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Being Black in America.


In episode 042 of the Naked Proverbs podcast, Rich and Nik Scott discuss what it's like to be Black in America.



Nik:

Welcome back to the Naked Proverbs podcast where we unclothe the truth about Black love family and marriage. My name is Nik Scott, one of your hosts, and I'm here with my husband.

Rich:

What's going on? It's your boy Rich, and today we're talking about being Black in America.

Nik:

Right at the start of every episode, we always remind our listeners that we are not trained, licensed or professional therapists or counselors. We have been married for nearly two decades and we use Naked Proverbs as our platform to share our advice, our experience our stories, and our opinions.

Nik:

If you haven't already, make sure you're following the Naked Proverbs on whatever podcasting platform you listen to your podcasts on. And if you like what you hear, show us your love and support by giving us a five-star review on iTunes.

Rich:

Even With everything that's going on, we want to say thank you to our listeners. We appreciate you taking the time out of your day to spend it with us.

Rich:

You know, we are a Black family, love podcast. It's all about love, marriage, family. But the reality is being Black in America has an impact on what that looks like every single day for us. And we would be remiss if we did not actually talk about the things that are going on right now currently, across the nation.

Nik:

It's very important as a podcast that is dedicated to Black love, family and marriage to address the happenings in our community. Whether it's a highlight and a great thing or it's something that doesn't make us feel too great. Similar to the things that are happening right now across the country.

Rich:

Today is the last day of the month of May, right? And there are 31 days. And we could look at what just happened just this past week. But first I want to focus on the entire month.

Rich:

So, on the 8th of May, I ran for Ahmuad. Ahmaud Arbery was murdered by some random people that thought they had the power and the right to take another man's life.

Rich:

On the 13th of May, Breonna Taylor was murdered while sleeping in her home. Cops, police officers, whatever you want to call them, did a no knock raid. Which basically means they had a search warrant to go into a home without knocking a door. It was the middle of the night. Her boyfriend woke up, thought someone was breaking in, and did what every American citizen has the right to do. He defended his castle. He shot at the police and they returned fire and they killed Breonna Taylor. No charges. To this point I still don't believe any charges have been brought against them. They are probably more than likely on some type of paid administrative leave. Her boyfriend was actually arrested for attempted murder of a police officer. He was only later released because it hit the media.

Rich:

On May 25th, a woman called the police on an African American male. If you haven't seen this story, basically this African American male, a birdwatcher, was in Central Park. There was a woman there who had her dog off leash. Apparently, there's a law or rule that says that your dog has to be on a leash. He asked the lady because she put a dog on a leash. She was offended that he would ask her to follow the law, I guess? And decided to threaten him by saying, I'm going to call the police and tell them that there's an African American man threatening my life.

Nik:

Her life and the dog.

Rich:

Thank God, this man was wise enough to pull out his camera phone and record. Otherwise it would have been her story against his. And we already know the outcome of that story. History has shown us that when a white woman accuses a Black man of anything, you are guilty until proven innocent.

Rich:

On that same day, May 25th, George Floyd was murdered by a police officer who thought it was a great idea to kneel on a man's neck. Once again, this was on video, and we watched this man die as he begged to breathe, as he begged for his mother.

Nik:

It's been a crazy month. And amid everything else that's going on, we are still in a pandemic.

Rich:

Yes.

Nik:

Many states are still on quarantine. As you went through that, I am fighting back tears right now. I really don't have a lot of words that can express the way that I feel about all of the different racial events that have happened just this month.

Rich:

And the thing is, I think for me, it's because it's so easy to say, well, that's over 30 days, right? That's a whole month. So, let's just stop and look at the week we're coming out of.

Rich:

There was a married, Georgia youth pastor that claimed two Black man abducted and robbed him, just to keep people from finding out he was in a hotel with a man he met on Craigslist. He was arrested.

Rich:

A Florida woman claimed the two Black men kidnapped her autistic son, only to be charged with his murder. She had killed her own child by pushing him into a canal, which resulted in his drowning.

