10 weeks ago, in Charleston North Carolina, an unarmed black man (Walter Scott) was shot in the back. The footage was caught on video. Today, his murderer sits in a cell next to last weeks Charleston Shooter, as many are now calling him. After killing 9 people, Dylan Roof went on the run and was caught 16 hours later by Law Enforcement. Once captured, FBI began to question Roof. Shortly after that, according to a statement given to the Charlotte Observer, they took Roof to Burger King because he said that he was hungry.
Two months ago, 25 year old black man, Freddie Gray, was arrested by police, taken into custody, and critically injured in the transporting van. He fell into a coma and died due to injuries to his Spinal Cord. His death would lead to ongoing protest in downtown Baltimore. Pending further investigation into the incident, the six suspected police would be suspended… with pay.
I know it annoys a lot of people, the constant conversations about blacks and race. The constant eruption of discussion concerning racist whites against blacks. The constant pushing forth of articles and posts concerning the relationship between these groups of people. At some point in History, every nation of people have experienced some form of racism within the context in which we know it. Specifically, when we talk about blacks in America, the subject of slavery often accompany the explanation concerning our captivity and struggles here. You’d be hard pressed to sit in on a conversation that does not include that part of history. What people who are not black, however, must understand is that it is not just about slavery. The institution itself was very traumatic for our people and has had, as a result, a dramatic effect on us so much so that it leaves a mental stain even until this day. However, this alone does not make our story unique, though it plays a pivotal role. Just as other nations have been discriminated against, other nations too have seen some form of slavery (though not to the extent of our confinement). This is the commonality of our servitude. The difference however, is this:
The reason you will always hear of blacks when discussing racism is not just because they have been slaves, nor is it simply because they have been mistreated once or twice. But in addition to slavery, being black in America also has to do with our affliction in America. We have not been slaves for 400 years, but we have been afflicted for nearly 400 years. Since 1619, when the first blacks were brought through the ports of Jamestown Virginia to begin what we know as the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade, we have been mistreated and afflicted for the entire time that we have been in this land. Meaning there has not been a let up; not one moment of peace and it has been nearly 400 years, this is what makes our captivity unique. From slavery, to Jim Crow, to police brutality, racism and discrimination, high prison population, drugs, disease, you name it, we’ve seen it. Name one instance in History, from 1619 forward, where blacks have not experienced some form of humiliation.
Others have been, and are mistreated, but none outside the so called African American can produce documentation that will prove that their people have endured one continual stomping, blow by blow by blow for nearly 400 years straight. Blacks were not part of the U.S. Constitution, they are an add on; an amendment if you will. And this is the difference between having been a slave and having endured a continual affliction even after that slavery has ended. Thus, while we have not been in physical chains this whole time, we have been afflicted this whole time (aside from the affliction of chains) more than any other people. Our psychological troubles then, and the anger built up among many of our lost brethren, is because they have seen their people as constant targets.