Eric Garner. Tamir Rice. Terrence Crutcher. Samuel Dubose. Sandra Bland. Walter Scott. Philando Castile. Oscar Grant. Trayvon Martin. Dontre Hamilton. Breonna Taylor. George Floyd.
I am sure that everyone reading this has heard one of, if not all, of the names listed above over the last few years, particularly if you are from the United States of America, also known as the “Land of the Free.” All of the people listed above were unarmed black people that were killed by a police officer. In a country that brags about its inclusiveness and equality, we continue to see people in law enforcement literally kill people because of the color of their skin. If you do not see that to be the case, let’s look at some facts. There are about 251,073,000 white people in the United States compared to about 43,978,800 black people. In 2019, 370 white people were killed in the United States compared to 235 black people. This means .0000014 white people were killed by cops, and .0000053 black people were killed by cops; in other words, you are about 3.8 times more likely to be killed by a cop as a black person in the United States than you are as a white person. This does not even include the amount times black people are harassed and racially profiled by cops. I personally know someone who was pulled over very recently and accused of having stolen her own car. Why do you think this happened? I have never been accused of stealing my own car. Seriously, if you are white, please imagine what you would say to a cop that walked up to your car after they pulled you over and the first thing he asks is to see your papers because he does not believe you own your vehicle. I have seen multiple people immediately start yelling at a cop who accuses them of speeding or not using a turn signal. If you will not admit that there is still a serious racial discrimination issue in our country that needs to be addressed and reformed immediately, you are being ignorant. Whether it is willful or not, you are ignorant.
I know that a lot of people that know me know that I love sports, so let’s talk about sports for a second. Particularly, let’s talk about the NFL. You know, the sport that basically blackballed Colin Kaepernick for making a statement in order to try to bring awareness to and stop police brutality and systemic racism in this country. Everyone who watches the NFL knows that when Kaepernick was fired and when he continually tried to get back into the league onto any team, he was at least good enough to be any team’s back up and a lot of teams’ starter. But because he took a knee and so many people took it the wrong way and did not listen to the message he was portraying, he is still out of a job. It is pretty symbolic and ironic that his form of protest against police brutality in our country was to take a knee considering recent events, huh; Colin Kaepernick took a knee to bring awareness to police brutality four years ago, and last week we all watched Officer Derek Chauvin kneel on George Floyd’s for eight minutes and forty-six seconds while he knew he was being filmed by multiple people because he thought he could get away with murder in broad daylight. Recently, Vic Fangio of the Denver Broncos said that he does not see any problems with race within the NFL. If that is the case, why are there zero black owners in the NFL? There are black billionaires in the world; do you really think none of them are interested in sports or would want to own a team? Or is there something else going on? Currently, there are two black general managers in the NFL and three head coaches, yet 70% of the league is African American. Is it really possible that so few black people that play and love football want to be coaches and general managers? Or is there a different problem at play here? In 2003, the NFL enacted the Rooney Rule to force teams to interview black people because there were only three coaches in the league. In 2020, we have the same number of blackhead coaches. If you are a black man and play in the NFL, it is likely that all of your bosses are white even though most of your teammates are black. To say that this is not an issue is wrong.
As someone who loves music so much that I literally run a full blog about all kinds and genres of it by myself, I felt like it would not be right if I do not talk about issues of racism against black people in our country and try to use my platform to support them. I mean all forms of music and every genre were heavily influenced by black people and culture; in fact, most genres that we listen to today were originally started and made popular by black people. A lot of current R&B and Pop music that is popular today was inspired by the R&B and Funk music that was made by black people in the late 1970s early 1980s; this music was influenced by the Jazz and the Rhythm and Blues made by black people in the 1950s. The first big and innovative Rock artists were black. Without artists like Little Richard, Chuck Berry, Fats Domino, and Jimi Hendrix, Rock music would have never progressed the way it did and it would not have become nearly as eclectic and diverse. A lot of the reason the genres did not stay predominantly black us because labels wouldn’t sign black people. The most popular genre in all of music, Hip Hop, was also started by black people. Back when it was first started, Rap music was seen as a rebellious movement in music. It was a way for artists to express themselves and relay their anger about racial inequality and the plight of being a black man or woman to the world. To this day, Hip Hop music is a way for young black people to be heard and tell the world about what it is like to be who they are and grow up where they grow up. If you are a big fan of Hip Hop, you better be supporting the Black Live Matter movement because black lives literally create your entertainment. Despite black people being the reason for and provider of so much great music over history and in 2020, there is still a lot of racial inequality within the music industry. To this day, so many young black artists are tricked into signing contracts where the music labels basically rob them for their talent and do not let them actually own the art they create. Just recently, we have heard stories about how Lil Uzi Vert and Megan Thee Stallion got tricked into signing contracts where they were basically being robbed for their output. It is really easy to take advantage of young artists from the hood and make them sigh deals that are not fair because the artists doing understand how much their art is worth and they just want to get out of the hood. The music industry definitely has a lot of work to do until it is truly an equal opportunity industry for all people. Don’t get me started on the Grammys.
It honestly feels like we are hitting a turning point in history where people are finally saying enough is enough. There are people of all colors and backgrounds in the street every day protesting systemic racism and police brutality, and it is so great and inspiring to watch. If you don’t understand why people are protesting, ask someone. Go online and find someone a different perspective from yours and try to put yourself in their shoes. Black people contribute so much to our culture, and we need to lift them up and fight for what’s right for them and for everyone in our country. If you are wondering what you can do to help, you can sign petitions you see online, you can vote in your local elections and make sure good politicians get into office to represent our communities, and you can donate money to charities that help underprivileged communities. We can make a change and we can make the world a better and more inclusive place if we continue to fight for what is right. Please support this cause by donating if you can.