Sandra Bland’s unlawful arrest last summer frightened black women motorists and discouraged social justice activists everywhere. Tamir Rice’s murder scared moms everywhere. Last week, the Prairie View City in the Houston area that arrested Bland named that street she was arrested on, formerly University Drive, Sandra Bland Parkway. Today, the city of Cleveland ended arguments about wrongdoing in the assassination of Tamir Rice with a six million dollar settlement to Tamir Rice’s family.
Marian Anderson’s bravery inspired black bourgeoisie everywhere, still the majority of Millennials and Gen Yers have no idea who Anderson is. Common core, instead of social justice curricula, has been slow to reach the American classroom.
In ten years, Anderson and Harriet Tubman currency will circulate the global market. The idea is that the centuries of bloody slavery that currently traumatizes the psyche of an entire nation, and hinders race relations around the globe, will be acknowledged finally. But social justice activists are not fully convinced that dollar bills with black women and street signs for a fallen Black Lives Matter activist are proper routes to social justice or racial reconciliation.
While many were and still are opposed to renaming the road that led to Sandra Bland’s death, and even petitioned changed.org with over 1000 signatures, many otheres, including white women mothers, have posted to Facebook and other social media sites arguing that a highway name is not enough. Justice, in the eyes of many Americans, is Hammurabi’s law, or something close to it.
Many feel that the only way to correct the wrong of Sandra Bland’s unlawful arrest is to arrest the former cop who unlawfully arrested Sandra Bland. The officer has been indicted for perjury and fired.Many more, from PhDs to mothers of Tamir Rice’s classmates, believe social justice is the arrest and trial of the officer(s) who shot at Tamir Rice.
The Bland family filed a federal civil lawsuit and has sued Encinia, the Texas Department of Public Safety, Waller County, and 12 county officials at the jail. Encinia was scheduled to depose, but that deposition has been delayed until his criminal trial is resolved. Consequently, the civil suit trial is delayed. Encina faces one perjury charge, as a grand jury indicted him for lying. Encina said Bland kicked him and that’s why he pulled her from her car. Video evidence proves otherwise. The grand jury doubted Encinia’s story that he needed to remove Sandra Bland in order to conduct a safe investigation. Encinia’s perjury charge stands.
Staunch African American conservatives—conservative meaning that they are old school, living with incredible psychological racial trauma and do not trust American government in general, yet are likely to vote Democratic—don’t care much for the Harriet Tubman bills either. Harriet Tubman replacing Andrew Jackson is not social justice they say.
There is a strong deal of support for ideologies that feel Harriet Tubman’s image on the very paper that drives American and global capitalism is a token act of reconciliation. Social justice for slavery, for the lost lives, bloodshed, black eyes, and broken bones suffered from slavery to civil rights, ideally, is financial reparations.
For some, social justice comes in the form of civil suits. Tamir Rice’s family won a six million dollar civil suit for the loss of their 12-year-old. Many other families, victims of police and guns, have been financially compensated as well. Social justice’s financial reparations, it seems, comes after violence, bloodshed, death, and trauma.
Reparations ideologists fully understand the nature of capitalism and fully understand that racial biases and ideas of racial inferiority will never go away until Africa’s enslaved descendants are viewed as financial equals. But there is not one lawyer on the planet who is smart enough to argue against the United States’ government on the reparations issue as a means of social justice for people in the United States of African descent whose ancestors were enslaved in American colonies.
Of course, there are plenty of poor white people who are totally against reparations because they too have also had to work hard for their fair share, and in truth, white people are far more dependent on government aide than blacks. This same mentality seems to rule Congress, and tends to get voted into the White House election year after election year.
But as quiet as it is kept in critical literary circles, because common core not social justice is the agenda, there is also a strong belief that wealthy white Americans have more antipathy for poor white Americans than they do for poor blacks, an ideology that’s been floating around quietly in literary circles since the end of the Civil War and seen clearly in works by artists like William Faulkner and Richard Wright.
Apparently the US Treasury feels the US will be ready for social justice in about ten to fifteen years when dollar bills with black women begin to circulate the money market.
Last week, the University of Central Arkansas in Conway, Arkansas, just north of Little Rock, recalled 2200 yearbooks because of its racially offensive captions. The captions suggested that Black Greek members were thugs. And when those black Greek members opened their yearbooks and read those captions, they weren’t angry, but offended. Fortunately those students spoke up and the yearbooks were recalled, a costly social justice act of reconciliation (reparations) for the University of Central Arkansas, even if those yearbooks are a mere $5 per copy.
Therein lies the biggest problem with racial injustice in the United States of America. Racial injustice is simply offensive and hurtful to people who’ve played by the rules and followed the law only to come up short and penalized for the color of their skin. The ironic sadness here is, black pain, physical and emotional, tends to get ignored as well. The thinking is, that if the black race endured slavery, they can endure anything. A study found that there are medical students who believe that in identical medical situations, black patients do not feel pain as much or the same level of pain as white people. Medical students responded to a survey and said they believe that black folks don’t feel the pain of a needle prick the same way white people do. And the needle prick only touches the surface of how embedded this ideology is and how it impacts black treatment, therefore the longevity (and lack thereof) of black lives.
Social justice is, for many, financial compensation for the agony of being characterized, brutalized, ignored, or murdered because of the color of one’s skin and continent of one’s ancestry.
There are people who hold Sandra Bland, not the officer who pulled her from her vehicle without provocation, responsible for the weekend she spent in jail in a city far, far away from the northern city she called home. There are people who say that Tamir Rice, a twelve-year-old, should have known better than to play with a toy gun in the his neighborhood.
There are people who say that Eric Garner would still be alive if he had cooperated with cops. A black female supervisor is out of a job because she did not intervene or restrain the officers who arrested Garner. The white male officer who actually killed Garner, however, is still a cop.
In what appears to be a token act larger than renaming a highway or imprinting black female faces, instead of white male faces on US Dollar Bills, President Obama actually suggested last week that Black Lives Matter activists stop “yelling” at people. An ironic statement considering the fact that people who are not heard tend to shout.
For centuries, white America has either not heard black American anguish or simply ignored it.. Famous last words: “I can’t breathe,” (Eric Garner). “What are you following me for?” asked Trayvon Martin.
When black American voices are ignored, history shows the end result is death, jail, joblessness, homelessness, or disease. Social justice is the belief that everyone deserves equal access to opportunity, education, and economic equality. Social justice is not taught in schools and social injustice is why black people tend to shout.