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I am a Black American. I want to say that I am proud to be American. There are many reasons for me to be proud. I’ll start with freedom. When I started there I stopped there. What does it mean to be free? When I examined the word freedom, I found that I am not free. Freedom means to have the right to act, think, and speak without restraint or hindrance. Also freedom is defined as exemption from external control. Well just those two are enough for me to know as a Black American, I am not free. I definitely do not have the right to act without restrain. Look at all of the Black men and women in American murdered by the police for just reaching for their license and registration. These are things that are expected to be provided when stopped by law enforcement. Black Americans cannot speak without hindrance for if they speak up on someone else’s behalf, they will end up in handcuffs for interference in a police matter. External control exists in everything that Black Americans do. At least the external controls seeks to identify what Black people are doing individually, and collectively. External controls seek to label Black groups such as Black Lives Matter as an anti-police group, which is the furthest from the truth. For me to be proud to be a Black American, I have to ignore the fact that my very existence is under external controls. I have to ignore the facts that some people will still call the police on me if I am in certain neighborhoods. I have to ignore the facts that White women still grip their pocketbook tighter when a Black man is in their presence. I realize that as a Black American I have to work harder so that they don’t see me as Black. I want to be a proud Black American. I want to say that America treats me fairly. I wish the criminal justice system didn’t jail more of us because we are Black. I wish Black men didn’t have to take plea bargains, because they don’t have money to buy their way out of jail. To be a proud Black American means that I ignore my history in America. America has not done anything to me, and my Blackness did not do anything to America. However, my Blackness did make a lot of families in America wealthy and they are still passing that wealth down through generations. Too bad America continues to act as if Black people are irrelevant. I am a proud Black person, and that will have to be enough.
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