Rich:

We talked about the New York woman in Central Park. We talked about the police officer in Minneapolis, who killed George Floyd. But did you also know in Minneapolis during the same week, there was a businessman who had a lease in an office building. And that office building had a gym in it. And there were three Black men that were working out in the gym. He decided to tell them that they didn't need to be there. He needed to see ID. He wasn't the police. He wasn't the building manager. He wasn't the owner of the building. He was just someone who also had a lease in the building. They refused to give it to him. Give them any idea or anything after they found out he was just a random guy that was nosy and thought he was going to tell somebody where they should or shouldn't be. Long story short, because once again they videoed, his lease was terminated.

Rich:

But my point is not that these are unique situations because they are far from it. My point is, this is what it is like to live in America, as a Black person. This is what it means to be Black in America every day. I cannot emphasize that enough. And I know that 98% of our listeners, 99% of our listeners are Black so you already know that this is what it's like. But I'm hoping that maybe some of our listeners that are not Black, or maybe some of somebody down the road tunes in because they want to know something about what we're talking about. And they can begin to understand what it means to try to have a family. To try to be a man. To try to be a wife. To try to be a child. When you are Black in America,

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Nik:

Here's the deal. So many people believe that racism in America is heightened over the last what? Five or so years? And that's not true. Let's be clear. I want to be very clear when I say this. All white people are not racist. But there are racist white people out there and there have been racist white people out there for generations.

Nik:

Black people in America have been dealing with things like this, like what we're seeing captured on video, what we're seeing being spoken about on social media, since we were brought here through the Middle Passage. So, this isn't new. So, for people who think that oh my gosh, we're, we're regressing back to the 60s or the 40s, or whenever, no, this isn't a regression. It's just being brought to light. Because like Will Smith said, racism is now being filmed. It's not new. It's just being filmed. And social media has been a very good vehicle to start to bring awareness and conversations, which I appreciate. What I don't appreciate is, is the fact that in the 60s, or before when a black man was murdered, it was almost like his punishment. Everybody would come out and watch this man get murdered. People would cheer. And people would do nothing about it. It's no different than what's happening today. We're still watching Black men get murdered publicly

Rich:

And women. And women. Because I think unfortunately, yes, there are a lot of Black men that are dying. But when the Sandra Browns, when the Breonna Taylors. I mean the list is just as long. No one says anything. There is not this outrage. There is not the burning of buildings. There is not the shutting down of streets and cities. And the truth is, it shouldn't matter. A life, is a life, is a life.

Nik:

Sandra Bland, the woman in Texas that was murdered in the jail and Breanna Taylor. And again, the list is long, and we don't know these names as often because quite frankly, and this is coming from a Black woman who's very passionate about Black women. Quite frankly, Black women are not being hunted the way that Black men are. And the hunting of Black men is by design. I've spoken about it several times on this podcast. And I think I'd be remiss if I didn't say it on this particular one. There is a conscious and intentional effort in the United States of America to completely eliminate and erase the Black man from the Black community, and especially the Black family.

Rich:

And you know, I think a great example of that is on Thursday, I believe? CNN was reporting on the things going on in Minneapolis. And it was a Black reporter on the air. And he literally is surrounded by police officers as they are trying to deal with the rioting or whatever. From what I can tell the news crew was there before the police. Because the police had basically left third precinct because it got so rough, right? They got scared for their lives, as they like to say. But anyway. They all left. There was nobody in third precinct, but the news was still reporting. And the news crew was far enough back to be safe, but close enough to still report what was going on. The next thing you know, there are police in front of and behind the news crew. The news anchor immediately identifies himself as a news anchor, if the huge camera and all the equipment they were using wasn't enough, he made sure he identified who he was. He pulled out his credentials. He left them hanging out. I watched the video multiple times and never heard them say anything other than you're arrested. There were no Miranda rights read to them. There was no warning of hey we need you to back up because A-B-C and D is happening. There was nothing more than them being arrested. They arrested the Black man clearly on TV,

Nik:

Live TV.

