You would have thought after the Civil Rights Movement African Americans would have more rights in America. However, in the past years, it seems that those rights and simpler than that equality have flown out of the window.
As an African American in America, I have seen this discrimination first hand. The older I get, the worse it has gotten. It brings tears to my eyes to see people like me, especially people my age and younger, getting their lives and opportunities stripped from them. They will never have the chance to make their voices heard because they have either been sentenced to life or are looking down from heaven watching their people continue to suffer.
As the years go by, our lives will never be easier. So, here are 5 reasons why I believe it’s hard to be black in America.
1. We are always the target
There seems to be an endless list of names of African American men who have been either killed or imprisoned due to some form of police involvement. Every day in the news there is either a mug shot of a black man, awaiting 10 to life or a story about yet another one of our men being shot in the streets for being considered a “threat.” As African Americans, some policemen have put an imaginary red dot on our chest and during any sign of movement, they tend to shoot. Hands Up, Don't Shoot has become a regularly used term here in the African American community.
Whenever the reports are presented, the policemen make the allegation of seeing the person as a "potential threat" or they were simply "scared for their life.” But this question must be asked: Isn’t the African American standing before you just as scared for their life?
2. We are always fighting
Ever since the times of slavery, African Americans have always been fighting for their right to live, for their constitutional rights, and better yet, success in America. The oppression will never cease and therefore neither will the fight. The NAACP works endlessly to ensure the preservation of African American rights. But, sometimes that isn’t enough. The government, no matter how hard we try, continues to stunt our growth. It has been so poor that even here at Winthrop University we are fighting. Organizations such as the NAACP and Visible have joined together with others on campus to have a “die-in” for change. We are making our voices heard in order to get the name of Tillman Hall—named after the man –changed.
3. Racism is at an all-time high
By simply changing the name from Black Lives Matter to “All” Lives Matter is racism in and of itself. The allegation of “All” lives matter is simply pushing African Americans back into oppression. If all lives mattered, why are African Americans still having to fight for theirs? With social media platforms, racism has increased. Whether it is a Facebook post with a racial slur or a meme put on Tumblr, racist comments are spread across the world. These platforms further enable racism to exist not only towards African Americans but blacks across the world.
4. We have become more of a statistic than we were
America expects the worse from us. We are stereotyped as gang bangers and drug dealers, people who will never do more than society expects of us. From our social injustice, our statistics have increased. NAACP stays that jails are comprised of 43% of African Americans. African Americans are also 6 times more likely to be jailed than a white person in America. The more that America chooses to discriminate us and essentially deny us of our Constitutional right to a "fair trial," the more we are disabled to succeed in America. The increase of police brutality against African-Americans further decreases our chances of advancing at the same rate as the majority in America
5. Less representation in the government
Although there may be 48 African Americans in the House, there are only 2 that hold Senate seats according to the Congressional Research Service. That means that only 50 out of the 541, 9.2% of Congress is representative of African Americans. This truly is not enough to represent the 12.2% of African Americans that live in the United States. The minority in America is slowly but surely becoming the majority. Not having the representation causes police brutality to get overlooked. Even at the local level, African American’s needs and pleeds are being overlooked. It shouldn’t take a crying girl like Zianna Oliphant in a city council meeting for them to realize the problems at hand.
There will never be a solution to this pressing matter unless America acknowledges one important concept: Black Lives do Matter. As an African American woman in America, I strongly agree that our voices need to be heard.
The more that our governments at the local and national level refuse to acknowledge the prominent problems in our community, no change will occur. It will remain as it has: black families grieving being publicized across the country awaiting their justice that will never be bestowed upon them. American must acknowledge that we are humans, not monkeys or shooting targets.