While countless friends and families celebrated the closing of 2014 and the dawning of a new year, all too many Black families instead mourned the lives of loved ones lost to police brutality.
The 2015 State of the Black Union (SOBU) addressed these and other related concerns in a recently released publication. The address carefully emphasized the inclusion of women and trans victims in supporting the declaration that #blacklivesmatter.
The first point of the SOBU reproached the subjugation of these victims in organized protest, and rightfully so. The life expectancy of a Black trans woman is 35 years of age—less than half the life expectancy for the average American. Black women as a whole experience physical and sexual police brutality at alarming rates, yet their stories are largely dismissed. Activists and the media focus on straight Black males as the demographic most attacked by systemic violence, forgetting that there are hundreds of other Black souls in danger of administrative persecution and murder.
Needless to say, the SOBU went on to detail an array of other grievances ignored by the United States government. Among these were the prison industrial complex, outrageous obesity rates in Black homes due to the lack of accessibility to healthy food, and the gentrification and destruction of Black communities. Many of these issues are mutually inclusive: the targeting of minorities as a result of poverty, poverty as a result of classism, and classism as a result of racism.
The address rightfully demands that Congress resolve systemic racism and all of its repercussions in 2015, or else these inalienable rights will be taken.
The time is now for Black citizens of all identities to recognize that #allblacklivesmatter and are worthy of protection from civil abuse. This is true not only in the United States, but in every nation that dares to oppress people of African descent in the twenty-first century.
The world must know that Black lives will no longer be abused and destroyed without justice. In the words of WEB Dubois, “The world must one day reckon”. With the increasingly oppressed state of Black society, that day must be today.
Contributing Opinions Writer