The most disrespected person in America is the Black woman.
The most unprotected person in America is the Black woman.
The most neglected person in America is the Black woman.
More than 50 years after these words were said by civil rights leader Malcolm X, America and it’s justice system has responded with displaced affirmation with the verdict of the officers involved Breonna Taylor’s murder. In the eyes of American justice, Breonna Taylor’s death was justified.
This is the system working as intended.
While I believe the plight for Black liberation in it’s entirety is gender agnostic, I would be naïve in not recognizing Black women are placed at the bottom of the totem pole. The mere intersectionality of being a woman in a word that is still dominated by hyper masculinity, patriarchal, misogynistic bravado — — it speaks volumes as to why after six-months of deliberation, Breonna Taylor did not receive the justice she rightfully deserved.
What if Breonna Taylor was white? What if the officers where four Black men? As you know as well as I do, justice, without a quiver of doubt, would have been served swiftly.
However, she was not white and they, the police officers, were. Whiteness, masculinity, and their duty gave them immunity to kill a woman, a Black woman. Justice in this country must wear a loosely fitting chiffon blindfold because she is not blind, at least not when it comes to justice for Black people, especially Black women.
Black women and girls are seldom seen as victims. They have always been vulnerable to violence. Throughout this country’s history, Black women have been forced to endure mistreatment like no other.
In my home state of Missouri, in 1855, a 19-year-old enslaved black woman named Celia killed the white man who owned her, raped her repeatedly for five years, starting the day he purchased her when she was only 14-years-old. Missouri law allowed a woman to use force when in “imminent danger of forced sexual intercourse,” but the judge ruled an enslaved woman had no right to refuse her “master.” Celia was convicted of murder, sentenced to death, and hanged on December 21, 1855.
This is the same justice system which found it legal to ratify the 19th Amendment, allowing women the right to vote, yet Black women had to wait nearly five decades afterwards to fully exercise this same right.
This same justice system sentenced Crystal Mason, a mother of three, to prison for five years because she mistakenly casted a vote during a period when she was on “federal supervised leave.”
This is the very justice system that did not charge a single officer in the death of a 26-year-old woman who was gunned down in the middle of the night by police officers exercising a search warrant. I guess they considered a $12 million dollar settlement to the family of Breonna Taylor enough justice in exchange for her life.
The justice system of America is extremely flawed, yet works exactly as designed; unfavorable for anyone other than white, especially Black people.
Why does this society constantly remind us how much we, Black people, are hated in this country?
Scrolling through LinkedIn and other social media timelines I once again see the frustration, hurt, sadness, and pain from so many other Black people. My white colleagues, by and large, are saying nothing. For them today is simply another Thursday and business as usual. In the grand scheme, the outcome of Breonna Taylor’s case is business as usual.
Here lies the dichotomy of America.
It is the 400-year-old line in the sand that keeps this nation from being actually united. None of this sh!t will end until white people have had enough and that is the most insane reality around all of this. I am starting to believe more and more, in order for Black liberation to be fully actualized, we likely need the blessing of the very race of people who created this asinine construct of racism in order to fully experience the liberty and justice that is evident for some, not all.
But too many of them don’t care enough to fight for meaningful change that will positively impact others than themselves. Maybe that assumption is extremely presumptuous, possibly cynical in nature, but history has not proven me wrong thus far.
As the cycle goes we will cry, march, scream, protest, riot, burn, curse, demand justice, corporations will vow to do better, politicians will politicize our pain, liberal white people will perform allyship, conservatives will not understand why we are burning property, and the shit will rinse and repeat until the next time.
I am sick and tired of the next time.
I am tired of the heartfelt, tearful conversations with my wife as we grow more fearful of raising children in a world where the system is designed against them simply because of their beautiful brown skin.
I am sick and tired of our bodies being mutilated, and our rights…not just civil manmade rights, but rights in terms of human rights as held aloft by every good book of morals in this world, being violated. I am tired of marginalization, disenfranchisement, inequity and the lack of respect we deserve as people. I am tired of Black women having to be strong all the time, yet their strength is sometimes seen as a burden, and their vulnerability is often not embraced either, While I understand her independence, strength, resilience, and where that all comes from — -as a man I want her, the Black women, to know she doesn’t have to be strong alone.
I am tired of us not receiving justice which Breonna Taylor deserved.
To my wife, mother, grandmother, aunties, sisters, friends, and all the Black women of the world — -I love and appreciate you. Your strength and resilience is unmatched. Your love and generosity is the essence of life. The way you have been treated by the world, no words can explain. Your fight is my fight, which makes it our fight. Together we will get the respect you deserve.