I have a dad who, at the age of 53, has realized that his life doesn’t really matter.
I have cousins and friends and neighbors that I pray for every night because I have no idea what their reality and fate could be during the days we are not together. I think about the reality of having children and think of what my child’s fate could be in this fucked up reality that sees him as nothing but a molecule in the greater scheme of things.
Black lives matter no matter what the media tells us.
In a system where we are supposed to be viewed as equal, we see repeatedly that we are not. We are followed around stores, made to be thieves. We are chased and followed and made to be suspects when we, too, are victims of this fucked up system called America and life. We are murdered by people who are paid to protect us, yet they make it look as if we are the suspects and the reasons for our deaths. What has to be done for this to stop?
have to do to be considered humans
instead of anything less?
As I sat around with my fellow American’s and watched Ferguson's events unfold, my heart poured out in immense levels for the recent high school graduate Michael Brown. For him, for his family, his friends, and his community.
The reports said that he was shot by a police officer, Darren Wilson, as a response to a robbery at a local convenience store. It was suspected that Brown stole a pack of cigarillos which could not have had a price point greater than $5. After leaving the store, Brown was murdered and a somewhat fabricated story, in my opinion, was created to justify the actions of the coward and pig that used to his badge as the opportunity to and justification for killing this boy. Brown’s body was left in the middle of the street uncovered for 4.5 hours like he was road kill and didn’t deserve to have some level of respect.
Sadly, this narrative has become too constant in our history and our culture - we are being killed yet blamed for these actions because we display some fictional level of power evoking fear. Wilson said during his testimony that he felt intimidated by Brown although he, himself stands 6’4 and about 210 pounds. He said that Brown and him had an altercation and you could see it on his face, yet the minimal redness of his face was obviously the result of genetics. Even if he bullied him, was that a justification for him to be murdered? Wilson said in his description of incidents:
“I tried to hold his right arm and use my left hand to get out to have some kind of control and not be trapped in my car any more. And when I grabbed him, the only way I can describe it is I felt like a five-year-old holding onto Hulk Hogan.”
“I felt that another one of those punches in my face could knock me out or worse. I mean it was, he’s obviously bigger than I was and stronger and then, I’ve already taken to the face and I didn’t think I would, the third one could be fatal if he hit me right.”
These stories are shown repeatedly - do the names Trayvon Martin, Oscar Grant, Sean Bell, Amadou Diallo and many others raise questions in your head or is it just mine? Does a badge or “fear” give you a reason and justification to kill someone - if so; I’d be murdering people on a daily basis. Why are we - our black and brown brothers - being killed and these people who are committing the crimes are able to roam the streets free, enjoy their lives or get married which Wilson was able to do.
When the verdict was read, Robert McCulloch who seemed to be a spokesperson for Wilson’s fan club said that there would be no indictment referencing things like social media and him not being shot in the back as if being shot in the hand or forehead would change the fate. Here we have a boy who was shot 12 times whether he attacked Wilson like they want us to believe there’s no reason he should’ve been shot that many times nor at all. We are also being asked to protest peacefully and I’m quite confused as to how we do that and why we need to. Peacefully, indicates that we still have to show respect to a system that shows none for us. We are tired of being killed, and tired of this fear being placed into our lives. We are tired of our communities being affected and people only getting a slight touch on the wrist.
Do we have to loot and destroy our communities and walk/shutdown freeways? Probably not, but what else is there to do just sit back and let our voices not be heard, and our lives not be regarded? Something needs to be done - do we need to shout from the mountaintops that our lives matter or start policing our own communities. I vote for a mesh of the two - back to the days of the Black Panthers is the mentality I think we need to embrace. Have a pride for ourselves and defend ourselves. Also, perhaps we should be a community which somewhat like the acronym of F.U.B.U - create products for us and by us. Support our local store honor, instead of getting sucked in and feeding this system as well.
We have a right to be angry and we have a right to not be peaceful just like we have - or are supposed to have a right to live and freedom of expression. I’d like to close with a quote from a great friend of mine, Andrea Brown, - think about it and let it sink in.
“Conceding to the negative does nothing but perpetuate a negative stereotype. You should always speak life, especially to children and impressionable young people. If anything - the statement should be all lives matter, despite what the current climate in this country may say. A defeated mindset will inevitably lead to defeat and if there is ever any hope for us to win the war that is clearly being waged against us, we must believe it is possible to do so.”
Follow-Up Worth Noting
People not only tweeted about not celebrating Black Friday as a source of unity and speaking up for injustice, and it showed in sales this year. The National Retail Federation reported that sales both in stores and digitally, have dropped by 11 percent and to $50.9 billion only in revenue from last year’s $57.4 billion in gain. Whether this is related to people boycotting Black Friday because of Ferguson or not, the numbers don’t lie.