Rich:

later on, because they did let them go. And when CNN was talking to this reporter later on, the lady said, look, you know what one block over was a white reporter doing the exact same thing you were doing reporting from a different angle. He wasn't arrested. His crew wasn't arrested. He wasn't stopped from doing his job.

Rich:

And it goes back to what you're saying about how there is this desire to place fear into the Black man, into the Black family. And to prevent them from thinking they can do anything. I mean, from the simple as the white woman I mentioned earlier, saying I'm going to call the police and I'm going to lie because I know what the outcome could be.

Nik:

But here's the thing, if the Black man is afraid, he's the head of our household. If he's afraid, what does that do to the rest of the people in the family? What does that do to the wife? What does that do to the children? What does that do to the entire Black community if our men are living in fear, to live their lives, to walk out their rights and privileges of being an American in this country? What does that do to the rest of the community?

Rich:

And I'm just gonna put this out there. Anybody that looks at our commander in chief and doesn't see issue with the way that he is consistently waived and fanned the flame.

Rich:

During all of this unrest this week. He decided that making a Twitter post, that the end of it I'm going to read it. I don't have the whole post because it doesn't matter, because these are the words that matter. When the looting stars the shooting starts.

Rich:

Now, if you Don't know where that quote comes from, I will tell you. It comes from a Florida sheriff in, I believe the 60s?

Nik:

It was Miami in 1967 and 68.

Rich:

And basically, this Florida sheriff, there was a time of unrest for Black people. As always. I mean, we live in America. And this sheriff basically said that they start looting I'm letting out the dogs. He's the, he's the sheriff that's known for letting German Shepherds, vicious dogs out on people starting it kind of, like he's not the only one.

Nik:

He wasn't the sheriff. He was the police chief.

Rich:

Okay.

Nik:

of the Miami police department.

Rich:

Okay.

Nik:

That's a big difference.

Rich:

You're right. That's true, truly big difference. So, this police chief is one of the first to water hose and let dogs out and try to kill Black people that were protesting peacefully?

Nik:

Yes.

Rich:

That’s my understanding.

Nik:

That's what I understand, too.

Rich:

That was his quote. Because basically what happened was somebody, some newspaper or something was interviewing him and he basically was explaining why they didn't have all the issues everybody else had, because I let him know. When the looting start to shooting gonna start.

Nik:

That's basically what he said. And, and while we're talking about being Black in America, let's talk about how Black people continue to this day to patronize and flock to Miami for spring break, for vacations. And then when the police come out and they start harassing these Black people, we want to act like we're surprised. Listen, these police officers have been trained, especially in Miami, given this particular quote in this situation since the 60s or before, how to hunt and harass Black people.

Rich:

It's important to understand that as you mentioned earlier, these aren't new things that are happening. These are repetitive cycles that we have faced for generations. And I'm not talking my momma and me, because my parents were in the 60s. I'm talking all the way back to my great, great grandparents. If you go any further than that we were enslaved.

Nik:

Yeah.

Rich:

So, basically, from the time we have been brought to the United States, we were either enslaved or dealing with some type of systemic racism that is tried to hold us back. And I think about things like health disparities. You know, with COVID going on, it has brought to light to those that have tried to deny and ignore that some of the reason that COVID was killing and is killing African Americans at a higher rate is because there is a huge disparity in the healthcare system when it comes to African Americans and everybody else.

Nik:

In the way that they're receiving treatment and the way that they're being diagnosed.

Rich:

And we've discussed this. These socio economic disparities that have been generation to generation and this is not all because we like to buy Jordans in the newest iPhone

Nik:

No. And I'm sick of people saying that.

Rich:

No. You know what? Nobody has a problem when other people are making purchases. It has nothing to do with that. You know, one of the biggest ways to build wealth in America is through real estate. I've said it before. But reality is we, our generation is one of the first generations to be able to buy without any type of real restrictions.

Nik:

Anywhere we want to buy.

