People are protesting in support of Black Lives Matter because the Black Community has been systematically abused by the current power structure for centuries.
While there has been some progress over the years, the results remain unbalanced and must be addressed properly. It is more than police brutality and redlining – income inequality is generational and baked into the United States Constitution. African American slaves were considered to be 3/5 of a person to help southern plantation owners flex their capital within the Electoral College – yet another reason to eliminate this antiquated provision. For centuries, Black people were not allowed to read or write and their contributions were overshadowed by those who benefitted from their efforts, insights and talents. Eventually the slaves were freed, but they never got their 40 acres and a mule – we can ask the Native American descendants about the credibility of the U.S. Government with their agreements – still being violated today.
The fight for equal rights and humanity continues to manifest. As a white male, I have witnessed injustice and experienced some, but I certainly would not claim to fully understand the extent of the continuous abuse. Yet I do realize that it is more than individual discrimination – it goes deeper. It is no accident that the big polluters routinely dump their chemical waste in low income Black neighborhoods – again currently happening with the oil pipeline at Standing Rock as well. In Miami, few may remember that Overtown was once a vibrant Black community – then they plowed over homes and dropped I 95 right through the neighborhood. Some historians acknowledge that there is still a segregation wall dividing Coconut Grove or the remnants of slave, row houses in Liberty City. The effects of history are not isolated moments – reminders for those who tune in – because it is not as easy to move past the past when the same boot is still on the communities’ necks – even if it has a shiny, new polish.
Now we are seeing a resurgence of hate crimes with lynchings, mass shootings, intimidation, vandalism and other forms of violence. Recently there have been reports of African American men hanging from trees – yet somehow the police and coroners declare them as suicides – with little real investigation. Dylann Roof shot up a Black church and killed 9 people – trying to start a race war and he was given Burger King from the police. Elijah McClain, George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Philandro Castile, Eric Garner, Sandra Bland, Tamir Rice and countless others were executed by the police and only when the populace becomes outraged does anything happen to the culprits – and even then, most of the murderers escape lasting repercussions – leaving the families of the victims abandoned from justice.
Fortunately Black Lives Matters has activated the public and a youthful wave of people are speaking out, but more needs to be done! We are seeing some response in a few cities and states, and even in Congress, but it requires substantial involvement to create the lasting changes. Even if you don’t participate directly in the protests, let your voice be heard! Contact your elected officials and stay aware of the legislation in motion – including the calls to defund the police and ending qualified immunity protections! There are smokescreens and posturing in play, but the glimmers of hope shine in the darkness! The further we defend these positive efforts, the sooner we empower a better future for all! The time is now!
Written by: C.D Flash