America has a racism problem.
George Floyd was murdered at the hands of a police officer in Minneapolis on May 25, 2020. Prior to his death were the deaths of Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown, Eric Gardner, Philando Castille, Tamir Rice, Breonna Taylor, and so many others.
We have a problem — our black brothers and sisters are being murdered.
We need to reflect and think on the lives of the ones we have lost. We have to mourn and allow their deaths to change our society. We can NOT remain the same. If our black brothers and sisters are uncomfortable, we should all be, until there is permanent change.
So what is the solution?
There is no single solution. We have to attack this from all angles. But two of the biggest lessons we have already learned come from the revolutionary war. This is how I believe we can apply these lessons to begin mending our broken society.
(Before I get into this, I acknowledge that we, as white colonizers, were by no means in the moral right in coming to America and taking it — there are just things to be observed here that I really believe we can learn from.)
Why did The Revolutionary War happen?
We were being ruled by England, with no say in the laws that were applied to us. We had taxation without representation. America was once dominated by England.
And unrest ensued.
First, there was the Stamp Act, which sought to profit from the American’s transactions. This eventually failed, but it was replaced with The Townsend act, which Britain tried to impose to tax goods sent to Great Britain.
America did not accept this, unrest ensued, tensions boiled over, and eventually, this cocktail culminated in the Boston Massacre.
Long story short, after a long-fought war, here we are in The United States of America.
Now, consider for a second How Much Worse the killing of unarmed black Americans is than simple unfair taxation
If taxation led to a revolution, is it any wonder we are seeing violence in our streets? Americans are saying, ENOUGH WITH THE RACISM!
Now, to be clear, I do not for one second condone violence as a means to an end. But I also do not condone America staying the same.
As for the protests — the protests have been complicated. My heart breaks as people are getting killed due to protests. I also know that the violent actions of the few do not represent the whole. (I have also seen many videos of black Americans stopping white people from damaging businesses and properties during riots.)
SPREAD THIS SHIT!!!!!!! NOTICE HOW THE NEWS ISNT SHOWING THIS!!!!!! pic.twitter.com/IazuHTpu2A
— ًjack (@asgrdicns) June 2, 2020
The bottom line is that this violence does not represent the black community. And we should not let protest violence detract from the heart of the matter, which is the fact that if a black child in this country is born into a more dangerous world than a white child — and this is currently the case — WE NEED TO FIX THAT NOW!
Now, how could the revolutionary war have been stopped?
If taxation without representation began a war, could the war have been stopped if there had been representation and fair treatment?
Martin Luther King Jr. once said, “The riot is the language of the unheard. What is it that America has failed to hear?”
In the case of The Revolutionary War, we were unheard by England. As a result, we started a war. Black people in America have been saying for hundreds of years, Racism is real, and IT IS AFFECTING US. And they have been largely ignored by us, white America.
For God’s sake, black people were once slaves in America — lynchings happened here! And still, much of white America has gone deaf to the cries of our black brothers and sisters as they have been TRYING to get our attention.
So how can we find healing in this country?
What if there was representation?
What if every neighborhood in the U.S., primarily Black, White, Hispanic — whatever the majority is comprised of — had governmental representation?
The thing is, representation in government is broken down in such large swaths that many people have been underrepresented and have gone unheard.
Per walberhouse.gov, there are two senators per state, and the number of congressmen and women a state has depends on its size: “Smaller states like Vermont and Delaware have one representative while large states like California have 53 representatives.”
This system is obviously not giving all of America a voice.
Large parts of America are going underrepresented, mostly our black communities.
Communication is the key to all peace. I truly believe that. So what if every neighborhood, or city sector, had a representative that could represent their neighborhood before the major and the city council on a regular basis?
What if all of these representatives were able to meet in a room? If a black community is being picked on by police unfairly, their representative would be able to present that data before the council and get it all in the open!
Maybe then, the truth could come to light as far as the disproportionately unjust treatment black communities are receiving. (I’m aware that some cities institute something similar to this, but it is rare.)
Imagine this for just a moment
The collective council meeting begins. The major is present. The governor is present. And then the representatives take turns speaking and giving a voice to the concerns of their communities.
If a community is being brutalized by police, everyone can see it and can compare the number of arrests and traffic stops and tense interactions with police, in the light, in front of every representative, and in front of the leadership of the state, for the world to see.
The press is there. Live streams are going. And communities can watch as their representatives go to bat for them.
If people had a voice, and if their words held governmental weight, how different would this country look?
What if, instead of having to suffer in silence, concerns could be laid out in the open? I think that it is time to re-think the way our government is functioning. Because it is not working for everyone.
We need to expand representation so that everyone has a voice and so that real change can happen. 2020 needs to mark the beginning of a permanent pivot in this country so that, moving forward, there can be real and lasting unity.
Black lives matter — so much
It’s time to move forward, together. We can do this.