During the Obama Administration, with the bodies of Trayvon Martin, Freddy Gray, Sandra Bland, Mike Brown, Tamir Rice, and John Crawford III cold in the ground, then-President Obama signed the Blue Alert Law to protect police officers.
The black collective witnessed a similar evil and slap in the face from those who would also not have their positions if it were not for the black vote.
On November 8, 2020, many in the black community rejoiced in what they believed was the first black female Vice President while the real victors lie in wait. As the first Vice President of Asian heritage, Harris would prove a pivotal means for the Asian community to accrue greater proximity to whiteness.
The rise in Asian systemic power illuminates that a shared “victory” is a pyrrhic one for black people.
As I argued in a previous post, the United States does not hate Asian people. The Asian community, as a recent recipient of a Hate-Crime Bill, elucidates an imperative discourse on “hate.” Specifically, given that this community received a crime bill amidst a myriad of black bodies murdered by the police, the political gesture suggests that crime bills exist as a means for the African adjacent to implement hate under the protection of the law, while also denoting exactly who is, and can be, a criminal.
Joe Biden’s 1994 crime bill cemented black criminality and proved a pillar in maintaining the racial hierarchy in America. Most significantly, the bill was yet another means to systemize hate against black people. Biden’s crime bill didn’t protect “Americans” from crime; it enlisted “crime” as a means to protect the guilty. (By “the guilty”, I reference those guilty of benefiting from the very white nationalism that “they” pretend to be against.)
The same is true for the Asian crime bill.
While there are several things to meditate on here, I will narrow my focus to two points.
I. The black community may want to exhibit caution supporting Asian businesses, if deciding to do so at all.
When news of the bill broke, I thought about past assaults and murders the Asian community inflicted on the black collective. From murdering a black teen over an orange juice to the viral videos of Asian business owners assaulting black clients over nails and eyelashes, it is hard not to see the recent crime bill as ironic and insulting. With the crime bill in place, this group, like whites, could attack a black person, and black action to defend themselves may very well constitute legal “hate.”
Thus, what the crime bill promises is yet another effort to legalize murdering black people. Nevertheless, it is crucial that we, as a collective, take the messages harbored against us for what they are—nothing more, nothing less.
II. Symbols are not victories
Despite CNN’s proclamation that many found representation in a single person, articulating what too many have taken to be true, black people cannot share victories with those who flourish in our disenfranchisement. Symbols veil an anti-black agenda while seeming to implement universal good.
Blacks receive gestures of justice, or performative progress, whereas other groups actualize upward mobility without symbols. Moreover, optics are not opportunities, and too often, the black collective conflates who and what the white media makes visible with “seeing” results.
A few months ago, when democrats admonished the black community to “vote like their lives depended on it,” what they meant was that their political livelihood depended on our vote. Once again, the black community manifests the destiny of those who define black esteem and self-franchisement as a crime
It is no more significant time than now to acknowledge subliminal and systemic anti-black messages and act accordingly.
To comply is to be complicit. So, when our adversaries demand we vote, we must implement our own demands not consummated by elected officials saying what we have always known to be true but doing what we’ve never seen done. For example, crimes against people of African descent by the police, or any other inherently anti-black organization, group, or person, should constitute first-degree murder and a hate crime punishable by death.
Respecting black people should not be optional. Respecting black people as a national option is a sentiment mirrored in elected officials and the police, people afforded jobs and salaries by our taxes and our votes.
This behavior is entirely unacceptable– a fact that becomes clearest in the countless ways a country that is what it is because of US continues to spit in our faces, collectively.
Until we actualize our power, we’re loading the gun that shoots us and tying that noose that’ll hang us while the media coverage that follows thanks us for our sacrifice.