Social And Financial Status Has Been The Safety Net Essays

Social And Financial Status Has Been The Safety Net Essays

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Coates Essay
Social and financial status have been the safety net or “go to” protection for African American people for many years back, leading one to assume education and an affluent life style could become a shield of protection over the black body. However, society has proven that your safety net ends where your skin begins. No matter how rich or established a person is, the fact will remain that they are black. Ta- Nehisi Coates describes his life growing up the ghettos of Baltimore. Throughout his book, Ta-Nehisi Coates repeatedly emphasizes that growing up his, “highest priority was the simple security of my body,” (p.130) Then he goes on to describe how his wife grew up in a more affluent and privileged lifestyle, a lifestyle that granted her the luxury of not worrying about self-protection. Having a similar upbringing to Coates’s wife, Prince Jones grew up being groomed for the Princeton’s, the Harvard’s, and the Yale’s, yet Mr. Jones still fell victim to police brutality. In all honesty, the amount of protection needed for your body is not determined by your education level or the amount of money in your bank account, the amount of protection needed for your body is measured by the color of your skin.
Growing up in West Baltimore, Coates repeatedly stresses the need of self protection over the black body. He did not have the luxury of being open-minded and carefree, he was constantly on guard twenty-four-seven. Succeeding in school was important to young Coates because had he failed in school he would have been forced out on the streets, where he would have had to work even harder to protect his body. According to Coates, drug dealers used violence and power as a means to disguise the fear of losing their bodies to ...


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...s factor, “Perhaps that is why, when you discovered that the killer of Mike Brown would go unpunished, you told me you had to go. Perhaps that is why you were crying, because in that moment you understood that even your relatively privileged security can never match a sustained assault launched in the name of the dream. Our current politics tell you that you should fall victim to such an assault and lose your body, somehow it must be your fault.” (p. 130) Somehow Prince Jones, Sandra Bland, Trevon Martin, Tamir Rice, Michael Brown, and many other victims of police brutality were at fault, them losing their bodies was their own faults. Black people can rise up, they can be educated, rich, established, but they will always be black. The protection of the body for some may be greater than others but at the end of the day, as a black person, it will always be your fault.

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