Tag Archives: Racism

Don’t Shoot

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If you use Twitter, Facebook, Instagram or simply watch the news, I’m sure you’ve heard about the killing of yet another unarmed black man, Alton Sterling.  The officers were caught on video by civilians in Baton Rouge. The video shows the two officers killing Sterling in cold blood. Sadly, this is probably another one of those incidents where the legal system will pull an excuse out of their ass as to why the killing was justified. Within the first three months of 2016, police killed 250 UNARMED people. What has been done? In most cases, nothing.

I can’t justify whether the police were TECHNICALLY right or wrong in the case of Alton Sterling,but time and time again it is proven that police apprehend black suspects completely different than white suspect.

As an African American Woman I feel like I have a target on my back. I know that all police officers aren’t racist and all police officers aren’t going to shoot without just cause, but they don’t come with warning signs on their foreheads. “There aren’t bad officers just bad people with badges”, as Dr. Jesse Jackson III stated. Whenever I see a police officer behind me in traffic I get nervous, not because I’m doing anything wrong,but because I don’t have to be doing anything wrong for them to pull me over.

Let’s discuss a few facts and statistics:

Education

Education is suppose to be an equalizer,right?  African  Americans are twice more likely than Caucasians to not finish high school. It is also more difficult for African Americans who graduate from college to find a job compared to Caucasians with the same level of education.

Legal System

Let’s say a Caucasian man kills an African American and an African American man kills a Caucasian man. Both crimes were committed in the same manner, in the same state. The Black man is more likely to be charged with felony murder. Black youth are also more likely to get charged as adults than White youth. But, White privilege doesn’t exist, right and the justice system is equal,right?

I hate walking into a store and being followed because the owner is under the assumption that I’m going to steal because I’m Black. I hate being spoken down to because people assume I’m not intelligent because I’m Black. I’m tired of working ten times as hard to earn something that was just handed to someone because they are White.I’m tired of being scared for my life because I’m Black. It’s almost as if Black people are being hunted. We get harassed if we’re in certain neighborhoods because people think we can’t afford to be there because we’re Black. We get pulled over and searched simply for being Black.

I try to tell my family members, friends and social media followers not to harden their hearts to an entire race of people. I try to keep people uplifted, letting them know that we can’t harden are hearts and exhibit hate. It is important now more than ever to pray for one another, to look out for one another and to speak up for ourselves and for others. In case you haven’t realized by now this is why the movement #blacklivesmatter is so important. Not because our lives are more important than others, but because they are equally as important and we do not deserve to be shot down in the middle of the street like dogs.Our lives matter because we are HUMAN-BEINGS. I would also like to add that while I understand that we need to highlight these meaningless killings, I do not agree with making a video of HOMICIDE go viral. Have we forgotten that people like Alton Sterling have children and family members?  While police brutality and these deaths are no secret, I don’t believe that we should sub-tweet,re-tweet, Etc these gruesome videos in respect for ones family.

April 30, 2014: Dontre Hamilton (Milwaukee)
July 17, 2014: Eric Garner (New York)
Aug. 5, 2014: John Crawford III (Dayton)
Aug. 9, 2014: Michael Brown Jr. (Ferguson)
Aug. 11, 2014: Ezell Ford (Florence)
Aug. 12, 2014: Dante Parker (Victorville)
Nov. 13, 2014: Tanisha Anderson (Cleveland)
Nov. 20, 2014: Akai Gurley (Brooklyn)
Nov. 22, 2014: Tamir Rice (Cleveland)
Dec. 2, 2014: Rumain Brisbon (Phoenix)
Dec. 30, 2014: Jerame Reid (Bridgeton)
March 6, 2015: Tony Robinson (Madison)
March 31, 2015: Phillip White (Vineland)
April 2, 2015: Eric Harris (Tulsa)
April 4, 2015: Walter Scott (North Charleston)
April 19, 2015: Freddie Gray (Baltimore)
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Skin Deep

 

 

It’s February, which we all know, whether you like it or not is Black History Month. I debated about writing a post like this for several reasons. Black History Month, slavery, race, the Black Lives Matter movement, etc. are very controversial topics/issues among Americans. Nonetheless, let me go ahead and exercise my First Amendment Right, FREE SPEECH.

I’m sick and tired of people asking me,”are you mixed”, “what are you”, are you foreign”. These are some of the most ignorant questions I’ve heard people ask. My birth certificate states that I’m African American but the history of my families roots is a different story and frankly, it is nobody’s business, unless I choose to make it their business. I hate when people pose the question “what are you?” I’m a human. What are you? I’m fully aware that ignoring race is a part of the problem but I can’t help but to stop and think… why does race pose such a problem and/or create such a threat?

