Here's A Long Ass List Of Reasons To Keep Protesting
In case you needed any motivation to keep applying pressure.
July 22, 2020 at 8:21 pm
As far as we're concerned, the protests against police brutality and racial inequality shouldn't let up until true, tangible change comes.
Some cities have seen nearly two months of continuous protests as Americans ramp up their efforts to bring justice for the continuous wrongdoings that occur at the hands of law enforcement, politicians, "Karens" and other vigilantes who hide behind a cloak of white privilege to justify their racist antics.
As millions await the trial for Derek Chauvin, the officer who killed George Floyd, others are continuously pleading for Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron to formally charge the three officers who took the life of Breonna Taylor in her home on March 13.
The media may have turned its attention away from citywide demonstrations, and social media users may see their timelines return to sepia-heavy brunch photos — but we are far from ensuring that, no matter the circumstances, Black Americans receive fairness across all industries and sectors.
Ahead, we've outlined 41 imperative reasons we should continue protesting, even after #BlackLivesMatter is no longer trending.
1. The prison population fell, but with a catch
Although the Black-white state incarceration disparity fell from 8.3-to-1 in 2000 to 5.1-to-1 in 2016, a December 2019 study from the Council on Criminal Justice found that Black people are still incarcerated with lengthier prison sentences and subsequently micromanaged in prison at a higher percentage than their white counterparts.
2. Black Americans constitute a major portion of marijuana arrests
States nationwide are legalizing the sale and use of marijuana, but that doesn't translate into a benefit for Black people. In fact, the ACLU detailed earlier this year that Black individuals are nearly four times more likely to be detained for possession of cannabis than white people.
3. The school-to-prison pipeline immensely harms Black students
Though enrollment numbers provided by the ACLU found that 51% of students registered in public school are white compared to the 16% of Black learners, Black pupils are suspended 42% of the time for disciplinary policy violations compared to 31% for white students. Not to mention, Black adolescents make up 31% of school-related arrests.
4. Black women still make 62 cents to the white man’s dollar
You'd imagine that individuals working the same amount of hours in the same field would be compensated equally. However, that's not exactly the case, according to a March 2020 report from the National Partnership for Women and Families. Interrogating issues like gender discrimination and workplace harassment, the study found that Black women on average earned 62 cents for every dollar given to white men.
5. White families have significantly more wealth than Black families
According to the Federal Reserve System, the median and mean assets for a white family in 2016 were $171,000 and $933,700, respectively. Black families brought home far less than that. The same report detailed that the median and mean net worth for a Black family equate to less than 15% of white families' average assets — coming in at $17,600 and $138,200, respectively.
6. The unemployment rate isn't so favorable for Black job seekers
The COVID-19 pandemic has displaced millions of Americans, leaving them jobless and struggling to make ends meet. Unfortunately for Black Americans, the unemployment rate far exceeds their white counterparts. Per Bloomberg, May saw the highest rate for Black unemployment in over 10 years, which soared up to 16.8%. White Americans' unemployment rate registered at 12.4%.
7. Racial discrimination is rampant toward pregnant Black women
The CDC reported in September 2019 that — even at identical levels of wealth and education — pregnancy-related deaths per 100,000 live births for Black and Indigenous women older than 30 occurred at a rate four to five times higher than the rate of such deaths for white women.
8. Incarcerated Black people typically serve longer prison sentences
A December 2019 study by the Council on Criminal Justice revealed that between 2000 and 2016, Black Americans sentenced to imprisonment would be likely to serve more time than white individuals for all violent crimes and for drug crimes.
9. Whiten your resume, and you'll receive a callback
Those with traditionally white-sounding names are more likely to receive a callback about a job, compared to Black applicants with matching credentials. According to Working Knowledge, when applicants of color eliminated references to their race on resumes and job applications, a study found that 25% of Black candidates received a callback, compared to 10% without the modifications.
10. You can count the Black CEOs of Fortune 500 companies on one hand
A February Business Insider article revealed that only four Fortune 500 companies have Black CEOs, one of which stepped down on July 21. Those remaining corporations are pharmaceutical company Merck & Co., home improvement chain Lowe's and insurance company TIAA.
11. The 116th Congress made strides, but still has a ways to go
The 116th Congress, sworn in on January 3, 2019, was regarded as one of the most diverse classes ever. That may be the case, but Black Americans are still severely underrepresented. In fact, only 57 of the current 535 congressional members are Black, according to Business Insider.
