I feel so hopeless this morning. Year after year. Life after life. Hashtag after hashtag. I’ve been enraged and mad as hell through them all, however, the latest two incidents in Louisana and Minneapolis have officially broken me. I have refused to watch the videos of two black men lose their lives and just reading alone has embedded deep pain within. I went to bed crying over the life of #AltonSterling only to awake crying over the life of #PhilandoCastile. My emotions are so sensitive and raw right now. All I keep thinking about is what can I do? How can I help create change? And you wanna know the sad part of it all is that I keep drawing a blank. For once this is an issue that for the life of me, I can’t think of a justifiable solution.
I’m tired of hearing “Well if black people would stop killing eachother they would respect us more. It starts with us.” So let me get this straight; you seriously think that the crimes we commit on ourselves would make rascists suddenly value your life? You think the crimes we commit in our own communities is justifiable for an officer who took an oath to protect and serve said community, can take the life of a black man just because he is black is comparable? I’m tired of hearing “Well if more black people would become the officers, judges, lawyers etc. we can elect the change we need.” You’re seriously saying this during the time of a black presidency (President Obama) when the police brutality has become such a widely regulatory issue and yet nothing has changed? I vote because too many of my ancestors died for the right, however, blacks will never be the majority in the legal system of the USA. So when I walk away from voting, I feel I did my part but I never feel like my needs as a black person will truly be met from just a vote. I’m tired of seeing videos of these deaths circulating the internet. Now granted, the awareness of how the situation went down is good, but have they ever served its purpose when it comes down to the justice system? “They” always find a justifiable excuse. Yet, the families affected by these deaths have to live with these murders and being consistently reminded of what happened visually forever.
A man lost his life while having permission to sell CD’s in front of a storefront. Minding his business. Another man, pulled over for a broken taillight***, licensed to carry, respectfully notified the officer of such. Please tell me in what scenario would a man who is trying to illicit harm on a life would warn the other that they have a weapon on them? He has no criminal record. Was instructed to show proof of license and registration yet, lost his life in front of his 4 year old daughter when cooperating to do so. I’m sick to my fucking stomach. It does not matter if we are a criminal or a law abiding citizen, our lives don’t matter in the face of the law and the rascists. We can be peaceful and comply or we can be knowledgeable of our rights and question authority AND STILL LOSE OUR LIVES. It does not fucking matter! How are all of these officers able to wear a police uniform but are afraid of CD’s and broken taillights and other miscellaneous bullshit many black people have lost their lives over? Why do you take a job as an officer yet plead the “I am afraid for my life” line when you are in the presence of an unarmed black man and woman? Even if they are armed, aren’t white people consistently screaming the right to bear arms? So we’re anti gun now that the person carrying is black? We can trust a white person with a gun more than we can trust a black? Why are you a coward working in prodiminately black neighborhoods? Officers approach a black person aggressively automatically. It is constantly shown to us. As an officer, you are not above a black human-being just because of your position. Too many prejudice and poorly equipped people are being placed in positions to control the fate of black lives. It’s one of the biggest slaps in the face to our existence, repeatedly.
As a black person, we are automatically born into a society where we are being forced to survive. We can literally do nothing and our skin poses as the biggest threat. Why can’t we just live? America is the land of the free right? Oh, disclaimer: it’s only free if you’re white? Right! Terrorism is treated with a more significant regard, than the terrorists known as police officers that walk away freely from the injustices of black lives every day. I want to believe that life will get better for black people. However, I’m too much of a realist to be that optimistic. It’s only going to continue to get worse. As badly as I want a solution there is none. Racism is a deeply rooted issue that will never go away. We can only be united, stand and fight back together while silmultaneously protecting ourselves. But how do we fight is the question? I just don’t know how many more deaths will have to happen but I know the war on racism has never ended. Our excellence will forever be the biggest threat and as awareness continues to spread an awakening is happening. The revolution is erupting as we speak but just having the conversation alone isn’t enough.
*** It was later discovered that the taillight was in fact NOT broke. It is obvious that Mr. Castile was pulled over for being black, driving in a predominantly white suburban city.