As I sit and write this , I am angry. Angry that young ( and old) Black men are targeted so often by law enforcement. I just had a long conversation with a cousin of mine about her son being victimized by State Troopers recently. He was handcuffed and beaten by 1, while the other 2 just watched, as he pleaded for them to intervene. Then he was loaded into the back of a car, as if he were being transported to jail, only to be dropped off in the middle of nowhere and told to find his way home. This is a young man, away from home for the very first time. He is at college , on a football scholarship. But, because of the vicious beating he took, his hands are injured and there is no way of telling if he will ever be able to return to football.
Last week my teens were horrified to see a friend of theirs since elementary school on the news. He had been shot by Police. They felt threatened by his Brown skin and hoodie.
Back in March, another young man,this a friend and neighbor of my nephews, named Stephon Clark was gunned down in his Grandparent’s backyard. Where he lived with them. He had lost his keys so he was knocking on his Grandfather’s window to be let in, something he did quite often. A neighbor had called 911 a few minutes prior because he heard someone breaking car windows. Officers believed Clark was the one doing it. So, they fired 20 bullets at him. Hitting him 8 times, 6 of those 8 bullets hit him in the back.
I could write for days and sadly, not run out of names of innocents gunned down by law enforcement with no justification. Let’s not forget the story that has us all questioning how a Dallas officer could safely drive home, unlock the door to her building and correctly work the elevator, gain entrance into an apartment that was not hers, shoot and kill the rightful resident of that apartment, Botham Jean, and be portrayed as a confused victim. One whose story has changed multiple times already.
Enough is enough. The racial injustice in our country has grown significantly since our country became the butt of international disdain and many a joke. The man elected as President of the United States has made it sickeningly convenient to let your racist colors fly with no worry of recrimination. At least from those who should be protecting the rest of us. Citizens are taking it into their own hands and using the power of the internet to find and out those who think they can mistreat Black or Brown people just for the hell of it and get away with it. Sure, it feels like a small win when one of those creeps loses their job for their racist shenanigans, but , that doesn’t stop them. It doesn’t change their hate filled heart. If anything , it makes them, in this writers opinion, even more dangerous.
I am tired. I am mad. And, I am a whole lot afraid. I have 5 Black sons, I have many Black nephews and cousins, I have a Black brother. And, Black grandsons. I want all those beautiful Black men and boys to not be killed simply because the color of their skin scares some or inspires hate in others. I want them to be able to fulfill their dreams. To see change, real change come about in their lifetime. To be a part of that change. They cannot fulfill that destiny with targets on their backs.
I don’t have any answers. I don’t know the way to “fix”this. I am just a Mom, who spends her nights sleepless and in prayer, that I don’t get that world destroying call about another Black man or boy that I know.