For centuries, time and again, we have witnessed the often-gruesome murders and cruel treatment of black people in the hands of the white man. Throughout the world, people of black skin have been subjected to mistreatment and often-biased judgment based on the pigment of their skin.From false rape accusations by embarrassed white lovers to outright racist extrajudicial killings, such as the recent asphyxiation and murder of George Floyd under the unrelenting knee of Derek Chauvin, black people have always suffered harsh treatment in the hands of bigoted law enforcement. For the black man, constantly peering over the shoulder for any nigger-hating people has become second nature. Videos of racially-based harassment at shopping malls, parking lots, and even highway patrols have become the order of the day. The ascent of racism has negated the modicum of racial equality that black people had fought for through centuries, owing to the recent spike in the number of hate and race -motivated killings of black people
Even after the big wins that the abolition of slavery by Abraham Lincoln (he was assas sinated for it) and the success of the Civil Rights Movement led by Martin Luther King Jr. (who was also assassinated for his cause) brought, black people still have a long way to go to attain racial equality in the eyes of the system.
In various fields and aspects, black people have experienced racist slurs, physical and even psychological harassment from their white peers. Since slavery, blacks have experienced various discriminatory and racial injustices that have been the hallmark of black history
American history is riddled with instances of institutionalized racism, from the poll tax that made it difficult for black people to exe rcise their right to vote tothe marginalization of black soldiers who engaged in the First and Second World Wars and even the stark opposition that interracial marriages have historically faced, and still do in some parts of the US.
African Americans have also been faced by systemic racism in the criminal justice system, facing harsher sentences and worse treatment for perpetrators of various crimes than white criminals with similar crimes.
Innocent black men have been shot dead based on suspicion and convicted on flimsy evidence by predominantly -white juries who see the black skin as a surefire identifier of guilt.
Moreover, Jim Crow laws, denial of access to medical care such as polio vaccines,and the use of black people as human test subjects fornew drugs and vaccines are other ways in which systemic racism has been instituted against people of black skin.
While the killing of George Floyd may be one of the most publicized killings of black people, it is not an isolated incident. In 2020 alone, at least five other major and well-pub licized killings of black people, mainly by law enforcement, have been reported.
Rayshard Brooks, Daniel Prude, and Breonna Taylor are just some examples of black people who have been victims of extrajudicial killings of African Americans this year.
This number is highly speculated to be very conservative, and there may be tens of others, even hundreds, who have lost their lives this year because of the violence meted against blacks. Recent history is only a mere indicator of the racially-charged violence that African Americans have been recipients of since the age of slavery. Racial violence has dotted America’s historyfor so long that it has become an ingrained part of the culture. Incidents such as the Opelousas Massacre of 1868 and the Elaine Massacre of 1919 are only examples of the numerous times black people were lynched and brutally executed by virtue of being black.
Institutional racism in the US is not limited to universal suffrage and a flawed criminal justice system. Black people, not only in the US but also in other developed countries, have been victims of economic segregation.
In most developed nations, where black people are a minority, the unemployment rate of black people is almost always higher than the national average. More black people are unemployed in America than white people, despite the increasing levels of education among African Americans.
Moreover, a higher number of black people also live below the poverty line in the US, with an estimated 22% of black people living in poverty according to a KFF 2018 timeframe.
This number is second, trailing just below the poverty levels of Indian Americans. Wealth distribution among blacks and whites also shows a wide disparity. According to a 2016 survey by Brookings, the average net worth of a white family ($171,000) was nearly 10 times higher than that of black families ($17,150).
With money comes power, and with power comes influence. Influence and respect, which both come with money and financial power, are the only way black people can get a voice and be heard by the oppressors.
Black excellence in other fields may be mo derate or even nonexistent, but music and sport are some of the fields that black people have flourished. Field and track events and professional sports such as basketball and football are filled with black people who have been idolized and hugely celebrated in the US and across the world.
The ascent of black excellence in positions was crowned by the 2008 victory of Barrack Obama as the first black president of the United States. An antithesis of everything America stood for, the bi-racial president left one of the best legacies in his presidency and showed black people in America that they could achieve anything they set their eyes on.
The election of Barrack Obama into the white house and the symbolism of the act had a tremendous impact that crowned the small achievements that black people had made in theracially segregated America of the 20th century. Black excellence in positions of leadership, such as legislative and judicial positionsis an excellent step in creating a better world for the current generation and future generations of African Americans. It would create a stage that would allow the passing of policies that strongly oppose racist practices andenable the establishment of equal opportunities for people of all color and maybe contribute to the establishment of a just and fair justice system.
More acceptable attitudes and growing edu cation levels and venture capital funding for black entrepreneurs and businesspersons have helped fuel the economic development of African Americans in the US. Other successful careers such as in music and sports, have also increased the amount of wealth controlled by the black community in the US and increased the amount of money that the black community can invest in.
Famous entrepreneurs such as Beyonce Knowles and Jay Z are prolific business people who have set an excellent example for other African Americans.
The accumulation of wealth among black people means the availability of disposable income that can be used in the fight against racial injustice. Wealthy philanthropists such as Mary Ellen Pleasant, a former slave,who contributed her financial resources to the Civil Rights Movement are a perfect example of how wealth can be used in fighting institutional racism.