What This Tells Us: Being Black in America, Privilege and the System

During quarantine, racism, discrimination and injustice has not regressed against Black people. In light of the injustices against Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, Kenneth Walker and George Floyd, they only emphasize the mistreatment of Black people in America, the meaning of privilege and the flawed state. 

For centuries, Black people have continuously been oppressed by the American political system. This nation was created for the same white men who made it and the agendas they’ve formed still infest the nation. 

Today, both the federal law and status quo are shaped to favor white people, leaving people of color, especially Black people, behind. As we continue to see case after case of police brutality and wrongful sentencing, murders and lynchings, they all only amplify how injustices persist. 

Unfortunately, that’s why the wrongs toward Arbery, Taylor, Walker and Floyd are nowhere near surprising. The way that injustices like these have continued to be looked over by federal powers with no justice met is disappointing and angering. Justice has never been fully met for Black people. 

And because of this oppression, to question the dissatisfaction Black people have with America’s state and social status is ignorant. Doubting the anger and pain that a Black person or the community feels is a tool to diminish the truest emotions we face against injustices. It blinds the willingness to understand the privilege a white person has in place and asserts their superiority that no struggle could be greater than their own. 

With that privilege in mind, it reasons why so many white people lack the fundamental knowledge and empathy for issues as great as police brutality that continue to hurt Black society. But, if you’re white and not feeling mad or upset right now, then there’s something wrong with you. If news like this is still surprising to you, you haven’t educated yourself. 

A Black life lost unjustified can’t be reduced to a two day trend of upset, a quick media hashtag, or something to scroll by. These injustices occur everyday for Black people, from microaggressions to blatant racist attacks. Society can no longer keep moving because white society can, but needs to halt and tackle the core of the issue: the system that empowers white supremacy.

As mentioned, the same white men who “founded” this nation established it only for themselves. It was not shaped in mind of people of color, different beliefs and different sexualities. The discrete ways that the U.S. Government and authoritative powers have targeted and disadvantaged the Black community linger throughout the nation. Race and socioeconomic status have terribly affected what are supposed to be given within America, from voting rights (yes, voting rights weren’t solved after the Civil Rights Act of 1964), housing, loans, healthcare, the list goes on and on. 

We can easily see this today and throughout history, how Black people have endlessly fought for basic human rights. And while one can argue that the system has somehow progressed because President Barack Obama was the nation’s former leader, instead they need to reevaluate their perspective. The fact that words from Dr. Martin Luther King, Malcolm X, James Baldwin, and so many more empowering Black voices can still apply to today’s societal and systematic issues should be alarming. We haven’t changed as a nation. 

Now, with all of this information showcasing how systems and society are against the Black community, how exactly can it shift for the better? By exercising the right to vote and making a commitment to educate ourselves on the things that education systems won’t bother to (which is a lot of material, especially depending on where you are in the nation). 

So, inform everyone you know who is eligible to register and vote; find ways to help communities underserved with voting sites and resources to be able to exercise their right. So many are misled to believe that their vote doesn’t matter, but really, every one counts. 

In seeking information, to make the excuse that you haven’t searched up on matters such as police brutality is wasting the knowledge you can access at your fingertips. We’re living in a digital age. It’s not Black people’s responsibility to educate you on every matter, but instead take the time to dig into information from reliable sources and communities. There is truly loads of information to find on how to get informed, aid and make a difference for the better within your communities (listed below).  

Finally, to the Black community, we are trying to survive right now. We’ve continued to live in pain and mourn so many lives lost but we can’t give up on fighting for justice. We truly are special and deserving of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness that the nation supposedly promises us. Please take care of yourselves and our community. This is not the end but each step throughout history, and now is to a greater path to justice. Black lives do matter. They always will. 

To find ways to donate, petition, and support the Black community at this time, look at these links: 

  • The Black Lives Matter website hosts several resources to donate, petition, and how to support the BLM Movement. 

Donate: 

Petitions: 

Upcoming Protests:  

Keep up with @mocoprotest on Instagram for more updates on local protests in the upcoming weeks 

  • Black Lives Matter Gaithersburg Peaceful Protest- 100 Edison Park Dr #1st, Gaithersburg, MD 20878 – Wednesday, June 10 at 11:00am- 2:00pm 
  • Black Lives Matter Protest at Main Street Pavillion- Sunday, June 14 at 3:00pm 
  • Black Lives Matter Rally against Police Brutality and Racism against Black People at Downtown Silver Spring, in front of the Civic Center- Friday, June 19 at 3:00pm

Black Counseling and Mental Health Services: & Ally resources: 

Photo by Maya Alleruzzo