Dear America: Black People Want A Divorce

Dear America,

I must admit: lately, our relationship has been pretty awful.

ferguson-black-lives-matterThese past few years have been tumultuous at best. What the world has seen is the utmost disdain for anyone claiming to be African American. What is worst is the acceptance of the murder/manslaughter/slaying ofAfrican Americans with very little judicial recourse. Even worse, there have been more conversations to either shut us up, derail our concerns, or unrightfully incriminate us to make these actions justified. It seems that this “freedom” you promised through my bravery may be a broken possibility.

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Then again, you did enslave my ancestors and only “emancipated” us through a dubious proclamation. I am still not sure I am legally a full human being.

What is worse than that lack of love is the unrequested and unexpected support that we have seen worldwide. It says a lot when there are Palestinians holding up signs in reference to being shot over skin color. You have different races that have demonstrated empathy for our condition. Beyond them seeing Americans, they see human beings. And no human being should be subjugated to the conditions we have dealt with.

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And I am not saying that there hasn’t been support for Black people here: there has. There have been plenty of demonstrations for the sake of justice. Most recently, there has been a demonstration where tear gas was used to calm a “violent” crowd in Berkley, California (sigh). So, there are more than just Black people taking a stance in America. Plenty of Americans see what the issue is and want it to be resolved.

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But we have to agree on this: Black people are seen as the problem of America and not as the victims of America’s problems. Our race is seen as the scourge of the nation and the plague of the plain. The collective condescension for our skin color is not something to be bottled up as “complaining”. Sometimes, the “race card” is being played because the spades game being played with our lives calls for isms. In short, Black people will forever be seen as the cause of our own problems.

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In short: America hates Black people. And no relationship should exist with hate. Thus, Black people in America desire to be divorced.

Now, how this divorce is going to work will be dicey. Plenty of us will opt to leave the country altogether. There are many of us that will go to another country just to live and survive. Heck, plenty are quickly considering “going back to Africa” like Pino in Do The Right Thing said we should do. So, many of us just plan on outright leaving.

Still, it makes no sense for us to keep trying to deal with a society that does not value us. The police brutality cannot be a surprise when you have historically used the police to lynch us, murder us, and destroy our communities. Historically, police have assisted in the death and character defamation of Black people. Also, there are times where policemen were KKK members. It is extremely hard to feel safe in a society where the law upholders can/will kill you without recourse.

Remember that time where we have our own successful communities? Remember that moment when we had Rosewood (before you burned it to the ground)? Remember Black Wall Street (before you burned it to the ground)? Remember the mass exodus of Blacks to East St. Louis that led to a massacre? Of course you don’t. You have worked hard to rewrite history to favor Black people being inferior.

And it is more than the killing of our people: it is the overall inconsiderate treatment of Black people. There are numerous problems:

  • Economic disenfranchisement
  • School-to-prison pipeline
  • Elimination of historical significance through lacking documentation
  • Media misleading many minds

And plenty of other issues that I didn’t take time to name.

There are those that want to hold onto this “American dream” that you have promised them. You can keep those Black people. You can keep Charles Barkley, Ben Carson, Larry Elder, and the rest of their ilk. The rest of us? We know that you don’t want us. So, we would like to be allowed to be left alone and live our lives separate from these issues we never asked for (nor deserve).

I’m not sure HOW we are going to do it. But, I know it needs to happen.

No reason to be in a relationship built on making Black people, like me, miserable.

No Love Lost Cause No Love Was Given,


Mark A. Harris