12. Graduating with a bachelor's degree while Black? It will cost you far more
A 2016 study by Brookings uncovered that Black graduates with bachelor's degrees owe on average $7,400 more in student loan debt than white alumni with the same certifications.
13. Finding a job while Black is still tougher than it should be
As if that amount wasn't alarming, finding a job as a Black graduate isn't statistically favorable. A June 2019 report from the U.S. Department of Education showed that 74% of Black scholars who graduated from university in the 2015-2016 school year were employed one year later compared to roughly 83% of white degree holders.
14. Violence against the transgender community continues to be of concern
In 2019, the Human Rights Campaign reported that 27 transgender or gender-nonconforming individuals in the United States were victims of fatal violence, with a majority of those casualties being Black trans women. Only halfway through 2020, the HRC reports that at least 22 people who are transgender or gender-nonconforming have lost their lives.
Blavity previously compiled five speeches that speak to the harsh realities of being Black and trans in America, which you can find here.
15. White supremacy persists in the military
There's an undisputed appreciation for the armed forces among Americans who identify as conservatives. That being said, you'd think that would translate into an appreciation for Black military personnel. Unfortunately, that's not the case.
A 2019 Military Times survey found that 36% of active duty service members admitted to knowing about white supremacist or racist beliefs held by fellow members of the military.
16. Large tech firms that preach diversity practice nothing of the kind
Silicon Valley might be where tech dreams come to life, but that isn't necessarily true for Black professionals in the field. Ifeoma Ozoma and Aerica Shimizu Banks, two former members of Pinterest's policy team, told The Washington Post the company had a culture of racial discrimination and retaliation for raising grievances. Similar accusations from Facebook and LinkedIn employees were also brought up.
17. Young Black girls are more harshly penalized than their white peers
In classrooms, you can expect Black girls to receive more severe punishments for the same misconduct as their white classmates, according to the African American Policy Forum. For example, Black girls are roughly six times more likely to receive an out-of-school suspension conviction than their white peers.
18. Homeownership is low among Black residents
19. Voter suppression remains a serious issue
If this year's primary elections revealed one thing, it's that voter suppression continues to be a cause for concern. Georgia, which has a messy history with this, faced criticism on a national level after voters had to wait in long lines at polling stations that had a limited number of machines in early June.
The lack of accountability by officials in the peach state led superstar athletes like LeBron James and Patrick Mahomes to push the More Than A Vote initiative. The effort encourages Black Americans to get educated on issues that affect them and join in on the fight against voter disenfranchisement.
20. Black Americans face inequality when booking rentals
21. Even the realm of professional athletics has a silenced, yet racist history
The Washington Redskins, after 87 years, finally said goodbye to its racist team name and logo, reports The Washington Post. However, that's not the only team to harbor racist undertones. The Texas Rangers, according to The Post's Karen Attiah, also have a problematic namesake. The Rangers were a group formed in 1835 which conspired to detain runaway slaves attempting to flee to Mexico.
"The negroes here need killing," a Ranger penned in a local newspaper in 1877.
22. Minority-owned businesses struggled to receive PPP loans compared to white corporations
When the pandemic first arrived, federal Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans were meant to service small businesses affected by a sudden loss of income. However, a study released by the University of Missouri-Kansas City showed that just 341 of 4,677 PPP loans given to businesses in the Kansas City area went to firms owned by women or Black, Hispanic, or Asian individuals.
Nationwide, Forbes reported that only 12% of Black and Latino institutions received the funding they applied for.
However, it has been revealed that a business connected to Jared Kushner, senior White House advisor and husband to Ivanka Trump, received between $350,000 and $1 million to secure 41 jobs, according to Business Insider.
23. Homelessness disproportionately affects Black families
For a country allegedly abundant in resources, the United States doesn't seem to have enough to help its homeless population. ABC News found that in 2019, about 568,000 Americans were homeless. Black individuals made up 40% of that amount, unfortunately.
24. Millions of Americans across all races protested, but the majority arrested were Black
Though the cameras and media organizations seemed to have pivoted their attention elsewhere, millions nationwide are still protesting. Despite doing so peacefully, demonstrators are still the subjects of targeting and use of tear gas, a chemical so dangerous it has been banned from wars.
