Search

Fierce Femme Warrior

I have come to believe over and over again that what is most important to me must be spoken, made verbal and shared, even at the risk of having it bruised or misunderstood. -Audre Lorde

The Master’s Tools

– “For the master’s tools will never dismantle the master’s house. They may allow us temporarily to beat him at his own game, but they will never enable us to bring about genuine change.” -Audre Lorde

 

This quote by Audre Lorde really resonates with me. As I have gotten older been in and out of academia. Learned the ways in which my identities play a part in how I navigate the world. This quote becomes more and more true in my life, as I see how the systems actively work against us. This quote comes from a larger piece by Audre Lorde on her experience being invited to a New York University Institute conference. This won’t be a summary so I encourage you to read it on your own when you can. But what does this quote mean and why is it important to me?

What this quote means to me is exactly what she is saying. For the master’s tools will never dismantle the master’s house. They may allow us temporarily to beat him at his own game, but they will never enable us to bring about genuine change. As I have navigated in and out of academia and education, I have been made more aware of the violence, atrocities, and brutality brought upon black people. I want to dismantle and destroy the current systems that are designed to kill me and people like me. I don’t want to reform them and I don’t want to change the system from within.

In particular, I have had a lot of non-black people tell me that I must work within the system to bring about change. That I must work my way into the systems that oppress and kill me, that I must be tolerant of ignorance, that I must be respectable. That I must break my bones to fit into a system that was never made for me. The system thrives on my broken bones because while I was contorting myself to fit, I am so broken that I can no longer help anyone else, let alone myself. To the people telling black folks how we should achieve our liberation. I have a question for you. When has working within the system ever brought about institutional, systemic, and systematic change.

When has successfully working within the systems that be, ever led to true liberation and true equity. Let’s think back to slavery. Like most things in American history the pain of black suffering has been watered down. The savior, freedom, and abolishment of slavery has been boiled down to an old white man. When I think back from my High School Civics class. Who was the one credited for ultimately freeing the slaves? It was Abraham Lincoln. You may say that he did because he had the power to free them. While that may be true in a sense, that power ultimately led him nowhere but a civil war.

Some of us are aware of Harriet Tubman. An amazing woman who risked her freedom countless and countless times to free the slaves. We rarely here about Harriet Jacobs, we rarely hear about the slave revolts, we rarely hear about the slaves who freed themselves. Were they working within the system? Did they work within the system that literally killed them every single day?

Well, you may say, it was different back then. Well yes, that is true. But even if you made your way from the field to the house, you were still a nigger. I say this because no matter how respectable, how presentable, how much schooling you have. At the end of the day the first thing people notice, if you are black, is that you are black. So working within the system did not work during slavery and that is relevant to where we are now.

Where did the abolishment of slavery lead us? It led to lynching’s, Jim Crow segregation and the condemnation of blackness. Let me  talk about The Condemnation of Blackness. The Condemnation of Blackness is a book written by Khalil Gibran Muhammed, this book examines how blackness became deviant by default. How black people were the first group of people to ever be studied and how that reinforced racism and ideals, in not only the South but the North as well. Whether it be studying Jesse Owens, for the “extra” muscle in his leg, the cranium studies, or various forms of ethnomethodologically black people were studied. This led to the enforcement of Jim Crow Segregation.

Jim Crow segregation was de jure. De jure segregation is segregation that is sanctioned by law. This means separates water fountains, separate but equal, denying black folks the G.I. bill, and other forms of segregation, discrimination, and racism that were legal. Years and years of this, is what ultimately led to the civil rights movement. But did they work within the system to achieve liberation?

For me that answer is no, most of what they did was considered illegal. Though the laws were unjust they were legal. Most of what civil rights activist did was considered illegal. No matter how unjust the laws were, you can’t work within in the system, if you are breaking the laws that hold it up. By breaking the law they couldn’t have been working within the system. This led to the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and various other civil rights protections signed into law. But did this make black people more safe? Did this make black people more free?

What this ultimately led up to was de facto segregation. This is racial segregation, that happens “by fact” rather than by legal requirement. After the civil rights movement, we move into a state of de facto racism, segregation, and discrimination. Whether it be for black people wearing their hair in braids, locs, twists, or other forms of natural hair and getting fired or reprimanded for it. Refer to the hotel firings of many different black women for wearing their hair natural in the 1980s. It was the implementation of the war on drugs which was started by Richard Nixon in the 1970s. Which in turn created some of the largest law enforcement agencies that still stand today, like the Drug Enforcement Agency.

