As a youth, it was difficult and confusing living in a world where I could not find blackness in anything good, the power that is, painted everything good white while painting everything bad with blackness. When I had looked in the schools for the history of blackness they pointed me to the shackles of dehumanization, Jim Crow segregation, and a second class reality. When I turned to the church to find blackness, the closest thing that I could find was the darkness of hell and the devil with a dark complexion. Heaven was painted lily-white with no blackness to behold; it was as if heaven had a sign that read: no blacks are allowed. Society had whitened every aspect of heaven; God is depicted as a white man sitting on lily-white clouds and surrounded by angels that were as white as snow. “surely something is not right with this picture,” I thought to myself, but when I turned to the ink of Webster to try and justify my blackness in this racialized world, even the words that were used to describe my skin in the dictionary condemned my being. I do not think that society has fully grasped the psychological pain and emotional damage that this distorted and racialized depiction of reality has caused black people, especially black youths who are trying to find their identities in life. These youths had searched but failed to find any dignity for blackness in their schools, religious institutions, history books, and even the depiction of heaven had rejected them. Though some have physical homes to shelter their black bodies, they went in search of mental and emotional homes that they were not able to find in a society that had racialized everything; so they transformed the streets into psychological pillows and emotional blankets. But the streets are cold and soul-less and could not shelter them from the brutalizing force of the law that has no mercy for their precarious position in society.
The truth of the matter is that whenever people do wrong to others it affects them subconsciously and they do not like to come face to face with those they had wronged. Society has sinned against black people so much and for so long that our presence has become the mirror that reflects its crimes against us, our struggles are the mirror that reflects its exploitation against our black bodies. Our pain is the mirror that reflects its chains and our black skins is the mirror that reflects its original sin. Imagine living in a house where everywhere you turn there is something that reminds you of some wrong that you have done; the natural reaction would be to get rid of these horrible reminders from your sight. And this is the same predicament that society finds itself in, with regards to black people and the wrongs it had perpetrated on us. But instead of sincerely righting its wrongs, society went on a mission to redecorate its conscience with lies in order to justify its wrongs; and instead of removing all the obstacles that it has intentionally placed in our path, it attempted to get rid of our presence by creating ghettos and prisons to confine us and keep us out of its sight. In order to keep blacks confined to the ghettos and prisons, the power that is created laws for the sole purpose of legalizing their wrongdoings against us and they used the police, their most effective tool to enforce these racialized laws and legalized wrongs. And this is one of the main reasons why black and brown communities have such a contentious relationship with law enforcement. There are some who say that the police have a difficult and dangerous job and to this, I do agree but what is even more importantly true is that black people have difficult and dangerous lives and have been living such lives for more than four hundred years. What they have failed to realize is that there is no comparison between having a difficult and dangerous job of having a difficult and dangerous life. Society needs to look beyond the superficialities of the skin and see the humanity that lies within and stop creating unjust laws that dehumanize this humanity. Saint Augustine said it the best ” an unjust law is no law at all.”