous people and built off the backs of Black people. You tell me to go back to my country, but what do you respond when I tell you this is my country? I was born here. My ancestors were taken from their home and forced to come here and work for your lazy ancestors’ asses. Excuse my cursing, you can see this is a heated topic for me. It’s when I say Black Lives Matter that you respond with All Lives Matter, but are all lives being murdered at disproportionate rates for idiotic reasons. When you bring up that stupid same graphic on Twitter that white people are killed as much as Black people, but fail to realize that basic math tells you that there are more white people in the U.S. than Black people and yet we are 3x more likely to be killed by cops. And then when I say, why aren’t you mad that white people are also being killed at a high rate by cops, you’re quiet…
I grew up in the wealthiest Black county in America and if you think that means that this place is a Black haven and there is no racism, you have another thing coming. I’ve had racist teachers. “THIS ISN’T THE GHETTO” they yell at a 95% Black class, most of which have lived in the middle-middle class suburbs their entire life. The education system is horrifying, the bathrooms look like they are in a prison, classrooms are out of date, bulky tvs, and police hanging around as “security.” And speaking of police, a report just came out (a whopping 94 pg. report) detailing the racial bias and discrimination of the police department towards officers of color and civilians. Can you imagine what isn’t being reported?
This is the reality of living Black in America. When I see a cop car behind me, I’m terrified, not because I’m worried I’m about to get a ticket, but because I could get shot “not complying.” And I use quotes because it doesn’t matter if I am or am not complying, when you are the one with all the power waving a gun in my face, who swore to protect me, you are the one allowed to be scared. You are the one allowed to fear for your life. But me? I can’t.
And you know what? It’s more than that. I’m not only Black. I’m a woman. But which one comes first? Breonna Taylor. Kimberle Crenshaw. Sandra Bland. Charleena Chavon Lyles. Korryn Gaines. Alexia Christian. Mya Hall. Meagan Hockaday. Janisha Fonville. Tanisha Anderson. Michelle Cusseaux. Have you even heard some of these names? You wouldn’t because as usual, the most neglected person in America is the Black woman. People just aren’t going as hard for these women even though we are the ones at the front of these movements. Just this past week, I have seen two different Black women being undeniably disrespected and abused, one being hit in the face with a skateboard after rejecting a man and the other being thrown in a dumpster by a group of young men and being laughed at and filmed. And this was by my own people.
Do you know who else people aren’t riding for? Black Trans people, especially Black Trans women. You say this a Black problem, the police are killing Black people, and you scream for cis-gender Black men, but are quiet when Black Trans women are killed. So what is it? Are they not Black now? Will you admit your prejudice? Or will you admit that all Black lives don’t matter, but only the ones that identify as a Black cis-gender male. What will it take for you to fight for everyone? No matter who they are or what they look like? You have big talk about “Black Power” and growth within the Black community, but you refuse to acknowledge EVERYONE in the community. You are for ALL Black people or you are the ENEMY of Black people. Choose.
Do what you want with this information. Keep protesting. Keep signing petitions. Keep donating. Keep having those uncomfortable conversations with your racist family and friends. Keep telling your kids about racism. Keep. Celebrating. Black. Lives.