The social and financial status of African American people has been their safety net for many years. Leading one to assume education and an affluent lifestyle 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. In his book, Between the World and Me,Ta- Nehisi Coates describes his life growing up the ghettos of Baltimore. Coates repeatedly emphasizes that growing up his “highest priority was the simple security of his body” (Coates, p.130) He describes how his wife’s upbringing in a more affluent and privileged lifestyle, a lifestyle that granted her the luxury of not worrying about daily 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. He did not have the luxury of being open-minded and carefree, he was constantly on guard twenty-four-seven against the gangs and violence that surrounded him in his hometown. Succeeding in school was important to young Coates because had he flunked out, he would have been forced out on the streets, where he would have to work even harder to protect his body, “Fail in the streets and the crews would catch you slipping and take your body....
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... 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.” (Coates, p. 130) Somehow Prince Jones, Sandra Bland, Trevon Martin, Tamir Rice, Michael Brown, and many other victims of police brutality were at fault. The lose of their bodies was their own faults. Black people can rise up, 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 their fault.
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