The bitter state of race relations is at the tipping point for many Americans after the recent events of Ferguson and Eric Garner have shaken up the public consciousness. Many African-Americans feel alone, isolated, distraught, and are in disbelief over the lack of indictments for either officer, who both happened to be white, in the deaths of Michael Brown and Eric Garner, two unarmed black men. The only song that I could think of today that speaks about the feelings of the forgotten is Public Enemy’s “Fight the Power.” “Fight the Power” came out in 1989 and it was the signature song for Spike Lee’s groundbreaking film, Do The Right Thing, a movie about bitter race relations in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn. The movie is powerful in its tone and its message. The song, one of Public Enemy’s most popular and important songs, speaks to the social injustices and the lack of racial equality facing African-American communities. The messages in that song seem to be scarily on point with the feelings of many black people today in light of what’s happened in Ferguson, Missouri, and now again with Eric Garner. Add in Treyvon Martin and Oscar Grant and you have four young unarmed black men dead by the hands of a white police officer within 5 years. Those facts are staggering alarming, and deeply concerning. This song, and the events of today make me feel scared and worried for black people across this country because the system still hasn’t got it right yet. There is still major racial inequality in this country today despite having a black president and major advances for minorities since the Civil Rights era ended. What is just? What is fair? And more importantly, what is right? People complain all of the time about black on black crime in urban communities, but what about white on black crime within our own police systems? Why is it that black people can’t really trust our own government? It is a sad time in American culture right now. Maybe a song like “Fight the Power” will make you think a little bit of the state of our country today so you can try to do what you can do to make the racial divide close up. Educate yourself. Protest peacefully. Let your voice be heard. We have the power to affect change in our communities. It’s going to have to come from us, because the people who are making the decisions for the greater good have their heads stuck so far up their asses that it scary. Wake up America. We are facing a major race problem. And we need to change things for the future generations of our youth. No parents should have to receive a phone call or a knock on the door saying their son or daughter is dead. Those men were all unarmed. And no matter what went down in their arguments and discussions, they ended up geting shot and killed by those who are supposed to protect us.
It’s time to wake up people.