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Oops! Your race card? Declined!

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Oops! Your race card? Declined!

Lisa-quinn Ndegwa, Reporter, Photographer

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Brotherhood! Sisterhood! Loyalty!—these ideas circulate through our minds as we celebrated Black History Month: a month that encouraged the Black community to show their scars with pride as a reminder of what they went through and all that they lost. As minorities, they learn how to defend one another and also take pride in their roots and skin color. They embrace their culture as they educate the rest of humanity.

For a long time, a darker skin tone meant an unsafe environment. It became a rare species of unwanted human beings who could not live without raised eyebrows or questions asked, causing Black people to feel uncomfortable in their own skin. As a people, they craved the freedom everyone else enjoyed and envied the lives of those who roamed around with nobody bothering them. They lived looking over their shoulders in case someone decided they were guilty of blackness. From a young age, children learned how to handle a situation where even the authorities, those expected to protect the human race, made it their task to criminalize them despite them doing nothing wrong.

However, their loyalty to each other continues to create a rift between them with the more influential people of the Black community, such as Jussie Smollett, who allegedly staged an attack in the name of racism. O.J Simpson’s slow-speed chase around L.A. in 1994 earned the title “case of the century” when he ran back to the Black community after having publicly denouncing them when things seemed gloomy. The swiping of the race card slowly becomes monotonous with celebrities thinking they can commit crimes and blame the conviction on racism. A recent interview held by Jada Pinkett Smith on her show “The Red Table Talk,” where she hosted her longtime friend Jordyn Woods, allowed Woods to address the backlash from her alleged affair with Tristan Thompson, raising concerns of infidelity; and even then, she pointed out that people went after her because of her black origin.

“Black men have enough enemies out there already, they certainly don’t need someone like you, an African American with a familiar face and a famous name, fanning the flames,” model Beverly Jones said.

In her quote, Jones tries to explain why it becomes impossible for black people to speak against their own. She emphasizes that the discrimination they face from other races makes the black bond stronger. Sticking up for one another by covering each other’s mistakes made it possible for successful and influential Black men to prey on young Black women. As if not enough that they fall under the minority and face judgment based on even their hair texture, Black women have nobody to fight for them— not even other women to defend them against Black men.   With names such as R. Kelly uttered in households, pinned on billboards, and winning awards, who would believe the woman? When convicted, men blame the crime on their skin color and try to convince others that the world takes advantage of their race. They try to turn to the Black community for sympathy, who gladly offer it, as expressed by R. Kelly’s girlfriends, who continue to side with him despite their parents’ pleas to run from his prison. Let us call a spade a spade and stop condoning these shameful acts. Rather than tolerating these behaviors, society needs to revoke the cards of anyone who tries to hide behind its power. They deserve no mercy from their community because they, in turn, hurt their own. Yes, we shall continue to support one another through thick and thin, but not at the expense of young, innocent lives.

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Oops! Your race card? Declined!