Just saw this on Facebook, thought it was worth sharing :
"I was angry when I drew this, and I'm angry writing this and I've been angry a lot lately because I get told and see others get told to not make the issues faced by black and brown bodies in America about race when in fact It’s impossible to “make” it about race because things have always been about race in this country where subjugation and marginalization and prejudice and willful ignorance and myopia are so finely ingrained into its past and present that even the most blatant forms of injustice and RACISM can be ignored by/justified to people with lazy notions like “Race baiting” and "colorblindness". Everything in this country is about race. It was built on the backs of a people who have always been, since the time they were stolen from their homeland, suffering under the system of a country created for others at their expense. There needed to be a civil war in order to end slavery, and even then, do people actually think that things were just fine and dandy for black people after that? There has always been a struggle for black people because there have always been people who don’t see black people with the same level of humanity as they see themselves, and there have been, as time goes by, more and more people who are simply unwilling to look at the past because it’s easier for them to not identify any problems, even though others don’t have that luxury. After slavery, there were people who still saw black people as slaves, after the Jim Crow segregation laws were lifted, there were still people who wanted white only fountains and pools (and I’m referencing pools for a reason). There’s a traceable history of disenfranchisement that’s the cause of the perpetuation of poverty in black communities, which is, in turn, responsible for improper education, which is, in part, responsible for the massive rates of incarceration of black people, yet It’s somehow the black American’s fault for not working hard enough, despite the fact that they’ve had to work the hardest to get to where they are today, and there are still rivers that need crossing.
What baffles me and what frustrates me is how easily people claim that things aren’t about race, when even a little bit of effort to see what’s all around you can tell you otherwise. There are people who think that saying “I’m not into black girls” despite the fact that they’re upwards of 500 million of them on the planet and the color of their skin is the only prerequisite that they failed to meet, who think that it’s just a matter of preference, and not terribly racist, and it makes me sad that I have to watch my little cousin, as beautiful as she is dark, scared of being in the sun because she "can’t afford to be any darker.” and then hear backlash towards the first black first lady for reminding black girls that they rock. There are people who think that experiencing police brutality isn’t a particularly regular, fatal byproduct of being black, despite the fact that police are terrorizing and murdering black people at a rate of 1 every 28 hours. I had to make my 10 y/o cousin who’s really into battlefield promise me to throw away the plastic gun he showed me when he got home from school one day and to never go anywhere with it again, and I have to hear my 17 y/o cousin, an aspiring police officer, explain to me that if black people like Mike Brown were just more compliant, cops wouldn’t have to kill them, as if there aren’t a myriad of cases where they have still been shot in spite of their compliance, and even if there wasn't, that a police officer shooting an unarmed civilian isn’t a terrible overuse of force in the first place, justified by the labeling of “thug” (read “nigger”). I have to watch the people I love internalize and assimilate to these systems and have the issues they have to face washed out and invalidated every time CNN covers a story and asks “Is this really about race?” and every time FOX covers a story and says “this isn’t about race” and at every utterance of “All lives matter” and I’m sick of it.
It annoys me that I have friends who’s minds are already oriented towards justice, especially those who have gone to UWC, but in spite of that I rarely hear anything from them about one of the worst human issues in the the country they live in. Being outspoken about this isn’t a black thing, it’s a human thing- a matter of empathy and if you’re aren’t against the system, you are supporting it; allowing acts of violence to persist unchecked. And I truly believe that if they were to also put even a fraction of the energy they’d normally put in things like climate change into race issues, that it would lead to much bigger steps in the right direction. The blaring lack of empathy from a lot of people from the caribbean (certainly not all, but still) towards black americans also troubles me, because it’s not fair to compare the rise out of slavery in the Caribbean to the US because the two occurred under different conditions. White supremacy is a weight that continues to stunt the growth of the black american even today. To carry not only the force of a country that has always tried to push you down, but also the emotional toll it puts on you whilst being told that all of it is either your fault or an overreaction on your part isn’t something I’d wish on my worst enemy."