Even though I want to, I am not going to really speak on the details revolving around the shooting of Alton Sterling by the Baton Rouge Police Department. Reason one is because we have heard and become familiar with these type of stories all too well. Reason two is because my emotions are still at its peak, which in turn, can lead this post down an ignorant road very quickly.
There are hundreds of black men who are dead today because of a certain mentality that has been shared by millions of people that have walked the soil of this country. It’s the same mentality that decided that members of African tribes would be labeled as ‘property’ once they were sold to slave masters in the south. It’s same mentality that forced a group of teens to continuously call me a “nigger” while I walked the mean streets of Portland, Oregon. It’s the same mentality that leaves one wanting a wall to be built along the border of Mexico and motivates ideas such as keeping Muslims out of the United States. It’s the mentality that will lead to a police officer putting a bullet in a man’s head.
It’s called hate ladies and gentleman. We have all been introduced to it at one point of our lives, and boy oh boy, it’s contagious. Kids get bullied at school and lose so much love for themselves that they decide to take their own lives. Southside Chicago is filled with single mother households, where a father is not around to love a son, which consequently is a main reason why black on black crime is so rampant with little remorse or empathy.
But fortunately, I have what many may consider ludicrous—hope. On July 4, 1776, black people were slaves in this country. Now my biggest problem on Independence Day is actually seeing the fireworks and not just hearing them—I’m not going to call out the person responsible for me missing the show but if you follow me on Snapchat, you know who I’m referring to. Black people went from using different bathrooms, to me not wanting to use the same bathroom at all because the white guy who used the toilet in front of me at Union Station didn’t flush. Slaves weren’t even allowed to read, inhibiting their ability to learn all they could about the world. In 2013, I enrolled into a predominately white law school and am now one of the only members of my family with a law degree. The best part? I feel like the majority of students I shared classes with ignored the color of everyone’s skin. In the 1960’s, I would have been in the back of class, not by choice, but because that would have been my place in society.
I don’t think our generation will see the full impact of our racial activism because hate is one strong mother fucker. But in 300 years, I predict that black people are flying cars, they wont be getting pulled over for flying while black. Buying a house on Mars will be easy for people of all ethnicities, even Martians. Racist cops will be looked at just as bad as the slave masters who used to use whips for discipline. I say that because I am willing to bet $100 that there was at least one slave that believed that a black man could never escape the chains and mentality of hate and become the President of the United States of America.
Yet here we are.
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