America is a fucked-up place for anyone who isn’t white and it always has been. Despite the glossy finish it loves to spread on top of its ugly history to highlight its semi-decent attempts at humanity, the fact remains—it’s a fucked-up place for black and brown people, and it always has been.

For the last few days, I have sat on this post. I’ve contemplated should I write this, or should I leave well enough alone. I’ve scrolled through my social media timelines, checked all the news outlets I follow—and I’ve even read a few blogs I tend to read stories on. I’ve done this since Monday and I’ve come back to the same head scratching point:

Should I write this? 

Mostly because I wondered would this be too harsh? It’s true that my other posts somewhat indicate I don’t care about the place of harshness I write from. I believe in raw, unapologetic journalism, however, I struggled with would I appear to be an asshole for typing these words when these kids have nothing to do with this? I’ve pondered on the angle of the post, trying to decide who does my disdain lie with. Even now as I write this—I can hear someone after reading this saying, “Why can’t we care about both?” And so, for that very reason, I have decided to write this. Simply because it’s not that you can’t, however, who in this country cares and goes to the extreme about black children?

I don’t mean situational, care when it’s convenient for them to care, or I need something from you so I’m going to exploit your issues to get what I want out of you care. No, I mean the genuine, willing to be ostracized because I see what’s going on and its wrong kind of care. The kind of bold, unafraid to be mistreated for doing the right thing kind of care. The form of care that puts those who are despicable people on front street kind of care. The brazen type of care that exposes this country’s black scars. The kind of care that has no agenda and sticks around and answers your calls after they have won the election kind of care. That’s the kind of care I’m talking about.

Where’s that kind of care for our black children America?

Although I feel sorry for those children who have been separated from their parents at the border—I can’t help but take a step back and think about my own people and the constant bullshit we are subjected to daily.

What about all the black children who were stolen from their families hundreds of years ago and forced into heinous conditions with no problem?

What about Tamir Rice, Aiyana Jones, Michael Brown, Trayvon Martin, Antwon Rose, Steven Clark, Jordan Edwards, and all the other innocent, unarmed black children who are gunned down by the police every day? What about Dajerria Becton, a 15-year-old girl who was physically assaulted at a pool party? Does anyone care about Draylen Mason, a 17-year-old college student who was killed by a racist mail bomber in Austin, TX?

Another Day. Another Hashtag. Another Black Man Killed.

What about Korryn Gaines’s child who was shot by the police while cradled in her arms during a raid for a traffic warrant? What about all the black children who were snatched from their families during the crack epidemic the government created and thrown into foster care?

What about all the black children who have to sit in a classroom for 6 hours a day—roughly 9 1/2 months out of the year to receive a half ass public education because America doesn’t feel they are worthy of a good education? Whose advocating for all the black children who are kidnapped and forced into human trafficking whose faces never make the news because they aren’t white?

What about all the black children in Flint who are still sick and forced to drink that toxic water because this country has yet to fix the water problem? Better yet, what about all the black children who suffered, died and were separated from their families during Katrina? What about all the Haitian children forced to return to their country now that America has terminated their TPS and feels it’s time for them to go home?

What about all the black children who are separated from their families and thrown into privatized prisons for profit? Does anyone care about all the black children who are wrongfully convicted and over-sentenced and rotting away in prison? What about all the black children who “fit the description” and are harassed by the police every day?

What about those black children who live in harsh conditions on a regular basis until city and state officials decide its time to gentrify their neighborhoods and displace them and their families? Who is outraged about all the black children who are forced to live in poverty-stricken neighborhoods because their parents are victims of redlining? How about the high mortality rates of black children who die at birth due to the racial bias black women receive during their pregnancy?

What about these children? Are they worthy of your tears America? Or are they not worthy of public outrage that forces the hand of the powers to be? Are they not worthy of compassion, sympathy and anger for the way they were treated? Are they not valued enough to be viewed as a human being? Are the way they are being gunned down by the police or over-sentenced by racist ass prosecutors and judges not worthy of policy changes?

Black people are always looked to for support in everybody else’s struggle, yet no one runs to our rescue in our time of need. No one seems to have a voice when it’s time to stand up and speak out for us. Black people lead the civil rights era for all people of color—all minorities. Yet, Asians, Hispanics, Arabs, and other immigrants have stepped over our dead bodies, empowered themselves and left us to rot while they get rich.

They establish businesses in our neighborhoods, exploit our spending power, participate in the ongoing stereotyping of us, all the while they turn a blind eye when it’s one of us being mistreated.

Where are marches in Washington for the unprecedented gun violence in our neighborhoods? Who other than black people are screaming about racism and slavery when black children are being subjected to various forms of it? Where is your humanity America when the faces of children being slain and snatched away from their parents are black? How loud does your uproar reverberate when another black mother buries her child?

There are no tears from America.

There are no screams from America.

There are no protests from America.

There are no faces other than black faces advocating for the injustices black people continuously face. This country, this place, where dreams supposedly come true is a nightmare. It is a fucked-up place for black and brown people, and it always has been.

But don’t cry for black people America…I know you really don’t care.

Shadress Denise
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