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Tag: Jacqueline Bediako
Toxic environments, as evidenced by human exposure to dirty water or polluted air, are deadly for everyone. The police, or band of brothers, who fill quotas and shoot first are also toxic. To connect the dots completely, we must understand how police brutality and toxic environments are inextricable forms of violence that impact communities. We must understand how this violence intersects and demand an incompatible alternative to what we now endure.
Historically, Black children have been exposed to a racist system, which not only exposes them to unspeakable violence, but also criminalization. In 2018, Black children still need protection. Through the life of Trayvon Martin and others, community members and organizers are standing up for the basic rights of Black children to ensure they make it through each phase of their childhood – and exercise their right to be children.
There is a powerful Black population in the U.K., which relishes the richness of their roots. Here, hairstyles, fashion, cuisine, music, celebrations and traditions are woven into an intricate tapestry of life and prosperity. Blackness is celebrated at cultural centers, exhibitions and events that bring communities together. Some of my favorite Black musicians hail from the U.K. And so, despite the persistence of white supremacy, Black Britons continue to thrive.
Gentrification is the process in which neighborhoods where people of color have lived for years become desirable, especially from the viewpoint of the white gentrifier. This process frequently begins, but most often ends in the displacement of long-time residents. It seems contradictory that white hipsters who support progressive movements, liberation and climate justice are the very people who contribute to the elimination of marginalized communities.
With President Agent Orange sitting in the White House surrounded by his harem of small-handed Klansmen, we must understand that this homogenous group of fascists is intent on wreaking havoc on intellectual strength. We cannot sink into the depths of mental despair and spiritual neglect. This is exactly what they want. The tyranny of a totalitarian regime and the suffering and oppression that ensues is nothing new to the Black psyche.
I ain’t gonna front – I shed tears when Trump and his minions were elected. The impending doom that is a Trump presidency is the result of a white America unable to swallow the conspicuousness of Black perfection, and a corollary of white rage. Black people have been shot, burned and lynched, but we did not die. Our hearts and minds have been subject to unspeakable trauma, and still we got back up. Persistence and lightenin’ spits from our fingers and truth is our ammunition. This is all too much for white America. Our perfection is our savior and it should not be feared.
Donald Trump is the consequence of an America in which a white man with money is automatically bestowed with power and political freedom. Despite his blatant stupidity, repulsiveness and toxic influence, he remains a presidential candidate – to me this is ridiculous. An imposed hierarchy means that my voice as a Black woman is the last to be heard. Cue Solange Knowles and Michelle Obama to deliver me from this angst.
The recent deaths of Alton Sterling, 37, and Philando Castile, 32, at the hands of state-sanctioned violence are additional tragedies in an endless list of Black victims, and a reminder that premature Black death continues to take center stage in the Black narrative. With our heads in our hands and our eyes swollen, we keep asking, when will Black lives matter? White silence about these atrocities is almost as dangerous as the hand that pulls the trigger.
On March 4, I heard Angela Davis speak at the Beyond the Bars: Connecting the Struggles conference, which was held at Columbia University. Davis’ speech focused on the necessary abolition of the criminal justice system, specifically incarceration. As Davis spoke, I flicked through the mental photographs of Black men and women locked in cages. The story of Jamycheal Mitchell came to mind.
After reading an article that criticized Serena Williams’ physique, I threw my hands up in disgust and allowed the “angry Black woman” inside me to explode. The New York Times article wasn’t just an attack on Williams, but an attack on all women. It seems women who decide to challenge stereotypical notions of femininity are openly rejected. The idea that a woman cannot be athletic and beautiful is just preposterous.