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White People, Don’t Belittle The Struggles Of Others

I’m a proud member of the notification gang on the popular youtube page “ThisIsACommentary” run by Tre Melvin. At around 2 a.m. Tre uploaded this  video

He was responding to a twitter comment made by a white man that was mocking Tre’s “oppression” as a Black man because he is rich and successful. As you can imagine, the comment section blew up. The racist trolls had apparently had coffee a little too late and were up and running in full force, spewing ignorance left right and center.

One comment that really stuck out to me was

“BLM is just a huge pity party. Like dude, it’s not just black people getting killed, it’s everyone. Police brutality is an everyone problem not just a black problem. Do I think black people should be killed? No. But white people, asian people, Arabic people, they don’t deserve to die either. It’s not about race, we’re all one race: the human race. Humble yourself and realize that we’re all suffering. As a Latino, I also face different types of struggles but I don’t blame white people for it. White people aren’t the problem, there just people.”

 

You see, it’s interesting how you belittle someone else’s struggles because other people are struggling. you go to a person that has a broken foot and tell them to shut-up because there are people with lung cancer? Do you tell the families that had loved ones die in 9/11 to suck it up because more people die everyday? No, you do not. So why, in the same breath, do you belittle the deaths of black people because “everyone dies”?  Why are Black people not allowed to mourn the deaths of their grandfathers during the civil rights movements or their forefathers that fought to free them from physical chains? There is no one stopping you from starting a #HispanicLivesMatter movement or anything. If you want to start one, then start one! Yes, we are all one human race, but some people insist on compartmentalizing people based on race (it’s usually the influential people in power). I hate to break it to you, but this world is not all kumbaya. Yes, you as one person recognize that we are all one race, but there is a system in place that does not take that simple fact into account. Do you go to a food kitchen and say hey, there are starving kids in India too, so you can’t only feed these people unless you feed all of the starving kids in India. No, once again, you do not. Why do Black people have to keep quiet about their suffering? You see, you’re apart of the problem and the system that wants black people to continue to suffer in silence because, hey, at least you guys aren’t slaves anymore. Wow, we should really sit down and be thankful that we don’t have to pick cotton and tobacco anymore for our white masters WHEN WE SHOULDN’T HAVE EVEN HAD TO IN THE FIRST PLACE!

Another comment that caught my eye was

“Not every white person is a racist. not every white person applauds to how black people were treated and are being treated. no, we will never understand what the black community goes through, but you’re not the only ones who experience racism and hard times. and not just white people either. EVERYONE.”

You see, we know everyone goes through hard times just like I know a lot of people eat cereal for breakfast so should I just not tweet ON MY TWITTER that I had cereal for breakfast? No, it is his platform, and if he wants to address specific hard times that him and a lot of people that grew up in Urban areas experienced/are experiencing, then he CAN. There is this mentality of “if it doesn’t affect me then it isn’t really a problem” that is absolutely wrong. Yes he is rich and drives a nice car, so does that mean he can’t talk about police brutality especially targeting black men or the racism that he has experienced? Do you go to Bono and say hey, you are rich and you aren’t suffering from HIV/AIDS, so you can’t have a charity that speaks about and brings awareness to the HIV/AIDS epidemic? Once again, NO you DO NOT. Why do Black people have to abide by a different set of rules? Once again, it’s the moral fabric of our culture that expects Black people to stay silent about their issues because it doesn’t affect the white majority of our population because they feel bad about being left out of “the struggle”.

Another trigger phrase that triggered people love to use like this person

“But when you claim that the white man is automatically of a higher social standing because of what color he is, and is therefore in the wrong, then you my friend are racist, not reverse-racist, simply racist.” 

What this person forgets to acknowledge is THE FACT THAT WHITE PEOPLE HAVE HAD THE OPPORTUNITY TO BUILD WEALTH SINCE THIS COUNTRY WAS FOUNDED. Black people could not acquire land and properties to pass down to generations; however, white people had the opportunity to do this (it was up to them to take it or not) that’s why we have names like the Rockefeller’s, Sackler’s, the Goldman’s all wealthy WHITE families that had the opportunity to build wealth for generations to come. A lot of white kids have trust funds/inheritances passed down from their grandparents and great-grandparents, but Black kids don’t have that because their grandparents and great-grandparents had to scrape by to survive inflated prices and racists policies that prevented them from accumulating wealth and power to pass onto their children. That fact, is what makes white-people privileged. It’s the fact that all of their generations have had the opportunity to be somebody and to create wealth that Black people have been robbed of for centuries. That has nothing to do with Black people being racists, it’s just a fact. But racists love to call other people racists to avoid having themselves outed as racists. The same commenter goes on to say “that black on black crime had nothing to do with white on black crime. You could not have been more wrong. The hypocrisy shown by black lives matter advocates who claim to want to eliminate police brutality against blacks but have no interest in actually mending the relationship between officers and the black community is baffling and appalling.”

