My World is Black and White, Sadly

Making a man a slave is the worst crime that has ever been committed. Not because it is more gruesome than any other crime, it’s because it can and has been used as the vehicle to justify many cruel actions. When we were taught about slavery in school it wasn’t as informed as it should have been. The time spent on the topic was short, a topic that has shaped how we live hundreds of years later was only discussed for two weeks maximum. A topic that speaks about our history, our adversities and our strength. We were shielded from the atrocities that happened, the beatings, rape, separation from family and all the other brutal punishments my teachers neglected to inform me of. Maybe it’s a good thing, maybe our minds were not ready for such images to be burned into our brains for life. Or maybe it’s exactly what we needed to ensure we knew our history and appreciated every thing we are blessed to have no matter how small it may seem. What was that white man thinking when he first thought that he was a superior being to the black man in Africa? That it was his right to subject that man to a life filled with torture. I can’t answer that but I can admit that knowing what he did has impacted my life and thousands of other lives. This knowledge lead to the need for a Civil Rights Movement. White people who were no better than their ancestors from the “old” days of slavery thinking their new slavery was acceptable. But they weren’t the only ones with this knowledge, this knowledge was also in the minds of strong intelligent black men who knew their people deserved better. They deserved to walk to school in peace, to ride a bus without fear and to exist as human beings and treated as such.

We’ve grown so accustomed to seeing or hearing that a black man was wrongfully shot by the police that for most of us our actions have been reduced to a hashtag and clicking like under a Black Lives Matter post. I am aware that there are people like Rebellesword’s¬†who will stand up for us to the point of risking their own lives but it’s like nobody is listening. The world is divided in many ways but the biggest and oldest division is that of race. Even today white men believe no black man is good enough for his daughter and black men relish the opportunity to exact their revenge on innocent white girls. Recently we learned that the “old” slavery still happens today in Libya. The story told by Victory a man of just 21 will stay with me for as long as I live. I despise crying and speak proudly of the fact that I rarely cry, as I sit here thinking about the pain I saw in his eyes as he told the reporter that he spent his entire life savings to try to get to Europe only to be thrown into slavery I’m very close to tears. He could barely say the words as he was overwhelmed with pain. Then my grief quickly turns to anger. Who the fuck are you to think that you have the right to do that to somebody. To beat them, shock them, rape them, you deserve to die. I hate that I wish for your death but I do. And that is the reason for my writing, the reason for the title of this post.

I hate that I see the world as black vs white. Us vs them. The things I’ve seen affect my mindset. Seeing a man with my complexion beaten to the ground by multiple police officers has made me hate those officers. Seeing a young boy killed by a man who suspects him of doing wrong simply because he is black makes me hate that man and the courts that set him free after committing such an act. Reading about the big companies that exploit Africa and its people for natural resources makes me want to fly to Africa and burn those companies to the ground. I’m not saying all white people are bad or I hate all of them because I don’t. There are people who for whatever reason see it as a good thing to leave the comfort of their homes and fly to a foreign country to help complete strangers have a better life. People who are willing to adopt a starving child, bring that child to their home and give them a chance at surviving. This is great but I have to keep in mind what Muhammad Ali said, if ten thousand rattle snakes are coming toward me and I have a door I can shut to stop them but one thousand meant right, I knew they were good, should I let all the snakes come in and hope that the one thousand get together and form a shield or should I close the door and stay safe? I don’t have the solution that will end racism, I don’t proclaim that my way of thinking is right. I can only say what I’ve seen and what I have seen is separation. Black and white no room for gray. I wonder if the philosophy of Marcus Garvey is the right way. Europe for the white man, Asia for the yellow man and Africa for the black man. He may be right but I doubt it’s that simple.