Get Real: 5 Ways to Deal with Being Black in America
By Raven LeDay
In the wake of everything going on in the world today, one must increase consciousness. I am a black woman in a country that is not set up for me. Therefore, I have to make myself knowledgeable about current events in the black communities and support my Kings and Queens. These days all I hear in the streets is, “why is the news not covering this…why are they imprisoning our black brothers…why, why why?” Stop blaming society for the problems in our communities. We are a part of society. Here are tips I use to deal with everyday life in America as an African-American.
1. Stay current on black news
Subscribe to black newsletters and world news outlets. As a black individual, one cannot blame local news for only covering certain stories. We speak about how the U.S. was not made for African Americans, yet we get upset when the media doesn’t cover more uplifting black stories.
2. Respect all law
No matter your personal opinions. With all the recent indictments, it is clear that some officers feel above the law. Moreover, many African-American men are raised solely by their mothers, which in turn can result in aggression towards other male figures in authority. But, the family and community should be blamed for this. “It takes a village to raise a child.” Do not get me wrong there are bad white cops, but there are also bad black cops. On the other hand, there are good black cops, there are good white cops. Know your rights, but also know the law. As unfortunate as it sounds, police officers have the right to shoot, if the suspect is not abiding by the law. Do your research. White unarmed suspects have been shot and killed by cops as well; however, we all know the news won’t report on those cases. But, it does not help our people when we have ignorant citizens looting and destroying businesses because they are angered by the decisions of certain cops.
3. Protests don’t work.
Well, protests that don’t affect business don’t work. During the Civil Right Era, Rosa Parks’ arrest lead to the Montgomery Bus Boycott. Over 40,000 black commuters traveled by carpool. Others began using black owned cabs to commute and some walked as far as 20 miles to get to their destinations. During the 13 months of protest, Montgomery lost over $1,456,000, just from black commuters. Following the boycott, the United States Supreme Court ruled that segregation on public transit was unconstitutional. This and many other fights for civil rights involved business strategy. Have you noticed lately that cops are securing streets for protests? They let us protest, because it is not hurting them. If we want to create change, we must hit them where it hurts!
4. Vote for every position in your city.
Educate yourself on each position and why it is important to vote for that position. In the 2012 Obama vs. Romney election, 92% of African-Americans voted for Barack Obama, 64% of citizens with only some High School education voted for Obama and only 47% of college graduates voted for Obama. I believe it was Lyndon B. Johnson that said African-Americans would vote democrat for 200 years. But it is wise to note that every initiative suggested by the Democratic party is cost efficient and not every proposal recommended by the Republican party is bad. Many African-Americans across the country live on government assistance, but only vote for the President candidate. How does that work? The most important vote is for the Senate seat. The President can only bring forth a bill, and veto.
5. Take education very serious.
I dislike when I hear my people pride themselves on only being street smart. Being street smart can only take you so far in life. You make money, but you don’t know how to invest it. The hood loves you, but you don’t have social skills to know how to be proactive in an argument. Take education beyond the classroom. Learn about different cultures. Start having more intellectual conversations.
Keep up with Raven on Instagram, @ravenleday!