My Skin Color Is Not A Crime

My Skin Color Is Not A Crime

Sage Sherburne, Herald Staff

     Do you know what the Black Panther party is? Or Who Malcolm X, Martin Luther King and Rosa Parks were? Do you know what they were fighting for? If you do, congratulations you’re already one step ahead of everyone else.

     First I want to talk about the Black National Anthem. “Lift every voice and sing”. 

     “Lift every voice and sing, Till earth and heaven ring, Ring with the harmonies of Liberty; Let our rejoicing rise, High as the listening skies,, Let it resound loud as the rolling sea. Sing a song full of the faith that the dark past has taught us, Sing a song full of the hope that the present has brought us, Facing the rising sun of our new day begun Let us march on till victory is won. Stony the road we trod, Bitter the chastening rod, Felt in the days when hope unborn had died; Yet with a steady beat, Have not our weary feet, Come to the place for which our fathers sighed? We have come over a way that with tears has been watered, We have come, treading our path through the blood of the slaughtered, Out from the gloomy past, Till now we stand at last, Where the white gleam of our bright star is cast. God of our weary years, God of our silent tears, Thou who has brought us thus far on the way; Thou who has by Thy might Led us into the light, Keep us forever in the path, we pray. Lest our feet stray from the places, our God, where we met Thee, Lest, our hearts drunk with the wine of the world, we forget Thee; Shadowed beneath Thy hand, May we forever stand. True to our God, True to our native land.”

     James Weldon wrote this as a poem and it turned into a song by his brother John Rosamond Johnson in 1899.

     Next the Black Panther party, was a political organization formed by Huey Newton and Bobby Seale in 1966 to challenge police brutality against African American communities. In 1968, at its peak, they had roughly 2,000 members but due to internal tensions, deadly shootouts, and FBI counterintelligence activities aimed at weakening the organization. Many people like Billie Holiday and Martin Luther King jr. and Rosa Parks believed in what they were doing. Giving a voice to the less dominant community. The Black Panther party was involved in many violent encounters, and it was alleged that Huey killed a police officer.

     Now let’s move on to Martin Luther King jr. Rosa Parks and Malcolm X. Rosa parks was a black American activist and she was born the 4th of February in 1913. And  lived to 92 years, she did a lot in her life. She started the first Boycott in Montgomery. She may or may not have been the only one out of the activists to live way into her 90s. Martin Luther King Jr, was an black American activist and Baptist minister as well. He was tragically assassinated April 4th, 1968 in Memphis Tennessee at 6:05 pm. Last is Malcolm X, he was an African American Muslim minister and human rights activist who was a popular figure during the civil rights movement. He was born on may 19th, 1924. Throughout 1964 his conflict with the Nation of Islam intensified and received threats repeatedly. On June 8th, his wife received a call that her husband was good as dead. Four days later, an FBI informant received a tip that Malcolm X is going to be bumped off. Even that same month, to reclaim Malcolm X’s residence. On February 21, 1965, a man rushed forward and shot him once in the chest. Shortly after arriving at the hospital he was pronounced dead at 3:30 pm.

     Finally, let’s talk about stereotypes. One is that all black people, all criminals, drug lords, alcoholics, etc. Back in the 1800s, originally the police were supposed to capture escaped slaves. And 1000 years or so later, police are still in the mindset that we’re criminals. When they see our skin color, they don’t see beauty. They are monstrous. When they hear our voice, they don’t hear angelic angels. They hear deep demon voices. When they look into our eyes, they don’t see perfect beautiful brown/black eyes. They see warlock green or red eyes. I thought we were really beyond this, I thought we could little move past the past and into the future. But I was wrong, We all were wrong. I thought it would finally end when the police officer who murdered George Floyd got arrested and sentenced to prison. It would stop, But i was wrong, another police officer choke held another young black man. And another police officer attempted to tackle a black woman. It’s no longer about Black men, it’s about all black men and women. When will it end? My skin color is not a crime, our skin color is not a crime. We have rights, we have a voice. And We should use it to defend the beauty of our skin color. 

     “It is up to us to take a stand and demand that they ‘stop killing us,’ We’re going to stand up as a community and fight against anyone who believes that murder or any violent action by those who are sworn to protect us should consistently go unpunished.” — Beyoncé Knowles-Carter