A few days ago I was reading Dr. Sherman Abdullah Jackson’s book Islam and the Blackamerican and he retold a story of how a slave owner killed a Black slave child. The Black slave child was lying in the field crying. The slave owner walked over to the baby and bashed the head in with a cane. The slave owner then said “someone come clean up this Black rat”. Fast forward to a few weeks ago to Darren Wilson pictured standing over a dead Michael Brown in Ferguson.
This is the reality of being Black in America then and now. State sanctioned violence against Blacks has been a reality since the first slave ships left West Africa and it still rings true today. Americans are calling America a police state now, Black Americans have known America as a police state for centuries. The first British slave ships carrying “indentured servants” landed in Jamestown, Virginia in 1619. This ship no doubt carried both European and African servants. By 1640, America was domestically manufacturing slave ships in Massachusetts. By 1660 states started to pass fugitive slave laws. African American slavery by this time was legal and a full blown practice. [pullquote]Americans are calling America a police state now, Black Americans have known America as a police state for centuries.[/pullquote] Between 1660 and 1865 Africans Americans found themselves in a vicious cycle of slavery which ended in 1865 when the 13th Amendment ended slavery. With this new found freedom also comes a serious backlash from certain state governments. In 1865, the same year slavery ended, a number of Southern states passed “Black Code” laws. These laws restricted Southern Blacks ability to work, vote, eat, and educate themselves. In December of 1865 The Ku Klux Klan was formed which by all means was and is a domestic terrorist organization.
Jump a little less than one hundred years later and finally, The Civil Rights Bill of 1964 was passed which gave African Americans full legal equality. Now, we are in 2014 roughly 50 years after this bill was passed. Only 50 years ago have Blacks been granted full legal equality, 50 years. So in 50 years, have we reversed the damage of centuries of slavery, Black Code laws, and segregation? In these 50 years have people stopped preaching racial divide and white supremacy in America? In these 50 years what has changed? Barack Obama….
The same Obama that told Ferguson protesters to remain non-violent while providing Syrian “protesters” with guns? The reality is Obama’s “success” is not an example but an exemption. And even if Obama is the pinnacle of Black acceptance by America this is but, one man. Our view of history is usually that as time passes, things tend to get better. This is not the case when you have a group of people violently suppressing another group of people who are trying to progress. Many people believe the system works and that Blacks should trust the system. The system has only acknowledged full Black rights for 50 years and even that is questionable, with the disproportionate amount of Blacks in prison. But, we are to believe the State system has become more rational is these 50 years.
If my thesis is unclear I wish to make it so. The institute that makes laws and enforces laws knows as, “The State” has always found excuses for the murder of Black lives. No matter if it was during slavery in 1714 or now in 2014. We must take a reexamine how history is viewed here in America. As time passes things do not inherently improve. Especially if improvement means a shift in the power structure within a nation/state.
The events in Ferguson happen all too often and too often the State is not held accountable. As you finish reading this article remember that little child who was called a “black rat” and has his head bashed in and ask yourself: “what has changed?”