Why is this important? Because it leads us to the carceral state in which we live. It’s the war on drugs of the 1980s and the “crack” epidemic, the racialization, and criminilazation of marijuana. Which demonized a whole community of people. They achieved this by showing  images of black people getting their doors kicked in from drug raids. Black babies being born addicted to crack, and being born premature, and predicting the troubles their lives would hold. It was the questioning of black mothers being the sole responsibility for the black community and all its failings. It was a creation of the “welfare queen”, which still holds true today. It was the five grams of crack cocaine being a 5-year minimum sentence versus 500 grams of powder cocaine for the same amount of time.

You might be thinking well Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan were conservatives and we know now that they are racist. The thing about it is, it is not conservatism that creates this chaos that is white supremacy. It is the white liberal who holds the glue of white supremacy together, by disguising their racism. Naomi Murakawa’s, The First Civil Right: How Liberals Built Prison America, examines the very myth that our prison system and mass incarceration was created and reinforced by only conservatives. It examines the role of progressives, democrats and liberals parts in creating our current police state. They were the one’s who built this notion of colorblindness. Which included sentencing guidelines, mandatory minimums, and coded language under the guise that it would be cut and dry and give judges less discretion. Thus reducing bias. Every part of our legal system disproportionately affects black folks negatively. Whether it be the ones behind the bars or the ones getting killed by the state. Murakawa goes on to explain how the Clinton Administration is highly responsible for mass incarceration as we know it today.

Okay, so why is all this important to understanding the Audre Lorde quote stated at the beginning? This is to point out that even when we are given what seems like freedom. For example, affirmative action, civil rights act, voting rights act. It is still put there in place to keep us down. This little bit of evidentiary explanation is to get you to understand how black people have never been free and if we have it was for 5 minutes.

Where did mass incarceration, mandatory minimums, and coded language lead us? It leads us to the present day. We are still not free. We are still not close to being free. It is true I am not physically shackled by chains. However, so many black people are in prison shackled and being forced to work for free in abhorrent conditions.

Yes, I can sit in a class with a “diverse” group of students. However, schools are still funded through property taxes, which disenfranchises poor black students. Because the quality of your education is based on the privileges and disadvantages that are mostly beyond control. Black kids are not being sent to time out, detention, or suspended. They are arresting six year olds and putting them in the system earlier and earlier.

We are still being lynched and they are still gathering around to watch us die. It’s not ropes, trees, and postcards anymore. It’s state sanctioned violence, a video recorder, and social media. We are still getting killed without justice. Emmet Till was beat to death and his murderers got off. Tamir Rice, Eric Garner, Freddie Gray, Sandra Bland, Aiyana Jones, Trayvon Martin and the many more people who have also gotten murdered with no justice.

We still don’t have a right to defend ourselves or our bodies. Marissa Alexander for firing a warning shot to escape abuse. The New Jersey 4 for defending themselves from a vicious and brutal homophobic attack. To then get attacked for their race, their gender and their sexuality. Cece McDonald defending her life from a transphobic attack. The countless other black people who are imprisoned or dead for defending not only their bodies but their right to exist without fear and without violence.

Look at it this way, the house is white supremacy and the tools that perpetuate it and keep it up are white privilege. So tell me, as a black queer femme, how can I use the tools of white privilege. I can never benefit from white privilege, because I am not white. I can use the few privileges that I have to bring about change temporarily but then ultimately they will never work long term. When has there ever been true equity and liberation for black folks? Because I cannot think of one single time. If our legs are free, then they shackle our arms. If our arms get free, then they shackle our legs. We have always been chained.

The election and 8-year presidency of President Obama does not erase that. Unless all of us are free, then none of us can be free. I will never free myself without freeing everyone else. This means everyone; all black people. Sex workers, poor people, disabled, homeless, drug addicts, incarcerated, educated, conservative, innocent, or guilty. But this liberation will never, has never, and can never be achieved by working in systems of white supremacy. You cannot reform something that was created to be violent. That would only be making the violence a little less violent, but it would still be violence. Unless the system is dismantled, destroyed, and rebuilt; I can never be free. So I ask this again, to all the people who think that liberation can be achieved through the systems that oppress us. How can that be achieved and if it’s never been achieved before, why can it be achieved now?

