Black Lives Matter is a to-be Turning Point in American History of Systemic Abuse & Exploitation
In the United States, Black Lives Matter has become an important, to-be turning point in American history. Black people represented only 13% of the population in 2012.
It’s too easy for people to forget this is a minority group. This is an issue close to my heart because I feel I have a civil duty to my nation and it’s public to SPEAK UP about the injustices our disadvantaged people face. In this scenario, I will define “disadvantaged” as systemically abused and exploited. Regarding speaking up, whether that means advocating for my special needs children and mentoring/educating other parents or taking the race conversation to Facebook and shining a light on it, I feel called to act. I believe that racism not only consists of obviously racists views and actions, but the inconspicuous ones as well, such as indifference. Indifference does not put you in the clear. It is racist. Indifference just adds another element of denial to racism. It does not justify standing by and doing nothing. Racists readily and easily manipulate the presentation of data to their advantage. Even when the data is collected without bias, in reading, analyzing, and sharing the results, racists and agenda-driven individuals will manipulate that information so they are able to present it in a way that appears to prove their point. Below you will find thee source for labor statistics in the US. The disproportion is clear, yet we will still deny it, manipulate the information, and twist it to fit a racist agenda of blaming the abused and exploited.
Not in the labor force. Blacks made up about 12 percent of the civilian labor force in 2012, but 23 percent of people marginally attached to the labor force. People marginally attached to the labor force are individuals who were not in the labor force, wanted and were available for work, and had looked for a job sometime in the previous 12 months—but not in the 4 weeks preceding the survey. Hispanics and Asians were represented among the marginally attached nearly proportionately to their shares of the labor force. Whites were underrepresented among the marginally attached relative to their share of the labor force—80 percent of the labor force versus 67 percent of the marginally attached. Blacks also made up a high proportion of discouraged workers (27 percent) relative to their share of the labor force. Discouraged workers, a subset of the marginally attached, are people not currently looking for work because they believe no jobs are available for them. (See table 15.)
Earnings Among the major race and ethnicity groups, Hispanics and Blacks had considerably lower earnings than Whites…
Families and Mothers Black families remained the least likely to have an employed family member (75 percent). (See table 10.)
I appreciate the value of research and statistics, but statistics are just numbers. They may or may not come from a valuable source, appropriate survey audience, or agenda-free publisher. In the labor statistics I noted above, a racist would likely notice the low employment rate of of Black people, ignoring the fact that they are also lower in percentage of total population. Also, the fact that Blacks were a high portion of discouraged workers is important to note. They were also a high percentage in marginally attached workers, meaning they had looked for work.
Blacks have the highest percentage of unemployment for nearly forty years as of that chart. Racists will quickly call our Black community lazy, a social-economic burden, and worse. If you are indifferent, you will not speak up against these views. Your passivity is still an act of abuse and exploitation. When I speak of the “systemic abuse and exploitation,” I hope you will consider that phrase and ask yourself whether or not you are a part of that system. Don’t tell me if you are or are not. Ask yourself. What might happen to any group of people who are being run out of the sector of gainfully employed, and being killed off, one by one?
Our Black community is trying to survive a systemically-driven path to extinction. It’s that serious. Shall we just sit back for the next 20 years, saying that probably won’t happen, until it does?
As I live, trying to be self-aware and empathetic to others in this world, I find myself often asking WHY. I want to identify the problems and injustices, be a part of the problem-solving process, and take actions that contribute to equality. In my opinion, it is important to define equality. I believe that equality is about having equal options, regardless of whether or not an individual or group utilizes said option(s.) For example, a woman executive should have the option to be hired and earn the same income as her male counterpart. If she chooses to stay home for any reason, that does not change equality, unless her options are changed. Speaking of options, I also believe that we do need a certain level of diversity and that is resolved through personal choices, and does not require government interference or regulation, via systemic abuse and exploitation. Imagine if all of a sudden, everyone in the US wanted to become a Uber driver. That’s it. That’s all anyone wanted to do. There were no gas station workers, no office workers, no phone service workers, no public safety, nothing, just a nation full of out-of-gas Uber drivers. Where would we buy food? How would we get it? How would we be entertained? Where would be put our money? That’s not going to happen. There will always be people who are interested in or willing to fill a role that someone else wouldn’t accept.
I am personally defining inequality as an inequality of options or opportunities. I don’t believe that we all need the same education, money, position, etc. I simply believe that we all deserve equal opportunity to have that, take it, earn it, etc. as anyone else.
Racism comes from our belief systems both inherent and learned. It’s emotional. It does not come from a system of logic of pros and cons, benefits and disadvantages to being or not being racist. People are not racists because of the ability to gain something. They gain nothing. They are racists for fear of losing something, which is the belief system(s) they have for themselves, regardless of how barbaric, ignorant, or anti-equality those views might be. They don’t want to lose that level of comfort.
The costs of social inequalities are not entirely identified, nor will they all ever be identified. That’s a difficult task because the “costs” are SUBJECTIVE. We all view that differently, so there will never be a unanimous agreement. I have my ideas, but what I may see as a cost, another may see as a benefit. For example, I believe racism drives poverty. If a person cannot get a good job, or good education, and can only afford to live in an area of poverty, that to me, is a cost. A racist might just be happy that person doesn’t live in their rich neighborhood, and actually consider that a benefit to inequality.
Being open-minded enough to hear and evaluate different perspectives can help enhance our own. I am not naive enough to believe that with this post, I will convert racists to all-people-loving individuals who suddenly want to be part of the solution. But hey you, Mr. Indifferent, I’m talking to you! You’re my target. You’re not a lost cause. You matter. You matter so much that YOU can make a difference. YOU can turn things around. YOU can speak up. YOU can start by re-evaluating the importance of Black Lives Matter and choosing to abandon your indifference. Will you?
By: Alicia Gonzalez