Rich:

Because prior to this, my parents dealt with redlining. Prior to that my grandparents couldn't even get a loan hardly after fighting in Vietnam, Korea, it didn't matter. They came home and they did not have the rights and privileges that their counterparts had. Even though they had sacrificed and given. So, reality is, though social economic disparities are not something new. It's once again five generations of this, plus. Because we've been here for more than five generations. You know, I did the math today because I was totally confused. Because I was reading an article and they always talk about well, slavery is over 400 years ago,

Nik:

Slavery where? Not in this country.

Rich:

I don't know, because slavery ended. Some say 1863 at the end of the Civil War, because of the Emancipation Proclamation. But 1865 was actually when the 13th amendment was placed into existence. So, if you take 2020. It's basic math, y'all.

Nik:

It is.

Rich:

Subtract 1865. And if you, you know, feel like that's just not fair, you could subtract 1863. So, you get your extra two years. At the end of the day, we're talking 155 years ago. 155 years ago, was when slavery finally, finally ended in America. But then our ancestors faced one issue after the next.

Nik:

Because right after slavery was what? Was it Jim Crow? After Jim Crow, it was what?

Rich:

Civil Rights Movement.

Nik:

Civil Rights.

Rich:

And I know I missed some stuff.

Nik:

There's some stuff in between.

Rich:

Cause it's been an uphill battle from before it even started.

Nik:

Yeah. And so, it's no surprise that we're in this place. But it's still a surprise, right?

Rich:

No. And I think that's the thing. That's why we have this volcano that is erupting. It is not a freakin surprise to people of color. Black people. Let's be real, like I heard Killer Mike say, look, I ain't talking about people of color right now. I ain't talking about anybody but Black people. African American people. Because those are the ones that are being impacted.

Rich:

You know, I saw something today and it said, do we say all houses matter when the fire department comes out to a house and just one house is on fire? Do they start spraying down the entire block? The other side of the block, the house? No, they take care of the house that is on fire. Guess what? We as African Americans have been on fire for over 400 years. And nobody cares to put the fire out. I said something today and it's a fact. Until white men decide that we matter, we will not matter in America.

Nik:

Well, they're not. That's never gonna happen. That's never gonna happen. And I think for me, I'm very solution focused. When we have issues at home or with each other, I'd like to focus more on the solution and the problem. And I think what makes me so sad about all of this is that I can't think of a solution. I do think going back to the riots and the things that are happening across the country and the protests, the, the not so peaceful protests, I do think we need to be more organized. And I would love to put a call of action out to those leaders, those heads of organizations who are able to organize people. Because right now this is this organization, y'all. And as long as we're disorganized, we're never going to get our point across. Because right Now we're just looking like a bunch of

Rich:

Angry animals.

Nik:

Uneducated, angry animals. And that's not who we are. And sadly, because, you know, people are gonna say, well, white people riot, too. Yeah, they do. But again, we can't do what they do. And when are we gonna learn that we can't do what they do? Yes, we learned how to react to things from them. But again, we can't do what they do. I do believe we need to organize.

Nik:

And I do also believe we cannot overlook the amount of trauma that we as a community and as a people have lived through for generations. It's very sad that I have had conversations with my 15 year old daughter, four or five nights in a row about what's going on because she's so affected.

Nik:

Life is about choices. And this is one thing we instill in our children all the time in our house. Your choice has a ripple effect. The choice of that police officer to kneel on George Floyd's neck and suffocate him in the street, with witnesses, on film, his choice to do that has had this huge ripple effect. It's affecting my own children. It's affecting my husband. It's affecting our daily lives and the conversations that we have. The traumas that we have lived through cannot be overlooked because when there's trauma, there's also going to be stress. I appreciate the military for bringing Post Traumatic Stress Disorder to the forefront, but it's been around a long time before the Iraqi War y'all. And I would say the amount of trauma that a lot of us have had to deal with and live our lives with and act like it doesn't happen. We deal with post-traumatic stress every single day of our lives. These situations cause us to have to react and act in ways that are unnatural.

