June 1, 2020

Please, Don’t Shoot!!

Powerful photo from Instagram

We have had enough.

As a black woman I’m outraged. As a mother I’m frighten. As a tax payer I’m pissed. As a voter I demand justice be served. As I an American it seems like the norm which angers me.   

George Floyd, Atatiana Jefferson, and Breonna Taylor are not the first and won’t be the last African Americans killed by those hired to “serve and protect,” and Ahmad Arbery and Travyon Martin were not the first murdered for just being black. They just happened to be the ones that pissed us off. But the question is Why? Why does this shit keep happening and why are we expected just to go on living in fear?  

I remember being a small child five or six witnessing two white officers arresting a middle-aged black man in a local grocery store. There he was handcuffed with blood leaking out of his forehead from being slammed against the store’s metal shelf repeatedly. His tears mixed with the blood as he stood afraid, ashamed, and quiet, perhaps he had forgotten black folks’ instructions given to us as children for an encounter with officers, all while we stood there witnessing and terrified hopeless and helpless. In 2020, we would have recorded it and shared the video to social media for the world to see a memory that I will never be able to erase from my mind. And that’s the moment I developed my fear of every police color didn’t matter all I saw was a badge because my very first experience was a terrible one and its one that has always haunted me. I never trusted a police officer until my D.A.R.E officer in fifth grade, she was kind and gentle and she eased my fears.  

I finally met really a few nice police well into my adult life that eased some of my fears. Even though, I never forgot my first time, which is why we prepare our kids for times such as that when we cannot be there to protect them.  

A nonexclusive ever-growing list of instructions given to African Americans as kids whenever we are confronted by any police but especially white ones. 

  • NO sudden movements. 
  • Don’t Reach for anything 
  • Be polite 
  • Don’t act nervous  
  • Have your paperwork handy and your affairs in order.  
  • Don’t resist  
  • Don’t show fear  
  • Don’t give them a reason to shoot and kill you 

I have tried to be a law-abiding citizen because I know my attitude and my demeanor can be viewed as negative. Yes, I talk loudly and with my hands and my neck and my eyes rolls but I am no threat. I want to make it home safely to my family. It wasn’t until I became a mother that I learned to hold my breathe until all my children were safe in my arms, because now even our home isn’t the safest place. 

He deserves to grow up.

I wish that my children could live in the dream that Dr. Martin Luther King fought and died for.  

I wish my generation could celebrate our diligence to elect our first black president, Mr. Barak Obama. 

 I wish that my mother’s generation of Black Panthers can rest knowing they left the world better than it was for them.   

 I wish our melanin wasn’t so intimidating. 

 I wish our complexion wasn’t so complex.  

I wish our strength wasn’t viewed as threatening.  

I wish our proudness of our heritage wasn’t looked at as lack of regard of other races.  

I wish that the marching and protesting wasn’t in vain because we are in the same place as we were 60-70 years ago.   

Justice? For who? Over the last seventy years we have witnessed history repeat itself over and over again, when will it ever end. Just because social media and camera phones have started to expose these acts of murder doesn’t mean it started in 2008 this shit has been going on since the beginning of time, remember Emmett Till?  

Of course, you do he was a 14-year-old black boy beaten and murdered here in the good ole south and where many continue to show disregard for black lives. All the while we’re screaming #blacklivesmatter, but who does it matter to? Not only are white racist police murdering hundreds of thousands of blacks while getting nothing but a slap on the wrist leaving us enraged, also random non authority’s trash pursues our black kids as target practice, but not surprisingly blacks continue to kill each other at a rapid rate over foolishness. We have to begin to see that black lives matter must start at home. 

Truth is there is nothing I can say to ease this pain felt worldwide but I can speak for many of us by saying: We’re tired of this shit. We are not our ancestors. We won’t back down. We will not be standing by while you resume kill our husbands, our sons, our brothers, our fathers, our sister, our mothers, our daughters, our cousins, our friends and loved ones. We won’t stand down. We have had enough. You cannot keep poking a sleeping giant thinking it won’t wake up. It’s woke. We are angry. We are feed up. We are keeping score.  

We speak their names. Because we don’t want to add any more of us added to this list. 

Please let us live to be old.