May 25, 2020 (the day of George Floyd’s death).
Black men are human beings. However, in America black men have been sold like chattel. We were examined and assessed as livestock and owned by other human beings for many years. We were evaluated by those human beings to determine our value. A price tag derived by the labor of our extremities, the appreciation of our physique, and depreciation of our human soul. We were nothing more than chattel slaves to them. Their property. White property.
Fast forward to 2020, where slavery has been ratified as illegal. We are no longer “slaves” but are still subjected to a system that assesses us as chattel. Yes, we black men are compensated for our work, but white men still get to determine the value of our life. They get to choose if we are “worth” living. A lingering question I have for America is this, “Does the black life have value in America”? The question presently haunts us all, but I believe the answer lies in the hands of its people.
White men with a God-complex now in an arrangement of uniforms openly kill black men without remorse. Why? What gives them the boldness to decide whether we live or not.
I believe the answer is in their perception of us as chattel still and not human beings. We are assets or liabilities. If a human being can be handled as chattel, it can therefore be treated like property, and one can rid themselves of “their property” at whatever point they choose. Let’s be honest not all black men are killed by police officers, just the ones they deem valueless. That police didn’t value George Floyd’s life.
He disposed of him without remorse. White men make life or death decisions for black men in America because they’ve rationalized the worthiness of our living by our status. Did that piece of property really have any real worth? Did he even add value to this country anyway? Did he contribute to the betterment of our humanity? Whites don’t regard their killing of black men as inhumane. They are simply doing away with the worthless chattel.
What disturbs me also is that we are accepting the belief that we are worthless too. How many black men are “dead” to us without us even physically killing them? How many black male addicts, vagabonds, beggars (“low-valued”) have we walked past as they asked for money? How many black young boys are growing up without fathers? How many of us are killing black men without the weapon? This has to change. We have to know that WE ARE NOT CHATTEL. WE EXIST. WE ARE VALUABLE. Even with an addiction, criminal record, mental illness or any other human issue we matter!
White men are killing us with no remorse, and we are killing each other by simply ignoring that we exist. Justice happens WAY before the judicial system. Justice starts in the heart, then the home, then the neighborhood, then the city, then state, then country, and then the world. Why have we let injustices into our hearts? Why have we believed the lie that we are chattel? It’s because it’s easy. So I pray that justice would enter our hearts and compel us to SEE us again. Who actually knew the men that were discarded and treated them like they mattered? Here is how I believe you can make a difference today. Open your eyes and see your fellow black man, and value his humanity even when America does not.
I leave you with this scripture:
“Defend the poor and fatherless: do justice to the afflicted and needy.” Psalms 82:3 KJV