 

 

 

 

 

References

Books

The First Civil Right – Naomi Murakawa

The Condemnation of Blackness – Khalil Gibran Muhammed

The New Jim Crow – Michelle Alexander

Lockdown America – Christian Parenti

Arrested Justice – Beth E. Richie

Queer Injustice- Andrea J Ritchie, Joey L. Mogul, and Kay Whitlock

 

Articles

The Masters Tools Will Never Dismantle the Master’s House – Audre Lorde.

When Black Hair is Against the Rules – New York Times 2014

Police handcuff six-year old – CNN 2012

 

 

 

 

Racism Perpetuated in the Classroom of Higher Education.

I took a class on human trafficking. Here is my response to the class. I read some of this in class, but got too much anxiety and go too scared to say it all.

 

This is not about the people who have come and speak and shared their stories. This is more about the overall structure of the class. But I feel there was a key element missing.

I just have to say that I am disappointed in this class. I understand that this is a two-day seminar and everything cannot be covered. However, the imagery and rhetoric that continued to be reiterated throughout the course I found had racist undertones and perpetuated a lot of harmful imagery on who was the victim and who was a perpetrator.

With coded language like all American family, upper middle class, suburban these all translate to mean white, which historically has been seen as worthier victims. While images of black and brown men were flashed on the screen as being the big bad wolves, who are doing all the trafficking. This is not saying that black and brown men don’t traffic but this rhetoric and undertones that perpetuate harmful stereotypes of black and brown people as predominantly the ones who do the trafficking and are the predators. A 2011 Department of Justice Report found that sex traffickers are white, Black, Hispanic, and Asian, with no one racial group forming a majority.239 Overall, research indicates there is no main prototype of a sex trafficker based on race, nationality, gender, or even age group.240

 

The anti-trafficking movement has continued to co-opt imagery and language of chattel slavery to human trafficking today while simultaneously marginalizing and leaving out communities of color, specifically women of color who are disproportionately affected by trafficking. However, I feel like this topic on race has been left out under the guise of learning about these policies that are designed to be color blind, meaning that they are supposed to help all survivors and prosecute everyone regardless of color. However, the very foundation of how institutional racism and systematic oppression work I know that this not the case. While I appreciate the people who took time to come and speak with us and their stories.  I think that human trafficking and the problem of it cannot be talked about without also discussing or even reading about how racism takes a part in the disproportionality of who gets trafficked, who is seen as a victim and who is criminalized. I feel like it’s a very important topic that needs to be discussed in a class like this.

 

 

Statistical information taken from UCLA Law Review’s 2015 study on the Racial Roots of Human Trafficking by Cheryl Nelson Butler

 

Thank You for Taking Us Over That Line.

Accurate, positive representation of women of color is so important. Accurate, plentiful positive representation of all people of color is so important. However, I’m focusing on womxn of color. Last night (September 20) an award show was on. Last night history was made. Not one, not two, but three dark skinned black womxn won Emmy awards. Viola Davis was the first black womxn to ever win an Emmy for best leading actress in a drama series.

The 2015 Emmy awards was celebrating it’s 67th year. In the 66 years prior, no black woman had ever won before. Was it because black womxn were less talented than their non-black counterparts? No! In one of the most eloquent speeches I have ever heard, Viola Davis walked on stage with her natural hair and her flawless dark skin and began her speech with a quote by Harriet Tubman from the 1800s. Somehow, the words originally spoken by Harriet Tubman and delivered by such a powerful womxn like Viola Davis, those words still rang true. “In my mind, I see a line. And over that line, I see green fields and lovely flowers and beautiful white women with their arms stretched out to me over that line. But I can’t seem to get there no how. I can’t seem to get over that line.”

The tried tropes of black women being the stripper, prostitute, or sassy black friend. Or the Latinx womxn speaking with a thick accent, talking of escape from a generic drug and war torn country south of the American border. While speaking of the horrors of illegally “jumping” the border. The subservient, docile and submissive homogenized Asian womxn embodying a mix of various cultures and blurring them into one. Womxn of color are rarely ever portrayed as more complex than stereotypical or for comic relief. Unless they are in a show that is predominately characters of color. However when most of the characters aren’t white, the movie or show then turns into (insert racial group here) film. I’ve read many articles referring to shows like Empire as a “black” show.

