Civil Settlements Are Not Enough: The Pacification of White Supremacy and Black Tears by Capitalism
Neo-liberalism or capitalism has co-opted the collective need for social equity and has facilitated the acceptance of competition base economic infrastructure that exploits labor as a way to maintain fragile financial security, racism, and social inequity. The economic infrastructure aides a dependency on systems that make it hard to challenge or address areas within the same institutions. Black people watch their tax money fund a police force that terrorizes through brutality and murder. Whether realized or not, Black people are left to grapple with a steeped trauma in their soul and very DNA. For 400 years, there has been an intentional attempt to dehumanize and facilitate a cultural, spiritual, and mental genocide of Black communities globally in the name of maintaining white supremacy.
In America, that has looked like chattel slavery, Black codes, Jim Crow, separate but "equal," and legal lynching facilitated by vigilantes and law enforcement and allowed by local state and the federal government. Today it looks like private schools, no school choice, mass incarceration, race base policy, Trump and the far-right, lynching by police and vigilantes, which is still being allowed by local, state, and federal governments.
When a Black body hits the ground due to state-sanctioned violence rooted in white supremacy, they become martyrs for a cause they may not have even chosen. They become another name on a list 400 hundred years long. The people on this list were murdered without trial, hunted without reason, and left to be a memory for the sake of white supremacy. The families are left to pick up the pieces with little acknowledgment unless their story goes viral enough to get national attention. This national attention allows the mediation between the family and local government to achieve a civil settlement but leave so much on the table unaddressed.
Civil settlements are not enough because they only require the government to acknowledge one victim and one incident at a time while ignoring the implication of how the system is maintaining the criminalization of Blackness for those left behind. This criminalization has allowed them to justify preventable executions facilitating the continued state-sanctioned genocide of Black bodies that has been going on for 400 hundred years.
Settlements are not enough because so many still need to go out of their homes and be essential workers, CEO, students, mothers, fathers, barbers, dancers, pastors, lawyers, just humans. Black people want to get skittles, bird watch, enter apartment complexes, drive, play in parks, climb trees, not get hung from them; They want to fulfill ambitions to start families, businesses, and creative projects. Black people have a right to exist, and paying off families for the individual mourning does little to acknowledge mourning of those left wondering if they will be next.
This capitalist system forces to grapple with this in many ways. Some are silent, some are loud and want to fuck shit up. Some are both but persist without visual contempt. Some are organizing to make the changes that are needed. Some are protesting in the street, bringing needed awareness to this daily lived experience. Simultaneously through taxes and labor, the system maintains and aids white supremacy and its genocide of Black bodies. We need systemic reform that will
Arrest the cops that murdered Breonna Taylor.
Account for the historical harm of race base policy that allowed for Black bodies' criminalization and intentional design exclusion in the built environment.
Allow impacted communities to collaborate, strategize, and lead the policy and development solutions happening around them.
Fund universal design renovations needed for ADA accessibility compliance.
Acknowledge how this historical harm has impacted social, academic, economic, health, and environmental outcomes.
Facilitate equitable distribution of land access & housing.
Reclaim green space and provide an opportunity for BIPOC communities to grow fresh produce for sustenance and economic opportunity.
Invest in these solutions through funding and policy with the same energy that created the challenges.