September 29, 2023

Do They Care?

Like Michael Jackson, the King of Pop said, “They don’t really care about us.” It is no secret that gun violence has sent shock waves through our nation. We also know that racial inequality remains in every aspect of life. Gun violence has not only impacted our nation, but it has shattered our Black communities. Racial inequality not only exists in our justice system, prisons, housing, and job opportunities, but also through gun violence. We have said that the system is not working, but in hindsight it is. It is doing exactly what it was created to do-lock up as many Black and brown people as possible.

The Center for American Progress (CAP) has reported some disturbing statistics that are not too surprising. First, “Young Black Americans (ages 15 to 34) experience the highest rates of gun homicides across all demographics.” Our young people are dying by the hands of nonsense. Our future is dying because our government chooses to ignore the lives that have already been lost especially for Black and brown kids. CAP also noted that Black Americans are ten times more likely than White Americans to die by gun homicide.” They don’t really care about us! And why would they? In their minds, the more Blacks that get killed, that’s one less Black person they have to worry about.

However, it must be stated we can’t expect change from others until we hold ourselves accountable for our own actions. Black on Black crime has to stop. We can’t keep killing each other and then demand change when others kill us. We have a government that was not built for us. We have a government that was founded without us in mind because we were considered property, not people.

We also have a governor who has a self-agenda and blames everything on mental illness. Yes mental illness is real, but we can’t make that as a continued excuse for everything. Just think about what Governor Aboott wants to do now, which is to pardon a convicted murderer. Daniel Perry, who is white, was just found guilty of killing Garrett Foster, a white military veteran, who participated in a Black Lives Matter protest against police brutality in Austin, Texas back in July 2020. If Perry was Black, would he have a chance at being pardoned? And what about justice for this family who now has to relive this moment that changed their entire lives. We have a president who is demanding change but is blocked by Republicans. They don’t really care about us! Just look at the last few events and what has transpired.

We even witnessed racial discrimination when two out of three representatives were expelled over protesting on the house floor in regard to the Nashville shooting. Both representatives, Justin Jones and Justin Pearson are Black, and the third representative, Georgia Johnson, who is white, was not expelled. She took part in the same protest but was not met with any consequences. They broke house rules by using a bullhorn to speak when they were not asked or recognized to speak. Their mics were even cut off when they started talking about gun violence. A topic that is not being talked about enough with legislation. Considering the state of our nation, acts like this are needed to get the attention of those who believe nothing is wrong. As Malcom X  said, “by any means necessary,” and that is what they did. This expulsion was an abuse of power and intentional racism at its finest. When Johnson was confronted by reporters on how she avoided expulsion, she said, “It might have something to do with the color of our skin.”

But how many people must die in order for change to happen? How many more kids need to die to get an honest conversation going about how this is a problem? The Nashville shooting and now the Louisville shooting that has left six people dead, including the shooter. This now seems to be our norm. The shooter was white and of course mental illness is a part of the  conversation.

Everything we are witnessing is just history repeating itself. And we can thank integration for a lot of our problems. Integration truly hurt our communities and the Black race as a whole. Integration started with the historical Brown v. The Board of Education outlawed segregation in schools in 1954 and Ruby Bridges became the first Black person to integrate a school in the south. Since then, we have never been the same.

We can also contribute a lot of problems to the Dixiecrat (also known as State’s Rights Democrat). According to Britannica, Dixiecrat is a “member of a right wing Democratic splinter group in the 1948 U.S. presidential election organized by Southerners who objected to the civil rights program of the Democratic party.” They were against racial integration and defied federal regulation. They were also in favor of the Jim Crow laws and other elements that contributed to racial segregation.

If we are not careful, we are going to lose everything our ancestors fought for. Dr. King wanted separate but equal. We are separate but we have never been equal and we won’t ever be until we decide to wake up, learn about our history, educate this history to our kids so we won’t enslave our future. George Santayana said, “Those who do not remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”

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