In Search of Blacktopia: is there a place where Black Americans can be safe?
Forgive me. This is a rant. It isn’t organized. It is a free flow of my thoughts.
Is there any place where we can be safe? That’s the question I always ask when I see a Black American face discrimination, a hate crime or be unjustly murdered by the police or by civilians. That’s the question I always ask when Black people are victimized again and again by the injustice of our supposedly fair court system.
I am going to be honest. My father’s family has been in this country for over 300 years, generations of us have proudly served this country and yet I feel like an unwanted house guest here. I feel like I am without a country. I am without a home because of this country’s White supremacy.
I feel this way because Black people live in communities where we are targets for gangs, the police, and racist neighbors. We live in a country where the world’s oldest terrorist organization isn’t labeled a terrorist organization because the terrorists are White and the people they targeted are Black and our nonBlack allies. We live in a country where the actions of White racists are brushed off as mental illness while one act by a Black person is representative of millions of Black people. We live in a country where Black children are transformed in to beastly adults by the media, the police, the criminal justice system and even our neighbors justifying and even encouraging their slaughter because Blackness is seen as a weapon. We live in a country where I am constantly reminded I am unwanted, but tolerated as a second class citizen. We live in a country that refuses to admit that its continued systemic racism creates the conditions for racist and terrorist acts. Because of this, I am reminded every time my people are discriminated or killed the words “land of the free” and the Constitution wasn’t meant for me.
Where can I go? Is there a place where I can walk? Is there a place where I can swim? Is there a place where I can talk to the police? Is there a place where I can go for help after I am injured in an accident? Is there a place where I can shop? Is there a place where I can stand on the corner and hang out with friends? Is there a place where I can play in the park? Is there a place where I can sit outside? Is there a place where we can worship? Is there a place where we can go raise our kids and not have to worry about racism? Is there a place where we will be judged by the content of our character instead of through the lens of racists? Is there a place for me and my family? Is there a place where I can simply exist and just be? Is there anywhere I can go and be free? Sadly, we know not even our home is safe for us.
I am tired. I am tired of begging for people to recognize my humanity. I am tired of jumping through hoops and walking on egg shells while contorting my looks, where I travel, my mind, and my existence to have people respect and acknowledge my existence. I am so tired that we are bombarded daily with reminders of the United States’ ingrained antiBlackness.
I just want to know where is my place? Where is my home? Where can I be safe? Where can I be free? Where is my Blacktopia?
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