….and Why We Need to Root it Out Through a National Truth and Reconciliation Commission
Imagine: you are an inquisitive little boy, six years old. You ask a million questions. One question for which you haven’t received a meaningful answer is this:
“Daddy, why do White people treat us bad, just because we’re Black? Is there something wrong with us?”
Countless times those questions have been asked, the querent only changing the color based on their own ethnicity.
At some point in a young Black child’s life, one (or both) of his/her parents will have to have “The Talk,” the warning about how to deal with authority figures (especially the police) in America.
Keep your hands on the wheel, don’t reach for anything, listen to the police officer, don’t make sh*t-a** remarks….
The expectation among police officers — the ultimate symbols of authority everywhere— is that the people they stop must obey them. And nowhere is this truer than in Black communities. The police demand obedience and self-control, and they have problems when they confront people who chafe at their exercise of authority and don’t exhibit self-control.
America’s Original Sin
Charlemagne tha God, co-host of The Breakfast Club radio show, has for years called slavery “America’s original sin.” Yes. Yes, it is.
For 346 years, from 1619 (when slaves were brought into Virginia by English colonists) to 1965 (when Congress passed the Voting Rights Act), Black people were largely viewed as property, to do with as White people dictated. Based on nonsensical religious reasons (“Black people were condemned by God with the Mark of Cain,” their blackness; and their being non-Christians), they were also treated as coming from primitive lands (even though the Ashanti and other kingdoms and empires in Africa were at least as technologically and economically advanced as the most civilized countries in Europe).