My whole life people have been telling me how to be black. Movies tell me, the news tells me, white people tell me, black people tell me, young people, old people, my family, complete strangers.
People have told me how to wear my hair, what schools I should attend, what sports I should play, what men I should date, how I should talk among many, many, many other recommendations. Keep in mind these recommendations aren’t for how to be a good person or how to be a successful person, these are recommendations on how to “be black.” All black people have been told at some point how to be black but it’s especially common with me, who just like our president, is a halfie.
There’s a lot of racial tension in America right now and understandably so. Shootings, KKK, Colin Kaepernick, Black Lives Matter. I’ve cried about it numerous times. Hate, frustration, confusion, sadness, resentment all of these feelings (on all all sides) get turned into what I think is mostly fear. This fear is energy that gets turned into different outputs depending on the person. And no matter what a person’s fear is, it usually gets projected onto other people whether the fear is legitimate or not. I’m guilty of projecting my fears, most people are.
Lately, I have been on the receiving end of countless projections because of my ethnicity. People are now telling me how to be a black voter. I’ll just say it, there’s a lot of pressure to vote for Hillary if you’re black. The main reason being that if you don’t vote for Hillary you’re voting for Trump (even if you aren’t literally voting Trump) and he is definitely going to reverse any progress made in regards to the black experience in America. People have gone so far as to tell me that as a black woman, if Trump is elected, I won’t be able to vote in the next election. A lot of these fears are pretty silly as explained here. Also, don’t tell me who to vote for and try to use my race (or gender) as ammunition against me.
Things people have told me:
“Yes Hilary is corrupt but think about the alternative.”
– I am thinking about the alternative and there are many other than Trump.
“The media is biased but when there’s so much at stake in this election we should just ignore it [ and vote Hillary].”
– Radio and television media is 98% white owned. Telling me to shut up and stop questioning the media is the same thing as saying shut up and stop questioning white people. Also, I shouldn’t have to explain this, but media bias, no matter what kind is extremely dangerous.
“Hillary Clinton’s racism is tolerable.”
– My mouth dropped when I read this because it came from a person of color. So you’re admitting she’s a racist but it’s the kind that’s acceptable? Let’s start playing the “under certain circumstances it’s tolerable” game. Can you tell me under what circumstances rape is tolerable? Can you tell me under what circumstances child abuse is tolerable?
“I’m voting for the candidate who cares about black issues, and the only one that does is Hillary Clinton.”
– Are you sure about that? The Democratic party has been the party of black people as long as my dad has been alive. So over 50 years, half a century. Black people vote overwhelmingly in support of democratic candidates. So let’s take a look at where it has gotten us.
Black people are still poor.
According to the St. Louis FED, the average unemployment rate for black people across George W. Bush’s term was 9.7%. The lowest it has been since Nixon. Under Obama the average has been 13%. The black unemployment rate has been high and low under presidents on both sides. According to 2013 data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture 25.7% of SNAP recipients are black, double the percentage of total Americans that are black.
Black people are killing each other.
According to data recorded by the FBI, 90% of black homicides are committed by black people. This figure is higher than white on white crime.
Black people are resorting to crime more often than whites.
According to the NAACP, together, African American and Hispanics comprised 58% of all prisoners in 2008, even though African Americans and Hispanics made up approximately one quarter of the US population in 2008. One in six black men had been incarcerated as of 2001. If current trends continue, one in three black males born today can expect to spend time in prison during his lifetime. 1 in 100 African American women are in prison.
Black people receive harsher punishments for the same crimes as white.
Five times as many Whites are using drugs as African Americans, yet African Americans are sent to prison for drug offenses at 10 times the rate of Whites. Black people are punished more harshly than whites for committing the same crime.
Bill Clinton is half jokingly referred to as the “first black president.” What made him so great for black people? Was it the 1994 Violent Crime and Law Enforcement Act? The one that lead to sharp increases in the incarceration rate for people of color? So much so that Hillary now distances herself from the policy she once supported?
Those things weren’t specifically Hillary (although she supported them) but Wikileaks have helped show us that black people are most likely just a means to power for Hillary.
Her camp was disappointed that the San Bernardino shooter wasn’t more white sounding.
They supposedly picked Donna Brazile (who was recently fired from CNN for feeding Hillary debate questions) as the interim DNC chairperson because she is black, not because she was the most qualified.
I don’t know what evidence anyone has to make the claim that Democrats (or Hillary) are what’s best for black people. Things are not getting better for black people, they are steadily declining. The Democrat method, and we can debate the reasons, is not able to bring about lasting positive change for black communities, and they’ve had decades to do it.
The “it could be worse” theme is one black people have had to put up with through the entirety of our existence in America.
“You might be a slave but at least you in the house and not out in the fields.”
“You may live in slums but at least you ain’t slaves”
“You might receive prison sentences at a much higher rate than white people but at least you aren’t in the middle east.”
“You may not be able to get that job but at least you can have this job”
“Your wife may have been raped by those men but don’t say anything because they could’ve killed her.”
And here we are again. I am being pressured everywhere I turn to “vote for the good of my race.” Well I am voting for the good of my race, and based on the evidence, for me, that means Hillary (and Trump) are out. Black people don’t need someone to save us, we need someone who will create an environment in which we can save ourselves. Send me articles, share statistics, do all of that, I truly appreciate it but let me come to my own conclusions. Stop telling me to settle for corruption, manipulation and greed. I won’t settle anymore. I don’t want black people anywhere to settle. Telling black people to settle is pointless, we’re very good at it and have been doing it for centuries. It’s time to stop settling. Don’t settle for less pay, don’t settle for horrible court systems, don’t settle for perpetual violence, don’t settle for backwards beauty standards and don’t settle for inhuman presidential candidates.