december 4, 2014

the devaluing of black lives and addressing the root cause


This article was originally posted 10/7/14 at nhregister.com

"Just down the road from Ferguson, Missouri, lie the remains of Dred Scott, plaintiff in the infamous 1857 decision in which the United States Supreme Court said that black people “are beings of an inferior order... so far inferior that they have no rights which the white man is bound to respect.” Scott, enslaved in Virginia, sued to gain his freedom after his master took him to a free state. In rejecting his plea, the justices ruled that Scott was not even a citizen, and therefore could not sue. Not even a citizen. No rights the white man is bound to respect."

These phrases from a century and a half ago resonate powerfully today, as the unrest following the shooting of an unarmed black teenager by a white Ferguson police officer continues unabated.

Ironically, the persistent tensions so near to Dred Scott’s final resting place raise the same question he tried to get the Supreme Court to address.

Are black people in America clothed with any rights the white man is bound to respect? And yet, in our demands for justice, we risk overlooking the need for black people to address the root cause of the wanton killings of our children and so much else that is ailing our communities: the myth of black inferiority.

The myth, or as we prefer to call it, the lie of black inferiority, says that black people are inferior to white people. It says that we are not as lovable, beautiful, capable, and worthy as other people.

 

Click here to read the article in full here.