America was forged from a mold intentionally crafted with the purpose of sustaining White supremacy, while also systematically devaluing the indicator. The indicator which distinguishes us from our colonizing oppressors, was and is our rich concentration of melanin.
We live in a society where we are subjected to specific benefits or traumas based on a color scale of how we appear. For Black Americans, this means we are the dark vermin of our counterparts, deserving to be discarded as pests, deprived of humanity.
"Although slavery has long been a part of human history, American chattel slavery represents a case of human trauma incomparable in scope, duration and consequence to any other incidence of human enslavement."
― Joy DeGruy, Post Traumatic Slave Syndrome: America's Legacy of Enduring Injury and Healing
As a Black American, navigating our society calls for a natural desensitization towards undying trauma we experience from our first breaths to our last. When an entire community is groomed and manipulated into livestock, subjected to an othering for centuries, it impacts the collective psyche. How are we to heal, when there was never such a space offered. Anti-black tyranny has only ever persisted and evolved, it being ended, but a myth. What was emancipation worth, when shortly after spawned more systemic oppression including but not limited to Jim Crow Laws, lynchings, the war on drugs, mass incarceration and the prison industrial complex. All of which objectively deterred black well-being and prosperity, yet even now in 2018 is still deemed controversial by certain “colonizers” a denial of closure. What is buried will manifest into disease," a phrase I honor as sacred. It finds its relevance in illuminating the dynamic in which not only are we told our suffering is exaggerated, but to be silent about it in order to solve it.
Serving as a catalyst, this pushes us to deny ourselves genuine reflection over our dispositions. Therefore, tricking us into believing it is due to our own mistakes rather than a system, and guiding us away from ever evaluating our mental states. BLACK PEOPLE AREN'T INVINCIBLE, WE SUFFER FROM MENTAL ILLNESS TOO. The mixed public reaction to Stevante Clark’s valid mental distress was enough to show that many would rather condemn and dehumanize a black person than even attempt to empathize with their pain.
The Negro's great stumbling block in the stride towards freedom is not the White Citizen's Council-er or the Ku Klux Klanner, but the white moderate who is more devoted to 'order' than to justice
- Rev Dr Martin Luther King Jr, 16 April 1963
We have grown accustom to our trauma. We confuse it as just a "way of life", regular functioning, and nothing to see folks conclusions…..except it's not regular, and its far from natural. We must see this. It will not benefit our oppressors to validate our pain, so they don't and they won't. In American culture, there is this latent beast that resides in every struggle faced by the most marginalized, known as, White Apathy.
White apathy looks a lot like…..
- Denial of white privilege
- The embracing of white consumption
- Cultural appropriation/misappropriation, masked as cultural appreciation
- The majority of comment sections on news of social media video highlighting race disparages, specifically police brutality ones
- Telling the community you are a true representative and then allowing that same community to be murdered by agents of the state that you can punish but don't
- Your friend telling you how much they sympathize and aren't racist, yet fade into the background when the time comes for an action or necessary support
- THE INSTINCT TO ABSOLVE POLICE OF ACCOUNTABILITY AND JUSTIFY THE BLOODSHED OF BLACK AND BROWN BODIES IN ANY FORM
White apathy is found in abundance and we need it to be addressed and dismantled.
But the one thing that will hold us down, is Black Empathy. For generations we have bled, but for generations we have also embraced ourselves and those like us. We must instill and encourage love and support amongst one another because our time will come, we DEMAND it does. Please realize it is okay to seek help outside of our social circle or religion. In order to heal, we must start with honesty and willingness to be uncomfortable on our journey to heal, because they want us to fail. We have to want to collectively rise, so we shall. Forgo respectability, and allow individual expression and autonomy with the sole goal, of healing our community together.
Know that people that look like you, GOT YOUR BACK
Know you are worthy
Know they can't break you, even if it feels like you are in pieces
May 4th @ 8:30am - Fill the Court for Armani
May 6th @ 6pm - Whose Streets? Our Streets! Alternatives to Police
May 12th @ 6pm - Support Systems for Black and Brown Women
May 26th @ 6pm - CopWatch Orientation
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A Community Organization Fighting Structural Racism At Every Level