By Natasha Lane
Slavery was abolished on December 6, 1865. Still, after the amendment had been ratified, we were not free. It took 12 years for the thirteenth amendment to get settled in, during which many blacks struggled to find work and acceptance. In addition, Jim Crow, a set of anti-black laws that oppressed blacks and prevented our progress, were established from 1866 to the 1960s, when the Civil Rights Act of 1964 became law.
Now, in 2016, we are no longer slaves. Jim Crow has been abolished. However, we are not really free.
Here are five dangerous things black people do.
1. Express Our Opinions
From Oprah Winfrey to Steve Harvey, there are many black people who have a large platform. Of course, what they choose to speak about is up to them, but very often, when black people speak, our opinions are tossed to the side. If we continue to speak, our names are dragged through the mud. We’re labeled “radical,” “terrorist,” and “racist.” They (the powers that be) can’t lynch us like they used to, but they still have the power to turn us into the enemy.
2. Feel Any Sense of Pride
If we feel pride, we are being racist. If we feel pride, we are stepping on the pride of others. Blacks gathering together as blacks and feeling a sense of passion in our heritage is dangerous for America. Why?
Because a united front is an impenetrable one. Instead of dividing us into house and field slaves, they manipulate us into turning against one another. Phrases like “You act white” or “You’re not really black,” lead to disgraceful trends like #teamlightskin and #teamdarkskin.
3. Be Anything But A Stereotype
In a confined space, power is controlled. Because our space is limited, so is our power. But when we want to expand our power, we become dangerous. Because we no longer want to be the field hand, the assistant, or the general stereotype, their security is threatened.
We want to be the CEOs, the entrepreneurs, and the leaders in our communities. They can’t lock us back into their stereotypical boxes anymore. However, they have created a system that guides us to these stereotypes. Some big players in this system include the school-to-prison pipeline, gentrification, and housing segregation.
4. Fight For Our Rights
This year a petition was created to categorize the Black Lives Matter Movement as a terrorist group. Thankfully this petition was rejected by the White House. Still, the fact that an organization whose main purpose is to speak up for black rights is even thought of as terrorism, speaks volumes about how far America has to go.
We laugh and make jokes about it but DWB (Driving While Black) is a real thing. Put aside the countless times you or a friend has been pulled over. Let’s add more evidence to the existence of DWB.
A report from Seton Hall Law School found that in the majority-white Bloomfield, New Jersey, 80 percent of tickets were issued to black and latino drivers. If that’s not enough, consider the recent report from Baltimore’s Department of Justice. The 164-page report, in summary, said that the police department targeted blacks, creating higher arrests, searches, and stops in the black community.