The more things change, the more they stay the same.
At a protest in Ferguson, Missouri on Friday there was a very powerful demonstration which illustrated the evolving ongoing racism still ever-present within the United States.
An extraordinarily powerful depiction of this can be seen here:
An incredible protest at #Ferguson Friday. #BlackLivesMatter pic.twitter.com/SYJNuMH0AI
— Bipartisan Report (@Bipartisanism) January 9, 2015
This image depicts the years 1814, 1914, and 2014. It shows that no matter how you label it, African-Americans in the United States are still treated less than human and are still bound by societal structures that are there to keep them down.
1814 — Slavery and treated as property.
1914 — Lynching and treated as animals.
2014 — Prisoners of a broken justice system that unjustly over-incarcerates people of color.
According to the NAACP:
African Americans now constitute nearly 1 million of the total 2.3 million incarcerated population
African Americans are incarcerated at nearly six times the rate of whites
Together, African American and Hispanics comprised 58% of all prisoners in 2008, even though African Americans and Hispanics make up approximately one quarter of the US population
According to Unlocking America, if African American and Hispanics were incarcerated at the same rates of whites, today’s prison and jail populations would decline by approximately 50%
One in six black men had been incarcerated as of 2001. If current trends continue, one in three black males born today can expect to spend time in prison during his lifetime
1 in 100 African American women are in prison
Nationwide, African-Americans represent 26% of juvenile arrests, 44% of youth who are detained, 46% of the youth who are judicially waived to criminal court, and 58% of the youth admitted to state prisons (Center on Juvenile and Criminal Justice).
All too often, so many people ignore, look past, or even accept these harsh truths without thinking twice. If it’s not happening to them, then it’s not happening at all. There is white privilege. If you don’t think there is, but you don’t have to deal with half of what people of color have to deal with — that’s your privilege.
It’s time for a change in policy and an even bigger change in a societal state of mind. It’s not about saying things aren’t fair — things aren’t fair — and it’s time to act.
Kudos to these protesters for pointing out this glaring evolution, or rather lack there of, in such a poignant and artistic way. This display points out what most fail to see — the truth.