When the first leg was shackled, when the first black body forced into the hold of a ship bound for the Americas, the captains of these ships working on orders of European Crowns and European Parliaments, secured our future, inextricably, to each other.
There is no America without black people.
While the founders founded and the militias defended – black bodies worked and built the country, for free, for three hundred years.
Then came the Civil War, the bloodiest of all wars America has ever fought, to free black people from the clutches of white southern plantation owners.
Followed, very quickly, by 100 years and four thousand lynchings before The Civil Rights Movement.
And what’s fantastic is Black People are still here after all that. They’re still here with us.
Their blood is mixed with white blood and Spanish blood in the soil of this country from end to end – there’s no way to deny this.
And yet, here we are, twenty years into the 21st century still fighting this issue that, for many whites, is recent. But to quote Will Smith, “Racism isn’t getting worse. It’s being recorded.”
White people, who’ve been able to skate the issue of race for lo these many years, now have it beamed into their home LIVE and on prime time. It’s all over social media. It confronts us with the truth that men and women three hundred years ago, are still dictating to us our fate because THEY decided to engage in the slave trade. But what’s worse, is that through corporate for-profit prison systems, the prison pipeline built within public education, and systemic inequality, slavery still isn’t over and WHITES are STILL NOT FREE from the curse placed upon us by those ancient powers.
We’re still grasping those chains like the old slave masters, unwillingly, unwittingly in some cases, and unable to simply let them go because of what was decided for us.
And the cops? Why they’re just the bounty hunters making sure that black body knows it’s place. They’re the nightriders. They are the infamous Klan. And those videos we’re seeing are public lynchings.
The most recent case?
George Floyd, an African Amerian man from Minneapolis, Minnesota, was murdered two nights ago because police thought he wrote a bad check. Think about that; a white police officer knelt on his neck along with three other cops who knelt on his body for nine minutes until dead – because they THINK he wrote a bad check.
You can watch the video here. (Warning: Graphic)
So, how do we begin to unravel this? How do we start to disentangle ourselves from this mess? What must we do?
I think that it has to come from the top.
The President of The United States, along with a joint session of Congress, must apologize for three hundred years of slavery, 100 years of Jim Crow Law, and immediately start reparations. We did it for Native Americans; there’s no excuse as to why we can’t do it for African Americans.
Reparations can happen in conjunction with an Executive Order releasing all Non-violent drug offenders in prison who, upon release, will be given federally insured loans to buy into the marijuana industry if they so choose. We also end the War on Drugs.
Next, and also by executive order, all for-profit prison systems across the country will be closed and dismantled. Permanently.
From that point, a concentrated effort by federal and state legislatures to unravel decades of biased laws that cause racial disparity and inequality.
Police stations across the country, on every single level, will be subject to DOJ scrutiny, probes into culture and training, and racists fired.
Federal Legislation must be written to make it illegal for a cop to ‘shoot first and ask questions later,” when they feel ‘threatened.’ Should a police officer shoot and kill a suspect, that officer is subject to DOJ scrutiny. Full stop.
The Public-School system across the country will undergo a financial and educational overhaul. No more being able to determine the kind of education a child gets by zip code. A child in Beverly Hills will get the same quality education a child in the 9th ward of New Orleans will receive. All federal funding of private and charter schools will end immediately.
To quote my friend Michael Rowe’s brilliant post, “When a someone untrained in the medical profession, can spot a cancerous lesion on a person, the body, is very sick. For that body to survive, a series of radical treatments must happen. Similarly, when a white person can spot Racism and know what it is, the body is very sick. For that body to survive, a series of radical treatments must happen.”
If we want to extricate the chains of slavery for blacks and whites, we must be deliberate in our actions. We must act with precision, with diligence, and with radical compassion not only for African Americans but for ourselves and our mutual future.
We are bound together. Our fates intertwined in the fabric and DNA of this country.
This curse ends one of two ways, either with success or with failure.
However America ends, should it end; it will be together.
From that, there is no escape.