Outrage: The Constitution Doesn’t Care About Black People
I think Kanye is suffering from that middle child syndrome where he feels like he’s not getting enough attention from his parents so he does the most ridiculous stuff to get it.
Like when he made the comment about slavery being a choice a while ago.
And as an update, Ye has deleted his social media accounts which may be best for him and us, and his membership in the Black Delegation.
But let’s back up to this 13th Amendment thing. A little after making that idiotic comment, he backtracked and said that it actually needs to be amended because of the exception clause that serves as a loophole for slavery and involuntary servitude—which is today’s prison system.
While we all may be over Kanye and his antics, some of the stuff he says isn’t completely off. Especially about the constitution.
Because last week during a visit to the Equal Justice Initiative’s Legacy Museum, I learned that Alabama’s constitution still upholds school segregation—despite the Supreme Court case Brown v. Board that ruled racial segregation in schools unconstitutional.
Now before anyone argues that voters shot down referendums to amend the language because of funding concerns, let’s also consider the fact that some school districts in Alabama and in several other southern states have tried and succeeded in efforts to secede and reinforce segregation.
And nationally, housing policies still cause segregated communities that obviously lead to segregated schools.
One thing was confirmed for me on that trip to Montgomery—as much as things change, they stay the same.
Enslavement and oppression lives in the form of inflated Black imprisonment. Some White people still don’t want their kids to go to school with Black kids. And state and federal laws protect institutional racism.
This is America, 2018.
Hope: Better Educators, Better Advocates
Visiting the South has always been bittersweet to me. The visual aesthetic of the land and the southern hospitality are things you can’t really find in the midwest.
But the trees often remind me of Billie Holiday’s “Strange Fruit”. Historical landmarks make me think about the brutality of slavery and Jim Crow. And I can’t help but wonder if I cross into the “wrong part of town,” will I be the next victim of racial hostility?
So on top of all that, the visit our team took to the Legacy Museum and National Memorial for Peace and Justice in Montgomery last week was tough.
My friend Vesia’s comment about the emotion behind it all hit the nail on the head.
Moving especially slow this morning as I head to the lynching memorial. After doing some homework, today’s lynchings are systemic and much more Sophisticated than rope, tree and an adoring crowd. It’s a tough topic and not sure where I’ll be emotionally in a few hours.
— Vesia Hawkins (@vesiawils) October 4, 2018
But if there is a bright side to being slapped in the face with oppression, it’s the beauty of learning about history and applying it to the work we’re doing. Because I know for a fact that we all left Montgomery feeling empowered and more focused.
Ready to explode with truth about educational systems & educators not fulfilling their promise of high quality & comprehensive education for our children of color. Thank you @ImAlmaMarquez @Cinb03 @radiokeri @vesiawils @RealTalkGwenS @SethABQ @edu_post, I am changed. https://t.co/XCutseKji6
— Marisol Rerucha (@mreruchie) October 5, 2018
I was at that point in this work where hopelessness and exhaustion were setting in. But witnessing two Black youth react to seeing the names of their ancestors who’d been lynched got me back on track.
My fight for access and opportunity for marginalized communities is for them.