BLM and The Outrage
Since the death of George Floyd, there has been a lot of rage from the black community and the world as a whole. The same day Floyd was killed was the same day Amy Cooper showed the world just how easy it is to be racist and how difficult it is to be black. Had he not been recording, his story may have been different.
But that aside, the idea of the BLM didn’t sit well with some people– blacks inclusive. They feel that the “Black victimization” has been built on lies. Their argument is that black on black crime is way higher than white on black crimes.
They also argue that racism in the sense in which it is reported doesn’t exist. In as much as there may be some atom of truth, I think we should look at factors that contribute to why this is so rather than just leaving it at that.
The Doll Test plays an important role in how young black children perceive themselves.
“In the 1940s, psychologists Kenneth and Mamie Clark designed and conducted a series of experiments known colloquially as “the doll tests” to study the psychological effects of segregation on African-American children.
Drs. Clark used four dolls, identical except for color, to test children’s racial perceptions. Their subjects, children between the ages of three to seven, were asked to identify both the race of the dolls and which color doll they prefer. A majority of the children preferred the white doll and assigned positive characteristics to it.
The Clarks concluded that “prejudice, discrimination, and segregation” created a feeling of inferiority among African-American children and damaged their self-esteem.”The Significance of “The Doll Test
“prejudice, discrimination, and segregation” created a feeling of inferiority among African-American children and damaged their self-esteem.” If this is the perception of a black child, then it means something is wrong. It, therefore, promotes self-hate.
Not only did black kids reason like this, but whites also have the same perception of the blacks and that’s why they feel superior. Even as adults, it all lies in perception.
The test has been carried out time and time again over the years. According to The Root, Psychologist Margaret Beale Spencer re-created a questionnaire version of the doll test in 2010 for CNN and found that while there was a “white bias” in both black and white kids, the bias was much less in the black kids.
In other words, says Dr. Welansa Asrat, a New York-based specialist in cross-cultural psychiatry, “The black kids’ self-perception has improved since the 1940s, while the white kids’ remained invested in the stereotypes.”
The Cougar reports that modern doll tests show no social progression.
In 2011, an adult version of the doll test could be seen in New York City’s controversial stop and frisk practice. Of the 23 percent of black population that makes up NYC, they account for 53 percent of stopping and frisking in 2011.
In Brownsville, one of Brooklyn’s predominately black neighborhoods, 76 percent in 2015, had 93 out of 100 black residents have been stopped and frisked in 2009. From the 2015 black Brownsville population, over 65,000, that would mean over 61,000 residents have been stopped and frisked.The Cougar: Modern doll tests show no social progression
What does this imply? It shows that many (both whites and blacks) are still slaves to this perception– knowingly and unknowingly. So what do we have? When there is a Black on black or a white on white crime, it is perceived as a normal evil. When it is white on black crime, it is oppression/racism. A black on white crime is perceived as that of hate/ or the “expected nature”( since blacks are seen by many whites as criminals based on the colour of their skin).
This perception has also played a great role in inequality.
In crimes and sentencing:
We also see disparities in terms of sentencing even if both races commit the same crime.
Black men constitute 6 percent of the US adult population but are approximately 35 percent of the prison population and are incarcerated at a rate six times that of white males (Carson and Sabol 2012). One in three black men will be incarcerated at some point in his life (Bonczar 2003).
The federal prison system is the largest and fastest-growing in the United States (Congressional Research Service 2013). Black male defendants in federal criminal cases receive much longer prison sentences than white men do (fig. 1).
In federal courts, the average sentence during 2008 and 2009 was 55 months for whites and 90 months for blacks (US Sentencing Commission 2010). The extent to which these disparities reflect differences in criminal conduct as opposed to differential treatment is a long-standing question in law and economics.Racial Disparities in Federal Criminal Sentences
There are cases were blacks have been wrongfully accused and they spent more jail time than whites who were guilty of crime they were charged with. I have used this example before and for convenience will use it again.
Take for instance the Central Park 5 (a group of 5 teens from ages 14-16) who went to jail for a rape crime that they were falsely accused of by the Police. They spent between 6-12 years in prison.
VanDyke Perry and Gregory Counts also went to jail and spent 26 years for rape and other crimes they weren’t guilty of and, Wilbert Jones— spent 46 years in jail for falsely being accused of rape. These were all innocent black men.
On the flip side, Brock Turner, Michael Wysolovski , and Shane Piche who were whites and were found guilty of rape served 6 months, 10 years probation and 8 months, and 10 years probation respectively. How can you not see the racial disparities?
We already know that the opportunities differ. An example, in terms of financing, is this: Black-owned firms are twice as likely to be rejected for loans. Even when black business owners get approved, their rate of failure to receive full financing is the highest among all categories by more than 10%. This is based on data recently made available from the US Federal Reserve according to The Guardian.
In Housing and Home Appreciation
For the most part, the evidence about the different experiences that whites and blacks have when conducting a housing search comes from audit studies in which paired testers inquire about a particular housing unit using a proscribed strategy (phoning a newspaper listing or making inquiring at a real estate office about an advertised unit).
