Breaking Point To Elevation: Black Voices on Racism and Inequality Today
“I believe our current climate is one that is perpetual, it is cyclical in nature” those were the words spoken by Ms. Dara N. McCoy — Certified Holistic Wellness Specialist and a Candidate for a Masters in Spirituality Culture and Health. As the President of her undergraduate chapter of the NAACP, Ms. McCoy was an informational treat to sit with to discuss a topic, which we have a shared passion — Racism and the breaking point we are reaching today.
It is no secret, that racism and inequality are still very much alive. Over the past couple of weeks, we have witnessed blatant episodes of injustice toward our black men, as seen in the loss of life of Ahmaud Aubrey, and most recently George Floyd. Compounding this, we as a people, have been disproportionately affected by the current global pandemic. It seems like no matter the cards being dealt, we never hold a winning hand, and we have had enough.
WE FORGOT WHO WE ARE
Ms. McCoy, is a very well-rounded and well-educated woman of color. She is the owner of Classique Integrated Wellness LLC, and is in the process of launching a brand, geared toward black women and their holistic health. Her perspective on our current and constant climate of inequality in this country, is scientific and historical in nature. There was an old southern adage, which Ms. McCoy was especially fond of, ‘Tell me who your people are, and I will tell you who you are’. This adage held special relevance to the root of our cyclical problems. Simply put, “We as a people have forgotten who we are”, we have long continued the belief that we all belong to the Maafa. Which is untrue, our lineage goes beyond slavery.
However, as a people we have been made to believe that our ancestry begins at that most traumatic and horrific point in our history. As slaves we were demeaned, abused, treated as no more than livestock and seen as not even a whole person. Solidifying this belief, occurred in the drafting of the 13th amendment which listed ‘people of color’ as 3/5th of a person. So, it stands to reason that if you are told that you are not even worth being a whole person, you are subconsciously telling yourself that you are worthless. Ergo, not knowing our lineage creates a space where we need to be anything other than that 3/5th of a person. We search to be ‘whole’, by instinctively finding value outside of ourselves, by emulating anything other than us. Forgoing our authentic, ancestral traditions and beliefs, losing our identity, and continuing the inferiority cycle.
Fact: To date slavery lives on in the form of mass incarceration, as stated in the 13th amendment
A SCIENTIFIC PERSPECTIVE
As our interview progressed, it was clear that Ms. McCoy saw our current climate as one that goes beyond Black and White, but that at the root there was a bigger problem.
Ms. McCoy then brought science to the table. “Many of us are not aware that, our DNA and genetic markers go beyond our hair, eye color, skin color etc. Instead, there are traits ingrained within us, from generations past, that directly affect our behavior and response to certain events in our lives”. E.g. Something as simple as, the inability to settle and the comfort level most people of color feel about having children with multiple partners, is something that is a physiological response marked in our DNA. This, is a direct response to our enslaved ancestors being forced to breed with multiple women and for women to bear children from multiple men, coupled with the separation of families. This is what we have learned is expected and will be praised and accepted.
Ms. McCoy explains it like this. “Whenever a traumatic event or an event your body registers as a distress (something negative) or eustress (something positive) holds that much importance, mentally, emotionally or spiritually it causes a physiological response, and automatically marked in your DNA. This marker, can be traced up to ten generations going forward.” E.g. You win a lottery and you are excited and set up a system of generational wealth for your family. Anytime a descendant of yours, 10 generations going forward, sees something in the realm of a lottery ticket or gambling, which others may view as risky, they see it in a positive nature and respond in the affirmative.
FEAR AND FAMILY
“Fear is fatal…I do not have the luxury of being fearful” that was her response to my question about her biggest fear.
As African Americans, we know all too well how a simple trip to the grocery store, can go totally wrong. Yes, things happen in every community and, Murphy’s law knows no race, however, events unfold differently for people of color, and where Ms. McCoy knows this to be true, she does not live in fear; however, she does approach life cautiously in certain situations.
When it comes to her family, she spoke highly of her brother, Mr. Yohance McCoy Esq. Mr. McCoy is an accomplished attorney, whose most famous appellate court case is Reed v. State, May 27, 2016. He also owns a private practice, Kefense PA, in the state of Florida. His professional success has allowed for accolades and noted achievements in the law books of Florida. However, as an African American man, Ms. McCoy knows all too well that, when her brother is walking down the sidewalk, people do not see his successes and titles, instead they see him as just another black man. She is also an aunty to two an extremely, intelligent, and free-spirited nephews, ages 11 and 3 years old, who thirst to understand the world around them. These men of color in Ms. McCoy’s life, are essentially targets for whom ever chooses to view them in that light. To fear for them would be an injustice in Ms. McCoy’s eyes, instead she chooses to live her best life, with the intent of creating opportunities, that will allow them to break the cycle of fear.
MS. McCOY’S MESSAGE
For other young men of color, Ms. McCoy’s message was clear “Be aware”. Be aware of your surroundings, who you associate with, procreate with, what spiritual system you practice, just be aware. And “don’t be lulled to sleep by the grey area.” A reminder that the law is not black and white but viewed through a lens of interpretation, which is held by someone who looks nothing like you.
Her message to people of color collectively. Fear is learned, through the ideology, that we are not enough and that to be authentic is not accepted. So, we live in fear of our uniqueness, displaying our ancestry, success, money, even the fear of learning who we are, the list could go on. In order for us to grow as a people and society, we must understand that fear is relative, and we all need to learn and discover who we are otherwise we will live in a perpetual state of fear.
“Learn the value in valuing our ancestors” ~ Ms. McCoy
On if she could see things getting better? Yes, dependent on two things. Coming together as a people and, building wealth and understanding what that looks like. Far too often we find ourselves investing in companies, that do not really care about you, trying to emulate someone that is not us. All because we were taught that we are not enough. If as a black community, we come together, generate, and circulate wealth, we build a stronger community. This is not new every race across the board does this, it is time we understand the value in investing in ourselves.
“Learn the power of your own currency. Not just material currency, but your spiritual currency” ~ Ms. McCoy
Secondly, things being better is relative and will look different depending on the person and situation. One consistency, that could ring true for all people of color is, a better life would be one where we are not triggered, where we are able to live healthy, happily and raise our progenies without fear. A life where we see our families restructured together. Then and only then can it be better.
For the human race, stop apologizing for events in which you played no part. Instead, stand up and hold those responsible accountable. No matter who we are, spirituality and religion make one thing clear, we are all God’s children and we should honor that.
Highlighting the issues affecting us as African Americans today, it is clear that from Ms. McCoy’s perspective there are extreme external contributing factors, however we as a race, we must also hold ourselves accountable and invest in our healing, learning and connecting — both to ourselves, each other and to those that have gone before us.
“Unlearn the Untruths or this cycle will continue” ~ Ms. McCoy
Ms. Dara N. McCoy
Website — https://www.classique.life
Instagram — https://www.instagram.com/classique_wellness
Mr. Yohance McCoy Esq.
Private Practice — Kefense PA
Linkedin — Kefense PA