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Simply Put: Black Folks Are Fed Up
Published:
8/20/2014 5:11:00 PM

By Beverly Gadson-Birch


The protests taking place in Ferguson, Missouri in the wake of the murder of Michael Brown are the result of years of pent up frustration in the disparity treatment of blacks by the police department. It goes even deeper than that.

According to the St. Louis Post Dispatch, “Ferguson police are much more likely to stop, search and arrest African-American drivers than white ones. Last year, blacks, who make up a little less than two-thirds of the driving-age population in the North County city, accounted for 86 percent of all stops. When stopped, they were almost twice as likely to be searched as whites and twice as likely to be arrested, though police were less likely to find contraband on them (information provided by the state attorney general’s office).” This not only happens in Ferguson but it happens every day all across this country.

Ferguson, Missouri has fifty white and three black police officers in a town that is 67% black or even greater, according to the Quick Fact Profile. The murder of Michael Brown was the spark that ignited a new movement parallel to the movement of the sixties. It gets to the point where enough is enough. Simply put! black folks are fed up not only in Ferguson but all across America. In other words, Blacks are not going back to life before the sixties. You can forget that! There will be no more Yes sa Massah, no more pickin’ cotton and tobacco in blazing hot sun and snake infested fields, no more scratchin’ where it doesn’t itch and no more disrespect and inferior education.

America just celebrated the 50th anniversary of the signing of the 1964 Civil Rights Act and now this unrest in Ferguson, Missouri has captured the nation’s attention. The Civil Rights Act of 1964 outlawed discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex or national origin. It called for an end to unequal tactics in voter registration, racial segregation in schools, public facilities and the workplace. As America follows protesters being arrested by members of the police force, it takes us back to the sixties. The youths know nothing of that dreadful history and others have forgotten just how difficult those times really were. It makes you wonder if blacks are moving forward or backwards in America.

I am not surprised at what is taking place in Ferguson because when it gets to the point when enough is enough. The murder of unarmed Michael Brown by a police officer is just one instance of racial profiling or racial interference. What is happening in Ferguson, Mo is the result of years of oppression.

The initial report coming out of Missouri was Michael and a friend was walking in the street when the police came upon them and ordered them out of the street. No one really knows what happened after that point other than the officer, Michael Brown and Michael’s friend. Michael is dead so he can’t talk. The officer’s version will probably not be the whole truth and nothing but the truth and not everyone believes Michael friend’s account—at least not the police. The truth is the protest unfolding in Missouri is not just about the murder of Michael but a call for reform of the police department and procedures and a change in how America deals with its citizens. Black males have been followed, picked out and picked on since the beginning of time and simply put they have had enough.

Black mothers fear for their sons each time they leave home not knowing whether they will return home.Their only weapon against a bias and over reactive police department is prayer. Black mothers have come out in Missouri and are standing alongside their sons for justice because they know it may be Michael Brown today and their sons tomorrow.

I am a black mother and grandmother. I, too, join black mothers in prayer every day because I never know when my phone may ring and it’s the dreaded call every black mother hope they never receive that their child has been profiled and gunned down in the streets for simply walking while black, talking while black, driving while black, chewing gum while black, wearing a hoodie while back, well y’all get the point.

There is a move afoot across this country to get rid of our young black males. When you cut of the head, the tail cannot survive. What it boils down to in America is since blacks will no longer be controlled by white folks, they are dispensable. Since blacks are taking advantage of higher education, white folks feel threatened; so, there is a move to change all of that. School districts across this country are returning to segregated schools and the way black children are being educated. It takes us back to slavery days when slaves were killed if they were caught reading or writing. Education liberates and it frightens some people.

Y’all better wake up and smell the coffee. I don’t know about y’all but like the songster said, “I rather die and be sleeping in my grave and go home to my Master where I will be free.” There will not be any chains on me. I will continue to walk this walk and fight the good fight until all children are educated equally and every citizen is afforded equal treatment and protection under the law. Ain’t nobody gonna turn me around. Simply put! I, too, have had enough.
 

Visitor Comments

Submitted By: Daniel Submitted: 8/21/2014
He didn't deserve to die, that's clear. Maybe he had the cop by the neck and that's why he got shot but cops shouldn't be able to shoot to kill and not have video recording and proof to validate killing a human being. There's no way to say Brown deserved to die. That being said, what are the demands of these protests? There should definitely be some police reform, how do they not all have cameras? They shouldn't be able to shoot first, ask questions later, sure. But where's the race aspect? When you have people (of any race) acting like thugs, how do you not expect them to be singled out and watched more closely? If you're going to act like an asshole you're going to going to be treated like an asshole. I guess what I'm basically saying, thug behavior absolutely does not deserve a bullet to the head, but it sure as hell deserves an extra watchful eye of distrust.


 
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