America Sowed Seeds Rooted in Hate and We Feel the Effects Today #Montrices100DayAnniversary
(Photo Credit: Alvin Tucker)
A tear rolled down my cheek as I steadied my phone to record a scene from a documentary. That tear, out of all the others I managed to hold back, fell because I had to watch the scene twice in order to record it. It showed a Black doctor venting his frustration with what he states as, “whitey’s contributions…usually drugs” and how it has led him to seeing too many overdoses of preteens ages 13-15! (the thought still evokes strong emotions in me) I highly recommend you watch a documentary called the Black Power Mixtape 1967-1975 about the Civil Rights Movement. Ronald Reagan, J. Edgar Hoover (both DEVILS) and the CIA flooded lower income communities with drugs. Activist Angela Davis, received one of the best educations in the country and her professor stated that she stood out as the most gifted student he ever taught. She remarked, “drugs were responsible for the receding of militancy and impulses in Black communities all over the country.” Then the Reagan administration (the freaking president) waged a war on drugs and to illustrate this I will use a quote from the documentary:
“To call this a war on drugs, it evokes a very very violent image. So you have, by the mere name alone, you think of what comes with war: the violence, the casualties, the explosions, the pain, the grief, the suffering, the messiness of it all. If you are on the other side of the war you are an enemy combatant and enemy combatants can be dealt with however. The war on drugs swept everyone up, the numbers speak for themselves as the Black population comprises 13% of American citizens yet 49% almost 50% of the prison population.”
People tend to have this ridiculous notion that after slavery the trials and tribulations of Black people stopped. A lot of detrimental seeds were planted into the minds, hearts and spirits of Black people. We were the only race of people who weren’t allowed to read. After slavery we were forced into ghettos with unfit and grotesque living conditions that fostered poverty and desperation. Our communities lacked and many still lack resources and support. We were taught to hate our people and ourselves. Hence why you see so much Black on Black crime.
The U.S. incarcerates more people than any other place in the world. Incarceration rates have increased by 700% over the last 40 years, despite crime rates falling. Today America has more jails and prisons than colleges and universities (imagine the example we set as the most powerful nation in the world). And you can find these jails on the stock market of all places (think about seeing a jail traded next to Walmart)! If you desire to open your mind further on the subject I highly recommend reading a book called The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness by Michelle Alexander.
Now do you think the effects of all this utter madness just disappeared like David Blaine? Because we live in 2016 and we have internet, Barack and cameras to at least showcase police brutality? It takes one second for you to get a scar and days for it to heal. So if Black people endured over 400 years of physical, spiritual and psychological scars why would people expect us to heal overnight? Because all means of education, from history books to history teachers to the media has failed you. All life originated in Africa. Some people still believe the first Europeans settlers and the Native Americans had a successful turkey dinner followed by a friendly game of cowboys and Indians. Worst of all we celebrate holidays that mark America’s oh so ugly past.
The Civil Rights Movement happened just around 50 years ago. Even if racism ceased today the effects of a detrimental system and damaging cycles would still linger for some time to come. People generally have a lack of empathy towards others, especially the strife of Black people. And they tend to reason that we should consider fighting for everyone’s rights. They didn’t share our struggle. Doesn’t mean we don’t care because we do, however we want to make sure issues that surround us don’t get swept under the rug. I invite you to share in our fight for justice! Not too long ago torn apart by police dogs, have officers hose you down or people hang you from trees like strange fruit.
My father’s oldest brother, and the closest thing he had to a father figure, Jesse fought in the Vietnam War. He fought for America in a time when America didn’t fight for him, or us as Black people. One day some time after his return the U.S. he went for a routine X Ray due to a stomach ache and they saw a spot about the size of a quarter on his lung. Doctors told him to conclude his business dealings because he only had three months to live. He oversaw 31 churches. My father recalls watching his brother’s legs go, then his voice and how he never complained and remained positive. I remember my uncle Jesse, from a wheelchair, always talking with me and my brother about playing basketball with us when we got older.
He passed away soon after that. This gravely affected his son who had a full ride as an engineer to college. He ended up on the wrong path and soon he ended up in jail right where Ronald Reagan, J. Edgar Hoover and ultimately America wanted him.
More pain and struggle produces the capacity for more strength. Despite how the media and society portray Black people, we have emerged as an exceptional people and judging by the size of our struggle, I’d say some of the strongest people in history. Rise Kings and Queens…