The barriers womxn of color face to be seen, to be recognized, to be heard is a daily struggle. Probably one of the most quotable lines of the night was when Davis said, “The only thing that separates women of color from anything is opportunity. You cannot win an Emmy for roles that are simply not there.” The whitewashing of the TV and film industry is still very prevalent to this day. The casting of Rooney Mara as Tiger Lily in the new Pan, Emma Stone as Alison Ng a womxn of Chinese and Hawaiian descent and the whole cast of that terrible movie I don’t even like to think about (Avatar the last air-bender), films about biblical era’s that are heavily featured in Egypt are played by white actors. Not only are womxn of color being passed up for mainstream roles because they can’t imagine the character being a poc, but they are getting passed up for roles that should go to them because directors want a “household” name, which usually means white.

Growing up, black women were rarely cast as multidimensional characters. They were never cast beyond being the abused drug addled sex worker, who becomes strong in the end, subservient roles in which they were mammies or the help, or a savage that needed to be tamed by the handsome white prince. I recently attended a comic book convention and got the pleasure of getting a photo op with Nichelle Nichols. If you are not familiar with who that is, look her up, she broke so many color barriers by being cast in Star Trek in the 1960s. Martin Luther King Jr. cites her as the first black women to play a non-stereotypical role. She encouraged a lot of little black kids into believing they were good enough and they were smart enough for careers in space and science.

Star trek premiered in 1966 and just about 50 years later true representation is being shown. Womxn of color are no longer the back drop to growing up in the projects and being abused. That is some of their stories but it’s not the only story. We don’t have to be broken before we can rise up. Even as I grew up as a child of the 90s and the early 2000s, I rarely remember any mainstream television shows or movies that portrayed women of color as multifaceted characters. I haven’t seen every movie in the world and I was a kid so I don’t remember everything. I’m speaking from personal experience.

I remember feeling very perplexed and somewhat uncomfortable when Halle Berry and Denzel Washington won their Academy Awards. They are both very talented actors and they both deserved the awards they got. But when I was older and finally watched and understood Training Day and Monster’s ball (as I was too young to watch them when they came out), I wondered why the only roles that black people could win big awards for, were when they were being over-sexualized or portraying very violent characters who broke the law. I wondered this because I have seen many great movies featuring black actors where they aren’t playing roles that perpetuate negative stereotypes.

Without the push of social media and women of color demanding to be more than the punchline (looking at you pitch perfect 2) things have slowly started to change. Octavia Butler won for best supporting actress in the Help and Lupita Nyong’o won for 12 years a slave. But I still have to wonder can black womxn only win roles when they are portrayed as subservient. Viola Davis’s historical night I believe can cause the shift that women of color are more than the harmful stereotypes that keep them from those opportunities Davis mentioned in her speech.

There’s a shift in the way women of color are portraying themselves and they way they are being portrayed. The many stars choosing to wear their hair natural, something I don’t think I would have seen ten years ago. The unapologetic, strong, powerful black women that are becoming more common on my screen. “So, here’s to all the writers, the awesome people that are Ben Sherwood, Paul Lee, Peter Nowalk, Shonda Rhimes. People who have redefined what it means to be beautiful, to be sexy, to be a leading woman, to be black. And to the Taraji P. Hensons and Kerry Washingtons, the Halle Berrys, the Nicole Beharies, the Meagan Goodes, to Gabrielle Union.”

Here’s to all these people, these strong powerful womxn who I have grown up with. The womxn who are telling young black kids that they are okay just the way they are. That the darkness of their skin, the curl of their hair, the fullness of their lips doesn’t make them ugly or less desirable.

Here’s to the people telling young kids of color there’s no one way to be. That speaking a certain way, talking a certain way, looking a certain way doesn’t make them more or less (enter racial/ethnic minority here). I’m black because society has constructed the hue of my skin to have contextual, historical, and social meanings attached to them. Although they are social constructs they are still very real. I wish I grew up knowing that my black was beautiful. I was always told by my parents but I was surrounded by images, pictures, words, and everyday interactions that caused a lot of unnecessary internalized hatred, that I’m still trying to unlearn.

When Viola Davis, Uzo Aduba, and Regina King won last night it was like a wave of relief entered a place dominated by white men. When those acceptance speeches were made it was like something I had been waiting on my whole life, even though I did not know I was waiting for it. It was that breath of relief that kids of color could see people who looked like them being successful and being powerful. . Young black kids can be named most beautiful person (even though I don’t agree with that kind of shallow forms of ranking) it still has an impact, just seeing a woman like Lupita Nyong’o on the cover of People has an impact. I’ve never seen so many beautiful black womxn that resembled me in mainstream films and television.

