This isn’t just about George Floyd or Breonna Taylor. It’s not even just about racist police. This is uprising is about long-standing systemic white supremacy that we’ve all been complicit in for generations.
We red lined Black people into ghettos, denied them access to small business loans and mortgages, and did everything in our power to make sure Black people remained subjugated in America. And where these systems failed, the police prevailed, leveraging a “war on drugs” that disproportionately targeted the Black community for weed and crack use.
The founding fathers knew what they were doing when they wrote “all men are created equal” while maintaining their slaves.
Thomas Jefferson admitted himself that he sees the hypocrisy but he can’t bear to do without them so he continued to rape and work his slaves until he died. George Washington wrote in his will that his slaves NOT be freed until after his wife’s death — when they could no longer be alive to exploit them.
Subjugating Black people was a way of life for them. It was an essential service.
In 1775, these men fomented an armed and violent revolution against their government in response to a 3% tax, claiming that they were freedom fighters intending to create a just society. When these revolutionaries won, they turned around and built a country even more slavery laden than Great Britain.
In their view, America NEEDED Black suffering to thrive.
So we built a society around Black suffering. First, as unpaid labor for plantations. Then as “paid” sharecropper labor after 2% of the population died in the civil war to end the practice. We then built Jim Crow, the Black Codes, and the prison system to maintain the subjugation. We red lined Black people into ghettos, denied them access to small business loans and mortgages, and did everything in our power to make sure Black people remained subjugated in America. And where these systems failed, the police prevailed, leveraging a “war on drugs” that disproportionately targeted the Black community for weed and crack use. Police violence has been used to deliberately intimidate Black America into falling in line for decades.
This is no accident. This is by design.
And we (America) will have to reckon with the consequences of these 400 years of continued subjugation.
I challenge you to name me a group of people in history oppressed this severely and consistently that did not rise up. Violently.
Maybe this reckoning is what’s beginning right now.
Today in 2020, Black Americans are disproportionately suffering from:
- Systemic health disparities that cause COVID to have a MUCH higher death rate in the Black community
- Higher unemployment than white America due to being concentrated in “essential” jobs as a result of their lack of access to decent education and outright discrimination in the workplace
- Disproportionate business financial suffering during lockdown due to lack of access to bank relationships that would have given them access to PPP loans
- Ongoing police and civilian lynchings that that have killed Ahmaud, Breonna, George, Michael, Trayvon, Sandra, and countless others
Meanwhile the stock market is enjoying an inexplicable weeks long rally buttressed by the Fed literally printing money, US corporations have taken billions in taxpayer bailout money and laid off millions of employees, and the POTUS is quoting overtly racist police departments from the 1960s to escalate police violence instead of unifying the country.
This madness in America isn’t just about one police lynching. It’s about the fact that you can’t have America without Black suffering.
And Black America has had enough.