• Kendall Lanier

Worthy of Respect

With everything going on in today's climate, it has become very clear that Black women do not get what they deserve.

It has been a very overwhelming time for the Black community and hopefully an awakening time for the rest of the world. The name that has circled through social media and has certainly not gained enough media attention, Breonna Taylor. A black woman who was shot in her sleep in her own home by a police officer. This horrific murder occurred in March and justice still has not been served. Imagine that? Doing absolutely nothing wrong but still getting your life taken. And to think her killers have still not been served after a large amount of time has passed.

Black women have never been seen as enough. You can’t help but notice the difference in media attention and protests for George Floyd vs. Breonna Taylor. Women deserve as much activism and support as men.

As Malcom X once said “The most disrespected person in America is the Black Woman. The most unprotected person in America is the Black Woman. The most neglected person in America is the Black Woman.”

He said this in 1962 and today, 58 years later, it is still relevant. 58 years later and people still hold mindsets from the past. Without acknowledgement of the issue we cannot move forward and progress.

It is no longer an option for people to turn a blind eye and continue mindsets that have been passed on to them. It is your responsibility now more than ever to educate yourself and demand action. Let us not forget the 19 year old activist fighting for change, Oluwatoyin Salau, who was found dead after posting on twitter about her sexual assault story.

Unfortunately her story of assault is all too common as studies show approximately 60% of Black girls are sexually assaulted before they turn 18. Also 64,000-75,000 Black women and girls are currently missing in the US which is absurd. The time is up for us to keep accepting the traumatic events and the time is up for you to no longer see the problem that is so clear.

An example of black women’s struggles being overlooked is in Season 2 Episode 5 of “Dear White People”, a must watch series that focuses on the black students of an Ivy league school. When Jo, a Black woman, starts seeing a Black man named Trevor and they begin to have less in common than they thought, the real Trevor comes out. He begins to speak of Jo as if she is property and constantly feels like he is being attacked. He describes himself as “the Black man, the most disrespected, disenfranchised group.”

The disheartening part is Black women stand behind Black men constantly, but Black men can so easily degrade and treat Black women like they are worth nothing. Jo tells Trevor “We deal with the same stuff society heaps on you then turn around and deal with all the stuff you heap on us.” That could not be more true, as Black women we fight two battles. Although this is a fictitious series, in real life, black men continuously tear down their own people and still do not see the problem.

If anything, this past month has shown me that I am more proud than ever to be a Black woman. Yes, it is exhausting, heartbreaking, and defeating, but I know we will continue to rise up and fight just like we always have. Nothing beats being proud of who you are and standing strong in your skin. It is very clear that a large part of America does not want us to feel this way, but no matter how much we are torn down as a community, we will continue to be proud to be Black and stand for what is right, because at the end of the day, that is all we have.