What is Justice for Blacks in America? An open letter.
What is justice for blacks in America? It’s a question I often ask myself on a regular basis which usually leads to my next thought of, did we ever have justice? The short answer is no. As Blacks we’ve never had justice in a country that was built on the backs of slaves and racism. For us being black in America is one of the most difficult things that we as people face daily in our lives. From the time that we wake up to the time we go to bed, navigating through the daily routines of life in this country is not an easy feat. To put it simply by the time we leave our homes we are not safe, we are targeted, bigoted and not treated as equal. To take it a step further we aren’t even safe sleeping in our own homes alas Breonna Taylor who was murdered by law enforcement while she slept in her own home.
These past few weeks have been stressful, not with the type of stress that we deal with daily but more so the stresses of seeing ourselves murdered by the ones that are sworn to serve and protect. The same day we saw some type of closure and justice for the murder of George Floyd we saw the murder of Daunte Wright and again I always ask when is enough going to be enough, when will we see law enforcement treat us as they would treat white folks. When will we be approached the same way with no guns drawn or tasers but more so try to be talked down. Personally i’m nowhere close to confident that this will happen anytime soon as these types of changes are department wide which essentially needs to be changed from top to bottom otherwise simply known as police reform.
It also doesn’t help that there’s racism that we face in all facets of our life. As I mentioned earlier from the time we walk out of our homes we’re always at a disadvantage. We’re always looking over our shoulder subconsciously with our guards up and very seldom are we able to lower them to the point where we can have some sort of comfortability. As a black man/ black runner there’s never a time where I feel fully safe as I’ve been stopped by police more than once for certain neighborhoods that I am “not supposed to run in”. Understanding the risk of crossing those boundaries as a runner and dealing with the consequences of risking being stopped, called the N word and most of all making it back home as sadly there are routes I know not to take as a runner. There are also millions of thoughts that cross my mind while outside my home and at some point during the day theres moments that come where I say to myself if I ever get caught in a moment where I can’t make it home safely due to circumstances of interacting with a police officer or our white counterparts how will I be seen, how will the media portray me, what negatives will be dug up to try to show my life in a negative light?
What is justice for us in America? Well to put simply there is no justice. The best that we can do is continue to fight and continue to have uncomfortable conversations with our counterparts but the most important thing is that WE MUST support each other, love our culture, love ourselves and again fight. Fight for our freedom, our rights and our justice. Even though this fight can be stressful and tiresome we must keep forging ahead. So my challenge to everyone is to not talk about the change but to be the change we all want to see.
Peace and blessings and most of all to all my Black Queens and Kings PLEASE be safe out there.
Jesse (Specs) Spellman