Kei’yona’s Korner

Kei'yona Jordon, Copy Editor

A question that I often think about, especially as a black woman, is why a country that gained almost, if not everything, they have through violence, demands so much peace during protesting? Or even why do African-American people have this stigma of violence taped to our existence, when in fact violent acts were and still are used in the most heinous ways against us? In the African-American community, it is common to be told to be the bigger person because you’ll be labeled as the angry black woman or man, or even worse, our men being seen as a threat before ever even posing a threat. A lot of our men are called thugs or criminals no matter what they were or what job they hold, but what are the people who kill, harass and suppress people because of their color called? Confusing, right?

It’s common to hear people bring up Martin Luther King Jr. as an example of a peaceful protester and his protest were in fact peaceful, but that peace was one-sided. The students, women and children who joined King’s peaceful protest were beaten, jailed and attacked all the time. King himself was murdered. Is that what America would like to mimic again? The government asks black people for peace in exchange for death and injustice. If things were the other way around, history has shown that peace would be the last method of obtaining change or justice.

The truth of the matter is African-Americans are the ones in need of protection in a country that our ancestors built and brought prosperity to. A lot of medical advancements in history are due to the suffering of black people. For example, since he became a popular topic this summer, J. Marion Sims tortured black women to find a cure for vaginal fistula. Economic advancements were also possible because of unjust systems imposed on black people, such as Jim Crow Laws. I can attest to the fact that black people are not protesting because it’s fun and we’ve nothing better to do. African-Americans are protesting because of unjust practices and modern-day villains killing and dehumanizing an entire race of people.

These protests are not overlooking or excusing crimes committed by black people, but they are saying that murder is not the answer; unequal treatment is not the answer; and harassment is not the answer. Black people are protesting for more than police officers to be held accountable, they are protesting for black

women who are more likely to die from childbirth complications, for black entertainers to receive equal pay and recognition for their work, for black people to stop being locked up at high rates to put money into private prisons and for the assaults and abuse against black women to stop being overlooked on a national level.

According to a recent Washington Post article, 93 percent of the BLM protests have been peaceful, and while most African-Americans all over are calmly protesting, our people are still being murdered and mistreated and children are being traumatized.

Is America asking black people to cower down while they are beaten, abused, stolen from and used? Even though black men, women and children are dying at the hands of an unjust system, they only seek equality and not revenge. While not all citizens stand behind the slogan “Make America Great Again,” black people have no choice but to protest to make their voices heard and their demands fulfilled. African-Americans cannot return to the great days of America that made it okay for them to be murdered or their rights to be taken away or even to be seen as less than half a citizen. We have to eliminate the narrative that our people are dangerous and a threat to the living because, in America, black people are not the monsters.

This is not to say that progress hasn’t been made, but it seems as though certain leaders want to return to a time of turmoil and black people cannot let their ancestors’ lives and deaths be in vain.