Peace & Police

PEACE & POLICE is a nonviolent campaign for social change, aimed at restoring trust and respect between our communities and our police. This campaign is the work of students at Virginia Union University who are majoring in Criminology and Criminal Justice. Many of us will eventually have careers in the field of law enforcement and policing and we want the relationship between the police and our communities to be strong. This Peace & Police campaign is where we offer our thoughts and ideas about how to make this relationship the best it can be.

Power 4 Black Girls/Women by Tiffany Smith

Nov 18, 2015 | by admin

Black girls and women are too often disregarded or disrespected by the media and others due to stereotypes. I’d like to ask people to take a moment to educate themselves about the experiences of women of color, information that is widely available on the Internet and in numerous books.

What is power? Power is the ability to do something or act in a particular way. The majority of black women lack power because of things such as stereotypes, sexism, racism etc. We also lack power because we don’t have a voice that is heard.

Throughout the years, I believe there have been innumerable examples where the media refuses to acknowledge the violence against black women. This complete show of disrespect has been appalling to me. The countless number of unsolved cases involving the murder or kidnapping of a black girl or black woman is because of a lack of effort, in my eyes.

Not enough black women are willing to speak up and take the initiative to tell what’s happening to them. In a society that finds little to praise in black women, I believe that black women lack power because of stereotypes.

A stereotype is a widely held, but fixed and oversimplified image or idea, of a particular type of person or thing. Often the negative media attention surrounding black women shows that they are being picked apart, from their physical appearance to their mentality. Which is why it is important to banish the negative stereotypes that harden the image of black women.

As I did some research on the Internet, I found out that black women are routine targets for disrespectful jokes and offbeat questions about their everyday lives. It’s like they just can’t seem to catch a break. Those kind of comments are deeply rooted in negative media stereotypes that have little to no connection with reality.

When I researched deeper on the Internet, I found a few common statements that should never be asked a black woman if you don’t want to offend her, like, “you’re so pretty for a black girl”, “you don’t look completely black, so what exactly are you?”, “did you grow up with your dad?”, and “you’re so lucky you don’t have to tan”.

I find these statements to be very racist and disturbing because I am a black woman and I would like to be treated with the same respect as any other woman of any race. I shouldn’t feel like being a black woman is wrong in the eyes of society. But here’s the bigger question–who will put all of the ignorance to an end?

I’d like to ask people to take a moment to educate themselves about the experiences of women of color, information that is widely available on the Internet and in numerous books. Instead, many choose to rest comfortably in their privilege of not having to encounter the difficult challenges endured every single day by black women.

If these people would try to change, they might find it very simple because it’s not like talking to black women should be hard work. But people will need to make a sincere effort to make a change. We can begin by working to undo the many years of unchecked subtle racism.