My hope is that by these actors being recognized for their talent and being brave enough, strong enough, and having enough leverage to talk about the racism that they experience, even when receiving the highest honors in their industry. It will make it a little easier for the next generation of womxn of color to demand to be more than just a stereotype. More than just dead hooker #2. My fear is that this media industry that is run by the heteronormative patriarchy that thrives on white supremacy, as giving us a bone for the next 50 years a womxn of color doesn’t win. A bone of tokenizing one person to speak for an entire group of oppressed people. I hope that this is a step in the right direction and not same excuse used countless times to erase the intersectional struggles that a lot of us face everyday. So congratulations to Viola Davis, Uzo Aduba, and Regina King. Thank you for making it easier for the next generation. Thank you for making that insecure black kid, that still lives inside me feel better, and begin to erase the internalized hatred I was taught by the media. Thank you for letting me know it’s okay to be black. Thank you for existing in all your wonderful glory.*

*I really want to thank all the directors, producers, actors, and all the moving parts that go into every part of the film and TV industry that make it possible for people like Viola Davis to have a platform and pushing them over the line.

(If you haven’t watched Viola Davis’s speech I encourage you to go watch it).

Introduction to this blog

Hi!!!

Welcome to my blog. I am glad that you decided to or accidentally stumbled across my blog. This is a semi-constructed, semi-critical thought out blog. Mostly, this blog is just made up of my everyday experiences specifically pertaining to the fact that I am a queer woman of color living in America. These are my jumbled thoughts and own lived experiences of what that exactly means, being a queer black female in 21st century America.


Disclaimer!!

I decided for this blog there needed to be a little disclaimer. I, in no way, have to write this disclaimer or am I obligated to have to explain myself. *Sigh*, however I am going to because I think it makes it easier for me when dealing with either ignorant people or people who get easily offended when marginalized groups voice their struggles. I have learned from posting “rants” via Facebook, that mentioning my struggles or the communities as a whole, when it pertains to queerness, blackness, or womanliness tends to offend the feeble-minded.

What I mean by this is that people get sensitive if they feel like you’re excluding, accusing, or blaming them for your particular struggles.

Exclusion: For example, if I say that women with dark skin are beautiful. There’s always that one (or few) person(s) who has to say well, [insert other race here] are beautiful too. I pose a question: What in the statement that I made is excluding [insert race here] or claiming that dark skin women are the most beautiful?  There is none. I am simply stating my belief, that dark skin women are beautiful despite the fact that we are taught to hate ourselves.

Accusations and Blame: I think accusations and blame go hand in hand, because when someone feels accused of a certain problem in our society, they also feel as if you are blaming them for that problem. We live in a society controlled by social media. We have movements going on that are being preceded by a hashtag(#).

For example, #blacklivesmatter, #whyIneedfeminism, or #endrapeculture, these movements try to examine a patriarchal society that so long has thrived on white supremacy, on a wider scale. The analysis of our society on a macro level. Somehow, people get personally offended and must insert themselves while diminishing the struggles of a marginalized community. Such as, exclaiming that #alllivesmatter or #notallmen. Obviously… I am aware not all men and I do believe that all lives matter. However, for these particular movements that is not the point, as well for my blog. If you can not understand the basic concepts of what I am trying to convey, then this is not the blog for you.

 


Lastly

This is my blog. I am talking about the struggles of my everyday life and how my societal interactions pertains to me and characteristics about me. If you can relate that is great. If you cannot I hope that you will maybe learn to understand or even empathize with me.

If not this blog isn’t for you.  I hope you enjoy.

Black Lives Matter

“White liberals of the 60s, many of whom saw any statement of Black pride and self-assertion as an automatic threat to their own identity and  [as] an attempt to wipe them out” -Audre Lorde

The echoing sounds of a hurting nation, screaming black lives matter. In light of the recent killings of many of our unarmed black men, we want to tell the world that our lives matter. There has been no justice, there will be no peace and it is a pattern that we are tired of being repeated. As the internet is littered with articles, the news is filled with stories, and the life of another black man is taken; we take to the streets and say black lives matter.

However, so many white people see our assertion of our worth as a direct threat to the value of their life. By merely pointing out that we live in a society that socially, economically, historically, and culturally gives certain privileges to white people we are somehow diminishing their whiteness. By saying that black lives matter does not mean that all lives don’t matter, it means that my life matters as well, not more. Why is saying that black lives matter such a threat to the identity of your whiteness? This “is based on the fallacy that… my defining myself will somehow prevent or retard your self definition.” Audre Lorde: Scratching the Surface. Proclaiming that black lives matter seems to be a direct threat to white supremacy.

