Does My Blackness Offend You?

Kayla Murrell, Indiana University of Pennsylvania

DOES MY BLACKNESS OFFEND YOU? Well…Does it? When you see a person of color do you tense up? Or does a wave of fear overcome your body?

No matter the reason behind people’s prejudice, we have not and will not change to appease the majority nor attempt to the make the majority feel comfortable or less guilty. What exactly do they fear? Have the minority ripped several generations from their homeland? Have the minority forced the majority to toil the land while they reap the benefits? Did the minority fight for an injustice condemned by religion, but call the majority lazy because they no longer wish to be exploited? Did the minority blame the majority for their disadvantage in life for over 400 years and tell them they need to work harder? No, we didn’t. You cannot stand in a position of power and look down on a race of which you have intentionally deprived of education and all access to upward social mobility. How do you tell someone of a race that has been systematically poisoned that they need to help themselves in order to succeed?

Blacks did not get their start in this country until the 1860s during Reconstruction, starting from the ground up, and since then we have made tremendous strides in a short time. Meanwhile, white people have been living off the work of others for centuries. No matter the great strides of this county there will always be a setback that overshadows the positivity and growth. Black people have achieved absolutely every height imaginable in this country, from Gold Olympians to President of the United States, but again we are seen as just another…  “Nigger”. So again I ask, what exactly do they fear? What is the point of African Americans leading this country if whites are still only going to see skin color? This stigma goes far beyond affirmative action and there are no longer any loopholes that compromise the validity of the accomplishments of the black race. Accept it people! We have rightfully earned all victories and we have come a long way from Black Codes and Jim Crow laws. We may not have equal access, but even without it we still manage to rise above. We built this nation, we cultivated it, it is rightfully ours and we deserve all the good this country bestows upon all its people.

In light of all the events involving the black community, I have decided to make my own statement and I could not have started at a better time. I came to the decision to make my “Black Lives Matter” statement not as a part of the movement as a whole, but my personal ode to black lives and black culture. More specifically the Black Panther Party. I am militant in this campaign and I will not be compromised by the hateful opinions of bigots. From November 1, 2016 and onward, I will wear nothing but black attire as my black is beautiful, my black is intelligent, my black is headstrong, my black is rightfully rooted in these United States of America. I’m wearing black to signify the color that strikes fear into people that don’t look like me. I am wearing black to show the world that I am Black, Proud, Bold and Beautiful and no one or anything will make me feel ashamed of my blackness. My people are inferior to nothing and truthfully, the white man is scared. We can conquer anything, do anything. We are chameleons, warriors, and nothing will stop our fight. I am the fiercest being this world has to offer. My blackness should intimidate you.

For the white people who voted for Trump, it is hard to believe that so many people overlooked his racist and bigoted ideas and thought that they were not an issue. It speaks volumes about this country and how Americans really feel about people who are the “other”. It seems being racist is just a suppressed character trait that most white Americans can ignore because they are not affected. Trump is clearly not a fan of people of color and it seems America isn’t either. Hilary Clinton focused on inclusion while Trump advocates for exclusion and isolation of the minority. We can see that the people of this country still carry hatred for African Americans and believe that we are inferior. How can a country truly move forward if the people that live in it aren’t seen as equals or even rightfully recognized and represented?  This election is only solidifying the social hierarchy and keeping the wealth in the hands of a few while simultaneously oppressing the minority and taking away any opportunity for economic expansion.  

With the election of Donald Trump there is no way the Black community will sit idle as an openly misogynistic, homophobic racist runs our country. As Trump makes his appointments for his cabinet, it is very clear that he is choosing clear rightists and alt-rightists who are white supremacists and are outright racist, such as Steve Bannon. Bannon identifies with the alt-right and advocates for white nationalism. All over the country protests have erupted in opposition of Trump’s presidency, but there have also been a number of hate crimes against African Americans. In places people have been beaten, businesses vandalized, and a black church in Mississippi has been burned to the ground and tagged with “Vote Trump”. He has not taken office and already the atrocities against the groups he attack have already begun. Once he takes office in January, who’s to say that these crimes won’t escalate indefinitely?

The Ku Klux Klan has publicly backed Donald Trump and since then have planned a celebration in his honor. Trump has not yet denounced the support from the Klan and also has said little in opposition of all the crimes that have been happened since his election. This presidency will affect African Americans a great deal and we can expect this country to regress and unravel all the progress made, setting us back several decades. People fear that lynching will happen soon after the inauguration. Donald Trump has systematically appropriated racism and represents white supremacy.

With the looming doom of an openly racist President, it is a matter of time before the people erupt in protest on both ends of the spectrum and it resembles another Civil War. The race war is impending at it will be televised.