Nina Simone said, “It’s the artist duty to reflect the times…. It’s the artist’s duty to reflect the times and situations in which I find myself.”
I bring that quote up because I think any person can be an artist. If you are involved in any type of creation you are an artist. The life you live, you have created a certain way; you are the artist of your life.
How do we “reflect the times”? The current times are showing us that now is the time to speak up and give our stance.
We have long moved beyond people using racial slurs to reveal their pathetic, racist existence. More people are beginning to finally realize that racism exists within policies written within the systems and woven into the fabric of this country. We can talk about other countries, but for now the U.S. of A is enough to deal with. People have long removed their white sheets (well some of them) and replaced them with a uniform and badge or replaced them with the title of president. While some have left their sheets at home, they are shooting black people who are in the perceived comfort and safety of their own homes. They “protect and serve” while holding their knees on the necks of black men. They are also using their cars as barriers to make it easier for them to aim and shoot black men while they jog.
This week I heard some Kim Kardashian looking thing compare the very necessary Black Lives Matter movement to an “all animals matter” movement that encourages people toward veganism. The ironic thing is that there is no way in hell a person could’ve have gotten away with holding their knee on an animal’s neck or with shooting an animal down in the street. People would have lined up outside every Subway, Blimpies, and Cracker Barrel to demand arrests and convictions immediately! Also, from this past week, people are still ignorant to believe that Taking A Knee is about “disrespecting the flag & the military.” I’ve also heard some people say they are “done talking about racism.” Done talking about racism?!
It’s not my job or any other Black person’s job to change any racists’ minds. It’s not my job or any other Black person’s job to argue or debate with anyone’s ignorance. It’s not my duty or any other Black’s person’s duty to educate anyone on how racism is intertwined in the education and judicial system, housing, and the damn constitution. In 2020, anyone who is still ignorant is choosing to be ignorant. The injustices in the systems are obvious! Any ignorant person is choosing to keep their blinders on. I won’t even give them the excuse of being afraid because that would be too easy.
We don’t have to stand on top of buildings to yell our stance, but we can’t be neutral or silent about it. Anytime we speak up when we recognize racism, we are doing our part to rip racism at the seams and burn the threads.