 Yes, there is black on black crime but how do you mend the relationship between officers and the black community if they shoot a child that has a BB gun (in an open carry state) multiple times because they know they will get away scott-free. Why are people so quick to justify his death by saying he shouldn’t be stealing as opposed to asking, why was he stealing and not at home doing homework or involved in an after school activity? How do you build relationships with cops when you see them lock up your brother for selling weed, yet when white people get into it and see how lucrative of a business it is, all of a sudden there is a call for its decriminalization? Your argument about black on black crime is just like saying we shouldn’t go after ISIS because more Americans kill Americans than ISIS does. Why do the two have to be mutually exclusive? For the most part, the world does not operate in Boolean. Why can we not tackle the use of excessive force (especially since open carry is becoming more widespread) as well as treating the CA– USES of gang violence and other “black on black” crimes.

Another comment that made me run

“Shut up, in my country most black people get college and university for free, while non-blacks pay $60,000. My colour does not define privilege you stupid imbecile, neither does yours believe it or not black people have equal opportunities in life where I come from. 60% of black children do not have a father, yet you blame it on white people how about you try and fix your issues in your community. I am white and the area I live is 70% black, many white people get bashed just for having “white privilege”. I love many black people, it is you who is tearing races apart and making them hate each other.”

I will continue to wait for someone to eloquently point out how Black lives Matter is racist. You see, your statement that most black people go to college is wrong because (I’M BLACK AND MY PARENTS HAVE TO PAY FOR MY COLLEGE). In fact, please provide me with factual evidence that says this “majority” of blacks go to college free or even benefit from affirmative action? You say that 60% of Black children don’t have fathers and to try to fix our issues. How can WE FIX ISSUES IF LAWMAKERS DO NOT WANT TO ACKNOWLEDGE THAT THEY ARE EVEN ISSUES. Instead of saying 60% of black men are locked up, why not ask WHY ARE THESE BLACK MEN BEING LOCKED UP? WHAT IS THE MOTIVATION BEHIND THEIR CRIME? According to a study conducted by Race and Social problems in March of 2016,  “Only the very wealthiest black youth—those whose household wealth exceeded $69,000 in 2012 dollars—had a better chance of avoiding prison than the poorest white youth. Among black young people in this group, 2.4 percent were incarcerated.” How many people in America even make $69,000 per year? The median household income in the US in 2015 was $56,516. How are Black ,urban people expected to make more than the median income if they live in neighborhoods riddled with poverty? Also, very few jobs unless you are in STEM have a starting salary of $69,000, so until you have worked your way up to that salary, it still takes a couple of years, as a Black male, to put yourself “out of prison’s reach” according to that statistic. Furthermore, “the study was instead left with an inexplicable—for them, at least—fact: that when all socioeconomic factors are equal, nonwhites still have significantly higher crime rates than whites.” You can’t tell me that poverty does not play a factor in crime just because you don’t want to acknowledge that it does even though independent studies have shown that it does. Did you bother to examine the economic backgrounds of those “60% of black men that are locked up” chances are you didn’t because you found a number online that corroborated with your post, and that made you feel good.

You also said to simply fix your problems, well HOW DO WE FIX PROBLEMS THAT ARE WOVEN INTO OUR MORAL FABRIC by ourselves when we are not the only people living on planet earth? I believe that a college education is absolutely key. Except, how do you make your child go to a rundown school ,because it’s the only school in a neighborhood you can afford, when everyone around him is being pulled into the “get rich quick” lifestyle of the streets and you yourself don’t have an education? Why are your kids being punished for your bad choices by being forced to go to understaffed and underfunded inner city schools? How do you get kids to stay in school, so the school can get more funding when the streets pay better? How do you make sure the gangbangers stay away from the streets so these kids can get to school without dying? Do you think people are just handing out jobs to unqualified people because they are Black so they can have the money to move away from Urban school districts? No, it takes the time to get an education (which is not even a guarantee for a job) as well as time to search for a job, and in the time that a single mother spends getting that education she could have already lost her child to the streets. That’s not to say she shouldn’t go get her education, but how does she do that and keep her kids on the right track since she basically has to be the mom and the dad?

This post is  to force people to think and to understand that 1 Black person should not be forced to be the face of the entire race. It’s to prove the point that, just because you are rich doesn’t mean you can’t experience racism and talk about those experiences ON YOUR SOCIAL MEDIA PLATFORM. Why does freedom of speech only apply to people that want to wave confederate flags in everyone’s faces? Why are Black people always silenced by our culture and our problems constantly belittled? Why don’t we go after gang violence with the same vigor that we go after ISIS or went after Al-Qaeda? That’s right, it’s because gang violence rarely touches the affluent neighborhoods that our dear politicians and lobbyists hide away in. Instead of immediately silencing Black people that try to speak about systematic racism, why don’t you listen. You could learn a thing or two.

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Written By

Moyo Ajepe is a slightly salty black woman and engineer in training. She enjoys obsessively refreshing twitter, watching soccer, haute couture, and binge watching documentaries. She one day hopes to have her own talk show, run socially conscious businesses, and become BFFs with Rihanna. Do you want her to write for you? Contact her @ m.ajepe17@gmail.com or slide into her DM @movaughan97 on twitter

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