The weekend following George Floyd's killing, the Chicago Reader reports the Chicago Police Department detained 2,172 people. After poring over public records, Reader reporters concluded that over 70% of those arrested were Black Chicagoans. Only 10% identified as white.
25. Black people in sports are facing their own battle with discrimination
Discrimination rears its ugly head across various industries, and sports is no exception. A recent analysis by The New York Times determined that racism is rampant in the sports community, especially at popular network ESPN. The issue is so concerning, a top producer for the network urged Black colleagues to take their talents elsewhere if they wanted to achieve considerable success in their careers.
"There are certain things that should have been done years ago," Stephen A. Smith, a well-known ESPN host, said about the company's diversity concerns.
"There are a plethora of people that have come through ESPN that I thought could do some very positive things for ESPN about that bottom line," Smith continued. "They happened to be Black, and I don’t believe they have been put in those positions."
26. There's discrimination in surfing, too
Though many believe the culture surrounding surfing is one of leisure and acceptance, reporting by NBC News proves otherwise.
"Behind the aloha vibe was the other vibe — a locals-only, whites-only vibe," said Sharon Schaffer, the country's first Black female pro surfer.
She said she found racist language written on her vehicle at a beach 40 years ago.
These days, the sport has improved its diversity, including the 2014 formation of Black Girls Surf. Schaffer, who has retired, still believes surfing has a long way to go.
"It has turned a corner, but it's less of a corner and more of an arc," she said. "It's a gradual arc of decency."
27. Food entrepreneurs are not exempt from racial biases
28. Corporations have a vested interest in Black influencers, but not in their Black employees
Michael Jordan, perhaps one of the best to play the game of basketball, helped catapult Nike into worldwide recognition when his first signature shoe dropped in 1984. Though the brand recently released a poignant statement on systemic racism, employees allege executives don't practice what they preach.
A now-defunct Instagram account called Black at Nike shared anonymous stories from current and former employees about their experiences of racism within the organization.
"Despite the performative allyship that Nike shares publicly with the world, their Black employees (Current and former) are broken," an unnamed spokesperson from Black at Nike wrote in a message to Business Insider. "Many have been suffering in silence, alone. Many have been laid off due to retaliation. Many feel like they should just shut up and work, in fear of not being able to thrive in the corporate system. This account is to finally give these people a voice and to share their stories."
29. Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron still hasn't arrested the officers who killed Breonna Taylor
Protests continue in honor of Breonna Taylor, who was killed by three members of the Louisville Metro Police Department on March 13 during a botched raid. The responsibility falls on Attorney General Daniel Cameron to investigate Jonathan Mattingly, Brett Hankison and Myles Cosgrove and effectively hold them accountable for her death.
However, the endorsee of President Donald Trump has been slow to take considerable action, as Blavity previously reported. In fact, it appears he'd rather celebrate his engagement and meet with Trump at the White House instead.
Honored today to join @POTUS, @VP, AG Barr, and law enforcement stakeholders for an important conversation on strengthening the relationship between law enforcement and Black communities.— Attorney General Daniel Cameron (@kyoag) June 8, 2020
Read my full statement here: https://t.co/VkOj7Ttk3W pic.twitter.com/wTduekKTGX
To date, her murderers are still roaming free.
30. There's an overtaxation disparity between Black and white Americans
According to a June evaluation by economists Troup Howard of the University of California, Berkeley and Carlos Avenancio-León of Indiana University — Black households pay 10% to 13% more in property taxes each year than white households in a similar economic position.
These statistics, along with other aforementioned disparities, contribute to the disproportionate numbers of homeowners between Black and white residents across the country.
31. Unsurprisingly, Black women are tipped far less than white men
With the coronavirus uprooting the lives of millions nationwide, the food and drink industry was one of the first areas to feel the economic consequences of the pandemic. Sadly, it still remains unclear how those in the industry will recover and get back to where they were pre-outbreak.
32. Although you may be innocent, you may not immediately be exonerated
Though you may be ultimately found innocent in a court of law, race may still play a role in your conviction. According to a study conducted by the National Registry of Exonerations, a bulk of the defendants who were wrongfully convicted of crimes and later exonerated were Black.
"They constitute 47% of the 1,900 exonerations listed in the National Registry of Exonerations (as of October 2016), and the great majority of more than 1,800 additional innocent defendants who were framed and convicted of crimes in 15 large-scale police scandals and later cleared in ‘group exonerations.'"