Rich:

At the end of the day, the system was never created for us to thrive in.

Nik:

Never.

Rich:

We have been surviving for generations. That's all we've ever done. There have been a few Yes, that seemed to make it out. But at the end of the day, even Oprah Winfrey was followed in a store where she could have bought the store itself. Because it doesn't matter how much money we make. It doesn't matter, our titles, it doesn't matter where we live, the color of our skin will always give us away. And because of that, we have to be wise about the choices we make.

Rich:

You know, I like to exercise. I'll ride my bike, I'll go jogging, you know. But I always have to make sure that I let my wife know what route I'm taking, where I'm going, what time I'll be back, because you really just don't know. And I know that may sound crazy to some like what?

Nik:

It's not crazy.

Rich:

But reality is there have been black men and women that have been arrested while pumping gas because they fit the description. Well, what's the description officer? Black.

Nik:

That's it.

Rich:

That's all they have to say.

Nik:

That is that is being Black in America.

Rich:

And to me, that's where we need to see change in the system itself. You know, when you can have the Air Force Academy say yes, we know that through our research that we treat African American cadets different when it comes to punishment for choices they make at the Academy.

Rich:

When the United States military can say yes, we know that we've never had a four-star general outside of General Colin Powell.

Rich:

Yes, we know that the numbers don't make sense that the military is made up of 50% minorities, but we only have 1% minority officers. All these things are part of the system that was created to keep us where we are supposed to be, in our place, quote, unquote.

Rich:

It is what allows a white woman to believe that she can tell a man, I don't have to follow the law, but I can call the cops and lie on you, and you'll be the one to pay for it. It's the same system that makes any white person feel that they can question anyone.

Nik:

The system is broken. We cannot change the system. So, what can we do? Like what can we do? And I feel like our options and our choices are so limited and so narrow, that

Rich:

Give us reparations.

Nik:

They

Rich:

And let us leave.

Nik:

I talk about they all the time when we have our conversations, right? They are smart. They know exactly what they're doing. They know that. Okay, so we're looting and we're rioting and we're protesting and we're making all of this noise on social media, but they know that we really can't change anything. They know that we're really not going to come together and fight the system. They know that. They know that. So, what can we do?

Rich:

We need leaders to step up.

Nik:

We do.

Rich:

All those preachers that want to 10% every Sunday, that always sit in silence when these things are happening. All those gang members that are killing each other, if y'all want to kill some people, well, that's a whole nother topic. But my point is, if y'all were ever to be unified, and to begin to defend those same blocks that you fighting over, that you don't own nothing on? The changes that we could see if all those that have wealth and have been able to be blessed with opportunity would reach back and begin to teach and show our young people that you know what we do matter. And we don't have to wait on anyone else to do any of those things I just said. Those are all choices that will we make. That we decide.

Rich:

Like we have to stop waiting on someone else to rescue us. We have to stop waiting on the The Secret Santa in the sky or whoever it is, we think is gonna save us from all this and realize we must save ourselves. We are drowning. We are drowning.

Nik:

It's a crisis.

Rich:

And ain't nobody coming to save us y'all. The Titanic has sunk with us on it. What are we going to do? Are we can continue to wait for the rescue ship that don't give two shits about us. Not the rescue ship ain't coming. Either we are going to band together and not just have these splashes of fire whenever something happens every month, every six weeks, every few months, every few years, whatever your timeline is that you pay attention, because this daily. If we don't choose to come together, things will never change.

Nik:

There's so much more I have to say about this, but I'm gonna go ahead and wrap it up.

Rich:

I agree.

Nik:

Thanks, so much for tuning in to this week's episode of the Naked Proverbs podcast. We want you to truly have a happy marriage. We want you to continue to thrive in your marriages and indulge in your spouses on a regular basis. Don't forget to follow the Naked Proverbs on whatever podcasting platform you listen on. Y'all stay safe out there. And we'll talk to y'all on the next one.

Rich:

We love y'all. Peace.

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