I wanted to post this after the Amber Guyger sentencing. Colonialism affects us at our core. As black and brown people we are subconsciously programmed to forgive whiteness. This was proven to US prior to Brown vs Board of Education with Dr. Clark’s doll test. Black children felt the white doll was not only prettier but nicer. Fast forward, this test still gets similar results today. So it’s not surprising to see such forgiveness from a people thirsting for acceptance from a people that continue to admit we are not their equal. I’ve stated before that the miseducation of the negro is real. Many of us that become degreed look upon our accomplishment as a type of white approval badge. In my opinion, this is more clearly seen when successful graduates of black institutions find more pleasure in sending their children off to Ivy League or PWI. We are still thirsting for master’s benevolence yet it is the victim, the oppressed, the crucified that unconsciously continue to be benevolent.
Can we yield the strength to change our course? This question burns in my heart because I pray we can but less convinced that we will.
Kanye West said earlier this year that slavery was/and is a choice. When he did, all the critics came for his blood. He even got more backlash when he spoke negatively about the 13th amendment. Yet, I watch more of our women, children, and men get modern-day lynched by police while we do nothing. Well, sure we protest and we vote but we do nothing but appeal to the government to save us. The same government that sets the very racist policies that allow prejudice police to breed, flourish and shoot us down like animals.
So, perhaps what makes us angry about Mr. Kanye West’s statement is its pure but unsettling truth. As a student of history, I know that the 13th amendment didn’t really end slavery but instead refrained it1. This is evident with the over 2.3 million black people incarcerated today. That number is 34% of the total prison population2. I also know that the Haitians were also slaves during the same time America had slaves. They were enslaved by the French but Haitians chose to fight even die to gain their independence in 18043. It’s also a fact that had the Haitians not fought and died for their liberation, African Americans would have surely endured slavery for a longer period of time4.
So, I raise this point in history because perhaps slavery was a choice and perhaps those same choices exist for us today that existed for Haitians in 1791. Will we let goldilocks take over our house again all while rooting for Goldie?
Now that I’ve added context to this I like to share in my opinion solutions. I’d first like to charge each of us to say each day in the mirror I love myself and I love all those that look like me. Say this affirmation 100 times before starting our day. This next one might take a few tries before success but consciously spend money only with black businesses. When doing so expected that we will receive extraordinary service and or product. Next go about our day first feeling magical like God has created a good thing when God created US. Now own that feeling and that we were greatness when born from our mother’s womb. Now, this next one may make many feel uncomfortable but it is necessary in order to have a real breakthrough. Think of doing something for Black Causes first and then do it. It sounds simple but it will touch something in our core and if we struggle to do so, it makes us question if we are indeed in a sunken place. Lastly, I’m going to jump in headfirst into the deep end. Find a black bank to open our accounts in. I know many might ask how will any of this change the justice system? My answer is I don’t know if it will but I do know it will change US. I do know it will change how we value ourselves and each other. I do know it will transfer our thirst for benevolence from our past oppressor to our own brother and sister. I also know that the system will not change until we make it change.