This week America celebrated it’s independence. July 4th. July 5th, two men, at least we think it was only two, lost their lives at the hands of cops – who are supposed to serve and protect the American citizens. Serve and PROTECT. These killings only show who today’s cops are really protecting. THEMSELVES.
Being independent means having freedom; however, in today’s society, independence doesn’t actually guarantee freedom. That’s why I did not join in on the festivities of the 4th. You see, I am a black, law abiding citizen of the United States but yet I don’t actually have my freedom. Just from watching the headlines, I’ve learned that I’m not free to run and ask for help. I’m not free to walk in a subdivision in the suburbs wearing a hoodie. I’m not free to pull out my license and registration to show after being asked to show it. I’m not free to sell goods outside of a store although the owner is okay with it. I’m not free to sleep peacefully in my bed at night. The list goes on and on and on and on.
Daily, blacks deal with discrimination. Before we are given a chance, the book’s cover is already judged and put back on the shelf before it is ever read. Not ONE chance.
For years, blacks have experienced oppression. I’m not saying that we are the only race that has been/is oppressed, but I am saying that we have been/are oppressed. To have our titles (kings and queens and even negus which is an Ethiopian word meaning to reign aka be a ruler) stripped and be put into slavery is saddening. To be called lazy and ignorant aka ‘nigger’ instead is downright maddening. Oppression, whether it’s physical or mental, is a form of slavery and it still exists.
INDEPENDENCE: Let me break it down. America became a free nation after winning the Revolutionary war and the signing of the Declaration of Independence. Slaves were excluded. The Emancipation Proclamation, which ‘freed’ slaves took effect on January 1st, 1863. Time to celebrate right. WRONG. Some slaves were not included. The last slave received word of their freedom, June 19th, 1865. TWO AND A HALF YEARS LATER. Now, that’s when I would like to celebrate my independence day.
We all know the history of what blacks in America have been through. It is one thing that is included in all history books. However, we are still blind to what independence truly is. We are not free to do a lot of things because of the color of our skin but yet, we are freely discriminated against on a daily basis.
So, what is independence to me? It’s definitely not being free while living in America. IN-depend-ence is the sole reliance IN ourselves and each other as a race. We have been kicked for far too long. It’s time to stand up, rise together and depend on/in each other. In-vest in black businesses. In-crease the positive presence in our communities. In-volve our time in our young children’s lives. In-fect the lives of our weak and make them strong.
Then watch and experience how true independence can be gained by a people.
I’m out for today.
Remember, don’t be a hard rock when you truly are a gem.