Black, Brown, Colored: Opinion
By Njoli Brown
Something that over these past days has continually frustrated me has been this “straw man” attribution of the current state affairs to either political party. But the truth is, this is and has always been so much more than that.
All of our systems here are an attempt to create artificial order and that order designed and manipulated to establish hierarchies. However subtly languaged or particularly omitted, any reference to the “genius” of the framers makes the presumption that their beliefs and aspirations were developed in a complete vacuum instead of a newly formed nation built on looting, pillaging, murder and enslavement with as much to be gained in the securing of power as in crafting the illusion of equality.
You can follow the timeline yourself and know that republicans or democrats, the struggle has been real across the board. It has only been through the steadfast heart that colonized and oppressed people time and again have figured how to compass the labyrinth. That means, from your black executive who’s made all the right moves, to your elementary youth, playing cops and robbers on the street, each and all have consciously or unconsciously had the navigation of racist constructs driven into their very being. This is not willingly done. This is a necessity built purely around the desire to exist in a place that has used us for labor, for culture, for profound thought, for beauty, for excellence… and then constantly rebukes us.
I promise you that when bodies are being driven into the ground, no one is asking what party you belong to (the disdain is held equally for discriminatory actors and complicit bystanders). What is being asked is do you/can you place your humanity and the humanity of others above all of that?
This Forum event was presented October 24, 2017, in collaboration with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and NPR.