I said I wouldn’t do it. I wouldn’t watch one more video of a black person being murdered by the police, but today while I was reading an article the video was embedded in the article and of course I clicked on it. I watched it to the end and then I cried from my soul.
Soul cries are reserved for the very best and the absolute worst of situations. Lately I’ve had more of the worst kind than I’ve ever had in life. I didn’t live during slavery, or segregation. Didn’t have to worry about protecting myself during the civil war. The worst racial experience I ever had to witness up until these last couple of years, was when Rodney King was brutally beaten in Los Angeles in 1992. I was born in 1984 so when that happened I was eight years old. How badly did that really effect me? Honestly not much I was a kid, I didn’t really comprehend what happened. Or maybe it was when Amadou Diallo was murdered in cold blood in 1999. Again if you subtract 1984 from 1999 you will find out that I was fifteen years old. I remember feeling that his death was horrible but I didn’t soul cry I seriously doubt that I cried at all.
As with most millennials if you’d asked me a few years ago I would have told you that while we were nowhere near a post racial society we were doing much better than we’d ever done before, hell our President is black. His election had to count for something. Right? Wrong. Everyday when I turn on my television or log onto the Internet I have a hard time figuring out if we are in 1958 or 2015. It’s 2015 and white men hiding behind badges are still using fear as a justification for shooting black people in broad daylight. Wouldn’t it seem that if you were too fearful of a population that you were not properly suited to protect and or to serve that population?
Being forced to witness or hear about these deaths on a daily basis is absolutely horrible. I’ve suffered every stage of grief in what seems like a consistent pattern for the last couple of months. I can’t catch a break. Black people can’t catch a break. It doesn’t matter if we speak properly, face the officer, address him with respect, or pull our pants up and skirts down. It doesn’t matter if we know our rights, demand that the officer tell us why we’re being pulled over, nor if we question their judgement or knowledge of the laws. Whether you are a respectability politic preacher or a militant minded, fuck the police they’re going to respect me, advocate there are enough videos online of black people doing both and ending up dead faster than you can blink. And most of the time the murderous officers are walking away acquitted. They’re murders justified in one way or another. Even if they do lose their jobs they’re getting book deals and being paid millions of dollars.
So what then? What must happen in order to stop this massive onslaught of police brutality? Every idea I have on this topic doesn’t seem good enough or quick enough. Legislation takes years and has to be decided upon by a system that has shown time after time that black people are not its favored people. Trying to humanize ourselves to people who don’t understand why we pay so much attention to the murders of “thugs” and “angry black women” isn’t the answer. I’ve stated more times than I can count recently that I’m not here for educating people who don’t want to be educated about how #BlackLivesMatter when #AllLivesMatter. In my humble opinion those people will never get it. I don’t know what to do but I’m tired of protesting, and blacking out my profile, and stating their names. I’m tired of crying, of being on edge, of praying that this doesn’t happen to me. Of hoping that I don’t get pulled over so strongly that I’ve slowed down significantly and placed all of my proper legal car papers in a place where reaching for them won’t seem hostile. I’m a black woman and I need to make it home to my child so I’ll continue to do these things and more but I’m really starting to wonder if America will ever get to the point where black people and other people of color won’t need to do these things.