Supremacy: the state or condition of being superior to all others in authority, power, or status.

Racism: a belief or doctrine that inherent differences among the various human racial groups determine cultural or individual achievement, usually involving the idea that one’s own race is superior and has the right to dominate others or that a particular racial group is inferior to the others.

The black lives matter movement is not the same as black supremacy or black racism. The black lives matter movement is about inequality in a justice system that is meant to keep us down. It is about receiving the same treatment and the same benefit of the doubt as our white counterparts in the eyes of the law. It isn’t about dominance or superiority. It is about how we no longer want to be responsible for our own deaths or the violence that is brought upon us. Your insecurity of the threat that the assertion of black lives matter, is a reflection of your fear to lose your white supremacy. In no way has the movement said black lives matter more than other lives. The movement says black lives matter the same as other lives. Yet the same people who scream ‘not all white people’ are the same people who say ‘well if black people weren’t criminals then…’ and are quick to generalize a whole race of people when it is their race being “threatened”.

It is not okay to diminish the struggle of a people because it makes YOU uncomfortable. By diminishing someone’s struggle is to have a complete lack of empathy. Recognizing that black lives matter isn’t erasing the fact that you may have personally struggled in your life. Black lives matter is about how no matter your socioeconomic standing, as a black person your worth is always questioned. Black lives matter is about how statistically %40 of the prison population is black, yet black people only make up 13% of the population. Some people will see those numbers and see the flaw in black people themselves. Doing this without examining the results of a society that wasn’t meant to protect us, but to punish us especially when we are content in our blackness.

We have been tricked into thinking that this a post racial society. So it’s easy for those who have not experienced racism to say it’s not about race. We have been taught that slavery ended with the civil war. We have been taught that segregation, racism, prejudice and hate ended with the Civil Rights Act. We were tricked into thinking that racism ended when we elected a black President or because there are successful black people. Which in turn means racism is over because some of us are allowed to thrive. We were not meant to survive. When black people were enslaved it was because we deserved our enslavement because we were inferior. When we were segregated, it was separate but equal because integration would be the death of a nation.

We get killed in the street with our hands up, we get killed in the street for walking in a hoodie in the wrong neighborhood, we get killed in the street for committing a misdemeanor, we get killed for holding a BB gun in a store that sells them, we get killed in the street for being a child playing with a toy gun, we get killed in the street with our hands cuffed behind our backs, we get killed in the street for playing loud music, we get killed in the safety of our own home, we get killed  for being black, we get killed for existing. When the color of your skin is enough probable cause for suspicion and sometimes the only cause for suspicion, then maybe I can understand this so-called threat you feel from the black lives matter movement.

#blacklivesmatter

2014

As I turn on my television and turn on the news, I see that another unarmed young black man has been killed by the police. The first thing that comes to mind is anger, rage, and hate for how the victim will be demonized before my eyes. The stinging sense of realization that another black family has lost their child due to a justice system that breeds systematic institutionalized racism, yes I am angry but sadly not surprised. In the year 2014 under the guise of a black President and affirmative action, society as a whole has been tricked into thinking that this world we live in is a post racial society. However, no matter how hard the media tries to portray the world as a racially harmonic melting pot, we know better.

We still live in a society where black victims of violent crimes are not only portrayed in a more harsh manner than the person who brought the violence upon them, but perpetrators of violent crimes in general. For example, Adam Lanza and James Holmes both committed horrible mass shootings and killed a lot of people. The headlines would read that they were good kids, that they were mentally ill or troubled. However, when Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown, Tamir Rice, Eric Garner, and John Crawford who were all unarmed and killed, their character came into question. We didn’t hear about their hopes, their dreams, their aspirations. They were thugified and portrayed as criminals even if they had no criminal record. The pictures that were shown perpetuated this image of young black men as thugs. They were never victimized but always thugified and demonized because of a deep-seated history that black men are always doing something criminal, which in turn justified their fate.

We still live in a society where black people have to say #blacklivesmatter! Well I say no! Why should we have to prove our lives matter on a social media platform. Why should we have to be afraid to walk out of our door? Why must we walk outside holding signs to remind people that we matter, that I matter, that our kids matter? Our lives, my life matters for the simple fact that we are human beings. I have the same wants, needs, and desires as most people, yet still in 2014 we still must proclaim that our life is worth something. I’m tired of living in a society where skin color is probable cause and existing while black is a crime. What can we do because something has to change?

Blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