Why Silence Supports the Oppressor

Updated: Jun 3, 2020

By Elijah Cooper

For over 400 years, black people have sufferred through slavery and oppression in America. To this day, black people are still fighting to take down the racist system that has plagued our community. In this article, I will explain why we can no longer accept the silence of white people on this issue.

However before I explain why, it’s important for white people to understand at least a part of what we are fighting against. Since the 13th admendment was passed, many believe slavery was abolished and black people were now free. Let me be very clear that this is all a facade. Slavery was never abolished, it was reformed. If you read the amendment carefully, it states ”Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, EXCEPT as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.” The oppressor got smarter, they realized they could take advantage of our labor for much longer if they fooled us into believing that we were free.

So the government created ways to imprison black people starting with Jim Crow and eventually moving to the ”war on drugs” just to name a few. With these tactics they have been able to continue to profit off of our free labor, while also destroying our communities, so they could continue to treat us as second class citizens. We are fighting to end the unjust incarcerations and murders of our men and women.

One of the things this system heavily depends on is your silence or your ignorance because it enables the system to continue to function. They are hoping that the privilege they award you, will at the very least buy your silence. However when enough people speak out against it, and take action against it, only then can we begin to move the needle. And with your constant consumption of black culture and black athletes, we can no longer accept your silence. There is too much information and proof about this flawed system, for you to remain silent and allow the people of the culture you’ve taken advantage of to suffer. So from this point on, was assume your silence as you choosing the oppressor. Because your silence means you enjoy the bit of privilege you have and are afraid that by speaking out, that may be threatened.

So my final statement to the white moderate who may find themselves lost in this situation is simple. SPEAK UP. If you’re uneducated on the topic, GET EDUCATED. These conversations should not be uncomfortable for anyone who is not a bigot or a racist. It is perfectly fine, to speak with us about the issue if your point is to gain a better understanding of our struggles. Then you can speak up and take action to help the people you claim you care about. We are in very dangerous times, and the window for America to right these wrongs peacefully, is closing. Do your part before it closes.

To my fellow black people, don’t waste your time and energy on the bigots on social media who defend the heinous crimes of these police officers, or excuse the orange guy In office for every clearly racist thing he says. Don’t waste time arguing with those who complain when riots break out because when we were peaceful they told us that was wrong too. They have chosen their side. They say these things because deep down the want to see us continue to suffer so they can continue to receive their privilege. It’s your white ”friends” who seemingly go quiet on these issues that need to be pressed. The ones who claim to love you when everything is good, but are nowhere to be found when times like these are amongst us. If they can’t, and won’t speak up for you now, they are not allies, they are enemies. They are enablers of racism and bigotry.

The time to choose is now. What side are you on?

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