So many names come to mind. Trayvon Martin, Philando Castile, Eric Gardner, Sandra Bland, Mike Brown, Ahmaud Arbery, George Floyd.......the list will continue to grow. Mind you, these are just the names of the people we know of, to give voices to. There are millions who have died and no one said a peep.
I remember the day after I watched Philando die. I cried on my way to work that morning. In that moment my spirit wasn't broken. I didn't necessarily feel like giving up, but I felt an excruciating pain in my heart because as a 20 something year old black woman, I've learned about the generations of my people fighting and dying, to be treated as humans. When Philando died, I was just realizing what kind of fight we have on our hands. I walked into work that day, and as I walked the halls on the way to my desk, white people are just laughing and smiling as if it's just another day, while the black people seemed to be looking down as they walked or in a much more somber mood. That was the first time I had felt that feeling. The actual feeling the difference in a black and white reality.
The latest black man we are advocating for is George Floyd. A white officer used his knee to suffocate a strong healthy, unarmed, non-resisting black man. Bystanders were yelling at the officer to get off of him because he was killing him. The officer ( a.k.a the murderer) looked them in the eyes and continued to suffocate, with a smug look on his face. Reality.
I watched that video, knowing that I shouldn't, but I did it anyway because it was all over the media. I had a similar experience to the one I had the day after Philando passed, but you know how it is when you've experienced that same pain before. It didn't hurt as bad, but this time, I feel more ready for action.
Social Media is going crazy. Everybody is commenting on the looting and rioting taking place in Minnesota right now. Most black people understand why this is happening again. A lot of black people sound like the majority of white folk asking "what does that solve?"
How do you make a bully leave you alone? Do you ask them nicely to stop? Maybe at first, but what if they don't stop. Do you tell "the teacher"? What if the teacher doesn't take it seriously? Then what? Do you peacefully protest? Hell no, you defend yourself and fuck them up. You'll still get in trouble, but that bully wont touch you anymore. That's how I see the riots that are happening. I love the movie Hunger Games so much because it illustrates our world. Black people are the people of the district. We might have to go to war again before we see some justice or equality in America. The first civil war changed the term slave into the words convict, prisoner, or inmate. What would a second one do? Would it free us for real this time?