There is a misconception that slavery is over because black people aren’t physically walking around in chains and shackles. However, what many fail to realize is that slavery ran much deeper than physical imprisonment.
Although “formal” slavery was eradicated in the mid-1800’s, the privileged mentality of entitlement structured by white society impacted socioeconomics of black and brown people and created inequality, which has an affect to the date.
For example, there exists an economic injustice to minorities–mostly because of “400 Years of Head Start and Advantage” for whites–resulting in a vast disproportion in home ownership, household income, unemployment, and education, but [most importantly] inheritance. This imbalance of benefits are a result of institutional racism–wealth/benefits from racial groups that have benefited from past discrimination, educational and occupational disadvantage.
What is disturbing about these truths is that despite the fact history elucidates how the slave era strategically influenced a plethora of socioeconomic adversities even in the twenty-first century, people still say, “Slavery was a long time ago … get over it.”
Below is a timeline of civil injustices towards black people, starting from the slave era, that clearly explains why they simply can’t “get over it.”
To summarize this timeline, black people have only been voting for 50 years, granted “equality”–civil rights–for 47 years, treated like humans instead of guinea pigs for 43 years, stopped being lynched in trees and not receiving justice for 28 years, and yet are still being gunned down by police officers today.
Malcolm X explains best why black people simply can’t and won’t get over it.
“If you stick a knife in my back nine inches and pull it out six inches, that’s not progress. If you pull it all the way out, that’s not progress. The progress comes from healing the wound that the blow made. They haven’t even begun to pull the knife out. They won’t even admit the knife is there.”
If society allows black people to heal without having to constantly overcome injustices generation after generation, just maybe the wounds would no longer be visible.
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