The Road To Black Empowerment Is Filled With Distractions

Justin Patton
5 min readJul 18, 2020

Black America, don’t fall for it…

There is a lot of noise outside right now from people who want justice, equality, and every right written into the Constitution. And rightfully so. America has fallen short of living up to it’s creed for marginalized groups and it’s wealth disparities can no longer be hidden.

The pandemic has exposed America in every way, especially disparities between Black America and the rest of America. Since we’ve been quarantined in our homes, we have been forced to pay attention to the state of Black America, as unjust killings of Black people have sparked protests and riots around the world.

With all eyes on Black America, what does America do?

Pass laws that protects gays and transgenders in the workplace and rollout a Hispanic prosperity initiative (both of which are victories I too celebrate). So while other groups are getting legislation passed, Black people are still marching…

Since racism has revealed itself to many white people who did not realize that racism was still a “thing”, America is working hard to pacify Black people with symbolic victories.

Statues of known slave holders and racist from the past have been taken down. Companies have made statement and declarations condemning racism. ‘Black Lives Matter’ has been painted on streets. The NBA wants to paint ‘Black Lives Matter’ on the court. The NFL wants to sing ‘Lift Every Voice’ before the games.

These are very kind gestures, but symbolic victories do not reverse the damage that America has inflicted upon it’s Black population through systematic oppression.

Symbolic victories do not close the wealth gap.

Symbolic victories do not create opportunities for Black people in crime infested areas.

Symbolic victories do nothing to address the disproportionate rate at which Black people go to prison.

Symbolic victories hardly scratch the surface in healing the lasting effects of slavery in the Black community.

Since the Ahmaud Arbery incident, Americans have again been inundated with Black people unjustly murdered on our screens, and the movement for equity and…



Justin Patton

Spoken word artist and writer. Living my life and writing about it along the way, it just might inspire somebody. IG: @iamjustinpatton