“A riot is the language of the unheard.” Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
Imagine having spent the past 401 (slavery started in 1619 in the United States) years convincing people that you are worthy of just existing? Imagine having built the major structures in a country, for free? Imagine your free labor being the reason why robber barons like Dale Carnegie and Andrew Rockefeller built empires while you weren’t even given the right to freedom? Imagine being granted the promise of freedom while the systems that shackled you in the first place remained unchanged? Imagine.
And this extends beyond the United States. Our entire world was built on the principles of white supremacy. Colonialism and imperialism served as the drivers that established the modern world we live in. This isn’t “new”. This isn’t about “When did race relations become so bad in the United States?”. Nah. This is about the history of the world being exposed. Hundreds of years of atrocities that were buried in the white shadow remain in the blood and subconscious of black people. Trauma passed on from generation to generation, unresolved; No respite, no change – just further oppression as time passes. They have not forgotten. They are tired. They are enraged. Rightfully so. White supremacy established systems of economics and governance that use oppression and authoritarianism as the main vehicles of maintaining “order”.
For how much longer will success, well-being, intelligence, beauty, and livelihood be defined by the standards of white supremacy? For how much longer will order be more important than justice? For how much longer will people have to conform to a certain ideal of “how to behave” to be granted dignity?
As we are witnessing today, not for too much longer. People are tired. People are are enraged. People are fed up. Rage is the least that you can expect from a people that have been deemed worthless for hundreds of years. What the fuck else do you expect? There is no going back to “normal”. Want to know why? Because normal is a patriarchy that uses the tools of oppression (capitalism, militarization of law enforcement, etc.) to enforce the pillars of white supremacy.
Support the black community. Support them with your money. Support them by listening to their stories. Support them with your bodies. Support them by not telling them how they should behave.