33. Black people spend more time behind bars even after a wrongful conviction
According to the National Registry of Exonerations, Black suspects were more likely than white suspects to be wrongfully convicted. Therefore, innocent Black people spent more time behind bars before they were exonerated than their white counterparts.
"African Americans imprisoned for murder are more likely to be innocent if they were convicted of killing white victims. Only about 15% of murders by African Americans have white victims, but 31% of innocent African-American murder exonerees were convicted of killing white people."
34. The time frame for deciding exonerations is longer for Black people, too
As the National Registry of Exonerations study outlines, exonerations of innocent people convicted of murder take longer if the individual is Black: 14.2 years on average compared to 11.2 years if the person is white. For cases concerning death row exonerations, the average lag was far longer — 16 years for Black defendants compared to 12 years for white defendants.
35. Even the church has a long history of racism
Though many believe we all worship one God, the Catholic church has failed to teach an alternative curriculum, one that is invested in Black history as it pertains to religion. A New York-based priest is calling on that to change when schooling resumes in the fall, owning up to the church's not-so-clean past.
"As a church, we’re very good with words. The church has made clear it stands against racism,” said the Rev. Mario Powell, the head of a Jesuit middle school in Brooklyn, via The Denver Post. “What’s profoundly different this time is folks aren’t looking for more words — they’re looking for actual change."
"It’s a history of discrimination and oppression. It’s also a very rich history that should be celebrated, of a population that has overcome a lot," he added.
36. Hate crimes increased once Donald Trump was elected
Trump is up for reelection this year. If there was a way to make any case for blocking him from another term, it would be this staggering fact: According to a 2017 report from the FBI, law enforcement bureaus reported at least 6,121 incidents where the motive behind the action was bias concerning the victim's race, ethnicity, ancestry, religion, sexual orientation, disability, gender, or gender identity. Of the incidents that were racially motivated, about half were anti-Black offenses.
37. Because they're seen as older than what they usually are, Black boys face harsher punishments in schools
"The students were also shown photographs alongside descriptions of various crimes and asked to assess the age and innocence of white, black or Latino boys ages 10 to 17," the research stated. "The students overestimated the age of blacks by an average of 4.5 years and found them more culpable than whites or Latinos, particularly when the boys were matched with serious crimes."
"Researchers used questionnaires to assess the participants' prejudice and dehumanization of blacks. They found that participants who implicitly associated blacks with apes thought the black children were older and less innocent," the study added.
38. The COVID-19 death rate is far higher for Black Americans inflicted by the disease
As of writing, the number of coronavirus deaths in the United States has surpassed 140,000 deaths, and the country is reporting over 3.8 million cases, per the CDC. APM Research Lab reports that 69.7 per 100,000 Black Americans have died from the disease. For Black victims, the mortality rate is more than double that for Asian, Latino and white victims.
39. Poor school districts receive considerably less funding
Not only do school districts in more affluent areas receive a more well-rounded curriculum, but they also receive more funding. According to a 2018 report from The Education Trust, districts with higher percentages of poverty collect around $1,800, or 13%, less per student from the state and local funding than districts with the lowest poverty estimates. This amounts to a $9 million disparity each school year.
40. Black borrowers are less likely to satisfy the traditional credit requirements needed to qualify for a loan
Buying a house should be one of the most exciting times of your adult life.
For Black Americans, though, one can do everything right and still not get approved for a mortgage. Following a 2018 investigation by the Single-Family Affordable Lending and Access to Credit division of mortgage lender Freddie Mac, reported by Urban Wire — researchers determined the disparity in progress from renting to homeownership between Black and white proprietors is 7.5%.
"Credit factors, which capture FICO scores, missing FICO indicators, ‘clean’ thin file indicators, and various measures of DTI [debt-to-income ratio], contribute substantially to the white-minority gap," Jaya Dey, the economist behind the study, argues.
41. Tamir Rice's killer was able to get another job
Four years after fatally shooting 12-year-old Tamir Rice, officer Timothy Loehmann was hired by Ohio's Bellaire Police Department in October of 2018, according to The New York Times. Loehmann, who was not charged in Rice's killing, was only fired by the Cleveland Police Department after it was discovered he'd fabricated something on his job application.
He's just one of several officers who've been able to continue working in law enforcement despite causing fatalities in which the necessity of lethal force was more than questionable.