Last week, a video went viral on social media showing several young and promising aspiring rappers in Birmingham, Alabama floating off of the ground up into the stratosphere.
When the video begins, it features the young men of color in an urban public housing neighborhood beginning to hover off of the ground. One youth seem hesitant, asking, “bitch, where is we be gone up out da muthafuka?”
However, his friends quickly assure him that floating off the earth will increase their status, with one saying: “muthafuka we gone straight up out dis muthafuka!”
“Ah, hells ya, nigga, we gone up top now, bitch,” another says.
“Muthafuka we botta been gone up top of this muthafuka, shit,” says another.
The camera pans upward as the group of aspiring rappers continue to float up into the air, laughing and commenting to one another about how they would find something great up in the sky.
But they did not find anything great. The next day, their mutilated corpses were found scattered across the city. The promising youths reached the stratosphere and suffocated before falling to the ground, their bodies turning into paste when they landed as a result of the high velocity.
“He be a good boy, him been gone to da church,” said one of the boys’ mothers through tears, adding, “ain’t that government not gonna be done nothing, him just a chald, done float up out, he ain’t know.”
Now, the entire community of Birmingham is calling on federal authorities to change the law of gravity, which disproportionately punishes black people who unknowingly break it.
Experts say that people of color do not learn enough about gravity in school, as the schools are underfunded as a result of white racism.
“White kids all know you can’t just float off the ground into the sky, or you will die,” says Professor Noam Finkel of Harvard University. “But somehow, young people of color are not getting these lessons, and don’t understand the consequences associated with breaking the laws of gravity.”
The Biden Administration has vowed to open an inquiry into the way that the law of gravity disproportionately punishes black people, with an eye to changing it. But some in Congress do not think he is moving fast enough.
Democrat Adam Schiff is one such Congressman. Schiff has introduced a law that would immediately abolish the law of gravity.
“People are dying because of this antiquated law of gravity, which too many people of color are not informed about, and find themselves breaking unwittingly,” Schiff explained at a press conference. “No mother should have to worry that her son is going to float off into the stratosphere and come crashing down in a field.”
Others have claimed that we need to address root causes in our gravity system that make disadvantaged young people believe that they will have a better life in the sky.
However, Republicans, who have a history of suppressing people of color and trying to use the legal system to kill them, disagree with the Democrat plan to change the law of gravity.
“If we change the law of gravity, people are going to find that their patio furniture is floating out into outer space,” said Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell. “Americans are struggling right now with the Biden economy, and they don’t need to fear that they’re going to have to buy new patio furniture because big city Democrats have changed the law of gravity.”
McConnell suggested increasing funding to school gravity lessons, as well as encouraging rap musicians to sing about the consequences associated with violating the law of gravity.
Former President Donald Trump released a statement about the calls for a social justice adjustment to the law of gravity, calling it a “Democrat war on patio furniture.” Trump said that under the Democrat proposal, “all of your precious patio furniture is going to go solar because the Democrats insist on going soft on physics criminals who violate our law of gravity.”
However, legal experts have said that no law that disproportionately punishes people of color can stand the test of justice, and there is no question that people of color, in particular young black men, are the prime group affected by the law of gravity.
Currently, it looks as if the fight over gravity is going to be the next front in the culture war, after many have called for America to have a reckoning with racial injustices in the wake of the murder of George Floyd last summer.