The notion of a post-racial America with the election and the selection of Barack Obama to the presidency was always a lie. Yet, because of the powerful allure of hope among black folks, many of us salivated at the symbolic image of power. As the mass protests continue across the nation, Los Angeles and the state of California is exhibit A in how much the black community has taken two steps forward and three backward in all spheres of economic, political, and social progress.
As I have pointed out in the previous commentary, Los Angeles illuminates the receding black political, social, and economic influence within the city. The forced integration that moved black people into a toxic and racist burning house has been detrimental and remains controversial at best. Even the iconic Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in his closing years before his assassination expressed his apprehension to his close aid and confidant Harry Belafonte that he was leading his people into a burning house.
In 2020 the talking points cannot remain what they were in 1965 in the aftermath of the Watts insurrection. In fact, it cannot be a regurgitation of conversations we had in 1992 in the wake of the Los Angeles riots. How long are we going to continue to beg white people to see us as human beings and treat us as equals? Black people’s blood, sweat, and suffering built America. In every American war, from its founding independence to the civil war and the current conflict in Afghanistan, black soldiers fought, bled, and died. It’s not a question as to whether or not we are entitled to the American dream — it had already been earned and paid for by the pioneers and ancestors.
The exasperation of our people demands that it is now time for the subject of self-determination, reparation and independence to be placed on the table. After 400 years, it’s clear there is an irreconcilable difference in this relationship between blacks and whites living in the same house. If in another 30 years a new generation of black people will be asking the same question and fighting the same battle, then tragically it means we would have failed our children and grandchildren.
The pictorial here depicts how colonization of the black communities in urban America has impacted the masses. The catastrophic homelessness crisis continues to have a heavy toll on black people in Los Angeles. Despite the fact that black people make up only 8% of the county they represent, they constitute 42 % of the homeless population. Sanctuary laws enacted by Sacramento and the Wuhan coronavirus pandemic have exacerbated decades of neglect. The images are shocking and put on spectacular display the utmost failure and urban neglect by various local and state governments. The inhumanity and the violation of basic human rights to shelter, food, and healthcare are an integral part of the landscape of the City of Angels and the Golden State of California.