Some Caucasian people look at me funny because they think I’m too dark to be White and some Black people look at me funny because they think I’m too light to be Black. Can’t I just be Amber? Why is it that we are so color struck despite the obvious history of our country? I truly don’t understand. I wasn’t raised to judge people based on the color of their skin, or appearances in general. I hate being judged because I’m a Black woman and it’s not always by the White community. I feel as though someone always wants me to prove my blackness, or as if I always have to validate my intelligence because of my blackness…it is exhausting.

I find it interesting that people still use terms such as “The White Man” as if the entire race of white people is still trying to oppress Black people. I understand where the term came from but come on! As a Black woman, I have broken myself from the institutionalized  chains that “The White Man” controls my every move. I will not be intimated into thinking I’m “less than” because of my Black skin. I will not be forced to feel inferior because of my Black skin. I will not behave a certain way because of my  Black skin. I will not like anything any more or less because of my Black skin. And I certainly will not let who I am as an individual be charged to who people think I am because of my Black skin.

As people, I think it is important to recognize our difference and rejoice in them.  We need to start conversations. We need to address race as an issue. We can not expect to move forward if we constantly sweep everything under the rug and act as if praising Black people for one month out of the year compensates for the years and years and years of oppression that our ancestors were forced to endure in this very country.And I speak for myself when I say this, Black people have to learn to free themselves. If the system won’t educate us, we must educate ourselves. We must learn to invest in ourselves, we have to free ourselves from the illusions that we can’t own businesses or be doctors and lawyers. We have to free and rid our children and our generation of statistics. We have to free ourselves from this mental imprisonment that we were once forced to take ownership of.

Now…I’m curious as to when we’re going to come together and create a better tomorrow for our children? When are we as a community going to unite and stop allowing these police officers to kill our babies? When are we going to unite and teach our babies not to kill our babies? When are we as a human race going to show compassion and understanding towards PEOPLE…regardless of their skin color. In case you didn’t come to this conclusion…we as PEOPLE have a lot of work to do both separately and collectively.

I’m tired of being hated simply because of my skin color. I’m tired of being uncomfortable in certain areas or around certain people because of the color of my skin. I’m tired of being told I’m acting light skin. I’m tired of being told I’m acting White because I speak proper English. I’m tired of being forced to fit into a bubble because of the skin I had no choice in choosing. I’m tired of reversed racism and I’m tired of being tugged at. I hope that one day and it might not be any time soon but one day I can just be Amber. Amber the author. Not Amber the light skin girl, not Amber the “I think, she thinks,she’s a white girl”,Amber. I just want to be Amber, not being judged by my skin, not feeling forced to prove myself in every arena of my life because of my skin and not being pressured to live up to someone I’m not because of my skin.

 

I leave you all with this question,”Can you laugh at yourself without attributing it to your race…Can you own up to good/bad habits without attributing it to your race?”

 

 

Color Blind

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I usually do not make blog post this early in the week but I had something heavy on my heart and mind that I wanted to write about. As an African-American, people assume that I should be angry because “my people” are constantly being killed unjustly and brutalized in the legal system and constantly being stereo-typed for the color of their skin.  Does that make me angry? Yes,of course it does. But, it makes me even more angry that those same people don’t believe that I should be angry if it happens to someone outside of my color range. I’m probably one of very few people who is outraged by the injustices facing all people.  I also HATE how Black people kill Black people literally  everyday over women, drugs, material possessions and social media commentary and you barely hear a whisper about it. Do we not realize that we hate our own kind? We as a nation should be angered that any HUMAN-being is being murdered, raped, or taunted… regardless of their skin complexion. Yes, Black people have been treated horribly over the last hundred + years and quit frankly they still are and I’m in no shape,form or fashion trying to minimize that issue. But, I will not walk around un-bothered when a Hispanic,Asian or Caucasian person is wrongfully  murdered, mistreated or convicted.. Yes, racism and segregation are alive and well.Yes, we are technically “free” but we live in a day and age of modern day slavery. Some of us are mentally in chains. Some of us lack knowledge which keeps us chained. And yes, Black people tend to always be the target. But, I was raised that right is right and wrong is wrong, regardless of your sexual orientation, skin color, and/or religious creed. Justice is defined as,”just behavior or treatment. A concern for justice, peace, and genuine respect for PEOPLE.” I want justice for all people. I want children of every color and people of all color not to be scared of the police. I want people to love one another for who they are and not hate them because of the color they had no choice in deciding. I want us to celebrate our differences. I know these changes may never happen and if they do they will not take place over night. But, what kind of future are we creating for our children if we carry on like this? I also hate how so many people think violence is the issue. History shows that violence destroys more than it helps build.We get on social media and run our mouths but what are we doing to make a change? What are we doing to bridge the color gaps? What are we doing to change as individuals so that history doesn’t repeat itself? I encourage us as people to think outside the box, to work together for common goals and to love people even if we don’t like them. As Gandhi once said,”we have to be the change that we want to see.”