100 years ago to day, black men and women flooded the streets of New York City to protest.

I could get academic, and quote the long list of grievances, but let’s get real– it was 1917.

It’s now 2017. If you don’t know why they were protesting, then you are part of the problem.

The problem I’m having now, is the huge elephant in the room—standing next to the ostrich with its head in the sand. And, indeed, that mixed metaphor is to show what a jumbled mess this is. 

Our problems are inextricably intertwined– yours, mine, and the homeless man who may never read this, and the addict whom many think is too far gone to help, and the mentally disabled child who is hopelessly lost in an education system that doesn’t actually care, and the young prisoner serving a life term of a 3rd strike misdemeanor.

I find myself disheartened and disappointed on an almost daily basis, because as Americans we have become so complacent, and complicit in a system that gives us so little and exacts from us–so very much. We feel that owe the system our undying allegiance, because it allows us our existence (which we confuse as freedom). In our beloved society we are allowed to live in poverty with addiction and mental health conditions that render us a trembling pile under a city bridge. We are allowed and encouraged to work at such a pace, that the idea of “enjoyment” can be sold to us as a hobby that doubles as a second job.

I am not an “angry black woman” and rather than #blackgirlmagic, I ascribe to the title- Black Magic Woman. I don’t often write about the trials and tribulations that can be attributed solely to the color of my skin. I personally prefer to discuss the issues that plague us all. And sadly, I hate to inform you all— those problems are becoming one and the same.

We all are being burdened with a defective education system, tied down with student debt, politically represented by corporations who seek to enslave us to their bottom line, and all along the way told that we have “opportunity”, if only we just work harder.

Hard work, is never a bad thing. But it isn’t the only thing, and it isn’t our salvation.

the 100th anniversary of the silent march empowers me to say.

I’m not buying it. You can’t sell me the American Dream… anymore.

 

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