These studies find that blacks compared to whites are shown fewer units, told about fewer available houses, less likely to have phone calls returned, and generally face poorer treatment by the real estate professionals or landlords with whom they come into contact (Turner et al. 2002; Yinger 1995; Massey and Fischer 2004; Massey and Lundy 2001).Does Race Matter in the Search for Housing? An Exploratory Study of Search Strategies, Experiences, and Locations*
Discrimination in the housing market reinforces the patterns of residential segregation that have been largely shaped by decades of racially biased housing policies. Most importantly, housing discrimination and residential segregation hamper the ability of African American home buyers to build equity.
Homes in primarily African American neighborhoods typically feature more volatile demand and prices than those in predominantly white areas, where resources such as access to well-paying jobs and quality schools are concentrated and contribute to higher housing demand and prices. This is according to the Centre for American Progress.
Update on 12th May 2021: How the home appraisal gap makes home ownership more difficult and costly for Black Families
Even when a black person works really hard to get to the top, in most cases, he will likely still be perceived to be inferior by some white colleagues. Check out various professions and you will find people with similar stories. A very good example is the experience of Civil rights attorney Bryan Stevenson.
All these combined is what birthed the White Privilege. This means that some conditions favour one simply because of the colour of their skin.
Clearly something is wrong and some things need to change. Can you now understand why Black Lives Matter? It is not because all lives don’t matter, it is because of the slavery that still exists subtly in our perception.
However, this doesn’t mean blacks don’t commit crimes. There are black criminals just as there are white criminals– as it is with every race. But for the sake of argument, we are looking at the racial disparities between these races.
This has to be the juiciest part of this article. Why? Because people are angry for various reasons. The list is as follows:
George Floyd’s Death
As stated earlier, George Floyd’s death caused an outrage as he died unarmed in the hands of four police officers. But Chauvin was the one whose knee was placed on Floyd’s neck. That scene lasted for 8 minutes and 46 seconds. It drew attention to police brutality and racism which led to protests (peaceful and violent) in different cities.
The second reason on the list happens to be Candace Owens. According to her, George Floyd shouldn’t be the face of BLM because of his criminal records over the years. Candace Owens, in a video, explains why she feels this way, and not only that, she went further to explain that BLM had a different agenda and blacks are always playing the victim.
Her explanation didn’t sit quite well with many. She has been accused of being a sellout and called several names. Many stated the fact that George was still a human being and didn’t deserve to die that way. His death was just the climax of similar stories because it was visible to all.
And yes, at some point, the protests became violent as people used the medium to riot and loot. Like in any case, there are those who use events like this as an opportunity to carry out their own agendas. Sadly, it’s still the minority who bear the losses.
De-funding/Abolishing the Police
The third reason for the outrage is the issue of de-funding/abolishing the police. A lot of people raised concerns and many seem to be against it. Questions that have been asked vary from how security would be if the Police aren’t well equipped, to what life would look like if they are abolished.
The Christian Science Monitor explains what de-funding the Police means. According to them, they wrote the article because ” On its face, “defund the police” sounds sweeping and radical. But the phrase, and the movement behind it, involves a lot of careful thought about what the future of community policing should look like.” On the site, they write:
“Many advocates say the idea is premised on a simple question: What role should police be playing in society, even as their departments are taking up enormous chunks of cash-strapped municipal budgets?
Police officers have become the go-to first responders for a host of social problems that might be better left to other professionals, many argue. Police officers themselves often say they are asked to function as social workers, family counselors, or crisis managers.
“When we talk about defunding the police, it’s different from reform movements in that it suggests you take the huge amounts of funds that you’re sending over to highly armed police forces and invest instead in education and health services and infrastructure, especially within the most marginalized and underrepresented communities,” says Tyler Parry, professor of African American and African diaspora studies at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.
More controversially, however, other advocates argue that American policing is critically broken, its history is steeped in structural racism and overt racial violence, and that defunding police departments is the first step toward revamping a justice system that is focused on people of color in overwhelming and outsize numbers.”The Christian Science Monitor: ‘Defund the police’: What does it really mean? Three questions.
Asymptomatic COVID-19 Transmission is Rare
This right here made many people go crazy. It was difficult to understand what the point of the lockdown was.
Everyone was forced to stay home, businesses shut down and the economy was crumbling only to be told by WHO that Asymptomatic COVID-19 transmission is rare?
Well, to many it seems protests are the cure (of course sarcastically speaking). However, in an interview with TIME following the press briefing, Van Kerkhove said she did not mean to suggest that asymptomatic people cannot spread COVID-19. “I did not say that asymptomatic cases cannot transmit; they can,” Van Kerkhove says. “The question is, do they? And if they do, how often is that happening?”
Even though a lot of eyebrows are raised, we have no choice but to sit and watch because like I always say, time will tell.
At the end of the day, change must start with us individually. Perceptions need to change and we need to understand that we make up the human race. No one is superior to another. We all will die and return to the dust from which we came but while we are here, let us love and forgive. Let us treat one another how we would like to be treated.
However, love doesn’t mean we have to agree with everyone and everything that they do, and vice versa. As Rick Warren rightly says:
“Our culture has accepted two huge lies. The first is that if you disagree with someone’s lifestyle, you must fear or hate them. The second is that to love someone means you agree with everything they believe or do. Both are nonsense. You don’t have to compromise convictions to be compassionate.”Rick Warren
Until we genuinely learn to love one another, we cannot and do not love God.
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