August 27, 2020

The Threat of Blackness!

Century after century of rhetoric has branded black skin as dangerous.

For 250 years, from 1619 through the 1800’s, it was racist ideology which promoted that Black slaves were sub-human, violent, and unintelligent. As a result, this ideology supported and endorsed violence against Blacks to prevent slaves from having freedoms. It was acceptable for Black slaves to be killed, raped, and tortured.

In the early 1900’s, White Supremacy layered onto the fear of Black violence - the racist pathology that Blacks were hypersexual and unable to control their sexual desires for white women. These typecasts gave rise to community acceptance for the mutilations, murders, and lynching of thousands of Blacks for violations such as talking to a white woman. From 1882-1920, alone, 3,058 lynchings occurred in the United States.

During the mid-1900’s to present day, Blacks are portrayed, as violent criminals, gangsters, hypersexual beings, and drug dealers. Those fears have led to record setting incarceration rates, a constant stream of murdered Black men and women, and a cultural fear of Black people.

400 years of these reinforced beliefs have led to unarmed Black men being perceived as armed -simply by their Blackness.
These beliefs were on display for the world to see this past Sunday, August 23, 2020, when Jacob Blake was shot seven times in the back while trying to get into his car to take his children home.
When a police officer has their gun drawn on a person who is unarmed, posing no threat, and walking away and still proceeds to shoot him seven times in the back, it becomes clear that Jacob Blake was in fact armed- he was armed with “Blackness.”

American culture, has needlessly, fed us the narrative that Black Men are to be feared, are dangerous, and that violence accompanies their mere presence.

We MUST begin to dispel these stereotypes and these harmful ideas. Between 2013 and 2019, 17% of Black people that died as a result of police harm were unarmed - more so than any other racial group and 1.3 times higher than the average.

We have to put an end to the criminalization of Black men in this country. Being Black is not a crime. However, being raised on racist rhetoric has conditioned us to believe so. Black people have lived too long with these assumptions, with the trauma it causes, and the covert and overt racism it continues to reveal.

We have to do better!

We have to be better!

Please watch the videos below: