Rhyan Oliver

February 27, 2019

English 1121

Section: D439

Professor: Schmerler

Finding Freedom

   Since the very inception of our nation, concept of “freedom” has always been a topic that the United States of America has prided itself on. We not only proclaim in our Declaration of Independence that individuals ought to have inalienable rights, but we even go so far as to fight for other countries’ freedom in order to encompass the entire world with these beliefs. On paper, being American should be synonymous with liberty, or at least this is what we are taught from a very young age, yet the very unfortunate truth is that reality has been proven to show otherwise, throughout American history and even now. These indeniable rights that are spoken so highly of in our constitution are evidently realized at a higher rate when the individual fits a certain demographic–wealthy, white and male.

            As a black woman, when I think of the word freedom, the different history and present state of our country come to mind. According to Merriam Webster’s dictionary, freedom is defined as “the absence of necessity, coercion, or constraint in choice or action.” On this definition, I do have certain “freedoms,” however the present day social and political climate make me seriously reconsider whatever these freedoms go beyond the surface level. A great many Africans were conveyed to America to end up as slaves. They were robbed of any opportunity they had at that point, were thrashed, tormented, and slaughtered, living and dying solely to provide economic value to a country that in return treated these African slaves as though they were subhuman. Opportunity should be the ability to act talk and think as one needs.                 

        Such a large number of black individuals have been executed for reasons unknown, black individuals kicking the bucket, for what? We are human and the race we should be more concerned about is humankind. To think our predecessors battled for our rights and to improve our lives, and were successful to some degree, however, the political and social climate of the modern era is still filled with instances of police brutality, which has been an ongoing issue for decades. Only now that individuals have smartphones and videos do people truly see what happened and still does happen to black people on a daily basis. You have Eric Garner hollering I cannot breathe, only to die for selling loose cigarettes on the corner, Trayvon Martin strolling home from the store just to be murdered, the list goes on and on. To stress over whether my siblings and cousin will come home safe or, and get slaughtered in light of the fact that they have a hoodie on is something that no one should have to worry about. To state we have opportunity is only an untruth. Regardless of whether we have an agreeable dissent, despite everything we have white supremacy endeavors to cut us down. White nationalism seems to be growing even the President of the United States is involved, with the nerve to put up a smoke screen and say “I’ve got a black friend.” This same president was caught on record saying “Name one country ran by a black person that isn’t a sh*thole,” and this was while Barack Obama was still president of the United States. Does it honestly get any worse than that?

    To top it all off, black culture is repeatedly appropriated, which further adds to the feeling that there is very little to call free.  It is absolutely insane how this is going on, how bigoted individuals make a decent attempt to be black, a lot of times without even realizing this. From replicating our haircuts, to operating on themselves to achieve our full lips, stealing our culture right before our very eyes. When Kim Kardashian had her hair in braids they acclaimed her for it. Us young black ladies would be menaced for our hair. Having our sort of hair was the most terrible thing ever growing up, especially in school. A black young lady was sent home from school since she couldn’t have her meshes there. A black kid on his school wrestling team had his hair cut off in front of the entire school because of a bogus policy. On the chance that he refused to do so, he would not be able to participate in the match–it was cut it all off, or lose. Presently having each one of those white individuals hassling black individuals no one didn’t do anything to them. A black man was babysistting two white children and a white lady tailed them and actually called the cops, saying he was kidnapping these children. The cops had arrived, called the children’s guardians and made the kids leave the sitter’s vehicle to ask questions. Another is the point at which a young boy bookbag brushed a lady’s base and she continued saying how he snatch her up. You can differentiate when someone is grabbing you up too something brushing into you.

           Gucci, Prada, and Moncler all had garments, purses or coats portraying blackface. What’s more, these are prime examples of brands that several black individuals purchase. They are not heartbroken, no one just goes and make something without someone going over it. Furthermore, with H&M also advertised a shirt in horrible taste, with the expression “coolest monkey in the jungle” worn by a black child. It is extremely difficult to accept that H&M or any of these other billion dollar companies did not realize what they were doing when they made the decision to put out these items.

Malcolm X once said he found his freedom while he was in jail. “ I have often reflected upon the new vistas that reading opened to me.” Reading allowed and helped Malcolm X to become “mentally alive,” but to what end? He read in order to be able to articulate himself so that he might be able to help the black people. Thus, when I think of what freedom means to me is that we should have the freedom that white individuals get to enjoy. We should be able to all have the American dream. To have fairness and to be treated like humans, to not get dirty looks or horrible treatment simply for existing. It should not be a crime to be black anywhere, let alone in America, a country that boasts being “free.”