By Brittney M. Walker
A probable solution… not changing laws, but communities
Two weeks after George Zimmerman’s verdict, what does America do now? More importantly, what does Black America do now?
Much of the conversation post verdict had much to do with why the result was a travesty and also how now Black people will fear for their children’s lives. There has also been talk about policy and things changing in that arena, but what do Black people do in the meantime?
We’ve marched. We’ve shared our stories. We’ve even threatened to boycott and hunt down Zimmerman. But what about the underlying issue, which is race relations.
I think we are now past the fact that we are NOT living in a post racial society, despite there being a Black president. Let’s face it. If this were the truth, then race would not be a factor of any issue in America. (Blind reasoning concludes most issues in the nation have little to do with race, though class systems, education, media, and access have everything to do with race.) It will take more than a Black president to undo the centuries of institutional racism in this country.
So, in light of Trayvon Martin and the mother who is now sentenced to serve 20 years in prison for shooting no one, where does Black America go from here?
How does a Black person live healthfully in a community in which he must fear for his life?
Though segregated communities (in some ways is still a reality, but primarily based on economics and class) is not a widely accepted concept in the 21st century, reorganizing Black and Brown communities is a feasible solution.
The Civil Rights Act of 1964 ended segregation as law defined it. However, Black communities crumbled from families to businesses. It seemed integration hurt us the most, though some access was made available.
Prior to the change of the law, there were extremes in the Black community, from thriving to poor and uneducated. But crime wasn’t the issue.
In 2013, segregation exists in many ways. Impoverished communities with the least access to resources and public help harbor some of the worse crime and division among people of color. Much of that history can attribute to poverty. On the other hand, thriving communities, primarily comprised of white Americans nurture not only access to resources, but also cleaner communities, parks, decent to good schools, and event grocery stores carry fresher, healthier products.
The point is, segregation exists. It’s a matter of making Black communities livable and thriving.
Transforming our hoods into neighborhoods, deserted lots into parks, schools into institutions for learning, not babysitting, houses into homes, adults into parents.
The system is what it is right now. Like our personal relationships, we often complain about what the other person is not doing. But really, we should be working on ourselves to make the situation better. Applying that concept to a greater issue, us, our community, I’m certain there could be a tangible and visible change apparent in the way we operate in this society.
This is a solution because for decades, since 1964, Black people have moved out of Black communities, fearing Black on Black violence, running away from the issues poverty supports including lack of access, poor education, environmental health issues, and the lot.
If Black communities (that includes residential and business) were made safe, healthy, loving, and desirable, without gentrification, Black America could not only survive this society, but also thrive in this society with more ease. It is not a solution to the race problem. But it is a method in which Black people could live despite the race problem.