Black Liberation in the White Man’s America
by Kayla Moon | email@example.com
edited by Emma Dones
The black revolution in America is in motion, and it’s not going to disappear until this community has been set free from the imprisonment of systematically controlled terror. There are many different microfacets to all the complexities and working parts of this movement.
First, we must dissect how we got to this level of oppression and division towards the black community. Revolutionary artist Wise Intelligent identifies the black experience in America in an album titled The Blue Klux Klan. He highlights the police force and its roots in slavery, the prison industrial complex, drugs, and weapons planted by the CIA in black communities, the music industrial complex poisoning the culture, ripping apart black families, normalizing violence and hypersexualization of the youth. By the end of the album, it is painfully clear as to why there is a deeply rooted inability to prosper in America as a black person.
A lyric in a song goes “The Blue Klux Klan on a black man’s conscious/like those slave patrols and night watches/ became modern police departments/ Heartless business/ used to burn crosses/ that’s by night, daylight they wear badges/ and its been this way from day one/ send them to catch that slave when he run/ then they shoot him dead with they gun/ like they hunt and slaughter for fun/ black man woman daughter and son.”
This systematic corruption within the police force was the spark which lit the flame of the national Black Lives Matter movement. This national revolutionary movement is only the beginning of a radical era of freeing black people from the historical oppression in America. The oppression in this country is a subtle knowledge that every black person has experienced in one way or another. For the white man’s America, there is an underlying uncertainty if these are facts. In the white man’s America, the bootstrap fable continues to be pushed as a collective fairytale. In the white man’s America, it’s spun that black people shouldn’t react so negatively to the cops; or that they shouldn’t be criminals and then they wouldn’t go to prison or jail. In the white man’s America, there is a lack of understanding and genuine empathy for others’ personal experiences. In the white man’s America, there is a deep-rooted ideological sickness that is continually enforced by tradition. In this, people who don’t mirror the white mans’ reflection are treated on a subhuman level in this country and across the world. These ideologies are repeated by policies, institutions and cultural views that encourage racist behaviors.
Rather than minimizing the narratives of people of color who have experienced oppression in this country, white Americans can take a different approach by viewing this divide of the nation as an opportunity to listen to these stories. A common mistake white people make is to offer solutions that come from a place of “privilege” which in short can be summarized as a lack of personal experience with the social issue of racism at large. This type of “whitesplaining” (white people’s explanation and oversimplification of these issues) are met with backlash because of the lack of personal experience with oppression. What the white community needs to do is acknowledge systematic oppression of black and brown people and take into account the individual experiences of people of color.
The core of ignorance is to ignore subjective experience. Our role is to affirm historical evidence of systematic racial oppression but not pretend to know what it feels like to be oppressed if we have not walked in those shoes. This country may never agree on subjective stories, but we must come together in the age of revolution and agree on the objective truths that exist. Truths which can neither be changed or questioned, like the right to have access to food, clean water, housing and dignity of self. An entire collective of people in our society are under distress, and they have the right to be heard, respected, protected, advocated for, and supported. This role cannot be fulfilled by any sector of the government; it can only be accomplished by everyday people like us. Having real conversations, building authentic community, friendships, and bonds that support each other through our pains and traumas to find a healthier balance in life.